Snipped! Part 4 The Freedom of Divorce

 by Incongruous CircumspectionSeven years old was a big year for me. It was at this point that Mama and Dad’s relationship boiled over and broke apart. Dad left and went to live by himself, leaving my siblings and I alone with Mama. At this point in my life, the alone time with Mama wasn’t too bad. She hadn’t learned yet, to take her immature “lashing out,” and reconcile it with her interpretation of the Bible. She was just solidly abusive and then excitingly adventurous.At one point, Dad did try to come back and give the marriage another chance. I remember being asked to dry the dishes one evening. Dad had pulled our old black and white television from its corner, to the mid … [Read more...]

Authoritarian Parenting and Emotional Repression

by LatebloomerI have a lot of respect for my dad. He's thoughtful and generous to all of us. His constant reading makes him an interesting and well-informed conversationalist. He makes his life decisions very carefully, yet never looks down on me for making different decisions than him. Instead, he tells me all the time that he loves and misses me, and that he's proud of who I've become. I feel so lucky to have him as my dad.Unfortunately, we have not always gotten along so well. Less than ten years ago, our relationship had been almost completely destroyed thanks to the authoritarian parenting techniques of the fundamentalist Christian homeschooling culture. Authoritarian parenting … [Read more...]

Thirtyone – Adventures in Recovery

by CaluluI was driving around the other day running a few errands and when I got back to my car I caught the tail end of a some random preacher speaking about the proper role of women in The Kingdom on local Christian radio. I didn't catch his name or the name of his ministry or sponsor but his message was loud and clear and made my blood boil. Bulls eye. Trigger hit. Buttons pushed.He started off speaking on the subject of what his ten year old daughter wanted to be when she grew up. She's crazy for gymnastics and he asked her that question about the future we all contemplate, what did she want to be when she grew up. Her answer to that question was that she would be a gymnastics … [Read more...]

Homeschooled Girls and Trash Cans: The Social Isolation of Homeschooling

by LatebloomerWhat do homeschooled girls and trash cans have in common? They both only leave the house once a week. This joke was well-received among homeschooled youth because it rang true for so many of us. For almost all of my teen years, church was the only social activity that I engaged in, the only time during the whole week that I might have a chance to interact with people who were not my immediate family. Making friends in that context, especially as a shy teen girl, seems daunting. However, I had an even greater obstacle to deal with: I was not allowed to participate in youth group.My parents were absolutely terrified of teenage rebellion. Thanks to various … [Read more...]

Good Intentions, Bad Fruit

by LatebloomerI heard the stories so many times as I was growing up, the reasons for my parents' decision to pull me out of public school halfway through first grade and start to homeschool me. I heard how I cried every day when my mom dropped me off at school. I heard how I was bored in class because I had learned to read at age 3, long before going to kindergarten. I heard how my teacher was wasting classroom time on political issues by having the class write a letter about saving some whales. I heard how the teacher hurt my feelings badly by insulting my quiet speaking voice during a presentation. I heard how I had the problem boy as my seatmate because I was the best behaved student. … [Read more...]

Justice is No Lady: Chapter 10 My Right to Be Heard

By Tess WilloughbyNate got another partner almost immediately. He found her on a Christian dating site. Patty had money from her millionaire father and a big house paid for by the government salary of her estranged husband. Nate had told me that remarriage for me was unbiblical, but he found a loophole in Scripture and told the children that he and Patty were already married in God’s eyes. God having spoken, Nate moved into Patty’s house and put our marital home up for rent.Nate wrote me a letter warning that if I did not “come to terms” (give him full custody of the children), he would hold a big yard sale and sell off everything in the house that belonged to me and the kids. He had … [Read more...]

Divorce as Salvation

By SierraGrowing up fundamentalist, I heard endless tirades about the importance of having a set of heterosexual parents. My mother was to be my example of submission, selflessness and homemaking. My father was to be my protector, modeling the role of my future husband. I’ll say more about some of the problems with this model in a future post.I was taught that children needed both a feminine and a masculine parental figure, that the traits of each would “balance” us somehow (even though I was expected to grow up 100% feminine). The worst possible sin against one’s children was to entertain the thought of divorcing one’s spouse.When I was 13, my parents divorced. It was awesome. … [Read more...]

Snipped! – Part 3: Marital Problems

by Incongruous CircumspectionWhen I was about 7 years old, my parents realized that they were having marital problems.  My father knew there was a problem long before this, but he was now ready to do something about it.  They began the process of looking for a marriage counselor.  They found many.  They went to many.  But it was always the same song and dance.The marriage counselor would begin by getting the story of their marriage from both parties and then begin speaking to my father about what he could do to improve himself.  My dad, being a humble and loving gentleman, was more than happy to take sole ownership of the repairing of the marriage, but knew that doing this would only … [Read more...]

How the Doctrine of Hell Justifies Quiverfull Authoritarian Parenting

by Libby AnneFrom my experience, I would argue that hell is the worst Christian doctrine of all. I’m not even going to get into how there is no justice in punishing finite transgressions with eternal torture, or into all the other problems with the theological ins and outs of hell. Instead, I’m referring to the practical implications of the doctrine.I am a mother. I look at my beautiful young daughter, so full of life and joy and excitement and curiosity, and I feel my love for her bubbling up in my heart. If I believed that there were any possibility that this sweet little thing could end up tortured in a lake of fire for eternity, I would leave no stone unturned in d … [Read more...]

Carefully Scripted Lives – The Real Reality of the Duggar Family "Blessings"

by Libby Anne I can’t say how often I’ve heard ordinary Americans defend Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and their popular TLC television show, 19 Kids and Counting. “I wouldn’t choose to have nineteen kids,” they say, “but if they can manage it, who am I to question their choice?” “The kids look happy and healthy,” they say, “look how polite and well mannered they are.” I hear these comments and I just have to sigh.First of all, I want to point out that I would have concerns about the Duggars even if they were your ordinary family plus seventeen extra children. For one thing, there is no way any two parents can give nineteen children the individual attention and time they need. It’s just no … [Read more...]


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