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A Former Fundamentalist Decodes Michele Bachmann’s Marriage Vow Pledge
Michelle Bachmann has endorsed “The Marriage Vow: A Declaration of Dependence upon MARRIAGE and FAMiLY” – a misogynistic political policy document by THE FAMiLY LEADER, a federally-funded public advocacy organization associated with Focus On The Family.
In signing The Marriage Vow, Bachmann has pledged to promote the “Recognition that robust childbearing and reproduction is beneficial to U.S. demographic, economic, strategic and actuarial health and security.”
In other words: More American babies equals political and economic domination for the U.S.
But what if “robust childbearing” impinges on an individual woman’s “economic, strategic and actuarial health and security”? What if managing a passel of kids is detrimental to an individual woman’s psychological and/or physical well-being? What if prolific reproduction threatens the lives of women?
Bachmann and THE FAMiLY LEADER offer one simple reply: Woman, Get Over Yourself!
A quick visit to THE FAMiLY LEADER’s website reveals the self-abnegation ideal which is expected of American women according to their “FAMiLY values” paradigm. Notice that in THE FAMiLY LEADER logo, in The Marriage Vow document, and throughout their website, the “I” in FAMiLY is never capitalized?
The first footnote to The Marriage Vow explains this consistent use of the little “i”:
“Sociological data squares with tradition to argue that self-centered adult egos and agendas in American families must be subordinated to the long-term interests of America’s children.”
Simply stated, women who are unwilling to subordinate and sacrifice themselves to populate America’s economic and political war machine are selfish with a capital “I” - s.e.l.f.I.s.h.
Female self-abnegation is a core principle of the growing “Quiverfull” contingent of the Evangelical community’s “Biblical Family Values” movement which calls upon submissive wives to stay at home to conceive and birth large quantities of ”foot soldiers for Jesus” to advance the Kingdom of God on earth.
The term “Quiverfull” comes from a reference in Psalm 127 which likens children to “arrows” in the hands of a mighty man, “blessed is the man who has his quiver full of them.”
The “Biblical Family” worldview thinks of children as ammunition for God’s Holy War.
The “Biblical Family” worldview calls upon women to prolifically produce “arrows” to fill the “quivers” for their Dominionist husbands.
I lived the extreme Quiverfull lifestyle for nearly two decades – dutifully submitting to my patriarchal husband (creating a bully and a tyrant with my consistent self-sacrificial indulgences of his every whim) and enduring 10 pregnancies (7 live births) which endangered my life and severely compromised my health – all for “the Glory of God.”
Burnout, combined with what small flicker of self-preservation I had left, finally forced me to abandon the “Biblical Family” vision which had consumed my life until there was practically no recognizable “ME” left at all.
An interview with Kathryn Joyce, author of “Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement” led me to start a website to provide information and support for other Quiverfull walkaways: No Longer Qivering.
Notice: There is No “You” in Quivering.
The misspelling is deliberate – a visual cue which suggests the same principle which THE FAMiLY LEADER intends to convey by using a lower-case “I” in FAMiLY throughout their website.
The idea that women must deny themselves and sacrifice themselves to the point of actually losing their lives is not an aberrant Christian teaching – it is merely Jesus’ central message taken to dangerous extremes – which is what makes The Marriage Vow seem innocuous, and even “Christian” to uninitiated followers of the “Family Values” movement.
Having experienced firsthand the self-harm inflicted from living the “Biblical womanhood” ideal to the extent which THE FAMiLY LEADER and similar “pro-family” groups demand, I’m here to warn women that such martyrdom is unhealthy and recklessly twisted.
It’s ironic that The Marriage Vow makes a show of rejecting “Sharia Islam and all other anti-woman, anti-human rights forms of totalitarian control.”
Apparently Michele Bachmann doesn’t make the connection between the biblical injunction to women to obey their husbands and Paul’s implied endorsement of slavery when he instructed slaves to obey their masters. If the purveyors of “Biblical Family Values” succeed in implementing their theocratic agenda in the American political realm, Michele will be required to forget about herself – shut up, go home, serve her husband and raise more babies.