Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Review of Reviews of "Passionate Housewives"

Updated 06Mar09

Book Reaction Not All Positive
Saturday, January 12, 2008

"Passionate Housewives Desperate for God," co-written by Peoria-area resident Stacy McDonald, has come in for praise and scorn, which isn't surprising for a book that takes such strong stands on the issues of feminism and family life.

The most vocal critic of the book is Karen Campbell, a Canton home-schooling mom and former member of Providence Church, which McDonald's husband pastors. Campbell said she and her family left the Peoria church after attending "a couple years" due to disagreements over hierarchies in church and family. The Campbells left the church before the McDonalds arrived in 2006. "

[Karen Campbell told this blog host that they left because of the host of problems with patriarchy and patriocentricity, in addition to a comment from an elder: "The Klan did some good things."]

The Canton woman writes a blog,, on which she and others have discussed in-depth her objections to the book, though she also said the volume contained "many good principles." She posted a negative review of "Passionate Housewives" on which included the following points:

- Campbell said authors McDonald and Jennie Chancey are misleading readers on what it means to be a faithfully biblical Christian wife and mother. She accused them of teaching that all women must "live just like them." Campbell, though, said she feels that different women have different callings at different times of their lives...."

Download the full article at the HERE

Read all reviews at

Karen Campbell has asked Stacy McDonald, co author of the book, to clarify some of the statements made in the book. Mrs. McDonald invited herself and Jennie Chancey, the other author of the book, for an interview by Karen Campbell on Karen's own website. Karen declined the interview but did invite the authors to clarify their statements online at, but neither author has responded to this opportunity.

The Campbells who oppose the McDonalds' concepts of so-called "Biblical patriarchy" as spiritually abusive have been quite aggressive with the Campbells for declining a dinner invitation. Apparently, the McDonalds have pursued a Matthew 18 confrontation with the Campbells because they declined the invitation due to these stated doctrinal differences. The Degenhart family, kinists who attend the McDonald's church (where the elder stated that the KKK had done good things) also invited the Campbells for a dinner invitation, just after Karen mentioned the Degenhart's appearance in a photo of the McDonald's congregation. (The photo was displayed on James McDonald's blog where Degenhart stands to the left of McDonald.)

Regarding Stacy's self-initiated invitation to participate in a podcast, Karen Campbell made this comment on her blog, True Womanhood:

This is from the thatmom blog in the comments under “a little podcast history” Let me add some more insights that might help.

I believe that the Passionate Housewives book and the subsequent interviews have various layers to them. On the surface, a casual reader or listener who is a stay-at-home mom responds by feeling affirmed in her convictions about her life, especially after a difficult day of pouring out her life for her family. By reading the examples in the book of women like “Carolyn,” a career woman who doesn’t want children, or the soccer moms with their marble sinks, she is satisfied the she has made not only the right choice for her life, but she has chosen the role for women that God has ordained before the foundation of the world. This is an understandable response, since we all like to feel that our choices are validated, especially by God. But these sorts of caricature examples encourage the temptation to “compare ourselves among ourselves,” which the scripture tells us is not wise. ( “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” 2 Corinthians 10:12)

However, if that same woman steps out of her own life and her own experience and examines the many presuppositions in the book and holds them up to the light of Scripture, she will have another level of understanding. She will see that yes, she is being obedient to what the Lord has called HER to do, but that her calling is not the same as another woman’s calling. She will begin to question the fact that there are examples throughout Scripture of women who were called to serve the Lord in a variety of ways. She will examine church history and see that many women who have been mightily used of God, even in our day, did not fit into the mold of a passionate housewife as described by these authors. She will begin to see that this worldview isn’t really a biblical one, but rather, one that is Americanized, especially if she is in tune at all to world missions.

Then, finally, if she looks at these same presuppositions in light of the other writings of the authors, she begins to understand on an even deeper level. She begins to be aware of an overriding, extra-biblical, patriocentric agenda that is being promoted. She measures what she is reading in the book with not only the authors’ other writings on women and their roles, and not only the ramifications of those writings, but she begins to see the inconsistencies between those writings. She starts to be able to recognize “patriospeak,” as it were, and suddenly her eyes are opened.

If you have listened to any of the interviews that have already been done with Stacy and Jennie, you quickly realize that they keep their interview on the first level and even state things that are not what they say elsewhere, including in the book. They are betting on the fact that most listeners have not read their other writings or have not watched any of their spots on documentaries. They are very shrewd, because if they were to openly state that women’s suffrage was a terrible idea or that women are blaspheming God’s name if they work outside the home, they would not be allowed on any speaking circuit. (It all reminds me of politicians whose views are radical and their handlers warn them not to tell the audience their real positions on issues. Just think presidential debates.) They are being the “kinder and gentler” patriarch wives.

So, you see, I am not willing to be party to the charade by handing a microphone to Jennie and Stacy, allowing them to give their first level presentation. I care too much about those who listen to the podcasts and I know that, before the Lord, I have a great responsibility to present things honestly and in an upright manner, which includes the deeper levels of understanding of this book and how Scripture has been used in it.

I also want to take Stacy at her word, that she honestly and sincerely wants to have an audience to be able to “clear up any misunderstandings.” That will be done in a format that allows for questions and follow-up questions that will enable us to not only look at the shiny new car, but under the hood as well.”

Download the other Peoria Journal Star articles featuring the McDonalds here:
Faithful Homemaker
McDonald Overseeing Growth
Raw Scan Page 1
Raw Scan page 2


Kathleen (Kate) said...
The PJStar sure doesn't have the full "scoop" on this story with the kinists, patriocentrists and their fear of being exposed by people who know how they operate.The manipulations in "leadership" are very telling. It's also very disgusting that the homeschooling community or any christian community is being overrun with people with hidden agendas for building their own "little kingdoms".What Karen must have had to put up with!
January 12, 2008 12:44 PM

thatmom said...
Ah, but Kate, Stacy herself even called me their "local critic" and linked to the article on her blog! :)
January 12, 2008 8:13 PM

Anonymous said...
Have you seen this video on the Peoria Journal Star website from Michael Miller of the Journal Star?
January 14, 2008 7:37 AM

Anonymous said...
That video has been on You Tube for ages.Why did Michael Miller post it? Are you suggesting that maybe Miller had a bit too much of the love-bomb Kool-aide while over at the McDonald's house filming his interview with Stacy?Hmmm.You'd have to ask him. If he did drink the Kool-aide, then I pity him.
January 14, 2008 7:45 AM

Cindy said...
How interesting that this link to the video appeared while the McDonalds were logged on to my site, along with computers from Euereke and San Antonio.Hmmmm.I just saw that the same link was posted on True Womanhood and Thatmom.How typically passive aggresive for the patriarch crowd. And God forbid that you post a comment using your name!
January 14, 2008 8:06 AM

Lin said...
Indeed, Cindy. What a coincidence! Funny how they always show up as 'anonymous' at just the right time.
January 14, 2008 9:09 AM

Cindy said...
Copied from my own comment at the True Womanhood blog:

Quote from anonymous: I am so grateful Susan posted that video. It really helped me see that the reporter isn’t as boring as his articles. He does have opinions (just no discernment).
One of the most powerful techniques used by spiritual abusers is milieu control, you know. “Love bombing” is one aspect of milieu control wherein new people or people who are dangerous but viewed as open to influence are slathered with attention, affection and propaganda to win them over to the cause and the group.Perhaps, in the process of intervewing the McDonalds, Mr. Miller was slipped a cup of the McDonald Kool-aide and love bombed into a favorable opinion of them. I’ve heard that a representative of the RPCGA states that James McDonald is quite adept at the one-on-one skill of sweeping new people off their feet. Hense their offers of dinner invitations, etc. He’s good at love bombing to color a person’s critical analysis of his doctrine.January 14, 2008 9:49 AM

Kathleen (Kate) said...
Here we go again, with the anonymous commenters.Well all I can say is: Been there, done that; bought the t-shirt. :)Really, anonymous commenters muck up the conversations because it's hard to know just who the biased or unbiased identities are behind the comments. My battles on my own blog last year came ALOT from anonymous commenters who only wanted to stir the pot against the hard facts I presented. I don't buy for one second that the many times Anonymous's that post here and on the truewomanhood blog do so in a fearful manner of being exposed and shredded and destroyed. If that's the case, why even post a comment at all?

Let's be grown-ups in the Lord, people. I've had to grow up in my own blogging conversational skills and not lash out like I'd REALLY like to or like I've done in the past, and I don't even have a "popular homeschool ministry" or book to sell or church ministry to protect. The anonymous comments can come from fearful people, yes, but because they are fear-driven people anyway. Even the fearful are rebuked and warned, though, in Rev. 21:6. However, it's easier to get away with a lie if presenting it without accountability.January 14, 2008 9:14 PM

Anonymous said...
God bless you, Cindy, for this important ministry. We need it more than ever.

P. Andrew SandlinJanuary 16, 2008 9:21 AM