Let's Talk About "Unconditional Love"

I'd like to have a discussion here on the topic of "Unconditional Love" ~ its meaning and implications with respect to controlling, unhealthy, abusive relationships.I am hoping to gather input from all perspectives:Believers ~ what is unconditional love? Please explain the concept and its specific application in cases in which someone is getting hurt ~ whether physically, emotionally or spiritually.Unbelievers ~ is "unconditional love" strictly a religious ideal?  Is there a secular version of unconditional love?  How does unconditional love play out in practicality?What about situations where the abuser is a close family member ~ say, a grandparent, parent, spouse, sibling or ch … [Read more...]

Patriarchy Across Cultures: Smiling Faces

Grandpa holding Lakshmanaby TapatiSmiling faces show no traces of the evil that lurks within Smiling faces, smiling faces sometimes They don't tell the truth Smiling faces, smiling faces Tell lies and I got proof --The Undisputed Truth, in Smiling Faces SometimesAunt Gin had a serious look on her face and I thought, “Uh oh. What now?”“I know your mom talked to you about your grandpa,” she began.Oh no. I knew where this was going. Mom had talked to me but I had tried to forget what she’d said. I just assumed it was more of her drama. It couldn't be true.“Maybe you didn’t believe her,” she continued. “I know you don’t always get along. But I can tell you that everything she told you … [Read more...]

Patriarch Across Cultures: Cat’s In The Cradle

Lakshmana visiting Great Grandma’s Houseby TapatiLakshmana and I had a long trip to reach our family. First we took TWA to St. Louis and then we had a two hour layover before we connected with a propeller jet that took us to Quincy, IL. Grandma met us at Quincy and drove us to Wayland where she and Grandpa had a log cabin behind their antique shop. Just down the street her sister, Dorothy, and brother-in-law, Wayne, had their own antique shop. On the sides of barns around the area one could see the sign “Two antique shops in Wayland.” Above my grandparents’ shop was a one bedroom apartment where my mother lived. When my mom came back from her trip to see me in L.A. she urgently needed a … [Read more...]

Patriarchy Across Cultures: Family Affair

by TapatiLakshmana at 4 monthsThe morning after I gave birth to my son, reality set in. I was so bruised inside I could hardly walk. I couldn’t get up from the floor using my own muscles without extreme pain so Mahasraya pulled me up as a dead weight. (I can’t say he never did anything nice for me!) That evening Srilekha and Mitravinda came over bearing food and supplies and I had to crawl over to the door to let them in. They did my laundry for me and brought me some hot food. This food was a godsend. They also gave me advice on the care of the umbilical cord stub and nursing, diaper changing and so on.I was so amazed that I had received this miraculous gift of a beautiful son. I had … [Read more...]

Looking Back: My Family 10 Years on From Fundamentalism

by AriettyThe past is a foreign country: they do things differently there. ~ L.P. Hartley, The Go-BetweenWhen looking back at my family during our days of patriarchal fundamentalism this opening line in the novel The Go-Between often comes to mind. In the last decade we have journeyed so far from where we once were we may have well have moved countries entirely. In the beginning of our journey we were like refugees, clinging to our past forms and beliefs while trying to figure out what part of this new culture wouldn't damage us. For we had read and been preached to and fervently believed that our now adopted culture--The World--was one of poison and sure death to family bonds and … [Read more...]

Daughter of the Patriarchy: Two Snakes and a Virgin – The Serpent’s Seed

 by SierraI was about nine years old when I started paying attention to some of the doctrines that were slowly infiltrating my life over the past two years. I’d stopped wearing pants or cutting my hair by the end of the first year, following my mother’s lead. The last pair of pants she wore were a lovely pair of wide-leg trousers with a sheer lace overlay; they could pass for a skirt until she took a step. She wore them to church, then threw them away – she felt “convicted” for wearing a man’s garment. She threw away her makeup, too, keeping only a sheer moisturizing lip gloss as a token of her past.I liked my new dresses, and I liked the long hair slowly descended across my shoulders. I’ … [Read more...]

Are Scott and Andrea Bass a Quiverfull couple?

This article was originally posted at She Keeps Bees.by KMYou have probably heard the story by now.  Scott and Andrea Bass, the Arizona couple who locked a fourteen year old girl in a bathroom without running water for two months and tortured her to the point of starvation?  I’m wondering if this is a homeschooling Quiverfull family–and, if so, why the media has not remarked on it yet?Let me be very clear here: I am not making this leap based merely on reports that the family homeschools. I recognize that it is impossible to generalize that all homeschoolers are Quiverfull fundamentalists, and that there are many viable reasons for homeschooling that have nothing to do with extremist r … [Read more...]

Barren

by CaluluOf all the things that happened during my ten years in the Quiverful movement I think that the one thing that caused me the most pain was my inability to bear children. Being infertile in a movement based upon the notion that God grants the righteous a full quiver of arrows led to all sorts of interesting assumptions by people that swore I was their Sister in Christ.Based upon the ways I was treated because of my fertility challenges I came to realize that my church ‘family’ was as dysfunction and rude as any family featured on a sleazy television talk show.I’d been an only child, growing up in a large home in south Louisiana.  My parents had an arranged marriage, which wasn’ … [Read more...]

From the Library of Martyrdom ~ Part 1

How I was called to give up that which I did not have.. by AriettyI began my journey into fundamentalism and a radical understanding of what it meant to be a mother via Above Rubies magazines. I was young, with an infant and toddler  and my life was very lonely and isolated, made more so by my increasingly hostile husband.One day my family and a few of my husband's friends took a long drive to the docks to see a visiting missionary ship. This ship sailed all over the world handing out free Christian literature and putting on evangelical presentations wherever it docked.   We had gone on a ship tour and I remember how the life on board seemed very appealing. The people living and wo … [Read more...]

I Have Won

by TapatiCrashing against the wall World spinning crazily Your voice from a distance Screaming in fury Self righteous condemnationAgain the blows come They seem to explode inside my head I don't see your fist in its journey towards my body.In defeat I huddle Arms over my head, shielding in vain Knees drawn up to chest I believe this is the end.Finally you finish Your anger and frustration relieved. Surprised to be alive I remain where I am, in shock.Slowly reason returns. I try to pull myself together Clutching the shreds of sanity-- Determined to survive.In bitterness I hear the pleas To forgive you one more time. Ignore the empty promises "It'll never happen again."I know … [Read more...]


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