Daddy, daddy, you bastard

Amanda Marcotte reports that Mr Forced Marriage Retreat Guy has been trying to backpedal now that he’s getting all this unwelcome attention from The Internet.

Now Ohlman and his Quiverfull crew are feeling the heat. “Note: Contrary to vicious internet rumors we do not support or in any way condone child sexual activity of any sort, child marriage, or any other illegal activity,” his website reads at the top. “Nor do we support or condone forced marriages. We believe that parents should NOT seek a spouse for a child where that child has not actively sought for the parents to do so.”

There is reason to be skeptical of these disclaimers, however. The claim that the child is supposed “actively” seek marriage first, for instance, doesn’t comport with the rest of Ohlman’s website.

For instance, in his FAQ, Ohlman says that “when they are of an age where marriage is appropriate for them,” a child’s father “should agree with another father as to their betrothal”. Only after the fathers agree to the marriage, the father “should again go to his own child to assure himself of their integrity of purpose before announcing their new betrothed spouse to them.”

Daddy and Daddy get together and agree on the marriage and then tell it to the two children. Since the children have been raised to treat Daddy as a mini-God, that amounts to forced marriage. Saying No to Daddy is not an easy thing, given that raising.

The language is deliberately flowery, but the meaning is clear enough: Fathers decide unilaterally for children when they marry and to who. Ideally, while the children are still minors and have very little power to resist, to boot.

Just so, and especially given that they have been trained not to resist. They’ve never been to real school to learn from their peers that resistance is an option.

Also, Kansas has no age of consent for marriage provided the parents give permission. Daddy would give permission, so hey, why not marry off a girl of 12 if she has tits?

The cancellation of this event is a victory, but sadly, it’s a small one. The sad truth is there are  not enough safeguards in place to keep abusive religious fundamentalists like Ohlman and his followers from treating children like this. Yes, forced marriage is illegal, but we’re talking about minor adolescents here. The fact that they formally “consent” means very little, when they know that saying no is not an option.

These are kids who are usually homeschooled and kept separate from the rest of the world. They don’t have a lot of options if they reject their parents’ teachings: Few places to go, no real way to make a living. This event should be a wake-up call about how serious this situation is, and there needs to be more direct interference to keep these folks from pushing underage teenagers into arranged marriages.

Exactly. They’ve been raised to have no other options, so how are they going to say no to a marriage Daddy offers?

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