Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Quiverfull as a High Demand Group (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.

How are women controlled by the inherent patriarchy of QF?

Response Part Two:

The ultimate pressure to conform to the standards of QF/P does come through shunning, but this can happen while a member is still a part of a group. Those who fit the group ideal and bring a positive image to a church will be rewarded through positive reinforcement, and their compliance will be rewarded. However, those who decide to veer away from the desired ideal will encounter informal exclusion. 

 They will be excluded from events, and their children will be passed over for good opportunities as a punishment for nonconformity. Because self-worth gradually shifts over to how the group esteems you and your family, this manipulation proves quite powerful. I was subject to confrontative lectures by women in leadership who attempted to regain my conformity near the end of my four year experience in a high demand church. They usually included confusing double bind criticisms that placed me in no-win situations that made no functional sense, save to shame me into compliance.

Some groups do also use formal discipline which has even been coined with the moniker of having been “Matthew 18ed,” based on the passage of Scripture which its adherents claim as a procedure for punishing a person (and family) for noncompliance. Under the guise of just having time to talk openly with leadership about concerns, a church I once attended conducted what I referred to as “star chamber” meetings that were in fact designed to shame a problematic member into submission. 

 At the far extreme, a family can be “disfellowshiped” or shunned, basically at the whim of a leader who decides to deem a member no longer Christian, regardless of their own profession of faith. Aggressive leadership can also turn members over to a church court systems for this purpose so that they can pursue legal action against members (see link under subheading “Declaring others unbelievers to trigger the option to sue”). Ken Sande, an attorney who played a very active role within this movement teaches this process in his book, The Peacemaker (Appendix D; pg. 282). 

But all people who attend such groups understand that when they leave a group or remain a nonconforming member that they lose all sense of personhood.

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