Escaping Quiverfull

If you follow this blog, there’s a good chance you also follow No Longer Quivering, the blog started by Vyckie Garrison, where I’ve also posted occasionally. Vyckie escaped from quiverfull and since then has dedicated huge amounts of her time to exposing abuses of power within this patriarchal movement.

If you don’t know what quiverfull is, here’s Vyckie’s brief explanation:

Quiverfull ~ is the idea that truly godly families will “trust the Lord” with their family planning. Children are viewed as unmitigated blessings (“As arrows in the hand of the mighty man, so are the children of ones youth, happy is the man who hath his quiver full of them”) and as such, the couple is willing to have as many children as the Lord chooses to bless them with. Artificial or chemical birth control such as the Pill or IUDs are equated with abortion ~ the sin of murdering your own offspring. “Natural” birth control such as Natural Family Planning is not actually “natural” because a couple must abstain at the very time of the month when the woman is naturally more desirous of physical intimacy. All methods of “conception control” is considered a lack of trust in God to provide for the “children of the righteous.”

Now Vyckie needs our help. After devoting her life to helping other women escape from Quiverfull, she deserves our help too. Last time I announced on this blog that someone needed our help, we raised almost $1,500 in under 12 hours. I realise that you all have your own financial pressures and commitments, so I’m just going to show you some examples of Vyckie’s work, and I think you’ll agree it’s worthwhile. If you can’t give, though, just check out Vyckie’s story, because it’s amazing. Here’s a video and an article, so choose whichever you prefer.

The end of my life as a “Bride of Christ” came after a visit to Bright Horizons, which is the local domestic violence shelter in my hometown of Norfolk, Nebraska. I went there for help in filing a restraining order against my husband, whose emotional and mental abuse against me and my children had escalated to the point that I was in the midst of a complete mental and physical breakdown. He had taken 6 of our 7 children to a town three hours from our home and was preventing me from having any contact with them unless I agreed to his terms for our “reconciliation.” Read more.

Vyckie is still suffering the fallout from divorcing this man. She is in danger of losing the home where she lives with the last five of her seven children. On her support page, there are various updates showing the work that Vyckie does to support other women in need, like this and this.

It’s all very well encouraging people to leave fundamentalism, but a lot of people aren’t as lucky as I was: For some of them, leaving means losing family, friends, support networks, and income. If you’re in a position to help, please read the fundraising page and consider supporting Vyckie. If you don’t want to use the credit card system on the Give Forward site, you can also donate by PayPal or cheque.

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About jonnyscaramanga

I grew up as a Christian fundamentalist in the UK. Now I am writing a book and blog about what that's like, and what fundamentalists believe.

Posted on October 20, 2014, in Atheism, Christianity, Fundamentalism and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. That’s truly a horrendous story 😦

    In some respects, America looks much more like a reactionary Islamic land than like an enlightened country. In Continental Western Europe, this kind of madness is almost non-existent. From what I’ve seen, I guess these folks are marginal in the UK as well.

    A good antidote might be pointing out that the Bible speaks with conflicting voices on countless topics.

    I really like what a commentator on Suzanne’s blog wrote:

    “There are over 60 books in the Bible. In those books, there are a lot of verses – some good, some bad, some bizarre.
    People like Debi and Michael, who claim to believe that the Bible, the whole Bible, is the word of God, only read those few verses that support their agenda and interpret those verses in a manner supporting their agenda.”

    Amen to that!

    As Suzanne pointed out, Jesus was pretty compassionate and I personally find it evident he did not view the well-being of a woman as a lesser concern than that of a man.

    Nasty Fundamentalists pick and choose evil verses for fulfilling their evil aims.

    A historical-critical understanding of the Bible is a very good remedy against this tragic state of affairs. This also helps us appreciate the fact that people of the past having wrong moral beliefs might have been neither dumb nor evil.


  1. Pingback: End-of-the-Week Religion and Atheism News and Commentary 10/24 | Evangelically Atheist

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