Religious Homophobia, Gay Youth, and Unconditional Love

Today I watched "The Bible Told Me So," a documentary about religion and homophobia. Two things struck me especially. The first was the section where Chrissy Gephart came out to her father, Dick Gephart, and the second was the absolute damage done to young gay and lesbians by religious homophobia and organizations like Focus on the Family.Here is the transcript of the section on Chrissy Gephart's coming out to her father, a prominent conservative politician. If you want to watch it in the … [Read more...]

Catholicism and My Desire for Beauty

I wrote several days ago about how I was attracted to Catholicism because it offered me infallibility immediately after my belief in the infallibility of the Bible had been shaken. A second reason I was attracted to Catholicism was the beauty and ritual it offered.The first Catholic mass I ever went to was Easter vigil. I went with some Catholic college friends because I was curious. Easter vigil begins at 9:00 p.m. the night before Easter and ends at midnight. It starts outside with a huge … [Read more...]

Catholicism and My Search for Infallibility

Some readers have asked that I write more about my experiences with Catholicism, what drew me to it and why I left. So I thought I'd write about the first thing that made me question Catholicism.The Catholic Church claims infallibility. This made sense to me when I was leaving a sort of fundamentalist evangelicalism, as I had just realized that the Bible was not, as I had been taught growing up, infallible, at least in any literal or straightforward sense. The Catholic Church says that the … [Read more...]

Vision Forum Catalog Covers

I just found this, a list of all Vision Forum catalog covers for the past fifteen years. I post it here because I think some of my readers might find it interesting. I'm not going to add comments - I don't have time at the moment - except to say, watch the use of history and the portrayal of gender. It's interesting to say the least. Click on the image to see a larger view of it.  … [Read more...]

Gender Blind Spots

Sometimes I think that being raised the way I was I notice things that others don't. Sometimes it seems like I see mainstream American society miming the beliefs of Christian Patriarchy in uncomfortable ways. It's like there are these damaging gender blind spots that no one notices and everyone buys into. Take, for example, Michelle Obama's recent email promoting her campaign group, Women for Obama.As I have traveled across the country, I have had the privilege of meeting incredible women … [Read more...]

Christianity, Sin, and Thought Crime

Growing up in a fundamentalist evangelical home, I had little chance to commit any serious sins. To some extent this didn't matter: I was taught that a sin is a sin is a sin, and talking back to your mother is just as bad in God's eyes as was murder. Practically, though, what sins I did commit - being mean to a younger sibling, not coming immediately when called, doing a chore sloppily - were rare and easily made right. What I was much, much more concerned about was committing thought crime. … [Read more...]

Critiquing the Purity Culture

When I wrote about the purity culture and sexual dysfunction last week, I had no idea how many chords that simple post would touch. I had no idea how much attention it would get. Only fifteen hours after I posted it, it had more page views than any other post I have ever posted. Not more than any other post had after fifteen hours, more than any other post had total. Today, it has more than twice as many page views than any other post. To be perfectly honest, this attention surprised me. Perhaps … [Read more...]