The Homeschooled Christians Who Escaped

Kathryn Joyce, whose muckraking books about abuses within fundamentalist Christian circles are as frightening as they are illuminating, takes us inside the world of “The Homeschool Apostates” in the latest issue of American Prospect.

She profiles two daughters who broke free from their prison-warden-like parents:

The family’s isolation made it worse. The children couldn’t date — that was a given — but they also weren’t allowed to develop friendships. Between ages 10 and 12, Lauren says she only got to see friends once a week at Sunday school, increasing to twice a week in her teens when her parents let her participate in mock trial, a popular activity for Christian homeschoolers. Their parents wanted them naïve and sheltered, Lauren says: “18 going on 12.”

Her sister Jennifer had it worse. She was vegan, which pissed off her parents (because, you know, the Bible says God made animals so we could eat them).

Lauren and Jennifer eventually got away from their parents, thanks in part to a network of other former-homeschooled kids called Homeschoolers Anonymous.

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Makes Total Sense: Rep. Louie Gohmert Says If Atheists Want to Be Free, They Should Promote Christianity

Were he a faceless Internet commenter rather than a five-term member of the House for Texas’ first congressional district, the technical term for Louie Gohmert would be “troll.”

Here’s the man’s latest emission: If atheists wish to continue to be free to profess their unbelief in God, they must help Jesus flourish by encouraging Christians to worship. That’s because only Judeo-Christian values can guarantee atheists’ freedom to be godless jackasses Americans.

That, in a nutshell, is what Gohmert said on the floor of the House of Representatives on Thursday. Here’s the video, courtesy of C-SPAN and Mediaite:

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Catholic School Fires Veteran Teacher After He Decides to Get Married

Michael Griffin graduated from Holy Ghost Preparatory School in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. Later, he taught foreign languages at the school for 12 years. And on Friday, he was fired.

He didn’t do anything wrong. There were no problems with his teaching. He just decided to get married to his long-time boyfriend and the school wouldn’t accept it. Griffin briefly explained the situation on his Facebook page Friday morning:

Today I applied for a marriage license since NJ now has marriage equality. After 12 years together I was excited to finally be able to marry my partner. Because of that, I was fired from Holy Ghost Preparatory School today. I am an alumnus of the school and have taught there for 12 years. I feel hurt, saddened, betrayed and except for this post, am at a loss for words. If you’d like to share your words with my principal or headmaster, please do. or

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This Christian Group’s List of ‘Ingredients’ For Marriage Equality is Outrageous

Now that marriage equality has been signed into law in Illinois, the anti-gay-rights Illinois Family Institute is bored. Instead of redirecting their energy to a more worthy cause — like a political science class or maybe yoga — the nonprofit Christian ministry created a sloppy image attempting to satirize the state’s recent marriage victory.

Perhaps more than any other material they’ve ever produced, this graphic proves that IFI have no idea what they’re talking about. If this is the logic that guided their work, it’s no wonder they lost.

The fake label reads “Same-Sex Marriage: Emergency Energy for a Desperate Politician” and the product it’s selling is as like to convince you to oppose gay marriage as it is nutritious.

Here are their “ingredients” for same-sex marriage:

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Watch and Wince: A Black Atheist Filmmaker Asks His Family Uncomfortable Questions About Faith

Andre Oliver is a young filmmaker from Canton, Ohio who just finished his first autobiographical documentary, Stray From the Flock: The Story of a Black Atheist. It’s not a slick film, but it’s heartfelt and genuine. I think it’s going to stay with me for a long time, which is refreshing amidst so much polished but forgettable movie tripe.

Going by the old auteur’s adage to “write what you know,” Andre makes good use of his easy access to his own extended family. His uncles and cousins and nieces, and his mom, are all pretty comfortable in front of the camera, and they don’t hold back when Andre asks them probing questions about belief and non-belief. See for yourself (this is the whole 51-minute film, not just an excerpt):

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