September 25, 2014

A Logical Conclusion? Vyckie Garrison's contention causes some consternation

photo credit: alternet.org

Recently, Alternet a moving account on AlterNet of Vyckie Garrison's exodus from the Quiverfull movement.

One quote is apparently causing some consternation. Garrison said:

The reason you can find Quiverfull families in nearly every type of Christian congregation is because Quiverfull beliefs are not actually a radical departure from traditional Christian teachings regarding marriage and family. It is my contention that Quiverfull IS regular Christianity writ large ... lived out to its logical conclusion.

It's that last part that has people in a bit of a tizzy. If you think about it, it's not so different from those who speak out against Islam by saying that fundamentalism is a natural product of religion. It is.

I'll start by saying I wholeheartedly agree with Garrison. I believe these principles are the natural conclusion of Christianity.

I do not believe (and I'd hazard a guess that Garrison doesn't either) that all Christians naturally go there, because I believe Christians (like every other person) are smart enough to suss things out for themselves.


We bear heat (and a lot of comparisons to "new" atheism) for making these connections, but I think they are critical. These conclusions, the natural, logical outcome of following doctrines that are popular and mainstream even when these conclusions aren't, are also a major part of the "culture wars" we are currently experiencing--from contraception to abortion to equal pay to LGBT+ rights to marriage equality. All of these are influenced by our position as a majority Christian nation.

This is why it is so critical to continue to point out that--while these are fringe groups--they are a logical conclusion from Christianity. The rhetoric used to influence cultural trends encourages people to look at it as an  "us versus them"--Christians believe this. Period. Even more liberal Christians can get caught up in it.

Pointing out that these doctrines stem from an overall belief system is important to reminding everyone--including Christians--that thinking about the real consequences of religious doctrines is important. Christianity, like all institutions in our world, is constantly evolving.

So you will find some arguing that this phrasing is too broad, but not me. Nope.

It's important to talk about how biblical views of women--even more progressive ones--often still undermine women's rights. It's important to talk about how a literal interpretation of the Bible can lead to the repression of rights of citizens who don't match up with the biblical view of marriage and family. It's also important to talk about how this highlights just how important it is to keep religion and government separate--that wall of separation becomes especially important when you consider that these aren't some crazy, whacky interpretation of the Bible. It's a logical conclusion of a variety of doctrines.

Those messages are just too crucial to silence.

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