Quoting Quiverfull: Patheos Apostates?

Quoting Quiverfull: Patheos Apostates? March 15, 2014

by Suzanne Titkemeyer

Spiritual Sounding Board wrote about a recent Kevin Swanson hissy fit where he defended ATI’s Bill Gothard, you know the guy, we’ve written about Gothard here a great deal and started speaking out a few months ago about the survivors of his sexual harassment and abuse of teenagers as it’s been reported over at Recovering Grace.

Yes, yes after Swanson wrote about how Gothard should face some sort of investigation of the charges by a board of his peers he’s now done a 180 degrees spin at warp speed, proclaiming those of us on Patheos, SSB and other blogs talking about the situation are ‘apostates’. He just wants us meek little wimmenfolk to shut up about righteous man stuff. No way buddy is that ever happening. If one of our sisters is being abused by patriarchy it ripples out to effect us all. Sweep it all under the rug and pretend all those ladies were having premenstral hallucinations or something is what Swanson wants.

Here’s a transcript of Swanson’s remarks from Spiritual Sounding Board.

 Starting at the 6:00 mark:


You have this kind of thing happening a lot when people are ultimately ignoring the laws of God but taking on their own rules and regulations. Well, all that said, we’re gonna to talk about what is happening right now with fundamentalism, what is happening right now with the homeschooling movement, and precisely what is happening right now with Bill Gothard.


Okay. There’s [sic] some stories right now on Patheos.com, SpritualSoundingBoard.com, which by the way are the apostatizing websites that are dancing on the grave of the old Christian west and certainly anything related to fundamentalism or anything relating to Biblical Christianity. They love it. They love it when they begin to see cracks in fundamentalism.

Now, friends, right now Patheos and Spiritual Sounding Board are the apostatizing websites working hard to drive another 10% out of the organized historical, Biblical churches to a pro-homosexual, pro-socialist, pro-evolution, pro-atheist agenda. I mean, they’re just so excited if they can…they’re sort of like the aprostalites (SIC ed.note Stupid made up fake word by Swanson) of the left you know.

Can we get more to apostatize from the Biblical, spiritual faith, and they’re somewhat successful




mainly because whatever is out there that cloaks itself as a fundamentalist faith often times isn’t that strong anyway. So, anyway. Patheos and Spiritual Sounding Board are dancing on the grave of Bill Gothard and the whole A.T.I. thing right now. This is what’s happened. And the rumors on the street is that there was more sexual abuse of some sort. But here is the deal. As Christians we ought to be very careful when we see these things on public websites, new sites, presenting this information.



We ought to demand two or three witnesses in a proper church court or a proper civil court. That ought to be important to us. And, uh. You know. But Patheos and Sounding Board doesn’t really care that much about it. They just get very excited about the fact that there may be some problem, some compromise, in the life of a spiritual leader. And if they can find that, they kind find the compromise, the moral compromise in the life of a leader, they get very excited because now they know that they can toss out everything that guy ever said about God,


Jesus, honoring mothers and fathers, you know, etc., etc So, if that be the case, you know, they can throw all that out and they can do whatever they want. And how fun that can be, you know. I mean, you know. We don’t have to worry about this adultery thing anymore, don’t have to worry about homosexuality, don’t have to worry about incest, don’t have to worry about pedophilia, we can just celebrate You know, I mean we’re free from anything that this Christian leader ever said because there may be some moral compromise in his life. And that’s why


they get so excited, Steve, I think.

SV:Yeah, and that’s. They want to be free from God. That’s why they’re worshiping themselves, or the whole humanist religion. Because they’ve been seeking to be free from God all their lives. And they can’t get free of Him. And it just, it’s like a cockroach trying to get away from the light to get into darkness. And they’ve found that they can’t get away from the light. And anytime that they can find any kind of darkness within the fundamentalist movement

Kevin Swanson, I just have to ask. Why are all of your shows and writings mentioning bestiality in situations that have nothing to do with bestiality? If you are constantly thinking about sex with animals you should probably find a good counselor in your town. They might even have a publicly funded community mental health organization that has a sliding billing scale that you could surely afford. Normal people do not run about talking about sex with animals all the time. It’s creepy and sick. Please stay away from your neighbors farm animals and away from my precious cats!

Comments open below

QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull and Spiritual Abuse honestly and thoughtfully

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce


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  • Dear Kevin,

    Don’t do it and we won’t have anything to talk about.

    Keep fly zipped up keep hands to self, understand what sexual abuse is, you know all those things you men of God preach to others.. Stop hiding abuse, stop covering sin up. Stop justifying bad behavior. Stop making excuses. Just stop…

    Then…we won’t have anything to talk about.

    We aren’t the problem, you are.


  • Edie Moore McGee

    What he completely ignores, of course, is that the group taking the lead on Gothard and ATI is Recovering Grace. They are Christians, conservative Christians. Some may still be fundamentalists, just no longer Gothardites. And they are being scrupulously careful, probably more careful and certainly more prayerful than your average prosecutor or investigator. They take no joy in what they’re doing. On the other hand, Swanson and his ilk want to shut down anything that disturbs the status quo, even to the point of ignoring mountains of evidence and destroying the victims. They don’t care about truth. Or justice,

  • Astrin Ymris

    I hate to rain on Kevin Swanson’s parade, but he and Bill Gothard never had any “authority” on me in the first place. I rejected Christianity in my early teens because I couldn’t reconcile the existence of Hell with a loving God, not because of Bill Gothard and his bad actions. I didn’t even know either one of their names at the time, having been raised in a Mainline Protestant denomination.

    I doubt anyone is going to leave Christianity as a result of the revelation of Bill Gothard’s sexual predations– at least not anyone who wouldn’t have left anyway. They may well leave his little cult because of them, especially if they see that Gothard’s “church trial” essentially consists of asking him, “Did you do it?” and accepting his denial as proof that he’s innocent and his accusers are lying sluts.

    Mind you, if I’m understanding Swanson’s hysterical incoherence correctly, a mass exodus of tithes-paying disciples from the ATI flock is precisely what he’s afraid of. But if this occurs, it’ll be a self-inflicted wound, caused by Gothard’s molestations and the failure of his administrators to take effective action to stop them. Patheos and Spiritual Sounding Board won’t have anything to do with it.

  • Lana

    I wish I did not laugh at Kevin Swanson so much because he is actually evil. The Spiritual Sounding Board remarks are too funny- JA had not even mentioned Bill Gothard.

  • Nea

    All the upvotes!

  • “There’s [sic] some stories right now on Patheos.com, SpiritualSoundingBoard.com, which by the way are the apostatizing websites that are dancing on the grave of the old Christian west…”
    Patheos cannot even be called a website. It is a blog host for a lot of blogs of many people from many persuasions, with NLQ one of many blogs. I’ve read religious patheos blog entries. And anti-religious and some that has little or no bearing on religion.
    And Julie Anne of Spiritual sounding board does not, as far as I can see, want to drive people away from God, but away from dangerous religious ideas. (Her most recent success was to get CBMW to scrub a story about “women will submit to men in heaven.” She wrote about it, her informed readers commented, posted a link to the critical article and wrote critical articles, and CBMW scrubbed a piece they wrote in 2006 and re-blogged recently. To denounce heresy is not to make apostates.

  • Independent Thinker

    Since Kevin Swanson has a “ministry” I am convinced the true reason behind his rants are financially motivated. It has come out recently Gothard’s financial empire is slowly starting to crumble. Swanson may be facing the same fate. I am sure having a counter point to Swason’s rants will effect his bottom line.

  • Trollface McGee

    Huh? What is he arguing? That sexual abuse is a side issue that’s more important than a man’s media image (and profits)? Or sexual abuse is a part of the system and shouldn’t be disturbed and anyone who does is a homomarxisocislamijew apostate? Or he just wants an opportunity to rant because it takes his mind off the constant efforts to repress whatever his sexuality is?
    And is he really equating homosexuality and adultery to incest and paedophilia? Of course he is.

  • $190147

    Patheos and Spiritual Sounding Board are dancing on the grave of Bill Gothard and the whole A.T.I. thing right now.

    If they’re dancing on the grave of Mr. Gothard they’re dancing on a grave he dug with his own bare, um, hands.

    We don’t have to worry about this adultery thing anymore, don’t have to worry about homosexuality, don’t have to worry about incest, don’t have to worry about pedophilia, we can just celebrate

    It’s interesting that this claim is phrased in just this way, because, in effect, that’s the exact nature of the promise one level, or one aspect, of the Fundagelical movement extends, not to its parishioners and certainly not to its apostates, but to its functionaries, especially those who fill ministerial dockets or who are being trained to fill them. That’s what the Doug Coe stuff is all about. That’s the guarantee which the child-molester dude in Muscle Shoals was counting on. (IMO.) If you could open up his head and peek inside or play his thoughts like an MP3 I bet you’d hear something like this: “Hey, it’s OK. I accepted Jesus, didn’t I? He took away my sin, didn’t He? I’m no longer a sinner, right? And I do believe, I righteously and rigorously believe, that I’m performing the Lord’s good works. Hey, parents come up to me and thank me for the good I’ve done their kids all the time. The kids themselves come up and thank me. Am I supposed to cast aside the testimony of all those parents and all those kids in favor of some accusations launched by a bunch of humanistic types who believe in evolution and who doubt the nuclear family is eternal? No, I don’t think so. Jesus Himself tells me I’m a good man, He died for me, and so I have to take Him seriously when His spirit informs my heart; it would be abominable if I discarded His promptings in favor of quarrels bred up by a bunch of worldlings.”

    Nothing has ever surprised me less than to read that one of the PCC attackers had been accepted into the pastorate. Nothing has ever surprised me less, because it’s my belief that that’s what he was being trained for, in every respect. He was being inculcated, or indoctrinated, with the notion that he was to occupy, spiritually, a higher plane than his future parishioners (among whom, of course, he’d have to number his future wife) and that, therefore, they (his wife, parishioners, kids, etc.) were to be responsible to him but that he was not to be responsible to them in return. So the guy put the theory into practice, and the college which had drilled him in it stood behind him. (“Hey, we can’t blame you, because we taught you everything you know.”) This might almost be counted as honesty on the institution’s part, were it not that the whole exchange (“I do x, and, because of the clandestine bargain between us, you respond with y, to the distress and discomfiture of those who stand outside our circle and who haven’t experienced the same kind of Fundie satori we have”) were it not cloaked in so dense a veil of secrecy. This is evangelism as esotericism, and part of the thrill of the game (so I think) is that within the parameters of the world-view it promotes the Scriptures are to be read in one way by one portion of the faithful (“God tells you to bow to your leaders”) and in another way by the shepherds of the flock (“your followers must bow down to you because that is required by God”).

    I don’t think I’m picking exclusively on religion here, because there are definitely secular happenings in which one can observe the same idea at play.

  • Brennan

    Or the American way.
    (Sorry, couldn’t help myself, but also it’s kind of true.)

  • Brennan

    Uh huh. Bill Gothard gets caught molesting fifteen and sixteen year old girls . . . and somehow that makes *us* pedophiles. Riiiiight.

  • That is one sad, disgusting little boy.

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    Normal people do not run about talking about sex with animals all the time.

    This made me LOL!

  • Allison the Great

    I loved the last paragraph. I’ve wondered that about him too. Why so obsessed with sex with animals and his relatives? Believe it or not, “humanists” like myself are not. We don’t practice that sort of thing. That’s weird

    Is it just me or does it seem that Kevin Swanson’s vocabulary is not very big? The only two “big words” that he seems to know are apostate and zeitgeist.

    What I got from this little rant of Kevin’s was just that, a rant… and one of his whiniest rants by far.

  • Bodhisvaha

    Hm. I’ve just spent the weekend rewriting an essay, so my ear is tuned for argument quality right now. The remarks above sound an awful lot like “sit down and shut up; you’re making us look bad!” mashed up with “here’s why people shouldn’t listen to them anyway.” Given his emphasis on following proper procedure, Swanson should be following the rules of argument himself. His remarks should be much more succinct, and demonstrate that he’s researched these claims. He could reference quantitative research into how many Real True Christians have been seduced away by such websites, insert quotations from primary sources (this would not be difficult), or cite credible academic sources to the same ends. Without citations and quotations, most of his remarks can and should be dismissed by the audience as an ad hominem attack.

  • Fledgeling Feminist

    “Proper church court.”


    I think the fact that he thinks this is an option is the main reason why problems like Gothard/Phillips/Schaap/Mahaney happen.

  • Fledgeling Feminist

    “And Julie Anne of Spiritual sounding board does not, as far as I can
    see, want to drive people away from God, but away from dangerous
    religious ideas.”

    The saddest thing? They can’t separate God from these “dangerous religious ideas.” They believe that losing that abusive spiritual authority set up means walking away from God and faith.

  • Jewel

    LMAO at your last paragraph! Spot on!

  • perigrinuseram

    I’m normally a lurker here, so this may be out of left field — but does anyone else think there’s something going on with Swanson? It’s not the usual frothing ‘anti-woman, anti-gay, anti-everyone he disagrees’ with stuff, but something else, maybe something personal. I’m addicted to his stupid show because I find it amusing and horrible to listen to him rant in his dreadful way. But there’s been a weird pattern in the last month or so, starting with the departure of Dave Buehner in February. Apparently Buehner’s church ‘elders’ had decided that he had a ‘marriage problem’ which would necessitate him stepping down from the show. In the weeks since then, Swanson has dealt, multiple times, with sexual abuse: today’s show was a re-broadcast of a years-old show on childhood sexual abuse (the tipoff is the old opener).

    Is there a skeleton in that closet? Is there a closet in that closet?

  • Astrin Ymris

    How is Swanson recommending that child sexual abuse be “dealt with”? Report it to the police immediately? Hold a “church court” of the accused, and only tell law enforcement IF they decide the guy is guilty?

    Or just ask the alleged perp “Did you do it?” and spank the kids for lying if he says he didn’t?

  • perigrinuseram

    The repeat — it was originally broadcast in 08, since I found it in the Sermon Audio archive — was an interview with a ‘Christian counsellor’ who dealt with child sexual abuse; much stress on the need for the victim to ‘forgive’ the sexual abuser and to deal with their own guilt. Absolutely no discussion of punishment for the abuser.

    Again, it’s not unusual for him to use repeats — but why this one, on this topic, now?

  • This is just my guess, but I think whereby most of their followers really cannot separate God from these ideas, there are probably several leaders in the groups where Swanson/ Phillips/ Lindvall are from who can, who don’t actually believe their religion as much as seeing it as a good tool to keep others in line.

    But this is just a suspicion – I can’t prove other people’s motives.

  • Astrin Ymris

    Re: “…much stress on the need for the victim to ‘forgive’ the sexual abuser and to deal with their own guilt…”

    And I thought Vaughn Ohlman’s treatise ‘To That Girl Who Just Broke Off Her Courtship’ was a nauseating example of victim-blaming. 😛

    You could be right that there’s a reason Swanson is harping on the subject. Child sex abuse might be the next scandal to come out.

    Does his recent stance on sex abuse accord with his 2008 contention that the child is “complicit” in her own victimization and should feel guilty about it, while absolving the perpetrator of the need to feel guilt by forgiving them?