Growing Up in Christian Patriarchy

At AlterNet, “Libby Anne” has written an expose about growing up in the homeschooling Christian patriarchy movement. Not good for my cynicism:

Why are these movements so enticing to evangelical and fundamentalist homeschoolers? Simple. Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull offer the image of the perfect family and the promise that you can make a difference and change the world, raising up an army for Christ, without ever leaving your home. Organizations like Vision Forum and No Greater Joy promise parents perfect families in very explicit terms. If you follow the formula, you, too, can be like that pretty picture or happy face in the catalogue. They are the huckster traveling salesmen of the homeschool world, but they sell dreams.

via My Life as a Daughter in the Christian Patriarchy Movement — How I Was Taught to Obey Men, Birth 8 Kids and Do Battle Against Secular America | | AlterNet.

HT: Frank Schaeffer

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  • I’d love to find other emergent/progressive/incarnational Christians who are unschooling. I think unschooling is a really interesting response to the whole homeschooling phenomenon.

    • Travis Greene

      What is unschooling?

  • Anonymous

    I don’t like the sound of “unschooling”…

  • shivers.

    hugged my daughters.

    how do we resign from patriarchy ?

  • Lock

    One thing that is dead on about many strains of evangelical is selling ideal perfection.

    There will always be groups that interpret “in the world but not of the world” differently.

    Every child would be well served with a sold base of reading, writing, and arithmetic. Deviation from these foundational skills would not be beneficial to a kid.

  • I was homeschooled first grade through 12th grade. Same with my brothers and a good portion of our friends. While reading this article we kept chiming in, “where the hell was all of this?” We certainly can think of people who did fall into this mold but don’t remember it being prevalent (with our admittedly anecdotal experience). We were given a solid base in all the required subjects (including evolution, we weren’t taught creationism from a scientific standpoint) and also allowed to pursue subjects that interested us. Our parents beliefs were part of the process, but it was presented as “this what we believe, now go find out for yourself.” If we could back up our beliefs with a solid argument, our parents were proud.

    Homeschooling didn’t end up being a sheltering experience for us. It was more of foundation-building experience for us. One that encouraged us to explore, challenge, and reassess what we thought we knew. At this point, I’m pretty sure most of my friends and I could count the beliefs we hold in common with our parents and the structure we grew up in. (Mine almost assuredly stop and end with Star Trek is good, and identifying as Christian.)

    I am extremely lucky to have a totally different experience than this author, and I know it existed, but to me it was the exception rather than the rule.