Where’s your shame, woman?!

Popular conservative Christian pastor says “America is over” because shameless women who have sex and vote are running wild and screwing everything up.

by Vyckie Garrison

Ever wonder what goes on inside the small minds of fundamentalist Christian men? Want to know how they justify their blatant anti-woman policies and practices? Are they for real? Do they even know how hateful and intolerably ignorant they sound?

Thanks to Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, a conservative black pastor and up-and-coming Republican leader, there’s now a YouTube video which perfectly sums up the Religious Right’s core beliefs about women.

“One thing I know for sure, without a doubt, women cannot handle power,” says Peterson, in a 12-minute tirade posted to the “bondinfo” YouTube channel recently as a part of the Reverend’s “Exploring Your Destiny” video series.

“It is not in them to handle power in the right way,” he continues, “they don’t know what to do with it.” Really? That’s some blatant misogyny right there, folks.  Ah – but Rev. Peterson is just getting started …

“It’s not real power anyway … it’s all ego-building. Real, true power come [sic] from God, and God is the one that gave man the power and authority over the wife, and to spiritually guide the world in the right way to go.”

According to the website listed at the end of the video, “BOND, the Brotherhood Organization of A New Destiny, is a nationally recognized nonprofit organization dedicated to ‘Rebuilding the Family By Rebuilding the Man.’ BOND was Founded by Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson who is also its President.”

Rev. Peterson has been busy lately making himself a reputation for strident religiously-motivated bigotry. In January, the Tea Party leader and author of “Scam: How the Black Leadership Exploits Black America,” caused a stir by suggesting that unemployed African Americans need to be sent “back to the plantation so they would understand the ethic of working.”

“I hope that once [black people] hear the truth, they will pull away from the Democratic Party and their godless leaders,” Peterson told the Huffington Post. “When you tell them the truth first, they become upset … They think if you’re black and conservative, you’re an Uncle Tom. Once you let them yell and scream and carry on — because they will carry on — and when they calm down, they understand.”

“Women are now degraded. Women have no shame,” Peterson laments in reference to Sandra Fluke’s courageous congressional committee testimony. “This woman’s sitting there testifying about … all the sex they having [sic] … and it’s really all about maintaining the freedom to kill babies in the womb.”

During his sermon, Rev. Peterson is wringing his hands as he explains how “all these women are into all this stuff [sex out of wedlock] with no shame – women would not have done that in the good old days.”

That’s right – it’s all about shameless women, whom Peterson says, do not realize they present themselves as sluts.

Apparently emboldened by the fact that none of the Christian women in his audience objected by hurtling heavy objects at his imbecilic head, Peterson continues, “It’s unfortunate that women are allow.., that men are so weak, they’ve been so intimidated that they allow these women to just run wild and screw up everything – including their souls, and their children.”

Full post …

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Tea Party Family Values and the World's Greatest Freak Show

On fundamentalist counterculture & juvenile black market adoption fantasies …

by Vyckie Garrison @ No Longer Quivering

Do you remember when it first dawned on you that your relatives are all a bunch of crackpots and weirdos?  Seems like I was around 8 or 9 — my mother worked all night in the casinos and slept most of the day, leaving me alone to protect my naïve older sister from the depraved advances of Mom’s alcoholic boyfriends and worry about my big brother’s drug addiction. I couldn’t count on my grandparents to help — they were too preoccupied with their own divorce, dating, and remarriage dramas.

“Holy sugar,” I thought to myself, “these people are seriously messed up!”

That’s about the time the fantasies began.  My home, I imagined, was a three-ring circus — and my relatives were the freaks and the clowns.  In my daydreams, I was not really one of them.  No — surely, I was of aristocratic origin.  My REAL family were royalty in a faraway Kingdom and I was born a beloved Princess in a fancy castle with many servants and my own Fairy Godmother.  Somehow, I’d been separated from my blood kin as an infant — I was captured by gypsies and sold in a black market adoption — that’s how I ended up being raised by this group of crazies!

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ABC’s Primetime Nightline recently aired a segment featuring the Gil & Kelly Bates family — a conservative, Evangelical mega-family of twenty.  The Bates, who are close friends of JimBob & Michelle Duggar of TLC’s “19 and Counting” fame, hold to the extreme fundamentalist ideals of the growing “Quiverfull movement.”

During the one-hour special, Gil, Kelly, and their children explained the family’s lifestyle which, to all modern appearances, represents a throw back to the imaginary 60′s-style “Leave It to Beaver” family combined with strict, Victorian Era sexual mores and the atavistic gender roles of ancient goat-herders. The Bates eschew all forms of birth control and adhere to the marriage model of the biblical Patriarchs — with Gil as family leader and Kelly as submissive “help meet.”  Kelly and the girls adorn themselves in modest, hand-sewn dresses, while Gil and his clean-cut sons teach bible study and participate in local Tea Party politics.

Aren’t they lovely?  Don’tcha wanna be just like them?

I sure did!  I left home at 15 and embarked on a quest to recreate my long-lost perfect, happy family — my REAL courtly family, where I truly belonged.  After a false start involving marriage at 16, a baby at 19, and divorce after seven years of abuse rivaling the most astonishing freak show acts Mom’s circus family had ever performed — I remarried, found a “bible-believing” church, and worked hard within the Quiverfull counterculture to implement the best of the best biblical family values into our home life.  I had six more children. I homebirthed, homeschooled, and home-churched. I submitted to my husband and joyfully sacrificed my time, energy and talents to build him up and help him to succeed.  I published a “pro-life, pro-family” Christian family newspaper to inform and encourage other Christians to defend “Traditional Family Values.”

In 2003, we were honored as Family of the Year at the Nebraska Family Council’s “Salt & Light” awards. I’d finally made it! I had built my own Magic Kingdom where my husband reigned as King and I was his Queen, the children were our loyal subjects and we could all live happily ever after …

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Dispelled ~ One Girl’s Journey in a Home School Cult ~ Part 9: Sparks Fly

Please note: The content contained herein does not necessarily reflect the values and opinions of the NLQ blog and its administrators.

by Chandra

I still remember what I was doing on Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001. It was a gorgeous morning, crisp azure sky with nothing but the blissful autumn sunshine overhead. Not even a cloud. I pulled into the church parking lot, sunroof back and something along the lines of Green Day blaring. I arrived at the office early, unlocking the door and booted my computer, prepping to attend to the stack of projects that pastors needed completing. I glanced over the counseling schedule for the day and realized that it was going to be a light day. After I had started a pot of coffee for all the guys, I went back to my desk to begin my day.

Somewhere around 9am the news came flooding into the office about the tragedies that were surrounding our eastern coast. Several key members of our church were in the air on business meetings, yet to be accounted for. My co-worker and I went to the sanctuary to pray and when I came back, my inbox said, “You’ve Got Mail” from this mysteriously attractive guy named Darren that I had met over the summer in the singles group. I was a baby, just 19 when I met him. And he was 29. But we were friends and we started an email conversation on 9/11 about the current events facing our nation. And for some reason, this conversation never stopped.

I was still living at home and I knew for certain I wasn’t about to let my parents screw up my chances at finding love and happiness. I knew I needed to leave the house before I could date, because there was no way in hell that I would ever consider courtship. My parents were so screwed up, that that model would not have worked, even though that was their clear desire for me. They wanted to be able to control whom I married so that they could continue to control me from beyond my father’s house.

I began to actively search with a dear friend for a place to rent later that same month. Things at home had grown substantially worse, if that was even possible. I was never home, often leaving early in the morning and often not returning until well past midnight. My sexy Honda became my refuge and respite from the intolerable home environment. My mom grew increasingly intrusive and controlling, opening my mail (keep in mind, I was 19), analyzing my credit card statements (again, I was 19 with a full-time job and zero overhead), my eating habits (she told me that I had bulimia- HA! I wish!), and my choice in clothing (my father told me while going to church that I looked like a prostitute).

I was told that my lack of pitching in with my hard-earned money to help out with household costs was the reason that my parents were in so much debt. I believed it, and internalized these statements, rather than recognizing that my dad’s sexual addiction was the cause of their financial state. Rather than throwing my money to them, I determined that my best option was to leave.

I was weary of trying to make things work at home, of no freedom and completely humiliating incidences. My mom would call people I was hanging out with, demanding to know where I was and when I would be home. Many times, she would be awake when I arrived home, and would begin her emotional tirades against me from the moment I stepped into the house. They never set a curfew, so I never felt compelled to keep it. Once, my mom barged in on a church single’s party, tracking down where this social gathering was. She appeared and demanded if I was there at the house. She came in, and dragged me by the hand out of this home and humiliated me in front of everyone. Again, I was 19. That was the final straw. I ripped into her, telling her how much I hated her and it was not two weeks later, that my friend and I found a condo that was offered to us by a member of the church where I worked.

I was thrilled to at last have found a place to live away from my parents toxicity! I had my little red Honda packed and ready to go weeks in advance, but I would be required to live with my parents through the holidays. My girlfriend and I were free to move in anytime after Christmas, so the day after Christmas, I planned my move. And this guy Darren, who had befriended me that autumn had the truck that I needed. I did not need help from my parents, and refused to take it. I needed to leave, flee- as far away from them as my situation would take me, and I wanted them to have no part of my new life.

I got myself moved and found my parents and my brother in my new condo, unannounced. I had forgotten to lock the door. I was more than just a little angry that they wouldn’t leave me alone, and told them to leave. This was my life, and I wanted to live it apart from them perpetrating their abuse and control on me. Little did I know what a long road I would have ahead of me in actually obtaining that freedom.
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Dispelled ~ One Girl’s Journey in a Home School Cult ~ Part 8: The Road to Freedom

Please note: The content contained herein does not necessarily reflect the values and opinions of the NLQ blog and its administrators.

by Chandra

It wasn’t until this past year, while speaking to my counselor, that she looked me in the eye and asked of me, “Did you ever think to call 911?”

Something like a tidal wave went through me. I still feel like I am picking up the pieces of that.

“No,” I replied. “It never even dawned on me.”

I still don’t understand the full implications of living in such a mind-controlling cult. I really don’t. It’s…indescribable really and I often feel like a blundering, clumsy writer trying to articulate it to the outside world. The truth is that I had been trained to believe since I was six that all law enforcement was to be feared. The only authority that was to be trusted was that of a God-ordained institution: marriage, family, and sometimes, the church (if that church was legalistic or a home church). Government, social workers, doctors, lawyers, police officers…were all to be feared implicitly and never, ever trusted. I had become so trusting of my caretakers that I had turned into the girl who was ignorant of their abuse: because I had been trained to rely on them for everything.

I stumbled through the next few months after my graduation with a feeling of being a nomad, feeling like I was waiting for a game of chess to end, but somehow the game continued to be sustained by a few pieces. In retrospect, I see how certain events were orchestrated to my benefit, leading me slowly into the path of freedom. Even in June, after I had graduated, I was still weak and sickly from my previous pneumonia and ARDS. I got tired very easily, and frequently felt short of breath. I was also depressed. After all, I was a newly graduated senior and I was without friends. It had been well over four years since Hannah and I had last spoken to one another and probably about a year at that point since we had seen each other. Still, somewhere in my heart there was a longing and an aching for the hope that we could renew our once precious and sisterly friendship.

In truth, I had never had another friend like her. We were more alike than not, even in the way the thought about life. What I didn’t understand, even at nearly eighteen, was that we were both cut from the same cloth: brainwashed, controlled, and manipulated. Because our parents were the best at manipulating and “raising godly daughters as a heritage unto the Lord” it was a very natural thing that we would approach the world in the same way. But at almost eighteen, I didn’t understand that. All I knew was that there was loneliness, an aching, a void, a starving and thirst for human companionship and the sisterhood of true friends.

After I graduated, I received a sizable amount of cash, and combined with money that my grandparents had generously gifted me with over the years, this allowed me to purchase my first car. My dad actually spearheaded the entire purchase of the car. I purchased my first car when I was 18: a 1993 Red Honda Civic, with all the bells and whistles. I loved that car! It was the best thing that had happened to me in nearly seven years. I would drive with the sunroof back, the stereo blaring and loved the feeling of burning rubber. This car held out its metaphorical hand to me, encouraging me to embrace the freedom of my future. And I took it.

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Magic Menstrual Mummies

A boy discovers that there are right and wrong kinds of blood.

by Frank Schaeffer

I’d never heard of pheromones when I was ten. All I knew was that each month the large wicker basket in the bathroom on the middle floor of our chalet filled with softball sized, tightly-wound wads of toilet paper. These tissue bundles were evidence that—in biblical terms—the time of Our Girls’ Monthly Uncleanness was once again upon them.

Let me explain why I’ve capitalized those words. My late father, Francis Schaeffer, was a key founder of the Religious Right. My mother, Edith, was herself a spiritual leader—not merely the power behind her man, though she was also that. My parents raised me in L’Abri Fellowship, a sort of fundamentalist hippie commune before there were hippies, really not much more than a big old Swiss chalet where we lived, along with everyone who visited for “spiritual help” and/or to “find Jesus.” Mom divided everything into Very Important Things—say, Jesus, Virginity, Japanese Flower Arrangements, Lust, See-through Black Lingerie (to be enjoyed only after marriage), Our Girls’ Monthly Uncleanness—and everything else—those things that barely registered on my mother’s to-do list, like home-schooling me. So I’ll be capitalizing some words oddly in here. I’m not doing this as a theological statement so much as as a nervous tic, a leftover from my Edith Schaeffer-shaped childhood and also to signal what Loomed Large to my mother and what still Looms Large to me.

This was back in the days when a sanitary napkin was a fluffy and formidable thing, about the size and shape of a canoe. I knew God didn’t like the Menstrual Mummies because I’d heard Mom read from Leviticus 15 in a Bible study:

When a woman has a discharge, and the discharge in her body is blood, she shall be in her menstrual impurity for seven days, and whoever touches her shall be unclean until the evening. And everything on which she lies during her menstrual impurity shall be unclean. Everything also on which she sits shall be unclean. And whoever touches her bed shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening. And whoever touches anything on which she sits shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening. Whether it is the bed or anything on which she sits, when he touches it he shall be unclean until the evening.

So I never touched the Menstrual Mummies—except once. I unwrapped the tissue-tethered Unclean Thing and took a smear of blood from it to study with a small microscope that a kindly L’Abri student had given me. I wanted to see the egg that Mom said was “washed out each month unless it gets fertilized by the marvelous seed.” I didn’t see an egg, but I did observe several doughnut-shaped red blood cells after I dabbed a little blood on a glass slide and stained it, as per the student’s instructions.

About forty years after investigating the Menstrual Mummies in the wastepaper basket, I read an article in the New York Times science section about how humans’ sense of smell triggers physical responses. The article cited as an example the fact that women who live together—for instance, in college dorms, convents, and girls’ boarding schools—tend to menstruate at the same time. I don’t know if this theory of menstrual synchrony will stand up to the rigors of scientific inquiry, but I do know that our middle-floor chalet bathroom wastepaper basket seemed to fill and empty like some sort of metronome, keeping time with a cosmic rhythm as sure as the tides. Maybe Mom and my sisters reset the hormone “clock” of the women who stayed with us, from the helpers—cheerful, though virtual slave laborers working in return for room, board, and spiritual help for years at a time—to the students—who might stay for six to ten months or so.

These nubile, yet torturously unavailable young women filled our chalet with their pheromone-perfumed presence. And, as I learned from Mom’s Bible study on Leviticus, they were monstrously defiled as they plunged into their monthly menstrual freshet. I imagined that God was right there with me, in our middle-floor bathroom, brooding over the evidence of His Big Mistake: women.

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