Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Steadfast Daughters Leaves Me Quivering Once Again

A contributor, Christy, has chimed in with her review of Quivering Daughters.

I found this review even more interesting the last time I read it, back when it was called Stacy McDonald's review of Quivering Daughters.

It was even more interesting the first time I read it, back when it was called Stacy McDonald's comments, as "McMom", on Robin Phillips review of Quivering Daughters - before she had read the book.

I fully expect that these reviews would look almost identical even if the reviewers had never read the book. Their conclusions were predetermined, and their approach in reviewing the book is totally dishonest, disingenuous, and formulaic.

This, from Christy...

As I read, I anticipated accounts of tyrannical, cruel abuse. My thoughts raced ahead to physical violence, molestation, incest, or accounts of hunger, harsh punishment, or isolation. Hillary had set the stage in early chapters that caused me to anticipate the unthinkable, yet those stories never came.

Total BS. She fully anticipated pointing to a lack of tangible bruises, scars, and sexual molestations so she could say "Where's the abuse?"

Though the word “abuse” is used throughout the book, its meaning is ambiguous. As I progressed through Hillary’s childhood, the image of abuse faded, and a clearer picture took shape in my mind. Most (not all) of the accounts that she shares (from her pen and other “daughters”) were testimonies of discontent and disappointment.

Total BS. Discontent and disappointment were her predetermined conclusions. Completely dishonest of her to suggest that this conclusion came about gradually over the course of reading the book. Sounds nice and fair, though.

Hillary says she felt like she was being attacked. Key word: felt.  Feelings are not to be discounted at all. However, in this book, feelings tend to trump any sort of fact – that is, the fact of abuse…at least, the way most of us would define it.

I suppose, if I were standing on the open plain, with no trees or bendable/breakable objects to serve as benchmarks, the wind I feel on my face isn't really the wind at all, since it's merely a feeling or a sensation and isn't tangible to someone not there.

But let's go back to the previous piece of patriocentric/dominionist propaganda...

Though the word “abuse” is used throughout the book, its meaning is ambiguous.

Hey, Christy, maybe this will help. Try this too.

Another beautiful nugget...

I could not fathom how daily trials could be considered abuse.

I'm not surprised, considering it's coming from a 1st generation practitioner of an abusive, legalistic religious system.

Again, I just don’t see the abuse here. I see self-pity and discontentment from a writer who has been convinced that God and her parents owe her something more than what she has been given.

Yeah, Stacy and the girls really have such a heart for QDs. Hey QDs, it's your fault!

Where, in God’s Word, are we promised a life of ease and personal desire? Making dinner, caring for children or aging parents, nursing sick spouses, trying to make ends meet – these are all part of daily life for many, many people. This is called Christian service. It is the ministry to which Christians are called.

Ahhh, I love deception and diversion, because Hillary obviously wrote Quivering Daughters because she felt she deserved a life of ease and just knew that writing this book would produce a stress-free life. Of course she wouldn't know what it means to actually sacrifice out of obedience to the Lord, especially if it's hard. (<-sarcasm alert) What a completely deceptive angle for Christy to take.

Cognitive dissonance is psyco-babble for “I don’t understand,” which is a fairly common plight for all of us in life.

Yep, and Cardio Infarction is just physician-babble for "I'm lazy, therefore my chest hurts." I wish fundamentalists would leave the psychology to professionals, or at least make the attempt to rely on professional opinion so they don't come off as brainwashed and ignorant. Of course, fundamentalists, being highly trained (and not mind-conditioned) to render such an opinion as they are, consider "modern psychology" one of the Great Satans of the church.

But, alas, nestled firmly amidst the litany of utter mind-numbed ignorance in this review, perhaps the most telling line...

She expresses a concern for the manner in which “patriarchy” is carried out in the home. And indeed this may be a valid concern in some homes.

You hear that, QDs? There may be problems in some patriarchal homes. There may be. Indeed, your concerns may be valid.

Hillary is faced with a crisis: She needs to leave or she has to stay. This is part of growing up. We all face tough decisions. We have to make decisions that are unpopular or that hurt, yet these are the growing pains of life that sanctify us in our walk with God. Still, this is not abuse.

Completely out of touch with reality. What this woman just described is absolutely foreign to 99.999% of young Christian adults. It's the norm in the patriocentric world. The rest of us call it abuse, whether emotional or spiritual. And Christy, in her bounty of Christ's love, fails to see the tyranny in such a scenario.

I sincerely hope that Christy doesn't serve as a source of counsel for any human being on this planet. She's given her heart, her mind, and her soul, to the cult of patriarchy and dominionism. If you removed her perception and practice of authority structures and patriarchal lifestyle, she'd have no Jesus, because like the rest of the SD contributors, the authority structure and lifestyle IS her Jesus. Jesus doesn't define the belief and lifestyle. He IS defined by the belief and lifestyle.

Now, on a SD Facebook page, Stacy is soliciting at-large contributions to her cause. Part of me fears that, given her repulsive use of Hillary's sister, she's looking to publically pit family members against other family members. It wouldn't be unexpected of her, because few of us have very high expectations. It may be the route she needs to go, given that so far, what we've seen at SD is a perpetual regurgitation of the same message, much like James' sermons about authority, submission, and the time-traveling uterus.

Make no mistake, quivering daughters - War has been declared on you, the abused. Doctrine over person is the chief weapon. No amount of BS is considered out-of-bounds in their advance on your abuse.

God have mercy on these people, because I can't see past the millstones that may end up around their necks.


  1. James 2:12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

    I don't expect Stacy McDonald to obtain mercy. That wouldn't be "biblical".

  2. You know, since Jesus said that it would be better for anyone who leads His little ones astray to have a millstone tied around their neck and be thrown into the ocean than to face Him in judgment ... perhaps we should all raid 1st generation reconstructionist-quiverfull-complementarian-patriarchal propagandists with ropes and millstones.

    — Dranther

  3. She's looking for people who have been "touched in some way by Quivering Daughters (the book)"?? Why?? Sounds very suspicious to me. I've been touched by the book. Along with hundreds of others. Can we comment on her page? Probably not. She'd just delete the comments.

  4. God be merciful to me, a sinner...

    Please, dear friends, no stones...

  5. Thank you, Hillary, for showing your true character by calling for mercy when they refuse to give mercy to you. It shows the falsehood of everything they are saying about you.

  6. Yes, it does show Hillary's heart to be pure and good. Kudos to her.

    But I too am a child of God, filled with the Holy Spirit, been renewing my mind to God's word for 17 years on a (mostly) daily basis, and there is merit to my words. It's not a stone, it's a truth.

    It's a truth Hillary can't allow herself to go near, I understand. The admonition to love her enemies is basic to following Jesus.

    I am not a QD, however. SM is no enemy in my mind/experience, she is a false teacher propagating a false gospel. I have no scriptural admonition to be anything less than honest about that.

    Not only that, I'm a Lutheran! (snark snark) So you can't really expect better. :p

  7. I found it interesting how, on her Facebook SD page this morning, after Stacy had grossly misrepresented the view of the psychology world regarding abuse for her own propaganda purposes - and someone properly called her on it outright, in her response, she never even attempts to address the issue of the false information she'd given.

    It's like I said in the post, fundamentalists, and ALL branches of dominionists, need to leave the psychology to people who aren't ignorant concerning it.

  8. In case SM deletes this comment like she's deleted all the others....

    Ciara Townsend: Only someone who has never been abused and never talked to an actual psychologist could make that claim. Psychologists teach abused people to recognize what they experienced as abuse so they can stop blaming themselves for it and move on. There is no such thing as an abused "lifestyle." This claim is disingenuous and cruel.

    Steadfast Daughters in a Quivering World:
    Ciara - You are right that those who have been abused must recognize and face their abuse for what it is; but, as Christians we must respond to it differently than the world. To dwell on the past and allow being an "abuse victim" to identify you is to remain in bondage. To wallow in the ugliness of the past and consistently relive offenses is unbiblical, unhealthy and will cause the misery of the past to overwhelm you.

    To forgive and move on is the Christian response. Look forward with joy and hope to the future God has for you.

    “He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:1-3)

  9. For me the most astonishing part-- bearing in mind Hillary's wise-beyond-words admonition to show mercy to all-- is these people's outright denial that emotional hurt could possibly count as "abuse". That's simply staggering to me. A mind that believes this is so foreign to my conception of basic humanity it's like I'm hearing from alternate universes or aliens (maybe Vulcans?) or something.

    Even overlooking that the law of the land counts emotional and psychological abuse as Domestic Violence (as Lewis linked), anyone who's experienced human emotions at all has to know that's beyond preposterous. I had a bad injury once by accident; it didn't hurt half as much as the time somebody gave me a minor injury on purpose.

    On the one hand I'm almost kind of maybe glad that SD is working so valiantly to show the world just how abusive their own movement really is-- but for the rest of me, that hand really hurts.

    Another good verse to bear in mind here is Romans 12:21-- "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Of course this is evil. But if we hate evil so much, we have no option left but to respond with good.

  10. It irks me every time I read the description for Steadfast Daughters, "Welcome to the home of Steadfast Daughters in a Quivering World, a biblical response to the “quivering daughters” (QD) concept that originated from Hillary McFarland’s book (and blog), Quivering Daughters: Hope and Healing for the Daughters of Patriarchy".

    I find it irksome because the use of the word "biblical" to describe their blog is a not-so-subtle, but very sly dig at QD in an attempt to paint it as "unbiblical".

    If they were honest, they would say it's a "patriarchal" response, not a "biblical" one.

    Because they interpret the Bible through their Patriarchal lens, everything they say or think or do or write will be bent, re-formed, taken out of context or misapplied in order to fit their worldview. I cannot read anything written on that blog by those people and take it seriously, because their ulterior motive is just too clear. They have no intention of actually reconciling with those who have been wounded by Patriarchy, they are just trying to cover their own asses (damage control). They try to diminish the pain of the QD's ("Doesn't everyone go through this? It's a normal part of growing up! My parents are sinners, too!") in order to protect their lifestyle. It's made even more apparent because none of the writers for Steadfast Daughters are actually Daughters of Patriarchy! I would find it much more reasonable if it were one of Stacy's daughters writing for SD, and not Stacy herself.

    Also, I grow tired of the constant admonitions to 'forgive and move on'. To me, that's just code for 'submit yourself to more of our abuse'.

  11. Oh, and this is just peachy... has anyone else noticed the 'disclaimer' on the bottom of the SD page yet?

    "The articles and reviews contained on this site represent the thoughts and opinions of the individual authors,
    and do not necessarily reflect the views of all Steadfast Daughters' contributors.

    If you are being physically or sexually harmed we urge you to contact the appropriate authorities immediately."

    Unbelievable. If you are physically or sexually harmed, contact the appropriate authorities. But if you are Emotionally, Psychologically, or Spiritually harmed, REPENT of your discontent and depression and submit to your authority figures and don't dare seek help or healing because you're supposed to leave all your pain at the foot of the cross and forgive and move on don't you know!!


  12. I think that's a pretty doggone good interpretation of it, Bean.

  13. '''To forgive and move on is the Christian response. '''

    Then why start a blog on 'one' author's thoughts, and (ahem) wallow in the ugliness of it.

    Seems like the blog is allowing them to stay in 'bondage' to the author's views of things.

    Why consistently 'relive offenses' that you feel are not there, and need to talk and write to death about it?

    When is the 'moving on' part going to happen?

    We await that "Christian' response"!

    Sarcasm aside - boy they are getting the panties in bunch aren't they? Why not just follow their own counsel? I mean seriously!

  14. I think the part that bothers me the most is when they never approach the serious nature of suicidal thoughts.

    You want to claim your lifestyle is 'biblical', 'right' and all the rest? No one can stop you, but when do you approach the serious nature of the 'suicidal thoughts'? They speak MORE about how one isn't related to the other. Did it dawn on them "quivering lifestyle' seriously shouldn't be the priority here?

    Healthy people would approach this as identifying a possible bottleneck, and addressing it. They don't allow themselves to even go near this. Sad. Truly Sad. I feel sorry for them, and their lack of humanity.

    Do they feel God would say standing up for their lifestyle is MORE important that addressing the serious nature of suicide of child?

    Are they seriously going to suggest this is more of a case of being selfish? Rebellious? If they are do they realize how dangerous and 'immune to being human' they represent themselves as?

    Jesus in his humble nature was approachable, and WHY they would feel that they look safe to approach with these views is beyond me!

    When you are speaking of a child that is so unhappy that they 'want to go to heaven' or 'thoughts of suicide' is present? You don't treat it as a 'fleeing' type thing that everyone deals with. It seems to me she speaks of pattern here, and not 'fleeing'.

    How responsible can they be as parents if they can't 'clue in' to that part - JUST so they can 'stand up' for a lifestyle choice?

    Lord have mercy on their souls!

  15. "Forgive and move on," the way they are using it, is shorthand for "Don't tell. Keep it behind the family's closed doors. Sweep it under the carpet. No one must know."

    Also known as "enabling."

    We followed "don't ask, don't tell" about alcoholism in my home throughout my childhood. This really is the same thing.

  16. from the Steadfast Daughters response to Ciara's statement this am:

    "To forgive and move on is the Christian response. Look forward with joy and hope to the future God has for you."


    When discussing forgiveness with these people, there must be an agreed upon definition of the offense. What is the above author telling Ciara to forgive someone of? After all, haven’t they just made the point that what Hillary has described as abuse is really psychobabble or rebellion? This is so double minded; these people are unstable in all their ways.

    Also, I find it really hypocritical for the authors of this blog to quote Jay Adams to support their hypothesis and then to turn around and make the above statement.

    Adams is the author of a book entitled "From Forgiven to Forgiveness" where he states on the back cover that the statement "to forgive and forget" is a "popular misconception about true biblical forgiveness." In this book, Adams states that forgiveness is conditional, that it can only occur when the offending party has sought forgiveness from the one who was offended. So really before there can be any real dialogue, as if that is what the patriocentrists desire, abuse and forgiveness and repentance have to be clearly defined.

    When I did post-abortion counseling, I knew that the issue of forgiveness was a part of helping those who had had this experience. I had to sort out what I really believe about forgiveness and began searching the Scriptures and reading everything I could. This is the conclusion I came to and what I encouraged my counselees to do:

    As I listened to their stories and saw clearly that there were others who had either forced them to abort (young teens with parents who decided for them) or partners who threatened, I urged them to go to those people and confront them with the offense as they were able to do so. (Not everyone was able to do this, which I completely understand. It sometimes takes years to do so and sometimes it is never possible.) If the offender was open and repentant, they always asked the women for her forgiveness and I witnessed some amazing times of healing and even restoration of relationships. But if the offender defended his actions, my counsel was to walk away but to maintain what I called a “spirit of forgiveness” meaning that the person needed to take whatever steps possible to not allow a root of bitterness to come into her life. I suggested she do this by purposing to pray for that person and not to fall into the temptation to disparage him to others or to dwell on what happened. She was not to pretend that it didn’t happen, but was also not to allow it to control her life. Then, if the time came where that person was truly sorry and sought her forgiveness, it would come organically and be a wonderful thing.

    Never ever would I suggest that someone just offer blanket forgiveness and move on with her life. That approach solves absolutely nothing, leaves the offended person open to many spiritual attacks, and allows the offender to minimize his own behavior, producing a heart that is hardened to the truth and his own standing before the Lord. It also emboldens them to boldly harm others again and to do perhaps even worse things.

  17. "Do they feel God would say standing up for their lifestyle is MORE important that addressing the serious nature of suicide of child?"

    Yes, I think most of them would think this. As sad as it might be to them,they would see these children as considering murder of themselves and it would be sin that REQUIRED the death penalty.

  18. I find it really interesting that the SD website says to "contact the appropriate authorities" but it doesn't say who those appropriate authorities are. Why don't they post the number for the nataional domestice violence hotline? Why don't they say to call the police or child protective services?

    To those of us who are now on the "outside" of the movement, we would interpret "appropriate authority" as the police or other governmental agency. Daughters who are still caught up in the system, though, will see "appropriate authority" and not know who to call. Their dad? The pastor? Neither of those two options are going to help them. She's telling them, in coded language, to ask for help from the very men/structures who are abusing them - which is not going to be helpful at all.

    Also, I'm staggered by the number of young women who I've read about who had suicidal thoughts (and sometimes attempts) while trapped in the patriarchial movement. It's not surprising given the circumstances, certainly, but I thought I was the only one. I thought it was because I was crazy or because I was defective. Now, of course, I realize that it was the system that was making me feel crazy and like I shouldn't exist - and that's what it's doing to thousands of other girls. The fact that the writers of the SD site can't see that is...well, I don't really have words for what that is.

  19. Quoting from Christy’s review: “ Anonymous writers are given space to tell their stories, but, we’re not sure who they are and we are not allowed to hear the other side of their stories.”

    There’s a reason these women tell their stories anonymously. Largely, they do so because they DON’T want to bring dishonor to their parents, but they still feel the need, the conviction, to speak out about something that has caused them immense pain in their own lives. Often, I see that these women speak out not out of a desire to wallow in their pain or to exact revenge on those who have wounded them, but rather a desire to let others know that there’s a real problem out there, to speak for those who may not be able to speak for themselves. I, for one, am one of those women. I suffered because of patriarchy and through the years I have found freedom. My sisters suffered more than I. They are one of the reasons I choose to speak out. It’s one thing to bear pain in oneself, but watching those you love suffer is another matter - It is by far one of the most horrible things I have ever experienced. I chose to take a stand FOR my sisters and it has cost me dearly, but I would do it again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next. Watching them discover who they are in Christ, who they are as women, delighting in their successes and finding freedom together has been one of the greatest gifts of my life. But even so, it has taken me YEARS to share my thoughts on the issue using my own name. The biggest reason I kept silent, or used an anonymous name: I didn’t want to bring dishonor or pain to my parents. I was afraid of them knowing what I really believed, both because I didn’t want to hurt them and because I didn’t want to deal with their reaction. I needed a season of healing before I was strong enough to stick my neck out there and say what I believe.

    The women who continue to remain anonymous have their own reasons for doing so. From what I’ve seen they do so for their own protection from attacks like the one Stacy has launched, AND because most of them still love their parents and while there continues to be tremendous conflict and pain, they don’t want to bring dishonor to them. These are noble and good women. They are women of courage and unbelievable strength, and I am proud of every single one of them – anonymous or not.

    As has previously been stated here, before ANYONE can criticize the women who have chosen to remain anonymous in Hillary’s book, I suggest they remove all of the anonymous contributors from Steadfast Daughters. It amazes me that they cannot smell the stench of their own hypocrisy. Sadly, the Pharisees couldn’t either.

    Oh, and by the way – I used my real name. I’m not afraid anymore.

  20. Most abuse doesn't leave any permanent scars and often not even a mark (obviously this analysis leaves out harsher physical abuse). Only a small percentage of sexual abuse leaves physical evidence behind. I hate it when people assume there has to be some sort of mark for this. Although, in this case we're talking more about psychological and emotional abuse which is usually included in physical and sexual abuse and is certainly just as devastating to the abused. Stacie has done no research into abuse and the types thereof whatsoever. What makes her think she's such an expert?

  21. @ Kristen

    Yes, it is a religious version of "Don't tell. Keep it behind the family's closed doors. Sweep it under the carpet. No one must know."

    When I was in ACoA, it was occasionally mentioned that other addictions people have include an addiction to dysfunctional religion. I always thought of the raging mom in the movie Carrie. Now I see that it can (and is) much more subtle than that, and definitely includes those caught up in the patriarchal/QF/visionary daughters home school cult.

  22. Jeanette wrote:

    There’s a reason these women tell their stories anonymously. Largely, they do so because they DON’T want to bring dishonor to their parents, but they still feel the need, the conviction, to speak out about something that has caused them immense pain in their own lives. Often, I see that these women speak out not out of a desire to wallow in their pain or to exact revenge on those who have wounded them, but rather a desire to let others know that there’s a real problem out there, to speak for those who may not be able to speak for themselves.

    Thank you Jeanette! I know one of those women and you have articulated well her reasons for staying anonymous. Well done.

  23. Check out the newest post on SD posted by Stacy entitled "What is Abuse?"
    I.... can't even articulate my thoughts right now.

  24. Leah, you are correct, it is stunning.

    Why does Stacy not mention the very real abuse called spiritual abuse? Even mainstream Reformed folks recognize that it exists. I even remember her husband talking about having been spiritually abused in the past.....would have to look through my files to find the reference. So why is this concept missing from her article?

  25. The freakin 1828 Webster's dictionary???? Woooooooow. Ravisher or Sodomite.

    I think her site has now officially jumped the shark. No one, outside of people already in her cult, is gonna take her seriously any longer - and it's her own fault.

  26. Lewis – don’t you know that the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary is really the only one any good Christian should use?

    According to Vision Forum, and I quote:

    “This gigantic, oversized, heavy book is perhaps second only to the Bible in terms of importance in your home. When Noah Webster first published this book, he understood that whoever defined the words of a culture would capture that culture. So he sought to give the American people a dictionary in which words have meaning in terms of their relationship to Jesus Christ. In fact, this is the only comprehensive dictionary of the English language in print that seeks to communicate a distinctively biblical worldview, even to the point of using Scriptures in the definitions.

    Your children can join the ranks of those generations of American leaders who were weaned on Webster. Our book is sturdy and well bound with acid-free paper and a gold foil stamp. A worthy investment."

    And you can have this “second only to the Bible” book for only $55. Better get one quick - it will redefine your entire worldview.


  27. I think I agree that no one will take her seriously. The only problem is that I have so many friends here that are on the verge of accepting the extreme positions she advocates. They are the "revive our hearts" and joshua harris/ludy followers. They start there and end at "I like to have a reminder every year and a half of how Eve was cursed so I don't use pain medication when I give birth."

    Thankfully I also know many many people who are absolutely horrified at even the most widely accepted (in homeschooling/patriarchal/qf circles) doctrines. It's something they've never thought about or considered or actually thought any Christian could believe.

    This site of Stacy M's makes me so angry I literally can't talk about it or the nasty posts without a good amount of anger and vitriol. So I don't.

    But I'm not going to stop talking about the truth.

  28. So "What Is Abuse"... yet another gem...

    She didn't write it to look through the types of abuse... she wrote it to say Hillary (and all others with her) were NOT abused, because clearly, what their parents did is not defined by the 1828 Webster's dictionary.

    Just because someone has been a leader of women's place in the church and homeschooling, and written a book about said subjects... does not make them an expert on everything, especially something as touchy as abuse!

    Who is she, or anyone, to say "you have not been abused, based on what *I* think about it"?? Where is grace? Where is mercy? This is not more than saying "Get back in line you wayward daughters and sons who so DARE to disagree with your familial and church authorities!"

    Uh, those were the abusers... fyi...

  29. It gets even more amazing-- she doesn't even quote the 1828 definition correctly. And she conspicuously didn't mention that there are other definitions below the first one:

    2. A corrupt practice or custom, as the abuses of government.

    3. Rude speech; reproachful language addressed to a person; contumely; reviling words.


    5. Perversion of meaning; improper use or application; as an abuse of words.

    By her own preferred 19th-century definition, the entire "Steadfast Daughters" blog is an example of abuse! It advocates corrupt practices, uses reviling speech, and twists the meanings of words like "abuse."

  30. "We have a bit of a dilemma. Webster’s “maltreatment” definition may simply describe the way we all regularly sin against one another. Jesus tells us in Matthew 22:37-40 that all the commandments are summed up in the two commands: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind,” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

    So, maltreatment (or abuse) could be described as failing to properly love one another. Of course, that means, to varying degrees, we all abuse one another, since we all fail to perfectly love. Defined this way, each of us has been abused, and each of are abusers. “Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” (Romans 13:10)


    "We're all abusers! We've all been abused!"

    Such BS. Just BS.

    I can't even think rationally or coherently right now. My blood is simply boiling.

    How the hell do you reason with a person who is so determined to protect their paradigm that they would make an assertion that not only are we all abused, we are all ABUSERS??

    No. No, just no.

    I just can't believe what I'm reading. It's just TRASH. UTTER trash.

  31. @Bean-- If only I was just a shade less scrupulous, I could have so much fun taking that ever-so-slightly out of context:

    Under pressure from allegations that the Patriarchy movement as a whole is abusive, Stacy MacDonald finally admitted, "Of course, we all abuse one another.... Each of us has been abused, and each of [us] are abusers."

    Hmm... maybe that's truer than she thinks! :P

  32. If only the fine folk at Steadfast Daughters would demonstrate an equal eagerness to clearly define what they mean by "reconciliation".

  33. Hi Stacy,
    I’m pretty sure you’ll see this here, so hi!

    Re: Abuse being too easily flung around, people using it for no good reason, you are generalizing there. Yes, some people do use it when not warranted. Many people do not use it when they should.

    I was one of the latter. It took me more than ten years to admit that I was abused.

    Admitting to myself that what I experienced, DESPITE THE BEST INTENTIONS of my parents, WAS ABUSE, changed my life hugely for the better.
    For me, it was emotional and spiritual abuse. It is too complicated to get into here, but I spent pretty much all my teen years and my first couple years in my 20s on hyper-alert whenever a certain person was around, even in the same house, because at any moment they might decide to talk to me. I could not trust this person because they were not just “failing” me – I could not trust them because there was a specific pattern of predictable unpredictability. You did not know how this person would react to the same circumstance on different days and you could talk until you were blue in the face to try to resolve things between you, but it DID NOT WORK. I would go to Bible studies and ask for prayer and cry – I am NOT a public crier at all, it takes a great deal to get me to cry in front of people and took even more back then. I would ask for prayer that I could forgive and be more obedient and honor this person… everything that you are prescribing people to do in this situation.


  34. cont. During these years I used to sometimes read materials talking about abuse and how to deal with it. Interestingly, implementing those suggestions always helped, even though I was “not being abused.” When I finally admitted that abuse did happen, it changed things entirely and almost immediately. In this particular situation it did not take a confrontation or moving out (I was already out), but one day shortly after I had admitted it TO MYSELF something happened and ever since it has been a really good relationship, like we went back to when I was a little kid or something. It has been months and months now and not once have I even felt like I was becoming hyper-alert around that person. It used to be an automatic nervous system thing that I could not control and now I often have trouble remembering how bad it was. BUT IT WAS BAD. I start to remember how bad it was whenever I read your writing, which gives me the same tense, anxious, “maybe it’s me, maybe I’m the crazy one” feeling I used to live with almost 24/7. Admitting that it WAS abuse is what made the abuse (from a good person who never wanted to be mean) stop. I am not saying that all or even most perpetrators of real abuse would respond the same way, as this person was not quite the typical profile of an abuser; however, by discouraging people from even acknowledging to themselves that something was done to them that was WRONG, you are preventing them from finding true healing. You have to admit, and not minimize, that you were wronged before you can forgive or break away or repair bridges or do anything at all productive. I suggest you check out things like the cycle of abuse diagrams to understand what differentiates abuse from mistakes.
    By purposely setting yourself up as an expert and ignoring the work of thousands of researchers and decades of study into human relationships and brains (and don’t tell me that the Bible says completely different things) and blithely dismissing real pain on the chance that some of it might just be pouting, you are complicit in keeping people stuck in a mindset that is torture. I am not kidding, it is torture.

    Oh, and yes, I did go through months at a time of wishing earnestly for death because I was such a terrible person and could not do things right.

    I don’t know your situation, but I hope everyone in your family, including you, really are happy and free of chronic abuse and that you never know what it’s like to have that happen to you. I want you to have a good life. Do not use your good life (or life that you are making the best of) to oppress others.

    I have had a relatively good life compared to many of what I consider the “real quivering daughters.” If I was suicidal and basically caught in a catch-22 situation for so many years DUE TO WHAT I BELIEVED, the girls who are deeper into this theology have it much, much worse. They are brave to be able to admit something is wrong.


  35. L...You're awesome. Thank you for sharing this.

  36. (Part 1)

    Dear Stacy:
    (Posting here since we all know you read here.)

    Over the last several weeks I have followed the launch of your site, “Steadfast Daughters.” I have watched as you have attempted to pick apart the heart and motives of an author who chose to tell her story and the stories of others like her, who chose to take an enormous risk because she loves her Heavenly Father, and she loves the broken. I have watched as many women I know found themselves being attacked, belittled, judged, and minimized. I personally know a woman behind one of those anonymous stories in Hillary’s book and I can not only assure you that it’s true, but I can promise you that it was a very small part of a dramatically more painful journey than was actually published.

    Upon reading your dismissal of these broken women and their stories, I have felt outrage, sorrow, and at moments, seething anger. Until you have watched someone you love suffer because of the teachings you and other patriarchal-minded people promote, you have no right to judge them, or to condemn them.

    I have also felt as if I was personally being attacked all over again, just as I was by my own parents. I wanted to write you a long letter and tell you why you were wrong, why what you believe is unjust, why you are causing further injury to already hurting women, AND their families. The Quivering Daughters that Hillary writes to – they are not children. They are grown women, your sisters in Christ, and yet you judge, you attack, you condemn, you minimize.

    Many times I tried to write – thinking I would leave a comment on your site, if you ever actually accepted comments. Many times I imagined what I would write to you, how I would say it. I wanted to convince you that you’re hurting others. I wanted to convince you not to be so heartless. I wanted to appeal to your mother’s heart. I wanted to convince you that you are wrong. But every time I attempted it, I found myself sputtering in utter frustration, with absolutely no idea how to put my thoughts into words and how to defend my beliefs and explain myself to you.

    But today, it dawned on me......I DON’T HAVE TO EXPLAIN MYSELF TO YOU AT ALL.

    I. AM. FREE.

  37. (Part 2)

    Freedom means:

    I don’t need to convince you that I’m right. Rather, MY responsibility is to do what is right in the eyes of God. (Deuteronomy 6:18)

    I don’t need your stamp of approval on my choices. I don’t live for your approval. I live for HIS, and His alone. (Galatians 1:10)

    I don’t have to be offended when you use words and sneaky maneuvers to attempt to justify yourself. I get to walk freely, unencumbered, not worrying what you do because I know that ultimately you will answer to our all-wise, all-knowing God. I need not be worried. (Psalm 37:1)

    I don’t need your website or your book to affirm me. His WORD affirms me. His daily, minute-by- minute presence in my life comforts me, guides me, and protects me. (Psalm 119:105)

    I don’t need you to renounce your belief that I, and other women like me are in sin. I am a woman in constant pursuit of the heart of God. I love Him and He loves me. He delights in me and I delight in Him. He forgives me freely and openly when I confess my sin to Him. He gives me grace liberally, without condition. I am saved through the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ…plus NOTHING. (John 3:16, II Samuel 22:20, Psalm 37:4, I John 1:9, Romans 3:24, Ephesians 1:6-7, Ephesians 2:8)

    I am not called to open your blind eyes. Only the One who opens blind eyes is called, and His name is Jesus. Instead, I am called to speak truth where I see it, where God calls me to speak it and not worry about whether or not you get it. (Isaiah 42:16-17)

    I am called to walk in freedom, not being burdened with my past yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)

    I am called to walk in joy. I am to rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS. (Philippians 4:4)

    I am called to love - To love my parents, to love those who hurt me, to love those who slander me. I’m called to love you. (Some callings are harder than others, but they are callings nonetheless.) (Matthew 19:19)

    I am called to care for the Temple of the Holy Spirit – my body. That includes my mind, will and emotions. That means I can no more subject myself to those who would attack my mind, will and emotions, than to those who would attack my body. I am called to establish healthy boundaries in all relationships in my life, whether it be with a coworker, a friend, my parents, or my siblings. (1 Corinthians 6:19)

    I am called to use the unique giftings that He has given to me for the growth and blessing of the Body of Christ and for the purpose of seeking the lost. I don’t have a husband. I don’t have children. But I do have gifts and I am called to use ALL of them, whether they involve keeping a home, caring for a child, studying culinary arts, serving and leading in the church, balancing a checkbook, making financial choices, making intelligent decisions in the work place, providing leadership to projects, getting an education and so on. (I Timothy 4:14)

  38. (Part 3)

    Ultimately, I am responsible to God for my choices and how I live my life. I answer to Him, and only Him. He has made me free, and in obedience to Him, I seek to remain free.

    So you see, Stacy, you’ve missed the entire point. You’ve been so busy trying to convince your audience that you are right and that your belief system represents the only biblical way, that you haven’t noticed.....we’re really not listening anymore. We’re busy living our lives in freedom. Oh, we read what you write and we comment and respond out of a desire to prevent others from going down that same painful path we have walked, but then we go on living. We are free. I don’t spend my nights fretting about what you might say on your blog while I’m sleeping. I don’t spend my days worrying that you might be right after all. I’m not afraid because truth.....truth is on my side.

    These women who have left the life of patriarchy so they could pursue their Jesus in freedom……OH……let me tell you…..they are strong. Many of them are still very broken, but their strength is returning – I’ve seen it. And they will be even stronger than they were before. You may think that you’ve made your point, but to borrow the words of the Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto after Japan had attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor, you, Stacy, have done nothing more than to awaken a sleeping giant.

    We’re not going away, and we’re not going to be silent, whether it be the words we say in public, or more importantly, the prayers we utter on our knees. We’re done being silent. We’re done being told that our prayers don’t matter.

    The TRUTH has set us free.

  39. Beautiful, Jeanette.

    Just beautiful, and a testimony of your healing, God's faithfulness and of what True Love is.

    Be blessed.

  40. Those are beautiful words, Jeanette.

    QDs are my heroes.

  41. Jeanette, you're awesome. Thank you for writing that and posting it here. You're an inspiration for me to let go of my anger and to focus more on God... because He really is all that matters.

  42. It just makes me so angry to read Stacy's/Christy's thoughts on this. I can't legitimize her opinion by responding to her thoughts on the word "abuse" being used too often. She needs to do some real research into abuse before she attempts to write an in depth analysis.

    In response to Christy, abuse doesn't have to be obvious and "heinous" in order to be abuse. Exploitation can be very subtle and manipulative. Often the abused doesn't realize she's been abused until much, much later. The goal of abuse is to make the abused feel like what's happening is normal -- at least, if the abuser is any good at what he/she is doing. The victim has to learn that what's going on/happened is not normal as part of the recovery process. And often that may make the victim seem excessively angry (but she has a right to be). Citing that all abuse should be some sort of heinous torture only contributes to the societal belief that, well, abuse should always be some sort of heinous torture perpetuated by a creepy man behind a bush who kidnaps children. It adds to the general belief that we should blame the victim for being harmed by the abusers words and actions. It's wrong.

  43. Abuse defined by a Christian organization that has been battling domestic violence since the 1980s:

  44. For those of you who might have come here from the Steadfast Daughters "Christendombuilder" article (which, thus far, is very few of you), if you expect that I should respond, my apologies.

    I simply don't have the motivation it requires, being I'd need to take my blog offline, regroup, put it back up, do some extreme editing of content, change blog hosts multiple times, edit scripture references, edit my bio drastically, and close down my comments.

    Lewis (aka The Hammer)

  45. Three cheers, Lewis.

    Thanks for standing up for us. You didn't have to, and you sure didn't have to care at all after what they did to you, but here you are.
    You keep us laughing, make us think, and bring us through the hard days.
    Much love:

  46. I'm laughing now. I can't help it. They are so utterly laughable and out of touch with reality. I can't take them seriously anymore. That Christendom builder guy? He reminds me of a 50-yr-old guy I know who tries too hard to get the teens to like him and be relevant to their lives. It is painful to read his epic failures at wittiness. I feel embarrassed for him.

    They finally admitted why they even have a website: to be a support group for parents who have failed to control their adult kids. Which we all knew from the first. They don't want healing for QDs. They could care less about the hearts of daughters. They just want us all to admit we were wrong and go back home. Well that's obviously not going to happen. Let all the parents who lost the hearts of their children wallow in self-pity together. They made their beds, let them lie in them. I'll keep my freedom and healing and wonderful, non-daddy-approved husband.

  47. I have to post a comment but it is more for SM over at Steadfast Daughters. I see that over there no comments are being posted, and I think leaving one over here is probably a better idea. I am a homeschool Mom, not a daughter, and I have been homeschooling for 15 years. I am concerned with you setting up a blog "against" Hillary because of her book. It reminds me of the discernment blogs that you have spoken up about, as well as the article that Richard Abanes wrote that you quoted favorably about on your blog. Let me cut and paste a segment from your blog from 2009:

    (this is you, SM, writing on your blog about how you should behave if you have to address the views of another you disagree with)

    1. Use facts; not hearsay or speculation to prove your point. Quote from the teacher's own words, in context. Don't imply a different or "hidden" meaning to their words and don't put your own words (or your own hang ups) in their mouth. Graciously give others the benefit of the doubt. (Proverbs 18:13)

    2. If you "hear" a rumor about something that the teacher supposedly did or believes, verify it with the teacher before repeating it as fact. Unless you can prove his/her words with legitimate published material, treat it as suspect. Don't spread gossip (Exodus 23:1).

    4. Don't treat others as if they are "guilty until proven innocent." Treat them as you would want to be treated (Matthew 7:12).

    5. The goal of rebuking a brother or sister who is in error should be restoration, not condemnation. Your goal should be to win your brother. This is why it is crucial to correct in love.

    6. Remember that you are responsible to God for your words. It is likely that unbelievers are reading your words - the Internet is a big place. Is your post a good testimony to the holiness of God? Are you tearing others apart? Are you taking pleasure in the supposed sins of others? Are you arguing and debating over things that have little to do with what is eternal? Are you loving your neighbor as yourself? Read Janet's excellent article, Loving the Brethren.

    Now me again...I read this and then I look at Steadfast Daughters and I think....huh? I understand if you disagree with Hillary and her book...that is your prerogative. Perhaps just a book review on Amazon would have been sufficient, although it shouldn't have contained Hillary's sister's email. But to set up a "counter-blog"? How does that square with what you wrote as I quoted earlier. How can that possibly edify the body of Christ? Remember, Hillary by confession in Jesus is your sister in Christ. I would prayerfully recommend that you suspend that is hurtful and vindictive. I don't have an account and have to be "Anonymous" but my name is Jane.

  48. Well, this has been a lesson to me. I should be graphic and very detailed if I ever write about the abuse I suffered. I will go blow by blow, literally. I will talk about the welts, bruises and torn flesh. I will talk about how I had to soak my underwear off of me because the blood from being "spanked" had formed clots. I will be sure to be very specific about how long the beatings lasted and what I was beaten with. And I'll be sure to talk about the scriptures my mother quoted while she hit me, and how our pastor assured me that it would all be okay if only I kept my eyes closed during prayer and remembered all of my Bible verses. Thanks for the tip!