by NLQ Founder Vyckie Garrison
Valerie Tarico recently asked me to pick a bible verse that I actually like for this article, “Bible Verses That Atheists Love” which she wrote for AlterNet. I’m honored to be included with a bunch of awesome fellow skeptics; many of whom also chose Ecclesiastes (✿◠‿◠)
My response was too long and had to be edited for the article. For my friends, here’s the unedited version:
And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God. –Ecclesiastes 3:13
A couple years ago, a friend and I burned a KJV bible … one poisonous verse or obscene passage at a time. As we relished the sight of the thin, delicate pages going up in flames, we paused to reflect on the ways in which “the Word of God” burned us, as well as countless others around the world from ancient times, by conditioning Believers to become willing accomplices to our own oppression, exploitation, and maltreatment.
Burning the book which for 25+ years, I had considered the most sacred, God-inspired text was for me an important step in my journey of healing from spiritual abuse. Our ritualistic conflagration of the Christian scriptures took nearly two hours and the Book of Ecclesiastes was the last to be torched because my friend and I agreed that “vanity of vanities” seemed the most honest (and least offensive) message which maybe didn’t deserve to be torched quite so incontestably as the rest of the “Holy Bible.”
One of the last verses I read as a Believer was Eccl. 3:13. I remember being triggered by that word “labor” because as a “Quiverfull” Christian, I was intimately and frequently familiar with the labor of bearing and raising “arrows” for God’s army. I was always so overwhelmed and exhausted that it was difficult to actually enjoy the fruits of my labor: my children. While I can’t say that I “like” the Book of Ecclesiastes, I can at least appreciate that those words opened my eyes to the massive disconnect between my zealous idealism and my untenable reality; a revelation which set me on the path of recovery from religious delusion.Vyckie Garrison started No Longer Quivering to tell the story of her “escape” from the Quiverfull movement.
Over time, NLQ has developed into a valuable resource of information regarding the deceptions and dangers of the Quiverfull philosophy and lifestyle. Several more former QF adherents are now contributing their stories to NLQ and our collective voice makes these Quiverfull warnings impossible to dismiss or ignore.