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My Life as a Daughter in the Christian Patriarchy Movement -- How I Was Taught to Obey Men, Birth 8 Kids and Do Battle Against Secular America

We were raised to fight the enemy, be it Satan or environmentalists and feminists; to come against them in spiritual warfare and at the polls.

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While the goal is to take back the world for Christ through the polls, force is never completely ruled out. I was taught that someday the government might take away our rights entirely, become a dictatorship, and crack down on everything we believed in. My father used to point out the armory to us and tell us that that is where we would mount the resistance when this happened. Force, though, was to be a last resort. In the meantime, my family campaigned tirelessly for conservative political candidates and attended marriage rallies, pro-life marches, and second amendment rights meetings. I dreamed of someday being a politician’s wife, supporting him in his bids for office and attempts to restore the country to its godly foundation. The world was framed in terms of good versus evil, and I had a role and a purpose.

Taken together, these beliefs comprise a comprehensive worldview that gives those within it a sense of purpose and provides simple answers to complex problems. It can be very attractive. While the world is a complicated place, Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull explain exactly what your role is and what you must do to please God and carry out his will. It provides you with a formula for raising perfect children and upholds order and hierarchy. You know what your role is, what you are to do, and where you are going.

One last point to make is that evangelicals believe essentially the same things as the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, they just don’t take it to the same extreme. Evangelicals believe that husbands are to to be their wives’ spiritual heads, but in practice their marriages are generally fairly egalitarian. Evangelicals believe that children are a blessing, but in moderation. Evangelicals believe that children should receive a godly education, but most of them send their children to public schools. Evangelicals believe that adult unmarried daughters should honor their parents and listen to their advice, but they don’t expect them to always obey it. Evangelicals believe that men and women are different, and that children need their mothers at home, but most evangelical women work outside the home. Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull simply take these beliefs to their natural – and radical – conclusions.

Perhaps now you have a better understanding of the world of Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull and the minds of those within it. While some like me leave, many stay. I watch my younger sisters echo my parents’ beliefs, speaking of the importance and protection of fatherly authority and planning to eschew birth control entirely, and my heart breaks.  

 
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