If you don’t look into the Duggar lifestyle that closely, it seems sort of adorable. Babies everywhere! Sisters sharing a Madeline-style dormitory! Modern modest! Enter the Quiverfull movement. The Duggars – and their whole movement – are like an onion. If you peel back enough layers, you’re going to want to start crying. Hey, it can’t all be calico dresses and alliterative baby names.
Quiverfull is a branch of Evangelical Christianity that advocates having as many children as possible, “Biblical patriarchy,” keeping moms at home, homeschooling, modesty (read: terrible dresses), a husband’s “dominion” over his wife, and long hair for ladies. They think dinosaurs lived with people. They think modern music is unconscionable- even modern Jesus music (I think most modern Jesus music is unconscionable too, but that’s on grounds of taste). They believe in Courtship, not dating. They don’t even call it ‘going a-courtin’,’ which is a real shame.
Quiverfull is in the news this week because prominent Quiver-filler (?), Doug Phillips, had an affair, and now one of the biggest Quiverfull organizations, Vision Forum Ministries, has crumbled as a result.
Fortunately, Vision Forum’s for-profit catalog is still alive and kicking. VF has great merch – and I don’t say that lightly. I grew up Catholic, and not to brag, but we really have the market on religious merch cornered — medals, statues, scapulars, car charms – you want it, we sell it. Vision Forum (RIP) comes in a close second though. You may be grateful that you’re not a Duggar, but look at the accessories you’re missing out on!
I don’t know what this has to do with raising Godly young men, but combining Nerf with The Hunger Games with junk food is genius.
All-American Boy’s Crossbow
The website quite literally suggests shooting squirrels with this, so I guess you could buy this and do that? This bow is good for “target practice” and “developing hand-eye coordination.” Oh, how I love the VF copywriters!
Climbing Set (Grappling Hook, Claws, and Boot Spikes)
I would have flipped over this when I was … not a boy. Never was a boy. Dammit. My favorite copy-writer says “Best yet, it is rated to over 300 pounds,” so this is also okay for an adult or an enormous child.
There are so many tools of war (toy tools of war) in the boys’ section, it’s hard to know what to pick. It’s also hard to know exactly how these are supposed to relate to Jesus’s message of peace and all that, but I’m not a theological scholar. Copy guy (I’m assuming guy because, you know, job) says “Our Frontier Tomahawk can be thrown into a wooden target or used as a camp hatchet. The cutting edge of forged steel is 3″ deep and may require additional sharpening.” The text is followed by a disclaimer that this is not a toy, and then an image of an unsupervised 6-8 year old boy in a coonskin cap about to throw the instrument of death across the prairie.
American Mothers Doll Dress Set
We grew up on the American Girls Collection, not American Mothers, but Vision Forum is all “cut to the chase, bitches.” Is Abigail Adams big among the fundamentalist homeschooling set? Or like, with children in general maybe? Learn something new every day.
Again, the copy writer really shines here. “Your daughters will spend countless blissful hours of “mommy practice” as they care for their little playmates.When a girl plays with a doll, she is preparing to be a mommy someday.” By that logic, when I was playing with dolls as a child, I was preparing to be the world’s worst hairdresser someday.
Dayspring: Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
This book is written by a 13-year-old, so I won’t go too hard on it. It’s about how fetuses are people too, and if I had read this book as a small child, there is a 100% chance that I would have gotten myself sterilized by now. From the author – describing Dayspring, the title character, an embryo: She talks and eats, she experiences feelings such as disgust, excitement, dizziness, and even smugness. Also, she is already developing her talent of gymnastics.
YIKES, y’all. Babies? I like babies. They’re like adorable, incontinent people. But pregnancy sounds scary enough without thinking that the child that’s leaching your calcium stores also feels smug about it. And a gymnast? The only reason a smug gymnast should be in your abdomen is if you ate McKayla Maroney (which also wouldn’t be okay). Also, where did that fetus get hair ties to do those pigtails? No wonder she’s so smug – she’s Rosemary’s freakin’ Baby.
The Person I Marry
Highlights from the blurb: “Children are constantly thinking about marriage” (for real, I’m in my late 20s and the only time I think about marriage is at weddings); “The Person I Marry is a beautiful picture-book and discussion-starter for children about wisely choosing a spouse someday” (shouldn’t we maybe just stick to useful childhood topics like How Not To Get Kidnapped or Stoves are Hot?).
Christian Controversies – Pilgrims vs. Indians
This CD is subtitled Racial Genocide or Biblical Dominion in Colonial New England? I think I can guess what side this one’s going to come down on. It’s like when a news teaser says “Is this the rainiest September on record? Find out at 11!” And you’re like, damn straight it’s the rainiest September on record, otherwise you wouldn’t be bringing this up. Although, in Vision Forum’s defense, if the Native Americans had had guns this never would have even happened.
I Dig Dinosaurs
I’ll defer to my friend the copy writer again: “In I Dig Dinosaurs you’ll load up onto a single-engine plane with dinosaur researcher and entertainer Buddy Davis and fly to the badlands of Montana. It’s a remote place, where the enormously powerful waters loosed during Noah’s Flood scoured the earth and left behind a tangled mess of fish, dinosaurs, plants, and more.”
Remember the story about Noah? One of the main things about Noah was that he was a human. You heard it here first, guys: people and dinosaurs coexisted, until dinos got wiped out in the flood (along with those poor unicorns).
* Photo credits go to Vision Forum. Despite the fact that Vision Forum Ministries is caput, you can still buy. I’ll admit it – if you are cool with giving money to these folks, some of the wacky violent warmongering boy toys would be sort of fun Christmas gifts.
6 thoughts on “A Quiverfull of Creepy: Inside The Vision Forum Catalog”
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i know this is an old post but i just found it and i have to say, when my kids were in junior high i came across a VF catalog and ordered some toy. No big deal, but then we were on every fundy mailing list in america–no matter how far right or whacko a group was, they had our address now. Realizing that VF sold names to companies who thought we fit their demographic was an eye opener. when i read the Doug Phillips had gotten caught with his **** in the babysitter’s mouth i can’t say i was surprised.
The toys themselves were cool but crazy that they sold your info like that! Yeah, I wasn’t surprised either. Anyone who cares THAT much about what other people are doing is probably hiding a thing or two!
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