Quoting Quiverfull: When You Graduate You’ve Accomplished Nothing?

Quoting Quiverfull: When You Graduate You’ve Accomplished Nothing? May 24, 2014
Recent graduation ceremony at George Mason University’s School of Business and Management. The professors and MBA grads filing in behind the bag piper.

by Matt Walsh from The Matt Walsh Blog – Congratulations, graduates: you’ve done exactly what you’re expected and legally required to do

(Editor’s note: While this isn’t necessarily a ‘quiverfull’ or ‘evangelical’ issue, it is something rather screwy that seems to go against all conventional wisdom. Particularly since for some kids just getting through high school itself is a major accomplishment. What is wrong with celebrating the hard work, dedication and accomplishment of someone else?)

But, I admit that I’m biased. This is all coming from the guy who even dislikes high school graduation ceremonies. Maybe I’m just a curdmugeon (sic). Or maybe I don’t like them because they’re way too long, and my family can never leave early because our graduates are always at the end of the alphabet. Or maybe I’ve noticed that the pomp and circumstance all feeds into the faulty notion that you’ve somehow accomplished something just because you completed the steps you were mandated to complete.

At the end of every high school graduation ceremony — staggering and gasping for breath after having spent 7 hours sitting on crowded bleachers listening to the principal mispronounce a lengthy list of names I don’t recognize — I feel like Tom Hanks in Saving Private Ryan.

Shot in the gut, bleeding to death, he looked up at Matt Damon and muttered, “earn this.” The point being that Private Ryan hadn’t actually done anything to earn the enormous amount of effort and sacrifice these other men assumed on his behalf. Similarly, high school graduates haven’t necessarily done anything to earn the steady stream of praise and adulation they’ve received throughout their childhood, culminating in this bloated, overlong pageant. They haven’t earned it, but now they can officially begin the task of paying off that debt (right after they go to the bank and take on another massive debt to help pay for college).

If I was ever asked to give a high school commencement address (which seems unlikely at this point), that would be my entire speech:


Earn this.

Thank you for your time.

Visit The Matt Walsh Blog for the entire article

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 honestly and thoughtfully.

Comments open below

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce

13:24 – A Story of Faith and Obsession by M Dolon Hickmon

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  • Trollface McGee

    Under this logic weddings are out – what? You haven’t done anything but spent a bunch of money when you haven’t even been married yet. And you want a ceremony just because you signed some papers and moved in together? There is no getting shot involved or anything! Baby showers? The baby isn’t even here yet and you’re celebrating?? They are just Marxist-Socialist events to get free stuff. And don’t even get me started on birthdays. Getting awards and attention because the date coincides with the day you were born?
    (and unlike all those things, a graduation actually recognises a whole lot more accomplishment)
    And you don’t “earn” the right for your fellow human beings to come help you in an emergency. You can be a scumbag who thinks that other people don’t deserve basic decency and respect and the fire department will still put out the fire in your house, because they aren’t assholes.

  • KarenH

    Where the heck is he going to 6 and 7 hour long high school graduations? Even my high school graduating class got out in a couple hours and we had 827 graduates.

  • Where does this leave the purity ball? Girls don’t earn virginity – they naturally have it.
    Weddings – a couple does nothing to earn the ceremony.
    Baby showers – she did not do anything to parent that baby she’s pregnant with, yet.
    The old Jewish Bar Mitzva – the boy did not act as an adult yet…

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Yeah, exactly! My daughter just graduated from George Mason and the university breaks down the graduations and they take place over a four day interval by school. You’re out in a few hours.

    Perhaps it’s some regional homeschooling graduation ceremony he’s moaning about.

  • And yet even if that’s true, they’ve still accomplished more than the Quiverful movement.

  • Independent Thinker

    He probably dislikes any event in which someone else is the center of attention. That is usually a red flag for having a personality disorder.

  • Saraquill

    I graduated speaking more languages than this guy, and I had a clear sense of where I wanted to take my life. This man sounds like a load of sour grapes.

  • Well, when I graduated high school, I could correctly spell “curmudgeon” and apparently this jack wagon can’t even do that, so what does that say about him? All this complaining begs the question of just what he *would* consider to be a worthy accomplishment for celebration. Or does he think that *any* celebration of individual accomplishments distracts from some other purpose? After all, he’s complaining about having to sit still and honor OTHER families, which leads me to believe that he’d have fewer issues if it was just *his* scholars being honored.

    I really think that his whole issue is the idea that any individual person deserves credit and celebration for simply being a unique human being with individual traits and talents. I mean, yeah, they’re doing a mass celebration for all these scholars, but they’re still calling out *each graduate’s individual name* as they do so. Acknowledging each and every one of them as something more than “child #blah of family Blah” and that must really gall him. The idea that every one isn’t just a piece of stage dressing to exist solely for his use and attention.

    Words fail me.

  • Joy

    “They haven’t earned it, but they can officially begin paying off that debt (right after they go to the bank and take on another massive debt to help pay for college).”

    I’m confused. How many teenagers go into “massive debt” to pay for their own high school education? Generally, if a family can afford a private school education, it is the parents going into debt, not the teenager.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    After his epic spelling fail he’ll always be a ‘Turdmudgeon’ to me

  • All these guys are starting to look the same to me, so correct me if I’m wrong, but is this the same guy who was ranting about the “feces-eaters” like dung is the new lotus? ‘Cause that would be epic.

  • B.E. Miller

    Is it my imagination, or do these Quiverfull guys seem anti-intellectual. It seems like they think ‘book smarts’ don’t mean anything. Some kids give up a lot of spare time by studying and joining clubs. Or they spend hours practicing for a scholarship. (Like athletics.) When they could just be out there having fun or watching TV.

  • Mary Smithson

    I know you are not going to publish any of the comments I recently submitted. But maybe by putting this out into the ether it will help the movement towards change.






  • Well, so these kids didn’t drop out, didn’t fail their classes, didn’t miss their graduations because they were in jail. That means that they: 1) got up every morning and got on a bus when they’d rather have stayed in bed; 2) did homework when they’d probably rather have been partying or playing video games; 3) fulfilled the usual community service requirement; 4) resisted the urge to go with the “cool” kids who were getting in trouble; 5) gritted their teeth, stuck with it and finished what they started.

    So what, exactly, is not to celebrate?

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Nope. The guy that rants about eating your own feces and bestiality and incest is Kevin Swanson, radio show host and huge homeschooling supporter with a filthy mind.

    Matt Walsh is a resentful anti-intellectualism twenty-something that beliefs in patriarchy and homeschooling because Bible.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Mary, I have banned you. Had you stopped with this post I would have asked you to tone it down but since I had to delete a comment you made calling the writers/readers here obscene names no Good Christian ™ uses in reference to other ladies I had no choice but to ban you for violating community standards.

    Your comments were not immediately approved because, imagine that, I have a personal life outside of NLQ and am not sitting at the switch 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Tonight I was at at birthday party for my grown son and unable to approve your comments within seconds.

    Please read our comment rules before trying to post – We don’t have many rules but calling other posters obscene names is forbidden – http://www.patheos.com/blogs/nolongerquivering/comment-policy-please-read-before-posting/

  • Ahhh, I see. Thank you for clarifying. After a while they all kinda blur together in my mind ’cause they’re all sounding like overgrown babies with a Mommy complex so sometimes I lose track.

  • He’s talking about a generalized “debt to society” for the honor that supposedly they haven’t earned yet. At least, I think he is. I might be misunderstanding.

  • Nea

    Homeschooling is probably the heart of his rant. If public schooling is worthless in his mind, how dare students congratulate themselves on finishing it!

  • Nea

    I think he’s talking about actual debt, in an effort to terrify homeschooling parents into thinking that a public school education is too expensive to contemplate.

  • Nea

    Seem? You can google “teenaged inventor of…” and find a variety of 14, 15, and 16 year olds making significant engineering and medical discoveries. Male, female, multiple nationalities, but they have one thing in common:

    Public schooling

  • Nea

    Short answer: no

    Long answer: it is the height of rudeness to come onto a blog and demand to set its topic and tone

    Christian answer: how many Bible verses are there about telling the truth, helping the victims, and exposing evildoing?

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    I agree that he’s talking about a “debt to society.” And the thing is, he’s not entirely wrong, in the sense that we, as a society, do divert resources towards a public school system to educate those graduates. But why the hell should we shame kids over that? Taking care of kids and preparing them to be successful, happy and self-supporting in life is what a civilized society ought to do. As individual taxpayers supporting institutions to help kids grow to a healthy adulthood, we are doing nothing more than our moral duty. It’s just messed up to describe new graduates as being “in our debt” as a result. As a child or a minor, you are entitled to certain things from adult society. And then, yeah, hopefully you go and make something of the education you have received, and towards which you have put your own, frequently considerable, efforts, and give back. And part of what you give back will go to the next generation of children. That is how it works. Why Matt Walsh seems to think this is cause to piss and moan and deride kids for not yet being adults is beyond me. What a jerk!

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    The Bar Mitzvah is not “old,” it is still very much a part of Jewish life for many Jews. And it is no longer just for boys. In all but Orthodox communities, girls have Bat Mitzvahs. (And actually, the concept of a girl becoming Bat Mitzvah has always existed and exists within Orthodox communities as well. It just wasn’t traditionally celebrated like a boy becoming Bar Mitzvah because girls were traditionally not allowed to read Torah or lead prayer, which is central to the traditional Bar Mitzvah celebration.)

  • Tor

    Well, congratulations Walsh on your cynicism and disgust, here’s your blue ribbon: I Hate When Other People Have Fun and Celebrate When I Don’t Think They Deserve It

    Also, I think it’s telling that he believes all people graduated elementary school just barely made it by and only did the bare minimum requirements and then we celebrate them. Says a lot about how he views education and how well he probably did in school himself.

  • Taylor Joy Young

    How exactly did Matt Walsh “earn” the right to be heard? Oh, right–he’s an opinion BLOGGER!!! He’s done nothing to earn our respect other than pontificate over the internet. Last time I checked, anyone with a pulse can do that. Comparing oneself, even in a hyperbolic manner, to someone who died in a war ,simply because he had to sit through a ceremony that no one held a gun to his head to attend, is just as bad as the behavior he’s blasting!!

  • Independent Thinker

    At some homeschooling conventions the idea that public school attendance contributes to the growing national debt is circulated. The idea presented is the country is in deep debt and public school is a big reason why. If we all homeschooled our kids we save the taxpayers money. The problem is the dirty little secret of homeschooling is many quiverfull moms are using public assistance and just will not admit it.

  • Independent Thinker

    I am not sure of the actual academics is to credit or awareness of multiculturalism and consumer demand. I actually think the awareness factor trumps academics. Nevertheless, the two go hand and hand. Since I have been self employed most of my life I realized very quickly there are tons of people smarter than me. Generally, what they lacked was an understanding of the community. You can be super book smart but if you offend everyone that walks in the door your business will become a sinking ship pretty fast.

  • How many silencing techniques are being used here? I can count at least 3.

  • Nea

    I am not sure of the actual academics is to credit or awareness of multiculturalism and consumer demand

    I’m not 100% sure I understand this sentence, but I think it is that equally important with book learning is to understand the needs of society (consumer demand) and recognize cultures and needs other than your own?

    These are, IMO, uncredited side courses in public schooling; you’re there with the rest of the public.

  • Independent Thinker

    I was trying to state even if you are academically smart it is often worthless if you don’t have the skills to deal with society. That’s why I think public school kids may have more success in business. If the homeschooled child is academically equal to the public school child they may not be on the same level of cultural awareness. When you don’t understand multiculturalism it is easy to offend others and be off putting to your clients or customers. Thus, limiting your success if you gain any success at all. My patriarchal brother in law loves to post anti-gay marriage stuff on his public facebook page. He can not figure out why other insurance agents he works with are more successful. He lacks awareness of offending others and can not figure out how that plays into his ability to be successful at selling insurance.

  • Nea

    The idea presented is the country is in deep debt and public school is a big reason why.

    How does that math even work, or are the people hearing it just supposed to nod and believe just because they’ve been told something they want to hear?

    The problem is the dirty little secret of homeschooling is many quiverfull moms are using public assistance

    Of course. The only reason the Duggars aren’t is because Jim Bob sold the children to TV.

  • Independent Thinker

    The math doesn’t make sense but you are correct a lot of smiling and nodding is going on when that is being said.

  • B.E. Miller

    Seconding NeaDod’s answer, about exposing evildoing. I think Christians should speak up when they see other Christians doing evil things, and help the victims. Otherwise we all look as if we agree with Debi, and Doug(s) and all the others.