Divorce and Quiverfull – The Palins

Divorce and Quiverfull – The Palins September 10, 2019

Screencap from YouTube

ETA: Leah Burton has written a book about the Palins and hard complimentariansiam.  If they aren’t hard QF then they are right on the edge. Evangelicals with QF leanings.

Late yesterday afternoon I was out and about, preparing to do my daily beach walk when my cell phone started to blow up with news notifications and Facebook friends. The news came out that Todd Palin, husband of failed vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, had filed for divorce.

If the Duggar family is the First Family of Quiverfull, then the Palins are like the Sunday go to meeting, Monday get drunk and act a fool hillbilly cousins from the backwoods of Quiverfull. Sarah and Todd attended a church very similar to my old one. We had families like them attending. Because one of the interesting things about Quiverfull and church in general is that there is a wide range of types, from the ultra pious all the way to the just giving it lip service ones.

I mean no disrespect to anyone coming out of the rural hills. I’m speaking of the perceived archetype in our culture of toothless drunken hillbillies I’m not sure even genuinely exists any longer.

The Palins were interesting just because they did not fit the old white man entitlement mold that seems to be the modern Republican party. The Palins  had a pile of children, they were church goers. Todd worked blue collar jobs. Sarah was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska before becoming governor and gaining the attention of the national Republican party. The party was grappling around for some way to beat Barack Obama and settled on adding an Evangelical woman ticket.

That woman, Sarah Palin, then proceeded to flout rules, make gaffes and just be a complete disaster for John McCain’s presidential bid. Even if the Evangelical and Quiverfull voters embraced Palin like the Second Coming of Christ. It didn’t translate into more votes for McCain, even if it did set the stage for the election of Donald Trump and the extreme dumbing down of our country.

She’s never really gone away since then. There have been different reality show appearances by the family, including having their own show on TLC, a network that loves to show outlier lifestyles. Every few months Sarah and Todd would pop up in the media. Different things, drunken brawls involving the entire family, stupid statements, inane news bites and the divorce rumors.

This has been rumored about for years. In fact Bristol Palin used to use her Patheos blog every now and then to shoot down rumors of divorce between her parents and well as attempt to explain away things like her second out of wedlock pregnancy while promoting abstinence, and the assorted legal troubles/drunken brawls involving the family. That’s when she was not promoting her book. To this day I’m not sure what Patheos was thinking giving this childish woman her own platform to spew ridiculous notions.

Bristol hasn’t updated her Patheos blog in over a year now, since she joined the cast of MTV’s “Teen Mom” reality show.  It will be interesting to see if she suddenly pops up to spin this news. Bristol did pop up on social media to share a sermon about hope just before the news broke.

Not only are her parents divorcing but Bristol herself is divorced. What’s significant about that is the fact that Evangelical Quiverfull brags all the time about the strong nature of their marriages, and demonizing anyone wanting a divorce. At the same time more Evangelicals are divorced in America than any other people group.

Divorce is a pretty awful thing to have to live through, but sometimes necessary. Relationships break down beyond repair. Curious to see how our fleet of QF cultural enforcers will approach this. More as it develops.

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NLQ Recommended Reading …

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce

I Fired God by Jocelyn Zichtermann

13:24 A Dark Thriller by M Dolon Hickmon

About Suzanne Titkemeyer
Suzanne Titkemeyer went from a childhood in Louisiana to a life lived in the shadow of Washington D.C. For many years she worked in the field of social work, from national licensure to working hands on in a children's residential treatment center. Suzanne has been involved with helping the plights of women and children' in religious bondage. She is a ordained Stephen's Minister with many years of counseling experience. Now she's retired to be a full time beach bum in Tamarindo, Costa Rica with the monkeys and iguanas. She is also a thalassophile. She also left behind years in a Quiverfull church and loves to chronicle the worst abuses of that particular theology. She has been happily married to her best friend for the last 33 years. You can read more about the author here.
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