prairie muffin translation request

OK, I’m sitting here at the computer, and I’m supposed to be working, but instead, I’m scurrying around the internet looking for so-called Prairie Muffin blogs. Well, I just found one, and now I’m trying to figure out what I’ve gotten myself into… OK, here’s a quote. Please, if you can, tell me what it means… For those of you who don’t know, Prairie Muffins are women “who choose a quiet life, diligently pursuing (their) biblical role as women.” That, among other things, seems to mean having lots of intercourse, staying pregnant as often as possible, and raising/home-schooling exceptionally large, fundamentalist Christian families… OK, here’s the quote that I need help with.

“A Christmas Carol” is a very nice story, but the moral of Christ’s birth is not turning over a new leaf; it’s God declaring victory in the battle over His enemies and crushing the head of the serpent. He won the victory by His incarnation, His obedient life and His death and resurrection. But, as R.C. Sproul, Jr. says, the mop-up operation is still taking place.

So, Prairie Muffins, be warlike women, fighting the battle you are given to fight. Any good soldier knows how important it is to follow the General’s orders and that chaos ensues if the soldiers abandon their posts. Stick to your posts and follow your marching orders.

Joy to the world.

OK, maybe it’s just me, but does it sound as though the blue states are about to be attacked? (Is this like when Mohamed Atta sent the cryptic message about the “birthday cakes with sticks in them” to Osama bin Laden?)

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  1. Posted December 6, 2004 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    I’m not convinced that these “muffins” can endoctrinate 10 children apiece.

    Is it a foregone conclusion that litters of red-state kids will all warm up to the GOP after growing up in a cultural wasteland?

    Ari Fleischer, for example, fell quite a ways from the tree. What are the odds of these quiver kids growing up to be smarter than their parents? Based on what I’ve read, I imagine the likelyhood is very high.

    The right Eminem or Marilyn Manson record at the right time can probably undo about 10 years of homeschooling in a matter of hours.

    Mark, as long as there are cities, the kids will have an escape from their parents christian dogma.

  2. mark
    Posted December 7, 2004 at 4:55 am | Permalink

    I understand your point, Steve, but, to use your own example, Ari Fleischer’s parents raised him in a Democratic home, not in a cult. While I don’t doubt that some of these kids will make it out into the real world to become well-adjusted and productive artists, homosexuals and scientists, the reality is that most won’t. Sure, some acorns fall a little farther from the tree than others, but these trees we’re talking about are huge, and they’ve got a serious gravitational pull. I would contend that it would take more than Eminem to transplant them… As for this quote I posted, I really would like help understanding it. I’ve never heard the story of Jesus’ birth told as the “crushing of the head of the serpent.” This isn’t mainstream stuff we’re talking about here, is it?

  3. mark
    Posted December 7, 2004 at 4:59 am | Permalink

    I should add, in case the Prairie Muffins trace a link back here, that I am in no way suggesting that they shouldn’t be able to have large families and worship as they see fit, given that it doesn’t effect the lives and civil rights of others. I am merely trying to understand what motivates this movement…. etc.

  4. Jim
    Posted December 7, 2004 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    The militant language is nothing new. Remember “Onward Christian soldiers, marching as to war….”

    Much of the language of the “Manifesto” is Calvinist (e.g. “our chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever”) and R. C. Sproul is a well-known Presbyterian Evangelical minister and author.

    My favorite part of the Manifesto is thesis #19, which points out the “latent humanism and feminism” in the stories of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Louisa May Alcott.

    A quick comparison of the blog of Prairiemuffin1 with that of her son Pumpkinhead (
    suggests that Steve is right; the minimuffins may be smarter than their folks.

  5. Jim
    Posted December 7, 2004 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    One more thing: Pumpkinhead supports the Constitution Party and opposes the war, and Prairiemuffin1’s blog has a link to this ( Christian anti-Bush site. So I wouldn’t look to sites like this to understand the new Evangelical Republican right.

  6. Posted December 7, 2004 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    Is it a hoax?

  7. stella
    Posted December 7, 2004 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    In the week following the election other than going to work i hid under the covers and re-read 12 Alcott books, I emerged finally thinking “OK I can somehow attempt to relate to christians” as the points of her novels are generally- honesty, kindness, gentleness, compassion, serve the poor as best and as much as you can, generousity, education for all, and generally leave the world better for your presence, type thing. Of course it was, cuz she hung out with people like Emerson and Thoreau. Not people like Robertson and Falwell.
    I dont remember hearing about Jesus ever saying ” Im crushing your head, you serpent you, crushing it”
    They have the light of god mixed up with the Kids in the Hall or something, I think that must happen when your deepest convictions come from TV

  8. Ken
    Posted December 7, 2004 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    She wants a tank, fer crissake! Can you imagine Jesus rolling into town in a tank instead of his humble donkey? It’s a battle for hearts and minds, baby!

  9. Posted December 7, 2004 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    I know this will be absolutely no help to you whatsoever Mark, but when I finished reading that all I could think of was “Muffin Stuffin'”

    I always thought that Prarie Muffins were the same as cow droppings. It’s not something I would want to call myself, that’s for sure. Assuming I was a country woman with a cottage full of kiddage. Which I’m not.

    One more observation, for God to have won victory over “His enemies and crushing the head of the serpent” by “His incarnation, His obedient life and His death and resurrection.” it almost sounds like he won a divine bar bet. “So Serpent, you think you’re hot stuff because you can tie a cherry stem into a knot with your tongue? Wait ’til you see what I can do! Bitch!”

  10. Posted December 7, 2004 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    When I lived in South Carolina I saw a bit of the underlying militant, disguised as Christian, attitudes being taught to kids. My son had a friend who, in confidence, told me some very disturbing things about how the south would rise again. He was about 12 at the time. He went into detail about the hoarding of arms, the intent to keep the Confederate flag flying, the racism, the plans his father’s group of friends were making, all because it was gods will.
    He was an only child, if I recall correctly, but his mom was very deeply rooted in her religion. She also had the same attitudes.

    I have no idea what his attitude is today. I wish I did. I tend to think he joined his dad’s army.

  11. Posted December 7, 2004 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    10 CHILDREN???? DEAR GOD!!! I could only read the first one, Mark. It gave me the willies. I think I’m going to impersonate an ostrich (can you impersonate an animal/bird?) for the next four years, or at least, only read the fun posts about Clementine!

    Collin – you made me laugh at your perceived definition of prairie muffin, because I think I had heard that too.

  12. Posted December 7, 2004 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    I can talk a little to the militant side of christianity from the recoverin-catholic perspective.

    In the courtyard behind our gradeschool was a statue of Mary standing on a serpent, one bare foot “crushing” it’s head.

    I’m fairly certain that this symbolizes how Jesus’ birth was key in crushing satan. Of course catholics are more interested in mary than the other christians.

    It seems to me that the protestants have adopted much of the militarism that never left the catholics. This is odd because it’s one of the reasons for Luther’s 95 thesis in the first place. (I digress)

    I know each type of mary statue has a different name describing it’s type. In this case it was Mary Queen of Victory. (I think). There’s others like Mary, Queen of Perpetual Sorrow etc.

    Of course this carried into all our sporting events. In high shcool we’d say the lord’s prayer before football games on the sideline and at the end, a captian would shout, “Mary Queen of Victory”, and the rest of us would shout in football staccato, “Pray for us”. It’s still kinda creepy sounding at homecoming.

  13. Posted December 7, 2004 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Steven – I thought that Mary standing on the head of the serpent was to show that thanks to her and Jesus we can beat the serpent who tricked Eve – or something like that. I’ll try to remember to ask Fr. O on Sunday. And I had to laugh at your Football Victory Yell. Hell, I went to Catholic schools for 12 years and I’m pretty sure our football teams never yelled that. Sounds like something you’d find in a parody movie.

  14. Tony Buttons
    Posted December 7, 2004 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    It reminds me of something my grandpa used to say. He used to always say, “You haven’t been laid till you’ve been laid by a mother of seventeen.”

  15. Chelseatheinfidel
    Posted December 7, 2004 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Do you know how absurd all fundamentalism looks to an atheist?

  16. Posted December 7, 2004 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Chelsea, no more abusrd than phrenologists, psychics, and alien abductees. I’m greatly entertained by people who still believe in magic.

  17. Brett
    Posted December 7, 2004 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    The serpent has always been my favorite biblical character. I’m personally offended that this so-called, self-titled ‘muffin’ would even discuss crushing it.
    The serpent is a god-fragment. Jehovah is Satan. Fruit from “The tree of knowledge” is WHAT WE ARE SUPPOSED TO FUCKING EAT.
    Every good gnostic knows this. Duh.

  18. mark
    Posted December 7, 2004 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    So, when she tells the other bonneted goodies in the Muffin Army to “stick to (their) posts and follow (their) marching orders,” what is she talking about? Is there something more to this movement than sex, subservience, perpetual pregnancy and raising true believers, or is that all she means?

  19. Brett
    Posted December 7, 2004 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    i think their marching orders are just to maintain pure subservience. I think when she says ‘stick to their posts’, well, ‘get stuck with his post’, you get the idea.
    Mark, i hate to say it, but are you secretly hoping that a huge group of women in ankle-length flower-printed dresses with baby in one arm and uzi in the other are about to launch a full-scale assault on the northeast?
    I mean, I’d like to see that too, sure, who wouldn’t? But it’s turning into an unhealthy fetish. I suggest you keep concentrating on more wholesome things like your orgasm ray gun.

  20. Brett
    Posted December 7, 2004 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    BUT if they do attack, and your orgasm ray gun had, say, a ‘female’ setting, then you would probably become the most celebrated man of his generation ( and, considering the attention their husbands pay them, also among prairie muffins).

  21. Posted December 7, 2004 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    Here here!

  22. The Boss
    Posted December 7, 2004 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    OK so I took a break from reading resumes for a position I need to fill and came over here to to catch up on the musings of our friend Mark. I click over and read a little about Prairie Muffins. I learn a new term. It’s amusing. I go back to the cover letters and the first one I read contains the following:


    Please consider me for the position that you posted on craigslist on November 29. Here is a summary of the skills and experience I have that suit me for this job. Please let me know if you would like any additional information.

    But first, a brief digression: I would actually prefer that you hire someone else — my husband, Xxx Xxxxx, whom I feel is slightly better qualified for this position. He will send his e-mail right after mine.


    WTF!?! Do I have a Prairie Muffin on my hands? Are they allowed to work? Or do you think she’s just trying to get her husband’s name in front of my eyes one more time (he also applied.)

    The invasion has begun. Suddenly, everywhere I look, Prairie Muffins!!!

  23. Posted December 8, 2004 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    I’ve never heard of anything lik that.

  24. Posted December 8, 2004 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    The Boss – that is seriously f***ed up…do not hire either of them, as they are probably certifiable!!!!! Is HE more qualified than her? Perhaps his ego has taken a few hits lately and she’s trying to help him out by pushing him forward? I can’t even imagine what is going on here!!!

  25. Posted December 8, 2004 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Prairie muffins can’t work because they have to teach homeschool. Her husband probably lost his job at the mine and now they’re desperately searching for a way to feed their 14 children.

    You could refer them to FOX

  26. Rachel
    Posted February 13, 2005 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    Interesting comments.

    You wanted someone to help you understand. Well, here you go.

    You all have obviously not read the Bible all the way through. No wonder you don’t understand. No, it isn’t a military battle as in a physical war and has nothing to do with the South. It’s a “spiritual battle”. I was a little surprised by the “manifesto” myself. I wouldn’t want to call myself a “Prairie Muffin” either. That’s her own personal deal… not anything that the church came up with. But, I understand what she’s talking about. It isn’t a movement… just a bunch of women who want to help their husbands reach their full potential by being the best wives and mothers and supporters and managers of the home that they can be. There’s nothing scarey about it.

    Why get upset because someone else wants to live their own life by their own views in a way that is harmless to anyone else? You have the right to live your lives… so do I… so should they, even if their lives seem strange to us. That’s what being an American and having the rights we have is all about.

    Explanation (whether it makes sense to you or not)… Here’s what that means:

    1. Satan is the serpent. He caused Adam and Eve to sin in the Garden of Eden, resulting in them being seperated from God because He is pure and holy and cannot “look on sin”.

    2. Crushing the Serpant’s Head… Because of the sin, a penalty had to be paid. But, God didn’t want man to pay the penalty so He sent Jesus Christ, His Son, to earth to take on human form, live a perfect and sinless life, and then die for everyone’s sin as the perfect, sinless sacrifice… “buying” them back. Anyone accepting Him would be “free” from having to pay that sacrifice themselves.

    If He had just died, that would have been pointless. He rose again… thus “crushing the serpant’s head”. That means that he won the spiritual war that Satan started. Because Christ had victory over death, Satan lost… his “head was crushed”. According to the Bible, the battles are still going on for individual souls (which is why the church tells people about “salvation” in accepting Christ’s death and resurrection as the payment for their sin), but the overall war was already won when Christ rose again (thus the Easter celebration).

    Thank goodness that America gives us all the freedom to live the lives and believe the beliefs that we do.

    Best wishes to all of you. I don’t know if this explanation helped or made everything seem even weirder. Dare you to actually pick up the Bible and read it! :-)

  27. Posted February 14, 2005 at 12:19 am | Permalink

    “You all have obviously not read the Bible all the way through. No wonder you don’t understand.”

    Scofield? King James 1611? LXX? Roman Catholic? Which bible is the real inspiried word of god?

  28. mike
    Posted February 14, 2005 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    Rachel , excellent post.

  29. Rachel
    Posted February 14, 2005 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Which version is the “ispired Word of God?” Good Question (even if I’m not sure if it’s sincere or sarcastic). Evidently the King James and the NASB (New American Standard Bible) are the closest interpretations of the original Hebrew and Greek. The King James is hard for me to understand because it’s in old English. So, try the NASB.

    But, I’m not an expert, by any stretch of the imagination, so am not the best person to ask. That’s an entirely different conversation. :-)

    I just think it’s important to understand the “other side” before shredding them apart. That’s what’s wrong with our world. People are too easily drawn to putting down anything they don’t understand. The answer? Try to understand it by, at the very least, reading and becoming educated about it. When I do that, then I feel like I can at least talk somewhat knowledgeably about it, even if I don’t agree with everything.

    Take a chance… everyone do your own homework! I did. I found an interesting theme going throughout the Bible from the beginning to the end.

    (I still would NEVER want to be called a Prairie Muffin, but all the more power to anyone who takes a stand for what they believe.)

  30. Posted February 14, 2005 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    I just think it’s important to understand the “other side” before shredding them apart.

    Rachel, why do you assume that nobody here understands the “other side”? Many of us were raised in religious homes and still others went to parochial school.

    I know the bible better than many christians yet I am an Athiest. I don’t believe in god, I don’t believe in symathetic magic.

    The point I drive at with the “which bible” question is that people disagree which version is “right”. They even argue about which commandments are part of the ten. So who are we to trust? Which christian faction has the story right?

    Of course people have the right to belive in anything they like. They can believe in god, that the moon is made out of cheese, or the earth is flat and 8000 years merely old. This doesn’t make them right.

    The prarie muffins (and yourself) have the freedom to form and believe in militant christian manifestos, and we have the freedom to say anything we like about them.

  31. brett
    Posted February 14, 2005 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    I would strongly recommend this site:

    which allows full text search of the Bible, and provides the ability to instantly switch between 19 different english versions, to compare how specific passages are translated differently.

    That site does not appear to have anything related to such ancient texts as the Nag Hamaddi or ‘Dead Sea Scrolls’, however, which are in the Gnostic ‘flavor’ of Christianity and, as i said above, interpret the parable of the serpent in an absolutely opposite manner.

  32. Margie
    Posted February 19, 2005 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    The battle she is referring to is not a battle of flesh and bones, but a spiritual battle. Jesus talks of it in the Bible. It is a metaphor. The Bible also talks about putting on the whole armour of God. The sword is the Word (Bible) The shield is Faith. These are all word pictures or metaphors. I will add the one comment is correct, do not group these ladies with the right evangelicals..

  33. Posted April 12, 2005 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    Various things after reading the comments:

    1. “Which Bible is the right one/inspired one” seems like a good question, but ultimately it is nothing but a red herring. (sorry :-) Verbal plenary inspiration model is not the ONLY way to treat the Bible reverently.

    ALL reasonable current translations (and paraphrases) are inspired, and all of them have some advantages and disadvantages. Some are more ‘literal’, trying to capture the word-for-word translation, some try to translate thought-by-thought, some try to give as full explanation as possible, some try to paraphrase the biblical text in contemporary terms.

    Personally, I recommend reaing AS MANY of the translations as possible if you are serious about studying the Bible. Pretty much ALL of these translations will tell you the same thing: love God, love your neighbour as yourself, be humble, admit you need God’s grace and ask for it, treat all people with respect, be kind to everyone, forgive those who hurt you, have faith, work well, lead a peaceful life, be a part of community, trust God, and so on. If they tell it in different ways – it really is not THAT big a deal – even the Bible itself (in the original language) tells the same thing in a number of different ways.

    2. A former fundamentalist, I am now a feminist, and still a Christian (a “post-evangelical” one). Personally I take sexual equality for grante, and I would not want the lifestyle of prairie muffins for myself. However, I fully support the right of women to choose this sort of lifestyle for themselves. While I have not met prairie muffins personally, I know a number of women like them. They will be aggressive an forceful defending their beliefs, and their lifestyle (not with guns, but with words and KJV bibles) – but they are also capable of great compassion and kindness. They will be obeient to their husbands even if it hurts them personally – unless they think this obedience violates a higher moral or ethical law (i.e. a child’s safety, for example). And yes, they have brains and minds of their own – they just hold different opinions from ours.

    Ultimately, in my opinion, prairie muffins neendn’t be feared, over-analyzed, or stereotyped. They are normal harmless human beings with beliefs different from ours – and that’s all there is to it.

    3. Finally, the “legal atonement” (or military atonement) model of redemption (Jesus crushing satan) are not the only ones available out there. Consider this model, most popularly known as the ‘moral model’:

    God’s attitude towards people haven’t changed – he loved us even BEFORE Christ died for us. What Christ’s death did is re-enact God’s love and forgiveness in the flesh for us. Christ’s death was humanity’s worst hour and God’s best hour. What it DID change is OUR attitude towards God, enabling us to receive forgiveness. This was the defeat of evil.

    Is this model incomplete? Sure. However it shows yet another aspect of redemption, in addition to the two models that were brought up here previously.

    4. Many people bristle at the military language of the Bible – and I think that is due to the fact that the military language of the Bible has been misused by Christians so much. When Jesus and Paul used the military symbolism they did it in a whimsical kind of way – “Sword of the word of God” – a word is not a sword! “Helmet of Slavation” – but salvation won’t protect your head from being smacked! Breastplate of righteousness – but being righteous won’t protect you from being stabbe with a sword (the real one). The point is – they used military language to emphasize how the battle is taken into a different realm. It’s not about winning empires. It’s about winning people. It’s about fighting against evil (poverty, illness, hatered, etc.). “Death will die” – how’s that for paradox? The call is to lay down the weapons of the world and take up the spiritual weapons – it’s a call to radical way of peace. : )

  34. Meta
    Posted March 16, 2012 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    A new article on how homeschooling is giving us a generation of illiterates.

    While the practice of homeschooling is new to many people, my own interest in it was sparked nearly 20 years ago. I was a socially awkward adolescent with a chaotic family life, and became close to a conservative Christian homeschooling family that seemed perfect in every way. Through my connection to this family, I was introduced to a whole world of conservative Christian homeschoolers, some of whom we would now consider “Quiverfull” families: homeschooling conservatives who eschew any form of family planning and choose instead to “trust God” with matters related to procreation.

    Though I fell out of touch with my homeschooled friends as we grew older, a few years ago, I reconnected with a few ex-Quiverfull peers on a new support blog called No Longer Quivering. Poring over their stories, I was shocked to find so many tales of gross educational neglect. I don’t merely mean that they had received what I now view as an overly politicized education with huge gaps, for example, in American history, evolution or sexuality. Rather, what disturbed me were the many stories about homeschoolers who were barely literate when they graduated, or whose math and science education had never extended much past middle school.

    Take Vyckie Garrison, an ex-Quiverfull mother of seven who, in 2008, enrolled her six school-age children in public school after 18 years of teaching them at home. Garrison, who started the No Longer Quivering blog, says her near-constant pregnancies – which tended to result either in miscarriages or life-threatening deliveries – took a toll on her body and depleted her energy. She wasn’t able to devote enough time and energy to homeschooling to ensure a quality education for each child. And she says the lack of regulation in Nebraska, where the family lived, “allowed us to get away with some really shoddy homeschooling for a lot of years.”

    “I’ll admit it,” she confesses. “Because I was so overwhelmed with my life… It was a real struggle to do the basics, so it didn’t take long for my kids to fall far behind. One of my daughters could not read at 11 years old.”

    At the time, Garrison was taking parenting advice from Quiverfull leaders who deemphasized academic achievement in favor of family values. She remembers one Quiverfull leader saying, “If they can do mathematics perfectly but they have no morals, you have failed them.”

    Read more:

  35. Christian Discipline
    Posted June 24, 2013 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    “Ever thought a marriage set strictly within the boundaries of Christian scripture sounded a bit dry? Think again. Christian Domestic Discipline (CDD) is the practice of ensuring a Christian relationship is being conducted exactly the way God demands in the scripture: namely through a husband spanking his wife’s naked posterior when she gets unruly.

    When you can get the image of Ned and Maude Flanders in a compromising position out of your dirty little mind, it is important to note that CDD is apparently quite the craze within the bible-bashing community. But what is it? Is it a form of BDSM? A bit of kinky fun in the name of God? Or is there something a bit more sinister going on here?

    Websites and forums abound, teaching you how to spank your wife in a controlled manner, with huge numbers of articles on the hows and the whys, aimed at both the plank-wielding husband, and the wife with the sore behind. The first thing to note is that the spanking is done solely by the man. Women are expected to take their ‘punishment’ and learn to be totally submissive to the man of the household, who is merely trying to correct her behaviour in the eyes of God.

    Whilst this sounds somewhat abusive, it is supposedly framed in a context of Christian love, and perhaps naturally, sex (although this is not generally specifically promoted in the literature). The spanker should never act in anger, according to this guide for beginners, and especially given the bulk of spankees blogging about their positive experience with CDD, it is supposed to be strictly consensual.”

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