Throwing Out the Moral GPS

by Sierra

Growing up in fundamentalism was like living with a moral GPS navigator installed in my head. Every decision was mapped out already; all I needed to do was listen to the voice telling me where to go. Sometimes I could stop and look at the map. Most of the time I was looking ahead, trying to live, listening and following directions as best I could.

The GPS gave me directions for living: Read the Bible and pray every day. Obey your parents. Be respectful of elders.

Those directions made sense. They were there to help me get where I wanted to go: straight ahead. There were no twists and turns yet.

Then the directions got a little stranger: Listen to one of Branham’s sermons every day. Wear long skirts. Be modest. Grow out your hair. Throw away worldly music. Throw away makeup. Look down on public-schooled kids. Don’t watch TV.

The GPS gave me directions for my relationship with my parents: Ignore your father’s rage and violence. Win him to Christ by silence. Submit to him as your earthly head until you are married. Follow the chain of command.

It gave me directions for relationships with boys: Don’t touch. Don’t laugh too much. Don’t be alone with them. Don’t give away pieces of your heart. Wait for God to bring you your husband.

It gave me directions for lifetime ambition: Your greatest calling is to be a wife and mother. Choose a vocation you can pursue at home, while raising children. Learn to cook and sew. Don’t venture out into the world.

The cacophony of advice was deafening. More troubling still, I felt a tug, a conflict in my soul. There was something wrong with the directions.

“Turn right.” They said. “Turn right. Turn right. Turn right.”

Full post …

[Read more...]

Smoke & Mirrors

by Vyckie

Libby Anne makes an astute point in her recent post at Love, Joy, Feminism:

Vision Forum focuses on problems in society, inflates them, and then blames feminism and modernity. Then Vision Forum seeks to fix the problems by turning back the clock to a time that never existed. The version of the past that Vision Forum sells is a myth. The problems we face in society today are not new. Substance abuse, the challenges of balancing motherhood and work, and the devaluation of women have always been with us. Looking back to some idealized imaginary past where families had no problems, mothers happily stayed home and devoted their time to raising their children, and women were valued and esteemed in return for surrendering their freedom and rights does not actually fix any problems!

For example:

A Devaluation of Women
Vision Forum speaks with disgust of the ways young women are treated today as the young men around them treat them as accessories and pressure them for sex. Vision Forum is looks in horror at the ways women are portrayed in advertising, and at the pressure to conform to some sort of perfect body image that women are faced with every day. Vision Forum is completely aware that women are devalued in our society.
Yes, be very, very horrified by that image and the accompanying text. I only show it to point out that there are real problems here. Women in today’s society are often treated as sexual objects and devalued as “blond bimbos” or “simply emotional.” But somehow, Vision Forum does not realize that the root of this problem is sexism, and instead blames feminism. Seriously,what? Feminists are not complicit in this misogyny; rather, they are working to end it. But for Vision Forum, the solution is once again not to fix the problems we face in the here and now, but to turn back the clock.

Vision Forum points back to a time when young women were valued and protected (by their fathers). Once again, this picture was never reality for more than a sliver of society. Most women were working class and fended for themselves. They lived with the reality of sexual violence and exploitation.

But there’s more to it than that. Vision Forum tells women that they can be valued and have their position in society elevated - if they surrender their rights and accept male authority. They do not see misogyny as the problem, but rather blame the way families today push their young women out of the home at age 18 and launch them unprotected into the dangers of society. Young women will be protected from the debauchery of college men, Vision Forum promises – if they stay home and obey their fathers. Middle aged women will be free from the pressure to conform to an idealized image of sexy, Vision Forum asserts – if they stay home and obey their husbands. What is this? You will be valued and protected if you surrender all your rights and obey your male authority? THIS is the solution Vision Forum offers!

Full post …

[Read more...]

No Charity in the Remnant ~ Part 8: Bull in China Shop

by Whisper Rain

Whisper was taken under the wing of some of the godly people at her new church. They taught her how to sew, and how to cook the way they did… which was very different from what she was used to. She felt like there was so much she needed to learn and re-learn to be a truly godly woman, but she was willing to do it! Where would she be if she hadn’t met these people? Not living the way God expected her to, that was for sure! She was so thankful God had led her to a group of people who really understood what he wanted- people who were serious about God, and who would do anything he told them to. Looking around at the average, “professing christians” living such “lukewarm” lives, it was very clear how few people were willing to go all out for God.

All her life, Whisper had made friends easily and naturally. Until now. As her social life started to revolve more and more around people from church, Whisper felt her status as an outsider keenly. Many of the young people in the youth group had been born and raised in “The Community” or a similar one, and they didn’t seem to notice that they formed a very exclusive core group… or that the only way to be a part of it was to be born (or marry) into one of their solidly established, reputable families. Little things that were natural to them (like having been brought up speaking Dutch or German- or being proud descendants from well known Amish or Mennonite communities) quickly showed who was “in” and who was “out.” Either you naturally fit, or you didn’t. Whisper didn’t.

As far as the adults were concerned, Whisper’s drastic change (or “conversion experience,” as it came to be known), kind of gave her a pass. She acted on almost all of the teaching she received… Whisper was the ideal convert. An almost-perfect example of someone becoming a “new creation.”

Having not been brought up in The Community, Whisper began to find out that she was a bit of a bull in a china shop there. There were certain unspoken rules that were understood by everyone who had been there long… and Whisper started learning them slowly and painfully. Sometimes, for whatever reason, a “concerned person” would take it upon themselves to inform Whisper (or her mother) what people were saying about her latest faux pas. The original offended party was usually well hidden.

Whisper came to realize that no matter how hard she tried to fit and blend in… she still didn’t. These “godly people” found something to be scandalized about even in her best efforts…

Full post …

[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 [Read More...]

Daughter of the Patriarchy: Doing the Math

by Sierra Turning eighteen was magical. Suddenly, all the job applications I seemed to be throwing down an empty chute were bounced back with interest. Sven had already landed a job at Wal-Mart in his town. Now it was my turn. I nervously sat through my job interview, not daring to hope that I might [Read More...]