VCC: No Longer Quivering ‹(ô¿ô)›

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VCC: No Longer Quivering ‹(ô¿ô)›

I just found this new blog about the Quiverfull movement (aka the Vagina Clown Car movement), called No Longer Quivering (which is a great name, BTW). It is written from two former Quiverfull mothers who have left the movement, and at least one is now more-or-less atheist.

I find this blog to be fascinating, and full of interesting stories and perspectives from a couple of insiders. Highly recommended. Here's an example post, which reviews the book Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement. From


QUIVERFULL: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement ~ A Review

by Vyckie

The reason I am telling my story now (as opposed to 10 years from now when my kids are grown up and I actually have time to write), is because I came across

this article

on Alternet and read with interest about the people and the teachings which our family had followed for many years. I was kind of amazed that someone on that liberal news site knew about this movement ~ so I posted a comment on the article ~ and that's how I got in touch with Kathryn Joyce, author of

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement


I pre-ordered the book and as I read it, I kept saying aloud, "I know these people!" All the names were familiar to me ~ Nancy Campbell, Mary Pride, Doug Phillips, Phil Lancaster, R.C. Sproul Jr., Debi Pearl, Anna Sophia Botkins, Jennie Chancey ... "Wow," I thought, "she even interviewed Charles Provan!" I used to own nearly every book mentioned in


~ and, yes ~ I read them all ... starting with

The Way Home: Beyond Feminism and Back to Reality

, the book which really started the current patriarchy movement that's becoming so popular among homeschoolers. Isn't it interesting that it has mostly been the WOMEN who are writing these books, teaching seminars, and leading other women into this life of subordination?

I really want to just encourage everyone who has been touched by the Quiverfull philosophy in any way to read this book. I wish I could quote the whole thing for you ~ and then sit back and read the comments which would sound something like, "OMFG!" and "Is this stuff for real? ~ People actually believe this and live this way?!!"

Yes ~ it's true. The thing is, those of us who followed (and are still following) the Quiverfull / patriarchal lifestyle got into it gradually ~ just a little at a time. For us, it started with homeschooling which seemed pretty radical at the time. It was at our state's annual home school conference that I was introduced to some of the movement's books ~ mostly through Vision Forum, a supplier of Classical Education curriculum.

I started out with Nancy Campbell's "lovely" vision for godly wives and mothers ... discovered Phil Lancaster's Patriarch magazine which spread the idea to the men ... then found S.M. Davis's "Solve Family Problems" series in which the dynamic and often vehement (my kids said he just yelled a lot) preacher set us straight about what constitutes a truly godly family ~ and what dedicated Christian wouldn't want to do whatever the Lord requires to please Him and to be a "blameless" example of righteous living to our friends, family and community?

Now I will admit that when Debi Pearl came out with her book, Created to Be His Help Meet ~ even I couldn't stomach it. I guess there must have been some residual lesson I'd learned after trying to follow the bible study ladies' advice about how to be a perfect, godly wife in order to win my abusive, unfaithful first husband to the Lord ~ but I just couldn't support Pearl's book wholeheartedly the way I had Campbell's God's Vision for Families or Pride's All The Way Home: Power for Your Family To Be Its Best. I remember one Sunday morning when Laura brought Created to Be His Help Meet to our home church and was raving about what an awesome book it was and how she was putting Debi Pearl's ideas into practice and could already see a change in the way Dale was treating her. Ugh. Poor Laura!

To me, the most startling part of Joyce's book Quiverfull, is the section towards the back entitled "Daughters." Actually, I am ashamed to admit that I used to look at Anna Sophia and Elizabeth Botkins with awe and envy ~ why couldn't my girls comprehend these Visionary Daughters' inspiring insight on godly femininity? I actually bought So Much More: The Remarkable Influence of Visionary Daughters on the Kingdom of God for Angel's birthday and sent it to her in Nashville in the hopes that she would finally understand how much simpler her life would be if only she could "get" the idea that the only way to true liberation and peace is to follow her father and submit herself to his authority.

When I talked to Kathryn Joyce over the phone as she was interviewing me for an article on, I told her I found it very affirming that for most of the book, she simply sticks to quoting the movement leaders ~ often with no commentary at all. "What that said to me," I explained, "is that to those who aren't steeped in this particular worldview, the craziness of it all is self-evident. There's no need to say, 'This is total crap!' because anyone who isn't already convinced can clearly see that it's truly insane to try and live this way."

Something else I really appreciate about this book ~ Quiverfull puts the whole movement on display all at once. The reason this is important is that for most families, getting into this lifestyle is a step-by-step process ~ a progression from "peculiar" to seriously bizarre which takes place incrementally over a period of many years.

If a family home educates their children in order to spare them from the humanistic curriculum in the public school ~ they'll soon pick up on the extra-biblical, humanistic teachings which have filtered into the church as well. And if that family recognizes the spiritual danger of allowing their kids to spend a lot of time in the company of public school peers, it's a small step to keeping the family together for church worship rather than sending the children to the age-segregated Sunday School program. Once a couple comprehends that children are precious in God's sight from the moment of conception ~ how could they possibly expect to witness to the pro-life message with any semblance of credibility when they ~ by their use of birth control ~ have accepted the "abortion mentality" ~ that babies are only a blessing when they fit into their parents' lifestyle conveniently? And once they've eschewed birth control and the babies start coming in rapid succession ~ Michael Pearl's child training advice is going to be a life-saver. This is just a very brief example of how it all fits together into a comprehensive worldview which makes absolutely perfect sense to the family who started out simply looking for a supportive community of like-minded Believers which would uphold their family's biblical values in the eyes of their children.

Twenty years ago, if I would have read Quiverfull, I believe seeing the big picture of where we were headed would have shocked us enough to cause me to take a good, hard look ~ no doubt, I'd have gone elsewhere in my search for solutions to the everyday problems of family life. No way could you interest me in a harsh, demanding lifestyle of lots of babies (well, you still maybe could have convinced me of that part, since I do love babies), home schooling, home birth, home business, home church, no children's programs, no teenagers (Quiverfullers do not have teenagers ~ that's for another post), no dating, parents choosing their children's spouses, husband making all the decisions and wife not daring to make the slightest commitment without first obtaining her husband's approval, no TV, only G- and some PG-rated movies, and absolutely NO Harry Potter.

Taken as a whole ~ there really is no appeal to the Quiverfull / patriarchy lifestyle ~ no matter how "biblical" it is and how "godly" a family might become by following those God-ordained family roles. It is my contention that this way of living is a package deal. Once a family takes that first step ~ if they're living it logically and consistently ~ they'll eventually find themselves living out pretty much the whole program ~ the "Vision" which, in its entirety ~ as clearly depicted in Quiverfull ~ turns out, in practicality, to be a very real, living nightmare.

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Kevin R Brown
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Alright, a forewarning: the

Alright, a forewarning: the following isnot likely to be a popular point of view.


I'm sorry, but I have zero sympathy for Vyckie or Laura. They went out and made destructive decisions of their own accord when tey had the mental faculties to think thngs through and make better choices. Oh, boo hoo, your loser Christian husband neglected you while turning you into his personal kid factory. There's a sea of sensible men out there (I am not saying this with sour grapes in my mouth; indeed, I'm hardly in the 'sensible' category) that get to spend their 20s sitting quietly alone in single bedroom apartments wondering why they are constantly rejected by girls for young women to choose from; when they decide on the dashing assholes in shining armor (R.I.P., Dylan) instead, well, that's their choice. Fucking deal with it.

For cripes sakes, Laura totally kicks her mothers in the box and tells them to fuck-off so she can go frolick and make kids on the farm with Dale, and then she goes crying back to said mother? Yeah, you're allowed to make mistakes, but you've also got to fucking own them rather than expecting everyone to weep for what you've done to yourself.

"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940

Ken G.
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natural wrote;no longer quivering

 Yes,I first saw this article (well not this one) a few weeks ago,4-1-09 and put it up here in the threads,it was from "The Nation"article "Arrows of War" written back in '06,but I had just heard of it,and man it was crazy. 

Signature ? How ?

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Every time one of these

Every time one of these stupid groups gets going it's only a brief period until refugees appear. It happened to Phelps, it happened to Scientology. It has happened or will happen to all of them.

Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

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Kevin, Think outside the box.

 I can understand your having no sympathy for Vyckie or Laura, because you have not have the frame of reference to look at the situation from a point of view other than the one you hold now.

I married my "overwhelming" husband at 18, believed in God and doing right, etc.  Because I am a pacifistic/peacemaking person who will accepts other people as they are and seeks to "not make waves", I gradually lost all sense of personhood to my demanding, controlling, narcissistic BPD husband.  He would have a fit, I would defer to keep the peace.  Gradually what you end up with in this circumstance is a small kingdom with only one king and everyone else as subjects.  On some subconscious level your fear of man or God or some bad consequence leads to a life of trying to make EVERYTHING in your life perfect in order to avoid STRESS and FEAR.  When the message you are indoctrinated in is that you cannot divorce or you will be sinning against God, then the woman is faced with the impossible task of trying to make life "perfect", which is impossible.  Many women live their whole lives in this movement, quite happily, because their husbands are kind gentle empathetic people.  (Benevolent dictators?)  But those of us with difficult men reach a breaking point where we say "NO MORE!", at which point we are branded apostates or rebels, and those of us with minds (we do have them, but they have been indoctrinated) are forced to look at the entire structure of how we have built our lives.  Only then do we realize that we have been living in misery because of a book someone told us was the Word of God.  

As for your sitting alone and seeing the great girls marry assholes, I have this to say on a very personal level from a woman who has been there and done that.  The boy I wanted to marry and spend my life with was my dear friend.  Yes, my dh swept me off my feet and we were engaged quickly.  I was shy and unsure, because I still had feelings for my friend.  I told myself   "If he even askes me why I'm marrying ****, I'm going to break it off, because there may be something there."  I thought he was the love of my life, but that he only thought of me as a friend.  I was just as insecure as anyone, probably more so.  He never said a word.  I didn't find out until years later that it had devastated him.  Yes, sometimes life sucks simply because there isn't a perfect script and we don't know everything we ought to know at any given moment.

As for the future, you will be better suited to the great girl you want and need if you will develop a bit more empathy for other people.  Trust me, we don't want to marry assholes.  We want to marry the sweet guy who is our best friend and accepts us as we are.  (too bad we are susceptible to flattery)

No hard feelings I hope!