Monday, August 15, 2011

These are the "Christians" you need to fear.

I want you to picture a community where women are second-class citizens.  They wear headcoverings, long sleeves in summer, and heavy layers of clothing, with no skin showing from neck to ankles.  A woman who wears pants, even at home, will be shunned.

The women in this community are considered to have only two purposes:  to serve men, and to give birth to several children, while running a household.  Daughters are denied anything but basic education, the primary focus being on them assisting their mother until the time when their father finds a husband for them.

Women who work outside the home are termed "whores", because they are serving and making money for a man other than their husband.  They are also shunned.

This community keeps itself highly isolated; partly to help enforce the rules on upcoming generations, but also because they believe they are preparing for a literal, physical manifestation of an ongoing cultural and spiritual war.  This is one of the main reasons they eschew all forms of birth control and attempt to have as many children as possible; to provide warriors for the coming battle.

Perhaps the community I described caused you to imagine a desert climate where people still ride camels and women wear burkahs.  But this issue is a bit closer to home.

Instead of the Middle East, try picturing the Midwest.

It is the Quiverfull-Patriarchal movement (often called "QF/P") for short, and it is very real, and very dangerous.  It is led by a misogynistic madman named Bill Gothard and his American Training Institute ("ATI").  And it is growing.

The problem with QF/P is that it looks so quaint and harmless at first.  The members have huge, closeknit families where the kids are all homeschooled and engage in such innocent pasttimes as gospel sings.  Everyone looks so sweet and happy (even if they are dressed like Amish with less style).

Sure, maybe it's a little old-fashioned, but that's their business, right?  If that's what makes them happy.

Maybe that's true.  For the adults.  But for the kids who are brought up in it, who barely get any attention because of their dozen (or more) sibling, for the daughters, who never get a real education and who are cut off from the family, ignorant and without resources, if they don't go with the program, this is a hugely abusive cult.

Here are some of the scary truths about what this lunatic Gothard is teaching thousands of Americans:

Women do not receive salvation directly from Jesus.  That's right women.  You can't be a Christian on your own.  QF/P teaches you receive your salvation from your husband.  That's why you serve him unconditionally and without question.  Your husband literally becomes your god.  Which explains why...

It's fine for husbands to physically "discipline" their wives.  Aaaaand...this is where it starts to become obvious that these people are nuts.  When your view of marriage is so backwards that you make Don Draper look like a sensitive millenium man, you're doing something wrong.

If a man looks at a woman and lusts after her, it is the woman's fault, and she carries the responsibility of that sin.  Also, "lust"="adultery".  So if a woman doesn't want to be an adulteress, she has to dress in yards of heavy cloth and cover every inch of skin.  Also no make-up, and the woman has to be sure to not walk, sit, stand, or talk seductively.  You get a lot of downcast eyes and whispered sentences with this group.  No telling how this group views rape.  If the woman wasn't wearing a headcovering, they probably think it's her fault.  (Oh, also, women can never ever cut their hair.)

Dating is bad, but courtship and arranged marriage are A-OK!  I strongly recommend checking out No Longer Quivering and reading some of the stories of women who have escaped this lifestyle.  Especially the series titled "Escape from a Homeschooled Cult", which chronicles the true story of a young woman who had to run away and go to the police after her parents tried to force her into an arranged marriage she didn't want.  (She was an underaged teenager, and her "fiancee" was in his 20s, so they were able to get her out because of statuatory rape laws.)

Women must remain fertile and continue to have babies, even if it kills them.  Check out QF/P poster-children the Duggars if you want proof of this one.  Remember how both the mom, Michelle, and baby #20, Josie, almost died?  And the Duggars still said they were going to continue to try to have more?  Well that's because death in childbirth is the most honorable death a woman can experience!  They consider maternity a woman's mission field, and dying via having a couple dozen kids is like a Spartan coming back from battle on his shield.  You can't ever get a hysterectomy or your tubes tied.  And if you have an ectopic pregnancy, even though ectopics are never viable and are medically impossible to carry to term, you can not have the embryo removed, because that's abortion and murder.  The mother is to simply die with the pregnancy.  (I swear I'm not making this up.  Google it if you don't believe me.)

Of course, it's awfully convenient for these QF/P husbands if their worn-out wife dies on baby #15 or whatever.  After an appropriate mourning period, they are fully expected to remarry a healthy young woman who can continue on with the raising (and having) of kids and running the house.

For QF/P women, however, it's a different story.  Since women are always to be under the "headship" of a male authority figure, the authority over a widowed wife reverts to a brother (if he is a fellow believer) or, failing that, her oldest son.  (Yes, regardless of age.  Better to take orders from your 12-year-old child than to be a woman living an unholy life out from under authority.)

So, hopefully you understand why this movement is unhealthy and teaches a highly perverted version of Christianity and "biblical" living.  But I also want you to appreciate just how dangerous this movement is.

Our current uneasy political and economic landscape have people longing for a return to simpler times, and wholesome family values.  On the surface, QF/P offers that.  But it is a lie.  Unfortunately, too many people don't realize the lie of it until they are sucked so far into the cult that escape becomes a difficult, if not impossible, option.  And make no doubts that this is a cult.  They demand financial tribute, isolation, and enforce strict conditions for continued acceptance.  They teach that they are the elite, the only "true" believers.

Between their aggressive recruitment strategies and their implementation of explosive population growth, they are growing so, so fast.  And that is their intention.  They believe it is their biblical imperative to take back "God's country" through sheer demographics, overwhelming the nation politically and economically.

Because, hey, if you can't convince people to believe the same as you, it's just dandy to force them to behave like you.

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