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...]

Justice is No Lady: Chapter 9 – Terrorists, Far and Near

Warning: This story series contains descriptions of physical abuse.by Tess WilloughbySeptember 11, 2001. This dark day united all Americans in horror, in terror, and in pain.With at least one exception: Nate Willoughby.I found out that our country had been attacked using our own commercial aircraft when my mother called me from town and said, “Turn on the news.” Her tone of voice suggested the worst of the worst of the worst: so awful that you didn’t ask “what channel?” because it didn’t matter what channel. The president had been assassinated. There was some horrific, unthinkable natural disaster, probably in Virginia. Something so bad she couldn’t say it.I hung up, t … [Read more...]

"Taking Her Myself" A New Trend in Quiverfull Courtship/Betrothal

by Vyckie Garrison"Does God Hate Women?" author, Ophelia Benson recently shared a note which was posted on Reddit written by a young patriarch describing his "biblical marriage."  As Bible-believing Baptists who hold to reformed theology, X and I believe that God is sovereign in choosing who will or will not believe in him, having chosen his people before the foundation of the world (see Ephesians 1), and that his selection is unbreakable and irresistible. If marriage is to mirror this principle, we believe that a woman has no right to select a husband for herself, but that she is to be chosen by a man and marriage is to be an unbreakable arrangement between the man and her father. Based on … [Read more...]

Justice Is No Lady: Chapter 8 ~ Backlash

Warning: This story series contains descriptions of physical abuse.by Tess WilloughbyPart Two: The Legal AftermathI fled to the farm where I grew up and spent several weeks just trying to get the fuzz out of my head. I went to the doctor, who diagnosed Abi with failure to thrive. I supplemented her with formula but continued to breastfeed, because for once I had the luxury of breastfeeding by my own lights, and I intended to enjoy it. I moved six kids, 9 years old and under, in with my mom and dad, who were absolute angels about it.  I do not remember either of them complaining even once.What were Tess’s long-term plans? Did I want separation? Divorce? Neither? Was God angry with me … [Read more...]

Justice is No Lady: Chapter 7 ~ Spiritual Adultery

Warning: This story series contains descriptions of physical abuse.by Tess WilloughbyNate says what happened from Christmas of 1999 through summer of 2000 was this: I condoned his affair with Angel.I guess Nate should know, because “condone” is a legal term and he’s a lawyer.  That’s not the way I remember it. I remember two things: being very ill and being very angry. After the lingeré bonfire, Nate kept his sickly, irate wife very busy listening to his sermons on forgiveness, doing unpaid paralegal work (he set up his new firm at home with the clients stolen from his former boss), getting through Christmas on a shoestring, overhauling our finances, and going to marriage counseling wi … [Read more...]

Justice is No Lady: Chapter 6 ~ In Which Nate Takes Up Racquetball

Warning: This story series contains descriptions of physical abuse.by Tess WilloughbyI tried to conceal my misery, fatigue, and desperation from the members of our new church. We had not been there very long when people began to notice how spaced-out and jumpy Tess Willoughby was. Our pastor, Mike, and our assistant pastor, Randy, both expressed concern about me.I was pregnant for the seventh time, and I dreaded another pregnancy, birth, and recovery. The clandestine feedings of Matt had delayed this pregnancy—this baby would be two whole years younger than Matt, a personal record. Matt’s birth in 1998 had been in the hospital—my first hospital delivery—because Nate had health insuran … [Read more...]

Justice is No Lady: Chapter 5 ~ In Pursuit of Biblical Theology

Warning: This story series contains descriptions of physical abuse.by Tess WilloughbyHannah was born at home in spring of 1996.  By this time, Nate had a better job at a personal injury law firm and we were able to get a three-bedroom house.Satan must have followed us, because now there were lesbians having sex in the mailbox and Nate had no idea how the pervert porn peddlers got his name and address again.I was still in a stupor, still worshipping my cult leader. The lights were on in my brain but no one was home. I think, however, that my brain’s doorbell started ringing in 1996, and Tess’s Good Sense began its three years of patiently knocking, waiting to be invited back in. Doubt … [Read more...]

Steadfast Daughters in a Quivering World ~ Part 6: Soul-Binding

[Note: this series is dedicated to Quivering Daughtersby the former-Quiverfull moms at No Longer Quivering.]by DaisyMy name is Daisy.I am a good person...but I was a bad parent.Tragically, by choosing QF/patriarchal fundamentalist methodology as the pattern for my home, believing that it would provide the very best insurance against messing up with parenthood, I messed up. I messed up badly. I hurt my kids and, worse, I silenced them when they tried to tell me about it. Criticizing your parents is, of course, disrespectful and therefore opening a dangerous door that may lead a child ultimately to rebelling against God - and as I believed that put my child in danger of hellfire, of … [Read more...]

Steadfast Daughters in a Quivering World ~ Part 5: Confessions of a Quiverfull Hero

[Note: this series is dedicated to Quivering Daughters by the former-Quiverfull moms at No Longer Quivering.] by DaisyI was only 19 when I arrived at Christianity’s door, bruised and highly impressionable and, because of my family situation, determined to do a better job of sorting out my life than my parents had done. Victims of abuse in their own homes, my parents had learned very early to dissociate from their emotions. Our home was an emotionally sterile one and, although I know now that this is not true, as as child I believed my parents did not love me. I decided that when *I* had kids, if they grew up knowing nothing else, they would know for sure that I loved them more than br … [Read more...]

Steadfast Daughters in a Quivering World ~ Part 4: Acknowledgement & Apologies

[Note: this series is dedicated to Quivering Daughters by the former-Quiverfull moms at No Longer Quivering.] In this part of our series, the ex-QF moms of NLQ are speaking directly to our own Quivering Daughters ~ though we've already said our apologies in person, we want to acknowledge the abuse we inflicted on our children publicly for their sake, though we're doing it anonymously out of respect for their privacy.Trigger warning: As painful it has been for us to write these confessions down ~ it may be even tougher for the Quivering Daughters who were on the receiving end of our neglect and abuse to read.~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*My children were everything to me. I remember t … [Read more...]


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