Saturday, January 16, 2016

Babies and Mary Pride (QF: The View from Here)

This series of posts results includes excerpts from information shared with a journalist in August of 2015 who had questions about the Quiverfull Movement as it related to the Duggar Family.

Find the Index of all posts HERE.

Can you elaborate on the experiences you've heard from survivors of the QF cult? The lack of healthcare, emotional and physical abuse, risks of so many pregnancies and births, girls being robbed of their own childhoods, shame surrounding bodies and sex et cetera. It would be great to flesh those as a little so the readers can really understand the terrible impact of these on the women that you've helped.
Pregnancy and Birthing, Response Part One:

Please allow me to address this history first which will put the devotion that mothers have to the ideology into better perspective. For specific stories, I will refer you to some exemplars that have already been documented online, particularly articles written by Kathryn Joyce who has been an expert and compassionate journalist who has written about QF/P more respectfully than I possibly could have, preserving the misplaced dignity of those true believers of the movement. Tess Willoughby’s account includes a notable connection to the contemporary patriarchy movement through Vision Forum by way of Geoffrey Botkin who originated in the same cultic Evangelical group from the early ‘70s. I would love to see her details featured, partly because they are so horrible and typical of what I’ve heard (but rarely see published), and because of the connection to both her husband and Botkin/Vision Forum to the Great Commission International cult.

Mary Pride: The Matriarch of Patriarchy

As previously noted, the QF/P lifestyle coalesced from among different groups of homeschoolers who gathered together for support in the early years of the Christian movement, creating their own unique culture. Theonomists who seek a grass roots effort of taking dominion over society for Christ in order to reestablish Old Testament or Mosaic Law to govern all areas of life including civil law showed special interest in the homeschooling movement. Because it was felt that Christians had abandoned their presence in civil government which resulted in greater secularization of the US, homeschooling became one of the many “theological innovations” that Theonomists and others within the Christian Right could employ to recapture their lost influence. 

Though not all those who followed Theonomy ascribed to these ideas, in the mid to late 1970s, individuals like Gary North began teaching what constituted a strategy of social engineering. If Christians could breed more voters, they could elect and enact the government sought by the Christian Right. Those these types of fringe elements in the homeschooling movement did not represent the majority, their ideas seemed to many to parallel the pro-life and pro-family ideals that were believed would rescue society from secularism.

Among other activities, the well-educated Mary Pride who boasted both undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute emerged within the movement and addressed the problem of a growing disdain for motherhood within society which did affect some sectors of Christianity at large. Mary claimed feminism before she converted to Christianity in 1977, and she did bring some astute observations about how many Christians were affected by some of these changes in the culture. 

However, in her 1985 book, The Way Home: Beyond Feminism, Back to Reality, along with her true observations which carried powerful convictions for many devout Christians, she merged the good with social engineering concepts, fear inspired propaganda about contraception and social service agencies, many of her own personal preferences, and notably cruel disdain towards those who did not or could not measure up to what she presented as the only viable Christian lifestyle for those of childbearing age.

~ Cynthia Kunsman
The view of Quiverfull from my vantage
August 2015