Raised Evangelical: A Call for Participants

I’d like to invite qualifying readers to be involved in my Raised Evangelical project. Being a part of this project involves responding to a list of questions about your experiences being raised in evangelical or fundamentalist families and growing up to leave evangelicalism and/or fundamentalism behind. I will then post these responses and set them up in the Raised Evangelical section of my blog.

You qualify to participate in the Raised Evangelical project if:

  • You were raised in an evangelical or fundamentalist family.* **
  • You are currently an adult (18 or above).
  • You have questioned evangelicalism and fundamentalism and currently define yourself as a progressive Christian, spiritual, agnostic, or atheist.

Your responses should be candid and honest. I know that by design this project eliminates glowing accounts that function as promotional testimonials, but at the same time I don’t want your accounts to be designed to make things look as bad as possible, ignoring any positive and exaggerating the negative. Just try to be candid, honest, and real.

Here is how to submit your responses:

  • Copy and paste the questions into a Word document (or equivalent).
  • Type your response under each question.
  • Email the Word document (or equivalent) to lovejoyfeminism@yahoo.com.

There is no deadline for this project, just send your responses in as soon as you’ve completed them! And as always, let me know if you have any questions!

* Several readers raised in conservative Catholic families have asked if they can participate as well, and the answer is yes. I’ve tried to make sure the questions are ones that can be answered by those in other conservative Christian traditions outside of evangelicalism and fundamentalism, so just pretend that a given question reads “Catholic” or what have you in place of “evangelical or fundamentalist.”

** I’m interested in both responses from those who grew up in the U.S. and responses from those who grew up in other countries. I might actually put the non-U.S. responses together to be read in tandem – I think that could be very interesting!

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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.

  • http://www.ephesians4-15.blogspot.ca Randy

    I was raised evangelical and left it. Just that I left it to become Catholic. An even more conservative Catholic in some ways. In truth I just did a lot of thinking about what truths are timeless and what kinds of progress we can embrace. So I think I am a progressive Christian But I think I have a way to tell real progressive changes from changes that are actually regressive changes in disguise. To stop assuming they are all regressive or all progressive and to not be arbitrary in deciding which is which.

    There are two errors we can make when we have a more radical upbringing. We can embrace it without question or we can rebel against it without question. You ask for people who are currently “progressive Christian, spiritual, agnostic, or atheist.” It seems you want the the unquestioning rebels. People who run from any form of counter-cultural morality. But that assumes our culture has gotten all the moral questions right. is that really a rational thing to believe?

    • http://rebekkaksteg.com Rebekka @ Becky’s Kaleidoscope

      I don’ t think our culture has gotten all of the moral questions right, and neither does the majority of the rational/questioning people I know. The people I know are often those that ask the hardest questions of our culture and society – especially in terms of why religion dictates so many things in our life, and what is the rational basis for that.

    • Caravelle

      That’s not necessarily the implication; in fact progressive Christians, agnostics and atheists don’t always agree on morals. More than that, “atheists” and even more “agnostics” are very widely-defined labels that say nothing on what one thinks about morality. There are correlations about what the kind of person who might call themselves atheist or agnostic might think about other subjects, but the words themselves imply nothing from one’s level of certainty in whether gods exist or not.
      For that matter something similar could be said of progressive Christians, depending on how progressive they are.

      What “progressive Christians, agnostics and atheists” DO have in common is that they are three labels that are strictly shunned by the vast majority fundamentalist Christians, so a person who was raised as a fundamentalist Christian labelling themselves that way indicates they changed their worldfview significantly. And that is what I assume Libby Anne is getting at by asking for people who label themselves that way.

  • http://rebekkaksteg.com Rebekka @ Becky’s Kaleidoscope

    Do you also want participants from outside of US? I grew up in an evangelical family in Denmark.

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

      You know what? A woman who grew up in Norway already sent in her responses, and a woman who grew up in Uganda has also asked if she can participate. So the answer is YES! I might put the responses from non-U.S. countries together, I think it could be very interesting!

  • Ana

    Great idea! And THANK YOU for the shout out to international readers. I grew up evangelical in Portugal (a 90% catholic country, the census says), and altough I wasn’t too fundamental compared to you, I did have the “us versus the world” mentality. Off to answer I go, then! :)

  • http://deird1.dreamwidth.org Deird

    My answers have been sent!

  • http://dukesofearl.blogspot.com Joy


  • Cranapple

    Is there a deadline for submissions?

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism Libby Anne

      No, there isn’t. I’ll start posting responses in the next couple weeks, but I plan for this project to be an ongoing one. :-)

  • Caravelle

    I might actually put the non-U.S. responses together to be read in tandem – I think that could be very interesting!
    It could be – then again this is the third time on this blog that I see people treating foreign countries as if they were a unit (not your fault Libby Anne – the other two were commenters talking about Europe, not you. And one of them I read today, so I might be temporarily oversensitive).

    It could possibly be even more interesting if you included some context relative to the status of religion in each of the foreign countries involved. There is an extent to which evangelical Christianity is similar in many different countries because of international evangelism, but there is also a large extent to which each country has their own religious issues. And this is even more true when you include conservative Catholics in the bunch.

    It is true this would require additional work from you or from your international contributors, so if you are too busy I understand why you wouldn’t do it and I won’t blame you. Just expressing a preference is all.

  • JW

    Too bad I can’t participate in this poll. I wasn’t raised in any evangelical fundamental home. Grew up Lutheran but I hated going to church for 2 reasons. I abhorred getting dressed up. I refer to the 3 piece suit complete with vest and a clip on tie. Felt as if I were being choked. Then when we went my brother and I had to go to Sunday school for some 90 minutes. To me it felt like going to school during the week, only it became a 6th day of school. YUCK!!! But like many Catholics, you go to church, go home, and life is just ‘normal’ with not much talk about God except for Grandma. She taught my brother and I a few things including memorizing the Lord’s Prayer.

    I did know a kid down the street who grew up in a Jehovah’s Witness home. We were told by his parents that we are not allowed to cuss around him. Ironically when he got to be a tween age his parents divorced. I think one of them had an affair.

  • Sheena

    I’m working on making my answers coherent. :)