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Posts tagged ‘Quiverfull’

Polygamists charged

Polygamy charges have finally been laid against Mormon fundamentalists from Bountiful. And if you read the article you’ll see that these misogynist will be making the exact same arguments that socons elsewhere: that religion trumps everything. One example would be the contraception mandate cases in the US.

And yet these socons’ hypocrisy is revealed by the fact that they do not support polygamists. If they truly, truly, truly thought religion should trump everything else, they be supporting polygamists. The fact that they don’t shows that their “concerns” about religion is really just a pretext.

Additionally, that slippery slope actually isn’t. The polygamists explicitly argued that marriage equality meant they had to be allowed to marry multiple people. However, the court upheld the law against polygamy. It rejected the very argument bigots make against marriage.

As for myself, I think we give too many privileges to religion already. It ought to be illegal to oppress women, and that women’s rights ought to overrule religion every time. And therefore my opposition to polygamy follows, whether you’re a Mormon fundamentalist, radical Islamist, or any other theomisogynist.


Link farm Sunday in April edition

In no particular order:

Nuclear power has saved about 1.84 million lives over the last 40 years due to the prevention of air pollution (via). A large expansion of it over the next four decades could save from 420 thousand to as many as 7.04 million additional lives.

This is one of the reasons there should be a large–scale increase in nuclear power generation. It is far less deadly than coal, once air pollution and mining deaths are accounted for, not to mention its carbon dioxide emissions’ causal factor in climate change. And nuclear power is safe; most scientists and experts believe that the risks from nuclear power are far overblown, especially considering the threat from global warming.

The teams promoted and relegated for all levels of the IIHF Women’s World Championships are:

Tournament Promoted Relegated
World Championships n/a Czech Republic
Division IA Japan? Latvia
Division IB France Great Britain
Division IIa Hungary Slovenia
Division IIB South Korea South Africa
Division II Qualification Turkey n/a

Since the IIHF does not explicitly say, in both the news report and statistics page, whether Japan was promoted or merely the winner or Division I Group A, I still have no idea what was going on. By the looks of it no one was promoted to the main tournament in 2014, which will keep it at eight teams in 2015. That negates any point of winning the tournament this year, which is a shame. I hope I’m wrong, and that a better explanation is forthcoming. Update: Another possibility is that there will be some sort of qualifier series, like a best–of–three between Japan and whoever wins Division I Group A next year.

Quote of the day from Vyckie Garrison, the co–founder of No Longer Qivering:

“Fanaticism will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.”

Yes! JJ, the Unrepentant Old Hippie, lives. She’ll be returning to blogging soon.

Send this woman to college

I urge all of my readers to go here and cast a vote for the essay there. It will allow the author to get a scholarship so she can go to college. She is an escapee from the Quiverfull/Christian Patriarchy movement and education will be a huge help for her. It will take only a few seconds you don’t have to provide any information to help.

So go vote.

Now this creeps out

I heard about this disturbing stuff at Butterflies and Wheels (in all cases, my emphasis):

Nearly 7,000 Virginia children whose families have opted to keep them out of public school for religious reasons are not required to get an education, the only children in the country who do not have to prove they are being home-schooled or otherwise educated, according to a study.

Virginia is the only state that allows families to avoid government intrusion once they are given permission to opt out of public school, according to a report from the University of Virginia’s School of Law. It’s a law that is defended for promoting religious freedom and criticized for leaving open the possibility that some children will not be educated.


I have no problem with homeschooling in itself, but I don’t see how a situation like this will ever end well.

Once parents in Virginia are granted a religious exemption, they’re no longer legally obligated to educate their children.

The statute does not allow exemptions for political or philosophical beliefs “or a merely personal moral code,” but the beliefs do not have to be part of a mainstream religion….

Yet again we have perverse privileging of religious belief over secular belief.

Now, I have no absolute proof, but it is virtually inevitable that girls will be the ones who will be denied a or deprived of an adequate education under this scheme of legalizing child abuse. How do I realize that? How many religions mandate the oppression/subordination of men? None (that matter). How many mandate the oppression/subordination of women? Most (that matter).

Denying education and choices to girls is child abuse. Here’s why (after the jump):


Link farm – seed planting edition

In no particular order:

The real problem

I have no problem with homeschooling. It may well be the best choice for certain people, and since I cannot possibly know everyone’s circumstances or situation, I cannot decide that for them. The majority of them, I’m sure, have nothing but the interests of their children’s education at heart and lack any sort of ulterior or ideologically–driven indoctrinination/brainwashing motive. Indeed, some people homeschool specifically to get away from fundamentalism plaguing public schools in some areas, such as creationism and abstinence ignorance–only sex education.

What I do have a problem with is people who homeschool under the guise of “freedom of religion” to abuse their children and deny girls their rights (via Denialism) (my emphasis):

[Erika Diegel Martin] recounts notable educational gaps in her own family, where there was little academic encouragement. One of her brothers decided to quit school at 16 and faced no parental opposition. The youngest, Diegel Martin says, ceased his formal education at the age of 12, when she left home and was no longer available to teach him herself. And though she was fortunate enough to receive sex education before leaving public school, her siblings were not so lucky. Their parents never taught the three other children about sex, and Diegel Martin remembers giving her 21-year-old sister “the talk” the week before she got married. She also had to intervene to ensure that her younger brothers learned about sex.

As for herself, when she completed her schooling, she says her parents did not allow her to obtain her GED as proof of high school graduation. Their reason? “The girls weren’t allowed to get a GED because we were told we wouldn’t need it. It would open up opportunities that were forbidden to us. We would work in the family business until we got married, and then become homemakers.

“When I talked about wanting to go to college, my parents said, ‘Well, you’re a girl. You don’t go to college.'”

In other words, they’re breeding dependent doormats.

Quiverfull is one of the worst offenders when it comes to using “freedom of religion” and the parental rights (to abuse, to deny healthcare, and to deny education) movement to oppress women. Here what one of the biggest proponents of this movement, Doug Phillips, said (via Libby Anne) (again, my emphasis):

“Daughters aren’t to be independent. They’re not to act outside the scope 
of their father. As long as they’re under the authority of their fathers, fathers have the ability to nullify or not the oaths and the vows. Daughters can’t just go out 
independently and say, ‘I’m going to marry whoever I want.’ No. The father has 
the ability to say, ‘No, I’m sorry, that has to be approved by me.'”

Very rarely do these people make it more clear that it’s about ownership of women.

Freedom of religion shouldn’t be “freedom” to oppress women. If there is a conflict between women’s rights and religion, women’s rights ought to win 100 times out of 100.

Book Review: Quiverfull – Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement

Before my previous computer died, I arranged an inter–library loan for a book I had been badly wanting to read. The book is Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by American journalist Kathryn Joyce. The book is available from Beacon Press. I promised a review and a summary of its contents, and here they are.

The book is divided into three sections. The first part of the book isn’t really about Quiverfull specifically, so much as conservative and fundamentalist Christianity. It covers women in various churches and denominations. This part in no way distracts from the rest of the book, as it provides a necessary background and context. The second and third sections cover Quiverfull and other natalist movements more specifically. Throughout the book, Joyce focuses on specific people/organizations within the QF/P movements, such as Vision Forum or the Botkin sisters. She also covers several people who escaped from Quiverfull. Some Lastly, a few parts of the book began as magazine articles, and can be found online.

Being a journalist, Joyce sticks only to objective language and point–of–view, and avoids judging the people she discusses, even though she strongly disagrees with the QF lifestyle. In some sense, this sticking only to reportage detracts from the book, as more analysis and discussion would have been better. Another issue is the lack of footnotes or endnotes. Although Joyce mentions sources inline, it is easier to find the exact spot of a quotation with a note rather than something like “said X, in their book____”. This prevents having to read straight through some other book until the fact or quotation is found.

The is well–written, and excellently researched. There is no need for the book to tell how bad the QF/P subculture is, as it does an excellent job showing it instead. The followers and adherents of this disturbing lifestyle chillingly speak in their own words. Being a long–time lurker and reader of anti–QF/P blogs, and having read some of the online excerpts, I already knew the general gist about Quiverfull, so the book was less informative than it will be for someone who knows nothing about QF/P.

Overall, this was a really necessary and eye–opening book. I recommend it.

As for Quiverfull, it is inextricably connected with the movements called Biblical Patriarchy or Biblical Family Values. These are all movements within Protestant Christianity. One does not need have all of the characteristics of QF/P, or meet them completely, to be a Quiverfuller, so the following characteristics should be interpreted as indicative of a spectrum stretching from ordinary conservative Christianity at one end, through fundamentalism, with QF/P at the other end.

The traits of Quiverfull/Biblical Patriarchy are (sources are the Joyce book and various websites and blogs by those who left QF/P):

  • Abstaining from all forms of birth control and contraception, including natural family planning and fertility awareness. Frequently, followers forgo maternal health or the services of an ob–gyn. The end result is that women are expected to bear children until they keel over and expire.
  • Restricted gender roles, or “Biblical manhood and womanhood”. Men are providers, breadwinners, and always in charge. Women are submissive doormats and helpmeets, doing housework and homemaking. If the position of a marriage is not going well or if troubles and difficulties happen to a family, then it is blamed on the woman. Her marriage advice is mostly summed up by the sentence, “Shut up and submit more.”
  • Isolationism. QF/P families often live in rural areas. They often reject any form of government assistance, even it if means living in appalling, over–crowded or substandard conditions. Parents restrict access to outside or “worldly” influences. This usually leads to home–churching and homeschooling, as well as claiming total owner over one’s children, under the guise of “parental rights”. In the context of QF/P, “parental rights” usually means some combination of: (1) the right to beat the shit out of your kid; (2) the right to deny education; (3) the right to deny healthcare; and (4) the right to raise your daughter to be a doormat.
  • Treating women little better than chattel. Daughters are kept isolated, and are denied any chance to be able to support themselves should they leave, and are denied any real “control” over their own lives. Daughters are kept at home doing chores and housework (the “Stay–at–Home Daughters Movement”) as a helpmeet for their fathers and a future helpmeet for their husbands. They undergo “courtship” (instead of dating) and a given away (the same way you give away a coat) to men in what are essentially arranged marriages. In addition, this controlling treatment of women leads to an obsession with female sexuality and a focus on “purity” (leading to things like purity balls) and modesty rules (like dresses only).

Disturbingly, some of these sentiments (like purity balls) have become more mainstream amongst ordinary evangelical Christianity.

In any event, “patriarchy” seems to be the wrong word for this movement; “patriarchy” is too weak and certainly is not strong enough.

And lastly, a mini link farm to more sites providing additional information on QF/P:

  • No Longer Qivering is a blog run by QF/P escapee Vyckie Garrison. It tells the story of her escape from QF/P, and likewise for several other people, and also serves as an information source on QF/P movements.
  • A Quiver Full of Information is run by Hopewell, and serves a link directory to most websites/blogs concerning QF/P. Hopewell is a self–described “campaigner against abusive religion”, but her page links to QF/P sites in a neutral manner. It includes a page of links to survivor/escapee websites.
  • Rethinking Vision Forum by Libby Anne is a website compiling responses to and exposés of one of the biggest promoters of QF/P, Vision Forum.

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