Quoting Quiverfull – Identifying Yourself as a Survivor is a Sin?

Quoting Quiverfull – Identifying Yourself as a Survivor is a Sin? June 7, 2017

quotingquiverfullby Doug Wilson of Blog and Mablog – What Only the Infinite Can Provide

Editor’s note: Doug starts off another piece in mind control over his poor little raped and abused supposedly fictional young woman with lots of ‘Come to Jesus’s’ thrown about in regards to knowing your own identity before moving onto the idea that thinking of yourself as a ‘survivor’ is somehow embracing victimhood and squeezing his easily squeezed out version of God. Insulting to anyone that’s ever lived through sexual assault. Sorry, Doug, you do not get to define how survivors of sexual abuse get to self-identify.

The one exception from this category would be the creation of a fundamental identity out of an experience. If it is just an experience, it shares the silliness of other idols in this category.

But what if it is a traumatic experience? I have in mind the creation of an identity as a victim, which is what you are. Now as a matter of historical fact, you were abused by your father. This means that you are in fact a victim. But there is great spiritual peril in embracing this as your foundational identity. “Who are you?” the question comes. I am urging you to watch out if the first answer that comes to mind is “I am a survivor.” Now of course, I am not in the least objecting to the surviving. Nor am I trying to throw shade on the reality of your victimization.

What I am saying is that these are identifications that will, if they are placed in a primary position, challenge and seek to overthrow your other more important loyalties. And when they are done with doing that, they will turn and devour you.

QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders, cultural enforcers and those that seek to keep women submitted to men 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.

moreRead more by Doug Wilson

Sexual Assault Victims Need to Buy a Gun


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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Nea

    “Your more important loyalties” — in other words, don’t say or think anything that might shift Dougie from being your prime advisor and the person who defines who *you* are. Dougie doesn’t like it when he’s not the prime voice in anyone’s life, and it is, of course, all about Dougie and not you.

  • Saraquill

    “Don’t do or call yourself anything that makes me look bad.”

  • pagankitty

    “Make sure your personal identity matches my preferences. I don’t like women-folk to get out of line”

  • SAO

    Oh, Doug, for the love of God, just shut up!

  • Tawreos

    Christians seem to think that normal people build their whole identities on one thing. Someone mentioning they are a survivor is not necessarily giving a summation of their entire being, but giving an aspect of it.

    I think they do this because they feel the need to have christian be their defining characteristic so everyone else must be able to sum themselves up in one word as well. Human beings are far to complex to be summed up by one word, it is sad that they do not realize this

  • The Apostle Paul referred to himself as the chief of sinners — but then, Paul was humbled by coming face to face with Jesus who knocked him off his high horse (literally). “Poor in spirit” definitely isn’t one of Douggie’s strong points, and I wonder if he would even recognize Jesus. Given the company that He kept and Doug’s previous writings, Doug would be just as likely to point at Jesus to judge him as one of God’s enemies for dining with tax collectors and prostitutes.

  • Snowflake

    When did he get his psychology degree and training?

  • Rachel

    Personally, I don’t care for the word survivor. I think both terms (victim and survivor) tend to get assigned to a person without her input. And yet, many women do like the term survivor. Basically, we should be able to narrate our own experiences without other people who don’t even understand trying to choose our words for us.

    Also, trauma can fundamentally change a person, but naming that trauma can be an important step towards healing.

  • Kevin K

    Methinks Doug has done some things that would earn him 10 to 20 in a just world.

  • Olivia

    This sounds like he had built an entire meaningless, spiritual word salad around why something those liberals like to say is, in fact, a sin.

  • Jezebel’sOlderSister

    OMG — No wonder women who are trapped in this mindset don’t see that they are trapped. When you are indoctrinated to accept a certain set of circumstances with the admonition that to question it is to question authority, you can’t help but to see yourself as an abomination. But, then again, it is difficult for many women to see that they are victims of abuse WHILE the abuse is going on. (I see “victim” as the appropriate term while the situation is going on, Surviovor is more appropriate when the abused manages to realize that they are in an abusive relationship and are trying to get out, or heal after getting out.)

  • lady_black

    Personally, I prefer the term “badass.” I am not going to allow a rape or a man to define me.

  • Rachel

    I like that, yeah. I wrote about it in grad school–victim and survivor tend to be very definitive terms, as if one person’s actions against your body defines who you are.

  • Melody

    I both like and dislike the survivor term. I like the power/strength it can represent: having come out of something (hopefully) stronger, but at the same time it seems to indicate that someone no longer is/was a victim – like it no longer acknowledges that – and I think that is dangerous and also simply untrue as well.

    Being a victim doesn’t make someone weak, nor being a survior neccesarily strong. I think the words got a meaning nowadays beyond their original meaning: someone can be both a victim of war and a survivor at the same time, for instance. Someone might have lost a limb but not their life, making that person both a survivor and a victim. Someone may have lost family members but not their own life, making that person both a survivor and a victim.

    Victim means that you got hurt somehow, survivor that you survived some sort of ordeal: both words do not say all that much about someone’s mental state or even their physical state. Both words can apply to many different situations as well.

    But with words such as victim-mentality – a word that I absolutely hate and loathe – it seems to me that the original meaning is all but lost.

    It’s like there is a timeframe that is put on grief and being a victim: you get to feel bad about something for an x amount of time and then you have to be/get over it and if you don’t call yourself a survivor by that time, you get accused of having a victim-mentality. It doesn’t matter if you were/are a victim: it’s just a word to insult people with and/or make them feel bad about not getting happy soon enough after something bad happened to them or someone near to them.

    People just can’t deal with the hurt of others around them – I find that really hard myself too – and that’s what causes such vile terms as victim-mentality. The surrounding people who’d rather close their eyes or look away when others are hurting.

    A bit of a rant, sorry about that, it’s a subject that I feel rather strongly about.

  • Rachel

    I feel strongly about it too. Saying “Don’t call her a victim, she’s a survivor!” rather implicitly suggests that being a victim is something you should be ashamed about, so get over it quickly so that you can be a “survivor.” I don’t feel ashamed to say I was the victim of a crime, and I don’t feel like a “survivor” yet. I’m still traumatized and deal with anxiety and depression, and I have a right to be so.

    “Survivor” just squicks me out though because it doesn’t necessarily equal living. I remember the quote from Wall-E: “I don’t want to survive! I want to LIVE!” Survivor to me just sounds like you’re sucked dry. You’re not experiencing “inconvenient” states of being like trauma, anxiety, or depression, but it doesn’t sound like you’re too happy either.

    I think my main thing is, don’t tell me or any other woman what we can or can’t call ourselves. I was a VICTIM of a crime, and I don’t feel like that makes me less of a person. I don’t think I’ll ever feel comfortable with “survivor,” but other women feel differently about the word, and that’s totally fine. But anytime anyone tries to tell me “You’re not a victim, you’re a SURVIVOR” it just feels like inspiration porn, and I’d like to tell them how I really feel about that.

  • gimpi1

    OK, now that made even less sense than Mr. Wilson usually does, and that’s a high bar to clear. Don’t “identify” yourself as either a victim or survivor, except when Mr. Wilson thinks you should? Other “identities” are more important – but I’m not saying what they are, or why you should value them? Not a word about claiming your own identity, your own power, your own survival.

    Oh, and by demanding that people conform their healing to your restrictions, you are doing more than “throwing shade,” Mr. Wilson. You’re limiting someone’s healing to patterns that work for you, not them. That’s not a good idea.

  • Melody

    I agree. When someone is doing things as a ‘survival strategy’ that has a similar connotation to the example you mention. There is a difference between surviving and living; which means that the word survivor is not necessarily all that positive or empowering to begin with.

    Using survival strategies suggests that you’re able to cope, just about, but only when you use them – which ties into to being a victim as well. I think the two words are much closer together in meaning than they appear to be.

  • AuntKaylea

    For me the term “survivor” was a necessary step towards living. I agree that there is nothing inherently moral about survival. If I had died at the hands of my rapist/abuser, it would not have meant that I was somehow of lesser character -but the word “survivor” helped me in therapy get to that place where I could say “survival is not enough for me – I am worth more”. In other words, it helped me process the guilt I felt for being a victim and recognize that I deserved to recover.

    But you are right – I would never presume to tell another person who experiences trauma how their experience and recovery should look like, or even what terms to use.

  • bekabot

    Enh, I dunno. Saul of Tarsus created an identity out of an experience — but I don’t expect the Fundies are going to pick a bone with him.

  • Larry Van Meter

    That should be “Come to Jesuses.”

    I’m not normally a grammar Nazi, but I prefer right-wing idiots making egregious grammar errors.

  • Larry Van Meter

    “Now of course, I am not in the least objecting to the surviving. Nor am I
    trying to throw shade on the reality of your victimization.”

    We call this rhetorical strategy “equivocation”: of COURSE he’s objecting to the surviving and to throwing shade on the reality of her victimization.

    What a ghoul.

  • Rachel

    That’s what I think about, as well–women who die at the hands of their attackers/abusers don’t get to be “survivors,” they are always relegated to “victim.”

    That’s a great point, using “survivor” as a bridge. We all heal differently and we should be able to use the words in ways that are meaningful to us personally. I am glad you have been able to take control of your own narrative to find healing.

  • Rachel

    One’s just a word that society as a whole is more comfortable with.

  • The other issue with Wilson is theological, though. He follows Covenant Theology and Theonomy, so all redemption does is give him a get out of jail free card, and Jesus is just a catalyst to get back to being a new type of Adam or Abraham or something. I don’t know how they get around being a new creation in Christ or what exactly that means to a Theonomist. I know that they don’t think that Hebrews 10 applies to the redeemed now but is for whenever God establishes His government (Old Testament civil law in its entirety) for the world government. So that stuff about writing the law of love on men’s hearts in that chapter is yet to come. The Believer has no real power over sin. Jesus is almost like a means to an end.

    You’re a higher level of being if you’re born into the “Covenant Community” and I’ve called this view “spiritual eugenics.” And I’m not sure, but he might ascribe to Jonathan Edwards’ concept of the governmental view of the Atonement which gives the church (and elders) but not believers access to guidance by the Holy Spirit.

    If that’s the case, in all seriousness, he may see sin as an entirely different thing than most Evangelicals do.

  • Can I like this comment twice?

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    I get confused on that one! Thanks for reminding me which was is right.

  • Allison the Great

    I don’t like the idea of a get out of jail free card that these patriarchs think they have. That makes them less moral, and it makes them more likely to behave unethically and not have empathy. I’m weary of those who say things like, “only GAWD can judge me ” because personally I don’t believe in any gods, so to me that looks like they’re just trying to duck out of ever being held accountable for what they do to people. And when it’s all about GAWD , they are more easily able to throw empathy out of the window. We see that in Doug, Lori Anderson, and religious extremists who hurt people in the name of whatever they worship. I don’t really know much about Theonomy (I associate that term with what I’ve read about Rushdoony), but it seems like it makes them able to define morality as they see fit. It seems as though not a week goes by without there being a news story about a pastor committing fraud or rape.

  • B.A.

    From the same place Josh Duggar got “cured” of his pedophilia.*
    *If anyone believes he is cured,I have some swampland in Fla. to sell them. Cheap!

  • B.A.

    I have a friend who says that people like him wouldn’t recognize Jesus if he jumped up and kissed them on the cheek!

  • Snowflake

    Shitville University.

  • AFo

    Not only do they feel the need to have their Christianity be their defining characteristic, they have to loudly proclaim it every chance they get. It goes back to what I constantly write on my students’ essays: show, don’t tell. If you’re such a good Christian, I’ll know by your actions, you don’t need to shout it to me every five minutes. Despite their constant “joyful” proclamations, their lives are really shallow, and “Christian” is the only thing they have to cling to.

  • lady_black

    Yes, and most never make the national news.
    In my state, the Lee Kaplan case went nationwide, I believe. Another story of spiritual abuse of females, all of them children.
    The girls were “gifted” to this self-described “prophet of god” by the girl’s parents in exchange for his financial help. He brainwashed these girls into believing they were his “wives” and raped them, starting with one child at age 7.
    Last evening, the jury came back and convicted him of all seventeen rape and sexual assault charges,

  • lady_black

    You can if you have two accounts.

  • Snowflake

    God, I hate the parents of that family.

  • I can’t keep up with that, and I get into enough trouble with one.

  • Bingo. You have a wise friend.

  • I watched my husband change from a loving soul (who had a quick tongue and had his moments of anger, usually at himself) and when he made a steady diet of Theonomy, I could not believe the cruel things that he started to say. He wasn’t much for the word salad stuff of Doug Wilson’s at all, but he read the Chacledon report pretty regularly for about five years. All of this focus on how God hates enemies eclipsed the Law of Love for him. And it took a long time and a lot of hard work before he could see it in himself.

    I gave him a couple of ultimatums to change or work towards change and look at the evidences (documentation, feedback about the changes in him from peers in his profession, etc.). But I felt like I lived with a man I barely knew for a long time. I think that he rolled a lot of his personal anger at our old cult over into the hatred of the non-elect that’s pushed in this philosophy. But I am glad to say that after several humbling experiences and thanks to his respect for me (and a couple of threats to leave) that he is a better man now than he was when I met him.

    But it was horrible.

    And what we saw from some of those ideas more than anything was wife beating which is what drove us from our church. And after he was in the hospital for several days after a car accident, we were told later by the Presbyterian church that because we were not members under their official authority (though we tithed there), he was not worthy of a visit. — and this was in the Orthodox Presby Church. So that really drove home the message for my husband of just how miserable the logical conclusions are to many of the beliefs.

    Theonomists take Covenant Theology a step further (like Kevin Swanson), so there are distinctions to be made there — as the Presbys who follow Theonomy as well are fewer in number. But just figuring all of that out is very difficult and takes time, and by the time you realize that you’re that invested, it makes it easier to just cave into Theonomy than leave to find another church. And you’re supposed to get a letter of dismissal saying that you’re in good standing with your church if you’re Presbyterian. In retrospect, I think the sendoff that I got from the Presbys is a badge of honor, as I was told that we were not recipients of the benefits of the church because we’d never joined.

    And not all Presbys are like that. This was the OPC — and Kevin Swanson pastors one, so other denominations will be different.

  • Allison the Great

    See all this crap that these churches pull seems petty to me. And anything Clacledon or anything associated with Rushdoony makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Those people are terrifying and insane. I hope you are better off where you are now. Did you ever find a better church?

  • Quinsha

    When this person has walked through the hell that I have walked through and survived, then he might have the right to form an opinion about my experiences. Not until then.

    *Not a sexual abuse survivor, but an abuse survivor none-the-less.

  • Quinsha

    To me “survivor” means that I lived through it and was alive at the end of it. Anything beyond that is up to me, not some quiverfull nut.