Hallelujah! Praise Jesus! This is the last part of the last real chapter of this horror movie of a book shades of sexual creep thrown in. Praise the Lord!
This is a little longer than usual but I’m pushing through to the end of the last real chapter!
We left off last time in our examination of Vaughn Ohlman’s book on betrothal, extorting money from other Good Patriarchs ™ and imagining young teens getting busy for the Lord at the park yet again. Big creep who loves to tell others what to do known as Sakal Davidson was setting the poor pastor of one of the other churches straight on all things courtship-related and with squishy morals. Poor, poor Pastor George Wakefield of the local Baptist church has been having his mind blown by Sakal’s claims. That is where we left off.
We’re picking up in the second half of the chapter, with a giggling Maydyn Terrefille arriving hand-in-hand with feckless Andrew Adamson to the Picnic Table of Confession. They wander up and want to know what the two grown ups are talking about. Andrew quips he knows that George is being challenged by the thinking of Sakal.
GW: I wouldn’t put it quite like that. We were having some differences. But, you will have to excuse me, I know you, Andrew, from that year you came to our youth camp, but I don’t think this young lady and I have met before.
AA: Grinning hugely. – Ah, well, this is my wife Maydyn, my betrothed wife.
Good old fundy-town gossip! I owe you readers an apology. At the beginning of this chapter I stated that George here was the pastor of Maydyn and Andrew’s church, but he’s not apparently. I just went back and reread the chapters involving the youth pastor of the church, Charles Williamson. Charles and George are pastors at different churches, but at the very beginning of this chapter when George showed up he announced to Sakal that he’d been hearing a great deal of the betrothal and courtship theology that Sakal was spreading around like fertilizer. My question is, if George is not the pastor of any of the churches attended by anyone in this freaking travesty of a book how on earth did he catch wind of these awful ideas? Is that town a hot bed of church gossip? Poor writing on the part of Von.
GW: Shocked. – Your wife?! I had no idea! I must have missed the wedding announcement.
Ah, yet again the fundy-town gossip express! Here’s a thought, people with real lives, diverting activities and non-petty lives outside of fundy-town do not usually mind each others business with such close focus. They have real things to be concerned with instead of what sins someone else might be committing. This is one aspect of a high demand religious group I do not miss.
AA: Oh, we haven’t had our wedding yet, just our betrothal.
GW: Looking back and forth from Sakal to Andrew – Then why do you call her your wife?
AA: Squeezing her hand – Because she is. Just like Mary was Joseph’s wife, and the church is the wife of Christ.
No, no, no… Mary and Joseph were engaged and not married until later. They sure weren’t running around giggling and holding hands. At first Joseph had been planning on dumping Mary once it was obvious she was enceinte and he had been nowhere near enough to have caused it. And the church is the Bride of Christ in the more poetic parts of the Bible, not a wife. Von is playing fast and loose with his Bible interpretations today.
George explains that going around calling Maydyn Andrew’s ‘wife’ isn’t factual and would just confuse the hell out of everyone. Good point, George old boy! Andrew counters that being engaged is just ‘too confusing’ for everyone. What’s the confusion? Someone asks someone else to marry them. If the other party says yes there is usually an engagement ring handed out, a date is picked, cake baked, dress sewn, a church or place is booked for the ceremony and things grind on to their logical conclusion. Von likes to pretend that in the real world that most engagements are broken off quickly for stupid reasons. Too bad Von knows nothing about how society and people function outside of his flavor of fundy-town.
AA: Well, with a fiancee, you are always wondering, “Will she back out of our engagement?” But with Maydyn, she’s my wife!
GW: No, not really. You haven’t been married, you know.
You tell ’em again George! They aren’t married. Try filing married on your taxes or signing up for a mortgage as a married couple when you are merely some fundy version of betrothal and see how well the marriage is honored by government and the banking establishment. No matter how Von tries to wrap this up in gift wrap and bows it’s not a legally binding marriage. Try suing each other in court over that ‘betrothal’ contract and see how little it matters to the state.
Also, what makes everyone in Von’s group think that breaking an engagement is such an easy thing? There’s no refunds on engagement rings, custom ordered wedding gowns or cakes. Plus returning all those wedding gifts alone is a pretty big deterrent to those getting chilly feet. Most people are certain that they aren’t going to back out at the last second. Seems to me that the flimsy piece of paper they sign in betrothal is much more likely to be torn up and the relationship ended than traditional engagement.
Andrew tells George there’s been no sex yet and they aren’t living together yet and George replies:
GW: Oh, you mean…you mean you actually have your marriage license, and a pastor has performed a ceremony? Why then do you say you haven’t married her yet?
AA: No, we haven’t done any of that, we aren’t going to do any of that. But even without that we are in covenant. Her father gave her to me – He looks lovingly at Maydyn, who grins at him and squeezes his hand.
Oh puke! There is way too much public displays of affection going on in this chapter that are more appropriate at a middle school sweethearts dance or at the skating rink than in the middle of a serious conversation with a man of the cloth. This is all still blowing Pastor George’s mind and I think he’s making common sense rational points, but this is Von’s world, fundy crazytown where up is down and black is white.
GW: But, but you have to do those things! You can’t just sleep with her!
AA: I can now, she’s my wife.
Not in the eyes of the government or law, silly boy. Plus if she’s as young as Von keeps promoting that a girl should marry at it might be statutory rape in some jurisdictions. Andrew goes on to explain that Maydyn wants a celebration and honeymoon, like a woman – nice put down on the girly-girl emotionalism that all these Good Christian Patriarchs ™ mistakenly believe about ALL women. This is the same stupid beliefs and rhetoric they are trying to use to disqualify Hillary Clinton and Jill Stein from the office of President. These guys are very threatened by educated, strong or smart women.
Pastor George goes on to ask about a wedding ceremony and license and all that stuff, you know, most people do.
AA: I told you. Maydyn’s father already ‘performed’ it. He took her hand, placed it in mine, and said “Take here, and let her be your wife.” Happiest moment of my life!
GW: That’s just crazy! Nobody is doing that nowadays!
I’m with George. That is crazy!
Skipping over most of the last page of this last chapter. It’s some quibbling over the fathers ‘gifting’ their children with spouses of the fathers chosing and George rightly pointing out that not having a choice is a forced marriage. Andrew mumbles some crap about allowing his heart to be a pre-licked candy bar by thinking ‘that way’ about Maydyn.Ugh! This has been a long disgusting journey but the finish line is within sight. Skipping Chapter 19 as it’s some silly two pager poetic allegory on gardens and pomegranates and castles. Horrible, horrible flowery romantic writing! I must go wash my mouth out with tequila after reading it. Next week the aftermath of the honeymoon and Von’s final thoughts on this ridiculous bullshit!
What did we learn? Not a damn thing except how protected from the world and clueless Mr. Vaughn Ohlman is. That he has a dirty mind and likes to imagine kids barely out of puberty on their wedding nights. That he wishes to keep everyone like veal in a box without options, protections or legal statuses. Charming.
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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