Who Was That Masked Man? Part 5

by Calulu So when we left off Tina was still believing that Tom was coming home. We were having nothing to do with the Smiths and Tom doesn’t come home. What he does do is go to my husband and ask him to talk to me about working a few mornings a week at his [Read More...]

Who Was That Masked Man? Part 1

by Calulu

This is a new series that I’m starting. I actually started writing about my history with the one person that impacted me the most during my days at the old church. I’m flip, I’m sarcastic in this series but mostly I am processing what happened to me because it seems like a plot straight out of the recently cancelled series GCB (Good Christian Bitches). After telling my therapy years ago about this man I was encouraged to write it all down. I did and if I didn’t laugh and poke fun I’d be crying right now. It was the most corrosive relationship I’ve ever been in and I didn’t even have the common sense to run from it. I’ve changed names and some small details because until recently this person still stalked me in an effort to make me return to my old beliefs. I have to believe his extreme inner hurt drove his behavior.

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If there was one person that affected my journey both into and out of a Patriarchal Fundigelical church that man would be Tom Smith. He was there at the start and he still haunts me like a cackling insano Captain Ahab chasing Moby Dick around an endless ecclesiastical sea. He has a monomaniacal desire to either force me back into our old borderline fundamentalist way of life replete with a submissive attitude or to hound me about going to hell. Sometimes he seems to spit at me “ … to the last I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee. “ but it sounds more like, “You are going to HELL for going to THAT church with homosexual abortionists and unGodly UNSAVED!!!!” Eleventy1111111!!!!

Back when the husband and I were new believers we ended up going to the same church as he back in 1995, PCC. He and his wife pounced upon us at once, inviting us over to watch movies, play cards, or share a meal. We didn’t know anyone else in the church at that time and they, Tom and Tina, had four boys ranging from just older than our son to the same age as our daughter. The kids loved to get together.

From the first I was put off by Tom’s fake-seeming Jesus Freak persona. He would do things like stop in the middle of a movie or game to lecture about Jesus. He prayed very publicly in almost a showy fashion at the drop of a hat and constantly had Christian rock and roll playing at full blast. These things set off my internal bullshit detector but since we were newly minted kool aid drinkers I thought I was the wacky one.

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Quiverfull and the Introvert: Where Do You Get Your Energy?

by Barbie Getzreal

“Where do you get your energy?!”

This is a question which is frequently asked of Quiverfull moms by amazed and admiring onlookers who cannot imagine being able to keep up with the exponential demands of “biblical womanhood” including: perpetual pregnancy, child-bearing, adopting sibling groups, breastfeeding, baby wearing, chronic sleep deprivation, raising half a dozen or more closely-spaced, “stair-step” children, homeschoolingyear round through chronic illness, child-training, character training, tomato-staking, discipling children, homemaking, penny-pinching, organic gardening, baking from scratch, once-a-month cooking, homesteading, sewing modest clothing, showing hospitality, operating a “cottage” business, staying trim, fit and healthy, and of course, serving as loving helpmeet … all without the modern woman’s “village” of helpers: daycare, preschool, play dates, public school, the boob-tube babysitter, pre-packaged and frozen foods, day spas, “me time,” credit cards, government assistance, “allopathic” medicine, Sunday School, youth group, therapists, Ritalin for the kids, or Xanax for mom.

Even a cursory perusal of the above-linked Quiverfull blogs will leave a woman feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. “Where do you get your energy?” is the obvious and unavoidable question.

The most flippant, unprofitable, guilt-inducing, and insincere responses often sound the most spiritual:

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

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Debunking the Fourteen Basic Needs of a Marriage: Part d – Husbands are Omniscient and Wives MUST Give Sex Husbands

by Incongruous Circumspection

In Part 1c, we learned that men are so fragile, anything a woman does that is not exactly what the bloke is expecting will lead to his demise. Let’s finish looking at the first basic need of a husband.
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[Seek your husband’s advice first. A wife should demonstrate loyalty to her husband’s wishes, goals, and standards. Therefore, when a need arises, you should seek your husband’s guidance and counsel first, especially in regard to family issues, rather than seeking advice from other family members and friends.]

When Kristine and I first met, I had swallowed this idea whole. I knew all the answers to life and, better yet, knew how to find them in all of Bill Gothard’s manuals. The Bible was a secondary resource and yet I wielded it with creative gusto. This worked very well for the first few minutes of our relationship. At that point, it became clear that real life was a bit more complicated and could not be mastered by one man.

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Emotional Incest: The Bottom Line

by Sierra

[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.]

My last two posts, and indeed all my thinking on the subject has led me to some conclusions about the ways that Christian Patriarchy and purity culture enable and even celebrate emotional incest. The following are the cliff notes:

Christian patriarchy turns marriage from a relationship to an institution, effectively reversing the historical trend from business partnerships and heir insurance to bonds between two free agents based on love. Evangelical culture says that marriage takes three: you, your spouse, and God. It also promotes self-denial and the sublimation of one’s own desires to those of Christ. Therefore, any two evangelical Christians should be able to marry each other and have a godly, fulfilling marriage, given enough work and prayer. Purity culture says that chemistry and personality don’t matter. What matters is following the Word of God. Husbands and wives should love each other because it’s commanded in God’s Word to do so; loving his wife is a husband’s “first ministry.” Similarly, a wife “ministers” to her husband by submission and love. The core of marriage in Christian patriarchy is the commitment to be loyal to God and to the marriage, not attachment to the person of the spouse. This is why evangelical courtships are more focused on purity than the prospective partners getting to know each other personally; what matters is getting to the altar without regrets. The love in marriage flows from commitment rather than the other way around, mirroring the logic of arranged marriage.(Note: Most evangelical Christians do acknowledge the importance of an emotional bond between the bride and groom that develops before the wedding day. Most evangelical Christians do want their children to marry people whom they find attractive, companionable and fun. If you are one of these Christians, you’re not the one I’m critiquing. (Congratulations! You’re normal!) What I do find problematic is the branch of evangelical-fundamentalist Christianity led by people like Bill Gothard, Matthew Chapman (who famously didn’t ask his wife to marry him), Doug Wilson, Jonathan Lindvall, et al. who expect young people to marry with hardly any knowledge of each other, rigid parental oversight and laundry lists of abstract virtues rather than personality traits in mind.)

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