Sunday, June 28, 2009

Answers for the TWOP folks

Did you stop wearing dresses all at once?
No, it took me a while to get out of the habit. The thing is, dresses are very comfortable most of the time. I still enjoy wearing them but in moderation. When I left the movement, I still believed what the Bible said about women dressing like women and men dressing like men so I stuck to dresses for several months. My first time wearing pants was a pair of capris that I borrowed from a room mate. It felt strange having my legs covered with such tight fabric that wasn't lycra or tights. :o)
I've concluded that it's not the dresses that are the limiting agent. The attitude behind wearing them is the problem. That group wears dresses because they don't want to defraud men or show immodesty before the Lord. What never occurred to me was to wonder how even the tiniest girl could "defraud" a grown man? The attitude puts the blame on a woman for having a body a man might find attractive and that is wrong! It's no different from the burkas of Islamic fundamentalists or the prairie style of FLDS.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bill Gothard

"What did Bill Gothard do to you?"
I hear that question al the time from my family and people who associate with my family. When I left that world behind, I discovered that people weren't angry about my disloyalty to the Lord so much as they were angry at my disloyalty to their infatuation with Mr. Gothard. I have been reading about the cult mentality and Quiverful, ATI, literalism as per Gothard is infused with similarities.

Bill Gothard has never done anything to me on a personal level. I have met him. My father worked for him. ATI folks are known to have this conversation...

Kid: What's the big deal. I'm not harming anyone by doing x!
ATI: If I do something dangerous and die, am I hurting my mother?
Kid: Well, yeah.
ATI: Then you are hurting someone.

They don't turn this around. Bill Gothard doesn't have to physically beat someone to knock them out. He teaches others how to do it for him. Patriarchy, QF, militant Christianity, purity aren't bad things if they're not abused. In my experience, no one of those things hurt me more than other ideals. But wrapped together and tied with the bow of perfection made them a devestating bomb of abuses.

Don't dress that way, you'll cause men to sin.
Don't sit that way, you'll give the boys ideas they can't control.
Don't say that, it displeases the Lord.
Don't think that, it displeases the Lord.
Don't wear your hair that way, it displeases the Lord.
Don't, don't, don't...

DO have a servant's heart.
DO prize modesty and virtue, even if it means accepting responsibility for a man's lack of self-control.
DO consider yourself subject to a man's rule, God wants you to submit.
DO speak meekly and think purely.
DO give up individuality for the herd.

Amazing how many of those examples fit if you substitute God for Gothard. Gothard is dangerous because people are more than willing to make that substitution.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Who is Ruth?

I've never had a blog before.
Who is Ruth? I hope when I'm done with the blog someday I'll be able to answer that question. I'm blogging for therapy's sake. (If my dad new I was in therapy he'd disown me all over again!) I'm new to the internet.
I was homeschooled for ten years giving me my primary education. I am in school now doing what I always wanted to do. It was the school therapist that told me I should write this journal. I am rambling. Like almost all QF families, my family homeschooled their kids. I have many feelings about this. I got a better education that some I know in that lifestyle. My mom taught junior high school math before father and she became Gothardites. My father was in Campus Teams, which is now the IBLP, that Gothard founded. In 1980 my older brother (A) was born. His Irish twin came ten months later (this is brother B). Father and Mom waited a grand 13 months before welcoming the next blessing (brother C). I was born in 1984. I was the first girl obviously. I was followed by brothers D to F and they were followed by sisters A, B, and C. If you're counting, that made me one of ten for most of my life. When sister C was nine, my parents had one last child that was born prematurely and passed away.

My mom's family wasn't fundamentalist or literalist. They went to a nondenominational church for holidays. Mom said she never read the Bible until she met my father. My father's family were methodists. My father's history would identify him and my family and I'm not ready for that.

I am the oldest sister which meant I helped raise my siblings. My first memory is my mom lecturing me to always put others first. I think I wanted to be playing with my brothers outside and she had needed help with my little brothers. I was only four years old but I remember it in detail. She called me in from outside and told me I was getting "too big to play with the boys". She handed me a dirty diaper to throw away and I gagged. That made me cry. Crying was unacceptable in that house. Crying meant a lecture from mother or a spanking from father. My mother never did the spankings. You didn't cry because it wasn't appropriate worship of your Creator to frown upon your life by crying. I was taught that life was a precious gift and work was how you repaid our Father for blessing you with your life. Jesus first. Others second. Yourself last. JOY. I hate that word now. I know you're saying I'm ungrateful but I don't think I am. That word has been tainted and I hate it. JOY meant never having any for your self. That could be an entry of its own.