Throwing Out the Moral GPS

by SierraGrowing up in fundamentalism was like living with a moral GPS navigator installed in my head. Every decision was mapped out already; all I needed to do was listen to the voice telling me where to go. Sometimes I could stop and look at the map. Most of the time I was looking ahead, trying to live, listening and following directions as best I could.The GPS gave me directions for living: Read the Bible and pray every day. Obey your parents. Be respectful of elders.Those directions made sense. They were there to help me get where I wanted to go: straight ahead. There were no twists and turns yet.Then the directions got a little stranger: Listen to one of Branham's … [Read more...]

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Smoke & Mirrors

by VyckieLibby Anne makes an astute point in her recent post at Love, Joy, Feminism: Vision Forum focuses on problems in society, inflates them, and then blames feminism and modernity. Then Vision Forum seeks to fix the problems by turning back the clock to a time that never existed. The version of the past that Vision Forum sells is a myth. The problems we face in society today are not new. Substance abuse, the challenges of balancing motherhood and work, and the devaluation of women have always been with us. Looking back to some idealized imaginary past where families had no problems, mothers happily stayed home and devoted their time to raising their children, and women were valued … [Read more...]

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Daughter of the Patriarchy: Daybreak

by Sierra By the time I turned in my final remedial math exam, my family had settled into a tiny rental house in Pennsylvania. I was now eligible to start community college, getting prerequisites out of the way while finishing up my high school diploma. For my first semester, I was registered for Basic Problems of Philosophy (my mother, snickering, said, “There are a lot of problems with Philosophy,” implying that it was a godless discipline), and Earth Science.Community college was a dazzling experience. Not only could I drive myself there three nights a week and not have to worry about tiptoeing around my father’s ever-simmering rage, I could talk to normal people face-to-face. I became … [Read more...]

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No Charity in the Remnant ~ Part 8: Bull in China Shop

by Whisper Rain Whisper was taken under the wing of some of the godly people at her new church. They taught her how to sew, and how to cook the way they did... which was very different from what she was used to. She felt like there was so much she needed to learn and re-learn to be a truly godly woman, but she was willing to do it! Where would she be if she hadn't met these people? Not living the way God expected her to, that was for sure! She was so thankful God had led her to a group of people who really understood what he wanted- people who were serious about God, and who would do anything he told them to. Looking around at the average, "professing christians" living such "lukewarm" … [Read more...]

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Daughter of the Patriarchy: Doing the Math

by SierraTurning eighteen was magical. Suddenly, all the job applications I seemed to be throwing down an empty chute were bounced back with interest. Sven had already landed a job at Wal-Mart in his town. Now it was my turn. I nervously sat through my job interview, not daring to hope that I might actually be on my way to earning money. When they called back with an offer, I could hardly contain my excitement.Not only did I have a job, I had a real driver's license. No longer did I need the supervision of an adult driver. I could take myself anywhere I wanted, whenever I wanted. The freedom was intoxicating, and I found myself driving everywhere at the slightest excuse.Now that I was … [Read more...]

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Daughter of the Patriarchy: The Waiting

by SierraI loved driving. I'd always known I would. As a child, I collected Hot Wheels cars until they numbered in the hundreds. When I was twelve, my mother decided to teach me to drive in case my father's rage spilled over completely and I needed to escape. It was both terrifying and exhilarating. The car felt huge and seemed to move so much faster when my hands were on the wheel. I crowed with pride as I successfully navigated the winding roads of our rural neighborhood, passing a UPS truck with wide eyes and short breath.As I grew older, I periodically stowed away money for a car. At my bakery job, I thought I might finally have a chance when I amassed $1,000 – a year's savings. A … [Read more...]

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No Charity in the Remnant ~ Part 7: She Trusted Them Because She Trusted God …

by Whisper RainThe months that followed were a bit of a blur. Whisper's newfound happiness was getting attention, and she had to figure out how to explain it. People would just walk up to her out of the blue and ask her what happened, because she looked like a different person. At the time, the simplest explanation that made the most sense (in the context of the teaching in her new church) was that she had finally surrendered herself to God completely. Yes, it felt a little "off" to put it that way... it was a woeful oversimplification at best... and a complete fabrication at worst. But Whisper didn't know how to explain what had happened, so it didn't seem like such a big deal to let … [Read more...]

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Crushing Daisies ~ Ways in Which Patriarchal Fundamentalism Harms Its Children ~ Part 2: The Little House on the Prairie Fashion Club

by DaisyWhen we were Quiverfull, our family wasn’t nearly so extreme as some regarding dress standards, but we did insist on longish dresses and hair for the girls for several years.This wasn’t all religious nonsense: those Osh Kosh pinnies were tough as hell and could be passed on through all the girls in the family and still look as though they’d hardly been worn. And, despite how my girls remember it, they were actually in fashion at the time. I wasn’t  just sewing our own stuff (although I did that too), Osh Kosh pinnies were bought off the rack in Myer and Target by regular folk as well as fundies like us. However, I’ll admit that we kept it up for longer than was appropriate. And we … [Read more...]

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My Courtship Story ~ Part 7: I Do

by Young Mom @ Permission to LiveWe spent most of our time together at our family homes, so we also spent a lot of our time together trying to evade family. Since we were engaged we were allowed to go on short excursions alone to public places. So we ran errands for the wedding, like picking up my wedding dress after the alterations were finished, or running to the mall to pick out "Hunk"’s wedding band. When we were around my house, we went for lots of walks together, and I even took him up to my secret spot on the garage roof where we could be alone.At the end of June (about 3 weeks out from the wedding) I went on another trip with "Hunk" and his family. We all flew out to spend a week … [Read more...]

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My Courtship Story ~ Part 6: The Countdown

by Young Mom @ Permission to LiveHunk and I and our parents set the wedding date that same night. He was going to graduate school (3 hours away) that August, and we both knew that we did not want to risk our parents nixing a wedding before next summer. A wedding over Christmas or spring break sounded complicated, and we both knew that he would be distracted from his schoolwork driving down to see me. Secretly I felt that I would go insane if I had to go days and days without seeing him. After a few calls to family members who lived some distance away, we settled on a date in July, eight short weeks away.I now had a ring on my finger, and people who knew me at violin classes were shocked, … [Read more...]

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