A woman by the name of Calulu has posted a comment/response over on the blog 'No Longer Quivering' (great pun, by the way) to our new site and my article 'Little Miss Perfect'. I had a bit to say in response, and we are a new site and need content, so I thought I would respond here: Wow. What a great comment. No, seriously. For someone who comes from a completely different perspective this is good stuff. Very little adhominem, appeals to emotion, etc. Really gets at the heart of the issues that divide us.
Which needs to be kept in mind: we disagree. We don't disagree with the fact so much, as with our goals. She calls me a 'Quiverfull' article and says that what I propose is 'Quiverfull on hard core amphetamines'. And her goals and desires are, well, just the opposite: to destroy Biblical marriage and everything it stands for. That said, she shows that she understands much (not all) of what I am teaching. She sees the results it would have on 'our' part of the church: the end of fruitless celibacy, the marriage and prevention of 'old maids'. So it is left to me to fix some of the small errors that there are in her article.
Firstly she mentions the 'life expectancy' in the 'old days'. She says that if you are going to die young, then you obviously have to get married young. True enough... except she has her facts wrong. It is an easy mistake to make. Most people make it, even PhD's. You see, 'average life expectancy' does NOT mean how long the average person actually lives. It sounds like it, but it doesn't.
Let's take a society where eighty percent of the people live until age eighty. Then let's say that the other twenty percent die in infancy... at age zero. The 'average' life expectancy in such a society would be: 80 * 80 / 100... or 64. No one actually lived till they were sixty-four, but that is what the 'average' says. In reality, if you lived past infancy, then you lived until you were eighty.
Now take the exact same society with a little help in caring for their infants. Not cutting their umbilical cord with a rusty knife, for example. Let's say that now we have ninety nine percent of the population living until eighty, and only one percent dying in infancy. Now the 'average' age is seventy-nine. No one dies at seventy-nine, practically everyone dies at eighty, but that is the new 'average'.
So, in the case of a woman just wanting to live her life, and not caring how many children she brought into the world, it would make no more sense to marry young in the old days than now. Of course, there were other issues. She did want to have kids, wanted to have a husband, the divorce rate was practically zero (and that was when I was a kid!), you couldn't have sex except in marriage... so she got married young.
The second mistake she makes is in imagining this poor young couple struggling all by themselves to pay the bills, etc. This mistake makes a lot of sense; it just means she hasn't read that much of what I write. I write that one of the mistakes that our modern 'conservative' church has bought into is the divorce (pun intended) between a father and his son after marriage. Scripture never shows, or teaches, that the poor young couple needs to go form their own household, pay their own bills, eat their own cooking, etc. A man brings his wife back to 'His Father's House'.
The third mistake she makes, and this must result from her not being really cozy with a lot of quiverfulls, is in thinking that most of their sixteen year old daughters can't cook. My sixteen year old SONS can cook better than it sounds like she could. They are homeschooled, after all.
The last mistake she makes is in calling what I teach 'unpractical'. You see 'practical' is a word that can only be used in relationship to some given goal. War would be deemed 'unpractical' by her terms: the loss of life, the emotional cost, the financial cost, the destruction, the ruin of families, rape, etc. But, of course, war isn't 'unpractical' if one considers one's goal: conquering another country or avoiding being conquered. War has been going on for millenia and is in no danger of ceasing due to its impracticality.
I would like to close with a question. She states that my post 'Little Miss Perfect' is:
The best example on his site of the complete and total disconnect of his posit with the reality of our world and society in general ... This the same type of disconnect Fundamental Christianity has with present-day reality.
Which, I must say confuses me, especially as she doesn't follow up on that comment. So here is my invitation to her to come over here and enlighten me. What is she talking about? Or perhaps it would be best (since she will have a hard time with the membership requirements here) for her to post an answer over on her site and just let me know about it.
But, again, great comment, thanks for the link.
Written by: Vaughn Ohlman
Approved by: Jeff Woodward - In addition to the above, it is not clear what Calulu's objective standard is or if she even has one at all. She appeals to her own personal experience and that of a few others, but this is nothing more than mere empiricism. Any appeal to abstract thought or logic or morality will find no sure basis outside of some objective standard. Without an objective standard, there is absolutely no moral or rational basis for objecting to anything. Sure, we may have different preferences and ideals, but we can be no more dogmatic about these than we can about a preference for sci-fi movies or Chinese food. Certainly no one can ever hope to be “right” apart from an objective standard. But the other problem for those who suppose to know better than the Bible is that they have become a god unto themselves, deciding for themselves what is right and wrong. Eternal ramifications aside, this is a much more arrogant and aggressive position than to submit oneself humbly to the clear teachings of the Word of God.