Submission and Prison Cells: Part 1

cells

by Melissa Permission To LiveAlmost five years ago, I was a devout conservative Christian. I had been married over two years, had a toddler Ms Action running around and a baby Ms Drama due in a few months. I loved my spouse beyond what I had ever thought love was when we first got married, and I still dutifully tried to keep the house immaculate and dinner on the table by the time he walked in the door. I read lots of books on marriage and childrearing, and I gave some of them away too. I remember in particular giving away copies of “To Train up a Child” and “Be Fruitful and Multiply”. I did my best to live up to the ideas I found in the Bible, the Christian books and magazines I read, an … [Read more...]

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Raised Quiverfull: Questioning, Q. 2

by Libby AnneRaised Quiverfull Introduction — Questioning SummaryPlease be sure to click the above links to see an introduction to and explanation of this project, which involves a panel of nine young adults who were raised in Quiverfull families and have since questioned and left that ideology answering questions about their experiences.  What first made you question the beliefs you were raised with? Was this initial questioning a frightening or liberating experience?Joe:I can’t put a finger on one experience that made me question my beliefs.  When I mention my beliefs, I must say that I have rejected everything from quiverful and fundamentalist C … [Read more...]

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Happily Abused

Can you say, "Stockholm Syndrome'?

Trigger warning: Christian woman's advice to abused wives reads like a handbook for ascetic self-mortification. How to Use a Woman's Faith & Trust to Make Her a Willing Accomplice to Her Own Abuseby Vyckie GarrisonAfter stumbling across yet another piece of alarmingly dangerous advice for abused women of faith titled, Surviving Emotional Abuse Six Steps by Christian author, Darcy Ingraham, I am wishing I had more middle fingers with which to express my extreme irritation. Ack!I will try to calm down long enough to use my words rather than profane gestures to talk about spiritual abuse.To begin with the author assumes that only those husbands who abandon their faith … [Read more...]

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Who Was That Masked Man? Part 7

by CaluluAfter the incident with the pregnant daughter of a friend we had another reprieve from Tom and Tina. We'd see them at church but they'd stopped coming to the bible study group. I'd heard that they were both going through this other ministry's counseling. The other ministry sounded sort of like Scientology in that you have to confess all your deepest darkest sins, area by area each week to the counseling team and then the team would lead you in repentance, prayer and forgiveness. It kept the Smiths out of our hair for about a year with the exception of about every other month one of the Smiths would corner me and demand we all become friends again.No chance of that. Even our … [Read more...]

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Snipped! Part 6: The Fun Little Church

by Incongruous CircumspectionBill Gothard’s weekly marriage class was run by Pastor John Hartzell and his young protégé, Chuck Raichert in a little Independent Fundamental Baptist Church in Bloomington, Minnesota. Normandale Baptist was the name. The seminar was called Rebuilder’s and was all about loving Jesus Christ so much that your husband or wife simply rushed back into your arms and lived happily ever after. The only problem, it never worked that way. It merely created religious zombies with strict principles.Mama was one of these zombies. She would have hours of “conversation” with my dad over the phone. She never let him speak. You knew when he tried by the rise in the … [Read more...]

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Raised Quiverfull: Questioning, Q. 1

by Libby AnnePlease be sure to click the above links to see an introduction to and explanation of this project, which involves a panel of nine young adults who were raised in Quiverfull families and have since questioned and left that ideology answering questions about their experiences.How were you first exposed to “mainstream” American culture? What were your first impressions?Joe:I was public schooled all my life and so lived in this “mainstream” culture first hand.  I say “lived in” because it was beaten into us that my siblings and I were sojourners in a foreign country.  Martyrs for the cause of patriarchal Christianity.  The only reason we had to be in this cult … [Read more...]

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Justice is No Lady: Chapter 11: Jack, the One I Lost

defenant-rising1

by Tess WilloughbyWhen Jack was just a baby, Nate had rejected Jack’s personality, and had set out to beat and berate it out of him. When Jack reached middle school age, or perhaps a little bit before, the seeds that his father had planted suddenly sprouted. Jack began to come unraveled. “Something is wrong with me,” he said. “I’m messed up.”Jack began to abuse his little sisters. His grades slipped. He had been my comedian, making jokes about everything all day. Now, he moped. He refused to play sports. He would not bathe.If anyone touched Jack, even to restrain him or remove dangerous objects from his hands, Nate took Jack to magistrates to swear out warrants that Jack was being … [Read more...]

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Millipede Part 7

killerwave

by MillipedeThis is not to say that my years embracing Patriarchy were all bad. Despite many bad changes and warning signs, there were moments of joy. Staying at home was fun. I promised myself to stay busy so as it was all too tempting to sit around. I made myself a "work" schedule complete with breaks and of course, an end to the workday. I would spend time keeping house, but also do a lot of fun projects. I gardened, made Maple syrup and a myriad of other activities which I truly loved. Although I missed work, I found that a housewife could be just as much of a worker. In fact there are legitimate issues concerning the need for someone to stay at home. Unfortunately, the Patriarchy … [Read more...]

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Rebuilding

rebuilding

by Bruce GerencserNine years have passed since I preached my last sermon, since my wife was called the “pastor’s wife.” Almost four years have passed since my wife and I determined to stop attending church. We are now among the “unchurched”, casualties of a life spent in Evangelical Christianity. Worse yet, at least according to our critics, we are now enemies of Christ and his church.You see, we not only left the Church, we left Jesus. Regardless of how some Christians parse our lives through their peculiar theological system, we are indeed two people who once were devoted, committed followers of Jesus, who are now described as an atheist husband and his agnostic wife. … [Read more...]

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Who Was That Masked Man? Part 6

by CaluluWhen we last left the Smiths they had reconciled and were determined to make everyone be best friends forever again. Nothing doing.Things ratchet up a few new levels of tension. 9/11 happens. I'm sitting in front of the television having coffee and folding clothes when CNN shows the coverage of the first tower getting hit and I'm still watching when the second plane hits the other one of the twin towers of the World Trade Center. By the time the plane hits the Pentagon and there are rumors on television of another plane being spotted on the way to Capital Hill where my husband works I was pretty wrung up. My phone kept ringing off the hook from friends and relatives wanting … [Read more...]

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