Saturday, November 6, 2010

Dear Abigail (TSGA part 5)

(There She Goes Again Part 5)

The lastest slap in the face of the abused.

Well, now we have this "Abigail" character. I have an idea or two who "Abigail" might be. She's described this way...

"This modern day Abigail has been married to Nabal for twenty years. She loves her husband her children, her Bible, and her Reformed Baptist church. She enjoys cooking, reading, writing, and being helpful and productive in her home. She grew up in a large family and is thankful to have several children.
“Abigail” prays for grace and courage to live faithfully and joyfully in a difficult marriage. Having seen the great pain that comes with the misuse of authority and the neglect of male responsibility, one of her greatest desires is to experience the benefits of loving biblical patriarchy."

Mmm Hmm.

It becomes very clear very quickly that Abigail has imbibed the Flavor-aid. Gulped it - then took a piece of bread and sopped up the drops remaining in the cup. She's surrendered anything resembling a mind of her own to the mind of the cult and it's leaders. In the war that's been declared on the spiritually abused by Stacy McDonald and her cultic minions, Abigail attempts to attack the flank of the abused, assuring them softly and gently that their personal sufferings are actually "sin".

Abigail's a snake. A viper, in fact.

She begins by describing her personal perils, how difficult parts of her childhood were, yadda yadda yadda, in the course of her first several paragraphs. Her purpose here is to diminish the experience of Hillary McFarland and other QDs who came up in cultic environments. "See?! I had it bad, too!"

She's describing a childhood that many of us have experienced. Heck, in my elementary years, I used to have to work in the garden, tend the chickens, help dad butcher them, chase headless chickens around the backyard and fetch them out from under the shed, unload truckloads of firewood and kindling, work springs and summers in the watermelon patches (which is backbreaking for a 10 year old in the Florida heat and humidity), and all kinds of stuff that kids these days wouldn't understand. My parents and their generation had it 100 times tougher than I did. 

With that in mind, Abigail's either woefully unable to discern a situation or intentionally attempting to engage in deception and diversion. Quivering Daughters isn't a book about young women having to do hard work. QD is a book about young women diminished by a system of cultic, legalistic belief that disregards their personal relationships, individuality, giftings, emotions (considering these things evil, worldly, rebellious), and in many, if not most, cases, proves an obstacle in their personal walk with Christ. Micro-management of all aspects, including faith. That's spiritual abuse. A lifestyle that shifts the focus of a daughter away from Christ and sets up the worship of a human father and family unit. That's apostasy and idolatry. It's spiritual abuse.

Her first few paragraphs lead up to this one...

One of the keys to a happy life here is to accept the fact that this isn’t Heaven. This is Earth. Earth is sometimes a disappointing place to live, but the disappointments here have deep purpose. They are gifts, to draw our hearts away from the desire for status or approval or material things toward Christ alone. Again and again, He urges us to find our hope and satisfaction and joy in Him, to lay up our treasures in Heaven, to live for His glory and not our own. He must increase, and we must decrease.

Quivering daughters everywhere - consider your experiences dismissed by dear Abigail.

The next few paragraphs are either a very subtle attempt at mind control, or a truly blind person attempting to blind others and lead them into a ditch. And then, there's this...

“Thou shalt have no other gods before Me” means, among many other things, that I must acknowledge that I could never write a history for myself as wise and rich and wonderful and eternally profitable as the one that God has so graciously written for me. Disappointments and all, I don’t wish it might have been different. It’s been exactly what He ordained.

WOW. That's one way to misinterpret a scripture. If she's so convinced of this, perhaps she should consider the possibility that God ordained the feelings, emotions, and mindsets of quivering daughters. She might say, "No way, because those things are wrong and sinful." Mmm hmm. Well then, stop crediting God for the sins of parents or just fess up to double-talk and hypocrisy.

God, for His own glory and according to His perfect wisdom, does not assign the holy angels of Heaven to parent children. He requires sinners to bring up sinners. As this is His plan, it provides no occasion for resentment.

I'm getting the impression that Abigail considers everything, with the notable exception of quivering daughters, God's ordained plan.

Sadly, grace and compassion toward parents seem to be in very short supply at Quivering Daughters. For Hillary McFarland and others, normal childhood disappointments have not yet yielded to compassion toward the parents who, as fellow heirs of grace, imperfectly gave much and loved deeply.

Abigail once again slaps all quivering daughters in the face and dismisses the abuses they've suffered. I'm starting to believe Abigail, in a room full of people, is likely the last to "get" the jokes she hears. She's obviously read a different book and blog than I have.

Lord willing, change is yet to come as these young adults grow in their knowledge of the grace of God, as they learn to see their sins against God as infinitely greater than their parents’ sins against them.

Translation: Maybe someday these poor, rebellious, ignorant girls will be as wise, spiritually astute, and enlightened as me. I'm the freakin' man! Look at me beat on my own chest, you heathens!

She then includes this passage of scripture...

Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God?

For me, that scripture brings to mind this one...

So the elders of the Jews continued to build and prosper under the preaching of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah, a descendant of Iddo. They finished building the temple according to the command of the God of Israel and the decrees of Cyrus, Darius and Artaxerxes, kings of Persia.

Hey, mine was as relevant as hers was. So there.

I see Hillary McFarland publicly, repeatedly, and deliberately treat her parents the very same way that she says they once wounded her privately, occasionally, and unintentionally. She is returning the offense in kind–but in greater degree. One of her most frequent complaints is that she often felt that she did not measure up as a daughter, but this experience has not left her too shy to tell the world that her parents do not measure up and were not good enough for her.

I could take this more seriously if it weren't coming from "Abigail", married to the fat, obnoxious slob "Nabal" (the fool), living in a difficult marriage. By her own standard, I don't see much honor in that description.

When I first encountered the Quivering Daughters blog, I expected to read one of those heartbreaking stories of genuine abuse that can be found in every culture and subculture. But after bracing myself for the worst, I found Hillary repeatedly assuring me that her parents have always loved her and have intended only good for her. Hillary’s material is shocking in the very fact that it doesn’t tell a story of dangerous cruelty. Hillary’s story is of parents who gave much to a daughter who still believes that she deserved far better.

I hope this woman never, ever, ever offers counsel to people. Ever. NO understanding of the issues. None. Totally enslaved to a cultic mindset which has left her on the straight and narrow-minded way. Totally unable to see anything outside of the cultic lens.

She then comments on a personal story which Hillary shared...

While there’s not much a parent can do about silent tears in the middle of the night, the wise parent who sees a child in this state will feel genuine sympathy for the young sufferer. Perhaps the best parental treatment for a sinful, inordinate desire for approval is a loving hug together with a gentle, loving rebuke.

Abigail, you need help. In the worst way. If you truly believe this, you're perhaps the most legalistic, blind person I've ever encountered. God help your children. They'd be better off in foster care than with you as their mother, and I'm not being facetious. One would have to question if you have any heart knowledge of Christ whatsoever, because you just painted the opposite picture of everything recorded about his life.

Disappointment is real, but it really calls for a holy response. When we bring forth sin instead, we must repent, for we are the people (Acts 16:25) who are called to sing hymns in prisons!

That isn't, and wasn't, a calling. Paul and Silas CHOSE to sing in the prison. The bible says nothing about them being "called" to do so. It certainly says nothing about any of us being "called" to do so. I think Stacy, err, Abigail *chuckle*, is once again trying to do our spiritual thinking for us.

It appears that this episode occured well over a decade ago, but the cure is the same today as it ever has been: “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.” The desire for approval and the desire for perfection run deeply in humans, but we tend to look for them in all the wrong places, among sinful humans on a fallen planet. God gives us sinful, weak, imperfect parents for His own glory, and He calls us to be content with whatever history and parents He’s given to us. Our parents’ weaknesses and sins are an opportunity to prove our faith by exercising forbearance, forgiveness, and loving discretion.

No understanding of either the situation or the scriptures. The fear of man is exactly what this cult promotes, while most QDs escape out of obedience to the compelling of their Heavenly Father.

Abigail, with all my heart I encourage you to get professional counseling and to visit a cult-exit counselor. You need it desperately. Hopefully you can escape the legalistic bondage you're in.


  1. With no intention of sounding caustic, I have a sincere question. I wonder if "Abigail's" husband knows she is writing on Stacy's blog and that he is referred to as "Nabal," hardly a complimentary reference. I wonder if he's aware that his wife is writing publicly (though anonymously) as a wife in a difficult marriage. And if he doesn't know this, I wonder what he would think or feel if he did. I find it a little ironic that coming from a camp that advocates *extreme* honor and submission (not mere complimentarianism, which I have no problem with), they champion a woman who is publicizing her husband's character deficiencies (by inference) and the difficulties of her marriage, perhaps even without his knowledge. This puzzles me greatly. To include Abigail as a contributor seems to violate everything they claim to stand for. Again, a sincere question (which I can't ask at Stacy's blog since comments are disabled).


  2. Because, of course, "true, holy christians" don't have bad emotions. They never get hurt, upset, angry, beaten down, disappointed, depressed, saddened... All that is the work of the devil attempting to lead you down the paths of darkness.

    ....Or maybe it is God's natural way of showing you "something is wrong". You get cut, you bandage it. You are hungry, you eat.

    But obviously no emotional trauma is valid. Forgive and forget. So it is all on the victims... if the pain wasn't their fault in the first place, it is their fault that they are FEELING it. So not only do we bring it upon ourselves, but we shouldn't feel it when it comes!


    I have too much to say against these teachings... I think I will stop now. :-P

  3. Abigail's post really took my breath away. I devoted an entire post over at my blog to it. Gotta love this: 'Perhaps the best parental treatment for a sinful, inordinate desire for approval is a loving hug together with a gentle, loving rebuke.'
    Possibly I reacted so deeply to it because I have felt the same thing, sometimes. It is natural to sometimes be hurt by our parents' non-acceptance. But to call that SIN...that makes me angry indeed.
    Who was it...Darcy, I think, on that with this one blog, Stacy et all have nicely ensured that there will be no 'reconciliation'. They have shown that they are only interested in forgiveness on their terms.

  4. Stacy's blog made me feel outrage for the women and people whose hurts have been ignored and minimalized by patriarchy and specifically, by Stacy.

    "Abigail's" post made me literally sick. I still can't think about it without feeling the hatred and oppression emanating from it.

    I was about to write about the new blog and then this. So twisted. And, as Grace pointed out above, definitely contradictory. Nearly every time I say something to my husband - some doctrine that they push - he goes "but don't they believe _____" -- insert opposing viewpoint.

    For example, when I read him the part about children and sin and approval he goes "But aren't children the most important part to them?"

    To someone who has never been indoctrinated, their beliefs are just so far away from logical thought that they can't even imagine where on earth they come from.

  5. Note also, her inclusion of the passage from Romans with the sole intent to scare wayward members away from critique and back into the clutches of the movement.

    Typical cult practice.

  6. In fact, I challenge all of you who read here to examine Abigail's article and see exactly how many elements of Lifton's model of Thought Reform you can find in it.

    I'll give you a hint: A bunch.

  7. "Lord willing, change is yet to come as these young adults grow in their knowledge of the grace of God, as they learn to see their sins against God as infinitely greater than their parents’ sins against them."

    Doesn't this woman realize that EVERY sin is ultimately against God?

    I agree with you, Lewis. This woman does need counseling. But I also think that she's getting some of her ideas from reformed theology. Don't the reformed believers believe that God is responsible for everything that happens? She says, "He requires sinners to bring up sinners. As this is His plan, it provides no occasion for resentment."

    So, she thinks that because God put Hillary in this family, He also planned for her parents to sin against her; therefore, she has no reason to be resentful because this is what He wanted for her??

    It is so sickening and so against God's heart for these people to write against Hillary like this. I hope she never reads that blog.

  8. @Anonymous
    Hey, don't dis Reformed theology ... I'm just as outraged as you are (married to a QD who's been "out" for less than a year ... Stacy's blog was a massive blow for both of us) ... and I follow a lot of Reformed teachings. The doctrine of the sovereignty of God does not in any way negate man's responsibility and moral culpability. Unless, of course, you're a cult leader bent on twisting Scripture into barbed-wire fences to keep your sheeple under control.

    — "Dranther"

  9. As a person from a reformed background I can say that I've come across this thinking quite often in reformed women's circles. It is not a necessary fruit of the doctrine of God's sovereignty, but it tends to drift this way when coupled with the subjugation and/or devaluation of women.

    These teachings are a great comfort to women who believe they are not allowed to do anything to improve their circumstances but pray and lean on Christ. I've been there. Many (not all) of these women are taught that they are not to attempt to inform or influence (which, to them, closely resembles teaching and taking authority) their husbands. They are taught that to differ is to dishonor and to be unhappy is to be ungrateful. Having their voices thus effectively silenced, and their feelings disregarded, they take great comfort in God's sovereignty. I'm very sympathetic to the hearts of these women. Most of them are doing the best they can to live as they believe Christ expects them to and live at His feet. Many of them really don't see that there is any other way. I understand that frame of mind quite well as I once lived that way.

    I still pray and lean on Christ, throwing myself at His feet, and trusting in His sovereignty in all things, but I also know now that God calls me to be a mighty help to my husband. My husband needs the sound of my voice and depends on it. He values the wisdom and skills God has given me far more than he values his clean house and full belly. He sacrifices for me and WANTS to know my needs and my hurts, so he can shore me up. If I disagree he WANTS to know about it. We are true complementarians, not in the sense of pre-fab gender roles, but in the sense that we complete one another....though only in the most temporal sense, because it is truly only in Christ that anyone is complete.

    All that said, I'm sad, but not surprised, to hear that Hillary's book is being viewed as an attack of sorts. Her love, humility, and respect for her parents and family really show. I did not feel she was critical of patriarchy or large families - just the abuses that occur when these lifestyles are the product of legalistic expectations rather than natural outgrowths of loving relationships.

  10. There is only one way to describe what Abigail is advocating. It's called "License to Sin."

    Apparently only those who have to "submit" are to be held accountable. Those who get to be "head" are to let sin abound, that grace may much more abound to the poor submissive ones.

    Paul said, "May it never be!" How disgusted he would be to find out how much it IS.

  11. ". He values the wisdom and skills God has given me far more than he values his clean house and full belly. He sacrifices for me and WANTS to know my needs and my hurts, so he can shore me up. If I disagree he WANTS to know about it. We are true complementarians, not in the sense of pre-fab gender roles, but in the sense that we complete one another....though only in the most temporal sense, because it is truly only in Christ that anyone is complete."

    Laurie this is just lovely and really expresses the heart of godly marriage.

    I, too, would consider myself to be "reformed" in that I hold to the doctrines of grace as central to the doctrine I hold. I also believe that all our days and experiences are "ordained" by God....I love these words from that old hymn:

    Whate’er my God ordains is right:
    Here shall my stand be taken;
    Though sorrow, need, or death be mine,
    Yet I am not forsaken.
    My Father’s care is round me there;
    He holds me that I shall not fall:
    And so to Him I leave it all.

    I just worked through a study on John 11 and presented it at a woman's retreat yesterday...the life of Mary of Bethany and her great disappointment in Jesus...we MUST remember that God's plan for Lazarus was so much bigger than what Mary believed it to be....she couldn't see the end results. YET, we are told in the text that she "ran to Jesus" because, in spite of her grief, she knew who HE was!

    That being said, what is missing from the patriocentrist perspective is true teaching on grace and on what real relationships are supposed to look like...have never heard them touch on the one anothers and their responsibility to love their neighbors as themselves. Also, I have yet to see Stacy explain what she means by "rebellion" and "reconciliation." The definitions to those two words will define everything else on that new blog of hers. I think we all know what the answer is to to this and she is probably silent and not accepting comments because she is trying to decide how to spin those words...just my guess.

  12. "Our parents’ weaknesses and sins are an opportunity to prove our faith by exercising forbearance, forgiveness, and loving discretion."

    What is more important? The truth? Or the reputations of those who hurt me?

    I was abused as a child. Sexually, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. By more than one person in my "bible-believing, godly, home-schooling, quiverfull" family. I still don't know how to handle it. I have some sort of "relationship" with my parents, as in we still see each other occasionally and we talk about the weather, but there is no deep emotional connection. I doubt I will even cry when my father dies. I feel sick just writing that, but it's true.

    I struggle with knowing how much to share with people, because part of me STILL wants to protect the people who hurt me. My family. You're supposed to love and protect your family.... even the abusive ones. Right? Or wrong? I don't even know anymore.

    I'm considering seeking counseling, but part of me wants to wait until my father dies. That way the counselor won't be able to ask me to go confront him to seek reconciliation. I'm not sure I even want reconciliation. I don't want to talk to him about anything, because I don't want to hear the excuses, and the double-talk, and the "Are you sure you remember that right, honey?" It's all BS and I'm done with it.

    I am so disgusted by what Abigail wrote, actually disgusted doesn't even begin to cover it. "Loving discretion"?! Are you kidding me? "Loving discretion" is why I kept silent about my abuse for YEARS. "Loving discretion" is why my abusers were able to repeat their offenses again, and again, and again, and every time they'd ask for my forgiveness and I'd HAVE to forgive because that's what Christians do. "Loving discretion" is why I did nothing to protect my younger brothers and sisters, because I was afraid of being accused of being "unforgiving" and "judgmental". And the guilt from my own inaction is crushing me Every Day.

    "Abigail" is a crackpot. I feel sorry for her children. I hope they aren't being forced to live in a situation with an abusive "Nabal", by a weak and misguided mother who can't or won't get off her butt to protect them, all in the name of "biblical patriarchy".


  13. Annonymous, I hope that you will forgive yourself. You were being fed a horrible lie, that forgiveness means letting the person get away with anything they want. People you trusted told you this lie when you were a child. What they did to you and your brothers and sisters is their fault and their responsibility, not yours.

    If you do seek counseling, I'd recommend it be from a secular psychologist, not a Christian counselor. Reconciliation is not possible with someone who won't change, and no one should be guilting you for self-preservation.

  14. Repentance is a key part of the process of forgiveness and reconciliation. Even the famous Matthew 18 passage acknowledges that the brother who sinned must "listen" (the implication being accepting the truth of the accusation and acknowledging the harm done) in order for the relationship to be restored. This is often overlooked.

    Expecting relationships to be unaffected when offenses are glossed over, un-repented of and unacknowledged, is unrealistic and emotionally damaging. I've seen many a victim penalized for not forgiving while the offender is forgiven and embraced, having never repented. As someone else has already said, this is enabling behavior, and not in the least bit loving to the victim OR the offender.

    thatmom: I've heard Steve Brown say that the people who teach the doctrines of grace seem to know the least about it - the voice of long experience as a Presbyterian. I pray that will change....

  15. I completely agree with Kristen. Anonymous, if you choose counseling (and I recommend it) choose a therapist trained in trauma therapy. No competent professional would even hint that reconciliation is a good idea when it comes to incest.

    Generally, I have found anyone with the adjective "Christian" in front of the noun "counselor" to be poorly trained. You can find trained professionals, LCSWs, psychologists, etc. who also happen to be Christians. That is very different than a so-called "Christian counselor".

    Here's a great web site to aid you on your search.

    I will say a prayer for you tonight. Peace, SS

  16. I always thought it was the children who got to be the judge of whether a parent is a good parent. Apparently, Stacy didn't get that memo growing up.

  17. Before even reading Abigail's post I clicked over to her bio, which says nothing about loving God; rather, she loves her Bible and her Reformed Baptist Church. Reg flags shot up everywhere.

    First anonymous: if & when comments are enabled again, I think your question would be a great one to pose to Stacy.

  18. "...which says nothing about loving God; rather, she loves her Bible and her Reformed Baptist Church. Reg flags shot up everywhere."

    Leah...It's something I've noticed all too regularly with the neo-conservatives as a whole. Any mention of God (if He's mentioned at all) is often in passing - of the "Oh yeah...and God" variety. It's why I suspect that God's been replaced, by and large, in their lives by their lifestyle.

  19. "Abigail prays for grace and courage to live faithfully and joyfully in a difficult marriage. Having seen the great pain that comes with the misuse of authority and the neglect of male responsibility"

    So is she complaining because her husband doesn't believe that he needs to micro-manage his home? Perhaps he's an egalitarian? Is that really something to complain about??? Every time I've heard a conservative woman complain that her husband "isn't taking responsibility" or "isn't being a godly leader", it didn't mean he's lazy or bad, it meant he didn't meet the standards in the Vision Forum books.

  20. She's upset that her husband isn't submitting to her when she tells him he needs to obey her demand to be a leader.

    This is like "How many things are wrong with this picture," except there isn't a picture, just all the clown hats and upside down clocks and fake mustaches lying out by themselves.

  21. I am a QF mother of 8. I'm afraid I think you are far to hard on Abigail. I have lived in a marriage to a Nabal, (though it drove me not TOWARD patriarchy but away from it).

    My own parents were not QF but I was plenty wounded by their alcoholic and mental health issues. In recovery in my 40's I realized that they really had done the best with what they had- which was also woefully deficient.

    Its the human condition.

    I heard Abigail as trying to point that out.

  22. Great for you. The rest of us heard her belittling others' pain.

  23. I heard Abigail belittling and dismissing the experiences of quivering daughters - something she knows nothing whatsoever about - and doing so only to defend and protect her cultic way of life. If Stacy wants to start a blog discussing marriages in the Abigail/Nabal dynamic from a patriarchal/quiverfull perspective, Abigail's her lady.

    Abigail shouldn't have waded out into waters she doesn't know the depths of. I don't offer opinions or advice on nuclear science. There's a reason for that.

    The whole Abigail dynamic doesn't inspire confidence in the level of discernment on Stacy's blog.

  24. Abigail seems to rely on the idea that this, that or the other thing that happened to Hillary may not have been so bad, or may have been similar to normal mistakes parents make. But there are several problems with that.

    First, what caused Hillary so much pain was not an incident here or an incident there, but the cumulative weight of repeated experiences, any one of which, all by itself, might have not been a problem.

    Second, in non-patriarchal homes, when parents mess up, a child can expect to be able to speak up and be listened to-- to be treated like a person, and not an "arrow" in a "quiver." The child doesn't feel silenced and subsumed into an idealogy. Consequently, an incident of injustice can be quickly brought up and dealt with at the time, rather than pushed deep into the heart to burn for years.

    Thirdly, in a non-patriarchal family, because the child does have a voice, wrongs do not escalate. Either parent can say to the other, "Hey, you're being too hard on the kids," and expect the other parent to listen and adjust his or her behavior. In a patriarchal home, only Daddy has a voice, only Daddy can expect respect. So no one checks and balances Daddy to keep his flesh from getting the better of him. Hillary really did have it worse than just not getting to get a pony because life is unfair sometimes. It was not just sometimes; it was all the time, and unmitigated.

  25. I am not from a patriarchal family, nor did I raise my children in one - though I would have been tempted to if that had been an option. Be that as it may, I am a Christian now, and considered myself a Christian during the years I raised my children using a few of the controlling notions I picked up from the book of one Richard Fugate (though I did not implement his use of the "rod"). Over the years I made many mistakes and in many ways sinned as a parent. Since becoming a Christian, though, I've looked back with an honest eye on my parenting and confessed to God and my children my failures and asked for forgiveness. My children are not perfect, but they love me and stand in my defense when I'm insulted or treated badly (which is so precious to me). Yes, they rise up and call me blessed.

    The point I'm getting to is this, as a Christian, I know I've sinned and been a less than perfect person and parent. It grieves me, but it's true and I've acknowledged it. My kids forgive me whole-heartedly, yet some of the effects of remain. If either of them were to write a book which detailed their difficulties with my parenting, I would respect that and even encourage it. It is their life, it is the truth, and I know they love and respect me. I know they would never do it with the intent of hurting me.

    Humbly admitting our sins, admitting when we have hurt others, intentionally or not, is part and parcel of what it means to live the Christian life and it is also what it means to be a Christian parent. We must model the gospel life for our children. If we do not model true repentance and forgiveness for them we are not living what we preach and we create a home where fear, shame, and dishonesty dwell.

    I would be so blessed if Hillary were my daughter. I would be blessed by her faithful walk with Christ, which is the best any Christian parent can hope for from a child. It is, indeed, my prayer for my own children.

  26. What sweet words about Hillary, Laurie :)

    This blogger is correct about Abigail's awful use of comparison for Hillary's childhood and her dismissal of it, but he goes way too far. This is caustic, outright mocking, and it does nothing for QF daughters.


  27. ...and it does nothing for QF daughters.

    And you base this on what, Jennifer?

  28. The fact that I think it could drive people away instead of inspiring them to listen. Abigail is deceived, and it'd be very easy to dismantle her criticism and credibility without calling her a snake. I perfectly understand your anger and share it, shaking myself when I read her words as I did, but the fact that she was abused and then "rescued" by patriarchy explains her state of mind and separates her from spoiled princesses like the Botkins, who judge harshly without ever having struggled themselves outside their lacy palace. The abused very often have altered states of mind and perspectives.


    (sorry to post anonymously, Google sucks)

  29. But then there are those who only listen because of the pointed nature.

    I don't deny that Abigail is deceived, but when Abigail determined to very publically promote the deception, pointed language needed and needs to be used. Abigail's experience doesn't make her much different than Stacy or Kelly Crawford, and frankly, I found her message even MORE poisonous than theirs.

  30. Yes, her review was worse (I think) than Stacy's. But I don't find Kelly Crawford poisonous; she's never gone to the lengths of these nuts in parental authority with adult children.


  31. The author of the following is anonymous, but I think it's appropriate for this thread...

    "I Am My Art"

    "Abigail" is not artist. You might be thinking one or more of the following questions: who is "Abigail?" what leads you to that conclusion? and why the quotation marks?

    1. "Abigail" is a contributor to a website called "Steadfast Daughters in a Quivering World." On the blog, she wrote an article entitled, "My Parents are Sinners, Too!"
    2. I will explain why I know that "Abigail" is not an artist in a moment.
    3. I don't know what's with the quotation marks. You'll have to ask her yourself.

    But first, a word of background information. I have recently become aware of the book Quivering Daughters by Hillary McFarland and the accompanying website. While I have not yet read the book, I definitely plan to, and I've greatly enjoyed her blog, which led me to another blog, The Commandments of Men, which in turn brought me to a website set up to refute Quivering Daughters, Steadfast Daughters (which--at the risk of sounding sarcastic--I must point out, would be better named "Mothers Steadfastly Maintaining that Their Daughters Would Be Miserable Without Them." This could quite possible be true, I'm simply pointing out that they call themselves Steadfast Daughters, when none of the relevant age group, the people they claim to represent, actually contributes. So the title of their blog does not apply. But I digress.)

    Now that we understand Steadfast Daughters, perhaps better that its creators do, how do I know that "Abigail" is not an artist?

    Behold--the revelatory passage (taken from the aforementioned article, "My parents are Sinners, Too!"):

    Some of the ways that Hillary’s parents fell short are painful to read. She writes:

    I hovered over the kitchen table and arranged a poem so they’d see it when they arrived. They will like this, I thought, excited. I took time to make it right; every syllable, every nuance flowed perfectly. I crept off to bed, leaving the door cracked slightly to hear their response—happy to have something, finally, worthy in content and structure, to reveal.

    I heard them, from my bed—our old green and brown station wagon, whirring up the driveway, the soft thud of front door, groceries unloaded in the kitchen. My mother’s voice. “Hey, what is this?” I shivered with anticipation. They are reading it! I waited, clutching moments, silence screaming in my ears.“What is she trying to tell us?” Her voice startled the night. Not a hint of praise or approval.

    Dad’s quiet, thoughtful reply came after.“I don’t know . . .”

    Quietness again. I knew that kind. My heart stopped. I could just see them, paused, world frozen in black and white, the paper I’d written and re-written pulsing with flashing red lights, alarms. My face burned in darkness. I couldn’t breathe. Light-headed and dizzy, I wanted to dash to the kitchen and snatch away my poetry. Hot tears slid to my pillow. I shouldn’t have shown them, my mind tormented, the little girl inside shrinking with shame. Why do they always think I am trying to “tell them” something? This is why I don’t want anyone to read what I write. It probably isn’t good, anyway. This is what I get for feeling proud, for wanting them to like it.I could hear no more. Turning over, I let tears claim me before drifting into troubled sleep.

  32. While there’s not much a parent can do about silent tears in the middle of the night, the wise parent who sees a child in this state will feel genuine sympathy for the young sufferer. Perhaps the best parental treatment for a sinful, inordinate desire for approval is a loving hug together with a gentle, loving rebuke.

    While parents ought to faithfully and truthfully encourage their children, it is sinful for a person of any age to so desire a compliment that it becomes impossible to remain content without one. When we see this sin in ourselves, we must repent and turn our hearts toward Christ, finding our happiness in Him. When we see this sin in our children, we must urge them to do the same.

    Voila! "Abigail" is neither artist, nor very good at the whole "people" thing. How do I get this out of her response to Ms McFarland's story? Two points:

    1. "It is sinful for a person of any age to so desire a compliment that it becomes impossible to remain content without one." That is quite possible, but entirely irrelevant. What "Abigail" does not realize is that when people create something, they do so not for a compliment, but to share themselves. It's actually a rather hard process to explain. Essentially, an artist pours herself (given the context, I'm going to stick to the feminine, though this applies to men as well) into her work. The poem, for example, is an extension of oneself. To labor over it, as Hillary did, so that every thing is perfect, is to make sure that it perfectly reflects who you are. A rejection of that work is a rejection of yourself, a verbal knife wound that never heals. I personally have been there, done that, and got the scars to prove it. For me, sharing such a story would be incredibly painful, akin to reopening the wound. Desiring to have your work approved of is not the sinful desire for a compliment, it is the basic desire for love. The unconditional love we desperately need, and are commanded to give others (the second of the two greatest commandments has no qualifiers).
    2. What "Abigail" says: "perhaps the best parental treatment for a sinful, inordinate desire for approval is a loving hug together with a gentle, loving rebuke." What it sounds like: "Awww, come here *hug.* Now you have go to your room and miss dessert, since you asked for approval." This may not be what "Abigail" means, in fact I rather doubt it's what she means, but it is what she implies. On further reflection, is there even such a thing as a sinful desire for approval? I agree that we can go about looking for approval in sinful ways (example: a child of patriarchal parents has become a prig, brat, and legalist, in order to gain the approval of his law-oriented parents, who are too contented with the results to realize that it is destroying their son. More on that another day). I also agree that there are sinful, inordinate desires. But a sinful desire for approval? It doesn't exist. You see, are desire for approval comes from our God-given need for a relationship with other people. Because God is three in one, we know that relationship is inherent to who God is. Because we are made in the image of God, we know that the desire for relationships is inherent to who we are. Therefore, desiring approval, the unconditional love present in a positive relationship, is not a product of the Fall, but a product of creation.

    So in conclusion, artistic expression, especially the artistic expression of someone who is young, or takes criticism seriously (perhaps too seriously) is intrinsically bound up in who that person is, to the point that unconditionally rejecting it means to unconditionally reject the person who made it. What must it feel like to believe that your parents don't like you?