Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Christian Evangelicals who Vilify Women and Children

The Popularity of Evangelical Christian Patriarchy in the US:
The Vilification and Abuse of Women and Children

(Presentation at the 2012 International Cultic Studies Association Conference in Montreal)
Addendum:  Original link broken.  View presentation citation at ICSA here.

The popularity of Christian evangelical patriarchy in the US and the resultant vilification and abuse of women and children
In response to a wide array of societal changes and the open acceptance of less traditional and more liberal lifestyles within the overall culture, a growing and significant number of vocal Protestant Christians within the United States have sought to influence society to return to an idealized version of traditional, conservative religious practices.  Issues concerning gender and trends that are believed to threaten the institution of the traditional, nuclear family provoke negative emotion among religious conservatives, ranging from general anxiety to specific fears of a perceived and seemingly inevitable apocalyptic demise of the Christian faith and of the nation.  

Increasing numbers of Christian Evangelicals have adopted extreme ideologies and programs of authoritarian patriarchy as a veritable panacea that is capable of rescuing and restoring stability to the beleaguered family, a traditional Christian faith, and all society.  Of special interest in this discussion is the abuse and resultant morbidity suffered by women, who are vilified under these contemporary programs of patriarchy, as well as the morbidity and mortality suffered by children, who live under the aggressive disciplinary practices that are inflicted for the benefit of their spiritual health and meant for their spiritual purification.

This presentation will examine the rise in popularity of four related groups who follow and share variations of Evangelical Christian patriarchy: (a) Complementarianism (teaching ontological and teleological subordination of women that affects well over 16 million American Christians); (b) Biblical patriarchy within the Christian homeschooling movement; (c) Reform programs for teens operated by Independent Fundamental Baptist affiliates; and (d) Child-training methods of Michael Pearl (popular within the homeschooling community, and the practice of which has resulted in documented cases of asphyxiation, renal failure, and death).

~ A list of links to accompany the presentation ~

Note that Complementarianism was presented as the largest, overarching ideology advancing the modern patriarchy movement, and due to the shared sentiment and tenets, the three additional smaller groups with more extreme ideas were framed as subgroups within and extension of the primary mindset of patriarchal complementarianism.   The subgroups do not share all of the same doctrinal interpretations as the parent group defined by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, but the each of the subgroup supports and maintains the common misanthropic mindset which results in various types of abuse of both women and children.  It is my belief that the Patriarchy and fringe Homeschooling Movements are too intertwined to honestly separate them from one another.

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  • No Longer Quivering: Vyckie Garrison's website features personal accounts and helpful information