/> a mother's heart » Blog Archive » vision forum, patriarchy, and FLDS? oh my! part 6

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.


There is much more to VF beliefs than just their strange use of Bible verses to mandate things that God never mandated; much of it is rooted in political belief that they are creating an “army for God.”  As a conservative (Libertarian), this makes my skin crawl.  I don’t want an army of people fighting culture “for God” and muddying the waters.  For if they consider any woman who disagrees with their twisted theology “white washed feminists,” what will they call political opponents who disagree with them?

Additionally, I genuinely don’t believe that God NEEDS them to make an army for Him.  Jesus Himself said in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Don’t you know that I could ask My Father and He would send thousands of angels to protect us, instantly?” (Matthew 26:53)  God is fully capable of raising His own army – I sincerely doubt that He needs our “help” in this arena, seeing as we humans tend to misunderstand, misinterpret, and misapply so many of His actual commands to us.  Some things are better left in His hands than taken in to ours.

Because we’re talking about child-rearing, I’ll include the idea that children (and wives) need to be perfectly obedient according to Gothard and VF.  If children are “out of control” or “rebellious,” it is seen as a reflection on the husband that he doesn’t have his home “in control.”  And because in patriarchy (which I’ll talk about more tomorrow) there is an extreme amount of pressure put on all members of the family, a patriarchal man cannot risk being seen by his community as “out of control.”  Although not part of the patriarchy movement per se, there is much written about Michael & Debi Pearl, who have written books about how to bring your children in to “perfect submission” with plumbing line (for beatings that don’t leave a mark), and more.  Fear is the main tool used in child-rearing in this particular group – children are taught to fear their fathers (lest they receive a beating) and they’re taught to fear God, Who comes across ogre-ish through the eyes of a child (or under-educated woman) and simply wants perfect obedience.  There is no space for grace in this belief system.

But between the mandate to have many (perfectly obedient) children and the discouragement to educate them, this begins to make more sense to me:  if you’re raising an “army,” you don’t want an army that will question leadership.  You want an army that will take commands and do them without thinking.  You don’t want to foster independent-thinking or critical thinking skills; you want foot-soldiers who are easy to control.  Plus, it becomes unmanageable to consider educating (properly) all of those children when you’re encouraged/told/forced to have a dozen or so, unless one is incredibly independently wealthy.  So by removing the education-aspect of raising children, you’ve just removed one of the major objections many have to having 10 or more children.  And you’ve just insured that your lifestyle and theology will likely be passed along, because the children will grow in to adults with little-to-no critical-thinking ability.  They won’t need it – they’ll simply form “God’s army” and mow down their opponents with force and sheer numbers, right?  No reason to spread the Gospel – heathen are heathen; white-washed feminists are lost and going to Hell if they disagree with you.

Convenient, eh?

the next installment is here

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  • Sarah

    Great series. I felt myself taking several deep breaths of relief reading through these. I found your posts from a link a friend posted on facebook. Very clearly articulated and succinctly stated. Thank you!

  • http://www.mamasheartblog.com sue

    Sarah –
    welcome, and thanks for reading! I’m glad you’re finding truth in my words – I had to finally get the words down, because my husband was tired of hearing me ramble and get frustrated as I thought through the implications of the theology and beliefs behind VF. 😉

  • http://www.PositivelyFeminine.org Brenda King

    Thanks for doing this series. I’ve been reading with great interest and look forward to the next installment!

  • http://www.mamasheartblog.com sue

    Thanks for visiting and reading, Brenda! My passion for proclaiming freedom in Jesus and preventing abuse in the name of religion motivates me… I appreciate the support!~ :)