Thursday, December 12, 2013

Triggered Watching....

....or Dislike the idea but love the person.

The last few days have been highly triggering for me, putting me back in a not nice place involving my history with QF and the internet.

Why? Because I'm witnessing a large group of people openly harassing someone I've quoted in No Longer Quivering's 'Quoting Quiverfull' feature over her pregnancy problems.

Zsuzsunna Anderson, the author of the blog "Are They All Yours?", wife, mother, sharer of a very similar first name as I. She's from Germany, a place I came to deeply love during my years living there as a military wife.

She's having maternal twins, and has discovered that her twins have a condition known as TTTS -  twin to twin transfusion syndrome.

Mrs. Anderson is a Quiverfull adherent and something of a fundamentalist. I've been reading and following her blog for quite some time now, quoting it occasionally to illustrate some aspect of QF beliefs and actions. While I don't agree with her on many things about religion even as we're both Christians, I was heart sick to read her blog this week and find out that her twins are suffering from TTTS.

One of the big new things with me lately is gaining an ability to separate the person from the idea, love the person even when you think their beliefs might be wrong. As a result I have been able to look at things like the scandal with Doug Phillips and Vision Forum and feel bad for those affected, or to read about another mothers struggles and feel for her, know she needs positive support, not being torn down.

Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be many people that share the ability to look beyond the theology and see a living human being like themselves in need of support and love. Zsuzsanna is pinned between two very different, very critical groups of internet users that want mostly to impose their wills on her during this trying time.

I really should not be surprised at either group, the first group is upset that Zsuzsanna sought medical attention when it became apparent that things weren't going as planned. Yes, yes, the other Quiverfull Fundamentalist sold-out mommas are attacking her on message boards and on the comments of her blog. Many of them believe that medical intervention is like playing God, unnecessary and too close to idolatry. Which is too bad, didn't Jesus himself refer to physicians and sick people? Yes, yes he did.

The other thing they are objecting to is that Zsu not only consulted a physician but had a surgical procedure in an attempt to save both babies. For some reason I don't entirely understand some of them put this on equal footing as abortion, or as it's tidily named for this condition, selective reduction.

A personal decision. Really none of our business since none of us are in the exact same circumstances as Zsuzsanna. Who can say how they would decide if they were in that position. Her decision was to try and give both a shot at life. It was a brave one in my eyes. The kind a good mother makes.

At least she's not making the same decision that poor Carri Chmielewski made

Now that second group, they are part of what's triggering me about this entire thing. They are saying things on their board about how they hope that the Andersons twins are born with handicaps or deformities just so Zsuzsanna will realize how wrong it is to have a large family or be QF.

But that's just the thing that Free Jinger does. They pick apart fundamentalist bloggers and occasionally take it into real life to every ones detriment. One of my ever lasting regrets is in being involved with their board during the Carri Chmielewski pregnancy. None of us there did anything more than make an awful situation exponentially worse.

Makes me so sad that they seem so determined to punish Zsuzsanna Anderson instead of trying to understand where she is, accepting her and wishing for the best in this situation.

Why is that, do you think? Is looking down upon others and picking apart the deets of their lives done to make them feel better, superior to the poor schmoe they're trying to torment?

I am coming to the conclusion that in order for people to live in peace, receive the healing they need and make this world a better place we'd better all learn tolerance, how to treat others like human beings, develop empathy and love for our fellow man. Hate on ideas, not people.


  1. Little late here, Wishing them to be handicapped is awful and i know how FJ can be at times, but it's hard to pity any women who keep knowingly putting not only their lives at stake but the child's too. It isn't brave It's selfish to consistently birth babies who may not live. The constantly down other women who choose no kids or limit the numbers.
    Yea these women choose The thing is the kids don't choose this life let alone choose their life ot be public.When you make life public you must deal with the reaction.And in case you didnt know Quiverfull has no "you" It isnt about choice.

  2. I know all of that and I wrote that nearly 4 years ago. In a difference place now and would react very differently. I still think the harassment that flows out of FJ occasionally is unhelpful. What is helpful is to keep pointing out the wrong in their theology, which I will always continue to do. QF is legalism taken to its extreme. No 'you' in Quivering? Vyckie Garrison came up with that and it's on the NLQ masthead.