Saturday, December 11, 2021

One Tiny Thing that I Think Stewart Got Wrong: The Theology Says Anna Duggar's to Blame

In a previous post, I note that Lisa J.(Melissa) Stewart did an excellent job via TikTok of explaining the issues of Bounded Choice faced by Second Generation Adults in Cultic Religious Sects like the one followed by the Duggars.  The discussion has arisen because people outside of this fringe subculture do not understand why Anna Duggar does not just leave her husband Josh after so many successive problems with disturbing sexual exploits which have now culminated in his conviction this week for possession of child pornography.

As previously noted, she rightly states that Bill Gothard's Independent Baptist (IFB) derived-system teaches that Anna's sins are no worse than Josh's crimesbut she neglects to note that the Duggars are also very personally and directly connected to IFB family and marriage experts Ron Williams and SM Davis. Those men teach that Anna's marital sex with Josh and her submission to him as a wife held the power to cure and fix Josh, so any sexual sins or crimes he committed after their wedding night fall entirely on her shoulders.   Luckily, tabloids currently claim that Josh's parents are pledging their support to Anna, but I know that IFB pastors have blamed innocent wives for acts far worse than Josh's crimes and held the wife as the primary cause and fault for their husband's behaviors.

Note About Lisa J Stewart's (TINY) Error: 

My elders did not teach any of Gothard's ideas openly to rank-and-file members in the sect that I once attended in Maryland in the mid-'90s. They told these things privately to battered wives and would even make false reports to CPS to keep women in abusive marriages so that they would lose custody of their children if they left. My church was not IFB, at it has taken me nearly 30 years to discern that what I thought was a charismatic church that embraced Gothard's teaching was actually what I now think of as "IFB-lite."

Gothard may not teach this openly, but his advice results in the same consequences as Williams' and Davis' teachings that come right out and blame wives 100% for their husband's sinful and/or criminal actions. Ms. Stewart who made this video may be like I was for decades, failing to realize the dark underbelly of where these teachings derive. That's a tough thing to do in three minutes (the length of her 'Tik Tok' on the subject).

Anna also believes the teachings of Gothard regarding the mystical protection and confinement that “a wife's submission” affords her and those in her care. The day that I met bWeBaptist's Shirley Taylor, she explained how Southern Baptists now teach wives that it's more important to submit to what your husband wants than it is to follow him into a sin if he requires it. 

FB Baptists take this a step further, describing a system of punishment for rejecting male authority. Rebelling against God's "Umbrella of Protection” is the worst sin in Gothardism (and the IFB). Submitting to the authorities that God divinely appoints for you under this would-be chain of command system is the primary means of Godly character development. Wrongfully suffering (which must never be challenged) provides for the acquisition of spiritual power for resisting sin [which the treat like a PacMan game], and rejecting submission to authority results in direct punishment from God in this life and the next. 

This same potential destruction for rebelling will also be experienced by those who are under the care of the rebel (the children of a wife who takes her children and leaves an abusive husband). I prefer to call the Umbrella of Protection Doctrine the "Chain of Punishment," while others call it the Umbrella of Oppression.