Doug Phillips’ Alleged Victim Files Lawsuit with Explosive Accusations

“In other words, women within this movement are perceived to exist only for the end-goals communicated by the male leaders that perceive themselves as the ‘patriarchs’ of this world,” the lawsuit reads. The conclusion is that a woman who truly believed this—whose boss, mentor, and father figure taught her that total submission was her duty in life—was not able to effectively plot an escape from a sexually coercive relationship.

The Daily Beast

(discussing a lawsuit filed against Doug Phillips, et al by a former nanny)

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=74379&picture=face-man-and-woman

Faces of a Man and Woman

First Bill Gothard, now Doug Phillips…  Accusations of sexual impropriety are shaking the foundation of the Christian patriarchy movement. 

Those who have brought accusations against Bill Gothard have shared their testimonies on the Recovering Grace website, which led to Gothard stepping down from the helm of the ministry he founded over five decades ago – the Institute of Basic Life Principles.  Not surprisingly, http://jensgems.wordpress.com/2007/05/30/cult-watch-ministry-publishes-article-exposing-doug-phillips/ Doug Phillips, who launched Vision Forum in 1998, was influenced by Gothard's teachings, according to Jen's Gems.  Here they are pictured together (Phillips is on the left, Gothard is on the right). 

The Daily Beast has just published an explosive article, Sex Scandal Rocks the Duggars' Christian Patriarchy Movement, which suggests the possibility that far-right Christian Patriarchy may be on the verge of collapse. 

Perhaps not surprisingly, the Duggar family, proponents of patriarchy and the quiverfull movement, has been the poster family of Gothardism and have enjoyed a cozy relationship with Doug Phillips. 

According to an article published by the Christian News Wire

Michelle Duggar, mother to 19 and star of TLC's "19 Kids and Counting" received the "Mother of the Year Award" as part of a special ceremony at the Baby Conference: A Historic Family Summit on the Triumph of Life Over the Culture of Death, held July 8-10 in San Antonio. Michelle and her husband Jim Bob were featured speakers at the event, sponsored by Vision Forum Ministries, which drew more than 1,500 to the Alamo City.

TRIGGER ALERT!

The information in the remainder of this post and at the links is GRAPHIC

Please proceed with caution!

News broke yesterday about a lawsuit just filed against Doug Phillips by his alleged victim.  WND (formerly World Net Daily) published an article with this headline — Christian giant sued for 'using nanny as sex object'.  It begins as follows:

(Warning: This story contains explicit descriptions of alleged sexual conduct described in a lawsuit and may be offensive to some readers.)

The former leader of a popular Christian ministry – who resigned from his position after confessing to an “inappropriate” relationship – is now the subject of a lawsuit that claims he “methodically groomed” and made unwanted sexual contact with a young woman after serving as an authority figure in her life for more than a decade.

Doug Phillips, a husband and father of eight children, had been a popular and controversial figure in the homeschooling movement and a leading advocate of “biblical patriarchy” before his resignation from Vision Forum Ministries and Boerne Christian Assembly, a Baptist church outside San Antonio, Texas, at which he had served as an elder and preached hundreds of sermons.

Phillips was also founder of the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival and of the National Center for Family-Integrated Churches.

According to the teachings of the patriarchy movement, also known as the stay-at-home daughters or quiverfull movement, young women remain at home under the protection of their fathers. They’re generally expected not to work outside their home or go to college, and they’re taught to abide by strict gender roles in which men have authority over women.

The news traveled quickly around the internet, and other media outlets are beginning to focus on this important development.  The Daily Beast has picked up the story, as mentioned at the beginning of the post, and it appears the Christian patriarchy movement is in jeopardy.  What follows is an excerpt from The Daily Beast article:

The latest scandal is a doozy. Back in November 2013, Doug Phillips, who, in his capacity as the president of Vision Forum Ministries, is probably the most important leader in the world of Biblical patriarchy, confessed to cheating on his wife and resigned as president of his ministry. “I engaged in a lengthy, inappropriate relationship with a woman,” he wrote. “While we did not ‘know’ each other in a Biblical sense, it was nevertheless inappropriately romantic and affectionate.” Shortly after his confession, Vision Forum Ministries closed up shop, unable to continue with the stink of sex scandal upon them.

It’s hard to underestimate the importance of Phillips in the small world of extreme fundamentalists. His father is one of the most critical founding fathers of the Christian  right movement generally, and Doug extended his work by largely building this culture of the far Christian right as we know it, especially if you watch 19 Kids & Counting. The Duggar family are friends and acolytes of Phillips, and Vision Forum, in turn, has used Michelle Duggar in their efforts to demonize contraception, including giving her an award for “Mother of the Year” for having so many children.

On Tuesday, it was revealed that there may be more to this entire scandal than the typical minister-caught-cheating story. The woman with whom Phillips confessed to an “inappropriate” relationship, named Lourdes Torres-Manteufel, filed suit in Bexar County, Texas, accusing the powerful Christian right leader of pushing her into a multi-year abusive relationship that allegedly featured frequent sexual assault. While the complaint never mentions sexual intercourse, it does claim that he repeatedly groped and masturbated on her while she protested. The plaintiff alleges she was basically moved into Phillips’ house with his wife and children, taken on many family vacations, and given work as a caretaker for the family, all while secretly being bullied into sexual encounters without consent. She even claims that Phillips told her that they would marry soon, as he believed that his wife was about to die.

Torres-Manteufel’s lawyer provided me with a copy of the complaint. It is searing in its criticisms of Doug Phillips. “Phillips’s patriarchal movement teaches that men are, and should be, in the absolute control of women,” reads the complaint, claiming that Torres-Manteufel was therefore bullied into believing she had no choice but to submit to Phillips’ alleged sexual abuse, even though she feared it made her “damaged goods.”

Here is a screen shot of the parties named in the lawsuit:

Screen shot 2014-04-16 at 8.55.56 PM The complaint is almost 30 pages long and can be accessed here.

It is worth noting that Lourdes Torres was recently married, which her legal name now reflects. 

I have an interest in this story because back in the mid to late 1990s, I was homeschooling my daughters.  In May of 1998, I attended the North Carolina Homeschoolers' Conference in Winston-Salem, and Doug Phillips delivered the keynote address.  He was a dynamic speaker who exuberated his love of God, family, and country.  That was the first and last time I ever heard him speak in person.  Later that year, Phillips launched Vision Forum, and we received catalogs every year until my younger daughter was in high school.  I never ordered anything because I thought the merchandise was overpriced.  Perhaps it was providential that my daughters began attending a Christian school the following year because my family would never be influenced by Doug Phillips.

When Dee and I started doing internet research in the summer of 2008, we began coming across Phillips' name when researching patriarchy – a hot button topic we were investigating.  We launched The Wartburg Watch the following March, and four months later I wrote our first post about Doug Phillips, which was entitled Doug Phillips – Homeschooling Guru and QF Proponent.  We have continued to follow Phillips, Vision Forum, etc., since 2009 and have written a number of related posts. 

We have not yet had time to digest all of the information in the complaint filed against Doug Phillips; but rest assured, we intend to slog through all that is available and publish additional posts to keep you informed. 

It certainly appears that the conservative evangelical view of women will be highlighted if this complaint goes to trial, and it will be interesting to see how this patriarchal interpretation of Scripture is perceived by both Christians and unbelievers.

We leave you with a clip of Doug Phillips which was uploaded to YouTube in 2008 – ten years after I heard him at the homeschooling conference and not long after the alleged sexual conduct (or should we say 'misconduct') began. . .

We are certain that Doug Phillips NEVER imagined the day when he would be the subject of a scandalous story being told literally around the world via the internet.

ADDENDUM

(April 17, 2014, 7:30 a.m.)

While reading through comments on a related post over at Spiritual Sounding Board, I came across an incredible remark by our good friend Julie Anne Smith.  She reminded everyone that two years ago Vision Forum celebrated the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.  This magnificent ship, which was believed to be unsinkable, struck an iceberg on April 14, 1912, and sunk hours later on April 15, 1912.

Was it 'providential' that the lawsuit was filed on April 15th – the 102nd anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic?

What an interesting twist to this incredulous story…

Lydia's Corner:   Ezekiel 12:1-14:11   Hebrews 7:1-17   Psalm 105:37-45   Proverbs 27:3

Comments

Doug Phillips’ Alleged Victim Files Lawsuit with Explosive Accusations — 373 Comments

  1. Glad she filed the lawsuit, and she needs much support at this time. The DB article really sums it up, doesn’t it?

  2. Rafiki wrote:

    Glad she filed the lawsuit, and she needs much support at this time. The DB article really sums it up, doesn’t it?

    Yes she does need everyone’s support, and yes that article sums it up well…I so hope that this brings up a greater awareness of sexual abuse in general. .. My spidey sense is twitching that there certainly must be other people out there who had at least suspected something, even though that’s hard to prove…

  3. While we did not ‘know’ each other in a Biblical sense, it was nevertheless inappropriately romantic and affectionate.

    LOL
    This has to be a classic of all time!
    Right up there with ol’ Slick Willie wagging his finger, “I’m gonna say this again…”
    What is alleged in that complaint filed with the Bexar County Court in Texas sure does not sound “romantic” or “affectionate” in any way.

  4. Criminal prosecution – any chance we’ll see it as a result of this brave woman’s coming forward?

  5. Pingback: Lourdes Torres, Alleged Victim in the Doug Phillips (Vision Forum) Sex Abuse Scandals Files Lawsuit | Spiritual Sounding Board UNITED STATES

  6. Lucy Pevensie wrote:

    Criminal prosecution – any chance we’ll see it as a result of this brave woman’s coming forward?

    In her case, probably not.
    But then other stuff may be uncovered during the discovery process.
    A quick settlement with sealed terms and a substantial cash payout to the victim may just stop that discovery process though.

  7. @ Anon:

    Quoting Phillips:

    inappropriately romantic and affectionate.

    After having read the detailed report, it was inappropriate behavior. that much is right, but there was nothing “romantic” or “affectionate” about it. It was lewd and gross.

  8. This is about as disgusting as it gets. Phillips is not the first guy to do his thinking a tad too south of the brain, but what made my blood run cold was that he (allegedly) asserted that his wife would die soon. I hope the wife has stopped swallowing all the hogwash, is running for her life, and suing for a whopping divorce settlement. But I have a feeling that she might stand by her man, and the patriarchal nutjobs might pat her on the head and tell her how wonderful it’d be fore her to forgive, & what a fabulous example she’d be. Would such a patriarch allow his wife to have her name on the checkbook? If not, I wonder how she could possibly escape. This is heartbreaking.

  9. In this world of Patriarchy how in the world is a woman to plead her case? This whole “system” is evil to the core. The Southern Baptist Convention IMO has embraced this ‘system” and I often wonder how many women have been abused and simply have had no place to bring their case because they know they will get no support from their pastor or other “authority” figures.

  10. @ Nickname:

    You have called attention to one of our biggest concerns – Doug Phillips’ wife (and her longevity). She (and her EIGHT KIDS) are caught between a rock and a hard place in my estimation. When things started going south late last year, they had to move from the large home where they were living.

    Vision Forum Inc. to Permanently Close December 31

    “The board of directors has given until the end of the year for Doug and his family to move out of the ministry-owned house. The VFM board of directors will repossess (and may have already repossessed) any and all assets that Doug purchased with VFM monies for his personal use. This includes everything from automobiles, home furnishings, and perhaps even clothing.”

  11. What Philips did to Lourdes is beyond his description of “inappropriate”. It was rape…pure and simple. Any sexual activity against a person’s will is called rape. ” Inappropriate ” was what Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky did….because that was more consensual. Lourdes didn’t consent…she was coerced. I call this rape.

  12. @ mot:

    Perhaps not surprisingly, there were strong ties between Doug Phillips and the Pattersons. I seem to recall that Doug Phillips endorsed one of Dottie (as she now wants to be called) Patterson's books.

  13. far-right Christian Patriarchy may be on the verge of collapse

    Not judging by the no-talk rule still being tacitly enforced among my FB friends. It’s me and two other people talking about it – out of 120+ friends, they’re not all homeschoolers but mostly – and one of them doesn’t really count because he’s a former TWW semi-regular (Jeff S.). And when I shared the WND article the other day I was treated to a warning about schadenfreude (which Jeff responded to – oh how much fun it is to throw rocks at a hornet’s nest together 🙂 ). From where I sit, the ostrich maneuver seems to be the order of the day.

  14. @ Hester:
    The fear that is generated by all of this is amazing. Instead of being free in Christ; it is a constant watching of everything one does for fear of some type of “punishment” from fellow Christians for daring to go against the flow.

    I can not function in that type of world.

  15. @ Nickname:
    @ Deb:

    So I’ll just throw this out for discussion, as it may not sit well with some, but I’m not inclined to feel very sorry for Beale Phillips in all of this mess.

    Some might say she was just as trapped within the twisted framework of “Patriarchy” as any of the other women in the VF universe … and this is a fair statement.

    But she was the wife of the Big Patriarch Hisself, Douglas Philips, Esq.

    Therefore, she was in an elevated and privileged position of power, as Doug Philips, Esq.’s spouse, within a twisted system that de-humanized all of the other women in the community.

    I mean, in all of those years of sitting for those glossy VF catalogue photos in her denim jumper and turtlenecks with her children … does she get a total pass for any responsibility in promoting this wicked and again, de-humanizing patriarchal “lifestyle?”

    I’m not so sure.

    It makes me think of the issue of FGM. The overwhelming majority of women are cut by other women. The women who do the cutting are often seen as being powerful leaders within their communities – where the overall cultural context gives women very little power in most spheres of life.

    The pressure from female relatives to be cut is tremendous – for older girls. Young girls really simply don’t have a choice. But make no mistake – women have responsibility in perpetrating this horrific practice.

  16. mot wrote:

    how many women have been abused and simply have had no place to bring their case because they know they will get no support from their pastor or other “authority” figures.

    Also, some women may actually believe that taking real steps to better their condition is wrong. In radical far-right fundamentalism the enduring of suffering is seen as a virtue. To suffer is better than not to suffer (especially if it is the other person doing the suffering, IMO).

    My family was never a part of far-right fundamentalism, but we have had some very close relationships with some who were a part of it. Some of what they say in private conversation as to what they believe I have never seen in print, but I have heard it out of some mouths. As in the idea that God rewards the woman who tolerates some things which I believe to be both intolerable and evil, but He punishes the woman who tries to flee from that situation / suffering. And also that one must change one’s attitude and embrace the suffering itself, “for the sake of Christ.”

    Strangely, I never heard that same thing said about men. What bible are these people reading?

  17. @ Virginia Knowles:

    Virginia, saw your comment after I hit “send” on my last post.

    Haven’t made it through the whole lawsuit yet. But it doesn’t surprise me one bit that the plaintiff in her statement alleges that she was threatened by Mrs. Douglas Philips, Esq.

    Not. One. Bit.

  18. Virginia Knowles wrote:

    Lourdes said Doug’s wife threatened her to keep quiet. That was in one of the articles.

    Thanks for pointing this out. There is so much to cover that I'm saving that for an upcoming post. 🙂

  19. Rafiki wrote:

    But make no mistake – women have responsibility in perpetrating this horrific practice.

    I put Doug Phillips' wife and Paige Patterson's wife in the same category. They are carrying out the agendas of their patriarchal husbands.

  20. @ Virginia Knowles:

    Let us not forget that the patriarchy of old included polygamy and concubinage. And let's not forget that islam today includes polygamy, and then there are the "fundamentalist" LDS people. In that sort of system there is status in being "first wife." And we have noted that there have been conciliatory and co-operation statements between at least one powerful comp leader toward the LDS folks. It is worrisome to consider what may be the next thing this movement champions.

    I do not think that these people believe that what they are doing is wrong. Dangerous maybe. Illegal maybe, Ill-advised maybe. But ultimately wrong in the eyes of God? I do not see any actual evidence or hear any actual statements to make me believe that they consider what they are doing to be wrong.

  21. Nancy wrote:

    I do not see any actual evidence or hear any actual statements to make me believe that they think that they think that it is wrong.

    Should read: “make me believe that they consider what they are doing to be wrong.”

  22. It’s interesting to compare photos of Warren Jeffs’ (FLDS) 50 wives (all dressed/hairstyled alike) and of young women at Bill Gothard’s Journey to the Heart. Even though the patriarchalists do not promote polygamy, there’s an undercurrent of it there. Maybe even more dangerous because it’s unacknowledged.
    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/12/08/article-2244925-16681923000005DC-542_634x286.jpg
    http://www.livingthejourney.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/090727_dja_7512-edit-edit2-531×425.jpg

  23. Could the Duggars be the avenue to bring attention to the abuses going on with the Patriarchy movement? Maybe the american media will pick up on what’s going on.

  24. Nancy wrote:

    @ Virginia Knowles:
    Let us not forget that the patriarchy of old included polygamy and concubinage. And let’s not forget that islam today includes polygamy, and then there are the “fundamentalist” LDS people. In that sort of system there is status in being “first wife.” And we have noted that there have been conciliatory and co-operation statements between at least one powerful comp leader toward the LDS folks. It is worrisome to consider what may be the next thing this movement champions.
    I do not think that these people believe that what they are doing is wrong. Dangerous maybe. Illegal maybe, Ill-advised maybe. But ultimately wrong in the eyes of God? I do not see any actual evidence or hear any actual statements to make me believe that they consider what they are doing to be wrong.

  25. Joy Huff wrote:

    Could the Duggars be the avenue to bring attention to the abuses

    Is anybody asking the Duggers what they think about the Gothard and Phillips scandals?
    Are they catching it on tape?
    Their reactions would be interesting.
    And, no, I don’t have it out for the Duggers. I don’t agree with their doctrine. But I believe some people are able to live out bad doctrine in a half-way human manner because they have some sort of character within themselves that keeps them from the most crazy parts like this alleged rape stuff the Doug perpetuated on Lourdes.

    (Yes, having 19 children IS crazy. Saying that doing so is God pleasing is wrong. But the Duggers appear to have way more character that Phillips or Gothard.)

  26. @ Virginia Knowles:

    Oops – hit enter too soon. What I meant to say is I’ve done a lot of research on LDS since my grandmother’s second husband was an LDS historian who was born into a polygamous family in Utah in the late 1800’s. I have also read a lot about the dynamics of polygamy. Very troubling.

    I should also mention that a few days ago, No Longer Quivering just posted one of my articles on recovering from spiritual abuse. You can find my slightly different version here: http://watchtheshepherd.blogspot.com/2014/04/moving-on-from-broken-my-church-and.html and their version here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/nolongerquivering/2014/04/my-recovery-story-so-ive-been-spiritually-abused-what-next/

    Their main story on the Doug Phillips lawsuit is here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/nolongerquivering/2014/04/news-pastor-accused-of-using-nanny-as-sex-object/

    …and their most recent one linking the Duggar family to it is here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/nolongerquivering/2014/04/news-media-starting-to-link-duggar-family-to-doug-phillips-finally/

  27. This and Gothards behavior should be front page news across America. Trouble is that most people will never see any of this and will continue to be deceived by the likes of these two characters.

  28. While the complaint never mentions sexual intercourse, it does claim that he repeatedly groped and masturbated on her while she protested.

    But Douggie ESQUIRE never actually Inserted Tab A Into Slot B so it wasn’t REALLY sex in the Biblical Sense. Douggie can now wipe his mouth and announce “I Have Not Sinned”, just like in Proverbs.

    “I did not Know that Woman in the Biblical Sense.”
    — Douggie ESQUIRE

    “I did not have sex with that woman.”
    “It all depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is.”
    — William J “Slick Willie” Clinton

  29. Rafiki wrote:

    Haven’t made it through the whole lawsuit yet. But it doesn’t surprise me one bit that the plaintiff in her statement alleges that she was threatened by Mrs. Douglas Philips, Esq.

    First Wife(TM) ALWAYS outranks Handmaid(TM).
    First Wife(TM) holds the whip to keep the Handmaids(TM) in line.

  30. Hester wrote:

    far-right Christian Patriarchy may be on the verge of collapse

    Not judging by the no-talk rule still being tacitly enforced among my FB friends. It’s me and two other people talking about it – out of 120+ friends, they’re not all homeschoolers but mostly – and one of them doesn’t really count because he’s a former TWW semi-regular (Jeff S.).

    Circling the wagons against The Heathen.

  31. Anon wrote:

    A quick settlement with sealed terms and a substantial cash payout to the victim may just stop that discovery process though.

    Worked for Wacko Jacko. The carrot of seven-plus figures in Hush Money and the stick of 24/7 harassment and threats by screaming fanboys gets results.

  32. @ Rafiki:

    No, I completely understand how someone wouldn’t feel sorry for Beall. I have mixed feelings about that whole thing. On the one hand, Beall has shown oppressive tendencies herself and did work very hard to perpetuate patriarchy, but on the other hand I wouldn’t wish an affair on anybody. If I had to choose I feel sorrier for Doug’s children.

    As for women perpetuating patriarchy/abuse, yes they do. When I start to get twitchy is when people claim that it is perpetuated/enabled by women all patriarchal families, even when it’s obvious that in many situations the man latched onto patriarchy and started lording it over his family. In my experience, people who repeat the line that all patriarchal/abusive men are just “enabled” by women, are usually trying to let the men off the hook and shift all the blame onto women. (Which is not what you are doing, obviously.)

  33. Re Beale: I am surprised that Beale was not named in the suit, given the report that she threatened Lourdes to keep quiet. Als that BCA was not included as a defendant.

    Discovery in this case will be interesting, and expensive for DP and the other defendants.

    If I were the attorney advising the defendants, especially DP, I would be pushing for a settlement, because the legal defense costs are going to be huge. And a trial will result in a lot of adverse publicity, for at least a week, prime time TV, etc.

    And the other defendants are not likely to be very supportive of DP given what has already happened between them and him.

  34. @ Mara:
    I’ll see if I can find the versions of both in which the men are also pictured with their “harems.” It’s all the more creepy considering Gothard was highly prescriptive about dress, colors and hairstyles. Just like the FLDS.

  35. Bill wrote:

    This and Gothards behavior should be front page news across America. Trouble is that most people will never see any of this and will continue to be deceived by the likes of these two characters.

    People will also continue to support certain practices that that don’t readily associate with these ideologies. For instance, most people don’t see “child discipline” as a bad thing in and of itself. Once you understand that “discipline” in the Patriarchal/Full Quiver circles means “breaking the child’s will” using Michael Pearl’s or similar methods, you understand how coercive these systems are.

  36. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    You got it, HUG.

    Mrs. Douglas Philips, Esq.’s email to the plaintiff is just … horrible and pathetic.

    And Nickname – no criticism intended, but I do have a different opinion on this:

    Nickname wrote:

    Phillips is not the first guy to do his thinking a tad too south of the brain

    I actually think Douglas Philips Esq. was absolutely using his brain that resides inside his thick mean skull.

    According to the lawsuit, he used this woman as a dehumanized s*x toy* for his own selfish gratification** for FIVE years. He was thinking enough to concoct lies about imminent marriage, to plan to be alone with her, etc. He knew what the h*ll he was doing.

    * Use of asterisk only to avoid hanging out at the moderation cafe/bar. 🙂

    ** Amazing but unsurprising that these comp/patriarchal weirdo men stick to their comp/patriarch creed in their own s*x lives, i.e. focusing solely on themselves and being so convinced of their superiority woman’s inferiority (or just outright hating women, as I suspect many of them do) that any concept of the woman’s needs is just alien.

  37. Hester wrote:

    If I had to choose I feel sorrier for Doug’s children.

    Yip, agree with you 100% on that, Hester.

    Hester wrote:

    In my experience, people who repeat the line that all patriarchal/abusive men are just “enabled” by women, are usually trying to let the men off the hook and shift all the blame onto women. (Which is not what you are doing, obviously.)

    This is also a good insight, and yes – what I expressed earlier about the role of the “queens behind the patriarchal thrones” could be too perilously close to the “all women enable” P.O.V. Thanks for recognizing my intention for the sake of discussion!

  38. An Attorney wrote:

    If I were the attorney advising the defendants, especially DP, I would be pushing for a settlement, because the legal defense costs are going to be huge. And a trial will result in a lot of adverse publicity, for at least a week, prime time TV, etc.

    I find fact #83 very damaging to the plaintiff. She states not at all times did she refuse the sexual advances of the defendant. She submitted based on a fraudulent statement. That statement is fact #79 which is the defendant is going to marry her.

    In other words, it looks like the classic boyfriend-girlfriend relationship that goes bad.

  39. Unfortunately, polygamy is making a comeback in fundamentalist Christian circles as well. :(. Just google “Christian polygamy blog” and you can actually read the sweet, gushy writings of several sister-wives in Christendom, apart from Mormon fundamentalism. 🙁

  40. I couldn’t help but notice that Home School Legal Defense Association chairman Mike Farris took great pains to distance himself from Doug Phillips, who once worked for HSLDA, and his patriarchy teachings. In addition to being interviewed for the WND article, Farris also published a post concerning Phillips on his Facebook page.

    Mike Farris has maintained a fairly low profile here in Virginia since his unsuccessful 1993 bid for lieutenant governor. His profile may be on the rise again, not only due to the lawsuit but an attempted political comeback by the man who defeated him in 1993, Don Beyer. (Beyer is running for the House seat being vacated by Rep. Jim Moran.) I wonder how this will play out for Farris and HSLDA.

  41. @ Joy Huff:
    The Duggars are too busy promoting their paean to patriarchy, the daughters new book. I doubt they will be criticizing the hand that feeds their media empire.

  42. @ Joe:

    The law in Texas treats an adult person who is under the “authority” of, or is being counseled by, a pastor (and some other professions as well) in a manner similar to the 16 year old, similar to the statutory rape charge. The woman is not presumed to be able to deny the advances of the pastor, making his sexual advances and behavior as if it were without permission, thence rape or the equivalent. And touching a womans privates without permission, with sexual intent, can be treated as rape.

  43. Rafiki wrote:

    And Nickname – no criticism intended, but I do have a different opinion on this:

    Nickname wrote:

    Phillips is not the first guy to do his thinking a tad too south of the brain

    I actually think Douglas Philips Esq. was absolutely using his brain that resides inside his thick mean skull.

    According to the lawsuit, he used this woman as a dehumanized s*x toy* for his own selfish gratification** for FIVE years. He was thinking enough to concoct lies about imminent marriage, to plan to be alone with her, etc. He knew what the h*ll he was doing.

    ——-
    I agree, Rafiki, he knew what he was doing, he was deliberately taking advantage of his own patriarchal teachings to exploit his victim.

    If this had been a heedless mutual love affair with a neighbor outside his sphere of influence, then it would be sad for the families and Phillips would have disqualified himself for ministry but none of us would have taken an interest in it. But what he did was both sexual and spiritual abuse and that it could happen at all was because of that abusive patriarchal system he set up.

  44. Someone mentioned perhaps criminal charges could be filed. We have seen in some civil abuse cases that criminal charges emerge in the discovery process. More victims may have the courage to come forward and make a report to the police. We hope so. If there’s one thing we see over and over, it’s that sexual predators rarely have just one victim.

    http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/SOTWDocs/PE/htm/PE.22.htm

    Texas Penal Code Chapter 5. (22.011)
    Title 5. Offenses against the person.
    Chapter 22. Assaultive Offenses.
    Sec. 22.011. Sexual assault.
    (b) A sexual assault […] is without the consent of the other person if: […] 10) the actor is a clergyman who causes the other person to submit or participate by exploiting the other person’s emotional dependency on the clergyman in the clergyman’s professional character as spiritual adviser …

    Texas Penal Code 22.011(b)(9): “by exploiting [the patient or former patient’s] . . . emotional dependency”; and (b)(10) “by exploiting the other person’s emotional dependency on the clergyman in the clergyman’s professional character as spiritual advisor”

  45. @ Taylor Joy:

    Biblical families in an Old Testament descriptive sense.
    NOT biblical families in a prescriptive sense.
    To try to force the descriptive into the prescriptive is doing violence of the message of scripture.
    So, yes. I’m going to say it out loud.
    The link Taylor Joy posted is to a place that fancies itself as honoring scripture when really they are just doing what they want to do while making the Bible agree with them.

  46. @ singleman:

    While Farris lost the ’93 AG race, since then I’d say that his “star” only rose – just not as an elected official. HSLDA, Patrick Henry College – he’s maintained a pretty high profile nationally and politically, just not as a candidate. He and Mike Smith have a lot of powerful and active political connections at the federal level and in VA.

    His FB posting and WND comments about Douglas Philips Esq. are interesting from the standpoint that it’s clear that he pretty much loathes the guy personally (as would anyone who’s ever been exposed to such a pompous – and mean – a*s as Douglas Philips, Esq.).

    However, I’ve personally always thought Farris’ denunciations of Douglas Philips, Esq. had way more to do with resentment over VF cutting in on Mikey’s turf as King of the Homeschoolers. Not out of any deep conviction that “Christian Patriarchy” is WRONG, mind you.

    Also, Farris is currently up to his neck in deep doo-doo following the high-profile New Republic article on Patrick Henry College and is likely trying to get ahead of the media cycle right now, because I’m sure there is a boatload of journos linking VF to HSLDA right now. So his distancing himself from Douglas Philips, Esq. seems insincere and very calculated to me.

  47. Nancy wrote:

    As in the idea that God rewards the woman who tolerates some things which I believe to be both intolerable and evil, but He punishes the woman who tries to flee from that situation / suffering. And also that one must change one’s attitude and embrace the suffering itself, “for the sake of Christ.”

    I see that sort of thinking in other Christian groups and concerning other problems, such as depression.

    If you try to seek relief from depression, by seeing doctors, using medications, you are thought to be slacking. The suffering is supposed to be good for you and make you more Christ-like, so some preachers or denominations think it’s a virtue.

    And so it goes with other types of suffering – people with sick children, people who get laid off from a job, whatever.

    I don’t even totally understand the NT’s thing about “rejoice in all suffering.” I try to avoid pain and suffering when and where I can, I don’t find anything to be joyful about, nor do I seek it out intentionally.

  48. Joe wrote:

    In other words, it looks like the classic boyfriend-girlfriend relationship that goes bad.

    Whether it was or not, you KNOW it’s going to be spun that way by Douggie’s defense.

    Because Texas courts won’t accept “Stone the Jezebel — God Saith!” That has to wait for the Reconstructionist takeover and proclamation of the Republic of Holy Gilead.

  49. Does anyone else think its completely inappropriate that WND (which IMO is a fringe outlet, to put it lightly) felt the need to festoon their article with photos of the plaintiff?

  50. @ Rafiki:

    I don’t know what the women like that are supposed to do, expect, run away in the middle of the night to a domestic violence shelter, if they have no car or income of their own, and no family to stay with.

  51. Rafiki wrote:

    However, I’ve personally always thought Farris’ denunciations of Douglas Philips, Esq. had way more to do with resentment over VF cutting in on Mikey’s turf as King of the Homeschoolers.

    The Universe Cannot Have Two Centers.

  52. Mara wrote:

    (Yes, having 19 children IS crazy. Saying that doing so is God pleasing is wrong. But the Duggers appear to have way more character that Phillips or Gothard.)

    There is at least one poster here who will misconstrue and misrepresent your comment to mean you are a feminist who hates motherhood, should she show up in this thread. (It happened to me.)

    I’ve nothing against motherhood, not for women who walk into it with eyes wide open. However, I am not a supporter of any group that teaches women their only value, biblically acceptable role, or godly role in life is to be a mother (or wife).

    But yes, I do find having over 2, 3, 4 children strange. I would also think it’s exhausting. So that is not a choice I would make, had I married.

  53. Nancy wrote:

    And also that one must change one’s attitude and embrace the suffering itself, “for the sake of Christ.”

    Until you’re gargling lye alongside St Rose of Lima. Because the more you suffer, the more Godly you are.

    Strangely, I never heard that same thing said about men. What bible are these people reading?

    The Taliban Edition.

  54. This stuff is so difficult to read (or watch). Perhaps Quentin Tarantino will one day offer his interpretation of the Christian patriarchy movement in a film similar to ‘Django Unchained’?

  55. Rafiki wrote:

    Does anyone else think its completely inappropriate that WND (which IMO is a fringe outlet, to put it lightly) felt the need to festoon their article with photos of the plaintiff?

    As in “Target Identification” for “Let Bubba Do It”?

    Remember this is WND of “WHERE’S THE *REAL* BIRTH CERTIFICATE?????” Birther billboard fame. WND who listed “Blame-the-Jews Buchanan” and “Pin-the-Tail-on-The-Antichrist Lindsay” on their editorial staff. WND blew their credibility with me from day one — I’m surprised they actually reported on Lourdes’ lawsuit.

  56. @ Daisy:

    You may be very correct Daisy. I don’t discount this possibility at all.

    But as an outside observer, my spidey sense (and also Exhibit A, the email on page 16, article 54) tells me there might be a Grace Mugabe (wife of Comrade Bob) dynamic going on here.

  57. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    “I did not Know that Woman in the Biblical Sense.”
    – Douggie ESQUIRE

    The funny thing is, I think any physical contact of a sexual nature, including nekkid exposure of certain body parts or touching thereof in front of or on someone else, is considered in the Bible to be “knowing someone in the Biblical sense.” The Bible does not specify that coitus is the one and only act God considers “knowing” someone, or the only “sexual” one. (The book Song of Songs hints at a lot more acts than standard nooky.)

    I’m not one of the extreme purity police who believes it wrong for a man and woman to *gasp* hold hands on a date, neck, or kiss. That’s just me. But him whipping his thing out in front of a lady? IMO, that is in fact “knowing someone,” in a way.

    Does he have daughters? Would he like it if a 50 year old man shook his thing in front of his 15 year old daughter?

    I would dare suggest that 99% of women would not find the explicit behavior described by Douggie as a turn on. Most would be repulsed, or find it ridiculous, just like most men do not like getting genitalia photos from men on dating sites, but men assume we ladies do, and they keep sending them, unsolicited.

  58. @ Daisy:

    “just like most men do not like getting genitalia photos from men”

    I meant women, as in, “just like most women do not…”

  59. Patricia Hanlon wrote:

    It’s all the more creepy considering Gothard was highly prescriptive about dress, colors and hairstyles. Just like the FLDS

    That is interesting.

    One of the first things counselors and psychologists tell women to look for, in all the material on abuse I’ve ever read, as a red flag in a man they are dating is if he starts dictating their physical appearance, tells them how to cut their hair, what hair color, how to dress, etc.

    The counselors say once a guy starts demanding and bossing you around on that stuff, to dump him and run for the hills.

  60. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    in the Patriarchal/Full Quiver circles means “breaking the child’s will” using Michael Pearl’s or similar methods

    Sounds like something one would see in a TV documentary on communist POW camps.

  61. Daisy wrote:

    But yes, I do find having over 2, 3, 4 children strange.

    Are we correct to assume that you have never given birth to a child?

  62. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    I’m surprised they actually reported on Lourdes’ lawsuit.

    Yep, I was surprised too, HUG. They even actually did some leg work to get different perspectives from a range of people for the article.

    Then they (of course) busted all normative journalistic ethics by splattering pictures of a plaintiff in an criminal sexual assault case all over their website. Sigh.

    Oh well. The article at least was unlike, say, Marvin Olasky at World (bleah) who you could practically hear crying while clacking away on his keyboard having to write a somewhat critical piece on his pal Douglas Philips, Esq. Bending over backwards to affirm the basic tenants of Christian patriarchy while bemoaning the “fall” of Brother Philips.

    Esq.

    🙂

  63. Rafiki wrote:

    He was thinking enough to concoct lies about imminent marriage, to plan to be alone with her, etc.

    I wonder what else was going through his mind, because one of these news reports said he tried to visit her in the middle of the night by sneaking into her bedroom window, but one of her family chased him off.

    There is something way off about a grown man trying to sneak into the bedroom of a teen or young 20-something. I again wonder, (if he is a father of a daughter), would he want a 40 or 50 something man crawling into his teen daughter’s window at anytime, day or night? My guess would be no, but he thinks he is a special exception to creepy, stalker, age-inappropriate behavior with someone else’s teen daughter.

  64. Joe wrote:

    She states not at all times did she refuse the sexual advances of the defendant. She submitted based on a fraudulent statement. That statement is fact #79 which is the defendant is going to marry her.

    In other words, it looks like the classic boyfriend-girlfriend relationship that goes bad.

    So if a woman sometimes enjoys sexual engagement with a man, she can make no complaint when, at times, the man forces it on her against her will?

    You’re funny.

  65. Taylor Joy wrote:

    Please be prepared to vomit in your mouth a little….
    http://www.biblicalfamilies.org/

    I could only read a little bit before closing the page. I’ve got no desire to vomit, especially since I need to leave for work in about an hour.

    So these guys are promoting taking more than one wife while some of us can’t even find a godly wife? How disturbing.

    Also, how do they promote themselves as “biblical families” when Scripture is clear that polygamists shouldn’t serve in church leadership? (1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:6)

  66. @ Taylor Joy:

    It’s been going on a little longer than that. About 8, 9 years ago, I was a moderator at a fairly popular Christian discussion board. For a few weeks, we had a small group of guys who claimed to be Christians who support polygamy.

    I wouldn’t argue with them in public, but one of them started sending me personal notes at the board, and I just ignored them. He was trying to convince me that it’s okay for Christian men today to have more than one wife.

    You cannot reason with crackpots or convince them to change their mind, so I ignored the guy. But they are out there.

  67. @ Joe:
    Joe wrote:

    An Attorney wrote:
    …I find fact #83 very damaging to the plaintiff. She states not at all times did she refuse the sexual advances of the defendant. She submitted based on a fraudulent statement. That statement is fact #79 which is the defendant is going to marry her.
    In other words, it looks like the classic boyfriend-girlfriend relationship that goes bad.

    I’m surprising that you, an attorney, would say that. A woman can consent to sex 9,999 times, but if on time 1000 she refuses and the man continues anyway, that’s rape. The fact that one or more times a woman does not refuse sex does not mean that she is now obligated every time the man wants it.

    And no, this story does not resemble any kind of classic boyfriend/girlfriend situation gone right, wrong, or any other way.

  68. Daisy wrote:

    Sounds like something one would see in a TV documentary on communist POW camps.

    Yes. I haven’t read anything about how Lourdes’ parents raised her, but I know the environment well.
    You’ve talked about being raised to not be assertive. Imagine that training on steroids. Then your minister begins engaging in disgusting behavior with you that you’ve been taught is sinful outside of marriage. He’s your minister. You’ve been trained to submit. But, it’s wrong. I’m sure Jeannette could give us the proper psychological term for this, but I can completely understand Lourdes’ confusion and inability to object to what was happening.

  69. TedS. wrote:

    Are we correct to assume that you have never given birth to a child?

    How many times have I mentioned on this blog the past year and a half I am a never married, 40 something year old virgin? So what do you think?

  70. Hah!! I live right outside of Winston-Salem, and I used to attend the homeschool convention at Benton Convention Center, way back in the day. I never attended any of the talks or sessions, though. I was just there to look at curricula. After a few years (late ’90s), I stopped attending, because, frankly, it was a bore. Everything was fundy, and I’m not. There was exactly one Catholic vendor (Saints and Scholars), but, after a few years, they stopped exhibiting. I’m surprised they lasted as long as they did.

    Anyway, if you live in the NC Triad, then in order to get into the convention, you have to sign up for membership in the local homeschooling group, at a cost of about $25 or so. At least, that’s how it worked back then. Anyway, that’s how my name and address got onto Doug Phillips’s mailing list. For years we received those slick, glossy catalogs — which I must admit were well designed and produced. I always found them really weird and completely unappealing to my Catholic sensibilities. All that dress-up stuff…I mean, really. Not that I am against dress-up for kids. When they were little, my sons used to dress up as saints for Halloween. (Even a lousy seamstress like me can make a decent Saint Francis outfit out of brown felt and a piece of rope.) Later on they dressed as pirates and ’80s rock stars and stuff like that. But I sure in heck wasn’t going to dress them as New England Puritans or as members of Cromwell’s cavalry. My Irish ancestors would be spinning in their graves! LOL.

    Anyway…just found it interesting that Deb was attending that homeschool convention around the same time I was. Gee, what I missed out on by not attending the talks! 😮

  71. @ BeenThereDoneThat:

    Absolutely. When young women are raised from childhood that good, godly girls are passive, compliant, and that having boundaries is wrong, disobedient, and unchristian, they go along with a lot of bullying and abuse from peers and adults, and it continues into their adulthood.

    I did not even learn until a couple years ago (and after reading sites and books by counselors about these things) that I had a right to have boundaries, to make my own choices, and to say no to people.

    I would think it’s similar to what Lourdes and other ladies go through in these patriarchal groups.

    This kind of teaching makes it easy for abusive, controlling people to manipulate a woman. There are shades of this in run- of- the mill gender complementarianism that Southern Baptists advocate, as well as Council for Biblical Manhood Womanood. They are teaching women to be targets for victimhood, and making them appealing to abusive, controlling men (and women. Sometimes women prey on other women).

  72. TedS. wrote:

    Are we correct to assume that you have never given birth to a child?

    Have you ever “given birth” to a child, Ted? That might be an interesting case study for some medical journal.

  73. Daisy wrote:

    TedS. wrote:
    Are we correct to assume that you have never given birth to a child?
    How many times have I mentioned on this blog the past year and a half I am a never married, 40 something year old virgin? So what do you think?

    You handled this better than I would have Daisy…..

  74. K.D. wrote:

    You handled this better than I would have Daisy…..

    I’m not even sure what he was getting at.

    Was he trying to say that people who do not have children are not permitted to have opinions on motherhood or parenting?

    Lots of parents have no hesitation at condemning and judging childless or child free people about it, or badgering you on when are you having kids (they ask repeatedly), or why did you not have any, etc.

    I was always undecided about having kids or not. If I had one, it would have to be within marriage. I never married. Had I married, I was willing to have one child, two at the most, but no more than two.

    I do get perturbed at people who automatically assume that you personally not understanding why anyone would want to have 10 or more kids (such as the Duggars) automatically makes you a secular, man- and- child- and- motherhood- hating feminist.

    I’ve defended stay- at- home- motherhood (or just plain old motherhood) on Non Christian forums and blogs, where the feminists bash it. Then I come to Christian sites like this and get accused by at least one person on a regular basis of hating motherhood. I can’t win.

  75. Their catalogues used to have all white upper middle class families. The daughters were dressed in beautiful frilly clothing and had toys like tea sets, thimbles, and dolls.
    The boys got all the fun toys.

    We never got involved because I just didn’t want my girls to be so sticky sweet and sit around having tea parties inside with their dolls while their brothers had all the fun.

  76. Daisy wrote:

    When young women are raised from childhood that good, godly girls are passive, compliant, and that having boundaries is wrong, disobedient, and unchristian, they go along with a lot of bullying and abuse from peers and adults, and it continues into their adulthood.

    And the young men raised from childhood that good godly boys are aggressive warriors who lord it over those girls? “THE MAN PENETRATES! COLONIZES! CONQUERS! PLANTS!”?

  77. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    You’ve talked about being raised to not be assertive. Imagine that training on steroids. Then your minister begins engaging in disgusting behavior with you that you’ve been taught is sinful outside of marriage. He’s your minister. You’ve been trained to submit. But, it’s wrong

    Robby the Robot from Forbidden Planet when given two mutually-exclusive directives: he just freezes up and starts arcing like foil in a microwave.

  78. @ Catholic Homeschooler:

    Thanks for your comment! I got out of the homeschooling movement just in time!!! (I dodged the Vision Forum influence PTL!)

    FYI, my younger daughter is on her Easter break from college, and we are in my older daughter's classroom in Hillsborough right now. She is teaching her 18 well-behaved first graders about TIME and doing a terrific job!

    I'm a live and let live kinda gal, so I don't condemn people regarding which choice they make in educating their children. But some homeschooling families would be incensed that my daughter works for a 'government' school… 😉

  79. Patrice wrote:

    So if a woman sometimes enjoys sexual engagement with a man, she can make no complaint when, at times, the man forces it on her against her will?
    You’re funny.

    Joe’s male(TM). And Captain Bonerhelmet’s rights must not be infringed.

  80. @ Daisy:

    You do not have to explain or defend anything, especially not to some man. But while we are waiting for TedS to explain himself—perhaps Couvade Syndrome?—or just some fantasies that need to stay private? Hey, I don’t know. But no man on the face of the earth was ever a mother, and not one of them needs to pretend that anything they have to say about it is worth much.

    But when Jesus was presented with the issue of praising or not praising the mere biological acts of pregnancy, parturition and lactation, he chose not to. He chose not to even when He was talking about HIs own mother.

    Luke 11: 27-28  As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!” But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

  81. Daisy wrote:

    @ Daisy:
    “just like most men do not like getting genitalia photos from men”
    I meant women, as in, “just like most women do not…”

    Holds for straight men, too.

  82. Daisy wrote:

    The Bible does not specify that coitus is the one and only act God considers “knowing” someone, or the only “sexual” one. (The book Song of Songs hints at a lot more acts than standard nooky.)

    It is when you’re trying to invoke the Clinton Sex Defense.

    And that’s what makes Douggie such a laughingstock. He’s so OBVIOUS about it.

  83. Deb wrote:

    @ Catholic Homeschooler:
    Thanks for your comment! I got out just in time!!!
    FYI, my younger daughter is on her Easter break from college, and we are in my older daughter’s classroom in Hillsborough right now. She is teaching her 18 well-behaved first graders about TIME and doing a terrific job!
    I’m a live and let live kinda gal, so I don’t condemn people regarding which choice the make in educating their children. But some homeschooling families would be incensed that my daughter works for a ‘government’ school…

    You should be on some of the other sites for flak about being so-called ‘ gubmint’ teacher….I’ve been called a pedophile, a communist, a homosexual, sometimes all together…..

  84. singleman wrote:

    So these guys are promoting taking more than one wife while some of us can’t even find a godly wife? How disturbing.

    Well, I have a back-at-home daughter… Contact matchmakers Deebs if interested. 🙂 Since you’re going to work, that would put you above many men and man-boys she’s met already!
    Seriously, I believe polygamy, though a bad thing, would have been better than what Phillips chose to do.
    Divorce , though a bad thing, would have been better than what he chose to do.
    Obviously, fleeing sexual immorality and being faithful would have been best.
    And he very best would have been repenting of his whole “ministry” and getting an honest job.

  85. @ K.D.:

    Sadly, the homeschooling movement (which I was a part of for four years) appears to have been hijacked by some radical extremists who make Christianity look REALLY REALLY BAD!

  86. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Robby the Robot from Forbidden Planet when given two mutually-exclusive directives: he just freezes up and starts arcing like foil in a microwave.

    Very good visual. 🙂

    I think Jeannette has talked about “double bind” in a comment long ago. I think it applies to this situation:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_bind

    “A double bind is an emotionally distressing dilemma in communication in which an individual (or group) receives two or more conflicting messages, in which one message negates the other. This creates a situation in which a successful response to one message results in a failed response to the other (and vice versa), so that the person will automatically be wrong regardless of response. The double bind occurs when the person cannot confront the inherent dilemma, and therefore can neither resolve it nor opt out of the situation. . . For example, this situation arises when a person in a position of authority imposes two contradictory conditions but there exists an unspoken rule that one must never question authority.”

  87. As an aside– absolutely nothing in the lawsuit surprised me. Well, almost. Did you notice one incident took place in the KITCHEN, with kids and friends in the house? He must have got some thrill from the chance of being caught.

    Now, what DID surprise me (and should not have) was news of the wedding. Keep Nolan in your prayers, since as recently as 2 months ago, his mother was still supporting Phillips. He told her on FB, "Mom, if you are not present at the ENTIRE trial, and if I ever have children, you will never meet them. I swear it. If you keep your head in the sand during the trial. You will never meet my children. Generations of Manteufel's will know about how my mother was bewitched by a False Teacher that lead (sic) a child astray."

  88. Not sure what Ted was getting at in his question to Daisy, but I am a feminist and a mother and like Daisy, I had no interest in having a large family. Of course that is a husband and wife’s personal choice and fine with me and I am sure mothers of large families have talents I don’t have. However, I know that for myself, I would be concerned about being able to give each child enough personal attention and being able to afford a good education for each of them.

  89. @ Dave A A:

    It is sad that Phillips led Lourdes astray and I pray that God will bring peace and joy to Lourdes and Nolan. But Phillips and many other men continue to set families on a path that is not healthy for fathers, mothers, or their children.

    I find it interesting that it is Nolan's mother that appears to continue to support Phillips. I'm wondering where his father is in the situation.

  90. Nauseating….

    Putting in my order for millstones & rope!

    Just not sure how many dozens I should order…..

  91. OK, guys. Go ahead and delete that comment of mine that is in moderation. I let my anger get away with me.

    I still mean it, I just probably should not say it.

    Thanks

  92. Nickname wrote:

    what made my blood run cold was that he (allegedly) asserted that his wife would die soon. I hope the wife has stopped swallowing all the hogwash, is running for her life, and suing for a whopping divorce settlement.

    I find that statement creepy. What also concerns me is how Lourdes might have felt intimidated by such a statement.

  93. In my opinion—strongly held opinion—and, of course, utterly correct opinion, it is nobody’s business whether people have children or not, or if they do how many that might be or not. I watched my daughter go through fertility problems and heard some hateful comments, and I never want to hear that sort of thing again out of anybody’s mouth.

  94. Rafiki wrote:

    Marvin Olasky at World (bleah) who you could practically hear crying while clacking away on his keyboard having to write a somewhat critical piece on his pal Douglas Philips, Esq. Bending over backwards to affirm the basic tenants of Christian patriarchy while bemoaning the “fall” of Brother Philips.

    I think the entire patriarchy crowd is in shock. i do find that a bit strange since most of them support some for of Reformed theology which recognizes man’s inherent sin nature. Their primary view is that sin involving sex is far worse than din involving arrogance.

    I think that arrogance is the root of many of these falls. Arrogance breeds an ability to justify one’s actions. I would love to have heard Phillip’s justification for this one. Let’s see-King David did it and he was a man after God’s own heart….

  95. Catholic Homeschooler wrote:

    All that dress-up stuff…I mean, really. Not that I am against dress-up for kids. When they were little, my sons used to dress up as saints for Halloween. (Even a lousy seamstress like me can make a decent Saint Francis outfit out of brown felt and a piece of rope.) Later on they dressed as pirates and ’80s rock stars and stuff like that. But I sure in heck wasn’t going to dress them as New England Puritans or as members of Cromwell’s cavalry. My Irish ancestors would be spinning in their graves! LOL.

    The first time I saw Doug playing dress up and looking quite smug about it, I knew we had a problem. I have been waiting for this to occur. I knew it would.

  96. K.D. wrote:

    You should be on some of the other sites for flak about being so-called ‘ gubmint’ teacher….I’ve been called a pedophile, a communist, a homosexual, sometimes all together…..

    No way? Why?

  97. Nancy wrote:

    I watched my daughter go through fertility problems and heard some hateful comments,

    You know, the SGM community bred a group of people that thought they needed to make observations about behavior. I have read story after story over there- totally flabbergasted.

    Our friend, Paula, relayed a time when Carolyn Mhanaey came to her house with other women. Apparently (Paul- correct me if I am not remembering this correctly) she as chastised for not having a certain Bible verse posted above her bed. Carolyn did and that meant everyone else was supposed o do it.

    They commented on things like how you did. or did not button your blouse, how transparent the fabric was, and on and on… I would have hated being in that group. I would have been throw out upon quoting that I was cross stitching Numbers 26:10.

    (The earth opened its mouth and swallowed them along with Korah, whose followers died when the fire devoured the 250 men. And they served as a warning sign.NIV)

  98. dee wrote:

    I think the entire patriarchy crowd is in shock.

    I think you’re right about this, Dee. Hopefully they’ll be shocked into silence!

    What I really want to see is a critical mass of regular ol’ everyday evangelicals getting shocked about “Christian Patriarchy” and “Biblical Man- and Womanhood” and the deep reach of its aberrant tentacles into the church.

  99. @ Daisy:
    Having survived 3 childbirths, I have come to the conclusion that someone needs to invent a pill you can swallow that will pop them out easily. I do not like pain and I took all of the classes.

    I did not make it in time to have an epidural with my first. So, the second time, I got there in plenty of time and hollered for the anesthesiologist. So, said resident (Duke) appears and asks the following question which should have caused him to be demoted.

    “Mrs Parson, you did not use anesthesia for the first baby. Why do you want it now?”

    Using every last bit of control, I was able to avoid punching him and said, through gritted teeth, “Because I remember every last minute of the first. They lied to me. There is no such thing as amnesia after labor.”

    I then threatened to tell his boss if he didn’t get the epidural immediately. I got it and thought it was an excellent procedure and had one with my third as well.

  100. dee wrote:

    I would have hated being in that group. I would have been throw out upon quoting that I was cross stitching Numbers 26:10.
    (The earth opened its mouth and swallowed them along with Korah, whose followers died when the fire devoured the 250 men. And they served as a warning sign.NIV)

    Bwahahahahaha!

    Personally I’ve always wanted a cross stitch of 2 Kings 2:23 – 24. 🙂

  101. dee wrote:

    Numbers 26:10.

    That’s a great idea. I don’t cross-stitch but there are probably some indelible markers around here somewhere.

  102. I remember reading on some forum, years ago, that in the opinion of one writer, it was only a matter of time before one of the Dougs took another wife. I’ve never liked DW or DP but it my mind at the time that sounded rather incredible and not at all likely…. Just goes to show, dunnit?

    In other news, womb-tomb Swanson is keynote speaker at the big homeschooling conference in Rochester, NY. Guess where I won’t be going this spring. Guess where I haven’t been for the past 11 springs.
    http://www.leahconference.com

  103. Rafiki wrote:

    Marvin Olasky at World (bleah) who you could practically hear crying while clacking away on his keyboard having to write a somewhat critical piece on his pal Douglas Philips, Esq. Bending over backwards to affirm the basic tenants of Christian patriarchy while bemoaning the “fall” of Brother Philips.

    Searched for but could not find the article you mentioned.

  104. dee wrote:

    “Mrs Parson, you did not use anesthesia for the first baby. Why do you want it now?”
    Using every last bit of control, I was able to avoid punching him and said, through gritted teeth, “Because I remember every last minute of the first. They lied to me. There is no such thing as amnesia after labor.”

    “I WANT MORPHINE!!!!!!!!!”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mvkz9Rqzcs0

  105. I also have never given birth to a child. I offer this piece of totally irrelevant information in the spirit of ‘up yours’.

  106. Rafiki wrote:

    Oh well. The article at least was unlike, say, Marvin Olasky at World (bleah) who you could practically hear crying while clacking away on his keyboard having to write a somewhat critical piece on his pal Douglas Philips, Esq. Bending over backwards to affirm the basic tenants of Christian patriarchy while bemoaning the “fall” of Brother Philips.

    Like the Tech of Scientology or the Inevitable Historical Dialectic of Marxism-Leninism, the Pure Ideology Can Never Be Wrong. “This time we WILL Achieve True Communism! Because this time the RIGHT people will be in charge of The Party!”

  107. dee wrote:

    Apparently (Paul- correct me if I am not remembering this correctly) she as chastised for not having a certain Bible verse posted above her bed. Carolyn did and that meant everyone else was supposed o do it.

    Just like how all North Korean men are to have exactly the same haircut as Comrade Dear Leader.

    Or how the Taliban made beards-on-men compulsory because Mohammed was bearded.

  108. dee wrote:

    K.D. wrote:
    You should be on some of the other sites for flak about being so-called ‘ gubmint’ teacher….I’ve been called a pedophile, a communist, a homosexual, sometimes all together…..
    No way? Why?

    I was a HS government teacher in a ‘ gubmint’ school…..it isn’t just other Christian sites, it is pretty much all so call conservative sites….years ago I innocently join a French Firearm forum. I collect French guns, when they found out I was a school teacher, it was on….I left the group. I shouldn’t have…

    Look, I’ve been attack as a Marxist on a men’s clothing forum…..because I’m a teacher….businessmen see us as the enemy.

    Anyway, the Christian forums are the worst. Even if they have their kids in public school, teachers are seen as “public enemy #1.”

  109. Like others here, I have never given birth to a child, birthing ideas is hard enough for me!!! However, I have been present with my spouse when two were born, and know that my spouse suffered greatly in giving birth. And by the way, cursed like a Marine during the final stages, with words I have never heard my spouse say before or since.

    I did pass two kidney stones and years ago had a severe gall bladder problem, and I can say that both of those were sufficiently painful that I empathize with any woman who has birthed a child without the benefit of anesthesia, as my spouse did.

  110. singleman wrote:

    So these guys are promoting taking more than one wife while some of us can’t even find a godly wife? How disturbing.

    In harem situations, the top-ranking high-status Alpha Males grab all the females for their own harems while the Beta-to-Omega Males have to do without. Unless they too become Alpha Males and start grabbing the females away from the other Beta-to-Omegas.

    And Herd Bosses have ways to drive off or destroy any Beta-to-Omega Males who might threaten their Alpha position or their monopoly on all the females.

    Wasn’t ha-Torah given to Transcend such Animal Behavior?

    (Yeah, David did it and “he was a man after God’s Own Heart”. Ever heard of “Subversive Wisdom”? Torah and Tenach write of polygamy and harems because that was NORMAL for Semitic tribal culture. Yet notice that Torah and Tenach chronicle the DOWNSIDE and Dark Side of it — Abraham throwing Sarah at Pharoah’s harem to save himself; David ordering Bathsheba into his bed and arranging an accident for Uriah; the harem politics with Michal and Amnon and Absalom that wreck the House of David. No, it’s not forbidden — that would be outside any stretch of reality for the original target audience — but it’s indirectly discouraged.)

  111. Here’s the link, Mara:

    http://www.worldmag.com/2014/03/set_adrift/page1

    And in all fairness, Marv didn’t write the piece.

    Seriously, blandly referring to VF as merely a “system that [encourages] protecting women and children”?!

    Glossing over the incredible harm done by VF by noting that, at the end of the day, they promote “worthy, biblical ideals?!”

    Pass the crack pipe, thankyouverymuch!

    “Phillips appeared to have some safeguards in place as well, including traveling with assistants and family. It isn’t clear where the safeguards broke down, but that offers another valuable lesson: Even systems that encourage protecting women and children can only work if the people who teach them follow them.

    Indeed, ministries and churches sometimes coalesce around worthy, biblical ideals like building strong families and promoting certain kinds of education. Personal sin doesn’t invalidate those ideals, but it does offer a reminder that the most fundamental safety comes as Christ and the gospel remain the center of Christian churches, ministries, and lives.

  112. Beakerj wrote:

    I also have never given birth to a child. I offer this piece of totally irrelevant information in the spirit of ‘up yours’.

    Awesome! 🙂

  113. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    That’s one of my favorites!

    I also like this excerpt: http://www.lindasharp.com/book_excerpts.htm
    “Carol Burnett once described the pain of childbirth as, “Taking your lower lip and pulling it over your head.” She must have had an epidural. What To Expect… describes it as discomfort. If you are contemplating natural, drug free childbirth, take it from one who has been there. Have your husband stand five feet directly behind you. NOW take your bottom lip and pull it over your head and back over his. Have him hold it in place with his heels. That’s about right. To replicate the feeling of an intense contraction, have him perform Lord of the Dance for 45-60 seconds.”

  114. @ singleman:
    I know a lawyer who worked HSLDA at the same time Phillips was there. The general consensus was DP was an arrogant jerk. I’m not surprised Farris is keeping quiet.

  115. Rafiki wrote:

    The pressure from female relatives to be cut is tremendous – for older girls. Young girls really simply don’t have a choice. But make no mistake – women have responsibility in perpetrating this horrific practice.

    I’m inclined to agree with you here Rafiki. I think that there’s a vast scale of difference between underage children as victims and the personal responsibility of grown women.

  116. I have written this on other sites, but it bears repeating. Phillip’s behavior reflects the type of sex found in pornography. The women are paid to “act” like they are turned on by a man masturbating and ejaculating on them. In the real world, most women would derive no pleasure from this activity. As HUG, referred to on SSB, this is called the “money shot”. With all his teaching of morality, what kind of private activity was Doug engaging in to think treating Lourdes as an object for his selfish sexual gratification was in anyway attractive to her? According to the lawsuit, Phillips treated Lourdes as an object of his sexual compulsion. An “experienced” or at least an informed woman would have seen through this, which explains how he chose his victim. Take a young vulnerable woman who looks up to you, and manipulate her in a way that can destroy her soul, mind and body. Thank God she is out of the situation and rebuilding her life. For any patriarchal men out there-sex was not created for man to shame and conquer women!!!! Sorry for the rant! Ann

  117. Rafiki wrote:

    Seriously, blandly referring to VF as merely a “system that [encourages] protecting women and children”?!

    Ees Party Line, Comrade.

    <blockquote.Glossing over the incredible harm done by VF by noting that, at the end of the day, they promote “worthy, biblical ideals?!”

    Ees Party Line, Comrade.

    (And the chocolate ration of twenty grams is to be INCREASED to ten grams!)

  118. let’s not forget this abuse began when Lourdes was 15 years old. From the lawsuit:

    Douglas Phillips—standing in a position of influence and prominence within patriarchy—methodically groomed Ms. Torres so that she would eventually participate in illicit sexual rendezvous with him promising that she could one day marry him. This grooming began when Ms. Torres was a fifteen-year-old child. Due to the years of continued conditioning and indoctrination by Phillips and the patriarchal leaders, Ms. Torres was incapable of giving consent to Phillips’s sexual advances.
    35. Phillips promised Ms. Torres that he would marry her and that she would be the person who would have the great privilege of being his wife. In Ms. Torres’s eyes he was the primary leader of this movement and the most powerful male figure in her universe. Phillips repeatedly told Torres that this was possible because his wife, Beall Phillips, was going to die soon.

  119. Also, someone please take a flashlight and expose all these power hungry “men o’ God” and bring them out of the shadows they are hiding behind. Hold their deeds out in the open so they can expose their own shame. The same shame they project onto their victims. Don’t allow them to use the Bible to rationalize their behavior. This cowardess dishonors God.

  120. Ann wrote:

    The women are paid to “act” like they are turned on by a man masturbating and ejaculating on them. In the real world, most women would derive no pleasure from this activity. As HUG, referred to on SSB, this is called the “money shot”.

    To me, that particular act (for which I shall use the Boont nonch harpin’ verbs “keeboarp” and/or “dreef”) is an incredibly degrading insult to do to a woman, on the order of “P on You!” It’s like using her as a toilet!

    Yet I understand it’s very common in porn flicks. Someone told me it’s to show off the Manly Man’s capacity (which would not be camera-visible if he stayed connected for burlappin’ instead of dreefin’).

  121. Also, let’s not forget the complicity of other men: the entire board of directors of Vision Forum, after they found out about Phillips’ ‘illicit sexual behaviour’, tried to keep it hidden for 8 months, only letting him step down when they could no longer keep it confidential. Immediately they began plotting how they could instigate his return.

    These men are sick. The lawsuit is right: in their eyes women exist ‘solely for the control and pleasure of the men’.

  122. Another important quotation:

    Ms. Torres was unable to consent to the sexual contact and repeatedly asked Defendant
    Douglas Phillips to stop. However, Ms. Torres did not tell anyone about Defendant’s
    conduct because he manipulated her into believing that it would ruin his reputation,
    destroy his ministry, and get her in trouble with the church.

  123. @ K.D.:

    As a homeschool mom, I want to say how sorry I am that you’ve been treated this way. I have the utmost respect for teachers. I would love for any of my kids to have you as a teacher.

  124. @ Mara:

    There is a link to a World Mag. article at Julie Anne's blog. I don't like it at all. Don't remember who wrote it. It basically gives cold facts about the law suit and then spends the better part of space trying to separate patriarchal lifestyles from complementarianism. I wasn't impressed and thought it was self-serving to the comp view and had very little to say about/to he 'alleged' (but not really since Doug admitted guilt) victim 🙁

  125. What Phillips and his patriarch cronies needed long before now. What Phillips and his patriarch cronies fear the most. What Phillips is starting to get in this law suit. May his cronies perk up and realize that it could happen to them. I won’t hold my breath waiting for them to realize that is should happen to them:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6orgamyCO4
    (Okay, I admit that it’s a little excessive. But this sure would have stopped things if Lourdes had ever known that her boundaries were hers to protect and that she always had the right to protect them no matter what lies Phillips spewed about God and the Bible.)

  126. An Attorney wrote:

    I did pass two kidney stones and years ago had a severe gall bladder problem, and I can say that both of those were sufficiently painful that I empathize with any woman who has birthed a child without the benefit of anesthesia, as my spouse did.

    My hubby has had kidney stones before. The first one was so bad that when he passed it, he sent out a birth announcement and named it. 🙂 Can't remember the name, but it wasn't flattering.  😉

    I have never had a kidney stone, but a female colleague of my husband has. She has also given birth. Here is what she told him:

    If having a baby hurt as much as my kidney stone, there wouldn't be any more babies!

    Perhaps that puts it into perspective. Maybe others have had different experiences with these two painful events…

  127. Rafiki wrote:

    Even systems that encourage protecting women and children can only work if the people who teach them follow them.

    That’s because these ‘systems’ are NOT about protecting women and children but SUBJUGATING them to the will of men, often deranged ones.

  128. @ JeffT:

    Absolutely. These systems are not designed to protect women and children. They are designed to oppress and control women. They are designed to elevate men and men’s egos and to use women as scapegoats and sexual objects. Their treatment of women is as far removed from Jesus as it is possible to be.

    These patriarchal systems are very, very dangerous places in which to be a woman. 🙁

  129. May wrote:

    @ JeffT: Absolutely. These systems are not designed to protect women and children. They are designed to oppress and control women. They are designed to elevate men and men’s egos and to use women as scapegoats and sexual objects. Their treatment of women is as far removed from Jesus as it is possible to be. These patriarchal systems are very, very dangerous places in which to be a woman.

    Ladies,

    How many times do these lessons need to be repeated?

    God gave you a backbone. USE IT (and give Him the glory for it!)

  130. Bridget wrote:

    I find it interesting that it is Nolan’s mother that appears to continue to support Phillips. I’m wondering where his father is in the situation.

    Good question — I seem to recall him referring to “parents” earlier but can’t get far enough back in Facebook on this device.

  131. @ JeffT:

    Hey Jeff, just to be super clear, I was quoting from the World article. Not my words. No way!

    I was expressing my disgust with the World article.

    And I’m going to express my disgust with the latest nauseating World apologetic on the VF situation from today, whereby the author clutched her pearls and tsk-tsk’d over the fact that this latest scandal would – gasp! – be so so very hurtful for the reputation of evangelicalism.

    With nary a word of concern for the plaintiff in this case. 🙁

  132. Deb wrote:

    Ladies, How many times do these lessons need to be repeated?
    God gave you a backbone. USE IT (and give Him the glory for it!)

    Amen and amen.

  133. Beakerj wrote:

    I also have never given birth to a child. I offer this piece of totally irrelevant information in the spirit of ‘up yours’.

    Love it!

  134. dee wrote:

    Dave A A wrote:
    Keep Nolan in your prayers,
    I am watching this with interest. What convinced Nolan to walk away?

    I don’t think he said. But he did go to a secular college! Also, he fell in love with Phillips’ victim!

  135. Daisy wrote:

    appear to have way more character that Phillips or Gothard.)
    There is at least one poster here who will misconstrue and misrepresent your comment to mean you are a feminist who hates motherhood, should she show up in this thread. (It happened to me.)
    I’ve nothing against motherhood, not for women who walk into it with eyes wide open. However, I am not a supporter of any group that teaches women their only value, biblically acceptable role, or godly role in life is to be a mother (or wife).

    IMO MD is not a mother but an incubator.

  136. Rafiki wrote:

    Hey Jeff, just to be super clear, I was quoting from the World article. Not my words. No way!

    I knew that, but realized the text I selected attributed it to you AFTER I hit “Post” {sheepish}. I need an “edit” option. Very sorry for that.

  137. @ Virginia Knowles:
    Good catch. It probably does have something to do with the ND. However, all is quiet on this issue which probably means that no decision has been made on the appeal. I will be shocked if he is allowed to keep doing his thing. 

  138. Kindakrunchy wrote:

    Ducking and hiding behind my couch.

     Thank you for making me laugh! Frankly, I admire other women who are stronger than me in that area. I, on the other hand, am strong in fighting a war with words so it kinda evens out!

     

  139. dee wrote:

    Paula

    This didn’t involve Carolyn Mahaney. Indirectly it involve CJ’s sister, Betsy Riccucci. I’ll explain.

    In 1989, my (ex) husband and I moved from PA to MD in order to join Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg. We were put in touch with a realtor from the church, and we discovered a house that was for rent within a neighborhood the realtor described to us as “full of CLC families.” We rented the house and later purchased a house right down the street a few years later.

    The realtor wasn’t kidding. The neighbor was full of CLC families, most of whom were involved with church leadership in some capacity, and several pastors (at the time) and their wives. Bob and Rita Hoover lived right behind us. John and Nancy Loftness lived down the street, as did Gary and Betsy Riccucci (Betsy is CJ’s sister). There were at least a dozen families living in what became known as “Ricucciville”, which was comprised of 2 streets and a little over 50 dwellings. It was a closed neighborhood with no thru traffic.

    Right away I worked on meeting women in the neighborhood, especially one neighbor who had six children, all near in age to my five. Her husband was also a civil engineer and a graduate of Penn State like mine had been. There was a lot we shared in common, and I expected our relationship would develop into a friendship, but there are reasons why it didn’t.

    To begin with, shortly after moving in, I discovered we also shared a past experience with involvement in groups that had been influenced by “The Fort Lauderdale Five” and their publication New Wine Magazine. Some of you may remember Derek Prince, Bob Mumford, Charles Simpson, Ern Baxter & Don Bashum.

    Before the move I had done some reading about the abuses of the Shepherding Movement and the extent of the involvement of these guys in it. I wasn’t thinking about Larry Tomzcak and CJ Mahaney at the time. My impression was that they hadn’t been as closely identified with the Shepherding Movement or I hadnt connected the dots. In any case, the abuses of the Shepherding Movement was starting to be exposed, and I thought my new friend/neighbor would be interested in the information I had come across. I gave her a folder of containing a few articles to read.

    I expected it would result in further conversations, assuming as I did that she was after the same kinds of things I was: authentic Christian fellowship. I had joined CLC expecting to experience this. I had heard so many good things. And it was called “Covenant Life Church”. At the time it was People of Destiny, Intl. Then it was changed to the acronym “PDI” that stood for something, I forget. Then it became SGM later on. But I digress.

    So, my neighbor, instead of showing interest in what I had shared and having a conversation, she told me she had shared it with Betsy Ricucci. Apparently this behavior of mine was regarded as “suspicious”. But I knew it wasn’t and I didn’t really care. That just seemed weird to me.

    Yet, I continued to relate to this neighbor as a friend. I could tell by the way she didnt make eye contact with me a lot that something seemed “off” about her. But again, I had a clear conscience, and like so many other strange encounters I had with people in CLC, I wrote it off as immaturity on their part. I didn’t suspect there was more to it, or that something systemic was at work. So, when I visited my neighbor and she related to me like she was teaching me or training me somehow, I didn’t pay attention because I didnt see that she held any advantage over me, unless it was she assumed she had been involved with the church longer. Or that she was close to Betsy Ricucci.

    She was close to Betsy. In fact, she practically worshiped the ground she walked on. I saw how she held her in such high esteem, like she was specially anointed. In fact, my neighbor (whom I shall call Karen because that’s her real name) had shared with me the scripture verse about “touch not my anointed one, do my prophets no harm”, which apparently was the scripture she used to base how she related to those in leadership, including Betsy Ricucci. I noticed how Karen got all worked up around Betsy, and she and her husband would take out the Ricucci’s routinely, treating them to dinner and shows at The National Theatre, etc. And right away I noticed something wrong about the way Betsy received all this adulation. I knew if I had been her, I would have discouraged it and been uncomfortable with it. But Betsy gladly received it from Karen. Karen was definitely Betsy’s servant.

    My guess is that Karen, during the years before we moved in, had been groomed by Betsy and had been her little disciple. Which may be why Karen didn’t want to discuss any criticisms of The Shepherding Movement beause in theory, she believed in it. Also, I’m guessing after telling Betsy about it, Betsy had expressed disapproval with the information I had shared since it was so close to the vest: her brother had been associated with it. And if there’s anything I discovered the Mahaney’s are good at, it’s protecting their interests against censure, especially against censure coming from those within the church.

    So, aside from offering me suggestions and doing things like telling me to wipe the edges of her countertop after our kids had gotten together and shared lunch at her place and I was cleaning up, she gave a tour of their house one day, and paused in their bedroom.

    It was during this time that she pointed out how their marriage vows were nicely framed and placed above their bed. She wanted to really impress this on me, but again, I thought that was fine for her if that’s what she wanted, but I knew it wasn’t what worked for me. Ive never been one to put much stock inspirational images or expressions or even in a picture of my marriage vows. I don’t get inspired way, but that was fine for her I thought. Still, it was like she expected something of me in terms of my following her example. But again, I didn’t seem myself as her disciple, which she apparently did. Just wish she would have told me, “Hey Paula, you’re my disciple ok? I’m here to train you and to keep an eye on you. I report my findings to Betsy Ricuccci. That’s how it works here in this neighborhood.” But I just thought that was goofy and like…whatever.

    But then sometime afterwards I attending a function at the Ricucci’s, and Betsy gave me a quick tour. Like Karen, she had paused in their bedroom and pointed out how their wedding vows were hung above their bed. Right away I thought, “Ah ha, this is where Karen got that from.”

    And because Betsy showed Carolyn the same kind of adulation, it wouldn’t surprise me if Carolyn had her and CJ’s Wedding Vows above their bed. I’d bet money on it!!!

  140. ___

    Sing A New Song : “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty!”

    hmmm…

    Where true Christians gather, there is hope Too!

    hey,

    Welcome to the ‘real’ Christian world,
    (I know you’ve got so much religious garbage to un-learn…)

    Welcome little ones, to this place of faith, hope, and love,
    Welcome little ones, all sad eyes and seeking rest,
    ‘This’ Christian world is so much warmer than  your previous haunted paths would reveal,

    Hey, it’s real Christian fellowship, 
    Hey, it’s a brave new place,
    Hey, now you’re finally at the right gate!

    Welcome to the real Christian world,
    (I know you’re trust has been sooo burn’d)

    The past is only a memory, yet the spiritual chains that were chokin’ me, were very real,
    I’m cryin’ tears of pain, I’m cryin’ tears of joy
    I see my freedom standing at the right hand of God tonight, Jesus!

    There’s so much good stuff to learn here,
    (In the real Christian world)
    There’s so much good stuff to enjoy,
    (In the real Christian world)

    Welcome to the real Christian world! **(1)

    when you gather in Jesus’ name…He promises ta come and be there!

    (if there is no liberty, your in da wrong plaze!)

    …there is healing in His Great Big Beautiful Wings!

    (smiley face goes here)

    *

    let da proverbial bad ole religious pastoral wolves go Do-Do some plaze else…

    (grin)

    hahahahahahaha

    Sopy
    ___
    Bonus: Jennifer Ingram: Johnny Nash (cover)  – “I Can See Clearly Now”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqKzPxGpG9A

    **(1) lyrics adapted. Mr. Mister “Welcome To The Real World”
    “Welcome To The Real World” Songwriter(s):  Lang John Ross; Farris Steven M; Page Richard James; George Steven Park.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5pkWQULJrQ
    Lyrics copyrighted © WB Music Corp,; Panola Park Music: Poppy Due Music; Indolent Sloth Music. All rights Reserved. 
    http://www.metrolyrics.com/welcome-to-the-real-world-lyrics-mr-mister.html
    Adapted lyrics above reflect parody use, U.S. Title 17 copyright infringement un-intended.

    ;~)

  141. Paula

    You always teach me things I didn’t know about SGM. Totally weird. I do not know how you put up with it. I would have gotten into so much trouble. Now, you and me, we could have been friends and had lunches in which we kept the counters dirty.

  142. I’m not sure why people are taking issue with the World magazine article. It grants Phillips no excuses, clearly states he indoctrinated his victim and abused his authority over her, and questions why he was allowed to continue as the public face of VF for 8 months after his confession.

    The statement “that offers another valuable lesson: Even systems that encourage protecting women and children can only work if the people who teach them follow them” doesn’t strike me as endorsing patriarchy at all. It just repeats their claim…that the system is built around protecting women. But it includes the pointed reminder of Phillips’ hypocrisy…he didn’t follow his own “wonderful” philosophy.

  143. @ dee:
    I’ve had to examine how I put up with it, Dee. One (out of many) reason is because I’m not introverted. I have a good friend now who is and she is naturally observant. She takes things in and notices everything. She can’t help it. But me? Not so observant. She was the one who told me my husband was having an affair. She was like, “Paula, no one works that many hours. Are you sure he’s where he says he is, and that late at night?” If I had decided to trust someone back then, I turned a blind eye. I wasn’t looking for something “wrong.” That has changed. Never again.

  144. muzjik wrote:

    I’m not sure why people are taking issue with the World magazine article. It grants Phillips no excuses, clearly states he indoctrinated his victim and abused his authority over her, and questions why he was allowed to continue as the public face of VF for 8 months after his confession.
    The statement “that offers another valuable lesson: Even systems that encourage protecting women and children can only work if the people who teach them follow them” doesn’t strike me as endorsing patriarchy at all. It just repeats their claim…that the system is built around protecting women. But it includes the pointed reminder of Phillips’ hypocrisy…he didn’t follow his own “wonderful” philosophy.

    You think the system is built around protecting women? Really?

    The is what the powers to be say about patriarchy/comp but IMO it dies just the opposite. It leaves women vulnerable and dependent on men for all major situations in their life. If the man lies, dies, abuses, or leaves, the women are not in a good place at all.

  145. Paula wrote:

    She was the one who told me my husband was having an affair.

    So so sorry to hear this, my “kindred spirit” friend. I enjoy your posts a whole lot. I did not know that this had happened to you, of all people. You deserve better. Many hugs to you, Marie2

  146. And I feel like I need to introduce the “I” word…..

    If any of the “romantically inappropriate” or whatever crazy terminology is being used, was started at the age of 15, then this is incest. Sorry Douggie, but doing these things to a minor is just heinous and inexcusable. The more gentle the attack, the more guilt the person inappropriately carries.

    from http://www.siawso.org/

    We define incest very broadly as a sexual encounter initiated by a family member or by an extended family member that damaged the child. By “extended family” we mean an aunt, uncle, in-law, step-parent, cousin, friend of the family, teacher, coach, another child, clergy or anyone that that betrayed the child’s trust.

    We believe we were affected by the abuse whether it occurred once or many times, since the damage is incurred immediately.

    We learn in SIA not to deny, that we did not imagine the incest, nor was it our fault in any way. The abuser will go to any length to shift the responsibility to the defenseless child, often accusing the child of being seductive. We had healthy, natural needs for love, attention and acceptance, and we often paid high prices to get those needs met, but we did not seduce our abuser. Physical coercion is rarely necessary with a child since the child is already intimidated. The more gentle the assault, the more guilt the victim inappropriately feels. We also learn not to accept any responsibility for the abuse, even if they occurred over a prolonged period of time. Some of us are still being sexually assaulted.

  147. @ Marie2:
    Thank you Marie2. That was hard but finding out answered so many questions. Leaving SGM was a good thing. I thought it would make a difference in my marriage. Boy was I wrong. Then I had that to deal with! It’s been difficult but I wouldn’t trade it in. God has been gracious to me and opened my eyes allowing me to see the deception I was laboring under. I have often prayed based on verses in Ps 119, “Give me understanding, that I may live” and “Give me understanding according to Your word”. I am so grateful for how the Lord has had mercy upon me and has shown me things I needed to see and understand. So freeing!

  148. muzjik wrote:

    I’m not sure why people are taking issue with the World magazine article. It grants Phillips no excuses, clearly states he indoctrinated his victim and abused his authority over her, and questions why he was allowed to continue as the public face of VF for 8 months after his confession.

    Are you talking World magazine or World Net Daily?
    (And are they the same entity or separate?)

  149. Bridget wrote:

    There is a link to a World Mag. article at Julie Anne’s blog. I don’t like it at all. Don’t remember who wrote it. It basically gives cold facts about the law suit and then spends the better part of space trying to separate patriarchal lifestyles from complementarianism.

    I remember that link. Struck me as damage control (“NOT ONE OF US! NOT ONE OF US!! NOT ONE OF US!!!”) Trying to draw a distinction between “Complementarianism Good! Patriarchy Baaaaaaad!” when in practice they overlap so much they’ve both become fancy words for Male Supremacist.

  150. May wrote:

    Also, let’s not forget the complicity of other men: the entire board of directors of Vision Forum, after they found out about Phillips’ ‘illicit sexual behaviour’, tried to keep it hidden for 8 months, only letting him step down when they could no longer keep it confidential. Immediately they began plotting how they could instigate his return.

    As good little Lapdogs/Party Members/Yes-Men should.

  151. Marie2 wrote:

    Physical coercion is rarely necessary with a child since the child is already intimidated. The more gentle the assault, the more guilt the victim inappropriately feels. We also learn not to accept any responsibility for the abuse, even if they occurred over a prolonged period of time.

    Just to highlight some important points, in case that post was too long. 🙂

  152. Marie2 wrote:

    And while I’m in the moderation cafe/bar, I will listen to a few clips from this conference:
    Sanctuary for the Sexually Abused: An Introduction to Pastoral Care
    by Duke Divinity School
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/itunes-u/sanctuary-for-sexually-abused/id834953911?mt=10

    One of my friends put together that conference! Amazing stuff! And as far as I’m concerned, every pastor needs this kind of information. (Adam is getting ready to graduate next month, he’s going to make an amazing pastor.)

  153. @ Paula:

    Thanks for sharing this! It gives me an even better understanding of what was going on behind the scenes at CLC and probably other SGM churches.

  154. Pingback: Doug Phillips vs. Lourdes Torres-Manteufel Lawsuit Informational Resource Page | Spiritual Sounding Board UNITED STATES

  155. Did anyone read the recent issue of People magazine, with story of courtship of the Duggar's 2 daughters???

  156. muzjik wrote:

    Even systems that encourage protecting women and children

    let me see if I can make you understand: ANY SYSTEM,

  157. @ nmgirl:
    Any system, no matter how ‘biblical’ it may be, that keeps women and children from becoming fully functioning adults who make their own decisions, is NOT protecting them, it is destroying them

  158. nmgirl wrote:

    @ nmgirl:
    Any system, no matter how ‘biblical’ it may be, that keeps women and children from becoming fully functioning adults who make their own decisions, is NOT protecting them, it is destroying them

    Amen.

  159. @ Darcyjo:

    Adam is getting ready to graduate? ??? Nooooo… He has to stay there and organize more conferences!! I could not make it to that one!

    Seriously I hope the students put another one on next year…

  160. nmgirl wrote:

    @ nmgirl:
    Any system, no matter how ‘biblical’ it may be, that keeps women and children from becoming fully functioning adults who make their own decisions, is NOT protecting them, it is destroying them

    This is one of the most true things I have ever read!

  161. Hmm…this is a tough one for me.

    First, thanks, @ BeenThereDoneThat:, for the shout out. Yes – double bind is the first term that came to mind on this.

    As I was reading the comments (I haven’t read the lawsuit – not sure I’m up to it), the thing that came to mind is how, as a child (and 15 is still a child), you look to the adults in your life for safety, security, guidance….and in a religious setting where the whole life is wrapped up in the church culture, the pastor/religious leader is the biggest protector. When an adult woman is confronted with the contradiction of a trusted spiritual leader/mentor grooming/seducing her, it is confusing enough – so much so it is a felony for a pastor to do that in at least Texas (as has been noted) and in Colorado (where I have had reason to investigate). When you are a child….and this man has been presented to you as the voice of God…you don’t stand a chance…you know it is wrong, but this spiritual authority is assuring you it is not wrong…so the conflict creates a double bind – you have been taught, by this very person, that this is wrong, but this person is telling you in private it isn’t…..the only way to survive is to shut down one of those internal voices….shut down your own voice and internalize the guilt and confusion. And most abusers – especially sexual predators (and the behavior described in this suit is sexual predation) – will encourage you to take the blame for any guilt you feel and any flack that comes when the info starts to leak…and it always leaks, eventually (right, Mr. Gothard?).

    I applaud Ms. Torres-Manteufel for the courage to step into the light and let the world see….it is maybe the hardest thing she will ever do…but it is also one of the most freeing things….and is will protect who knows how many future women from this….

    As to the wives of these predators, in my experience…I used to feel sorry for my ex-pastor’s wife….until I saw her in action, demonstrating she knew exactly what he was up to and how to rein him in when she was tired of the current choice. She is the one who did all the damage control and intimidation…..even tried to bribe, threaten, entice, and when she saw a lawsuit looming, tried to win back into the fold. She even sent people to try and intimidate former victims from participating in the lawsuit. I’m honestly not sure which of those two (ex-pastor or his wife) is more culpable.

    And on the note of consent versus force. This is one of the hardest things that I am trying to unlearn. @ Marie2:’s post here brings this into clear focus. When I was a child, I knew what was going on was wrong, but I had no power to stop it and sometimes (God, this is hard to admit, because it is used against victims so much), I even welcomed the attention because it meant I had some value to someone. (Wow, that still causes a visceral reaction – deep breath).

    Here’s the thing…when sexual abuse of a child goes on over an extended period (the primary part of mine lasted from age 7 to 12, tho there were incidents earlier and later with other perpetrators), that child’s body is going to react to the physical stimulation whether she (he) wants it to or not. This is soooo confusing, because it is translated (by the perp and those who don’t understand the dynamic) as consent. Let me make this perfectly clear. There can never be a consensual sexual relationship between a child and an adult, no matter what either of them say. The law seems to think that is true between a clergyman and congregant, as well.

    Okay – that is enough for now….

  162. Dave A A wrote:

    Since you’re going to work, that would put you above many men and man-boys she’s met already!

    I’m grateful to be working again even though this job isn’t what I set out to do, nor does it pay well. I was laid off from my last full-time job and was out of work a long time despite diligently seeking gainful employment. In this day and age not too many employers want to give a middle-aged white guy with a liberal arts degree a chance to prove himself, even if he spent more than 20 years with one employer. 🙁

  163. I have heard this before: “our relationship went beyond what is acceptable, but it wasn’t sexual. We just cuddled and were affectionate. ” Sure, Doug, delude yourself, and minimize what it was all about. Is Doug Phillips going to blame the woman for entrapping him and seducing him like a Jezebel? So she to blame for the whole scandal? He will act like he is an innocent in all of this.

  164. For the guys ~

    Giving birth is the equivalent of pushing a pot roast through your nostril.

    Hope that helps. 🙂

  165. dee wrote:

    Nickname wrote:
    what made my blood run cold was that he (allegedly) asserted that his wife would die soon. I hope the wife has stopped swallowing all the hogwash, is running for her life, and suing for a whopping divorce settlement.
    I find that statement creepy. What also concerns me is how Lourdes might have felt intimidated by such a statement.

    I was thinking along the same lines. My thought might have been, “If he’s going to make sure she dies, what would keep him from doing the same thing to me?”

  166. Rafiki wrote:

    And Nickname – no criticism intended, but I do have a different opinion on this:
    Nickname wrote:
    Phillips is not the first guy to do his thinking a tad too south of the brain
    I actually think Douglas Philips Esq. was absolutely using his brain that resides inside his thick mean skull.

    Of course he was using his brain — your opinion is not different than mine. He knew exactly what he was doing. He was driven by lust, and had plenty of brain power with which to orchestrate every moment of this abuse. Good thing he’s not as smart as he thinks he is.

    Does anyone know why he wasn’t licensed to practice law in Texas? Something he didn’t need, or was there any other reason?

  167. singleman wrote:

    In this day and age not too many employers want to give a middle-aged white guy with a liberal arts degree a chance to prove himself, even if he spent more than 20 years with one employer.

    I’ve been through similar things. Experience and loyalty don’t seem to matter much to many employers.

  168. Marsha wrote:

    Rafiki wrote:

    And Nickname – no criticism intended, but I do have a different opinion on this:

    Nickname wrote:

    Phillips is not the first guy to do his thinking a tad too south of the brain

    I actually think Douglas Philips Esq. was absolutely using his brain that resides inside his thick mean skull.

    According to the lawsuit, he used this woman as a dehumanized s*x toy* for his own selfish gratification** for FIVE years. He was thinking enough to concoct lies about imminent marriage, to plan to be alone with her, etc. He knew what the h*ll he was doing.

    ——-
    I agree, Rafiki, he knew what he was doing, he was deliberately taking advantage of his own patriarchal teachings to exploit his victim.

    If this had been a heedless mutual love affair with a neighbor outside his sphere of influence, then it would be sad for the families and Phillips would have disqualified himself for ministry but none of us would have taken an interest in it. But what he did was both sexual and spiritual abuse and that it could happen at all was because of that abusive patriarchal system he set up.

    Marsha, I totally agree.

  169. Daisy wrote:

    How many times have I mentioned on this blog the past year and a half I am a never married, 40 something year old virgin? So what do you think?

    I think you have an axe to grind towards people with more children than you FEEL are appropriate. And, that is probably because you do not know what you are talking about, since you have never been a parent. I understand. I used to feel the same way, until I had children.

  170. Nickname wrote:

    Does anyone know why he wasn’t licensed to practice law in Texas? Something he didn’t need, or was there any other reason?

    Nickname, I was going to ask this exact same question yesterday!

    Any thoughts from the TWW TX legal cadre?

  171. Marie2 wrote:

    @ Darcyjo: Adam is getting ready to graduate? ??? Nooooo… He has to stay there and organize more conferences!! I could not make it to that one! Seriously I hope the students put another one on next year…

    If they do, I may go. I contacted the conference organizer (I believe it was Adam) just before the conference to see if I could attend. He kindly responded that the event had reached its capacity.

  172. Searching wrote:

    nmgirl wrote: @ nmgirl: Any system, no matter how ‘biblical’ it may be, that keeps women and children from becoming fully functioning adults who make their own decisions, is NOT protecting them, it is destroying them This is one of the most true things I have ever read!

    I absolutely agree!

  173. TedS. wrote:

    Daisy wrote: How many times have I mentioned on this blog the past year and a half I am a never married, 40 something year old virgin? So what do you think? I think you have an axe to grind towards people with more children than you FEEL are appropriate. And, that is probably because you do not know what you are talking about, since you have never been a parent. I understand. I used to feel the same way, until I had children.

    Just wondering what provoked this comment. What did Daisy that has offended you, TedS.?

    FYI, I do not agree with the quiverfull movement.

  174. @ TedS.:

    My family has believed for generations that you should never have more children than you can feed, clothe, house and educate. (And for the record, nobody’s had more than 3 kids for over 100 years. Not throwing that out as an inherently good number, it just reflects the average economic situation of the family and what we wanted.) Per the Duggars, I’m glad they can do that with their 19. 99.99999999% of other families would not be able to and thus should not have 19 children. Liking kids is not an excuse to just have oodles of them without regard to other factors, any more than liking ice cream is an excuse for me to go eat six tubs of it without regard to my health or the commands about gluttony in the Bible.

    And just to pre-empt what I’m sure the objections will be to the above statement:

    1. Please don’t tell me that I would feel differently if I was a parent, because I know plenty of parents who believe the same thing (exhibit A, my own parents and my grandmother).

    2. No, I’m not claiming that large families are inherently bad or sinful, because I don’t believe that. I’m saying that you should be able to support however many children you do have.

    3. I’m also not saying that you personally are irresponsible. In fact I’m assuming that however many kids you have (I’m guessing more than 2-3), you are in fact providing for them. Which is awesome!

  175. @ TedS.:
    Saying you don’t understand wanting more than x children is not the same as having an axe to grind. I have children and I understand wanting scads of kids less now than I did before having them. And I understand NOT wanting children more than I did before. Perhaps you should reflect on your hypersensitivity and patronizing attitude.

  176. @ TedS.:
    …………..

    I don’t see Daisy as having an, “axe to grind.” Just maybe you have an axe to grind with those who have no children, or chose to limit their family size in keeping with their income.

  177. Darcyjo wrote:

    Adam is getting ready to graduate next month, he’s going to make an amazing pastor.

    YES!! He looked extremely poised as he moderated the conference (videos are up there at Itunes), and from what I could see from my armchair, the conference was very thoughtfully organized. Yay for him, hooray for the younger generation, hooray for Duke to have such a distinguished alumnus!!

  178. Deb wrote:

    He kindly responded that the event had reached its capacity.

    The event reached its capacity very quickly….I was watching the announcements from my armchair…if they do another one next year, and my schedule allows, I will sign up immediately. I just LOVE the idea of discussing this important but intensely emotional topic with a few hundred people, at a college campus, not in a HUGE church auditorium.

  179. Deb wrote:

    If they do, I may go. I contacted the conference organizer (I believe it was Adam) just before the conference to see if I could attend. He kindly responded that the event had reached its capacity.

    Sounds like San Diego Comic Con…

  180. Lin wrote:

    @ TedS.:
    …………..

    I don’t see Daisy as having an, “axe to grind.” Just maybe you have an axe to grind with those who have no children, or chose to limit their family size in keeping with their income.

    Quiverfull AKA Outbreed the Heathen?

  181. Spouse and I have a boatload of kids–more than the Phillips clan. We teach our children at home. We are not part of anyone’s movement though, quiverfull or otherwise (we are not complementarians and our oldest daughter is currently at a public uni).

    I’ve been repulsed by Vision Forum from the outset, assumed pretty much exactly that Doug was what he has been exposed to be for years. Our family would talk about it: those phonies trying to use outward appearance to cover up secret ugliness. The scandal is about the least surprising thing in the world to me. Truly saw right through him (and as I’ve related elsewhere, based on the churches I’ve been sucked into, I’m not particularly discerning).

    We refuse to fellowship with other homeschoolers in the area because most have bought into this nonsense and look down upon anyone not homeschooled, not into courting, not covering their arms, not into their own narrow constipated little views of the world.

    But one thing I’ve seen here a bit has dismayed me. Don’t make the same mistake that the VF quiverfull, Mike Pearl crowd is making. Don’t tell me having a lot of kids is crazy or somehow defective, don’t look down on that either. Live and let live. We’re trying to follow God’s will, and we believe He told us to let Him decide our number of children. We feed them, clothe them, and send them off to university and hopefully into good careers and families where they’ll serve God.

    But live and let live, we’re not telling you that you ought to have a lot of kids, don’t tell us we’re crazy for having a lot. Don’t make the same narrow-minded mistakes that many in the quiverfull crowd make. Just sayin.

  182. Paula wrote:

    Just wish she would have told me, “Hey Paula, you’re my disciple ok? I’m here to train you and to keep an eye on you. I report my findings to Betsy Ricuccci. That’s how it works here in this neighborhood.”

    Now I get it. This same influence is what I experienced in Calvary Chapel. They were also influenced by the Shepherding Movement, which I had not paid much attention to. Thanks for explaining this, Paula.

    In one Calvary chapel they were subtle as you describe. In another they were not. I had a woman walk up to me and tell me that she needed to disciple me. I asked her why? She said that she was older and it was her job to pick me out according to Titus 2 women. Turns out she wasn’t older (as if that matters.) She had been a Christian just a few years, while I had been a Christian for about 15 years (which also doesn’t really matter.) I had a theology degree from a reputable school (which can help but is not the end all,) while she had sat in sermons that had little meat. And I had some years of ministry experience with teaching Bible, jail ministry, kids ministry, and women Bible studies (again, not that this meant I didn’t need to learn a lot from others,) whereas she had no experience.

    I am never opposed to learning anything I can from anyone, since we all bring something to the table, regardless of training, experience and age; and we all lack things, too. In short, we need one another. However, it was the nature of how she approached me that was so bothersome; which I hear in your story, too, Paula. It’s an approach that is not normal to friendship and love. It screams of “I need to be important!” “I need to be in control of you.” “I need to climb the ladder in this organization.” “I need you to worship me.” “I need you to become a ‘mini-me’ so others will see my anointing.”

    Paula, what you describe on your street is what we see the Mormons do around here. It’s intense pressure for these women. They either comply or get shunned. So glad God gave you the insight needed to not fall for that trap. Because the obvious attempts at controlling me happened first, the subtle ones stood out to me when they came later. What a joke!

  183. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Deb wrote:
    If they do, I may go. I contacted the conference organizer (I believe it was Adam) just before the conference to see if I could attend. He kindly responded that the event had reached its capacity.
    Sounds like San Diego Comic Con…

    Ok, not to be the butt head of the universe, and I see you HUG as an extremely kind and understanding soul, but I went to a conference on a related topic, in a LARGE church auditorium, and it just did not feel right.

    This topic deserves sorely needed respect, and in my not so humble opinion, limiting the attendance to 200 is a wise idea. I will look for info from the organizers about why they kept the attendance so low. The videos are just amazing.

    Sanctuary for the Sexually Abused: An Introduction to Pastoral Care
    by Duke Divinity School
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/itunes-u/sanctuary-for-sexually-abused/id834953911?mt=10

  184. Deb wrote:

    Rafiki wrote:
    But make no mistake – women have responsibility in perpetrating this horrific practice.
    I put Doug Phillips’ wife and Paige Patterson’s wife in the same category. They are carrying out the agendas of their patriarchal husbands.

    From my observation, I think the women may begin as innocents just doing as they are told, believing that their obedience is pleasing God. But somewhere along the way the lines get blurred because they have to violate the law of love to keep it up. Eventually, they are responsible for what they are doing.

    I have to say that I have perpetuated wrong ideas and actions, myself. But there came a day when I realized that I had to make a choice: Follow Jesus or follow whomever I was trying to obey in perpetuating such wrongs.

  185. TedS. wrote:

    I think you have an axe to grind towards people with more children than you FEEL are appropriate. And, that is probably because you do not know what you are talking about, since you have never been a parent. I understand. I used to feel the same way, until I had children.

    I do not understand your feelings in this matter. Apparently you used to feel one way (completely) and now you feel a different way (completely). What is with this all or nothing way of feeling?

    I had children and now have grandchildren. I can understand why people want kids and people do not want kids, and have felt both feelings repeatedly, sometimes both at the same time, from personal experience over the last half century of being mother and/or grandmother. And you should hear how the little old ladies in my church group talk. Parenting is a mixed bag, so say we all in my crowd.

  186. Mara wrote:

    @ Taylor Joy:

    Biblical families in an Old Testament descriptive sense.
    NOT biblical families in a prescriptive sense.
    To try to force the descriptive into the prescriptive is doing violence of the message of scripture.
    So, yes. I’m going to say it out loud.

    Exactly, a huge error people make, turning descriptive into perscriptive. Christians make this error and so do skeptics. E.g., just because the Bible describes David’s deathbed admonitions to others to kill several of his enemies does not mean that David was in the right. Just because the Bible describes Judah bargaining with a “prostitute” doesn’t make that right. The Bible describes a ton of things that are wrong without commenting on the wrongness of it–I suppose because it’s obvious they are wrong, and it would be overly pedantic to say so.

    But only one afflicted with reasoning abilities of the average neanderthal uses these things that are described as justification to have multiple wives or as evidence that the Bible condones all manner of evil.

  187. An Attorney wrote:

    If I were the attorney advising the defendants, especially DP, I would be pushing for a settlement, because the legal defense costs are going to be huge. And a trial will result in a lot of adverse publicity, for at least a week, prime time TV, etc.

    The plaintiffs want to settle for $10 million. The defendants want the case to go to trial. Phillips claims the allegations of sexual behavior are false. Here’s the link: http://www.kens5.com/news/KENS-5-Exclusive-Religious-leader-speaks-out-after-allegations-he-kept-a-woman-as-a-sex-object-255556621.html

  188. Daisy wrote:

    I don’t even totally understand the NT’s thing about “rejoice in all suffering.” I try to avoid pain and suffering when and where I can, I don’t find anything to be joyful about, nor do I seek it out intentionally.

    I don’t think that’s what it’s all about; I believe when you take what Jesus, Paul, Peter and James said about suffering in context, and put it up against what they actually did in living these principles out, that it’s very different from the pseudo Christian with an idiot grin affixed, rejoicing in the fact that they married a sadistic, personality-disordered patriarch, and now, they are made righteous by submitting themselves (and children) to abuse. Nonsense! Jesus certainly didn’t seem to be rejoicing as He hung on the cross or dealt with the persistent idiocy of His disciples, nor did Paul rejoice at the notion of being scourged–he asserted his rights as a Roman citizen to avoid it.

    In context it’s about rejoicing in the fact that you’re doing something right, that’s why you’re so despised and persecuted by the Pharisees. Paul was pretty persistent on this point, most of his sufferings came from abuse from those who ran the religious show of that era.

    Dee and Deb and many here should be able to relate on some level, rejoice when these leaders and self-congratulatory thugs slam you, slander you, seek to destroy you–it means you’re on the right track. Seek God, He’ll get you through this, He”s stronger than they are, and you’ll learn to be more persistent and come out the other end better for it. I really think that’s what they were getting at in the NT when you take a 30,000 ft view of it.

  189. Joe wrote:

    I find fact #83 very damaging to the plaintiff. She states not at all times did she refuse the sexual advances of the defendant. She submitted based on a fraudulent statement. That statement is fact #79 which is the defendant is going to marry her.

    In other words, it looks like the classic boyfriend-girlfriend relationship that goes bad.

    I never had a boyfriend treat me like this nor, in decades of marriage, a husband either. This is not what happens in loving, mutual relationships; nothing classic about it.

  190. LawProf wrote:

    Don’t tell me having a lot of kids is crazy or somehow defective, don’t look down on that either. Live and let live. We’re trying to follow God’s will, and we believe He told us to let Him decide our number of children. We feed them, clothe them, and send them off to university and hopefully into good careers and families where they’ll serve God.

    My husband was the youngest of eight. I wanted five but stopped at four because I realized that my husband’s patience level was already stretched beyond reason with the four we had. I would also consider fostering children if my husband’s patience level would allow it. I like big families and if the children are cared for, I don’t think eight, nine, ten, or cheaper by the dozen is all that crazy. Okay, maybe a little crazy. But I look upon it with good humor and affection.

    Perhaps calling Michelle Dugger crazy was a bit judgmental on my part. But I’m thinking her health can’t be all that great. I knew a gal who had seven and it really took a toll on her.

    While I would defend Michelle’s right to have 19 kids, I have trouble not calling it crazy with just a little less good humor and affection than cheaper by the dozen.

    In addition a movement that makes her “mother of the year” and holds her up as the gold standard for ‘biblical’ motherhood simply because her body can take 19+ pregnancies (she hasn’t died yet) well that movement IS crazy and needs to be exposed.

  191. @ Katie:
    I ran into that sort of behavior when I was Christian, and now as an atheist it’s even worse sometimes. I find people hate being treated as a project or as a way to get points with their god. And it’s just weird, you know? So presumptive, like the lady you described trying to disciple you, even though that’s like a teenager with a brand new license trying to show a NASCAR driver how to make left turns.

  192. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    Eww. That was harsh and gross.
    And in honor of it I present the best of Andy Dwyer from Parks and Rec.
    Actually, just starting at the 3:30 mark to about 4:40 would cover it.
    It kind of goes along with your theme.

  193. Paula wrote:

    I am so grateful for how the Lord has had mercy upon me and has shown me things I needed to see and understand. So freeing!

    So good to hear!! Ty for sharing!! Reminds me to continually seek out the freedom of Jesus, especially in this wonderful Easter season!

  194. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Deb wrote:
    If they do, I may go. I contacted the conference organizer (I believe it was Adam) just before the conference to see if I could attend. He kindly responded that the event had reached its capacity.
    Sounds like San Diego Comic Con…

    And not to be a totally broken record, I’m going to use the best analogy I can about child sexual abuse survivors not wanting to be patronized…..

    This person is a self-described advocate for autism. There is a controversial organization called Autism Speaks. It probably does a great job of raising awareness, but often its tactics (so I have heard from parents of autistic children) negatively paint autistic children to an extreme.

    Soooo, how could one raise money respectfully for autism? Scare people into thinking it’s hopeless and dire, so we all need to pony up tons of $$, or give a more positive realistic approach, emphasizing the untapped potential of these dear children. I would choose the latter.

    See http://paulacdurbinwestbyautisticblog.blogspot.com/2014/02/autism-speaks-abuse-restraint-denial.html

    “it shows that people who are close to Autism Speaks, whether staff, or major volunteer-fundraisers (but not actual experts) are, typically, very negative about anything related to autism (other than fundraising). Parents have confided how discouraged they are with Autism Speaks, but to my knowledge, this is the first time one of their representatives has come out so strongly anti-parent. “

  195. Lin wrote:

    Just maybe you have an axe to grind with those who have no children, or chose to limit their family size in keeping with their income.

    I admit that I do have an axe to grind with people who speak as if they have some sort of authority to do so when they make negative remarks about people who for whatever reasons have more than two or three children. I do have an axe to grind about those sorts of condescending statements. I do have an axe to grind against those who make statements such as, “Well, it’s okay if you can support them.” What self-righteous BS.

    I grew up in a large family and endured the snide remarks and sneers from people like that. My parents were not “dirt poor” but we were nowhere near “upper middle class” either. We did not get a pile of name-brand toys, we wore hand-me-downs and second-hand clothes, my dad worked two jobs and drove used cars (which he kept up and in good shape – the envy of my friends in high school!), and there was a friendly baker down the street who saved his day-old bread for my dad to pick up. It tasted just as good as the “fresh” store-bought stuff (better actually), and if it was stale we had plenty for our little flock of chickens who provided us with freash eggs everyday. I do not remember ever eating out, except for treat sometimes we’d go to McDonalds. We ate together as a family every night.

    So I guess, yeah, we poor children missed out on not having the best new stuff, driving around in new car or two, eating out alot, wearing designer clothes, and having a purebred dog or two. But we were happy, we learned alot, we ineteracted well with others because growing up in a large family forces you to learn, to love, to share, to cooperate and communicate with others older and younger than yourself. And how to put up and respond kindly to those who make snide, irgnorant, and cruel comments about your family size.

  196. @ Marie2:

    So to continue, I went to a large, well-intended conference, run by very sweet people.

    The theme of the conference was protecting children from sexual abuse in the church. Fine.

    But the way the thing was run, it just felt like a discouraging indictment on the adults who are struggling with these issues now.

    I don’t want to come across as a whiny Bit$%, I would love to see many more awareness conferences continue, but people need to be aware of “Condescension Fatigue” from adult survivors, that is very real. Maybe more people should study what happens with the complexities of supporting an autistic child. I think there is much more info on that out there right now, especially with Ms. Jenny McCarthy running around and getting a great deal of air time, due to her celebrity status.

  197. TedS. wrote:

    So I guess, yeah, we poor children missed out on not having the best new stuff, driving around in new car or two, eating out alot, wearing designer clothes, and having a purebred dog or two.

    Now THAT is copping an attitude. Sounds almost Marxist in its denunciation of “the Rich”, with the pre-Marx overtone of Poverty as Moral Superiority contrasted with the Decadent Selfish Rich — an attitude you find as far back as nomad tribes painting settled city folk as hotbeds of moral depravity.

  198. Marie2 wrote:

    And not to be a totally broken record, I’m going to use the best analogy I can about child sexual abuse survivors not wanting to be patronized…..

    Hold on there.
    What I meant was that the Big Event I’m most familiar with selling out way in advance was SDCC. It attracts that big a crowd. And apparently this conference also attracts a big crowd. Nothing more than that.

    And before you start in on this reply being “condescending passive-aggression”, I grew up abused by a master at it. (Including preset plausibly-deniable, wide-eyed-butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-his-mouth-swear-to-God innocent fallback position.) And this wasn’t it.

  199. TedS. wrote:

    I admit that I do have an axe to grind….I do have an axe to grind against those who make statements such as, “Well, it’s okay if you can support them.” What self-righteous BS.

    Ok, Joe, but you hoisted your axe-grinding onto Daisy’s comment; she didn’t say that. She isn’t married and can’t imagine having more than a couple kids. Sounds normal to me. In fact, she sounds respectful of the amount of effort required to raise children well.

    And, FWIW, your story is more about poverty than the number of children/sibs in a family. I agree that we have a huge issue of disrespecting the poor in our culture.

  200. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    And before you start in on this reply being “condescending passive-aggression”,

    Hi there, so sorry to start in with the pre-emptive condescending defensiveness. After I had gone to the large conference, and felt completely emotionally wiped out, (I was already emotionally depleted due to some distressing family events), I had tried to explain my experiences on another board.

    People jumped ALL OVER ME with an incredible condescending attitude that I found just infuriating and baffling. People proclaiming to be advocates of child abuse survivors but accusing me of wanting free counseling, wanting instant healing, being unwilling to be healed because I was repulsed by a celebrity counselor whose writings I find to be patronizing, etc.

    Many, many apologies for directing my frustrations at you. You are a good egg, I did not realize you were interpreting the comment in a positive way. I am still recovering from that crazy online gang-up. These things take time. Please be patient with me. I love your wonderful sense of humor. I will think of a way to make amends to you that does not cause additional harm. Just give it time. Thank you so much for letting me know how I came across, I will work on it!!

  201. Marie2 wrote:

    We learn in SIA not to deny, that we did not imagine the incest, nor was it our fault in any way. The abuser will go to any length to shift the responsibility to the defenseless child, often accusing the child of being seductive. We had healthy, natural needs for love, attention and acceptance, and we often paid high prices to get those needs met, but we did not seduce our abuser. Physical coercion is rarely necessary with a child since the child is already intimidated. The more gentle the assault, the more guilt the victim inappropriately feels. We also learn not to accept any responsibility for the abuse, even if they occurred over a prolonged period of time.

    Ummmm, Joe, can you please re-read this quote? I cannot tell whose side you are on…Maybe you are given to a little cynicism about the fact that certain admissions by the plaintiff could weaken her case? If so, I do hear you. I am not entirely sure that all of the courts have caught up to the knowledge in that quote. I truly hope that the plaintiff gets justice, even if perhaps there are holes in her case. I have no idea if there are any, but I do agree with you that the “average” person just casually reading the story could see it as a classic boyfriend-girlfriend thing.

  202. Marie2 wrote:

    People jumped ALL OVER ME with an incredible condescending attitude that I found just infuriating and baffling.

    Oh, I’m very familiar with that.
    1) Back in Newman Center during the early Eighties (the peak of Social Justice), I was about the only one who didn’t claim Fidel Castro in preference to Ronald Reagan. Now THAT attracted an incredible condescending attitude from all the young on-fire progressive Social Justice types.
    2) Being a straight in gay-heavy SoCal Furry Fandom also attracts an incredible condescending attitude.

  203. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Being a straight in gay-heavy SoCal Furry Fandom also attracts an incredible condescending attitude.

    Hahahaha!! I hope you are ok with the fact that I find this to be a very funny image….as in “Oh my Gawd!! (Many condescending eye rolls and a teapot like stance in response to anything you say….)

    In honor of watch you just said, I will watch this video….what a fabulous window treatment!!

    “Excuse me, are we a little teapot???”

    Kevin Kline Men don’t dance
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZslyHY4quQ

  204. Nicholas wrote:

    If anyone is interested, you can download the e-book of Hilary McFarland’s “Quivering Daughters” for a donation of any amount from her website: http://www.quiveringdaughters.com/p/book-ordering-information.html
    The book is out of print, and the cheapest used copy on amazon is currently $58.58 (and that money wouldn’t go to the author, either).

    Thanks for the recommendation. I notice the back of the book gives a short review by Wade Burleson. I had no idea he was so familiar with this ideology.

  205. LawProf wrote:

    But live and let live, we’re not telling you that you ought to have a lot of kids, don’t tell us we’re crazy for having a lot. Don’t make the same narrow-minded mistakes that many in the quiverfull crowd make. Just sayin.

    You speaka-my-language with this one. Live and let live is my credo, so long as it doesn’t trample the life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for others.

  206. TedS. wrote:

    But we were happy, we learned alot, we ineteracted well with others because growing up in a large family forces you to learn, to love, to share, to cooperate and communicate with others older and younger than yourself.

    While I am in the wonderfully appointed moderation cafe (I think it is just a cafe during the day, right? No bar service before 5?) I just wanted to say I always have admired people who have these abilities who grew up in a large family. In some ways, I think that large families are becoming more rare, and it would be sad for people to not think about how to learn this skill if they are like me and grew up with just one sibling, who was fairly older, and moved out of the house rather early. Thank you for writing all of that out.

  207. Joe wrote:

    I find fact #83 very damaging to the plaintiff. She states not at all times did she refuse the sexual advances of the defendant. She submitted based on a fraudulent statement. That statement is fact #79 which is the defendant is going to marry her.
    In other words, it looks like the classic boyfriend-girlfriend relationship that goes bad.

    Here is the thing: In the culture she was raised in, once Doug had violated her, she was damaged goods for any other guy. So from her point of view, Doug would be her only legitimate option. On top of that, we are talking about courtship culture here, which doesn’t always give the woman any choice in who she marries. If indeed Doug had become a widower, because of his reputation, he was not a suitor to be refused. So no, its not and never was your classic jilted girlfriend situation. The situation that it reminds me of is more Amnon and Tamar. When Amnon was raping Tamar – she begged him to marry her – whether or not she actually wanted to marry Amnon was never a consideration, she just wanted to “keep it legal.”

  208. This is the most disturbing story. Gut wrenching. It is exactly why so many people stay far, far away from organized religion. And unfortunately away from God too. I’m sick. But thank you for shining the harsh light of truth on it. I’ll try to trust in God’s revenge while He also heals the victims in a way that only He can do. Arghhhhh!

  209. @ Sabrae:

    “Giving birth is the equivalent of pushing a pot roast through your nostril. Hope that helps.”
    +++++++++++++++

    you’re funny. now, what about that golf ball analogy? let’s see, the golf ball represents the baby, and…

  210. Katie wrote:

    “I need you to become a ‘mini-me’ so others will see my anointing.”

    This was my experience in the Newfrontiers cult led by two former SGM leaders I unfortunately attended. They taught it thusly, preached these words from the pulpit: “Duplicate yourself”. Anyone who says that to anybody in reference to discipleship knows nothing about true discipleship and quite possibly nothing about the Lord.

  211. numo wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy: If it’s any comfort, I got what you were saying re. the San Diego Comic Con.

    You, and everyone else on this board, I am sure!!! Lol. I just had a knee-jerk reaction, that’s all. Thank you again HUG for your kind response about the matter.

  212. Mara wrote:

    LawProf wrote:

    Don’t tell me having a lot of kids is crazy or somehow defective, don’t look down on that either. Live and let live. We’re trying to follow God’s will, and we believe He told us to let Him decide our number of children. We feed them, clothe them, and send them off to university and hopefully into good careers and families where they’ll serve God.

    My husband was the youngest of eight. I wanted five but stopped at four because I realized that my husband’s patience level was already stretched beyond reason with the four we had. I would also consider fostering children if my husband’s patience level would allow it. I like big families and if the children are cared for, I don’t think eight, nine, ten, or cheaper by the dozen is all that crazy. Okay, maybe a little crazy. But I look upon it with good humor and affection.

    Perhaps calling Michelle Dugger crazy was a bit judgmental on my part. But I’m thinking her health can’t be all that great. I knew a gal who had seven and it really took a toll on her.

    While I would defend Michelle’s right to have 19 kids, I have trouble not calling it crazy with just a little less good humor and affection than cheaper by the dozen.

    In addition a movement that makes her “mother of the year” and holds her up as the gold standard for ‘biblical’ motherhood simply because her body can take 19+ pregnancies (she hasn’t died yet) well that movement IS crazy and needs to be exposed.

    Fair enough. If you get down to it, wife and I are a little over-the-edge. Maybe nuts. By the way, with about half of our kids my wife refused any painkillers–not even an ibuprofen, real natural type, or at least aspires to it, and a number of them came out posterior, which judging by her reaction in delivering more than one this way sans painkillers, is about as painful as a half dozen births combined. Practically had to pull her down from ceiling. Yowzers–don’t know how she did it. But it was her call, I swear, she’s not some eyes turned downward lady in a long dress with her hands neatly folded in her lap, my wife is an in-your-face, blue jeans, multiple hard sciences degrees, former uni lecturer feminist (albeit pro life).

    Maybe I was too prickly. We have a huge family, it is a little strange. We’re half nuts and if we weren’t in the first place, chasing this huge gang around and trying to function on little sleep and no tranquility would have been enough to make us that way.

    So sorry for beijng so easily wounded. You’re right, we are crazy! : )

  213. Marie2 wrote:

    I just wanted to say I always have admired people who have these abilities who grew up in a large family. In some ways, I think that large families are becoming more rare, and it would be sad for people to not think about how to learn this skill if they are like me and grew up with just one sibling, who was fairly older, and moved out of the house rather early. Thank you for writing all of that out.

    And thank you for your kind response and not taking offense at what I wrote.

    You know, I am usually pretty low-key on these threads. But when I read people making some of the statements as I read here, it is like waving a red cape in front of a bull. Doug Phillip’s actions, if even 1/10th true, are despicable, criminal, and unexcusable. But it is disturbing that so many then use this as an excuse to put down people with large families – for whatever reason. Those with large families are probably more disturbed by what DP has done than anyone, because his hypocrisy and sinful behavior is such a betrayal to those who looked to him as an advocate of large families, and to the young lady who he groomed for abuse.

    There are many with large families who have never been adherents of the “quiverfull” movemen, Vision Forum, or Gothard-ites. Yet, these scandals have caused many to unfairly view those who have been blessed with being large families less than charitably – guilt by association. It is just plain wrong. Sinful. So yes, I did get a little angry. I did not mean to offend, just to tell those who are inclined to make blanket condemnations to stop and consider how hurtful their comments are.

  214. @ LawProf:
    It’s ok. People on this blog are fairly inclusive. I think sometimes we just don’t communicate well. There are limitations to this medium. As diverse as this group is everybody gets along pretty well, I think.

    We’re chasing five, homeschooling, dealing with a financial crisis and a spiritual abuse issue (have recently left a cult). I sympathize.

  215. TedS. wrote:

    We did not get a pile of name-brand toys, we wore hand-me-downs and second-hand clothes, my dad worked two jobs and drove used cars (which he kept up and in good shape – the envy of my friends in high school!), and there was a friendly baker down the street who saved his day-old bread for my dad to pick up. It tasted just as good as the “fresh” store-bought stuff (better actually), and if it was stale we had plenty for our little flock of chickens who provided us with freash eggs everyday. I do not remember ever eating out, except for treat sometimes we’d go to McDonalds. We ate together as a family every night.

    I’m one of 9 children and what you’ve written could be my story as well. Thanks for sharing that Ted!

  216. @ TedS.:

    Topic: poor and poorer Part1

    OK, I get this growing up poor-ish thing. I grew up poor-ish but it had nothing to do with family size. My mother grew up poor on the edge of an oil field in east Texas, and in part that did have to do with family size. My father grew up rather poor in Louisville and was an only child. In the seventh grade, the year my only sibling was born, for example, there was no money for school clothes so I got one brown plaid skirt and one new pair of saddle oxfords. I wore last year’s bobby socks held up with rubber bands, and I wore my father’s summer sport shirts with the brown plaid skirt. But we lived “out in the county” (rural) and mostly ate our own chickens and what mom had “put up” out of the garden and mini-orchard. And drank goat milk. Now goat milk is child abuse! (And BTW, my father was a lawyer and stayed employed. Don’t ask. Poor-ish-ness has many faces.)

    I rode around on my bike, got quite good with a BB gun, raised and sold chickens as a 4H project and learned to sew. (Mama sewed for the public sometimes, from home with the machine set up on the dining room table.) And there were violins in the extended family, passed from child to child, and I learned to play, actually rather well. None of that is of any use to me now. Unless and until there is a horrendous economic crash in this nation, and I still have some survival skills learned from rural poor-ish-ness. At the same time, however, I also did my homework, then did extra homework in hopes of extra credit, then copied it over for neatness, and then memorized it when there was anything to memorize. That has continued to be useful to me as a life style.

    And you know, I do not recall anybody ever being mean to me about poor-ish-ness, but I was almost ostracized for being the one who set the curve in the classroom. I think I heard Michelle Obama say she had a similar problem in school, about academics I mean. People are like that. They will find something or other to be ugly about and then try to use it against you. Too bad. Their loss. Oh, were any of us supposed to let any of that stop us? Too late now.

  217. TedS. wrote:

    So yes, I did get a little angry. I did not mean to offend, just to tell those who are inclined to make blanket condemnations to stop and consider how hurtful their comments are.

    Cool beans!!!

    If you don’t mind, I will adopt this as my all-purpose catch-phrase right now. Having been through an enormously painful childhood, that I am still trying to figure out, and have finally found a good number of resources of ALL kinds, from atheists, to fundamentalists, to Catholics, practicing Buddhists, you name it, and I am finally enjoying the freedom I have in Christ.

    I had noted the recovery of David Meece, who went through worse situations than I did. I LOVE the fact that he just went to his regular pastor (not any celebrity counselor) and prayed with the pastor on a regular basis, and used Scripture, and cried out to God, until he had an unbelievably redemptive moment of healing. I am getting closer to that moment, but I know I will still have my knee-jerk moments….

  218. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    @ LawProf:
    It’s ok. People on this blog are fairly inclusive. I think sometimes we just don’t communicate well. There are limitations to this medium. As diverse as this group is everybody gets along pretty well, I think.

    We’re chasing five, homeschooling, dealing with a financial crisis and a spiritual abuse issue (have recently left a cult). I sympathize.

    Five or more means you’re in the club of being asked/told the following:

    “Know what causes that?”
    “Boy you SURE have your hands full!”
    “Must be something in the water”
    Or, my personal favorite: “Are they all yours?” (to which I invariably respond “They better be or I’m going to have to have a long talk with that wife when I get home.”)

  219. Hi Nancy….if it helps any, a few of my comments this morning have ended up in moderation, and then got posted a little while later. I look forward to your posts, like I look forward to everyone else’s here. Since I did not grow up in a large family, I am learning a great deal about what that looks like from this wonderful board, lol.

  220. Marie2 wrote:

    Hi Nancy….if it helps any, a few of my comments this morning have ended up in moderation, and then got posted a little while later. I look forward to your posts, like I look forward to everyone else’s here. Since I did not grow up in a large family, I am learning a great deal about what that looks like from this wonderful board, lol.

    Wife and I didn’t grow up in big families either, so we’re learning on the fly. It’s not so much what it looks like as what it SOUNDS like. And what it’s like to have all your fragile wedding gifts completely pulverized. And the new pair of glasses pretzeled. And the BMW ball peen hammered by the two year old.

  221. @ TedS.: Ted, I think sometimes it’s very hard to communicate easily via text-only, as here. I doubt anyone intended to be hurtful toward you or others (like LawProf) who have larger families.

    That said, I knew a QF family at That Church (the one that booted me) and I felt terrible for the mom – she had several high-risk pregnancies, her kids ranged from infants to 14 y.o. (when I knew them), and she always looked exhausted and ill. I don’t know if they finally stopped having kids, or if she developed complications so severe as to put paid to any more, or… if she’s even *alive.* I think when women see other women in that situation – and are aware that the mothers are pushed beyond physical and emotional capacity – it’s hard not to react. Pregnancy takes its toll, and so does having more kids than any one person can reasonably deal with.

    Everyone has different limits, after all. For some folks, one child is more than enough – or even too much. Others can handle 4-5.

    See what I’m getting at? It’s not necessarily a judgment of your family, though I certainly have *no* difficulty believing that you’ve gotten lots of barbed, nasty comments over the years.

  222. @ LawProf:

    Yes, I’ve heard all of those. The ones that cut deepest came from my family.
    My personal favorite came from the Urologist my husband worked for, “I can fix that for you.”

    But, I have to say, no one on this blog has ever made me feel that way.

  223. @ LawProf: Oof. I’m sorry – that’s just uncalled-for. I don’t know why people feel like they have the right to stomp all over others in this way. It’s just plain rude, and and *extremely* insensitive.

  224. @ Nancy:

    Poor and poorer Part 2

    I which I show the other side of the fertile vs infertile story

    We just got back from celebrating at Red Lobster. So? Well, you know my daughter will always be a second class person at church because she is infertile. Gasp and horror. And there are those who rub her face in it in snide little ways, right on. I call them the “religiously fertile” to differentiate them from people who just like kids. Anyhow, she and her husband adopted two little girls through international adoption. LIttle girls who had been abandoned and then put in orphanages and eventually placed for adoption out of their home country. The are Asian. Talk about being a second-class citizen.

    So we celebrated the fact that they both brought home perfect report cards and also academic excellence ribbons and also citizenship awards and the older one was said to be “model student in mathematics” (not exactly sure what that is, but she does do the math effortlessly.) Imagine that. The older one has one arm in a cast from a playground accident, and at her insistence they manipulated her two-bone fracture of the distal forearm into place without anesthesia because she believes that she is tough. They think at the orthopedist’s office that she is tough also.

    But there is nothing that these people can do, at church, that would enable them to hold their own against the condescending arrogance of the religiously fertile, the proudly native born or the “elect” blue-eyed blonds. That mess works both ways. And, oh, were any of us supposed to let any of that stop us? Nah.

    Would it not be nice, however, if we could cut this out?

  225. I want to be a boorish parent and show off, you have to put up with me now–Ha! Congrats are in order.

    My homeschooled freshman daughter studying at an evil public university (who looks like Julia Stiles and acts about like Black Widow as played by Scarlett Johannson–not that I’m biased or anything) just got a 95% on her Calculus II exam–the one she was worried she might have gotten a “C” or worse on. How about that, baby! Sharp as a tack just like her momma.

  226. numo wrote:

    @ LawProf: Oof. I’m sorry – that’s just uncalled-for. I don’t know why people feel like they have the right to stomp all over others in this way. It’s just plain rude, and and *extremely* insensitive.

    \
    Nahh, it’s OK, like I was saying–we are nuts! I’m not even being ironic. really. No harm no foul from anyone’s comments.

  227. @ LawProf:
    This sounds just awful, and uncalled for.

    Not to be rude or insensitive, but perhaps Daisy or others were responding to equally rude comments that those of us with no children get:

    Ooooohhh, you don’t WANT children??
    Well, did you TRY to have children?
    You know, you ARE getting older, and need to start having children NOW….

    I’ve finally accepted my totally empty quiver as God’s will, so I can be the completely eccentric aunt to every child I can, but until you wrote out your unkind questions, it had never occurred to me before that people WITH children get rude comments.

    What a crazy mixed up world we live in….

  228. Marie2 wrote:

    This sounds just awful, and uncalled for.
    Not to be rude or insensitive, but perhaps Daisy or others were responding to equally rude comments that those of us with no children get

    I think that’s exactly it. We’ve all faced some insensitivity no matter which side of this fence you happen to be on.

  229. Nancy wrote:

    the older one was said to be “model student in mathematics”

    Victory dance for her, too. Did not mean to discriminate.

    Also,
    “Would it not be nice, however, if we could cut this out?”

    YES and AMEN to that, sistah!!!!!!!

  230. Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:

    More to the point, if this goes to court there isn’t a jury out there that will listen to what happened and conclude that it was consensual in any way. You can put money on that.

    I find the above very encouraging.

    I have been discussing this with a couple of co-workers who are totally unexposed to this culture. The questions that they keep asking are: “Why would she be interested in marrying a man who was predicting his wife’s imminent demise?” and “Why did she stay?” My original post is what I have been slowly articulating to help my co-workers understand the answers to these questions. Ms. Torres may not have even considered whether or not she even wanted to marry Phillips.

  231. @ TedS.:

    “So I guess, yeah, we poor children missed out on not having the best new stuff, driving around in new car or two, eating out alot, wearing designer clothes, and having a purebred dog or two. But we were happy, we learned alot, we ineteracted well with others because growing up in a large family forces you to learn, to love, to share, to cooperate and communicate with others older and younger than yourself.”
    +++++++++++++++++++

    that’s great. i’m happy for you. (“sincere” emoticon here)

    I suppose the issue is how does one define “if you can support them”. A bit subjective. To some degree, based on how oneself was raised & what one is accustomed to.

    my mother-in-law grew up in WWII England. Everything in short supply. Food, non-food, basic things that were made with metal. I remarked to her, “You grew up tough!” She replied, “We didn’t know anything different.” They were happy, and developed well.

  232. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    Marie2 wrote:
    This sounds just awful, and uncalled for.
    Not to be rude or insensitive, but perhaps Daisy or others were responding to equally rude comments that those of us with no children get
    I think that’s exactly it. We’ve all faced some insensitivity no matter which side of this fence you happen to be on.

    BeenThere, and Numo, thank you so much for your reassuring words. I needed to hear them today, lol. And thank you, everyone, for so warmly accepting me into the ever growing family at TWW….May the Deebs be blessed for what they started…talk about painful childbirth and mothering, I can only guess that managing this site can be a mixed bag, as Nancy has pointed out that parenting in general is. I hope that the good times overwhelmingly outweigh the frustrations. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  233. @ TedS.:

    Can’t speak for others about the remark, “if you can afford them.” All that means to me is, don’t go having a bunch of children and then expect (demand?) benefits (from private or government sources)to help meet their expenses.
    As an example, I Have seen this quite a bit in the Christian church/home-school environment. Parents asking for school discounts, 0r tuition assistance because they can’t “afford” the tuitions or books, or uniforms, field trips, sports etc. school lunches,for all their children. Meanwhile the family with one or two children attending the school pay full price for everything, while subsidizing the families receiving reduced tuition.

    Mu husband and me both grew up blue color. My husband is the oldest of nine siblings……seven sisters, one brother. He did not want a large family because his parents really could not afford the children they had. A three bedroom house with one bath does not accommodative a family of eleven. Being made fun of wasn’t fun but worse for him would be bringing children into the world who had no bed to call their own, no privacy, no hope of getting an education etc.

  234. It will be interesting how this case turns out. It may bring more press into the quiverful movement. They need as much press as possible into their inner workings. I hope that which is hidden away under the cloud of separation is revealed.

  235. LawProf wrote:

    By the way, with about half of our kids my wife refused any painkillers–not even an ibuprofen, real natural type,

    I had my last one at home.
    The epidural don’t work on me with the first one.
    Of my mother-in-law’s eight pregnancies, seven of them were born breached.

  236. LawProf wrote:

    But it was her call, I swear, she’s not some eyes turned downward lady in a long dress with her hands neatly folded in her lap, my wife is an in-your-face, blue jeans, multiple hard sciences degrees, former uni lecturer feminist (albeit pro life).

    I believe you. I don’t think you’d be commenting here if she was an eyes turned downward lady. If she was, your comments would be a whole lot different.

    By the way, talking about being pro-life, did people know Doug Phillip’s view on the subject? With this view, talking about Beall dying soon (to Lourdes), and what he did to Lourdes, I’m pretty sure he just straight up hates women. He tried to hide it with all his ‘women and children first’ Titanic Society B.S.

    http://www.thatmom.com/2008/06/06/doug-phillips-poses-threat-to-life-of-homeschooling-moms/

  237. It will be interesting how this case turns out. It may bring more press into the quiverful movement. I hope much from their hidden world is revealed to outsiders. I would like to use the word “heretical teaching,” but some may view me as unorthodox, so I will refrain from this. All I can say is I disagree with the quiverful movement. I see oppression of women and subterfuge and dishonesty and disingenuousness. I am egalitarian.

  238. Mara wrote:

    He’s an a$$ and deserves the negativity that this lawsuit is bringing him.
    There, I said it.

    Yes, and I so hope that this goes to trial to reveal just what an extremely dangerous person he is, how deluded he is, and how abusive the whole quiverful movement can be….There probably are exceptions that prove the rule, a few people in that movement who are safe and treated well, but I would not hang by the neck until I turn blue, waiting for those people to show up.

  239. TedS. wrote:

    I think you have an axe to grind towards people with more children than you FEEL are appropriate. And, that is probably because you do not know what you are talking about, since you have never been a parent. I understand. I used to feel the same way, until I had children.

    I don’t have an ax to grind.

    I simply would not want to have more than two kids any more than I have a desire to own ten dogs, three cats, or five elephants (and I am an animal lover).

    I just find it weird that anyone would have more than a few kids, or want to. And one of my parents came from a large family, with several siblings.

    BTW, your comment, “I understand. I used to feel the same way, until I had children.” – comes off as being totally condescending.

    My original point – is that a person finding large families strange does not make one anti-motherhood, as has been misinterpreted on this blog several times in the past by another participant.

    I get very tired of being cast as being a secular- baby- hating, or anti family / anti motherhood, feminist over my personal view on the matter.

    Especially since I do defend a woman’s right to choose motherhood on other blogs, which are heavily populated by child-free or secular feminists, most of whom are radically against children, motherhood, and traditional values (values which I hold).

  240. Mara wrote:

    ’m pretty sure he just straight up hates women.

    Isn’t it obvious?

    Don’t get me started on his sick views on ectopic pregnancies. A situation by its very nature where even the most advanced neo-natal medical technology on the planet cannot possibly save the fetus.

    But by God, Douglas Philips Esq. knows better.

    And Law Prof and Nancy – congrats on the considered academic achievements of your daughter and granddaughter, respectively. You must be very proud!

  241. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    I think it depends on the particular family, and if they are Christian or not.

    I think secular culture socializes boys to be independent, outgoing, assertive. But churches can send a mixed message on this.

    Some Christian men do become codependent as they grow up and become adults.

    If a male belongs to a church that emphasizes being gentle and meek because Jesus was gentle and meek (conveniently forgetting that Jesus was sometimes also outspoken and assertive), that male can grow up to be very conflict avoidant, be very passive, etc, too.

    If a male goes to a Mark Driscollish church, though, they will get hit upside the head with the “be tough, be in charge, don’t cry, and wrestle alligators” message.

    Some Christian men grow up passive also because they were abused or neglected in childhood (this is also a reason a lot of women group up the same way, but secular culture and most churches also teach females to be passive and that being assertive is unladylike.)

    I read a book by a Christian man who was very passive and codependent because, he said,
    1. he was abused as a child and
    2. most of the churches he attended taught the males to be “nice” (ie, be passive, compliant, don’t rock the boat with anyone, be a doormat).

  242. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    And that’s what makes Douggie such a laughingstock. He’s so OBVIOUS about it.

    I read between the lines when he first released his statement, when that was repeated on blogs a few months ago.

    When he wrote he did not know her in the “biblical sense,” I thought at the time, “I bet he means no intercourse, but I bet there was other physical contact, or nudity, or something.”

  243. TedS. wrote:

    So I guess, yeah, we poor children missed out on not having the best new stuff, driving around in new car or two, eating out alot, wearing designer clothes, and having a purebred dog or two. But we were happy, we learned alot, we ineteracted well with others because growing up in a large family forces you to learn, to love, to share, to cooperate and communicate with others older and younger than yourself. And how to put up and respond kindly to those who make snide, irgnorant, and cruel comments about your family size.

    You know my family was just like yours, but there were only 3 kids. So how can we possible be successful if there weren’t 10 of us?

  244. Rafiki wrote:

    Don’t get me started on his sick views on ectopic pregnancies.

    I didn’t particularly want to get those who already knew this all up in arms.
    But I was wanting any newbies, lurking or otherwise, to be aware of another area where Doug Phillips is an over-the-top sicko.

    His shining example of ‘biblical’ patriarchy needs to be exposed for the filthy B.S. that it really is.
    ‘Biblical’ patriarchy needs a serious shake up altogether so that what can be shaken will be shaken.

    (darn it. i’m getting all up in arms again. time to back off a bit and get ready for Easter.)

  245. @ dee:

    That is another factor in my choice, the pain (or the avoidance of it).

    I’m getting to the age where even if I do marry soon, I am getting too old and won’t be able to have children, but in my teens, 20s, and 30s, I made my mind up that should I marry and have children, about one or two children was all that I could personally handle.

    I’ve heard too many ladies describe childbirth as being painful, and then there is the 1 a.m. feedings and the rest of childcare. It sounds very involved, and I don’t think I’d be up for it.

    The guy upset with me above, Ted S… he’s a male. He would never have to physically carry a baby and give birth. That would be on me, since I am a female. I don’t think he appreciates that.

    I do remember on an entertainment discussion forum several years ago, a few of my long-time internet acquaintances at that forum where ripping on the Duggars in a television thread over having so many children.

    I told them that while I too found the Duggars’ decision to have 15+ kids very odd (and it was not something I would do), it was still their choice, it’s their right, and so on. I sort of defended them a little before.

    Where I would probably raise more strenuous objections are situations where the parent (or parents) cannot or do not provide for the children adequately, or where the large number of children results in one or more being abused or neglected.

    Then there’s stuff such as this:
    Man who fathered THIRTY kids with 11 different women says he needs a break – from child support

  246. Bridget wrote:

    You think the system is built around protecting women? Really?

    No Bridget, I do not. Please read what I wrote. The article repeats THEIR claim that the system blah blah blah and then points out the hypocrisy that Phillips did quite the opposite.

    I do not disagree with your assessment of the patriarch movement.

    For what it’s worth,Nolan Manteufel (husband of Lourdes) is quite pleased with the World Magazine article and says this on this fb page: “Jamie Dean gets it. I love the way she is able to keep Christ in mind through this entire situation.

    “Sadly, when scandal increases, gospel clarity decreases. The message of the gospel—Christ saves sinners—remains the same, but scandals often shroud this view from a watching world. Thankfully, the same gospel offers hope in sinful situations, and a reminder of the need for God’s mercy, and for clarity in Christian thinking.” — Jamie Dean, Linked Article

    Jamie, thank you for using your God-given talents to remind us that our focus should be on Christ. Lourdes and i deeply appreciate your work at understanding and writing about situations which are complex and confusing. Keep it up.”

  247. muzjik wrote:

    The general consensus was DP was an arrogant jerk

    People over at Julie Anne’s blog were noticing in one or more threads about him that he signs off as “Esq.” in his correspondence. Some of the people who work as attorneys said they would never sign off as “Esq” because it’s unnecessary and pretentious.

  248. Ann wrote:

    With all his teaching of morality, what kind of private activity was Doug engaging in to think treating Lourdes as an object for his selfish sexual gratification was in anyway attractive to her?

    I also find it “funny-strange” to look at some of the photos of Phillips appearing on news pages discussing this story, because some of them are taken from his products or catalogs, and you will see him, with phrases next to the photos, such as “Fun for the whole family!” or “How to raise a Godly Family in such a Godless Time”.

    It’s a little more grating when someone so heavily pushing “family values” on to everyone else doesn’t apparently try to live up to them in his personal life.

  249. May wrote:

    Phillips promised Ms. Torres that he would marry her and that she would be the person who would have the great privilege of being his wife.

    “the great privilege” 😆

    I bet he thinks it’s a “great privilege” for a woman to be married to him.

  250. May wrote:

    These men are sick. The lawsuit is right: in their eyes women exist ‘solely for the control and pleasure of the men’.

    That is true, but I think as I said in some post in this thread a couple days ago, their system also socializes women, from the time they are girls, to be compliant, willing victims and conditions them to think being treated like chattel is normal and godly.

    Patriarchy teachings on women and their roles, as well as standard Baptist and Neo Calvinist gender complementarian teachings, both encourage women to harbor codependent views and behaviors, and people who teach this stuff insist such behaviors are biblical.

    People who study abusive men mention in their books that abusive people, narcissists, control freaks, and users intentionally look for people with such traits to exploit (such as, passivity, lack of boundaries, the inability to say no, reluctance to fight back, etc), and these are some of the core characteristics patriarchy guys and gender comps tell women they are expected by God to have.

  251. Bridget wrote:

    trying to separate patriarchal lifestyles from complementarianism

    Not to belabor the point (please see my post above), but there is little difference in the basics.

    Both views, patriarchy and complementarianism, set women up to be easy prey for abusive men by teaching them the very traits abusers seek in targets are also the same traits that God considers proper and “biblical” for women.

    There may be some differences, like, comps may feel it’s okay for a daughter to go off to college and a patriarchy family may not, but the roots of both views are the same.

  252. JeffT wrote:

    That’s because these ‘systems’ are NOT about protecting women and children but SUBJUGATING them to the will of men, often deranged ones.

    I’ve seen writers on other sites refer to that sort of thinking as “benevolent sexism.”

    It seeks to strip away the rights of women by saying it’s for their safety or own good. It might even come out of pure motivations to help women (not malicious motives, not due to hatred), but it still has the same effect of limiting women.

    I think I remember reading way back in college or high school history that some of the pro-slavery crowd argued in the 19th century that slavery was good for the slaves, because it was to their benefit and for their protection. I see parallels between the two situations.

  253. nmgirl wrote:

    TedS. wrote:

    So I guess, yeah, we poor children missed out on not having the best new stuff, driving around in new car or two, eating out alot, wearing designer clothes, and having a purebred dog or two. But we were happy, we learned alot, we ineteracted well with others because growing up in a large family forces you to learn, to love, to share, to cooperate and communicate with others older and younger than yourself. And how to put up and respond kindly to those who make snide, irgnorant, and cruel comments about your family size.

    You know my family was just like yours, but there were only 3 kids. So how can we possible be successful if there weren’t 10 of us?

    Yup, my family too! And just the one parent after she divorced my alcoholic nightmare of a Father, Barrister or not. And my Mum, as a Nurse, a working class Dublin girl, did permanent night duty to earn enough money to bring us up, at least 12 years of it, so she slept all day & often did 10 x 12 hour nights on the trot, supplementing her NHS work with agency work to get us through. We took some poor jibes too.

    So whilst I hear you Ted S., & I’m kind of sorry for being a bit rude before I’m also thinking you have an enormous chip on your shoulder. Not everyone here has (to this day) had a lifestyle with designer clothes, new cars & purebred animals, or values those things highly. You’re falling into the same trap as those who mocked your family, judging others on their level of possessions.

  254. @ Daisy:

    Hi Daisy, thank you for writing all your thoughts out, here. I do appreciate your perspective. I spent a fair amount of time in different conservative churches as an “old maid” – got married after 30 years old.

    I just wanted to say that I did not mean for my support of Ted S. to silence your voice. I had originally thought it would be better to ignore this entire thread, being that I have a few things in common with the plaintiff of this case, and I am concerned about projecting my stuff into the situation. I actually am relieved that the discussion seems to be more about the quiverful movement than about victims of sexual abuse ….something that I have had trouble discussing with people on another online forum. I am happy that this forum is here for everyone to spell out what they are feeling.

    I agree with Elastigirl,

    “I suppose the issue is how does one define “if you can support them”. A bit subjective. To some degree, based on how oneself was raised & what one is accustomed to.”

  255. So, here’s another deviant preacher, this one on the run. Victor Barnard, leader of a cult in Minnesota, accused of molesting at least two girls over a period of 10 years at a camp where they, along with several others, lived with him as his “maidens.” It was an offshoot of The Way International. He was last seen in Washington State. Here is one of the links, but you can find others at all the major news sites: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/16/victor-arden-barnard_n_5161313.html

  256. Dave A A wrote:

    Experience and loyalty don’t seem to matter much to many employers.

    It’s funny, though, how a lot of employers expect utmost loyalty from their workers.

  257. LawProf wrote:

    Don’t tell me having a lot of kids is crazy or somehow defective, don’t look down on that either. Live and let live

    I am – about the odd part.

    I believe someone else above used the word “crazy,” that wasn’t me. I don’t know if I’d agree with the “defective” adjective or not, but probably not. I’d have to reflect on that more, or ask you to define what you mean.

    People can have as many children as they wish, but I still have a right to consider it strange, or as something I would not do myself.

    You can let other people make whatever choices they wish, but it does not mean you have to give them a stamp of approval or agree with the choice.

  258. @ Albuquerque Blue:

    Sometimes some Christians do that sort of thing to other Christians. I’m kind of on the fence now, I’m not sure if I’m a Christian. I feel agnostic now.

    But when I knew I was a Christian and asked other Christians for help (as in, compassion, a friend to talk to) after my mother died, the ones who did not just blow me off or judge, give platitudes, and criticize, treated me like a project, and that hurt, too.

    I got the sense that one Christian lady I got to know from a nearby church was not helping me because she really cared about I was going through, but that she felt that to be a “good” Christian that she had to do some nice gestures for me.

  259. I am skimming down the page again and came across Ted’s post the second time on the way down:

    TedS. wrote:

    But we were happy, we learned alot, we ineteracted well with others because growing up in a large family forces you to learn, to love, to share, to cooperate and communicate with others older and younger than yourself. And how to put up and respond kindly to those who make snide, irgnorant, and cruel comments about your family size.

    And people in small families also learn those qualities. I have two siblings, and we learned just fine about sharing, loving, cooperating, and so forth.

    I bet people who are the only offspring in their parent’s marriages learn those qualities just fine, too.

    My Mom came from a family where she had – not sure of the exact number – but around 7, 8 siblings, which to me is a large family, and I still find that odd, and that is my own family.

    I didn’t make any ignorant or cruel comments about your particular family size.

    I don’t know if me saying I personally find having more than 2 – 4 kids is strange is “snide.” That one is subjective.

    To me, it’s not snide. It’s no more snide than my sister telling me as she did a few times during my teen years and 20s she thinks my preference and habit of eating peanut butter straight up with a big spoon out of the jar is weird. I don’t take it as an insult.

    She doesn’t eat PB straight up and out of the jar herself, she can’t fathom why I do it, but it doesn’t bother me she thinks it’s weird.

    If you want to be really, really insulted, please visit Child Free forums and blogs. And do a search for “Brat Free” to find a discussion board by some the meanest CF people I have ever seen in my life. I never posted at their forum, but I lurked.

    I am mellow and laid back about this, but you will find the majority of Child Free posters are incredibly, incredibly hostile towards children, babies, parenting, large families, are vehemently pro- choice, atheist/agnostic, anti-Christian, anti- Republican, anti traditional values.

    Not all, of course. You will find some CF that are okay with being around children but personally do not want any themselves. Some are respectful towards conservatives and Christians, but they’re rarities.

  260. TedS. wrote:

    I did not mean to offend, just to tell those who are inclined to make blanket condemnations to stop and consider how hurtful their comments are.

    I still find large families strange. I would not want to be pregnant more than twice or be responsible, financially or otherwise, for caring for more than two.

    Childfree and childless get it way worse than parents do, not only from Christians, but from secular culture, too, which still vaults motherhood above a woman not reproducing.

    There is more judgment and condemnation towards people, especially women, who do not have children, they are assumed to be selfish or there is something wrong with them for not wanting children. Men who choose not to be fathers don’t get near as much insult and put down from culture as women.

  261. Nancy wrote:

    Well, you know my daughter will always be a second class person at church because she is infertile. Gasp and horror. And there are those who rub her face in it in snide little ways, right on. I call them the “religiously fertile” to differentiate them from people who just like kids.

    All of what you said rings a bell.

    I was considering having children, but only within marriage, but I’ve not met the right guy, so I am still single.

    So women who are childless for that reason, or women who are CF (Child Free, they can have a baby but decide not to), are also treated horribly by a lot of Christians who think a woman is not of value unless or until she has a baby.

  262. Marie2 wrote:

    Not to be rude or insensitive, but perhaps Daisy or others were responding to equally rude comments that those of us with no children get:
    Ooooohhh, you don’t WANT children??
    Well, did you TRY to have children?
    You know, you ARE getting older, and need to start having children NOW….

    Those kinds of assumptions, questions, and comments are referred to as “Bingos” on Child Free forums. 😆

    I’m more on the childless end of the spectrum(wants kids can’t have them) than CF (can have them does not want them), but I do relate to some of the issues purely CF folks talk about on their forums.

    One of them somewhere invented something called “Breeder Bingo” a card filled in with the cliches childless/ CF people get all the time.

    Here’s one example (I’ve never been to this person’s blog before, I am not necessarily in agreement with any of his views. I am linking to this only for the card on the page):

    Common things people say to people who don’t have children or who do not want any?
    Childless/CF Bingo Card

  263. An Attorney wrote:

    I did pass two kidney stones and years ago had a severe gall bladder problem, and I can say that both of those were sufficiently painful that I empathize with any woman who has birthed a child without the benefit of anesthesia, as my spouse did.

    I’ve not had gall bladder problems, thank God, but I birthed and have had a kidney stone. When in hospital for the latter, my doc insisted that a kidney stone was worse than child birth—he knew because he had a stone and women told him it was worse. Because it’s a competition, right? lol

    I found them approx the same awful. I am soooo grateful for medication! The kidney stone was more bearable simply because the meds came lickety-split while one has to wait for dilation (12 hrs for me) before an epidural. But there’s nothing like a baby at the end!

    I don’t understand why there are so many nerve endings in the human gut. Half as many would do the job just as well. Where’s the biological value in being paralyzed by pain?

  264. @ TedS.:

    I do have an axe to grind against those who make statements such as, “Well, it’s okay if you can support them.” What self-righteous BS.

    It most certainly is not self-righteous BS. It’s straight out of the Bible. In fact people who do not provide for their families are called worse than unbelievers. Also if you met me in person, you would know that I am definitely not self-righteous about family size and don’t make rude remarks about large families. In fact I usually don’t think about it much and rarely mention it. You have read something into my statement (and Daisy’s) that isn’t there.

    So I guess, yeah, we poor children missed out on not having the best new stuff, driving around in new car or two, eating out alot, wearing designer clothes, and having a purebred dog or two.

    And while we’re on the topic of supporting your family, this is not what I meant. I’m talking basic necessities – food, clothing, housing, and an education – basically what I outlined in my first comment. Not sure if you find it odd that I would harp on this, but if I recall correctly one of Michael Pearl’s daughters lives in a shack with no running water, with several children and a deadbeat husband who quit his job so he could study the Bible 8 hours a day. That’s sin. And they’re promoting it among their subculture of Christians by example.

    Really, Ted, I really don’t care about the number of kids here. I do, however, care if parents neglect them, and so does God. I’d be equally upset whether it happened with one child or twelve. And wearing hand-me-downs and driving used cars absolutely does NOT qualify as neglect.

  265. Daisy wrote:

    I bet people who are the only offspring in their parent’s marriages learn those qualities just fine, too.

    I have one child and she is kinder and more generous than most of my mother’s family of 12. But then, I think it’s impossible for a couple to properly parent that many children.

    FWIW, a few Christians told me I was being selfish because I had only one child. One said I was damaging her. They had no idea about my life and yet were absolutely certain.

    There are always going to be self-righteous nitwits who find something to condemn. US Christianity seems to grow more itty-bitty-sh**ty-committees than other groups. It’s another reason I’m a none.

  266. Addendum @ TedS.:

    For a little background here, I know lots of large and large-ish families (4-7 kids usually) from growing up homeschooled and all of them provided for their children just fine. I know one family who had 11. I think they paid off their mortgage early. (What worries me most about them is not how many kids they have, but the fact that they’re into Doug Wilson and their son is attending NSA.) So all the large families I know IRL, are responsible.

  267. @ Marie2:

    1) The ones on that card I’ve heard most often in face- to- face meetings:

    -It’s different when it’s your own
    -You’ll change your mind
    -What’s wrong with you, don’t you LIKE kids

    2) I don’t see it on the card, but I’ve gotten this one before from people (including my mother):

    -You’d make a great Mom

    3) What I’ve gotten from people on the internet directly (their remarks to me on blogs), or reading articles directed at childless women, especially on Christian sites:

    -But the Bible said, “go forth and multiply”
    -It’s the most important job in the world
    -It’s all worth it
    -People who don’t want kids are selfish
    -Who will take care of you when you’re old
    -You aren’t a real adult until you have kids
    -Children are a woman’s greatest achievement

    4) My mom used to hound me a little bit about wanting grandkids (my mom passed away a few years ago). My older siblings weren’t providing her any, and I was her last hope.

    From my Mom, I got these bingos (especially when I told her I was undecided about having children, because it sure sounds painful):

    -You’d make a great Mom
    -You will forget the pain of labor and birth!

    I also had to keep reminding her, ‘I won’t be having kids unless I get married first.’

  268. Patrice wrote:

    [point 1] I have one child and she is kinder and more generous than most of my mother’s family of 12. But then, I think it’s impossible for a couple to properly parent that many children.
    [point 2]FWIW, a few Christians told me I was being selfish because I had only one child.

    Re point 1.
    I watched a segment about the Duggars on a Christian show. Mrs. Duggar cannot even keep up with all the kids herself, so she makes the older kids baby sit the younger ones.

    Re point 2.
    I’m sorry, and yes, that seems to be common among Christians, to assume you are selfish for having one or two only, or having none.

    I’ve talked to so many Christians on forums for singles and the childless, I’ve come across this a lot.

    In Christian culture,
    You get hounded for being single (when are you going to marry? why aren’t you married yet? don’t you want marriage?)

    Then, if you do get married, the “kid hounding” starts (when are you going to have kids? don’t you want kids?)

    Then, if you have one child, this starts: (when are you having your second child? don’t you want John Jr. to have a little sister? aren’t you afraid John Jr will be lonely?)

  269. @ Daisy:
    I finally watched a few episodes of the Duggar family this winter, and was appalled by it’s fakeness. It reminded me of how my sibs and I had to present as a pastor’s family in public: scrubbed and tidy and well-behaved. It’s ideological advertising, propaganda.

    The older girls (not the boys) have had their childhood wrecked by being forced to parent the younger ones. There’s a name for it: “parentified children”. I was that, as oldest of only five, and was brought to the doctor at age 10 for migraines. I was also being sexually abused which no one knew, but he had the sense to see part of what was going on and told my mother that I needed more time to play.

    If a country doctor could see that in me, how much more apparent wouldn’t it be in the Duggar girls, when they are homeschooling their sibs as well as babysitting 4 or 5 at a time as well as cleaning house (unless they have a full-time housekeeper on staff) as well as helping make/serve meals and doing laundry? On top of being treated less well than their brothers?

    But not one hint of that kind of distress on the “reality” tv show. Nope.

  270. Daisy wrote:

    so she makes the older kids baby sit the younger ones

    Classic!!I had thought there is a story somewhere of the wife of a famous evangelist (Maybe it was Sarah Edwards, wife of Jonathan Edwards?) who routinely gave one on one time to each child, got up to pray for her children in the middle of the night, and would put a blanket on her head so she could be alone to have a quiet time. From what I have read of Michelle Duggar, I can’t see her doing any of that.

  271. @ Daisy:
    Daisy, I’m sorry that you haven’t found a good man to suit, and weren’t able to have that kid or two. As one gets older, it is the loneliness that can really get to a person. Good friends become hugely important but that’s easier to say than find.

  272. Marie2, that was Susanna Wesley, mother of John and Charles and a bunch of others. I think she had 18 or 19 total, but many died in infancy or young childhood. She didn’t fully understand the gospel of grace until much much later in life. Also interesting in that she was separated from her husband for long periods of time because of theological and political differences. She often held church meetings in her home for her household staff and any interested neighbors. Interesting lady.

  273. @ Virginia Knowles:

    cool.

    I think the marriage that takes the cake during that time period is George Whitefield and his wife.

    He married his good friend’s “girlfriend”, so to speak, and the one infant they had together didn’t make it to adulthood. Lots of long separations due to preaching schedule. So the Duggars have it better than back then, but wow, seems oppressive to women.

  274. BTW, as many of you know, I am a mother of 10, ages 8-26. It does get a bit crazy. For my kids’ sake, I sometimes wish I could have raised them in small groups of 2 or 3 at a time. 🙂

  275. Patrice wrote:

    FWIW, a few Christians told me I was being selfish because I had only one child. One said I was damaging her. They had no idea about my life and yet were absolutely certain.

    Dontcha’ just love the certainty of others in matters of your own life and life choices? More fun than the barrel of Bible verses they use to back it up with huh?

  276. @ Marie2:

    Hope this source is credible, if not, I apologize for jumping the gun:
    from http://www.christianitytoday.com/ch/1993/issue38/3833.html

    Christian History Home > 1993 > Issue 38 > Whitefield’s Curious Love Life

    Whitefield’s Curious Love Life
    Mark Galli is Associate Editor of Christian History. | posted 4/01/1993 12:00AM

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    “I believe it is God’s will that I should marry,” George Whitefield wrote to a friend in 1740. But he was concerned: “I pray God that I may not have a wife till I can live as though I had none.”

    That ambivalence—believing God willed a wife, yet wanting to live as if without one—brought Whitefield a disappointing love life and largely unhappy marriage.

    First Love

    When 25-year-old Whitefield met young Elizabeth Delamotte, he struggled to reconcile his love for Christ with the strange new sensation he felt toward her. Sailing to America in 1739, he resolved to put her out of his mind. But when he arrived in Georgia, a letter from her awaited him.

    “What room can there be for God,” he wrote her, “when a rival hath taken possession of the heart?” Still, “I could almost drop a tear, and wish myself, for a moment or two, in England. But hush, nature.” Whitefield’s Journals soon report “unspeakable troubles and anguish of soul.” Finally, he decided to marry.

    His proposal letter to Elizabeth began by cataloguing the sufferings she would endure as his wife, concluding with, “Can you, when you have a husband, be as though you had none, and willingly part with him, even for a long season, when his Lord and Master shall call him forth to preach the Gospel?” He smothers romantic notions: “I write not from any other principles but the love of God.… The passionate expressions which carnal courtiers use … ought to be avoided by those that would marry in the Lord.”

    As one historian put it, “Had he tried to design his proposal in such a way as to ensure its failure, he could hardly have done better.”

    Love Triangle

    Though his proposal was rejected, Whitefield still felt called to marriage. When he mentioned this to fellow evangelist Howell Harris, Harris discerned “an amazingly providential solution.”

    Harris had fallen in love with one Elizabeth James, a Welsh widow in her mid-thirties. Though her affection for him was equally strong, he, like Whitefield, wanted “no creature between my soul and God.” He had labored to break off the relationship but failed time after time.

    Harris arranged a meeting between Whitefield and Elizabeth James. Whitefield was impressed with her devotion to Christ, so both Harris and Whitefield wrote her, suggesting an exchange of suitors.

    She was furious, writing Harris, “If you were my own father you had no right of disposing me against my will.” Still, she didn’t close the door to Whitefield, and as they corresponded over the next months, Whitefield became convinced the match was right. James “objected much,” Harris reported, because of “her regards to me & that she could not help it still.”

    Yet, four days later, she agreed to marry Whitefield. At the wedding a few weeks later, Harris gave away the bride.

    Whitefield had vowed that he “would not preach one sermon less in a married than in a single state.” During the week-long honeymoon in Elizabeth’s home, he preached twice a day. From then on, she usually remained in London during his travels. Once he was gone for two years.

    But the obligations of marriage couldn’t help but constrain Whitefield’s ministry. Within two months of his wedding, he wrote, “O for that blessed time when we shall neither marry nor be given in marriage, but be as the angels of God.” Years later he warned a young man, “Marry when or whom you will, expect trouble in the flesh.” After Elizabeth’s death, though, he said, “I feel the loss of my right hand daily.”

    Elizabeth James’s letters show it took her ten years to get over Harris. She suffered four miscarriages, and her only child with Whitefield, a son, died when 4 months old. A man who lived with the couple during their last years put it well: “He did not intentionally make his wife unhappy. He always preserved great decency and decorum in his conduct towards her.”

  277. @ Beakerj:
    Your whole post – but that closing graph especially!

    I grew up in a family that was, I guess, doing OK financially, but my parents weren’t interested in having the latest “in” things, etc. It just wasn’t important to them. We lived modestly and, if anything, the emphasis was in putting time and money into education. Both my folks were big readers, and to this day, that and music/a couple of decent musical instruments of my own are far more important to me than any of the material things that you mentioned as being important to people who come from my background. Yeah, I like cute shoes, but apart from that, my biggest financial “indulgence” is vet care. I never married, am too old to have kids, and am not in any position to live it up, nor do I really want to.

    Please understand, this isn’t intended to be a nasty comeback – just an honest one. I hope you can see that it isn’t as clear-cut (Us vs. Them) as you make it out to be.

    Finally, I think the Duggars (parents) are both selfish and irresponsible and even downright abusive in deliberately having WAY more kids than any two people could care for and spend adequate time with. They’ve forced their older kids to take on responsibilities that are the province of adults – if that isn’t indentured servitude, then I’ll eat my hat. I can’t help but wonder if *any* of their kids gets proper health care, and as for education, do they even listen to their kids, let alone encourage them to pursue their hopes and dreams? I seriously doubt it, and think their TV “stardom” is a terrible thing.

  278. @ numo:

    I think you may have mistaken the 2nd paragraph referenced in BeakerJs’ comment as coming from TedS. That wasn’t his.

    Everyone, I think you’re coming on to TedS. a little strong. All in all I hear him saying that he came from a large family that didn’t have much (& were treated badly because of it). Yet there were many good things about his family life that have served him well. I don’t hear him saying that small families are inferior. He’s simply describing his own experience.

  279. @ elastigirl: AFAIK, beakerj’s 2nd paragraph quotes him directly, but if I’m wrong, can you show me whose post it actually came from? It would be truly helpful; I don’t want to be mis-attributing statements.

  280. @ elastigirl: also, not sure if you saw it, but I did write directly to Ted yesterday afternoon, stating that I have no doubt that a lot of *very* harsh things were said to him and to other family members, back in the day, and that I believe it is just plain wrong for anyone to make such remarks. But as beaker pointed out, Ted also made a pretty sweeping statement about people who come from other backgrounds. It doesn’t mean that it’s true, or fair, either.

  281. @ numo:

    The 2nd paragraph comes from nmgirl. In Ted’s original comment, after an opening paragraph, the following is the sum total of his comment (sorry TedS for meddling with your comment here):

    “I grew up in a large family and endured the snide remarks and sneers from people like that. My parents were not “dirt poor” but we were nowhere near “upper middle class” either. We did not get a pile of name-brand toys, we wore hand-me-downs and second-hand clothes, my dad worked two jobs and drove used cars (which he kept up and in good shape – the envy of my friends in high school!), and there was a friendly baker down the street who saved his day-old bread for my dad to pick up. It tasted just as good as the “fresh” store-bought stuff (better actually), and if it was stale we had plenty for our little flock of chickens who provided us with freash eggs everyday. I do not remember ever eating out, except for treat sometimes we’d go to McDonalds. We ate together as a family every night.

    So I guess, yeah, we poor children missed out on not having the best new stuff, driving around in new car or two, eating out alot, wearing designer clothes, and having a purebred dog or two. But we were happy, we learned alot, we ineteracted well with others because growing up in a large family forces you to learn, to love, to share, to cooperate and communicate with others older and younger than yourself. And how to put up and respond kindly to those who make snide, irgnorant, and cruel comments about your family size.”

    (I just clicked on the names in bold to get back to his original comment)

  282. @ elastigirl: you quoted him yourself re. designer clothes, purebred dogs, etc. Click the link in this post for it.

    Sorry to belabor this; I just want to be clear that I’m responding to the statement I mentioned above, and that beakerj also quoted.

  283. @ numo:

    my guess is that he misunderstood the comment he was responding to, or wasn’t quite sure how to take it.

  284. @ numo:

    ok, i’m tracking now (ignore most recent comment). when I read his comment, it seemed to me that he was simply explaining how his large family in his childhood was a good thing, no matter how more or less Spartan it may have been. preserving the honor of his family, his parents.

    I think some earlier comments could have been interpreted as being a bit judgemental — as if to say people who don’t achieve a certain standard of living have no business having large families. I don’t believe this was the intent of those comments, but without further elucidation it seemed to come across that way.

    all a bit dicey. I did feel bad for him.

  285. Hmm, I think I obviously read him as having a bit of a pop at (upper) middle class possessions, as though that’s what people were talking about wanting for their kids, & so only having a few in order to afford that standard of living for them. I thought it was a bit sarky myself as it clearly implies that valuing the designer clothes, cars, pure breeds, over having more children & a lower standard of living is wrong. The problem is that nowhere did anyone say they were after such a standard, & the truth is that many people with only 2 or 3 kids may still struggle for the basics because of the economy. It’s a straw man argument.

  286. Beakerj wrote:

    many people with only 2 or 3 kids may still struggle for the basics because of the economy.

    Conceding that I’m completely changing the subject here, the majority of people officially classed as poor * in the UK are working, not unemployed. A combination of factors lies behind this; obviously, they are trapped in low-paid work. But this typically creates a vicious cycle of low labour-market status, leading to low opportunities, leading to low-paid work that confers low status in the labour market.

    * that is, people with less than 60% of UK median income. One can argue forever on what exactly defines poverty in an industrially developed country, but that’s the government-applied definition and it is a reasonable start.

  287. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    …the majority of people officially classed as poor * in the UK are working, not unemployed. A combination of factors lies behind this; obviously, they are trapped in low-paid work. But this typically creates a vicious cycle of low labour-market status, leading to low opportunities, leading to low-paid work that confers low status in the labour market.

    That’s true in US too, and many now can find only part-time (low-paid) work; one reason (among many) is that US business has been historically saddled with health-insurance obligations for full-timers. And it appears, from the way that our new health care system is set up, that it will only become worse.

    This combines with the rise of global corps, which has erased any sense of responsibility to community/workers, something that used to be required ethics (at least a bit). And far too many non-global others have been delighted to hop on this fast train of power/greed, even people as “separate&pure” as SB theological seminary, dissolving faculty tenure while they, as admins, hold tightly to job security and great pay for not even, well, teaching. But they’re certainly not at all like those “godless worldly” univs/colleges! Pffft.

    It’s ugly out there. My sympathies, Nick.

  288. Beakerj wrote:

    it clearly implies that valuing the designer clothes, cars, pure breeds, over having more children & a lower standard of living is wrong.

    I don’t know exactly what he “meant” by what he said, but the thinking among the “religiously fertile” (as opposed to those who just like kids) is!!! that having more kids is the prime directive including if it plunges one into poverty and all that entails. And that is “preached” by them as righteous superiority which is “pleasing to God”. With the corollary that anyone who does not think that way is “not pleasing to God.” There are so many theologically erroneous assumptions there that it is difficult to know where to start.

    There are some exceptions, of course. One commenter here has written a lot of stuff about a lot of things, has a bunch of kids (who knew), but has not brought the subject up before as if to say that he and he only is pleasing to God in doing so. The only thing he has said on the subject has been defensive and/or explanatory and he has a right (obligation?) to do that. I have no problem with him or his kids. I have a problem with the religious bigots who tie their bigotry to their reproductive zeal regardless of how that works in real life for those around them.

  289. Patrice wrote:

    It’s ugly out there.

    It is indeed ugly out there, and it is slowly but relentlessly getting worse. My-daughter-the-high-school-teacher talks about the number of kids graduating without a prayer for anything at all for an economic future much less a hope or dream which even might come true. Hoping that the next generation will “do better” is just gone for masses of people.

    And on the job the demands are increased, the workers are brow beaten with threats of job loss, and the atmosphere has tanked at the fish turn on each other as the pond dries up.

    But, hey, not to worry. People can always go to church and take notes on the latest doctrinal buzz-words while they watch the lights play off the pretty purple background stage setting behind the preacher. That ought to help things, right there.

  290. @ elastigirl:

    I typed a comment re this conversation yesterday but accidentally deleted it . . . it seemed like people were reading over, past, and into other comments.

    The comment to Daisy seemed a bit harsh. Not knowing Ted adds to the complexity. But coming from a large family myself (9+ foster and runaways And I didn’t know we were poor) I completely understand Ted’s perspective. Given the flow of these articles, large families do seem to take a hit at times.

    PS – I wouldn’t send any sibs back 🙂

  291. Nancy wrote:

    But, hey, not to worry. People can always go to church and take notes on the latest doctrinal buzz-words while they watch the lights play off the pretty purple background stage setting behind the preacher. That ought to help things, right there.

    Don’t get me started on the money being sucked into buildings, salaries, lights, cameras, action for the Sunday morning shows 🙄

  292. People need not to comment on how many children other people have or do not have. You can think whatever you like, but don’t say it.

    If some have fewer or none, that may not be a matter of their choice, and there may be much frustration with that for them. Saying anything is being abusive!!!!

    If some have many, one can think whatever one likes, ranging from “God bless(ed) them” to “Don’t they know what causes pregnancy?”, but don’t say it.

    BTW, I have a client in child support court who has ten children by six women, is a good father to all of his children, pays his support (most of his earnings), and will take them for a day or two if their mother wants a break. His mother has said she has enough grandchildren and has offered to pay for a vasectomy.

  293. @ Beakerj:

    “a bit of a pop at (upper) middle class possessions, as though that’s what people were talking about wanting for their kids, & so only having a few in order to afford that standard of living for them. I thought it was a bit sarky myself as it clearly implies that valuing the designer clothes, cars, pure breeds, over having more children & a lower standard of living is wrong.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++

    I read it as a bit of hyperbole, like, “no, we didn’t have the stereotypical fantastic things that stereotypical wealthy people have, but that was alright.” My feeling is that he didn’t mean to imply anything beyond that.

    But I understand that we all interpret things differently.

  294. Lol. For the record, my husband used to teach at a public school. And I have two niece-in-laws who teach at public schools. I’m tainted!!! (Well, apart from having Catholic Cooties.). @ K.D.:

  295. @ elastigirl: I took it more literally. Perhaps it was meant as hyperbole, but… this is where text-only communication *really* falls short, no?

  296. An Attorney wrote:

    People need not to comment on how many children other people have or do not have. You can think whatever you like, but don’t say it.

    Yep!!!

  297. I should probably apologize for the tone of some of my comments upthread. I got a little too testy with Ted. I still think the verse about providing for your family is relevant to the topic, but I could have expressed that a little less crankily.

  298. Marie2 wrote:

    Ummmm, Joe, can you please re-read this quote? I cannot tell whose side you are on…Maybe you are given to a little cynicism about the fact that certain admissions by the plaintiff could weaken her case? If so, I do hear you. I am not entirely sure that all of the courts have caught up to the knowledge in that quote. I truly hope that the plaintiff gets justice, even if perhaps there are holes in her case. I have no idea if there are any, but I do agree with you that the “average” person just casually reading the story could see it as a classic boyfriend-girlfriend thing.

    I’m not on either side. She retained a Christian law firm that is very familiar with Christian principles, church issues, homeschooling, etc. Here is a link for info about her attorney: http://www.ncll.org/ I’m sure the plaintiff will get justice, whatever that may be.

    Unless there is evidence that he sexually abused her, then the situation is a case of “she says” and “he says.” Who’s telling the truth – I don’t know, but since the plaintiff wanted to settle almost immediately (for $10 million) they may also think there is high probability the “average” person on the jury will see this as a classic boyfriend friend girl friend thing.

  299. BeenThereDoneThat wrote:

    @ LawProf:
    Yes, I’ve heard all of those. The ones that cut deepest came from my family.
    My personal favorite came from the Urologist my husband worked for, “I can fix that for you.”
    But, I have to say, no one on this blog has ever made me feel that way.

    “I can fix that for you” – Ouch, that’s kind of rough! In any event, we’ve heard pretty much all of them, but in all honesty I do not get all bent out of shape over them. A huge (as I said earlier, bigger than Phillips Clan) family is strange and counter-cultural, so people don’t know quite how to take it. They say some insensitive stuff, but for the most part, I don’t think it’s ill-intentioned, just that odd things pop out of peoples’ mouth when they see something odd.

  300. @ elastigirl: this discussion (kids, no kids, # of kids) is guaranteed to hit ALL kinds of nerves, specially when done in an “expressionless” medium (text-only).

    I can still recall how floored/hurt/caught completely off -guard I felt when, on a business trip to the Midwest, a colleague asked me if I had any kids. That’s a normal question out there; on the East Coast, not so much. As it happened, I’d just hit my mid-30s and was going through a lot re. the clear possibility that I might never get married and have children. So, a basically decent person crossed a line without realizing it, and I had to fight back tears. I’m *sure* she was embarrassed and taken aback, but I still think it strange that a simple query about her daughter (as a way to make conversation plus I was interested) elicited the question about how many kids *I* had. I mean, ???!

  301. 0@ numo: P.S.: I was prepared for this question being asked by women from the Middle East and Africa (where it’s unusual for any woman to be single past a certain age – widows excepted), but completely and utterly unprepared for it coming from another American. Just goes to show that there are *lots* of cultural differences w/in the US.

    The interesting thing is that women from other countries were more accepting of my answers to their question plus generally very welcoming and happy for me to express interest in their kids and to enjoy talking with the kids. But then, few cultures tend to segregate people by age group in the way that Anglos do. If you hang with Latin Americans, Middle Easterners etc. you quickly find out that people of all ages are welcome at get-togethers and parties. I like that much more than our approach, since it’s many degrees warmer/friendlier.

  302. @ numo:

    “I can still recall how floored/hurt/caught completely off -guard I felt when, on a business trip to the Midwest, a colleague asked me if I had any kids… I’m *sure* she was embarrassed and taken aback, but I still think it strange that a simple query about her daughter (as a way to make conversation plus I was interested) elicited the question about how many kids *I* had.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++

    I’m so sorry for the pain you’ve experienced.

    That question does not seem strange to me, though — it seems a natural thing to ask. But hearing you describe what it was like for you to be asked, I empathize, and am so sorry. I can see that it is a dangerous question (although innocent).

    I have to say that I’ve asked that question on at least a few occasions in an effort at getting to know someone. I do know several people who do not have kids because it was their desire not to, so to me it has been a somewhat mundane thing to ask in getting to know someone. And something that will inevitably be known anyway. But i see the wisdom in not asking it. Rather, let someone disclose that part of their life on their own terms.

  303. @ numo:

    if they asked “how many kids do you have?” instead of “do you have any kids?”, that’s a pretty uncouth. I would never have asked that one. The latter question, yes, that’s the one i have asked on a few occasions.

    The former is sort of like the time the visiting Chairman of Board visited the branch office i worked for many years ago. When passing my engineer friend in the hallway, he introduced himself and asked “and whose secretary are you?”

  304. @ elastigirl: it was simply the *wrong* question at the wrong time. If you’re already grieving over likely not having any (which I was), it can hurt very intensely.

    Also… nobody had *ever*asked me that question (speaking of Anglos, that is). It is a presumptuous and intrusive question on the East Coast proper, at least where I lived. People seem much less inclined to probe re. a person’s marital status and the like, though there are certainly subcultures (American) where it isn’t considered intrusive. But please understand that it can be the equivalent of lobbing a Molotov cocktail through someone’s front window – it’s personal, and single people (previously married or not) might be wrestling with things for which there’s no acceptable public outlet. When your hopes die – no matter what those hopes are – it’s a hard, hard thing to go through.

    In general, yes – letting the other person choose to talk (or not) about kids (theirs) is, imo, a good idea.

  305. @ elastigirl: I get where you’re coming from, which is a place of goodwill.

    Still, if someone were to ask me if I have grandchildren and/or how many, I might have to grit my teeth and try to smile. If only!

  306. @ elastigirl: also… The person being asked might very well be dealing with infertility problems. And it *really* cuts deep in that case.

    Best not to make any assumptions, though I need to follow my own advice on this. God knows, I’ve asked some dumb questions (personal) in my day! Live and learn…

  307. @ elastigirl: truth is, people tend to assume that adults who are past a certain age are paired off. Even now. Which is one reason why it’s not quite kosher (imo) for people to start asking about kids and such.

    I know that *some* people assume I’m gay, because if you’ve never been married, then??! To me, that doesn’t necessarily follow – there are so many reasons that someone might not have married, and/or might not be married now. ( I know you know this… Just saying.) It seems to me that there was more decorum about this when I was growing up, re. older men and women who had never married. Part of it might have been related to the fact that women teachers had to be – and stay – single until well into the middle of the last century. I had a couple of unmarried teachers, as well as some who married relatively late in life, due to the laws about women having to remain single.

    Also, I wonder if there’s been a change – not for the better! – due to the nature of celebrity theses days, along with the rise of reality shows. Anything/everything seems to be on the table there, even though most of it is nobody’s business.

  308. @ numo:

    About being single and how it used to be in that respect. There did used to be both a higher percentage of marrieds (or so I read in some articles) and there also used to be a much much higher respect for being single and celibate, and a much much lower tolerance for openly extra-marital sex.

    “Back in the day”, like you said probably up to the middle of the last century or so, there was a strong current in some circles of thinking that being single and celibate in order to pursue a religious vocation was much more pleasing to God than being married with or without children. In pre-Vatican ii circles that would be in order for somebody (the oldest son?) to be a priest and for somebody (one of the girls) to be a nun. Among SBC girls there was the ideal (perhaps the dreaded outcome) of being an “old maid missionary to darkest Africa”. FYI, there was an SBC school in Louisville partially for this purpose but also for training women for other “full time christian work” including pastors wives. I went to that school during summers when I was in medical school, because being a single medical missionary is exactly what I had hoped to do. Mohler closed the school and that is where Boyce college is today. And yes, there used to be furnished housing for single female teachers, called a teacheridge. And yes, single nurses sometimes lived in one wing of the nurses home affiliated with a hospital. These women were respected, but obviously not too many folks actively chose that life style.

    Now, we hear that the RCC has too few priests and women’s religious orders have dwindled in number. The baptists insist now on marriage (preferably with multiple children) and are limiting the academic religious education of women where they can. This shift was already going on in my day. The powers that be told me that if I wanted to be a medical missionary I should give up the idea of being a doctor (I was already an RN) and I should hie myself out to the seminary (SBTS) and marry one of the students. I declined both suggestions, became a doctor, married someone who was also in health care, and we went out into rural USA, practiced our professions and raised a small family. I am now a Methodist. Thank God for options.

  309. @ Nancy: I suspect that one big reason for the dropoff in women entering the convent is that there are *far* more vocational and professional choices now than there were in even the recent past. And there’s much more available for men, too – widespread college attendance has changed a *lot* of things. I think this might be especially true for working-class kids who aspire to more. Becoming a nun or priest was, in many ways, social advancement and a guarantee of a respected professional life. There are so many more potential outlets today, for women in particular.

  310. Nancy wrote:

    The powers that be told me that if I wanted to be a medical missionary I should give up the idea of being a doctor (I was already an RN) and I should hie myself out to the seminary (SBTS) and marry one of the students. I declined both suggestions, became a doctor, married someone who was also in health care, and we went out into rural USA, practiced our professions and raised a small family. I am now a Methodist. Thank God for options.

    Oooo it makes me so mad that you were told to marry a student!

    Sweet how it worked out, though. Stick in the eye.

  311. @ Nancy:
    I don’t even know where to begin. I was informed years ago that the SBC was moving this direction. All I can express is their loss, your gain, and it worked out for the best.

  312. Virginia Knowles wrote:

    I finally wrote a follow up post on Doug Phillips and other patriarchs. You can find it here: http://watchtheshepherd.blogspot.com/2014/04/on-patriarchy-scandal-abuse-and-grace.html

    GREAT POST on your blog. I hope everyone reads it. I especially appreciated this part:

    “My angst is not just about the allegations of sexual misconduct. It is about legalistic and hypocritical teaching that has destroyed families. It’s not just Doug Phillips, but men like Bill Gothard, Doug Wilson, C.J. Mahaney, and Mark Driscoll. I greatly respected them, even put them on pedestals. I regret that now. I sincerely apologize to any of you who started following their teaching because of anything I wrote. At the bottom of this post, there is a whole slew of links for you on some of the problems caused by patriarchal leaders and organizations. This is just a fraction of what is out there.”

    As a pastor in a conservative tradition that attracts more than our share of Doug Phillips’ fans, Doug Wilson fans, C.J. Mahaney fans, Bill Gothard fans, and Mark Driscoll fans, I have tried for years to caution people against these sorts of power-hungry anti-Christian “Christian leaders.” Finally now so much is out in the light (thanks in no small part to bloggers like you and TWW) that there is no rational reason why an informed Christian should ever again respect or listen to any of those five men.

    The tragic thing, however, is that way too many “fellow Christian leaders” — who now have NO RATIONAL REASON FOR CONTINUING TO PUBLICLY SUPPORT ANY OF THOSE FIVE MEN — still publicly support them. And so now I have to caution my friends and family and church about the irrational (and I think ungodly) public support for the INDEFENSIBLE still being shown by “Christian leaders” like John Piper, R.C. Sproul, R.C. Sproul, Jr., Jerry Bridges, Sinclair Ferguson, Al Mohler, Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan, D.A. Carson, Kevin DeYoung, Justin Taylor, Carl Trueman, Ray Ortlund, Tim Challies, etc. (who am I forgetting?). Five years ago probably all of these men were in my personal “hall of fame,” now each one is in a hall of shame, and I no longer read or recommend anything they say or write.

    With the exception of a very few, the only “Christian leaders” I continue to trust and commend to others are those that very few people have ever heard of, and that don’t self-promote (unlike ALL the men on the above two lists).

  313. @ pcapastor:
    Thank you for your comments, pcapastor. I have actually been a PCA member in the nearly four years since we left SGM. 🙂

    I just wrote another post which I think pertains to the Phillips/Torres case although most of it is about recovery from domestic violence: Bonding and Bondage in Abusive Relationships http://watchtheshepherd.blogspot.com/2014/04/bonding-and-bondage-in-abusive.html

    Here is the quote from a friend that prompted the post:

    In case you’re wondering why you can’t “just get over it” from a painfully abusive or damaging or destructive relationship: Trauma bonding makes any relationship harder to end, harder to heal, harder to find freedom from through forgiveness, than the loss of a true love. The neural pathways burned into a brain in trauma bonding are laid down in powerful fear/anxiety hormonal rushes leaving even comparatively good memories with the person colored with the stains of those traumatic events. The loss of anyone we have loved — whether they have treated us very well indeed or in a deplorable manner — is something that will heal best in long, loving talks with wise friends and counselors… and Jesus. HE went through a bit of trauma bonding and betrayal, too, right? ~~ GeorgiaAna Larson

  314. Virginia Knowles wrote:

    @ pcapastor:
    Thank you for your comments, pcapastor. I have actually been a PCA member in the nearly four years since we left SGM.
    I just wrote another post which I think pertains to the Phillips/Torres case although most of it is about recovery from domestic violence: Bonding and Bondage in Abusive Relationships http://watchtheshepherd.blogspot.com/2014/04/bonding-and-bondage-in-abusive.html
    Here is the quote from a friend that prompted the post:
    In case you’re wondering why you can’t “just get over it” from a painfully abusive or damaging or destructive relationship: Trauma bonding makes any relationship harder to end, harder to heal, harder to find freedom from through forgiveness, than the loss of a true love. The neural pathways burned into a brain in trauma bonding are laid down in powerful fear/anxiety hormonal rushes leaving even comparatively good memories with the person colored with the stains of those traumatic events. The loss of anyone we have loved — whether they have treated us very well indeed or in a deplorable manner — is something that will heal best in long, loving talks with wise friends and counselors… and Jesus. HE went through a bit of trauma bonding and betrayal, too, right? ~~ GeorgiaAna Larson

    Great! I look forward to reading it.

  315. pcapastor wrote:

    With the exception of a very few, the only “Christian leaders” I continue to trust and commend to others are those that very few people have ever heard of, and that don’t self-promote (unlike ALL the men on the above two lists).

    Would you mind sharing the names of a few of these you still trust (if that is appropriate)? I am a recovering legalist. 🙂

  316. OnlyEleven wrote:

    pcapastor wrote:
    With the exception of a very few, the only “Christian leaders” I continue to trust and commend to others are those that very few people have ever heard of, and that don’t self-promote (unlike ALL the men on the above two lists).
    Would you mind sharing the names of a few of these you still trust (if that is appropriate)? I am a recovering legalist.

    The “Things We Like” page here at TWW has a solid list of books:

    The Faith by Charles Colson
    Hardball Religion by Wade Burleson
    The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse by David Johnson, Jeff Van Vondren
    The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind by Mark Noll
    Mere Churchianty by Michael Spencer
    How Now Shall We Live by Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcy
    Mere Christianity by C.S.Lewis
    Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    ——————————–

    I also greatly appreciate the works of John Stott, J. I. Packer, Eugene Peterson, and Tim Keller (who waited until he was in his 60’s before writing his first book).

    Hopefully you can find a church with a normal, humble, caring pastor, if you don’t presently have one, someone who passes this sniff test: After hearing him (or her, btw; while neither I nor my tradition read the Scriptures to be holding that calling open to women, I certainly recognize that millions of godly people do read the Scriptures that way) teach/preach ask yourself: Did I just learn more about God and His Gospel, or that man and his ministry/opinions/”favorite things”/”pet peeves”/etc.?