Former “Quiverfull" member: Biblical extremism is "downward spiral" that turns men into "a**holes"

"He’s trying his damnedest to fit into that box that God says he has to live in this way," Vyckie Garrison says

Published June 3, 2015 1:21PM (EDT)

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A former "Quiverfull" adherent who managed to escape the movement against her husband's wishes has developed some pretty cogent thoughts about evangelical extremism and Christian patriarchy: Both lines of thinking turn men into "assholes."

Vyckie Garrison, an evangelical-turned-atheist who previously associated herself with the religious movement made famous by the Duggar family, has become an outspoken critic of Quiverfull thinking, calling out the belief system's deeply ingrained sexism and subjugation of women. The founder of No Longer Qivering, a blog where she describes her experiences with evangelical extremism, Garrison recently elaborated on her views about Christian patriarchy in an interview with the Friendly Atheist -- and she got straight to the point about the level of indoctrination she believes Quiverfull followers experience.

"It’s a very gradual progression," Garrison explained. "You take one step and then the next one makes sense. And then you kind of have to do the next...It took a while, but we totally drank the Kool-Aid to the very bottom of the glass."

The former fundamentalist also said that in his efforts to conform to a more Biblical style of living, her then-husband became a harsher version of himself -- a trend she's seen among other evangelical men.

"It turns these guys into assholes," Garrison said. “What makes it really insidious is, as wives, we know in our hearts that this guy, deep down, he’s actually a nice caring, loving ... He’s trying his damnedest to fit into that box that God says he has to live in this way, he has to rule his home in this way. And so he’s trying, but it goes completely against the grain."

Garrison said she believes men behave in sexist or even cruel ways because they are faithful, and she emphasized the role religion plays in guiding their actions. "He’s doing it because ... this is right, this is biblical," she explained. "And the next thing you know, it just is this downward spiral..."

Listen to Garrison's entire interview with the Friendly Atheist below:

(h/t Raw Story)

By Jenny Kutner

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