Broadcast 1/1/2015 at 19:22:46 (18 Listens, 17 Downloads, 1800 Itunes)
The Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show Podcast
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Journalist in NYC, author of
Quiverfull-- Inside The Christian Patriarchy Movement
The Child Catchers.
writer for The Nation, The American Prospect, Slate, and many others.
What brought you to writing about evangelical Conservative Christians.
Can you pick a story to tell the illustrates what THE CHILD CATCHERS tells us about adoption.
Tarikuwa Lemma Ethopian who was adopted, with her sisters, to a family in NM.
She was said to be 9, but she was 13.
Christian World Adoption --- now bankrupt--
DVD like a catalogue of orphans.
Three girls were reported to have HIV/AIDS-- that their mother died of it.
Most adoption fees these days are between $30-40,000.
truth was mother died in childbirth, never had AIDS. Father was a middle class Ethiopian.
Ethiopians never understood that adoption was forever
The girls did not want to leave their families. And the families did not want to give them up.
Adoptive parents used their retirement savings.
Sisters thought they had been sold by their parents or stolen.
Tarikuwa is now in her early 20s-- was finally able to
Rob: This is about Red Letter Christians (take every word of bible literally)
Rick Warren-- pastor of Saddleback Church, rallied for Christians to protect orphans.
viral adoption culture developed-- in some churches, over 100 adoptions
grants to adopt.
So how many adoptions have come through this process.
Many of the largest adoption agencies in the US are Christian, or evangelical and require commitment in writing to raise children"
Rob: How many international adoptions are there?
adoptions have decreased by about 2/3s in last few years. Was over 20,000, now down to under 8,000
Demand is far exceeding the supply.
Rob: I would imagine that evangelical adoptions would, as a priority, aim for adopting from unwed mothers considering abortion. Any idea of those numbers?
between WWII and 1973 between 1.5 and 6 million women were pushed to give up their babies.
Used to be 20% of unwed would consider adoption. Now it's 1%.
Family Research council-- DC arm of Focus on the Family.-- provide scripts to present adoption as more loving, more selfless option-- that this was a way they could redeem themselves for having sinned.
Birth mothers are sent to families, not maternity homes--
"Women are facing terrible abuse of their reproductive rights, rights to make their own decisions. Too many find they don't have the support system to make decisions, end up signing agreements without advice.
Rob: This sounds predatory. So Who are the predators.
centers have an ideological point of view that single parent families are not as good"
Adoption agencies-- most are non-profit, but have very high overheads and rely
In some cases, the larger culture around the centers and adoption agencies-- churches glorify adoption, even though it is almost always rooted in deep loss.
usually about poor, vulnerable women and men.
Rob: What is the base message you'd like people to get from your book
adoption is a much more complicated think. We tend to think of it as a win win-- there are so many issues involved in it as regards, to race, class, gender--
Rob: for many of this spiritual adoptions, people spend $30-40,000 to adopt a child from a poor family-- when that kind of money could save the family. Is anyone doing that-- helping to save the family...
I'm hoping to report on that.
Rob: I would imagine that these potential adoptive parents start by checking the DVD catalogue, and get to know more about the children, they fall in love w ith them and then it is very hard, when they learn information, to back out.
Rob: reading your book it is horrifying to see the way adoption agencies and locals, in country, in Africa, for example, lie
recruiters are paid per-capita for finding adoptees--
In ethiopia, the closest word for Adoption is guardianship-- very different from adoption-- children will always know who their mother is.
US idea of adoption is very different, though we think it is universal.
Adoption recruiters depend upon parents to have Ethiopian idea of adoption--
Sometimes there are parents in these countries (Ethiopia and Uganda) who participate in falsifying some information-- based on parents of adoptees being misled, thinking they will get their children back having been educated.
Talking about Quiverful-- women are to depend on God for birth control, submit to domination of husbands, thinking of husbands as their lord.
How many-- low tens of thousands
Distillation of the purest form of the ideology of the Christian right.
Reject the idea of women working outside the home.
Purest vanguard-- purest 1% of the movement
You write-- the idea of submission and Headship, has been embraced by the 16 million member Southern Baptist Convention.
wives are supposed to be submission followers of their husband's leadership
In quiverful, women can't vote, can't speak in church, can't drive without permission
Rob: Sounds like women in Saudi Arabia
Some of the children are growing up and leaving
Can you talk about how women are encouraged to think when they are with an abusive husband
women who find themselves in abusive relationships would be encouraged to search themselves to find what they are doing to cause it. Best way to change a man who is sinning is to "win him without a word" by being more submissive, become more meeker. Women who are in abusive relationships, sexually, emotionally or physically, they're told it's their fault.
Sexual availability- What are these women told to do for their husbands in terms of sexual availability?
Leave your self open to the possibility of contraception with every encounter
Mark Driscoll-- talked about wives having to give their husbands bl-w jobs.
Women are expected to see sex as their ministry to their husbands-- that they should make their flesh totally available to their husbands--
Your body doesn't belong to you.
Women are responsible for "dying to themselves." and that seems to me to be what narcissists want for people in their lives.
Not only is your body not your own, your life is not your own. It's a different idea of freedom-- you can either be a slave to sin or a slave to god. There is no idea of freedom in that dual view of the world and the nature of life. You can be a slave to yourself and your passions or
It seems to me that these women are such victims in these situation. Are they victims?
Women who advocate for these rules have careers-- but advocate for women to not have that lifestyle.
Rob: Talk about contraception-- your book suggests that it is seen as a sin, an affront against god.
As something that makes sex prostitution
contraceptive mentality-- see no difference between abortion and contraception.
I funded polling about 8 years ago and found that a great deal of evangelical christians oppose contraception
Rob: Let's talk about homeschooling-- There are millions. Do you have stats on percentage that are conservative Christians
A majority, I think. The largest lobby are conservative Christians- There's a huge representation of very conservative christians in that community.
They do it so they can raise their children apart from the corrupting influence of modern society-- if the faithful keep raising the children they will eventually have many more bodies- they talk about reclaiming San Franscisco from the heathens, the gays, for the righteous. You need to protect your children form outside influences who will take them away from the faith.
Some children, are leaving as they become adults.
Tell me how they characterized public education
it would be demonized, where school nurses hand out abortifacients to all students, where god has been banned, where drugs and sex are rampant-- this is a dangerous place for your children to be. it is worldly, sinful, where your children will be taken out of your control.
They have a deep seated fear of child protective services-- that they will take the kids away.
Do Child Protective Services (CPS) take away children from them
In most cases CPS are not as effective as we'd like.
Some believe in very strong corporal punishment
Your book talks about Dominion, Christian Feudalism, slavery and indentured servitude
Some of the young adults who have left have said that it felt like slavery.
RJ Rasjoony-- wrote about Christian Reconstructionism-- Christians will take dominion of the country, of world, of culture and reconstruct along what look like feudal lines-- it would like the 1500s , like a feudal society with no distinction between religion and governemtn-- rulers would be landed fathers white men.
Rob: What if someone wants to get. If they want to escape. What's that like?
very hard-- it's women who decide they want to leave-- it involves leaving empty handed. They don't have anything to put on a resume no work experiences-- no references because they will be shunned, even by their children-- they will be denounced as fallen, worldly as a backslider.
Some have left as either couples or families-- that would be an easier situation.
Are they punished?
Punished social, financially. It's important to understand that it is not a cult like the Warren Jeffs Mormon community. They are connected through these networks of home schooling, through publishers of various schools, not as though there is one physical location from
Rob: It sounds to me like the internet has helped create this situation.
the fundamentalist movement has benefited from the fruits of modernity-- blogs that have proliferated from quiverful mothers-- that what it means to be godly is to let god take control of their lives. When they get involved in homeschooling they start learning about not allowing kids to date, about contraception.
When we talk about this all-encompassing life-style, one word that seems to be at the core is SUBMISSION. Can you talk about this.
Idea of your husband as the architect
Debi Pearl-- author with Michael Pearl, of book, To Train UP A Child-- involved in a number of beating deaths-- a number of the children were adoptees who went to home-schooling families.
idea is to start spanking your children when they are young-- they advocate to switch your child before the age of one-- placing an item out of their reach and then if they reach for it, swat them-
Pearls advocate using a piece of plumbing supply line-- which has been involved in several deaths.
Rob: How many copies of these books have been sold
he claims somewhere between 700,000 and a million.
Rob: Let's talk about Eve. Quote from Page 50-- rebellion, showing spirit is considered evil.
Rebellion is considered like witchcraft.
Andrea Yeats-- was a woman who had a lot of children, followed a very extreme version of religion. Itenerant pastor kept sending her tracts talking about woman as witches who were witches because they didn't obey and the punishment for witchcraft is death-- and disobedience is a form of witchcraft-- that this drove her crazy (she drowned three of her children.
This movement considers the women to be warriors and there's a war going on.
They are warriors as mothers, as maternal missionaries-- as going by doing battle by giving birth
Psalm 127:4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one's youth
They talk about their children as the means of winning the cultural war. They talk about spiritual warfare.
You wrap up your book talking about how they are raising a generation of revolutionaries.
Again and again reading your book, I saw patterns of fundamentalism that seems to also apply to Muslims and Jews as well.
Rob: it seems that husbands in this movement make the same claims as emperors.
God appointments the husband to be his authority figure here on earth. God's intermediary here
Rob: It seems to me that if you look at the Southern Baptist convention, you have 16 million people who would be opposed to equal rights, equal pay, equal opportunities for women.
I wouldn't go that far.
it's been five years since you wrote the book. What ideas an conclusions would you like people
ideas matter-- phrase used by Quiverful community-- positions trace back to ideas and ideas have long reaching consequences. Even though the quiverfull community is small the ideas are broader-- important not to accept that wifely submission is a metaphor, that it's okay. Leads to a large number of destroyed lives. It's important to question and challenge them
Rob: What are you working on nowadays? Any new books, big projects.