The Unfundamental Conversion

When Other Daughters and Sons of Patriarchy Are Trapped

August 25th, 2013 | Posted by Lana Hope in Homeschool | Patriarchy

With all the ex-conservative homeschooler blogs out there nowdays, people may be under the impression that homeschool fundamentalism has viritually disappeared among homeschool alumni. To be sure, this Christian movement among homeschool graduates is dying a very slow and painful death. But it is so far from over, and I have so many friends still trapped in the ideology that I constantly feel the tension with old friends and old hangouts.  Here’s just a few  very recent encounters I had with a few graduates

Story 1

The first story comes from a young girl Charis who writes of the “single homeschool girl dilema.” After a gap year a few years too long, she had planned to finally attend college this year and “finally get away” and finally “not be responsible for anyone” (read: not be responsible for siblings, family, etc). But instead earlier this year she met Mr. Right and is now engaged. She says she is mourning, not because she does not love her fiance (she does), but because she will never know what it’s like not to be responsible for anyone. She will never know what it’s like to be on her own. Now, she says, instead of being under her father’s authority, he will “transfer” that authority to her new husband.

I know a lot of people get married young, but keep in mind this girl will never get to live on her own, ever, not even for a year. And also, marriage in a quiverfull ideology has no “you” (as Vckyie Garrison over at No Longer Quivering says, “there is no you in quivering”); it’s only responsiblity and submission. There is no space to become your own individual thinker.

Charis is right. If she does not leave the house first, she will never get out.

Story 2

In a parenting discussion, Elizabeth writes that her parents let her color during church even when she was nine years old. She says this has damaged her relationship with God up until this day because she learned to tune out God, rather than listen to his prompting. So she says that even a one year old should be made to sit still during church, listen to the commands of their parents, and follow the instructions.

And I think of her children in the future, picking up the broken pieces.

Story 3

Andrew says that if his children come out gay, he will kick them out on the streets.  He will do this because a heart of rebellion is a bad influence to other siblings.

Because I was once one of these people (except the putting gay kids out on the street part – I never went that far), I identify with their pain, and I struggle with words to help, waiting patiently for them to break free. Breaking free is not easy because then they likely face their families and communities looking down upon them. I have always said that in a way, I wish I could turn back the tables and just be content in my submissive role; it would be easier and less shameful. But then I look at the great big world, and remember why I left.

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  • A very thoughtful post.

  • Breaking free of spiritual bondage and false teachings is always tough and often painful, but it is a battle worth fighting. Christ died so that we may live free in Him; whenever the battle grows hot and others begin piling on the shame, He is standing with us. And Christ always wins.

    • Lana Hope

      April that is so pretty. I remember when I was first collasping from all the years of it all, and that was exactly the image that God gave. When Jesus died, he bore all our shame and pain. He laid down his own life so that life will triumph to us. Now let it be so.

  • I was tempted last night to type a Story 4 in a comment, but it would have had my name on it (and thus some eventual association with search engines), and I don’t feel like dummying up an anonymous account. I never went through any of it myself anyway, but I have some mild concern about talking about it with any specificity (even with no names). I just witnessed it from the outside.

    I’ll allow myself this much. The children are all adults now, and none of them has quite managed to get his or her life together (to put it charitably). One of the most remarkable aspects of it is the sheer misery that was given to the young generation by the so-called Biblical Patriarhy, and yet all are still convinced that it is the true way. A true way that has led to atheism, Domestic Violence (with a capital DV, because I’m talking about actual convictions under the statute), divorce, child neglect, the concealment of allegations of habitual sexual molestation … but, once saved always saved, I suppose.

    There’s a chap with a blog here on the Internet who is Orthodox and talks a bit about homeschooling his children. It’s not all bad, as we know. He does it, because he wants to provide his children with a Classical education, which he has a bit of himself. He wants his kids to know Cicero, for crying out loud. Not a course of study one would find even in a good many of the better private secondary schools, and surely not something that is high on the reading list of the Biblical Patriarchy.

  • Homeschool fundamentalism dying out? Not hardly!

    Not as long as Douglas Phillips continues to be the keynote speaker for the largest and best known homeschool conference here in the liberal state of California.

    While many of us adults have rejected fundamentalism, I fear its influence is growing within the homeschool movement.

    It has been difficult to find homeschool groups that do not have pushy followers of Phillips or Douglas Wilson or Bill Gothard. On a non-partisan web group that welcomes all, including atheists, one of these recently posted an article insisting that good Christians shouldn’t use birth control. Yes, a bit of a firestorm ensued, but the fact that that person felt entitled to post such a thing in the first place shows what an echo chamber much of homeschooling has become.

    I hope you are right, but I have my doubts.

    • Lana Hope

      I think it is dying among second generational homeschoolers who grew up in it like us. HSA for example used to be most entirely conservatives. Now it has a much more liberal flare among those who once sided with the fundamental perspective. I could be wrong too, but I’m hopeful second generationals will homeschool differently. I’m not so sure about generation x first time homeschoolers. Fundamentalism is alive and well like you said.

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