/> a mother's heart » Blog Archive » vision forum, patriarchy, and FLDS? oh my! part 2

I have been studying, reading, and contemplating this series for a few weeks now, and despite my nervousness at publishing it, I think it’s an important topic.  I include it on my blog because this group is infiltrating homeschooling communities across the country and not representing themselves accurately Biblically.  Please feel free to comment; if you disagree with me, that’s fine – but keep your comments clean, polite, and respectful.  Those who don’t will find their comments deleted at my discretion.  –Sue

If you’re new here and want to start at the beginning of this series, start reading here.

Might it be that girls also learn of their personal worth in college and graduate school?  HOLY COW this one made me mad.  What sets them apart from the Taliban, which says that educating girls is a “waste”?  Do we or do we not value each and every soul God has put on this earth and believe that education is the way to learn of Him, of His love, who we are, and how we fit in to His plan?

Additionally, not educating girls is a hallmark of the FLDS.  Yes, the polygamous group in Colorado City, AZ, in Bountiful, Canada, and at the YFZ Ranch in Texas believe that educating girls is a waste – girls are born to be ‘breeders’ and have no means to enter eternity without a husband and a bevy of children.

What does education do?  It allows people to think – or rather, to learn critical thinking skills.  What is at risk in situations where girls are educated?  Control.  Power.  Dominance.  Someone who is interested in promulgating his own belief system and controlling others eschews education because the more his “subjects” learn, the less he can control them.  True with the Taliban.  True with the FLDS.  True with VF?  We’ll see.

The authors go on to say that if you reject their Westernized theology in any way, you are a “white washed feminist.”  Huh.  That’s really funny, because I’m not.  But I am a critical thinker and a non-Calvinist, non-Dominionist Christ-follower who, like the group of believers Paul encouraged in Acts (the Bereans) has the ability to “examine the Scriptures every day to see if … [it] was true.” (Acts 17:11)  But somehow, doing this puts me staunchly in the camp of “white washed feminist” in the eyes of the authors.  It seems to me that if your belief system can’t stand up to scrutiny without lobbing insults, it’s not really much of a belief system.

Additionally, westernizing Bible verses that are universal isn’t really a sound anthropological practice, either.  The authors profess that a woman should NEVER work outside the home (or inside the home, other than housework, homeschooling, and caring for her family) – ever.  So for the widow in Guatemala…?  Yeah, nope.  She can’t provide for her family, according to these authors; at least, not without blaspheming the Word of God and being a “white-washed feminist.”  What about the woman whose husband is severely disabled and unable to work?  Unh-unh.  No grace here, ladies.  What about the woman who feels called to missions – serving people in another part of the country or world?  Another >BUZZ!< sound comes from the judges’ booth.  Nope, not permissible, either.  What about the woman who chooses instead to remain unmarried?  Surely there’s an exemption for her!  Ummm, no.  There’s not.  Their model of belief only works for two-parent families (sorry, widows and never-marrieds!) where the husband is able-bodied and willing to provide for his family in a way that permits the wife to stay at home.  This sounds more like FLDS practice and/or the Taliban than anything we find here in “Christian America.”

One might argue that one book sold by the VF might not be completely within the vision of the VF; it might just be a book sold on their site, much like Amazon.com.  Except that the book in question was published by VF’s own publishing house and one of the authors (Jennie Chancey) is married to a man who some consider to be Doug Phillips’ “right hand man.”  The book seems to be a pretty accurate portrayal of the beliefs of VF and made me certain that I wouldn’t be partaking in VF-anything.

read the next installment here

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  • Carrie

    Crazy. Just mind-blowlingly crazy. And what a waste of time. Can’t people write books about something more meaningful?

  • http://www.mamasheartblog.com sue

    You surely would think so, right? But when you’re proselytizing for a sect that purports itself to be “true” and “right,” they’ll do about anything to get the message out. :\

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  • Erica

    Interestingly, the women who write the books and run the blogs earn money…..

  • http://www.mamasheartblog.com sue

    isn’t that fascinating, Erica? It’s very much a “do as I say, not as I do” mentality – at least, in the book I read. Very curious, that.

  • Pingback: Series about Vision Forum | Why Not Train A Child?()

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  • Kat

    A very well-written article. You capture a lot of what’s so profoundly disturbing about this organization and its ideology. There was one point your article didn’t cover that I thought it might be good to mention: Vision Forum’s use of the term “feminist” as an insult.

    The label of feminist is a hard one to bear in American society. For many people, it conjures up images of bra-burning, makeup-eschewing, whiny lesbian man-haters. Vision Forum doesn’t seem to understand that feminism isn’t about those things at all.

    The central principle of feminism is that men and women should be equal. Feminism was the driving ideology behind women gaining the right to vote and gaining equality in the workplace, which most of us agree are good things. Organizations like Vision Forum tend to attribute “the destruction of the family” to feminism, but they’re missing the point. Feminism isn’t about destroying families, it’s about giving women options outside of their traditional family-centric roles, which used to be some of the only “options” women had. The education and career opportunities that feminism has helped women access enable women to support their families better, and feminism encourages men and women to contribute equally  to their families in terms of domestic responsibilities and childcare. This is actually an improvement over men’s traditional contribution to the family under patriarchy, when men are viewed only as financial providers.

    Vision Forum is a lot more harmful to families with its outdated insistence on patriarchy. Nice job articulating the many reasons why their philosophy is harmful.

  • Mandi

    I have never read any of VF’s books, but I have perused much of their material (as a Christian, homeschooling mama, I get tons of their stuff in the mail).  Am I right in gleaning the fact that unmarried women are supposed to remain at home under their father’s roofs and care?  Is that what they promote?

  • http://www.facebook.com/markkristin.schilling MarkKristin Schilling

    I think unmarried women should remain at home under their fathers care. The Bible clearly sets us a chain of authority, and until the woman is married and moves under the authority of her husband, then she should stay under the protection of her father. I don’t know the percentage, but it’s A LOT, girls are being sent off to college alone and are being destroyed by it. Sure, by all means take higher education classes from home, but don’t just throw our girls out into the cold on their own into dorms or other towns.

  • http://www.facebook.com/markkristin.schilling MarkKristin Schilling

    For anyone who truly wants to see this from a Biblical perspective PLEASE WATCH “Return of the Daughters.” I cannot do justice in being able to explain what they so eloquently and intelligently do. “Biblical Femininity” by the Botkins is also an excellent one to watch that describes what the Bible says about women. Women and Men are VERY different, so as christians we need to search out what God says about it not what man thinks.

  • http://www.mamasheartblog.com Sue

    Mandi, that is indeed the case. So as a young woman, when I moved out to go to grad school (with full permission and blessing from my parents), that wouldn’t have happened if my family partook in VF teachings. Which really would have been a shame for me, because beyond getting an excellent education, I met my husband at seminary and our entire lives never would have intersected otherwise. :

  • Reconsidering VF

    Too many young women living under this perspective are remaining at home into their 20s and even 30s now. Suitors are not beating their way to the door. Seeing this happen in families we know was one of the first things that made me start to re-think VF’s teachings.

  • http://www.mamasheartblog.com Sue

    Interesting observation! I do think that this particular way of interpreting Christianity will probably fall out of favour in the future, if only because having grown children in the house w/o education and marketable skills is a drain on the parents financial resources.

  • Kristin

    In this discussion we have to continually keep in mind that God is in control and that He has a plan for us all. Scripture tells us that to receive God’s blessing we are to follow His commandments and Jesus Christ. If we follow what He says then we will protect our children and teach them the precepts of Him. Girls are incredibly impressionable until 30 most of the time, so if it takes that long for them to fall under the guidance and authority of a husband, then so be it, that is what God intended. I understand that you can’t just sit at home waiting for God to bring you a husband, so get together with your church locally and nationally or other like minded fellowships. Scripture is the first place we should go for direction and it is clear on how to live our lives.

  • YoungAdultTrainingMom

    Good point but I believe we as parents should be preparing them to survive the college years. It can be done. I’ve known many but not by ‘blindly’ throwing them in to sink or swim. The high school years are great for alot of “preparing” them for how to stand in the world. We are to be in the world but not of the world. We all have to be lead by the Holy Spirit as to what that looks like to each situation. We are looking at a two year junior college an hour away for our daughter that she can commute to twice a week for two years. This will give her two years to go slower into the college world and mature for two more years before going on to a four year school.
    We also have prayed and carefully looked at her giftings and allowed her to make choices and praised those choices of desiring an education that will give her specific skills that she can support her self quite well and have the option to work part time and or from home when marriage and children come. She will have these skills for the rest of her life to equip her to be able to “help” her husband should hard times fall. She understands he should be the main provider or at least do all he can to try. Sometimes life throws us bad situations that we have to make the best of.
    Also, most colleges DO have Christian groups. So you HELP your young ADULT find one and get plugged in. Again let them be IN the world and make good choices.