Quoting Quiverfull: Redefining Patriarchy?

Quoting Quiverfull: Redefining Patriarchy? April 22, 2014

by Kevin Swanson cross posted from Generations With Vision

I am not a patriarchal-ist.

I have never been a patriarchal-ist, and I’ve never called myself a patriarchal-ist, and here are a few reasons:

1. The Bible employs the Greek word “patriarchy” to refer to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Acts 2:29; 7:8,9;, Heb. 7:4), and I’m not Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob. I’m some guy named Kevin Swanson. It would be arrogant for me to assume that I will bear the influence of men like this over the next 2000 years.

2. Actually, the Bible calls the husband (me), the “head” as Christ is head of the church (Eph. 5:23). This is clear biblical language, and for those still out there who believe the Bible, it’s okay to use biblical language.

The modern expressions of both patriarchy and feminism (in the form of individualism) discount the biblical idea of corporeality in the family. Husband and wife are connected in a special oneness in the biblical metaphysic, and this idea has been anathematized by the American religion.

Those who have heard me speak know that I prefer using clear biblical terms such as “help meet,” or “oikos-despoteo,” or “covenant head” in these discussions, because that is the clear biblical language relating to roles. For a reasonably balanced statement on male and female roles, reference http://cbmw.org/core-beliefs. For my July 7th, 2010 interview with Randy Stinson, click here.

3. I don’t like movements that narrow applications and tout highly niched agendas. However I still cotton to any true Spirit-filled movement of God where there is a revival of biblical principles like fearing God and loving God with heart, soul, mind, and strength (and sincerely endeavoring to learn and apply the commandments of God).

4. It also seems that the word “Patriarchy” is used as a handy pejorative for anybody who says they believe Ephesians 5 to be ethically normative. Based on my limited observations, the word has become another suitable synonym for “*****in’ Idiot” – helpful for those who are working to expand their vocabulary while decrying our fundamental view of epistemology, metaphysics, and ethics. Protesting  those who are incorrigibly attached to hollow ad hominems, straw man manufacturing, and guilt-by-association arguments is supremely useless.

5. In the present social context, the word “Patriarchy” has come to describe the angry, licentious, porn-habituated, abusive, control-freak dad. And if there are sufficient numbers of these twice dead trees, I guess there should be a word to denote the phenomenon.   Where love and honor break down between the generations, there is no telling what dysfunctionalities will come about.

Read the rest, including a list of things women do that are considered ‘sins’ in most Biblical Patriarchal circles at Generations With Vision.

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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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Krissi_C

    All I’m reading is a desire to be disassociated from the more extreme part of the movement. He still believes in “male headship” while being more permissive on other issues. It seems like a matter of “I’m not like THOSE weirdos!”

  • Mel

    “I have never been a patriarchal-ist.”

    That is a benefit to making a word up – no one can call you that since no one has ever used that word before. (/snark)

    In terms of using Ephesians 5 as normative, let’s look at 5.3:

    “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.”

    How’s Gothard doing on that one? Or the VF guy? Plus, how often do we really talk about the greed for power that seems to percolate through this entire damn movement?

  • It sounds like he is a mild patriarchalist, otherwise known as a complementarian. I look at it as a spectrum, with hard patriarchy at one end and soft complementarianism on the other. But one thing that everyone in this camp agrees on (no matter where they fall on the spectrum) is that women are to be restricted in some way and under male authority in some way. They can’t agree as to the extent of the restrictions, that’s all.

    On his blog he said this: “I also like to point out that the nuclear family is weaker than it has ever been, because Betty Friedan and a million of her friends hate Ephesians 5:22-33. They will tell you this.”

    This ignores the fact that studies have shown that more egalitarian marriages are happier and tend to last longer. And I wouldn’t be surprised if Swanson was quite willing to lump Christians like me, who simply think Eph. 5:21-33 (he’s leaving off a very important verse at the beginning of that section) is being misinterpreted and misapplied, with those who “hate” it.

  • Allison the Great

    But one thing that everyone in this camp agrees on (no matter where they fall on the spectrum) is that women are to be restricted in some way and under male authority in some way. They can’t agree as to the extent of the restrictions, that’s all.

    That’s what I was thinking. Even though he is not like those other guys (or so he claims) he is still saying that women have their place, and that place is not equal to men. He’s still one of those men that see women as something (not someone) that need to be controlled, and that’s still wrong.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    But he’s exactly like those weirdos.

  • Trollface McGee

    I listened to that audio that’s linked – and all I hear is ranting about how women have jobs, women are in charge of things other than changing diapers, women are bad, men are oppressed, blah, blah, blah… oh and we’re all equal, it’s just that men are a bit more equal than women because Bible.
    Exactly like those weirdos.

  • Trollface McGee

    I wouldn’t characterise him as “mild,” he believes in all the tenets of patriarchy – that women can’t ever lead men, that women should be restricted to the home, that daughters should be raised as homemakers, etc. Nothing mild there except the euphemistic label he puts on his beliefs.

  • Allison the Great

    What a small thing he is to get upset over women outside of the home and not being “helpmeets” and “knowing their place”. Yes, women have jobs, as we have a right to. He can grow up and deal with it. Yes, women are in charge of things. We have the same intelligence and leadership skills as men do. He can get over that too. Treating us as baby-making property is NOT EQUAL. Good god, Swanson is so infantile. What a stupid thing to get mad about. And why does he hate women so much that he gets that mad when we pursue our own interests? What the fuck?

  • Does he think women should be restricted to the home? His list of things women can do (when I clicked on the link) included going to college, becoming a doctor, going on the mission field, and leading in civil government.

  • Odd. Based on his list of things women can do, he apparently thinks women can go to college, become doctors, go on the mission field and lead in civil government all while staying in their homes.

  • Allison the Great

    All from their basement cell, you mean? Even if we could do all those things from the home, who the hell would want to?
    The thing is, his website says that he thinks women can do this, but he still bitches about them doing them on his radio show. His website is full of crap, apparently.

  • Nightshade

    When I read this I was thinking ‘Well, it’s progress,’ considering what most of these folks teach. Then I went to the source page and read his list of things women can do that aren’t sins, and it was at least not looking too bad. But I just HAD to keep reading, and found this line: ‘For a reasonably balanced statement on male and female roles, reference http://cbmw.org/core-beliefs On that page we have pretty much the same ole’ crap, so no, this isn’t redefining patriarchy, just trying to not look so extreme in his application of the same principles.

  • Allison the Great

    I tried to follow your link and it was not found.

  • Nightshade

    Ooops, my bad, I accidentally added a punctuation mark where it shouldn’t have been…link should work now. Thanks for letting me know!

  • Trollface McGee

    You’re quite right – I was listening to the radio interview linked and didn’t click on the other one – in the radio interview, her rails against women doing everything he allegedly thinks they can do in the article.

  • Allison the Great

    Thank you! I’ve been reading what they say about biblical manhood/womanhood and it’s disgusting. The journals that they publish are a real eye opener.

  • SAO

    I’d argue that the rise of the obnoxious Christian, as exemplified by someone who cherry-picks biblical verses to state that women are inferior to men and exist to serve them, is the reason that younger people are less likely to be religious, by any measure.

    http://www.pewforum.org/2010/02/17/religion-among-the-millennials/

    No God I’m willing to worship considers me a second class citizen.

  • Nea

    He doesn’t believe in the patriarchy. He just believes that he gets special rights and privileges over all of his relatives because penis. It’s totally different!

  • guest

    “how often do we really talk about the greed for power that seems to percolate through this entire damn movement?”

    Yes! Exactly!

  • My college cafeteria did something like this sometimes. Everyone is sick of hamburgers? The next day, there was Salisbury steak. The day after was (generic) Hamburger Helper.
    No matter how you serve it, it’s still the same meat.

  • bekabot

    In the present social context, the word ‘Patriarchy’ has come to describe the angry, licentious, porn-habituated, abusive, control-freak dad. And if there are sufficient numbers of these twice dead trees, I guess there should be a word to denote the phenomenon.

    So you go right ahead and tar the twice-dead trees with the same term you use to describe Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. {shakes head} Boy o boy, that’s the way to let ’em know you’re really mad. That’s the way to let ’em know you’re ever-so not on their side. That’s the way to make the angry licentious porn-habituated abusive control freaks live in fear. I guess they know where you stand — you stand with the faction (whoever they are) which thinks that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and angry licentious porn-habituated abusive control freaks have a lot in common. Welp. Glad we cleared that up. {grins}

  • KarenH

    Spin, spin, spin, dance, dance dance

    If he’s flashy enough, maybe you won’t notice how his entire theology is wrapped up in patriarchy.

  • Kathleen

    Same Shit – different piles!

  • Astrin Ymris

    Nightshade,

    Re: “…On that page we have pretty much the same ole’ crap, so no, this isn’t redefining patriarchy, just trying to not look so extreme in his
    application of the same principles…”

    IOW, he’s just trying to dodge the negative PR.

  • Isn’t Swanson the one who would not allow his daughter to get a driver’s license. Instead, when he turned her over to her husband, it would be up to the husband to decide if she should be driving. How is this not rank, oppressive, and abusive dominance over his pure daughter?

  • Nea

    Give ’em the old razzle dazzle, razzle dazzle ’em…

  • KarenH

    Everything but the kick-ball-change.

  • gimpi1

    My, how sharia of him.

  • gimpi1

    I followed your link. Over and over again, they talk about the “problems” created by egalitarian relationships and feminism, yet egalitarian marriages generally last longer and appear to be happier. People who embrace the radical feminist notion that women are people tend to be better educated, more successful, more secure and happier. Children raised by egalitarian people are generally more stable, more successful and happier. Areas of the country with a higher percentage of people embracing an egalitarian mindset have fewer teen pregnancies, fewer broken homes and less abuse. What “problems” caused by feminism and egalitarianism is he referring to?

  • Nightshade

    The ‘problems’ of women thinking they can be something more than slaves to men, taking ownership of their own bodies instead of being possessions, making decisions for themselves rather than being relegated to popping out babies as often as their men can get them pregnant, finding out that they have other options in life. Educated, successful, happy? Pfffft. Ain’t nobody got time for that in their world!

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    Lol, based on some of the other wacky stuff he’s always saying, I’d even say Swanson is one of the weirder weirdos.

  • gimpi1

    Ahh, the “problem” of people living as they choose, rather than being clone-stamped out of the pattern he likes best. I understand now.

    Yes, educated, successful, happy and reasonable are bad things. If fact I believe I once read a statement that God wants “holiness” for us, not “happiness.” So if your life is miserable, you are poor, uneducated and depressed, in a marriage that has become a prison – that’s fine, as long as you’re living according to their “holy” beliefs.

    And they wonder why people are bailing out of this belief-system…

  • gimpi1

    “Turn, turn, kick, turn! It will work!

  • herewegokids

    Going to college as a major in what? Doctor… missionary doctor? Civil govt…. court reporter? Just wondering.