Salvation Army Bans Duggar / Quivering Cult’s ‘Retreat’ (Called ‘Get Them Married’) that Promoted Arranged Marriages for Teen Girls – Quivering Advocates Are Anti-Adult Singleness and Anti-Celibacy
Before I present you with the links to the news reports about this story (which are much farther down the page), I wanted to make some introductory comments in general, and a few specific comments refuting a few points from a pro-Quivering page about celibacy.
In regards to the specific news story I am blogging about today, this Quivering group is completely overlooking Apostle Paul’s comments in (Link): 1 Corinthians 7 that it is better for people to remain single than it is to marry – and Paul does not say that this teaching is in regards only to “a few,” or only a “minority” of people.
The Bible nowhere states that marriage is “a norm,” or that God expects or wants all, or most, people to marry.
It just so happens that in other cultures thousands of years ago, most people did happen to marry – one should not deduce from this cultural situation that God supported it or wanted it to be so. It just was what it was.
If the Bible said that all or most ancient Jews painted their bodies green once a year and balanced weasels on their heads while jumping up and down on a watermelon one week out of a year, one should not assume from this that
- 1. God created that cultural practice and/or that
- 2. God wanted Americans in the year 2016 to practice these things as well.
The Quivering group’s position on marriage, celibacy, and singleness is unbiblical, not to mention disturbing.
According to this article (linked to much farther below), the Quivering group was going to call this event, (where they set up marriages for little girls to marry), “Get Them Married.”
Why not have an event called, per 1 Corinthians 7, “It Is Better To Stay Unmarried”?
Am I opposed to marriage? No.
Is the God of the Bible against marriage? No.
But the Bible does not say that being married is better or more holy for girls, women, or culture, than being single, but a lot of Christian groups, and these wacky Christian cults, insist otherwise.
Christians need to do a better job of recognizing adult singleness and celibacy as legitimate, godly, biblical lifestyles and choices for all persons (and not only meant for a small minority of people who were supposedly “gifted” with it), instead of promoting marriage and natalism as the only legitimate avenues or as ways of fixing culture, the nation, or as pleasing God.
I am also appalled at the ageism among these Christian groups. Note the wording used to advertise the meet-up as mentioned in the articles below; it was said to be for “young, fruitful” marriages, which I assume means they want singles to marry while teen-aged or 20 something, and to have children.
The Bible does not command anyone to marry, let alone command any age at which marriage “should” occur. Such an emphasis on “youth” is a slap in the face to singles over the age of 30.
Why are Christians so reticent to assist older singles in getting married? The older one gets, the more difficult it gets to meet suitable mates.
If Christians are truly interested in helping singles get married, they need to be concentrating their efforts on people of roughly around the age of 35 and older. They need to be holding “mix- and- mingle” events for consenting adults over 35, not “arranged marriage” parties for 15 year old girls.
Secondly, the “fruitful” reference is, apparently, promoting natalism (I assume). Married Christian couples are not required to have children. There are some couples who don’t want kids, and some, who due to health issues, are incapable. Christians need to de-emphasis natalism, because under the New Testament, natalism is not the expectation anymore.
The New Testament says that the kingdom of God is to grow via spiritual means (by sharing the Gospel with non-believers), not via marriage or physical pro-creation. Therefore, anyone claiming to be Christian wanting to convert people, or add to God’s kingdom, via physical pro-creation and/or marriage is heretical.
As I write this blog post, I am currently suffering from the flu (at first I thought it was a cold, but I think now I have the flu). As such I am feverish, have a sore throat, runny nose – the whole thing. I’m not feeling well.
Even under the best of health, I’d not want to spend much time at this disgusting Quivering site, which is promoting early marriage and treats girls and women like broodmares and objects, but it’s doubly hard looking at their content while feeling under the weather.
Therefore, I will only skim the page and quote the parts that catch my eye (perhaps at a later date, I’ll return to their page to refute it more?):
From the pro-Quivering site (Link): Let Them Marry (their FAQ page):
- And Scripture, far from praising ‘waiting’ [to have sex or to be married] in this matter, condemns it. Scripture does not prescribe ‘waiting’ as an antidote to fornication, it prescribes marriage. (1 Corinthians 7:2)
The Bible does not condemn waiting, contrary to whomever wrote that page.
The Quivering proposed solution, arranged marriages for teens, is another form of sexism, child abuse, and human sexual trafficking – the solution to getting singles married is not to place them in arranged or forced marriages when they are only 12 or 13 years old – that is creepy.
So, barring arranged marriages, you have to allow your son or daughter to get a spouse the way mainstream culture does: using dating sites, visit bars, whatever.
None of that is a guarantee a person will find a mate, however.
I had wanted to be married, was engaged, dumped the moron I was engaged to, didn’t meet anyone suitable after him, so I remain never-married in my 40s.
You need to prepare your sons and daughters for the possibility they may never marry. If your adult child wants marriage but is still single and feels sad about being single, acknowledge their sadness, but don’t act as though there is something wrong, inadequate, or “second best” about being single.
I thank God that my Christian parents never did anything inappropriate like set me up when I was a kid in an arranged marriage.
I’d rather be never-married at 40-something, and therefore have my dignity intact and my choices respected, than having been paired up against my will when I was a teenager (or have been brainwashed and indoctrinated to believe this was normal or godly). Had I been forced or brainwashed into marrying that young, I would have divorced the loser later in life anyway.
You’re not the same person at age 40 that you were when you were age 15 or age 30. You will “out grow” anyone you marry at age 15 or 25 and likely end up divorced.
The Quivering nuts further state on their (Link): FAQs page:
- K) We teach that early, fruitful marriage is normative, not special, rare, or unique. Getting married is not an ‘extra for experts’ but something that should happen to ‘youth’… i.e. immature young people.
Actually, no; early marriage (and ones with children) are not normative.
Young (and so-called fruitful) marriage is not even entirely normative in the Bible, necessarily (some biblical persons did not marry until age 40 or older, as (Link): I have blogged about in other posts before; further, Jesus Christ never married or had kids, and apparently, apostle Paul never married), and in the United States today, the age of first marriage has risen to the late 20s.
Some people are choosing not to marry at all these days. More Americans are single in 2016 than married. Being single is now the norm.
I also see it as being highly unbiblical, unethical, impractical, and wrong to insist that persons in 2016 America adopt all cultural practices and supposed norms of an ancient middle eastern culture.
The Quivering FAQ page further states:
- L) We point out that the gift of being successfully celibate is very rare. Many courtship advocates seem to gloss over the idea that this is a gift, and just seem to assume that all ‘single’ people have the gift of singleness… because they are single! As if being without a wife was, in itself, the ‘gift’.
First, I direct you to my previous posts on this issue:
- (Link): False Christian Teaching: “Only A Few Are Called to Singleness and Celibacy” or (also false): “God’s gifting of singleness is rare”
- (Link): Typical Erroneous Teaching About Adult Celibacy Rears Its Head Again: To Paraphrase Speaker at Ethics and Public Policy Center: Lifelong Celibacy is “heroic ethical standard that is not expected of heteros, so it should not be expected of homosexuals” (ie, it’s supposedly an impossible feat for any human being to achieve)
- (Link): Douglas Wilson and Christian Response FAIL to Sexual Sin – No Body Can Resist Sex – supposedly – Re Celibacy
- (Link): Why So Much Fornication – Because Christians Have No Expectation of Sexual Purity
Secondly, being celibate is not “a gift.”
Christians regularly misunderstand what celibacy is, and who is celibate, and why many celibates are celibate.
Using myself as an example for the 100th time on this blog: I am celibate because I practice self-discipline and decided at a young age to reserve sexual activity for marriage.
God does not “gift” anyone with celibacy – not me, not you, not anyone else.
When Christians such as these Quivering proponents use the phrase “gift of celibacy,” and further insist it is a very “rare” gift or calling, they feel that this means God removes a desire for sex and marriage from an adult, thereby making being a celibate, single adult an easy feat.
However, God does not sprinkle some adults, a tiny minority of adults, with “celibacy fairy dust” that removes their sexual desire from them.
Look at me, I’m a never married virgin past the age of 40, and I experience sexual desire – only I have controlled my desires by abstaining from sex.
Being a single celibate is not, contrary to anti-Celibacy and anti-Singleness advocates, such as Quivering promoters, a superhero feat only a small number of adults can manage easily, and at that, because God chose them to be single and celibate and removed the difficulties from them of being single and celibate.
I’m sure I could go on and nit pick the rest of their long early marriage / Quivering FAQs page apart to show how unbiblical and horrible it is, but with my fever and sore throat, I’m not in any condition to do that now.
Basically what these Quivering groups are advancing is the notion that it is “wrong,” second-class, or somehow flawed, to be single and/or childless. They seem to feel that only an itty-bitt, tiny, special class of people are called by God to be single and celibate – which is in error.
God does not “call” anyone to marriage or to singleness: God allows each person to choose which path he or she wants, and he says either path is fine with him.
The Quivering advocates are shaming singles and the childless in a big way – let me tell you, we are not living in Old Testament Israel, where the culture was such that women were really only valued for their ability to produce children, and their only financial security was in having a kid or a male relative – and those were not the “good ol’ days.”
Extreme female dependence on men for safety or money is not “good,” nor was it God’s intent. Christians should not romanticize any culture that did not give women fair and equal opportunities but limited them to marriage and child bearing only or primarily.
Quivering types seem to feel that a girl’s only worth, value, or purpose is to have children. That is an Old Testament, middle eastern concept – not a New Testament grace-filled one. In Old Testment days, it was considered disgraceful in many of the cultures back then to be barren or single. Jesus Christ un-did all that.
Adults are now free, under Christ, to stay single and childless, if they so choose, or, if they find themselves single, that’s okay to; there is no shame in being single, whether it was due to choice or circumstance.
- (Link): Jesus Christ Removed the Stigma, Shame From Being Single and Childless – by David Instone Brewer
Original story (as hosted on Raw Story):
(Link): Duggar cult founder plans Kansas ‘retreat’ to set up arranged marriages for teen girls by V. Garrison
- A group of ultra-conservative Christian men are planning to meet up in Kansas later this year to arrange marriages for their pubescent daughters … and they don’t believe their daughters’ consent is actually necessary.
- (Link): Quiverfull patriarch, Vaughn Ohlman, who runs (Link): a website promoting early, “fruitful” marriage for Truly True Christian™ children, has announced plans for (Link): a “Get Them Married!” retreat where fundamentalist fathers will find, and TAKE, suitably submissive young brides to bear many babies for their adolescent sons.
The follow-up (on Raw Story):
(Link): Salvation Army bans Duggar cult’s ‘retreat’ that promoted arranged marriages for teen girls by V. Garrison
- A Christian retreat for Quiverfull fathers to marry off their teen daughters has been cancelled after Raw Storyreaders expressed concerns that the event constitutes human trafficking and contacted the Salvation Army which owns the campground where that retreat was scheduled to be held in Wichita.
- Quiverfull patriarch, Vaughn Ohlman, organized (Link): a “Get Them Married” retreat for the purpose of providing a weekend where ultra-conservative Christian fathers could network with like-minded families “(and their unmarried young men and women) who are committed to young, fruitful marriage and to help them overcome the barriers which have kept their children unmarried.”
- (Link): The Raw Story article sparked outrage among readers and many were moved to action, demanding that authorities be notified in order to protect the children who were slated to be married off young for the purpose of procreating lots of babies for Jesus.
- Readers discovered that Camp Hiawatha, where the retreat was planned to be held, is owned by the Salvation Army. I contacted a good friend who is a officer at the Salvation Army’s training school in Chicago, and she responded right away to let me know the Wichita corps has already denied access to (Link): Ohlman’s group for what would have amounted to a child trafficking “retreat.”
- …[From statement released by The Salvation Army] The Salvation Army has denied a request by the Let Them Marry organization to conduct its event at Camp Hiawatha.
Other sources carrying the story:
- May 5, 2016
- Vaughn Ohlman was charging families over $1,000 to spent three days in November at a retreat in Topeka, Kansas
- The retreat was so single teenagers could meet other young single teenagers of the opposite sex for ‘young, fruitful marriages’
- The Get Them Married Retreat was suddenly cancelled however after it began getting coverage in the press on Thursday
- Ohlman has written that his son Joshua had an arranged marriage to his wife Laura that was incredibly successful
- Joshua and Laura did not meet until their wedding day and are now parents
- The Ohlmans, like the Duggars, are part of the fundamentalist Christian sect Quiverfull that promotes procreation
- A church leader who is part of the fundamentalist Christian sect Quiverfull that the Duggars are a part of is running a retreat to help arrange marriages among teenagers.
- Vaughn Ohlman is charging families over $1,000 to spent three days in November at a retreat in Topeka, Kansas where young single teenagers can meet other young single teenagers of the opposite sex for ‘young, fruitful marriages.’
- The (Link): Get Them Married Retreat was suddenly cancelled however after it began getting coverage in the press on Thursday.
- ‘Let Them Marry is a ministry dedicated to the purpose of educating, challenging, and calling Christians to a Biblical understanding of the godly path to marriage by providing books, pamphlets, and articles on the topic,’ writes Ohlman on his ministry’s site.
- ‘Ultimately, our goal is to glorify God by getting our young people married.’
- In his bio he writes: ‘Vaughn is husband to one, father to six and grandfather to four. He has been studying the issues concerning the path to marriage since at least 2008; becoming more and more convinced of the problems and dangers of dating and courtship.’
(Link): Here Is a Quiverfull Event for All You Dads Looking to Marry Off Your Teen Daughters
by C. Lampen
- It’s hard to find a suitable husband once you’ve reached a certain age. So glad that Quiverfull is around to help women — or menstruating girls — avoid the embarrassing fate of spinsterhood at 20.
- As (Link): Raw Story reported, (Link): Let Them Marry Ministries — part of the hyper-conservative Christian group that gave us the Duggar clan — is planning a weekend-long (Link): forcible matchmaking event, to which parents can bring “their unmarried young men and women” in need of marrying off. There will be worship, there will be “icebreaker games,” there may be some “fun running around,” but mostly, there will be marriage:
- “Our major focus and priority will be bringing together unmarried young people and their families so they can intentionally network together with a goal of arriving at God-glorifying marriages,” the official site for November’s Get Them Married retreat reads.
What glorifies God, according to Quiverfull (Link): ideology as explained by LTMM leader Vaughn Ohlman, is the unswerving adherence to scripture: People “should marry in their youth” — which, for women, (Link): means as soon as they are menstruating and have breasts. Girls are given by their fathers to their husbands in exchange for a fee, and they do not have a say in the arrangement.
The following page comes from the Love, Joy, Feminism blog – I don’t always agree with this blog writer on every topic, but I sometimes do on others. I think this is a pretty good post on the topic:
(Link): Christian Homeschool Leader Announces Conference for Arranging Child Marriages – via Love, Joy, Feminism blog
(Link): Christian group seeks ‘early marriage’ retreat in Wichita by S. Tobias
- A Christian group that advocates for early, “fruitful” marriage is promoting a retreat in Wichita this fall designed to bring together families who are “actively, deliberately seeking a marriage for one or more of their children.”
- The “Get Them Married” retreat, originally planned for Nov. 3-6 at Camp Hiawatha in Wichita, is still a goal for Vaughn Ohlman, who runs the Let Them Marry ministry and website.
- But an outcry from critics Thursday prompted Camp Hiawatha officials to refuse the group’s request to rent the venue.
By the way, contrary to the Quivering site (Link): home page comments, which reads:
- It is time for godly men to seek out the biblical path for marriage, to search out the cause of delayed or denied marriages, and to put away unbiblical ideas surrounding the marriage process.
-there is no “biblical process” or “biblical path” to get married or in how to get married.
The Bible does not give a, “Thus saith the Lord, for all time, here is how believers are to go about picking a spouse and how to get married” set of instructions.
How people got married 5,000 years ago in Israel or other Mid-East nations is not normative or prescriptive for American Christians living in the 21st century.
Also, as mentioned in the Old Testament of the Bible, Ruth “sought out” marriage to Boaz, and the Bible does not say that God disapproved of this (you can begin reading Ruth’s story (Link): on Bible Gateway). The wording on the Quivering site suggests, however, that only men may, or should, “seek out” a person to marry.
I find it terribly ironic that the Quivering group behind that site assumes that their very unbiblical approach to helping (or harassing and pressuring) singles to marry is a “biblical path,” when it’s not the least bit biblical, and it’s very denigrating of singleness and singles themselves.
(Link): “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?” – one of the most excellent Christian rebuttals I have seen against the Christian idolatry of marriage and natalism, and in support of adult singleness and celibacy – from CBE’s site
(Link): How Christians Have Failed on Teaching Maturity and Morality Vis A Vis Marriage / Parenthood – Used as Markers of Maturity Or Assumed to be Sanctifiers – Also: More Hypocrisy – Christians Teach You Need A Spouse to Be Purified, But Also Teach God Won’t Send You a Spouse Until You Become Purified
(Link): Are Single People the Lepers of Today’s Church? by Gina Dalfonzo
(Link): Married Preacher, Father of Eight Kids (and promoter of “Family Values” and Leader of wacko Quiverfull- and- Patriarchy type groups that promotes idolatry of “the family” and Marriage and of Having Lots of Children), Used Nanny as Sex Object – update on Phillips story