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Quiverfull Movement

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  • Quiverfull Movement

    Please read this highly disturbing article and discuss:

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/09/656002/

    After reading it myself, I don't quite know what to say. Are movements like this genuinely the result of attempting to emulate biblical templates and models, in this case the "biblical family"?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Scrawly View Post
    Please read this highly disturbing article and discuss:

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/09/656002/

    After reading it myself, I don't quite know what to say. Are movements like this genuinely the result of attempting to emulate biblical templates and models, in this case the "biblical family"?
    I fail to see how it's disturbing.

    I went there for help in filing a restraining order against my husband, whose emotional and mental abuse against me and my children had escalated to the point that I was in the midst of a complete mental and physical breakdown...

    I told her that I didn’t really think my husband was “technically” abusive, and in fact, I had no doubt that he truly loved me and the kids. He always put us first … he basically centered his entire life around us!...

    It is my contention that Quiverfull IS regular Christianity writ large … lived out to its logical conclusion...

    No,” I told Deb, “he never threatened me.” I *willinging* went along with all the harsh demands of the Quiverfull lifestyle, and in many instances, I was the one who pushed patriarchy and headship ON HIM.
    The author does not detail why her husband took the children and prevented contact, or how he carried out 'emotional and mental abuse' on her. Other than that, she provides no valid reason for divorce.

    Comment


    • #3
      The Bible verses quoted in that article are either taken out of context or very, very badly translated. I think what has actually happened in this family (and similar families) is that the husband is using his own version of Christianity as an excuse to be extremely controlling. He is manipulative, not loving. A red flag in an abusive relationship is when the abuser claims that they abuse out of love.
      I have known families like this before, where the father manipulates and controls the whole family and it's sad. I knew a girl whose father wouldn't allow her to cut her hair, and it was so thick and heavy that it gave her headaches and was difficult to wash.
      I've known families that bred like rabbits, and were proud of it, regardless of the fact that they couldn't realistically financially support a family that large. People like this rely on other people giving to them and then claim that it is God taking care of them. That might be, but people need to be better stewards of their finances and decide not to have children if it means the children they have already will not be as well taken care of. They shouldn't rely on other people giving to them to take care of their families. I'm not saying that ALL families with a lot of kids are not able to support them, but it does happen a lot. I've not known many large families that were very well off financially. Psalm 127 doesn't say "Blessed is the man whose house is full of starving children".

      Husband and wife are to make decisions together, and if the husband doesn't like the solution the wife comes up with he can't just shut her down by claiming that Satan is using her to deceive him. That is wrong. He needs to come up with a better reason than that for not accepting her ideas. He probably just didn't like the fact that she came up with something reasonable and he didn't think of it first!

      I will say in defence of homeschooling, that MOST homeschooling families are not like this. They have some of the mindset, but it is not taken to the extremes that this family took it. They often have more children than the average, but among the homeschoolers that my family has associated with the average was around 4 kids, maybe 5 in a larger family. My family was odd in that there were 6 kids. The other homeschoolers thought we were a huge family!
      Curiosity never hurt anyone. It was stupidity that killed the cat.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Paprika View Post
        I fail to see how it's disturbing.
        Well for starters:

        a) "Sure there were times when submitting to my husband’s decisions was a hassle, and yes, the pregnancies nearly killed me every time"

        b) "..using any form of birth control was tantamount to playing God, so I was kept perpetually pregnant or nursing, or both for more than 11 years"

        c) "So this was about political domination. The whole point of having a quiver full of babies is to … out-populate the “enemy,” … that would be all of you; and to shoot those many arrows “straight into the heart of the enemy.” And by that, we meant that our children would grow up to be leaders in all the major institutions of our society. This was our plan for taking back America for God. So the children were like arrows (which is the ammunition) in God’s holy war. So, yeah … “using children” … definitely put a great big checkmark by that one."

        d) "When the very definition of perfect love is sacrificing your children and martyring yourself, there is no place for emotionally healthy concepts like boundaries, consent, equality, and mutuality."

        e) "Some Quiverfull kids are making the break, too. Growing up in a Quiverfull home means being raised by a narcissistic father and having a mother with a huge martyr complex. The kids are treated as property to be hoarded. They are isolated, coerced and manipulated, abused and deprived socially and educationally. As surrogate moms, the older daughters bear the brunt of the work: cleaning, cooking … even homeschooling and disciplining their younger siblings when the Quiverfull mothers become too worn down and burned out from perpetual pregnancy and trying to keep up with this unsustainable lifestyle

        ...When they finally encounter the “real world,” these kids are pissed"

        The author does not detail why her husband took the children and prevented contact, or how he carried out 'emotional and mental abuse' on her. Other than that, she provides no valid reason for divorce.
        For some valid reasons, see above. The whole "relationship" was thoroughly repulsive and she almost lost her mind in the process.
        Last edited by Scrawly; 09-27-2014, 08:44 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by QuantaFille View Post
          The Bible verses quoted in that article are either taken out of context or very, very badly translated. I think what has actually happened in this family (and similar families) is that the husband is using his own version of Christianity as an excuse to be extremely controlling. He is manipulative, not loving. A red flag in an abusive relationship is when the abuser claims that they abuse out of love.
          I have known families like this before, where the father manipulates and controls the whole family and it's sad. I knew a girl whose father wouldn't allow her to cut her hair, and it was so thick and heavy that it gave her headaches and was difficult to wash.
          I've known families that bred like rabbits, and were proud of it, regardless of the fact that they couldn't realistically financially support a family that large. People like this rely on other people giving to them and then claim that it is God taking care of them. That might be, but people need to be better stewards of their finances and decide not to have children if it means the children they have already will not be as well taken care of. They shouldn't rely on other people giving to them to take care of their families. I'm not saying that ALL families with a lot of kids are not able to support them, but it does happen a lot. I've not known many large families that were very well off financially. Psalm 127 doesn't say "Blessed is the man whose house is full of starving children".

          Husband and wife are to make decisions together, and if the husband doesn't like the solution the wife comes up with he can't just shut her down by claiming that Satan is using her to deceive him. That is wrong. He needs to come up with a better reason than that for not accepting her ideas. He probably just didn't like the fact that she came up with something reasonable and he didn't think of it first!

          I will say in defence of homeschooling, that MOST homeschooling families are not like this. They have some of the mindset, but it is not taken to the extremes that this family took it. They often have more children than the average, but among the homeschoolers that my family has associated with the average was around 4 kids, maybe 5 in a larger family. My family was odd in that there were 6 kids. The other homeschoolers thought we were a huge family!
          My fear is that the father was not consciously manipulative, but was genuinely trying to follow the biblical pattern for families.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Scrawly View Post
            For some valid reasons, see above. The whole "relationship" was thoroughly repulsive and she almost lost her mind in the process.
            So she claims. I am not inclined to dismiss her claims out of hand, but neither am I inclined to swallow them whole, given the contradictory nature of her story. Note to that the speech was given in an address to American Atheists. Again, this isn't sufficient to dismiss any of the claims, but neither am I inclined to accept them without corroboration. As to the specific claims:

            As a general statement, I hardly see how these claims fall under intentional abuse by the husband, given that she herself claims that the husband did it all in good faith, and that "I *willinging* went along with all the harsh demands of the Quiverfull lifestyle, and in many instances, I was the one who pushed patriarchy and headship ON HIM. "

            I took a) as exaggeration, though if true it would be grave cause for concern. I'm not sure what's wrong with b) if undertaken voluntarily and uncoerced. As for c), are you claiming that aiming to bring up your children to be salt and light to counter much of the darkness of the world is wrong? I don't take d) seriously because she doesn't even present any example where 'children are sacrificed', and I don't think the conclusion that no boundaries etc follows. As for e), I'm not sure whether she's referring to her own family or not.

            So where are we? There is no intentional abuse; according to her the husband did what he did in good faith, and she in good faith went along and even pushed him to do some things he wasn't comfortable with doing. It may be that the system the family was operating under was harmful for them, due to both parents buying into terrible theology, but again, that is no valid reason for divorce.

            I'll end off by quoting the author:
            I told her that I didn’t really think my husband was “technically” abusive, and in fact, I had no doubt that he truly loved me and the kids. He always put us first … he basically centered his entire life around us! We were a good Christian family...We believed, as the Bible teaches, that it is the man who is ultimately responsible for the spiritual well-being of his wife and children, and who must one day stand before his Maker and give an account. My husband understood this, and he took it very seriously … which is why he tried SO hard to be a loving, godly patriarch.
            But for me, the primary break up was with Jesus. You see, being in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is a set up for dysfunctional game-playing and crazy-making head trips. According to Christianity, Jesus subjected himself to torture and death, so that we could have the “free gift” of eternal life … and by “free,” he means, it’s only going to cost you everything you have and everything you are.
            Last edited by Paprika; 09-27-2014, 09:26 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Scrawly View Post
              My fear is that the father was not consciously manipulative, but was genuinely trying to follow the biblical pattern for families.
              I'm sure it varies from person to person, but there is still no excuse for it. Someone should have realised what was going on and talked to him about it. It is likely that he would have respected his pastor and listened to him and tried to change, but it is just as likely that he would have dismissed it and claimed that the pastor was wrong, and who knows, that might have been why they decided their church was "too liberal" and left it. It is the job of the church to make sure that people have an accurate understanding of what Christianity entails so that this sort of thing doesn't happen to well-meaning people. The ones who are just using it as an excuse for being controlling and manipulative will find a way anyway, unfortunately. But the rest of us need to make sure that we can prevent it if at all possible.
              Curiosity never hurt anyone. It was stupidity that killed the cat.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Paprika View Post
                So she claims. I am not inclined to dismiss her claims out of hand, but neither am I inclined to swallow them whole, given the contradictory nature of her story. As to the specific claims:

                As a general statement, I hardly see how these claims fall under intentional abuse by the husband, given that she herself claims that the husband did it all in good faith, and that "I *willinging* went along with all the harsh demands of the Quiverfull lifestyle, and in many instances, I was the one who pushed patriarchy and headship ON HIM. "

                I took a) as exaggeration, though if true it would be grave cause for concern. I'm not sure what's wrong with b) if undertaken voluntarily and uncoerced. As for c), are you claiming that aiming to bring up your children to be salt and light to counter much of the darkness of the world is wrong? I don't take d) seriously because she doesn't even present any example where 'children are sacrificed', and I don't think the conclusion that no boundaries etc follows. As for e), I'm not sure whether she's referring to her own family or not.

                I'll end off by quoting the author:
                Yes, seemingly this experience of literally following the biblical template for families is what caused her to apostatize.

                As for your question: Well, if children are brought into the world for the sole purpose of using them like arrows to shoot at the "heart of the enemy" and therefore render them isolated, coerced, manipulated, abused and deprived socially and educationally as a result, then yes I think that is wrong.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Scrawly View Post
                  Yes, seemingly this experience of literally following the biblical template for families is what caused her to apostatize.

                  As for your question: Well, if children are brought into the world for the sole purpose of using them like arrows to shoot at the "heart of the enemy" and therefore render them isolated, coerced, manipulated, abused and deprived socially and educationally as a result, then yes I think that is wrong.
                  Here's a suggestion. Take a deep breath, don't react to the article emotionally and try to analyze it as objectively as possible.

                  Now, I take it that you're no longer contesting my claim that the author has not, in the article, presented any valid reason for her to divorce.

                  Well, if children are brought into the world for the sole purpose of using them like arrows to shoot at the "heart of the enemy" and therefore render them isolated, coerced, manipulated, abused and deprived socially and educationally as a result, then yes I think that is wrong.
                  I agree. But I'm not sure that this is an accurate description in this case.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by QuantaFille View Post
                    I'm sure it varies from person to person, but there is still no excuse for it. Someone should have realised what was going on and talked to him about it. It is likely that he would have respected his pastor and listened to him and tried to change, but it is just as likely that he would have dismissed it and claimed that the pastor was wrong, and who knows, that might have been why they decided their church was "too liberal" and left it. It is the job of the church to make sure that people have an accurate understanding of what Christianity entails so that this sort of thing doesn't happen to well-meaning people. The ones who are just using it as an excuse for being controlling and manipulative will find a way anyway, unfortunately. But the rest of us need to make sure that we can prevent it if at all possible.
                    Agreed. What happened here is utter lunacy. The disturbing thing is that the skeptics can (and do) claim that he/they were just being faithful bible-believing Christian's; and if one adheres to what portions of the Bible plainly, literally teach, well in all honesty, I don't think their interpretations could be dismissed as wildly inaccurate. That's the scary thing, IMO.
                    Last edited by Scrawly; 09-27-2014, 09:53 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Paprika View Post
                      Here's a suggestion. Take a deep breath, don't react to the article emotionally and try to analyze it as objectively as possible.
                      Why assume I am hyperventilating in an emotional furry? I am analyzing it in an objective manner. She stated she almost lost her mind and died multiple times. She then woke up to the reality that even though the Bible literally advocates such a lifestyle (based upon her literalistic interpretation), she was going to croak if she continued living this way. She then turned her fury toward God and His word for driving her to the point of insanity.

                      Now, I take it that you're no longer contesting my claim that the author has not, in the article, presented any valid reason for her to divorce.
                      Incorrect.


                      I agree. But I'm not sure that this is an accurate description in this case.
                      Why suspect that she is lying?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Scrawly View Post
                        Why assume I am hyperventilating in an emotional furry?
                        It is the most likely possibility.

                        I am analyzing it in an objective manner. She stated she almost lost her mind and died multiple times.
                        So she claims.

                        She then woke up to the reality that even though the Bible literally advocates such a lifestyle (based upon her literalistic interpretation), she was going to croak if she continued living this way. She then turned her fury toward God and His word for driving her to the point of insanity.

                        Incorrect.
                        So do explain: what is the valid reason for divorce? As she herself says, "the primary break up was with Jesus. You see, being in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is a set up for dysfunctional game-playing and crazy-making head trips. "

                        Why suspect that she is lying?
                        Why suspect that she is telling the truth, given her contradictory statements, and her obvious bias?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Paprika View Post
                          It is the most likely possibility.
                          Well, you are incorrect my friend.


                          So she claims.
                          I think given the circumstances, her claim is a reasonable one to believe.


                          So do explain: what is the valid reason for divorce?
                          Her being on the brink of a mental breakdown due to her literal interpretation of the Biblical mandate for families.

                          As she herself says, "the primary break up was with Jesus. You see, being in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is a set up for dysfunctional game-playing and crazy-making head trips.
                          Yes, this is the point that she reached after much frustration and near death experiences in perpetual child birth.


                          Why suspect that she is telling the truth, given her contradictory statements, and her obvious bias?
                          I see no reason to disbelieve what she says based upon what she went through.
                          Last edited by Scrawly; 09-27-2014, 10:17 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Scrawly View Post
                            Well, you are incorrect my friend.
                            It may be.

                            I think given the circumstances, her claim is a reasonable one to believe.
                            What circumstances? Her other claims? Is this going to be a circular chain?

                            Her being on the brink of a mental breakdown due to her literal interpretation of the Biblical mandate for families.
                            Let's assume she was on the brink of a mental breakdown for the sake of argument for this point: it still doesn't justify divorce, though separation for a time is clearly indicated: as she herself has made clear, there was no intentional wrong-doing by the husband; in fact she encouraged him on some points.

                            I see no reason to disbelieve what she says based upon what she went through.
                            That much is clear.
                            Last edited by Paprika; 09-27-2014, 10:14 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Paprika View Post
                              It may be.
                              I am quite sure I am telling the truth about my own emotions. Or is this another claim that you disbelieve? lol

                              What circumstances? Her other claims? Is this going to be a circular chain?
                              The circumstances of being in perpetual childbirth. You do believe she actually gave birth multiple times and almost died in the process, or not?

                              Let's assume she was on the brink of a mental breakdown for the sake of argument for this point: it still doesn't justify divorce, though separation for a time is clearly indicated: as she herself has made clear, there was no intentional wrong-doing by the husband; in fact she encouraged him on some points.
                              Yes, she was attempting to be faithful to her interpretation of the biblical mandate for families. She then realized she was en route to insanity and thusly cut all ties from what she now sees as an ultra-fundamentalist cult.

                              That much is clear.
                              I hope so.

                              Comment

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