Christian influencer’s arrest points to Religious Right’s history of 'oppression and cruelty'
Ruby Franke, a Utah-based Mormon known for the YouTube series "8 Passengers," is now facing six charges of felony child abuse. Police in Utah arrested Franke, known for giving parental advice from a religious perspective, after investigating allegations that she would leave her children home alone for extended periods of time.
In a scathing think piece/essay published by Salon on September 8, journalist Amanda Marcotte emphasizes that Franke's arrest should not be viewed as an isolated incident but rather, as one of many examples of alleged abuse coming from the Religious Right.
"Franke was part of a new crop of Christian 'influencers' who have recreated the Duggar family's reality TV success for the social media era," Marcotte observes. "There seems to be an unending number of these content creators. They rake in massive views and advertisers by dishing up a fantasy of blindingly white, well-scrubbed, 'wholesome' family life."
Marcotte adds, "Franke was a bog standard example: A thin Mormon housewife with 6 kids and expensive-looking blond hair, living in small town Utah. She and her husband, Kevin Franke, kept up a YouTube channel documenting how their strict, religious parenting style supposedly led to an upright and enviable life."
The case against Franke, Marcotte notes, alleges "massive amounts of child abuse." And this type of abuse, she warns, is not uncommon on the Religious Right.
"The viciousness, which often verges on flat-out sadism, goes a long way toward explaining the apparently bottomless yearning for Duggar-style propaganda," Marcotte argues. "It's all about reassuring conservative Christians that all this religious oppression and cruelty is justified. The images of smiling blonde children chasing butterflies in a field under the gaze of beatific blonde parents tell a story they desperately want to hear: That it's OK to beat and starve kids because look at all this family harmony and joy it will eventually produce!"
Amanda Marcotte's full article for Salon is available at this link.
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