The land of the pure

That “God” person must be one crazy primate, given the twisted frantic obsessiveness with which its fans fret about Purity in the Female.

Being in a room with a boy who’s not part of your family is considered damaging to the girl’s purity. Purity becomes a minefield and the only way to avoid it is, I’m sad to say this, staying at home. Inside your house. Seriously, don’t even take out the garbage because some boy might say hi and talk to you, and you would be flirting. And anyway, what if somebody saw you? They’d gossip their mouths fuzzy that you’re having a secret boyfriend and once that’s in people’s minds, you’re about as damaged as a vase somebody dropped out the 13th floor on the hard concrete sidewalk. [Read more...]

When it’s a problem

Libby Anne gets responses from people saying “yes but we home-school and we follow Jesus but we don’t fit your description.” She gently points out that if they don’t fit the description then she’s not writing about them…and goes on to provide a list of the genuine problems with “the various teachings of Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull” [italics hers], not having a large family or homeschooling. Among them -

  • When parents teach their daughters to dream of nothing but homemaking and seek to kill any other desire or dream, that is a problem.
  • When parents teach their daughters that boys are to go out into the world and take dominion while girls are to take dominion by doing laundry, that is a problem.
  • When parents teach their daughters that women are created to serve men, that is a problem.
  • When adult daughters are expected to obey their fathers and remain under their fathers’ authority, that is a problem.
  • When parents insist that they control their adult daughters’ romantic relationships and can’t trust them to be adults and make their own decisions, that is a problem.

She knows this from the inside.

The borders of my world seemed to explode

There’s nothing like an escape narrative, is there. No Longer Quivering, naturally, is full of them – there’s a lot to escape from, and (happily) a good few women doing the escaping.

Sierra enrolled at a Community College. She took a philosophy course. She worked at Wal-Mart. She felt uncomfortable in her godly clothes.

Every day, I worked an eight-hour shift at Wal-Mart, and despite my best efforts to vary my wardrobe and to solicit comments on being overdressed rather than appearing strange, inevitably somebody noticed that I didn’t wear pants. “It’s Biblical,” I sighed. It was a shortcut other women had taught me to say when I didn’t want to have a long conversation about my dress…

I felt as though the Holy Bible were plastered to my chest. There was nothing I could do to avoid mentioning it. I began to obfuscate when strangers and friends confronted me. “It’s religious,” I said sometimes. Other times, “I just like skirts.” As I looked around at my coworkers in cute jeans and tank tops, I felt less and less inclined to “witness” and wanted desperately just to go about my business without incurring questions from strangers…

Every time I got dressed in the morning, I took a stand for the Message by donning yet another floor-sweeping handmade skirt. To dress otherwise would be to send up a battle flare, declaring my apostasy in one stroke. I’d be set upon instantly by a horde of Message women, all reminding me why Brother Branham said women shouldn’t wear pants and praying that the Lord would lead me to repentance.

All that - and that’s only a sample - about wearing jeans.

Then she takes a class in American literature to 1865, and she writes very good papers, and one day the professor says to her -

Read it

 

Slumber parties are sin parties

Libby Anne examines the ideological straitjacket of Christian Patriarchy.

The parents of Christian Patriarchy have one goal in mind: to raise children who believe and act as they do. The reason, of course, is that they see their beliefs and lifestyle as the only one that is truly Christian, and anyone who steps outside of their beliefs and lifestyle turns their back on God. Within this framework, parents of Christian Patriarchy act quite rationally.

Vision Forum and No Greater Joy and the Institutes for Basic Life Principles tell them that if they do just so, they will turn out perfect godly Children. This is the appeal these groups have, and parents buy it. They then live by the formulas these groups present and expect complete conformity from their children… [Read more...]

If they will ever, like me, break free

Libby Anne is, naturally, worried about her siblings.

…it is hard for me to watch my siblings being raised with beliefs and methods I have come to so oppose. I have to watch my sisters being taught that their only role is in the home, and to see my siblings expected to obey and conform. The hardest part is watching my sisters. I hear them talk about the blessing of fatherly protection against the evils of the world and their future plans to eschew all kinds of birth control and have as many children as possible. I watch them and wonder if they will ever, like me, break free.

That would be very difficult.

A whole future spread out before me

There are a lot of them – which is good, because it means some escape, but bad, because it means this is happening to a lot of people. There’s Sierra at Non-prophet Message. She is amusing on the subject of Jezebel and makeup and faking it.

 Shaping your eyebrows can go a long way towards that neat, meticulous, hyperfeminine look that screams, “I read my Bible so much, my eyebrows shape themselves!”

When she finally went to school – which was a community college – she discovered that she had a brain.

I turned in my final math exam with the lightest heart I’d felt since I was a little child, since before I’d ever heard of the Message or William Branham. I felt like a little girl again, with a whole future spread out before me for the taking. “I want to be an astronaut and an archaeologist,” the small child in my head whispered. “I want to write a book, travel the world and swim with dolphins. I want to do everything when I grow up.”

Weeks later, the final grade came in. I’d passed the math course with an A.

Breaking a daughter

One way crazy religion is crazy is in putting massive pressure on people to distort their own natures and aptitudes and wants. The fancy name for this sadistic habit is “dying to self.” A “broken daughter” tells us what it feels like.

Some people don’t seem to bother that much, but it’s always been hard for me to be as selfless as I was expected to be. You see, I’m a very private, calm, introvert kind of person. Though I grew up in a big family, I always liked being alone. I’m not much of a team player, I prefer doing things all by myself. I didn’t hate having a big family where there was always somebody, quite the opposite, I loved it. But I always tried to make room for myself in some way. That didn’t mean that I wanted to do things I liked, it was more like just being by myself doing ANYTHING really. I hated washing dishes. I loved doing it alone. I didn’t like vacuuming. It was ok as long as I was alone. Everything I didn’t like in a group I usually liked if I could just do it by myself. I treasured the quiet moments, though my hands were busy, my mind was free to wander, not occupied by yet another conversation, prayer, training or anything like that. [Read more...]