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...]

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...]

How the Modesty Doctrine Hurts Men, Too

by SierraI’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 not aware, so m … [Read more...]

How Modesty Made Me Fat

by SierraThis 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 physically.Modesty taught me … [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 of music … [Read more...]

Vyckie Garrison on the Thom Hartmann "radio" show

If I'd have known this interview was going to be available on YouTube video, I'd have sat up straight, fixed my hair, and put on some jewelry. Pay no attention to me rocking in my rocker as I speak ... at least I wasn't in my bathrobe. LOLIt was a very quick 10 minutes of fame - which made it difficult to accurately represent what Christian patriarchy and Quiverfull are really about ... :SNLQ Recommended Reading ...'Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment' by Janet Heimlich ‘Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland ‘Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce<A HREF="h … [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. I became … [Read more...]

When Promises Become Dreams: Doing Marriage God’s Way

by AfricaTurtleThe title of Sierra’s Post “When Dreams Become Promises” stirred thoughts in me of another Dream, of other Promises that have brought their own dose of pain and disappointment and reality into my life: Dreams of an enduring, godly marriage and the Promises I made to God and myself in order to lay hold of that dream.I made my first promise at the age of 14. “I promise to never date a non-christian”. It was the call to action given by a speaker at the summer church camp I attended that year.  I knew it was right, I knew it was what God expected of me. How can “light fellowship with darkness”?  Why would I build a life with someone I couldn’t hope to spend eternity in heaven w … [Read more...]

It's Not About the Clothes!

[Note: For NLQ readers who have not yet joined the forum, here's a small taste of what you're missing ~ :) ] by Whisperthroughtherain When I was little, before we moved to the Bible belt, getting dressed was simple. I liked wild colors and animal prints. I felt so pretty when I got my ears pierced. In the summer when it was hot, nobody thought twice about running around in a bikini... Most of us did. Even chubby grandmas! We had pool parties and ordered pizza and my cousin taught me to swim. I thought he was great. Sometimes little boys tried to kiss me, but I just ran away.When I was a little older, we got involved with a southern, backwoods Baptist church. In Sunday school they taught us … [Read more...]


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