Emotional Incest Part 3: Daddy’s Girl

by Libby Anne [Editors' note: At the time of writing, Libby Anne and Sierra were unaware of the controversy surrounding Hugo Schwyzer. The discussion of his critique of emotional incest is not an endorsement of Schwyzer by NLQ.] In Part 1 I looked at the definition of emotional incest and in Part 2 I looked at how integral emotional incest is to Christian Patriarchy, but in this segment I want to look at how easy it can be for even ordinary families to be sucked into (admittedly, less intense) patterns of emotional incest. I recently came upon an article called “Princesses, Princes, Daughters, and Dads: Against Emotional Incest.” The author explains his own experiences as the … [Read more...]

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

By Tess Willoughby Nate 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 … [Read more...]

Divorce as Salvation

By Sierra Growing 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 … [Read more...]

How the Doctrine of Hell Justifies Quiverfull Authoritarian Parenting

by Libby Anne From 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 … [Read more...]

How the Modesty Doctrine Hurts Men, Too

by Sierra I’ve written a few times about how the modesty doctrine hurts women. Now it’s time to switch lenses. The modesty doctrine also wreaks havoc on the minds of young men in the Christian patriarchy movement. Here’s how: It teaches men to be afraid of women because their sexual power is too great to be resisted. It teaches men to despise women and hampers their relationships. It teaches men to be afraid of their own bodies. It teaches men to control and criticize women in order to protect themselves. It teaches men to be paranoid about their sexual orientation. It teaches gay men that they don’t exist. (There are probably more consequences of which I’m … [Read more...]

How Modesty Made Me Fat

by Sierra This isn’t a story about how modest clothes allowed me to “let myself go” and conceal a growing figure. It’s not even a story about how wearing modest clothes kept my self-esteem at rock bottom and thrust me into a too-close relationship with Ben & Jerry. It’s a story about how modesty doctrines impacted my mind, in ways that had real, negative effects on my body. Modesty was one of the reasons my defining relationship with my body became whether or not I was “fat.” Modesty was one of the engines that pushed me into a full-blown eating disorder. It’s not just a dress code: it’s a philosophy, and it’s one that destroys young women, mentally and … [Read more...]

But They Look So Happy!

Excerpted from Dulce De Leche: All of the recent news about the Duggar's newest baby spawned a number of online arguments.  One of the most frequent comments was about how cheerful their family is, especially the children.  How Michelle is a great mom who doesn't yell.  It must be working for them, because the kids are well behaved and look happy.  Sounds reasonable, right? I might believe it, if I didn't know what I know of Gothard/ATI and the Pearls.  The Duggars are deeply enmeshed in ATI, and ATI takes allegiance very seriously.  It isn't a vague Statement of Beliefs that you sign so your kids can take the courses.  It is several pages of in depth info that covers what kind … [Read more...]

Adventures in Recovery – Scaredy Cats: Why So Fearful?

by Calulu Aretha Franklin - “You better think about the consequences of your actions.” Matt 'Guitar' Murphy - “ Oh shut up woman!” (Lovingly borrowed from the movie “The Blues Brothers”) A few months ago I lent out a book by a newer young minister to a friend of mine named Georgia. Georgia has recently made it out of the mess Possum Creek Christian Fellowship devolved into. We'd been talking about new teachings we'd encountered and I'd explained that I liked this guy's style, I steered my friend Georgia to his teachings on You Tube and lend her that book. Minister X actually has a new book out but I lent her one of the older books first. Georgia is one of those … [Read more...]

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. … [Read more...]

I Am So Much More Than a Maiden of Virtue! Part 4 ~ Little Things

by WanderingOne I am a nail-biter.  I don’t bite them because I’m nervous or scared or anything like that.  I just…chew.  My nails are ugly and jagged; short and stumpy.  I hate the way they look. Growing up my parents tried to discipline me out of the habit.  It showed a lack of self-control, an inadequate ability for self-restraint.  I tried to stop.   I hated disappointing them.  I was afraid of punishment.  And yet, I never could shake the habit.  I bit and chewed—perhaps it was a form of unconscious resistance:  this small imperfection, this awful habit, was a small way of ensuring that my parents’ authority was not absolute.  Maybe it was just a bad … [Read more...]


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