A conference to arrange child marriages for Christian homeschoolers will be held in Kansas this fall.
Fundamentalist and conservative evangelical parents will meet in Wichita, Kansas, this November to arrange marriages for their teen daughters. Quiverfull guru Vaughn Ohlman, who runs a website promoting early, “fruitful” marriage for Christian children, has announced plans for a “Let Them Marry” retreat where parents can arrange suitable marriages for their teen children.
The weekend retreat is “designed to bring together like-minded families who are committed to young, fruitful marriage and to help them overcome the barriers which have kept their children unmarried.”
According to the website’s Frequently Asked Questions marriage is appropriate between the ages of 13-20, but no later, because:
delayed/denied marriages cause the Word of God to be blasphemed, and turn our young people over to Satan.
The website explains how a parent will know when their child is ready for marriage:
The ‘youth’ ready for marriage has breasts. A woman who is to be married is one who has breasts; breasts which signal her readiness for marriage, and breasts who promise enjoyment for her husband. (We believe that ‘breasts’ here stand as a symbol for all forms of full secondary sexual characteristics.)
Writing for Love, Joy, Feminism, Libby Anne explains how such thinking is not only wrong, but also dangerous:
Girls’ bodies are physically able to have children far before it is fully safe for their bodies to bear children. The United Nations is trying to eradicate child marriage—i.e. the marriage of those under age 18—in part because early and mid-teen female bodies are not truly ready for childbearing.
The whole endeavor is truly despicable. Girls are expected to accept the arranged marriage as “a gift” from their parents. Consent of the girl being forced into marriage is not a legitimate consideration. Again, from the website’s Frequently Asked Questions:
Doesn’t a legitimate marriage require the consent of both the people marrying?
Scripture speaks of the father of the son “taking a wife” for his son, and the father of the bride “giving” her to her husband (Jeremiah 29: 6; Judges 21: 7; Ezra 9:12; Nehemiah 10: 30; 1 Corinthians 7:36-38). It gives example after example of young women being given to young men, without the young woman even being consulted…
In short, according to the teachings, the girl is not expected to consent to the marriage, and really has no right to object.
And while the teen being forced into marriage is expected to accept her fate without question, the parents are entitled to a “bride price”:
A “bride price” is anything paid or given by the man or his representative at the time of his betrothal or receiving his bride.
Scripture certainly teaches about it… The law concerning bride price (Exodus 22:16-17) indicates that . . . the bride price was a normal part of the marriage process.
The bride price plays a significant function: It shows the woman’s value, and the point isn’t that the father gets the money but that he keeps it for his daughter, if her husband should ever abandon her.
To summarize, a conference sponsored by Christian extremists will allow parents to arrange marriages for their teen daughters without their consent, while making a profit from the transaction.
Isn’t that what they call sex-trafficking?