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GenerationCedarchip

Prairie Muffin No More? Carmon Friedrich update

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GenerationCedarchip

I don't think these posts by Carmon Friedrich have been mentioned yet, but they are a fantastic read. Basically, it sounds like she has really been rethinking some of the strains of Christianity that she was involved with in prior years and talking about where that journey is taking her. Good stuff here. As someone who came out of fundie legalism, I can identify with some of what she said.

 

Here are the posts so far: visionarywomanhood.com/no-more-fake/

 

visionarywomanhood.com/no-more-fake-part-two/'

 

And yes, this is the Visionary Womanhood blog which used to host more than a little bit of VF-related crazy. I got curious and read over her blog and it sounds like she has really been rethinking some of her former stances and some of the bloggers she runs with.

 

I think it's heartening to see some folks starting to question the legalism and some of the extra-biblical beliefs they pushed on people for so long. However, I do wish they'd be a little more honest about it. It's one thing to just say, "Oh, I used to be a legalist but now I'm not." However, Natalie at Visionary Womanhood and others have totally scrubbed their blogs of old content, resource lists, etc... I think it would be more honest and probably even more powerful to keep that stuff up because it's one thing to hear someone say where they used to be and where they are now. It's quite another to be able to go back and see the journey out there in print. Seeing that journey in others was very inspirational to me when I moved away from the hardcore calvinistas and I think it might also help others. I can see where it might be a little cringeworthy but then again, who you were in 2008 is who you were in 2008.

Edited by OnceUponATime
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hoipolloi

Something must have happened in or to one or more members of the Friedrich family -- probably involving abuse of some kind, whether spiritual or sexual or both.

Carmon has come out swinging against the patriarses on FB, especially since the Doug Debacle. She has emphasized the need to speak out against abuse and to believe & support the victims.

ETA: Yes, sadly, two of their children were abused (visionarywomanhood.com/no-more-fake-part-two/):

4) We had to deal with the sexual abuse of a couple of our own children by a “Christian†relative. We hate that children are abused. I also want to help abuse victims and educate parents and churches, as this is a problem that is an epidemic, especially in churches.

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Four is Enough

Keeping old information and resources up on a changed blog might be misconstrued. People might think she still refers people to that stuff. I can see her point, taking it down.

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stonefruit
Something must have happened in or to one or more members of the Friedrich family -- probably involving abuse of some kind, whether spiritual or sexual or both.

Carmon has come out swinging against the patriarses on FB, especially since the Doug Debacle. She has emphasized the need to speak out against abuse and to believe & support the victims.

ETA: Yes, sadly, two of their children were abused (visionarywomanhood.com/no-more-fake-part-two/):

Yes, I followed her FB posts - seems like one of the children was her daughter, always referred to on the blog as "Gracie" and portrayed as a stereotypically-flaky blond, which annoyed me no end. At any rate, "Gracie" married a man who, I think, was affiliated with Doug Wilson's church ("church," I suppose) in Moscow, ID. "Gracie" has a blog, which I always struggle to find, in which she recently posted the ways in which she too has shed some of her past legalism (it included no longer disapproving of birth control, which: !!).

Really, really interesting stuff. In her Prairie Muffin incarnation, Carmon came off (to me) as haughty, meanspirited, condescending, and at times even willfully cruel. (And one of her sons would pick fights with commenters, just so incredibly rudely, and she would encourage him!) It will be interesting to see "the softer side of" Carmon, if that is actually what's coming!

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GenerationCedarchip
Keeping old information and resources up on a changed blog might be misconstrued. People might think she still refers people to that stuff. I can see her point, taking it down.

I can see that with the lists of resources, but taking down old posts with no explanation is a little different. That feels more like glossing over the past to me.

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DomWackTroll

Why can't I see the posts on her Facebook page? That's what I'm really interested in: the responses on FB and who they're from.

And no, I don't trust this woman as far as I can throw her. I have heard and seen SO much hatred and bitterness flow from her mouth and her pen. And even now, in this "I'm redeemed" post, she has to immediately get a little gay bashing in.

She reminds me a lot of the Coghlans, thinking herself so much more sophisticated than the ign'ant, un-Reformed Baptists with her wine and her swearing. Carmon, I don't give two flying fucks if you watch "Breaking Bad," you're still a stone cold BIGOT.

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stonefruit
Why can't I see the posts on her Facebook page? That's what I'm really interested in: the responses on FB and who they're from.

I think I remember her saying at some point that she was only making her FB posts about child abuse public. The rest of her account/posts/discussions are locked down.

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DomWackTroll

I also want to point out that Carmon's eldest, "prodigal" son Hans was a very strong-willed child who simply would not bend to her will, and despite what Carmon claims in this post, I think that psychodrama is still playing itself out. I really believe that one of the reasons that Carmon is still hanging on to her anti-gay-rights stance-- though it is in conflict with her alleged love of individual liberty-- is that she just can't stand to see Hans "win."

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stonefruit
I also want to point out that Carmon's eldest, "prodigal" son Hans was a very strong-willed child who simply would not bend to her will, and despite what Carmon claims in this post, I think that psychodrama is still playing itself out. I really believe that one of the reasons that Carmon is still hanging on to her anti-gay-rights stance-- though it is in conflict with her alleged love of individual liberty-- is that she just can't stand to see Hans "win."

Wait, where did she talk about The Gays in these posts? I missed it. (Is there some dogwhistle here that I don't know?!)

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DomWackTroll

Wait, where did she talk about The Gays in these posts? I missed it. (Is there some dogwhistle here that I don't know?!)

"The change is for the better, though some may not think so. Others who have suffered will be relieved that I am sharing this. It’s not so dramatic as now believing in civil unions or gay rights. Rosaria Butterfield’s book did have an effect on me and was part of this change, but not to embrace evil, unbiblical practices, which she was rescued from, praise God."

Change? Yeah, not so much.

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stonefruit
"The change is for the better, though some may not think so. Others who have suffered will be relieved that I am sharing this. It’s not so dramatic as now believing in civil unions or gay rights. Rosaria Butterfield’s book did have an effect on me and was part of this change, but not to embrace evil, unbiblical practices, which she was rescued from, praise God."

Change? Yeah, not so much.

Ah, so "Rosaria Butterfield" was the dogwhistle! (I've just googled her. Blech.)

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Want More Babies

She was Doug The Rapist Phillips editor! :lol:

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Four is Enough

evil, unbiblical practices[/b.

First time I read "Umbilical practices"... and thought, 'what are THEY?'... :pink-shock:

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DomWackTroll

I really am very open to allowing these people to change and grow, but that's not what I'm seeing here. Let's compare Carmon's case to that of Peter Bradrick:

1. Peter admits that he was not just a follower of the patriarchal system, but a leader who was guilty of spreading false teachings. Carmon portrays herself as a victim who had the wool pulled over her eyes, when in fact she was a driving force in the movement.

2. Peter expresses remorse for his own actions, while Carmon only talks about her "sadness" at what others have done.

3. We have proof of Peter's change: his name and info on the website of a "real" business; a photograph of him working with female coworkers; and the claim of a fellow FJ-er that he was willing to be an agent for a lesbian couple buying a home. Carmon, on the other hand, has decided to become a "Christian sex therapist"-- one who still believes that anything other than married, heterosexual sex is "evil and unbiblical."

No, I'm not saying that I think Peter will be dancing through the streets in a Pride parade any time soon. But I do believe it's quite possible that he has stopped doing harm to the gay community and other people whose lives are different from his. I don't see evidence of that in Carmon.

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GenerationCedarchip
I really am very open to allowing these people to change and grow, but that's not what I'm seeing here. Let's compare Carmon's case to that of Peter Bradrick:

1. Peter admits that he was not just a follower of the patriarchal system, but a leader who was guilty of spreading false teachings. Carmon portrays herself as a victim who had the wool pulled over her eyes, when in fact she was a driving force in the movement.

2. Peter expresses remorse for his own actions, while Carmon only talks about her "sadness" at what others have done.

3. We have proof of Peter's change: his name and info on the website of a "real" business; a photograph of him working with female coworkers; and the claim of a fellow FJ-er that he was willing to be an agent for a lesbian couple buying a home. Carmon, on the other hand, has decided to become a "Christian sex therapist"-- one who still believes that anything other than married, heterosexual sex is "evil and unbiblical."

No, I'm not saying that I think Peter will be dancing through the streets in a Pride parade any time soon. But I do believe it's quite possible that he has stopped doing harm to the gay community and other people whose lives are different from his. I don't see evidence of that in Carmon.

I agree with you that it doesn't sound like Carmon hasn't gone as far as some folks, but I think she's saying more than you're giving her credit for. The pieces are part of what looks to be an ongoing series but among other things she does acknowledge spanking and doing other things that hurt her relationships with her kids. Having grown up in fundie circles, it's pretty huge to see someone from that world talk about that publicly and not just within the church (and it's rare enough there.)

She's vague enough in her writing that I wouldn't even begin to try to pin down her beliefs, but it does sound like she's questioning things and is on her way out of some of the seriously hateful corners of fundie even if she is, religiously speaking, more conservative than most of us here at FJ. Both online and off, I also know that she's one of the voices out there speaking up for more accountability in how sexual abuse cases are handled within churches and the homeschool community as well as for the dignity of the victims. Given the attitudes I've seen in fundiedom and the fact that she was part of that early wing of the early homeschool movement that pretty much went to war with CPS and tried to debunk abuse stories, I see that as proof of a change even if it isn't as much change as you want. I'll be curious to see how much she and some of the other former big names in fundie circles continue to evolve. The shakeup at VF made some folks retrench, but a lot of people are starting to question some of what has been going on in VF and ATI-related circles and what direction they want to follow moving forward.

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hoipolloi

Used to read her now-defunct website/blog, Buried Treasure, back in the day and she was NOT a very nice person.

For details on her lack of nice-ness, go to this old FJ thread on Yuku: http://freejinger.yuku.com/topic/7516/W ... AdfwmRdXds

Apart from public statements about supporting victims of abuse and going after abusers, has she really changed at all?

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Escapefromfundiedom

I may react to this differently because I have a more direct connection but Carmon Friedrich's repudiation of many of the more awful ideas she used to preach is a pretty big deal. Especially knowing the type of people she used to be very closely entangled with...She might be one of the most high profile *older* person to vocally reject some (though not all) of the trappings of homeschool patriarchal fundamentalism. As someone who very much looked up to her when I was a young wife and a new mom, it means a lot to me to see her coming out of that world, even if I still disagree with some of her views.

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