Snipped! Part 6: The Fun Little Church

by Incongruous CircumspectionBill Gothard’s weekly marriage class was run by Pastor John Hartzell and his young protégé, Chuck Raichert in a little Independent Fundamental Baptist Church in Bloomington, Minnesota. Normandale Baptist was the name. The seminar was called Rebuilder’s and was all about loving Jesus Christ so much that your husband or wife simply rushed back into your arms and lived happily ever after. The only problem, it never worked that way. It merely created religious zombies with strict principles.Mama was one of these zombies. She would have hours of “conversation” with my dad over the phone. She never let him speak. You knew when he tried by the rise in the … [Read more...]

Raised Quiverfull: Questioning, Q. 1

by Libby AnnePlease be sure to click the above links to see an introduction to and explanation of this project, which involves a panel of nine young adults who were raised in Quiverfull families and have since questioned and left that ideology answering questions about their experiences.How were you first exposed to “mainstream” American culture? What were your first impressions?Joe:I was public schooled all my life and so lived in this “mainstream” culture first hand.  I say “lived in” because it was beaten into us that my siblings and I were sojourners in a foreign country.  Martyrs for the cause of patriarchal Christianity.  The only reason we had to be in this cult … [Read more...]

Justice is No Lady: Chapter 11: Jack, the One I Lost

defenant-rising1

by Tess WilloughbyWhen Jack was just a baby, Nate had rejected Jack’s personality, and had set out to beat and berate it out of him. When Jack reached middle school age, or perhaps a little bit before, the seeds that his father had planted suddenly sprouted. Jack began to come unraveled. “Something is wrong with me,” he said. “I’m messed up.”Jack began to abuse his little sisters. His grades slipped. He had been my comedian, making jokes about everything all day. Now, he moped. He refused to play sports. He would not bathe.If anyone touched Jack, even to restrain him or remove dangerous objects from his hands, Nate took Jack to magistrates to swear out warrants that Jack was being … [Read more...]

Millipede Part 7

killerwave

by MillipedeThis is not to say that my years embracing Patriarchy were all bad. Despite many bad changes and warning signs, there were moments of joy. Staying at home was fun. I promised myself to stay busy so as it was all too tempting to sit around. I made myself a "work" schedule complete with breaks and of course, an end to the workday. I would spend time keeping house, but also do a lot of fun projects. I gardened, made Maple syrup and a myriad of other activities which I truly loved. Although I missed work, I found that a housewife could be just as much of a worker. In fact there are legitimate issues concerning the need for someone to stay at home. Unfortunately, the Patriarchy … [Read more...]

Rebuilding

rebuilding

by Bruce GerencserNine years have passed since I preached my last sermon, since my wife was called the “pastor’s wife.” Almost four years have passed since my wife and I determined to stop attending church. We are now among the “unchurched”, casualties of a life spent in Evangelical Christianity. Worse yet, at least according to our critics, we are now enemies of Christ and his church.You see, we not only left the Church, we left Jesus. Regardless of how some Christians parse our lives through their peculiar theological system, we are indeed two people who once were devoted, committed followers of Jesus, who are now described as an atheist husband and his agnostic wife. … [Read more...]

Who Was That Masked Man? Part 6

by CaluluWhen we last left the Smiths they had reconciled and were determined to make everyone be best friends forever again. Nothing doing.Things ratchet up a few new levels of tension. 9/11 happens. I'm sitting in front of the television having coffee and folding clothes when CNN shows the coverage of the first tower getting hit and I'm still watching when the second plane hits the other one of the twin towers of the World Trade Center. By the time the plane hits the Pentagon and there are rumors on television of another plane being spotted on the way to Capital Hill where my husband works I was pretty wrung up. My phone kept ringing off the hook from friends and relatives wanting … [Read more...]

We Are Spiritual Abuse Survivors!

andie-storme

by Paradise Recovered(I wrote this piece to honor those who have been hurt by high-demand churches and cults. I also wrote it for their loved ones, clergy, and therapists that they might understand how to handle us with care. Our experiences are unique, but much of the aftermath we experience can be similar. I hope this is helpful to someone. Peace, Andie Redwine)We are spiritual abuse survivors.To paraphrase the late Jan Groenveld, one of the pioneers in the spiritual abuse recovery movement, we believed a dangerous lie that closely resembled the truth. And we have paid dearly for that belief with the sacrifice of our very souls.Life can really be hard at times for human … [Read more...]

Snipped! Part 5 Theoretical Visitation

snipped

by Incongruous CircumspectionFor those of my readers keeping track, you might remember that I have six siblings. Seven kids and one father with visitation rights. My mother had won full custody and my father was given every other weekend with his kids and four weeks in the summer. Again, there were seven of us. This meant that he had to split us up in sets of two and three so we could fit into his apartment. Thus, I ended up going with him about every six weeks – in theory.My mother played every game in the book to keep us away from our dad. He would call Friday night to tell her who he wanted to pick up the next morning and she would go through a long laundry list of excuses a … [Read more...]

Millipede: Part 6

patriarch

by MillipedeI hated the the underlying spirit which had crept into our marriage; it was a peevish, disapproving air that my husband had taken on. In our "heathen" days my husband had a happy go lucky air. This was endearing and made up for the fact that he could be irresponsible.Under Christian patriarchy this changed. Not only was he now "head of the household", but he was responsible for making sure that we lived a "Godly life". This permeated every bit of our life as we didn't want to be "Sunday Only" Christians; God was not someone that we turned our back on for the other six days of the week.This affected how I dressed, what we ate, what entertainment we watched or listened … [Read more...]

Who Was That Masked Man? Part 5

by CaluluSo 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 office to transfer all his paper documents into digital on his new computer system. I don't want to do it but it's a little slow that spring in my job so I grit my teeth, bite my tongue and start going into his office for four hours every morning. I know this is a mistake but hey, there's not much going on to prevent me and Tom isn't going to be there at the same time as me, win-win. I'm such a sap. Plus I'd quit working at the … [Read more...]


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