Hello, FreeThought Blogs!

To those of you who are meeting me for the first time, greetings! And to readers who are following me here from my blogger site, well met, old friend! In this, my first post on FreeThought Blogs, I’d like to take a moment to introduce myself and my blog.

I grew up in an evangelical family, was involved in the religious right, and was homeschooled. I learned from creationist textbooks and was taught to embrace courtship in place of dating. My family was influenced by the Quiverfull and Christian Patriarchy movements, which urge raising large numbers of children as an “army” for Christ and hold that women must always be under male authority and headship. College set off a chain of events that shook my life and beliefs to their core. By the time I graduated, I was an atheist, a feminist, and a political progressive.

I first started blogging as a way to address the tenets of the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements and how they affected my life, but my subject matter soon expanded as I began to address authoritarian parenting, what I call “the purity culture,” the trials and joys of leaving religion, and the intricacies of conservative politics. Because I was once myself an evangelical, a religious right activist, and an antifeminist, I try to address these issues with empathy rather than snark. It doesn’t mean I don’t call it like I see it, but rather that I try to operate out of understanding rather than derision.

Ever since I started blogging, I have had a diversity of commenters, including both atheists and Christians of a variety of stripes, as well as some individuals from other religious traditions. I don’t mind lively debate taking place in my comments sections, but I would ask that those commenting lean more toward respectful disagreement than mockery. I see exchanging ideas as more productive than name calling. I may or may not respond to comments as time permits.

For more information on me and my background, feel free to take a look around my blogger site. I am currently in the process of moving most of my past posts and archives here, but that may take some time.

Thanks everyone, and I look forward to a future of happy blogging!

Libby Anne

About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • Brianne Bilyeu

    Hi Libby Anne! Welcome to FTB.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    The concept of purity, applied to human activities other than chemistry, seems always to lead to toxic fanaticism.

    And always, sfaict, derives from the believer’s internal psychological problems.

    From Puritans to purebred dog breeders, give ‘em pure hell!

  • http://criticallyskeptic-dckitty.blogspot.com Katherine Lorraine, Chaton de la Mort

    Hey! Welcome, Libby! I read your other blog all the time… but could never comment cause the comment box wouldn’t work… ever.

    • http://purl.org/NET/JesseW/SundryStuff/ JesseW

      I have that problem with blogger, too! Nice to hear it wasn’t just me. :-(

      Trying to remain on topic — welcome, Libby Anne! I hope your Christian readers/commenters follow you over here. The only FtB blogger who has left, so far, was John Loftus, and he said one of the reasons was that he got less Christian readership here than at his previous blog.

  • Happiestsadist

    Welcome! It’s lovely to see you here!

  • Lauren

    Welcome, Libby Anne! I’ve enjoyed reading your blog for a long time, and I’m so excited to see you here!

  • cathyw

    Welcome! Happy to see you here!

  • http://florilegia.wordpress.com Ibis3, denizen of a spiteful ghetto

    Very pleased that you’re here. I’ve enjoyed reading the posts I’ve read on your blog and look forward to reading you regularly.

  • Tyrant of Skepsis

    Hey, looks like the quiverfull movement had at least one positive outcome :)

    I didn’t know your blog before and look forward to reading your stuff here!

  • Didaktylos

    Welcome to FTB – the Cephalopd Overlords gain a new liege. As a regular reader and occasional Anonymous (could never manage to login properly), I am confident that you will be a major asset here.

  • wendy

    Well, this will save me some clicking around. Congratulations!

  • frankb

    Let me welcome you as well to FTB, Libby. My favorite hobby is perusing through the titles here and reading what sounds interesting. I look forward to reading your thoughts.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000901366667 marybierbaum

    Oh, my goodness. So glad to see you here, Libby Anne. I love your blog. Welcome. /resume lurk.

  • http://pervasivegoodness.com Donovanable

    Yay! I’ve been reading your blogs for quite a while, but it’s great to know you’re going to be here with some of my other favorites.

  • http://www.improbablejoe.blogspot.com Improbable Joe

    Oh noes, not feminism!!! Keep your unclean lady bits out of my freethinking!!! :)

    Just kidding, congrats on the new digs!

  • besomyka

    Welcome Libby! I’ve been reading your blog for many months now, but always found it a little cumbersome to comment since I prefer to do it slightly anonymously for various personal reasons. I’m so glad to see you move over to these parts!

  • http://freethoughtblogs.com/butterfliesandwheels/ Ophelia Benson

    To repeat myself – yay!!!!!!!

  • pandurata

    Yay – now I can clean up my bookmarks a bit! Another of my regular reads on FTB! :-)

  • Caravelle

    Is there nowhere the tentacles of freethoughtblogs don’t insinuate themselves ? o_O
    Congratulations on joining the Cephalopod Collective Libby Anne ! o/

  • Brett

    Welcome to the Free Thought Blogospheric Empire!

    Seriously, though, keep a strong hand on that “comment delete” button. Good feminist blogs unfortunately tend to draw the worst kind of trolls and misogynists, and left unchecked can drown out the good commentators.

    • kisekileia

      Agreed, and I have reason to think that’ll be a real problem here. (Libby, please see my comment on your old blog for an explanation of why.)

    • kisekileia

      Agreed about misogynist trolls on feminist blogs, that is.

  • http://whatloveteaches.blogspot.com/ Slow Learner


    When I saw a short-lived post on my reader from your blog, I was worried. Sincerely concerned that you might be shutting down your blog, or something similar.
    Then I wander over to the FTBorg…and you’re here! Yay!

  • Makoto

    Welcome! Can’t wait to see what you’ve posted before, and what you bring to this group.

  • denise

    Hi Libby! As a Baptist PK turned into an atheist feminist Democrat, your blog sounds right up my alley! But I never read your old blog – are you gonna post a link, or archive your old stuff here, for those of us who have just joined the party? thanks – looking forward to reading your work!!

    • Libby Anne

      I do have a link in the welcome post, it’s just not showing up well – I’ll fix that. And yes, I’m going to move my archives here, there are just some technical issues and it should be accomplished by the end of the weekend at the latest. Glad to meet another fellow traveler!

  • https://twitter.com/#!/TominousTone Thomas Lawson

    Hello! Congratulations on this and the family starting.

  • http://eskeptrical.blogspot.com Eskeptrical Engineer

    I look forward to reading your posts! I’m always happy to have another feminist blog to read.

  • barbrykost

    I loved your old site, and I am glad you are on FTB. I wish I could give you roses to welcome you here, but I think the comments do a pretty good job of expressing our joy. (not to forget the love and feminism, of course)

  • a miasma of incandescent plasma


    Yay! I loved reading your stuff when linked to by Ophelia. Great stuff.
    You fit nicely here, I think.

    But now more reading? I’ll never get any work done. FTB readers – “Counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drum.”

  • abb3w

    Welcome aboard.

  • Beck

    Hello Libby!

    As an atheist from a very similar background, I’m really excited to go read through your past stuff and see what you post here. What I’ve already seen is really excellent.

  • CrowsSong

    Welcome to FtB! I look forward to reading more of your posts.

  • otrame

    I’ve read some of you stuff before, including some of the story of your life as a religious person. I think you are a wonderful addition to FTB. Welcome.

  • http://thewordsonwhat.wordpress.com/ Rob F

    Welcome to FtB!

  • Deborah S

    Welcome to FtB, Libby! It will be great to hear your perspective on the atheist/feminist/liberal world. I can identify 100% with your upbringing. Almost everything you said rang true for my life; homeschooled, evangelical, creationist, abstinence only, anti-science, large family. My parents read (still read) all the right-wing books, attend all the right-wing, conservative lectures (I was practically raised on Bill Gothard’s idiocracy -I’m sure you’ve heard of him), and so on.

    Like you, it took a good education at college to make me reverse every stance. Now I’m a geology/paleontology major and living the life I always wanted. I may be the only atheist in the family, but sometimes being alone isn’t all that bad! I look forward to hearing more from you!

    • Libby Anne

      Oh yes, I most definitely know of Bill Gothard. We never did ATI, but my parents picked up some Gothard teachings somewhere anyway – the “umbrella of authority” and all that jazz! Anyway, glad to hear from someone else with such similar experiences! How large was your “large” family, if I may ask?

      • Deborah S

        Oh “the umbrella of authority”, that brings back memories. I don’t think there wasn’t an ATI conference within 1,000 miles we didn’t attend for the majority of my child/young-adult hood. Sadly Gothard and his teachings almost derailed my life (more so than normal that is), I suffer from clinical depression and during some of my darkest months my parents would pull out his twisted teachings and use them on me. Really terrible stuff. I’m just thankful to be here! It’s incredible how much happier one is when embracing reason and reality, the world is so beautiful!

        But anyway, my parents have 6 kids. Probably small compared to your family, but my parents had stopped having kids for about 10 years before I was born. Then, due to the teachings of Gothard and his conservative cohorts, they decided to have more kids. So I guess I can thank religion for my existence–but that’s about it! :)

  • JeseC

    Welcome over here, from a devoted follower of both your old blog and free thought blogs in general!

  • http://janeyqdoe.com/ Janey Q Doe

    Welcome aboard. I like having fewer bookmarks.

  • Jeff Sherry

    Welcome Libby Anne. I’ve been reading your pages since O. Benson ran a number of posts about your articles. Looking forward to reading your articles on FTB.

  • lordshipmayhem

    Welcome, Libby Anne. I’m looking forward to your contributions.

  • Marie the Bookwyrm

    Hello, hello, and welcome! Hope you like Ftb. Make yourself comfy. :)

  • kisekileia

    Libby, I’ve just emailed you about why I’m incredibly uncomfortable with this move.

  • Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM

    SO excited to see you here, Libby. Welcome.

  • F

    Oooh, exciting! Welcome to FtB. :)

  • LeftSidePositive

    Welcome!!! It’ll be so great to read you here, along with so many of my favorite writers! I hope this brings your ideas to a wide & enthusiastic new audience!!

  • Yukimi

    Welcome! :) It’s good to have you here :D

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