Friday, July 23, 2010


I want to clear the air about a couple of issues concerning my blog and it's purpose. My blog is probably an equal-opportunity offender, touching on extremely controversial subjects within the Christian community. When you deal with polarizing issues, there's often a natural vacuum in the passionate positions taken where intent or message can be inferred.

I have no problem with homeschooling. My problem is with indoctrination via homeschooling which promotes patriarchy, quiverfull, courtship, and the like as "biblical", when the bible says nothing about patriarchy other than mentioning an era where, devoid of centralized governments, tribal clans based on Hurrian, Sumerian, and Chaldean cultures were the norm, the bible doesn't teach quiverfull as the only method God approves but mentions the idea metaphorically and almost in passing, and the bible says absolutely nothing whatsoever about the courtship model. My problem is in young women being indoctrinated to believe they need to remain under their father's "protection", when the only thing I can see that the father is "protecting" the daughter from are beliefs other than patriarchy - which pose a threat to him, not her. If you're under 18, sure. Even the legal system would agree with that. But well into adulthood? Only the legalist system agrees with that. Don't believe me? The scripture often used to justify this belief is Numbers 30. It would burst the bubble of many patriarchs to recognize that in Jewish society, a girl was no longer "in her youth" upon reaching age 12. (Reference Here) 

"...teaching as doctrines the commandments of men."

I have a problem with Christianity practiced with the form and vigor of communism. Sharing our resources, living selflessly, without greed, is biblical. Dropping an Iron Curtain over our families isn't. Relegating women to lesser, subservient roles is cultural. Even when it's biblical it's cultural, and demands the need for and use of discernment rather than literal, fundamental interpretation. Using children as a resource to promote the agenda of a father's own personal Kremlin in the culture war, viewing them as "property of the state", isn't biblical.

"...teaching as doctrines the commandments of men."

I have a problem with Christianity practiced with the same ritual, environmental and mental control, culturally fear-driven propaganda, works based purity and worthiness (despite the talk of faith and grace), and indoctrination of radical Islam. I have a problem with Christianity that places greater emphasis on the minutiae of superficial outward appearance than on the true heart and character of Christ. I have a problem with Christianity that values form over faith.

I don't have a problem with conservative politics. I'm a political conservative. I think Ronald Reagan is the father of our country. I have a problem with the elements of the Religious Right which confuse winning souls to Christ with winning the culture war and imposing our lifestyle on the unbelieving. I have a problem with the Religious Right equating giving rights to others as having rights stripped from themselves.

I have a problem with professing Christians pointing a finger at God and the bible and blaming all of this on Him and His word...when both are innocent of the charges.

Some may take issue with the emotion and passion with which I write. You're entitled to your opinion, but let me warn you, if my emotion has riled you to date, you may want to wear a seat belt for future visits, cause I don't see my emotional style changing. I've been through a very painful, emotionally traumatic experience. Writing without raw emotion is for me like eating a rice cake. It puts a little something in your stomach, but other than the bland aftertaste in your mouth, there's little evidence you've eaten anything.

When I read stories like this one at Razing makes my blood boil. It makes me want to pop. It brings back memories. Painful ones.

Just a couple of days before my ex-fiancee disappeared, she sent me a text which said the following...

"I love you so very much Mr. Wells! Seems all I want to do is sit and talk with you! It's just nice to know you're there."

Less than 24 hours later, she told someone she sought counsel from that I didn't respect her, that I was "ungentlemanly", and that she and I had communication problems. This person she was seeking counsel from wasn't a part of the patriarchal movement, and her grandfather, although not a full-blown patrio himself (still a hard-core fundie, though), feared the "division" in his family that counsel from this person would bring, so he spent the better part of a day prepping her, and giving the gameplan to others so they could prep her as well, and caused her to doubt the validity of her own feelings expressed less than 24 hours prior, creating an entirely new and false perception. If he could shade and slant the story she would tell this person, he could influence the counsel this person would give her. He did.

When she disappeared on the day she was to fly here permanently, being beaten to a pulp by the barrage of guilt-ridden and fear inducing calls and manipulation she'd been subject to in the final few days, she asked her grandfather to call me and ask me to "give her some time". He called alright...and told me to get lost. He told me it was over, that I had to let her go, that I was a savage and not much of a man to put her through what she was going through, and it was at his personal counsel that she didn't come. Only the last statement had any truth to it. Ironically, just three days prior the man had told me, "Lewis, I promise to do all within my power to have her on that plane. I'm not gonna interfere anymore."

Snake. Slithery, slimy snake. I feel like I need a shower just thinking about the man.

I haven't seen her or spoken privately to her since. There's always been someone on the line with her "protecting" her, telling her which questions she could answer and which she couldn't. The result? Maybe one out of ten questions would get answered, and the answers were quite obviously rehearsed and agreed upon talking points. It was like talking to a ghost. Very painful when you love a person. To this date, no closure whatsoever. It's like she was, and then suddenly she wasn't, and I'm supposed to erase the memories that she was. It's literally as if she died, yet still walks the earth with someone else inhabiting her being.

I had made so many financial commitments, toward our future and in sending money to her to support her as best I could in the interim prior to our ceremony, that I wasn't able to take even a couple of days off from my work to emotionally recover from her disappearance. I was touring with a major gospel music artist at the time, and had to take the stage roughly 4 nights a week. This artist had put the video of our engagement on their webpage several months earlier, and during this period, I was reaping the "rewards" of being a public figure. I was emotionally crushed and heart-broken to the point that I was physically ill, unable to eat anything, barely sleeping, desperately worried about her, where she was, if she was well, were they abusing her, and now, nightly, I had 15-20 or more total strangers walking up, slapping me on the back, and saying, "Congratulations, Lewis! I saw the video! That's awesome!" The first one happened probably 30 seconds after stepping off the tour bus at the very first venue. I was crushed anew every time, but I held it together outwardly. Much of it is a blur, but those congratulatory slaps on the back are pretty vivid memories.

Three weeks after her disappearance, she sent me an email, a freakin email, to tell me our relationship was over and she was breaking her commitment to me. I got it right as I was heading out the door to go meet the tour bus. Devastated doesn't begin to describe it. At the concert that night, about an hour prior to the start, I walked into the venue and headed to the merchandise table to perform my duties there, hadn't been there 10 seconds, and a sweet little lady walks up to me and says, "Lewis, your video just makes me cry. It's so beautiful! Congratulations to you both!" I broke down. I'd survived hundreds of these encounters with strangers, but couldn't survive this one.

This continued, repeatedly, at every concert, for several months before I left the road. "Congratulations, buddy!" Well meaning people delivering a fresh injection of heartbreak with each slap on the back.

Part of me wants to head west and go all "Walkin' Tall" on the whole bunch of em. Part of me wants them to know the pain and hurt they slimed into my life. All of me pities her, and all of me still loves her, despite moments of anger and resentment. One can only love as deeply as their capacity to feel pain. One can only feel pain as deeply as their capacity to love.

If you don't like my raw emotion, you may want to adapt to it or find another blog to read. I don't put a pretty, and phony, face on things that aren't pretty.

God is responsible for all of this. Right? That's what they'd tell you, anyway. Maybe you can better understand my passionate stance against Christian Islam.

It would make you re-evaluate "biblical", too.


  1. Lewis, I know this is painful. I can't even imagine how much ~ and then to experience the triggers, criticisms, doubts, and accusations even now as you seek to process and speak out against this evil ~ may God be with you and give you strength and peace.

    Thank you for writing; thank you for sharing how the ripples of idolatry affect you. I'm so sorry for all you've experienced but pray that God redeems your pain and uses this according to His ways.

    In His grace,

  2. I appreciate the support and prayers, Hillary.

  3. Lewis, the raw emotion doesn't scare me away at all. I'm glad someone is willing to share honestly. I'm so sorry for all the pain! I can't imagine having reminders constantly there for so long! Thank you for not shutting out the pain. Thank you for not shutting out the love you feel toward her. Thank you for being the voice for her that she cannot/will not be.

  4. I don't mind the emotion - honestly I've been afraid lately that I've been commenting a little too emotionally on a couple blogs and afraid it would bother other people, so no, I don't mind reading yours at all.

    I'm sorry you were not even able to take time off, that really is sad. Hope this blog is a healing thing over time and that knowing you are helping other people will make things a little easier for you!


  5. Sharon and L...Thank you both, a bunch, for your support. It's appreciated.

  6. I love your bog, Lewis. Don't change a thing. Be who you are and write in your own voice. Your voice is important to the rest of us. We all need one another.

    I am so sorry for the pain you have been though, the pain you are in today. Please know there is love out here in cyber-space for you!

  7. Oh, words are so pitiful to try to convey the depth my sympathy toward you...and I weep for your dear lost one. I can understand the overwhelming force she was barraged with...controlling parents/pastors will do anything to hold onto their my cult when my best friend blew his brains out after having been yelled at by the pastor...the pastor said in the years following that it was "God" who had him do it..."God" was protecting him from the "world"...sick, huh...but she honestly meant it...
    so don't be afraid to express your it loudly...people need to know the evil of religion gone wrong...
    You are in my prayers my dear friend...

  8. SS and Julie...Thank you both. Your support and prayers mean a lot.

  9. Having been hurt by someone from a extremely patriarchal background I can relate to what you write about very well. I do not mind your raw emotion, though I hope and pray that dwelling on the pain and anger does not lead to bitterness - something I have to be on the lookout for in my own life. I am thankful to find a MALE voice willing to speak up against a very real problem that tends to be ignored by many men.

  10. Have been really enjoying your series. Having been a member of a liberal mainline church all my life I just find all these patriarchal men sad and annoying.

    I don't agree with you on RR though. He started the state of CA on the slippery slope it now teeter on and eviscerated the higher education system. He had some good points, but as we've seen with Arhnuld, being an actor isn't a guarantee of a good politician.

    I hope your hurt will subside one day and you will find someone to share your life with.

  11. Jo...Thanks for the support.I appreciate it.

    art...You're not a fan of the Gipper? How dare you?!...;)Thank you for the kind words.

  12. Lewis, I just read this story and I am shaking my head with the sad familiarity of it. Thank you for sharing your story. We need to see the raw emotion because it's time for the truth about "biblical patriarchy" to be exposed. Thank you.
    Elizabeth Esther

  13. Elizabeth...Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate the encouragement very much.

  14. I hesitate to type this, seeing that I am still lingering "on the other side of the fence," but this blog post, among others you have written lately, have really caused me to think - think about things I don't want to. However, in a
    strange way, I appreciate it. Although, I must admit to you, it scares me sometimes.

    In regards to your prior relationship, all I can say to that (without all the emotional sap) is, "That's just not right!" I pray that God will heal your wounds and in time, you can find a woman with a family that can appreciate you as you are (okay, a little sap got loose there, sorry about that).

    -A Woman still on the "other side" trying to understand

  15. Anon...It does my heart good to know that this would cause others to think and explore what they believe. I think that's a healthy thing for all of us. Even if the process takes you to a different understanding than my own, you're always welcome here. I encourage you to always follow Christ at all costs.

    Thank you for the kind words. No worries about the sap;)

  16. Lewis, thanks so much for sharing this. I admire you for holding onto your faith and for your honesty and openness.

    Kristen aka krwordgazer

  17. Kristen...Thanks for stopping by. Be blessed.

  18. Just read this post and all I can say is, dang.

    Just a flat, I can't believe it, dang.

    That, and also add my voices to the rest. Your emotion doesn't bother me either. It's real, rubber-meets-the-road Christianity.

    Ps 34:18; 147:3

  19. Hey Lewis...just found your blog, a link from a Facebook friend. So sorry to hear about the break-up with your finance. However, God is in control, even in the darkest of circumstances (Romans 8:28). Just keep trusting in Christ brother!

    I'm also glad to see that you clarified the homeschooling comments. As a homeschooling mom, who is a Christian, I struggle with radical ideas; from the left or the right (unless it has to do with a specific commandment) and was initially curious as to why a Christian would see homeschooling as a negative. However, your explanation makes sense and I agree. I also agree with your political comments - right on! I don't have much knowledge about this quiverfull, etc. movement (we're Reformed Baptists) so it's been interesting to read about the details. You are so rules, unsupported by Scripture, are nothing but

    I look forward to continuing to read your blog!

  20. Kim...Thanks for stopping by and for the kind words. Please do come back anytime and join in.

  21. These posts just wrench my heart. Each new story I read from someone who has "escaped" and come forward gives me more courage to share my own story, but I still have a long way to go.

  22. Wow. My boyfriend of a year and half came to visit one spring break. Took a Greyhound Bus for 24 hours. We there for a total of 22 hours before my Dad found out my boyfriend didn't actually believe in his patriarchal beliefs. Sent him home immediately (literally with hours) on a plane. My bf was planning on asking for my hand. Later my dad told my brother that "maybe he acted a little rashly", but never said anything to my BF or I. We got married a little over a year later. My parents and most of my siblings didn't come. I was hurt, but not angry or bitter. Maybe I should have been angry, but I knew it would lead to bitterness, something I did not want in my life. I prayed and prayed against anger and bitterness and that I would just learn to love them inspite of themselves. Thankfully the Lord answers prayers and we are on good terms now, a year and a half later. But it tore my family apart. And there is pretty much no trust left. And it will continue to tear my family apart. :/

    M A

  23. Lewis,
    Thank you for all your blog posts. I don't know exactly how to say this, but somehow, reading your story and of your love for your ex gives me courage to choose life and God for myself.

  24. Christian Islam. That is an excellent term for it. I'd noticed the similarities myself. All law, without any love.

  25. [i told you i'd be reading older posts - but you made it really easy to start with your latest post, which is how i found THIS post today :) thanks!]

    i'd like to tell you how *I* discovered Quiverfull.

    years ago [years before i became this disabled] i volunteered at a DV shelter [domestic violence, a shelter for women running away from. i'm sure you know that, i'm just trying to be clear]
    i had several things i did, but mostly i "manned the front desk" [we joked that i "womanned" the front desk, as no men worked there and feminism and etc] because even then i was disabled, just not this badly.

    so one evening, around 8:30, some guy comes in. he starts off very polite and nice, asking if we had a "Mrs X" there with 5 children.
    and i, of course, said "i can't answer that question"
    now, in point of fact, we did NOT have a "Mrs X". it's possible that we had a "Ms. Y" who was ALSO "Mrs. X", but i don't know. there were two DV shelters in this Northern California county, so there's a 50-50 chance she WAS there - but either way, i COULD NOT tell him.

    and, again, at first he was polite. "why can't you tell me that?"
    i explain our policy - we tell NO ONE if anyone is there, for their own safety. the ONLY time we can [legally! and won't always, then, even if it was illegal to not - depended on the severity of the woman's situation] is either a court order or similar - the only other exceptions are proven medical emergencies of sort, or police with something substansiating that they are chasing a criminal.

    he starts to be a bit abrupt. he says something like "i don't care about court orders, i just want to know if she's here"

    and i again say "sorry, i can not answer that question"

    he starts hollering for her, by what i assume is her full legal name [first name middle name maiden name married name]

    i say "sir, if you don't calm down i'm going to have to ask you to leave; this is private property. i can not tell you if anyone is here, i can not give out any names, i can give you NO information. the most i can do is accept a note to the person you are looking for, and *IF* she shows up, give it to her."

    he became very quiet, and i thought he was done.
    he's incredibly angry, and starts yelling his fool head off - he wanted his wife back, and he wanted her back NOW - she was under HIS authority, and we had NO RIGHT to deny him HIS WIFE and HIS CHILDREN - they were HIS. he quoted this and that - i don't remember off the top of my head - but what it boiled down to, and what he finally SAID, was "That woman and those children are MY PROPERTY, and you have NO RIGHT to prevent me from retrieving MY PROPERTY"

    to which i replied "slavery is illegal in the United States of America"

    and he yells "There's freedom of religion and this is my religion!"

    and i said "Last i checked, the Quo'ran is NOWHERE in the constitution"

    you see, with what he was yelling, i thought he was a Muslim. i'd never HEARD of Quiverful or "Patriarichal Christianity" [95? 96? somewhere in there]

    at this point, he tried to attack me, so i restrained him, another volunteer helped me get him out the front door, and we locked it. then i called the cops - who came over, incidentally bringing me some pepsi on the theory that i needed it, and they watched the tape.

    one of them asked my i'd insulted him that way. i asked how i'd insulted him. he said "you called him a Muslim."
    and i went "huh? isn't he?"
    the OTHER cop said "does he look like an "Ay-rab" and i gave him a dirty look before point out that "Muslim" and "Arab" aren't the same thing - one is a religon, the other an ethnicity. one can be "white" and be a Muslim.


  26. [cont - sorry if there is overlap]
    one of them asked my i'd insulted him that way. i asked how i'd insulted him. he said "you called him a Muslim."
    and i went "huh? isn't he?"
    the OTHER cop said "does he look like an "Ay-rab" and i gave him a dirty look before point out that "Muslim" and "Arab" aren't the same thing - one is a religon, the other an ethnicity. one can be "white" and be a Muslim.

    the first cop [the Sgt who brought me pepsi and asked the original question] smacked his partner upside the head for "ignorance", then told me that the man i kicked out WASN'T Muslim - he was Christian, part of a fundamentalist sect that practiced *really* old-fashioned stuff, like the husband was the absolute master of his wife and children, with absolute authority and control over them, that they used NO birth control and had "as many children as God "blessed" them with [the Sgt air-quoted "blessed"]

    i asked if said "authority" included beating your wife and children. Sgt said "depends on the man"

    and i became the most frightened i had ever been in my entire life - i was *terrifed* for Mrs. X and her children, because a man who would attack a woman he *doesn't know* when he KNOWS he's being video taped? isn't going to be any MORE restrained in the privacy of his own home.
    and i know that most women, they go back. it takes them SEVERAL tries to escape.

    further, that guy was OLD - i mean, i was 19 or 20 at the time, and he had to 55 or maybe a bit older. and if he had a wife with 5 kids, the oldest of whom was 8...

    i said some of this - and it turns out the Sgt knew the man from church, a church he attended for about a year with his SECOND wife, 15 years or so before. at the time, he was around 40, and his wife was 22 or 23, and they had [at the time the Sgt knew them] 4 kids; she died in child birth 5-ish years after they left the church.
    a HOME birth, naturally. of twins. one of which died on the way [umbilical wrap around the neck] and the other died a few days later.
    when she died, she had 7 living children, the younest of whom was 3 - so that kid would be 13 or so when i was talking to the cops.
    so when his THIRD wife fled, she only took "her" kids [turns out his second wife's family sued for custody of her kids, so they were safe but at the TIME i didn't know, i all i could see was him going home and taking it out on the kids who remained]

    under normal circumstances, i wouldn't have pressed assult charges - it's a pain in the butt, especially as i was, at the time, a brown belt in Akido. "proving" that a random dude attacked me in the DV shelter was difficult, at best - BECAUSE of said brown belt, and also because me saying "no" somehow counts as "provocation". i'd tried the first few times it happened, but soon gave it up as a worthless cause. [the fact that i had fibromalgia and rhumatory arthritis, so everything i did to them hurt me, TOO, also didn't factor in to the court. i knew Akido, i "provoked" them by following the law, therefor nothing happened.]

    but this time, i DID. i was terrified of the scene going on in his house.

    and the cops went right then to arrest them [the whole being video taped, WITH audio], and i think the ONLY reason it stuck was because of his "they're MY PROPERTY" spiel. well, and all the rest of what he said - he refused a defense lawyer, called me a LOT of names [slattern, harlot, Jezabel, and "witch" were the ones he used most often] called the shelter a "Godless institution run by the Devil Himself, to tempt Godly women to witchcraft and feminism, and away from their Lawful, Godly husbands" and said the whole case was OBVIOUSLY a vicious piece of slander created to oppress and persecute him for being Christian.


  27. [cont]

    at one point, the judge said "Sir, *I* am a Christian. and i know for a fact that the two officers who arrested you, and the prosecuting attorney, are ALSO Christians. if you say you're being "persecuted" by me or my court one more time, i will hold you in contempt"
    he was held in contempt.

    i met "Mrs. X" during this trial - she sought me out to thank me, because [for whatever reason] she was absolutely convinced that if i had brought assult charges, she literally *wouldn't be allowed* to file for divorce, let alone be *granted* a divorce, and granted custody of the kids.
    she took me to lunch [and cried on my shoulder a LOT, which is fine - i have shoulders large enough for it, you know?] and i eventually asked how she came to be married to a man almost 3 times her age.

    she told me that her father "bethrothed" her to him about a month after his 2nd wife died, and that 6 months to the DAY after 2nd wife died, her father held the wedding in his [the "husband", not Mrs. X's father's] living room, her father being some sort of minister.
    i asked "did you WANT to marry him?"
    "not really"
    "then WHY DID YOU?!?!"

    "My father told me that he was the man God had decreed was going to be my husband"

    and i said "ok, but look - you were an adult, right? why didn't you just say no?"

    "It was my father's choice. i was under his authority until i got married."

    [as an aside, i think i invented *headdesk* during that lunch]

    at NO point did Mrs. X ever actually say that her father was wrong, or that her husband was wrong - she said she felt horrible that she was a bad wife who just could never be good enough for her husband - look at how often he had to beat her to get her to do even the most basic of wifely duties! and she claimed THAT is why she wanted a divorce - she felt she'd NEVER be able to be "good enough", and wanted her "Godly" husband to be able to find a woman who WAS.
    i asked about her taking the children, then - if he was so "Godly" and the only problem was HER, why did she take them with her?
    she became a bit embarassed, and whispered "He's only human - i was afraid that his rightful, wrathly justice would fall on THEM, and they don't deserve to be punished because *I* failed"

    "but you told me he beats them! with belts, with wooden spoons, sometimes with "switches" from a tree!"

    and quote "Spare the Rod, spoil the child" and then told me once he was "over his wrath at [her] she planned on giving him the kids back - "After all, the Bible tells us that children belong to their fathers!"


  28. [cont - last]

    and so, for the ONLY time in my life, i helped send some kids into foster care. i have never before, and hope to never again, even CONSIDERED foster care for a child - a 3rd cousin twice removed that the kids NEVER MET is better than foster care.

    but both of their ENTIRE FAMILIES, so far as i could determine, were into this "weird fundy cult" [as i thought of it - i didn't hear the word "Quiverfull" until after i moved to Ohio in 97]

    i don't know - but i thought this might, in a small way, help you get your story out. i'm a COMPLETE outside to the P/QF thing [i'm not even Christian]. this was my first experience with P/QF - although it's pretty much par for the course, except for the bit of mild violence. if this is was I, a person completely outside any conveivable scope of P/QF, a person most people who ARE P/QF would write off as, at best, a "heathen" and at worst a Satan-worshipping whore of Babylon, what must it be like for those TRAPPED in it? and i DON'T just mean the women and girls - the sons who are never "able" to quite "grow up" enough for their fathers to "let" them conduct a courtship and get married? the ones who DO get married, and can't handle the Hell of being The Authority On Everything, because he was raised to be SUBMISSIVE and now must suddenly learn to be DOMINATE - and some never manage it [and thus don't end up in horribly abusive places, but spend all their time miserable and frightened and knowing that they're a "failure" and "not a real man"] and some pretend to so well that they're even MORE abusive than their fathers...

    as you said - It. Is. Evil.

    [correction - in the 3rd section, i wrote "she was absolutely convinced that if i had brought assult charges, she literally *wouldn't be allowed* to file for divorce"
    but that should be "HADN'T - if i HADN'T brought charges"
    sorry for any confusion that may have caused]