Book Review (Kind Of): In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick

So, a piece of info about your blogmistress that probably won’t surprise anyone: I don’t normally buy books without reading reviews of them first, because I don’t want to end up paying money for something that looked good but turned out to be deficient or substandard in some way. I made an exception for In the Heart of the Sea when I found it at the front of Books-a-Million last month, for a few reasons. One, it was a mass-market paperback so it didn’t cost too much; two, Nathaniel Philbrick is a well-known historian with a good reputation; and three, flipping through it, I realized it would give me an opportunity to expand upon a topic I’d already discussed here at Scarlet Letters. And on that note, if you’ve seen the In the Heart of the Sea movie that was recently made, you’re probably wondering what a book about whaling and survival at sea has to do with the usual fare here (Christian gender issues and patriocentricity). Continue reading

So Much More, p. 107-131 – Part 3: The Laborer Is Worthy of His Wages

“A&E” refers to Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin, authors of So Much More. I chose the abbreviation to save space and time.

Before I wrap up chapter 9, I’d like to comment on a bit of a strange theme I’m seeing emerging from A&E: their seemingly elitist attitude toward wage earners. I first noticed this because they seem bizarrely fond of the terms “wage slave” and “wage slavery” (which Doug Phillips has also used): Continue reading

Patriocentricity Is Broken

I’m reasonably certain that anyone even remotely interested in reading Scarlet Letters, has heard about the recent child molestation scandal surrounding Josh Duggar. Oceans of digital ink have already been spilled over this story, asking and re-asking the same questions. Did Josh truly repent of what he did? Is Josh a danger to his children? Did the Duggar parents handle the situation wisely? – and plenty others besides these.

In the few days since this story broke, I’ve read not only the redacted police report, but also various responses to the situation, both from the pro- and anti-Duggar “camps.” And after mulling things over for a while, I think I’m ready to add my own drop or two of ink to the flood, for whatever that might be worth at this point. Continue reading

So Much More, p. 53-62 – Part 3: Winning Is Everything

“A&E” refers to Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin, authors of So Much More. I chose the abbreviation to save space and time.

If you’re familiar with debates surrounding headship and submission within marriage, you’ve almost certainly read 1 Peter 3:1-6:

Wives, likewise be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. Do not let your adornment be merely outward – arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel – rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good are not afraid with any terror.

No matter what your views on headship and submission, one thing is plain: that this passage is about marriage and married couples. Continue reading

So Much More, p. 53-62 – Part 2: En-vision-ing Stereotypes

“A&E” refers to Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin, authors of So Much More. I chose the abbreviation to save space and time.

As most of my readers know, So Much More was sold and heavily promoted by Doug Phillips’ now-defunked ministry Vision Forum. As its name indicates, this organization was borderline obsessed with the concept of “vision.” I spent a lot of time in my Big Box series trying to figure out what “vision” meant exactly. That was hard to do, but what did emerge clearly was that “vision” is something reserved for men only. In fact Doug Phillips explicitly taught that it was a “perversion of God’s natural order” for a woman to be a family “visionary.” So in keeping with my last post, let’s examine how A&E use this concept in such a way that it enables husbands and fathers to abuse and control their families. Continue reading

So Much More, p. 33-51 – Part 1: Asking the Right Questions

After receiving complaints from readers that they did not know who “A&E” was referring to, each So Much More post will now include a note at the top clarifying this information. “A&E” refers to Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin, authors of So Much More. I chose the abbreviation to save space and time.

A few weeks ago, I questioned whether Michael Farris had really, as claimed by others, “strawmanned” patriarchy in his white paper “A Line in the Sand.” At the end of that post, I stated that I was confused and that A&E seemed to be logically contradicting themselves. Then in a second post, I covered some more of A&E’s statements about gender relations, in which they seemed to be saying that all women should submit to all men.

Well, today I am pleased to announce that I don’t have to use the word “seem” anymore (at least not about this). That’s because, in chapter 4 of So Much More, A&E finally lay out all the details of their gender bureaucracy in a clear way. Continue reading

So Much More, p. 15-22 – Part 3: Of Straw Men and Submission

IMPORTANT ADDENDUM (11/8/14): A&E fully explain their concept of submission and how it relates to gender in chapter 4. Please read this post for the entire picture.

You may remember a few weeks ago that Michael Farris, chairman of Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), published a white paper entitled “A Line in the Sand,” in which he rejected and condemned so-called “Biblical patriarchy.” This caused a big dustup in the homeschool community, for a variety of reasons that I don’t have room to cover in this post (see here at Love Joy Feminism for a summary). Today, I want to explore only one of the concepts that was widely discussed in the fallout from Farris’ paper: the question of whether patriocentricity teaches that all women must submit to all men. Continue reading

So Much More, p. 1-13 – Part 3: The Black-and-White Cookie


Remember this post, where I compared the views of the National Center for Family-Integrated Churches (NCFIC) to a black-and-white cookie? This is also, I think, one of the underlying problems behind So Much More (and really, all of patriocentricity) – black-and-white, all-or-nothing, extreme thinking. Here’s a perfect example (emphasis A&E’s): Continue reading

So Much More, p. 1-13 – Part 2: A Blast from the Past

Having covered the severe lack of definitions in the first chapter of So Much More, let’s move on to examining recurring themes from the Vision Forum lectures I’ve been critiquing for the past year and a half. First up is Doug Phillips’ real “holy trinity” – principles, patterns and precepts – which I discussed in my very first Big Box post, How to Think Like a Christian: Continue reading

Why Lourdes Torres’ Consent Doesn’t Matter

If you’re a supporter of Doug Phillips and patriarchy, you might suppose, based on the title of this post, that you’ve found a sympathizer here at Scarlet Letters. Well, I’m (not so) sorry to say that that could not be further from the truth. Hester, the local blogmistress, fully supports Ms. Torres and believes her allegations as put forth in the recent lawsuit filed against Doug Phillips, Vision Forum Ministries and Vision Forum Inc. (see here for full text). So I suppose I owe those of you who may have fallen for that deliberately provocative title up there, an explanation. Continue reading