Raised Quiverfull: How Many Remained?

Raised Quiverfull: How Many Remained? June 7, 2012

Among those you grew up around who were also raised with Christian Patriarchy/Quiverfull ideology, what proportion has remained in the movement and what proportion has left?


The majority have left the movement and still cling to the religion.  I relate more to my new friends.


I am not really in contact with any of the parents of the movement; however, of the teens, I don’t know of anyone who remained in the movement in adulthood.  Today, they cover a wide range of beliefs from conservative Christian through liberal atheist.  But a common theme among all of them is that they believe they were damaged by the CP/Q culture and teachings at Reb Bradley’s church Hope Chapel.

Libby Anne:

It’s hard to say because I was one of the oldest in my community, and also because I’ve lost touch with a lot of those I grew up with since leaving and starting my own life elsewhere. Honestly, not many left. Most of the girls I grew up closest to are still living with their parents, even as they are now in their early- to mid-twenties. Some went to college, but then moved back home. Only one is married. Thinking about it, while there is some variation in current belief I honestly can’t find a single girl from my circle of close friends growing up who has actually straight out rejected Christian Patriarchy/Quiverfull ideology.


I know of some young people who have left, but it’s a rather small percentage. I don’t have any contacts with those people anymore so I’m not up to date on how many more have left since I left. Most are just too afraid to sacrifice their families. I think they hide the fact that they think differently and hope to God they’ll find a spouse who thinks the same way, so they can hide it together. It’s all about keeping up that image.


The proportion of my peers from CP/QF (and SGM) leaving the movement grows every few months or so. Honestly, it’s almost too early to really say how many will leave and how many will stay—my peer group is either still in college or just finishing up and only a few have gotten married and settled down. I expect as more go through adult life transitions, more will realize that strict complementarianism doesn’t work well in marriage, that courtship can still leave them brokenhearted, and that they need to make adult decisions independently from their parents. Right now, about half of my peers have either accepted that SGM isn’t the “only good church” out there, and have moved beyond the idealism of courtship. Others are still in SGM or similar churches, and don’t realize that the Church is much bigger than their limited experience, and that there are happy, healthy families whose guiding principles defy all their current assumptions.


Many of the family friends are still heavily involved. So far all of my adult siblings have questioned a lot and are on their own journeys out of the mindset. I did not have that many personal friends, but the few I did have are still in the mindset.


Most have stayed. Almost all of them actually. Except my sisters and I. My parents have also stepped away from most of their previous ideology, but not my friends. I have even seen my friend and cousin walk straight into the ideology right before my eyes. She has given up all her dreams to be with a boy who controls her and her relationships in the name of God.


I am the only one of my circle of friends who left.


Sometimes defining the “ins and outs” of things can be a bit tricky, since a lot of this is about a mindset more than one particular defining characteristic. But. . . I would say about 75% have stayed Christian, although many have taken their faith in different directions than their parents outlined, about 50% still plan to homeschool their children, and only a very small percentage still speak of Phillips, Gothard, and their ilk with anything other than amusement, irritation, or disdain. I doubt that adulation for these speakers is going to continue into the second generation, although some of the trends they started may or may not be perpetuated. A lot of us still don’t know for sure where we’re going in many areas. At least, this is my perception.

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