Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Where Babies = Arrows

No Longer Quivering ( is a blog started last year by Vyckie Garrison and her friend Laura, with the goal to bring attention to the dark underbelly of the Quiverfull movement based on their own experiences. Since then, it has also become a place for other women to tell their own stories of living through (and making it out alive!) patriarchal and fundamentalist religion by appearing as guest bloggers. While Laura hasn't been able to be around much anymore, Vyckie is still posting updates to her story (part one starts here) while also working on writing her book.

Until hearing about this blog I had never heard of the term "Quiverfull", though after reading about it realized that I knew of two families who fit the description from my old days at church. The Quiverfull movement is basically a lifestyle adopted by hardcore evangelical Christians who make it a mission to breed as much as humanly possible, all for the glory of God. This is based on the Bible passage of Psalm 127:3-5 "Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate."

Not only are women expected to constantly be pregnant in their mission to collect as many "arrows" as possible... but men are also the leaders and God-appointed heads of their household, mediators between God and the rest of the family. So, basically the men rule with an iron fist because God said so and the women are to dilligently bow down, with a spring in her step and a smile on her face. As you might guess, this opens the door for some frighteningly abusive relationships. But that's not my story to tell, many in the community at NLQ are bravely doing that themselves.

This leads me to what is one of my favourite parts about NLQ - the community. Comments for each blog post are posted on their message board, which I think is what encourages the strong sense of community they have going on. There is a real mixed bag of people from all different religious (and non-religious) backgrounds with different points of view to bring to the table. And much like us here at Buttercup, the bulk of the community is made up of women of all ages, but with a few brave men taking part as well. Though I mostly just lurk and have yet to really throw my two cents into any discussions it's still one of my favourite parts about the site.

I first heard about No Longer Quivering back in April of last year from a post in a Live Journal community that I follow, calledDark Christianity. However, No Longer Quivering gained a lot of attention from an article on a month prior. Since then Vyckie has made a few television appearances, including a spot on the Joy Behar Show and being in an episode of The Secret Lives of Women.

You can follow Vyckie on Twitter:
And there's even a Facebook fan page here.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tasty Vulva Snacks

It's Love Your Vulva Month here at Buttercup so, logically, we're going to show you how to make edible vulvas (vulvae?). Now you too can eat pussy in the comfort of your own home!

For this recipe we decided to go with thumbprint cookies, but instead of a circle of jam in the center we modified the shape into a slit down the middle. Because I'm pretty much useless when it comes to working in the kitchen I enlisted the help of my fiance, Ronny, who works with baked goods for a living. I'm going to admit right now that if he hadn't been here to help me I would have given up part way through making the dough. Here's why:

I'm so awesome, I broke my dad's mixer.

There are a whole bunch of different recipes for thumbprint cookies out there and you can use whichever one you like best. I decided to go with the vegan recipe that I lifted off of Katie because it looked pretty simple, except I used regular milk and butter because that's what I had.

Thumbprint Cookies

1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup whole-wheat flour
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
¾ cup sugar
½ cup nonhydrogenated vegan margarine
¹⁄3 cup vanilla soymilk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. almond extract
1 cup seedless raspberry jam

1. Whisk together all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder, and salt in large bowl.
2. Beat sugar and margarine with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in soymilk, vanilla extract, and almond extract until combined. Beat in flour mixture until soft dough forms. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, and refrigerate 30 minutes, or overnight.
3. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, or spray with cooking spray. Roll dough into 1ı/2-inch balls, and place dough balls 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets. Press indentation in center of each ball with thumb.
4. Place jam in resealable plastic bag, close, and snip bottom corner with scissors. Squeeze jam into indentations in cookies. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until cookies are light brown. Transfer to wire rack with spatula, and cool.

Ronny and I might have had our proportions off a little as we ended up only making 1 sheet of 12 cookies and then using the rest of the leftover dough for a side project. We also probably should have flattened out the cookies a little bit because instead of taking the expected 12 to 15 minutes to bake it took about 20 minutes. Then again, we might not have actually needed to leave the cookies in to bake for quite that long. The insides of the cookies were nice and soft, almost kind of the texture of a scone or biscuit, but the outsides were just a tiny bit hard.

Once the cookies were out of the oven we carefully applied the cinnamon heart clits before the jam cooled so they'd stick. We let the cookies cool and moved them to a plate and, much to my amusement, the jam that had leaked over the edge of some of the cookies had cooled into place. I think it looks appropriate!

I think this is just one way to accomplish edible vulvas. If you had to get creative, how would you choose to make them?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Get Thee Behind Me Jesus

It was 2001. I was fresh out of high school but not yet deemed too old to continue attending the youth group at my church. Our youth pastor had partnered up with a couple in the area whose calling in life was to make mission trips to Mexico possible for as many teens and youth groups as they could. So a few fundraisers and prayers from the congregation later, about 20 teens from my youth group who had applied and been approved for the mission trip were ready by mid-March to hit the road with this couple, our youth pastor and one other adult leader. The couple piled all of us Pentecostal-indoctrinated teenagers into their bus and we spent two and a half days straight on the road reading our Bibles, singing campy songs about Jesus and studying the few phrases in Spanish that were handed to us in a small booklet printed in someone’s home office. To this day, the only thing I know how to say in Spanish is "Coca en bolsa, por favor," which is how you ask to purchase Coca Cola in a little plastic bag with a straw instead of paying the deposit on a glass bottle.

Now, one of the points to this mission trip was to hand out food and donated toys and clothing (which we had to smuggle across two borders) in the slums of Monterrey and to do nice things for needy people. However, the main focus was to get us out of our comfort zones and stretch our limits so we could go all-out for Jesus. This was supposed to test our faith and make us true "witnesses" for God. The point was to go door to door, tell people about how Jesus died for their sins and then get them to say the Sinner's Prayer, all in Spanish... and yes, even if they were already Catholic. Everything we did for people had religious spin to it. One of our days there was spent helping out at a nursing home for seniors doing various jobs for them. As an example my job was to help re-paint the dining hall. When we were done we set up chairs for them in the court yard and performed songs about Jesus in Spanish for the seniors, complete with accompanying hand actions. Picture the Happy Hands Club from Napoleon Dynamite. That was us.

When we weren't going door to door or singing songs for seniors, a lot of time was spent doing Bible studies and praying and singing songs of worship, which is an act that was often followed by people speaking in tongues and twitching on the floor crying if they were fervent enough in calling upon the Holy Spirit. Within the first day or two of us being there, about four people from our team had gotten sick with a stomach bug which was obviously the work of Satan and not because of the change in water or food at all. So this pumped up the amount of prayer and worship off the bat in an effort to ward off the effects of Satan who was clearly working overtime to thwart our mission to "glorify the Lord". Our leaders even pulled the sick out of bed so we could gather around them to lay hands and pray in tongues. Eventually, our fallen team members got better on their own after a day or two of rest.

The prayer didn't stop there, of course. On the bus ride home we were worn out from our gallivanting around Mexico being all Jesus-y and despite our hard work and being stretched to our limits emotionally and spiritually, our leaders had us up late and woke us up early to do more prayer and Bible study. We weren't allowed to relax because it was at that point in our voyage where we were the most vulnerable to Satanic attacks. This meant that we'd used all our energy fighting spiritual warfare for God in Mexico and now that we were out of "ammunition" this was where Satan was going to sneak in and try to steal us away, through laziness, possibly even leading to backsliding. So we weren't allowed to be tired, we were supposed to fight it. We would supposedly thank them later.

I wasn't always a Christian. Actually, I grew up quite oblivious to religion in general. My mother had somewhat of a casual religious upbringing as a child but my father is an atheist through and through so I was never really taught who Jesus was or anything about God, even after a friend in kindergarten asked me if I knew Jesus or if I went to church and I came home to question my parents about what that meant. As I got older I picked up phrases like "Oh my God!" and learned through other people what religion kind of was but never really connected with it. It wasn't until the summer just before I turned 14 when my mother went away to Ottawa to visit her brother and sister-in-law where they took her to a Benny Hinn crusade. She came back saved, healed of her alcoholism and convinced she was going to save our souls. To be honest, she freaked me out. I was glad to be free of my alcoholic mother but I didn't know which version of her was scarier. She kept telling us we were going to Hell and that the music I loved was evil and that my beloved John Lennon was in Hell, which pissed me off to no end.

Then one night that November my mother and a friend of hers invited me to what they said was a play, called “Heaven's Gates and Hell's Flames”. I didn't really want to go but I've always been a pushover so I let them talk me into it, despite saying “no” a few times. All the time I sat there thinking how lame the whole thing was. The entire play was scenarios of families or teenagers or old people going about their lives and then dying, where they'd get to the gates of Heaven to be either let in or turned away. The people who'd said the Sinner's Prayer got to be let in, the other people were turned away (no matter if they were the drug addicts or the "good" people that just didn't say the prayer) and then would be dragged off the stage by demons, kicking and screaming, into the pits of Hell. Oh yeah, they had the whole deal. Flashing red lights, fire made out of red and orange fabric, dramatic music, and the voice of Satan laughing. It was pretty awkward and I just wanted to go home. I was glad when it finally ended, but it turned out that it wasn't quite over yet. That's when they broke out the hymns. They had the pastor come up to the stage and ask if there was anyone there who wanted to come to the front and let Jesus into their heart so they could be saved. At the time I wasn't sure what to think. I didn't want to go to Hell, but I didn't want to do the "getting saved" thing either. The people my mother had become friends with were scary and weird, and my mother was unrecognizable and I was iffy about all that. That's when my mother's friend asked me if I wanted to go up. She sounded so excited, and I didn't have the guts to say no. The lady's niece was there that night, and she was going up to the front too, so I went. I remember thinking that maybe if I just did this, made them happy and then went home and forgot about it, it would be the easiest thing to do.

It's hard to describe what happened when I got up to the front, though. There was a funny feeling in my chest for some reason, whether it was the music or just the atmosphere in general. One of the volunteers came up to me and had me repeat the prayer after them, which I did and immediately started crying without even knowing why. I wasn't scared or upset or sad or anything. There was just this feeling that came over me and my hands felt jittery and I started crying. (It was later explained to me that some people apparently "experience" the Holy Spirit in different ways, whether it's laughing or crying or what have you.) They had me sign this little certificate saying that I had accepted Jesus, though I could hardly hold the pen steady because of the strange feeling. They gave me a little booklet of the Book of John to read and I think a pamphlet explaining what I had just agreed to. I went to church with my mother that Sunday, still unsure of what had just happened. I was met with fairly open arms by a few overly chipper people, and for a girl who went through both elementary school and high school practically invisible, I decided to stick it out.

The rest is history, baby. I spent the next 5 years going to a wacky Pentecostal church at least two or three times per week, joined the choir, was a leader for the youth group, was the president of the Christian after school group at my high school for a semester, and went on the mission trip to Mexico. I got completely hardcore Jesus-freaky and was in everyone's face about God all the time. That's what we had to do to prove our undying love for God. "Don't hide your light under a bushel" and all that. There was always this fear laid out that if you weren't constantly extreme and all-out for Jesus, you would somehow lose your salvation. So everything in my life revolved around Jesus, right down to my homework. My Ancient Civilizations essay was about Noah's Ark and my argument that the Great Flood really happened, one of my art class paintings was of a lamb wearing a crown of thorns and my English class poems were in homage to God. I was convinced that with all my efforts, maybe one of my teachers would "see the light" and feel this great calling to become saved all because of me. Remembering my high school days is actually quite humiliating now.

This obviously isn't who I am today. It's hard to really pin down where or when or how I reached my turning point. Ever so slowly, doubt had been creeping in. It was always there, I think. I just refused to acknowledge it because real Christians don't doubt, it looks bad and I was always more worried about what the elite inner-circle at my youth group thought of me. But somewhere along the line I started letting myself think.

Toward the end of high school I got a job in the mall that let me work full time hours once I graduated, which resulted in me missing a lot of church on Sundays. This did not go over well with a few of my peers, especially two of my supposed best friends, who started accusing me of turning my back on God. They were "concerned" and as such began to shun me. It hurt me to see how quickly they would turn on me and I started to back off a little. When I wasn’t working, I started opting to sleep in on Sunday mornings instead of go to church, which gave my brain room to start thinking again.

By the end of the summer before my 20th birthday I had entered a relationship with a boy. (GASP!) My previous experience with boys consisted of me pining from afar and then finding out that the boy of my dreams was in love with my friend instead so this was my first relationship ever. The only problem, he wasn't a Christian. We talked for long periods of time, often, and he would encourage me to think and make decisions for myself. He tried to encourage me to go back to church if that's what I really believed in, and I tried. Of course, me being "unequally yoked" with a non-believer had my peers in an outrage yet again so I gave up on church altogether. Nothing I did was going to be good enough and I didn't want to try anymore. I still clung desperately to whatever faith I had left for as long as I could but even that was drowned out by the growing bitterness that came with the realizations I was coming to about my religious peers.

I have since abandoned that bitterness (mostly) and instead decided to start living my life the way I want to, not for other people - real or imaginary. I stopped letting religion dictate what words I'm allowed to say, what music I'm allowed to listen to, who I'm allowed to hang out with, or what I'm allowed to do behind closed doors. They say that Christ sets you free, but since leaving that world behind I have never felt more free.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Help! Help! Help! Sunny and Blake need us!

So my friends Sunny and Blake entered this contest to win a Nissan Cube and they need us!

Sign up on to register to vote for them! It only takes a few seconds, really really. I don't sign up for things but this was easy, I'm tellin' ya.

Once that's done you can go to Sunny's page, and also to Blake's page, and you can vote for both of them. Just the click of a button (the little pink "Vote" button in the top right hand corner) and it's over with in seconds. It's so quick and painless that you can vote for both of them EVERY DAMN DAY if you wanna! I know I am! Woohoo!

I know they can do this! My cats know they can do it too. See?

Little Edie wants Sunny to win:

Bailey wants her to win too:
(The sign says "If Sunny wins a cube I promise to stop pooping in the sink".)

So yeah! Help my friends win a really cool car so that they can be more awesome and so they can drive me places.

P.S. On Blake's page you can listen to their daughter Madison sing a catchy little tune that she wrote herself, if that's not motivation enough to go check out their pages. :oD

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


This is me writing things! Wheeeee!!

Maybe one day I'll even make a real post. *thumbs up*