Vyckie's Tour de Crap

Vyckie's Tour de Crap March 30, 2009


Just thought I’d post a little note to say, “Happy Monday, everyone!”

We enjoyed a wonderful weekend with friends and family. Sunday evening we celebrated Wesley’s 6th birthday with a little party ~ pizza, X-box games, presents and yummy strawberry jello cake ~ fun!

Angel was here, along with her boyfriend Aaron and another friend ~ she has a new car that she got at a ridiculously low price ~ so we went for a drive and that gave us a few minutes to talk. She’s written her reaction to the “Daughters” section of Kathryn Joyce’s book Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement
~ I’ll be posting that here soon.

Once again, I want to say “Thank you” to those of you who are following our blog, reading the stories and posting comments. I posted this as a comment ~ but wanted to repeat here: Thanks for your very kind and encouraging words. Sometimes I feel pretty hesitant about what we are doing here ~ because I feel like we’ve taken on something HUGE and I wonder if I’m really up to it!

[The] commenters here make all the difference for me. You all are SO encouraging and it inspires me to keep writing ~ there is really SO MUCH that I want to tell!

I know Laura is encouraged too ~ she’s living a nightmare right now ~ and hearing from others who have BTDT and can clearly say, “Good for you ~ you’re doing the right thing!” is a real boost to her ability to get through this struggle.
0z100_5659Angel ~ n ~ me 😉

One reader, Aimai posted her husband’s suggestion that it might be interesting (if painful!) for me to share some of my old writings and comment on them from my new perspective ~ and I told her that I’ve actually been considering doing just that. Angel recently told me that if you Google my married name “Vyckie Bennett” ~ “It’s like taking a total tour de crap!”

So ~ that’s coming soon. I think I’m going to call the series: Vyckie’s Tour de Crap.

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  • Saty

    Hi Vyckie,You have come so far since we first chatted nearly two years ago. And, this blog is a perfect way to work through the transformation you’re still experiencing. i saw your post on Alternet, too. As, I said before, your story is important, and you should write a book. You have the gift, so continue to use it to help others.best,Peacelf

  • aimai

    Vyckie,I agree with Saty. You and Laura, or each of you separately, really should write a book. Think of this blog as a space to start jotting down ideas or whole chapters. I’m excited for you and for Laura, and for your children–this is going to be such an important way of processing what you are going through and it is going to help so many women and their families. aimai

  • Anonymous

    I would like to re-post here a comment I posted in another blogpost, because it’s also germane to this blog:I think the problem is that there is a fundamentalist way of reading the Bible, that starts from certain presuppositions. Starting from those presuppositions, you get a certain way of reading ALL of the Bible. But there are other ways of understanding the Bible that change the whole way it is read.Fundamentalists (and atheists, too) usually read the Bible like a “memo from the Boss” which is supposed to read the same way to us (“plain-sense”) as it did to the original audience. Read this way, it is not just the truths of the Bible, but the whole cultural context in which the Bible was transmitted, that are supposed to be preserved. If we take our own understandings of what a text means, and without reference to what it meant to the original audience (such as whether it was challenging them to slowly but surely move away from the strict patriarchy or bloody tribalism they had always known), we will, beyond doubt, find the Bible primitive, tribal, patriarchal and bloody.But the Bible is not a “memo from the Boss,” and the cultures in which the Bible was written are not being given divine sanction. We are not supposed to perpetuate the cultures in which the Bible was received, as if they were part of the truths conveyed by the Bible!With this understanding, research is necessary to ascertain how the Bible would have been understood in the original cultures. God’s gradual, redemptive work in each culture thus becomes apparent. God is working in and through human culture, not giving it some sort of blanket approval just because He spoke to people within the assumptions they were making at the time. Understand the assumptions, and you understand where God was trying to lead the people. And it was always, slowly but surely, AWAY from patriarchy and prejudice, and TOWARDS equality, freedom, and compassion.KR Wordgazer

  • Jadehawk

    Fundamentalists (and atheists, too) usually read the Bible like a “memo from the Boss” no. atheists read the bible the same way they read the Koran, the Rig Veda, or any other sacred text: as semi-historical collections of myths. atheists are fully capable of understanding that they’re written in context, but they’re also aware that an all-powerful god really could have made himself a lot clearer… or at least give occasional updates. every book-publisher can do that, why not god? that’s just silly. the bible is fully human-created, and as such can’t tell us anything about the real nature of any possible gods. same as all other holy texts, it ONLY tells us something about the cultures in which it was written (and which it inspired)

  • Anonymous

    …except my last comment was supposed to be in the “Patriarchy IS in the Bible blog,” not this one. If it could be moved in any way, I’d really appreciate it. So sorry! KR Wordgazer

  • Vyckie

    No problem, KR Wordgazer ~ I’ve re-posted it in the correct place. Thanks for helping me keep all of this straight 😉

  • Anonymous

    I’m sorry, Jadehawk; I should have clarfied that better. What I meant to say is that atheists often reject the Bible on the basis that if it is read like a “memo from the Boss” (the supposedly “correct” Christian way to read it), it paints God as a bloody tribal patriarch. I acknowledge that atheists do read the Bible as semi-historical myth.As to whether, if God really was involved in Self-revelation to the people who wrote the Bible, God could/should have done it differently, that’s another question entirely and not one that’s condusive to an easily defendable answer– from either side of the issue.KR Wordgazer

  • Jadehawk

    I know that’s what you meant wordgazer, and I disagree, at least for all the atheists i know. what i was trying to say is that most atheists i know don’t reject god because he seems evil, but because he seems not to exist, because the bible doesn’t make any sense and is lousy proof for anything. we’re exasperated at fundie christians who worship the OT monstrosity, and at liberal christians (esp. catholics) who by their membership in abusive churches become accomplices to abuse. but that’s different from what you’re saying

  • Jadehawk

    a bit OT, but why was the patriarchy post deleted? i’m curious.

  • Anonymous

    Jadehawk, I thought we were talking about why atheists reject the Bible, but you are talking now about why atheists reject God. They’re two different things, aren’t they? KR Wordgazer

  • Indigo

    @ Anonymous:Atheists do not reject your god – belief in your god, maybe but not the god itself. That would be impossible, since we don’t believe in it. You may as well say we reject unicorns or leprechauns. It’s also a bit ridiculous to simply say that atheists reject the Bible, full stop. I can say I reject it as a source of moral teaching and accurate science while accepting it as a source of Hebrew mythology and cultural context.

  • Jadehawk

    wordgazer: not really, or at least they’re related. see, atheists don’t read the bible, think it’s supposed to be taken literally, and reject it because the god described in it is evil. they reject the bible because NOTHING in it makes historical or scientific sense. it’s a collection of myths. good for gruesome reading, good for studying ancient cultures, completely useless as a way of learning anything about any possible gods, or for learning anything about morals, or for anything else really. it doesn’t matter if you read it literally or as a metaphor, it’s still bad.let’s compare: in greek mythology, prometheus steals fire from the gods and gives it to humans so they can help themselves. he is a hero.in the bible, the serpent gives Adam and Eve a conscience. he’s the “enemy” ever since.the rejection of god follows from the rejection of the bible as in any way useful or meaningful beyond literary studies, anthropology and archaeology.

  • Kristen

    Jadehawk, that makes sense to me, and I believe it’s related to the differing sets of presuppositions religious and non-religious people usually start from. A discussion of the naturalist-physicalist paradigm is probably too big a topic to address here.Indigo, as you can see from Jadehawk’s response to mine, Jadehawk and I are using the word “reject” in the sense of “to not embrace an idea or proposition,” and not in any emotional or accusing sense, to imply anything negative against atheism or atheists. We are also, in the context of our conversation, discussing the Bible as a religious/moral text, and the rejection of it in that sense and not in any other.I agree that if you take my words the way you seem to be taking them, they do seem ridiculous. But I quite honestly had no intention of disparaging atheism as a viewpoint or atheists as people. I respect both. KR Wordgazer (who signed into Google using another blog, after this one stopped letting me post as “Anonmyous” either . . sigh. . .)

  • Anonymous

    JadeHawk: “we’re exasperated at fundie christians who worship the OT monstrosity, and at liberal christians (esp. catholics) who by their membership in abusive churches become accomplices to abuse.”Hi JadeHawk.I don’t have anything particular to say to you on this quote above except that it is an excellent one that I may use as an example of why people are leaving churches.I still embrace my faith in the God of the Bible but I’m also extremely exasperated with abuses on both sides as you are.In my own church they can count on me to bring up the abused in discusion, and I mean those abused in or by those calling themselves Christian, either directly or by being purposefully blind to it.I’m glad to have quotes like the one above and thank you for your honesty.Mara

  • Jadehawk

    Kristen/wordgazer: I’m glad we could clear that up, because it does bother me to be accused of literalism, heheh. it’s all good now :-)Mara, I’m very glad to hear you’re outspoken on this issue. I think it is VERY important that truly liberal churches speak out and cut themselves loose from those who abuse people. I’m especially frustrated with Catholics: my mom is one, and she lives in Germany where people pay taxes TO their church. and she’s refusing to stop paying that tax (there’s ways to get yourself off the taxroll) because she considers the Catholic Church to be a charity. in truth, they do SO much harm! I even pointed out to her the case of that poor 9-year-old girl who was raped and pregnant with twins… her mother and doctors were excommunicated for saving her live with an abortion (twins just don’t FIT into a scrawny 9-year-old body), while the father who did that to her was protected by the church!!!!Christians must really speak out loudly if they don’t want to be tossed into he same pot as the abusers and haters, because otherwise they give those people “safety in numbers”

  • Anonymous

    Jadehawk, I think the miscommunication arises in that when I talk to atheists, they mostly say, “Your God is a bloody, tribal patriarchalist,” and when I say, “No, God is simply speaking to people within a culture that is bloody, tribal and patriarchalist,” many of them say, “No, you’re just making excuses. Your God is a bloody, tribal patriarchalist.” I have no wish to lump you together with all atheists, any more than you are lumping all Christians together (which I deeply appreciate that you’re not). But when I was speaking of atheists, I was speaking of the ones who won’t listen to any other explanation for the biblical text than one that lumps God together with biblical culture as if they were one and the same– which happens to be the same thing the fundamentalists do. But I agree that their reasons for such lumping are different– and you are probably right that most atheists don’t do it from literalism, but more that they simply dismiss God as just a superstition of a superstitious culture. But the end result is still pretty much the same. It is my view that in order to properly understand the concept of God as understood by serious Christian thought, it must be understood that no human conception of God (including those of ancient cultures)is going to come close to what God really is.KR Wordgazer

  • Anonymous

    JadeHawk,Where did this happen to the 9 year old girl?In the states?That’s horrifying.There are others who speak out.~Have you heard of StopBaptistPredators.org?~How about the Grace and Truth to You blog by Wade Burleson?~White Washed Feminists?~The TrueWomanhood blog? (Not to be confused with the stupid Manifesto put out by the patriarchy bunch. I mention this one esp. since it has Athiests visit who feel comfortable their because even though it is Christian, it is not judgemental toward Athiests. Plus a lot of the gals there have been influenced by Patriarchy one way or another, hate it and are very verbal about it.)Only to name a few.There are many who have plain had enough and speak out.My little church is in a rural setting. It is not liberal. But neither is it at all touched by Quiverfull/Patriarchy garbage, for which I’m thankful.They are interested in helping people, not bossing people.And I love them for that.Mara

  • Linnea

    I’m not sure how to make this into a link, but here’s an article about the pregnant 9-year-old: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1883598,00.html

  • Anonymous

    JadeHawk,I signed off, took my shower, and was ready to go to bed when I remembered that I forgot two other Christian places that speak out against abuse.~Emotional Abuse and Your Faith (eaandfaith.blogsmpot.com)~Because It Matters~Freedom in Christianity (dannimoss.wordpress.com)Plus both Charis of A Wife’s Submission and Molly of Adventures In Mercy speak out. They are posting here so you can get to there blogs by clicking their names.Not trying to overwhelm you at all. Still haven’t mentioned every place I know yet.Only want to communicate that there are Christians who know that your concerns are very real and we share them. And ‘they’ will pretty much have to kill us to get us to shut up at this point.Keep on talking JadeHawk. We have a common enemy. Those who view women and children as things to be used.MaraWho needs to get off this computer and go to bed. G’nite.Hi, Wordgazer. I think I’ve seen you elsewhere. Too tired to remember where.Toodles.

  • Jadehawk

    Mara, now if some of those groups would go on TV and smack the Glenn Beck’s and Bill Donohue’s over the head with a rolled up newspaper everytime they start a judgemental sentence with “90% of Americans are Christian, and we don’t want the godless liberals to force us to [insert complaint of the week], I’d be happy :-pWordgazer, I’ll get a good night’s sleep and then I’ll maybe try to explain where that “no, your god IS a monster” sentiment comes from. but it’s 3am now, so brain no worky. :-p

  • Anonymous

    Are you going to post Angel’s reaction to the “Daughters” chapter? I’m anxious to read it.Kristin