We’re circling the drain now, racing down the pages of this book by Vaughn Ohlman on getting your young teens paired off in possibly sex trafficked common law marriages to the kids of other patriarchs – ‘What are you Doing?’
I know what I’d like to be doing and it’s not reading this or writing about it.
First up, notice that Von has now deleted his Facebook account, removed a great deal of his writings online and has gutted most of his ‘Let Them Marry’ website. So there is that. When you expose cockroaches to the light they run and hide. Whatever money changing hands marriage conferences he holds now will take place with the secrecy and scrutiny of a dangerous 1930s bootlegger hiding from the revenuers.
Last chapter was big buttinski Sakal Davidson and wimpy weak patriarch and father of Andrew, one Abe Adamson, yakking it up in the pervert park on the subject of keeping Andrew from self-molesting and thinking dirty dirty thoughts by marrying him off immediately. Abe does not have the cojones to go Maydyn’s father to ask for her hand in marriage for his son, so he deputizes the mayor of Perv Park – Sakal – to do the asking for him.
Man, men in this subcultural talk a lot about being masculine, strong, leaders and slink around like they are afraid of EVERYTHING and EVERYONE. Does not speak well of their stated spiritual beliefs.
So today here we are, Sakal and Pater meeting at a local restaurant to broker or barter a deal with discussion of money changing hands for poor Maydyn to keep her from the same fate as her old maid cousin Beth Terrefille. The name of the chapter is ‘A Confrontation’ The writer seems to think that these mild tepid patriarch meetings are ‘confrontations’. Ha, I’ve seen angrier exchanges at the gas pump or grocery store than anything in this book. More signs of weak wimpy limp men in the CPM.
Sakal’s actions here remind me of this scene from ‘Fiddler on the Roof’, but keep in mind the movie is set back right before the Russian Revolution in the 1910s in a Jewish community. How does that type of match-making apply to our time a hundred years later?
Are we to assume these are the doors to the restaurant or the doors of altered perceptions? I’m confused.
SD: Well, I certainly hope you will be interested. I am speaking about the marriage of Maydyn and Andrew.
Sakal wastes no time getting right to the point as to why he’s lurking around an eating establishment instead of his park. This is the seventh line of the chapter after the niceties of ”How you doing..”
PT: Not dating, not courtship, just… marriage?
SD: Sort of. The actual stage would be called ‘betrothal’; where they are bound in covenant together, but have not yet ‘come together’.
In other words this is IDENTICAL in every way to dating and courting except there is a firmer expectation of marriage than in the other two states. All of this is just the same old thing no matter how the author keeps framing it. Extra ‘Eww’ points for the ‘come together’ euphemism for sex.
SD: Well, Abe came to me the other day and we discussed it. He is of the opinion that Andrew needs a wife.
PT: Like ‘needs’ as in..
SD: As in he is a healthy young man.
So this is all really about Andrew’s penis and it’s needs? Von loves to use an italicized ‘healthy’ when ‘horny’ would be more apt.
PT: Is he going to be able to afford an apartment, or insurance, and all of that?
SD: He won’t need to. His parents have agreed there is really no reason he should have to move out of their house, even once he brings his wife home.
Pat is asking the right questions, you need to know if the person your child is marrying is ready, but Sakal’s answer is just plain old bad. Starting your marriage under the jurisdiction and roof of your parents can add some stress and problems to what is supposed to be one of the happiest times of your life. Plus, who wants to worry about their parents overhearing any noise of their intimacy?
Lots of blathering about having the money for apartments and insurance or leaving your parents home follows this. Sakal claims if it’s not listed as important in the Bible, then as now in the 2000s, it’s not important.
SD: …..which used to be the norm for our cultures as well. The ‘old country’, England is full of houses that are so big as to be practically useless, because everyone goes off to live by themselves.
First, isn’t Sakal supposed to be from somewhere in the Middle East, not England? Vaughn makes that point again and again in the book yet here’s Sakal talking about the old country being England? I don’t have all the statistics of houses in the Middle East, but I seriously doubt that they mostly have the dimensions of the grand old English country homes occupied by the aristocracy from hundreds of years ago.
Secondly, we’re speaking of a US subculture that is rife with poverty. Most of the outlier Quiverfull families that practice this extreme form of right wing Christianity usually have little to nothing to spare and don’t live in spacious modern McMansions with room to accommodate another family, much less anything even remotely close to a grand English country home. Most of the time these poor kids can only hope for a converted garage or basement to start their marriage.
Now we get to the nasty wrong part that makes me sick…
PT: So, does this mean I will get a bride price too?
SD: Yes, Abe is proposing ten thousand dollars.
PT: What? I was kidding! I don’t want to sell my daughter!
Maybe Pater isn’t so bad after all. He’s questioned Andrew’s earning ability and now he’s outraged at the thought of selling his daughter into common law marriage.
SD: No one wants you to. But the bride price plays a significant function; it shows her value. And the point isn’t that you get the money but that you keep it for your daughter, if Andrew should ever abandon her.
10K is all she’s worth? Seems cheap. Plus if Pater has to use the money to support Maydyn and any possible children if Andrew decides he needs a younger model or like men or runs off to be a Buddhist monk it’s not going to go very far, not even at 2011 prices! Let’s see, she’ll need a car, a big enough place to live, money to feed and cloth the kids and herself along with medical expenses and a million other things. Even setting up a household with that amount might be a stretch if you have to start from scrath with children.
Wasn’t the entire point of this shitty book that it was guaranteed to make permanent no-divorce ever forever marriages? Von just destroyed his own assertion in that little bit.
Skipping over some repetitive talk about Andrew having to fulfill some ‘quest’ or task before consummating the marriage and we end up here.
SD: On the other end, sometimes there was a payment that needed to be made, and until it was paid they were betrothed, but couldn’t come together.
SD: We are surrounded by rampant fornication.
Sakal must be hypnotizing folks or casting evil spells, something unnatural is going on because after some more babbling about the definitions of betrothal and discussion on how Andrew wants Maydyn Pat gives his permission for them to marry. I’ve known people that take longer to peruse a restaurant menu than it took for Pater to come to this decision. This is bad. Marry in haste, repent in leisure.And we’re out and done. Next chapter is ‘You Can’t do that!’ (crazy capitalization purely Vaughn) and it’s Sakal lurking in his usual place when Maydyn and Andrew’s head pastor comes rushing up and just loses his shit over Sakal’s ideas. It’s the closest thing to actual disagreement and non mindless parroting of bad ideas yet! It’s the last real true chapter of the book and is longer than usual so I might have to cut into two pieces to unpack the crazy. Stay tuned for some stomach turning gushing and pda between the newly married Andrew and Maydyn even if they’ve not consummated the marriage yet.
Join me on Facebook Live Video on Sunday night at 7 pm est. I’ll be doing a live reading from this book on No Longer Quivering’s Facebook page. See you then!
Suzanne Titkemeyer is the admin at No Longer Quivering. She’s been out of the Quiverfull Evangelical world for nine years now and lives in the beautiful Piedmont section of Virginia with her retired husband and assorted creatures. She blogs at Every Breaking Wave and True Love Doesn’t Rape
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