Introductions

After a post a few weeks ago turned into a sort of impromptu space for introductions, I thought it might be a good idea to set up an official “Introductions” post, especially for those of you who comment frequently. Any of my readers are welcome and invited to introduce themselves here, but to make this space efficient, I would like everyone to follow a specific format:

1. Your name/internet handle

2. Your background

3. Your current beliefs

4. A bit about you

5. What brings you to Love, Joy, Feminism

Ideally, you should try to use only a sentence or two for each of the above. Otherwise each introduction can get so long that reading it is prohibitive. The idea is to keep it short and succinct, but also informative.

Here is an example:

Hi, I’m Libby Anne! I was raised in a fundamentalist evangelical homeschooling family involved in the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements and active in the Christian Right. Today I am an atheist, a Humanist, a feminist, and a political progressive and am truly enjoying being able to choose and form my own beliefs. I live in the U.S., I’m  a graduate student in my mid-twenties, and I’m raising two children, Sally and Bobby, with my husband Sean. I frequent Love, Joy, Feminism because, well, if I didn’t it wouldn’t exist!

One more thing: feel free to comment on someone else’s introduction, but try to keep it short and make sure it ends up nested under that person’s introductory comment so that someone can easily scroll past it.

I am planning to put a link to this page in my “about” section and keep it alive for new visitors.

Thanks!

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.

  • victoria

    I’m Victoria. I was raised Catholic, though not hyperconservative. We went to Mass every week without fail and observed Lent pretty strictly, but I went to public schools most of the way through, dated non-Catholics, didn’t do weekly confession, etc. I would technically consider myself a gnostic atheist — I believe it is possible for a deity to reveal itself in such a way that disbelief would be irrational, but I don’t believe that’s ever happened, so I currently lack a god belief — but most people would call me agnostic. I am a Humanist, married with a school-aged kid. And I became interested in your blog, Libby, because I read the profile of Vyckie Garrison in Salon years ago and from there found No Longer Quivering and was really interested in the stories she included on her site, which led me here.

  • John Small Berries

    I post as “John Small Berries” – a pseudonym I adopted for commenting publicly on religious/atheist topics, as my boss at the time, an Evangelical Christian, Googled the names of his employees on a regular basis. Although he’s no longer my boss, I discovered that I’d become invested in my online persona, so I’ve kept posting under it. (The name came from an extremely minor character in “Buckaroo Banzai: Across the Eighth Dimension”; my profile image, on commenting systems which support such things, is something I found while searching for “silly moustache”.)

    I was raised Methodist, and considered myself a firmly committed Christian; however, reading the entire Bible (and, most importantly, actually thinking about what I was reading) utterly demolished my belief in God, and I’ve been an atheist for over twenty years now. (About the only thing I really miss about religion is having something comforting to say when someone has lost a loved one.)

    I’m a middle-aged professional computer nerd with too many hobbies, a wife whom I love dearly, and some cats who serve as our family (as neither of us has ever wanted children).

    If I remember correctly, I found your blog via Fred Clark’s Slacktivist; I enjoy reading it because it’s a window into a flavor of Christianity much different from the one I grew up in (but which seems to be not uncommon in the part of the country I currently live in).

    • Froborr

      Yay for Buckaroo Banzai! I sometimes despair that it seems to have fallen even off the cult-classic radar… happy to see somebody else show some love for it!

      • John Small Berries

        A sadly underappreciated gem of a movie. Not until Galaxy Quest did they make anything rivaling it for hilarious deconstruction of science fiction tropes.

  • Adele

    I’m Adele. I was raised an atheist and pretty anti-religious, but with zero feeling of “atheist” as a source of identity or any sense of myself as a member of a minority group. I am now an agnostic Unitarian Universalist. I love my church and the comunity and spiritual home it has given me and my daughter. I do not believe in a personal god, but I do believe that there are aspects of reality that science is not and never will be sufficient to adequately delineate and describe. I am married and have one daughter. I enjoy reading a couple select conservative Christian bloggers for a combination of the strong, thoughtful, female author, the intense devotion to family and parenting, and a somewhat anthropological interest in the window to a culture so radically different from my own experiences. A commentor on one of those blogs mentioned Love, Joy, Feminism as a warning to the author. I took exactly the opposite message than intended from the comment, thinking I would find the blog fascinating and that it would be one I should follow, and I was right!

  • Stony

    I’m Stony; I was raised Methodist and Presbyterian in an area where those denoms were considered liberal and suspect. The rural area where I grew up was rife with footwashing and snake handling Baptists, or any other kind of Baptist you could name, and had one little circuit Methodist church. My elementary school (public) had daily prayers and Bible readings, and while we were not allowed to talk on the bus, we were allowed to sing hymns. My first husband was a Freewill Baptist MK with all the trappings of fundamentalism. We “stepped down” to Southern Baptist for the duration of the marriage. Years removed from all that, I find myself nominally attending a Methodist church and claiming the title Agnostic. My current husband was raised Episcopal, with no real religious teaching at all, and his family attends because they have kind of a feel-good theology. I’m often surprised at how little “Bible” they know. Ex-Fundies on here can relate, I’m sure. I’m a working mom with a long if not illustrious career and think I found this blog via Friendly Atheist. I enjoy reading the social commentary on religion in the US and it’s impact on politics, children, education and feminism.

  • http://tellmewhytheworldisweird.blogspot.com/ perfectnumber628

    I’m perfectnumber628. I come from a pretty conservative evangelical Christian background. Lately I’ve been reading a lot about feminism, and I’ve been asking the questions I always thought we weren’t allowed to ask- like why certain things are in the bible. Having the freedom to question has made my faith stronger- I think God is real, so he can take whatever criticism I throw at him. I blog about Christianity, feminism, and whatever else I want over at http://tellmewhytheworldisweird.blogspot.com/ I have been visiting Love, Joy, Feminism because I think it’s really interesting- you have a very unique perspective and a lot of your criticism of the church is valid (though I haven’t come into contact with the super-extreme don’t-let-women-do-anything patriarchy you write about).

  • http://exconvert.blogspot.com Kacy

    My name is Kacy, and I was raised a Baptist. I was always very active in my church and began studying theology and the Bible pretty in depth. I became a Calvinist Presbyterian and then a Catholic, the conservative EWTN sort. After sampling these various flavors of Christianity, I eventually found the whole system untenable. I now consider myself an agnostic-atheist. I enjoy reading your blog because I can relate to having a weird, fundamentalist past (eschatology, focus on salvation and evangelization, etc.) I’m also concerned with issues of Christian patriarchy, after experiencing the anti-birth-control mentality in the Catholic Church. I’m also a mother to a 3 yr. old girl and a 22 month old boy. I practice peaceful/gentle/nonviolent parenting and am recovering from my authoritarian Christian upbringing. Basically, I can relate to a lot of what your write about, Libby Anne. :-)

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

      Oh, I didn’t know you became Catholic for a time too! It’s funny, people who were raised evangelical/fundamentalist and go on to become atheist/agnostic seem to either make the jump right away upon realizing some sort of flaw in what they thought was a perfectly airtight system of beliefs or else go through some form of liturgical tradition searching for something without the flaws before eventually walking away from those as well.

      • http://exconvert.blogspot.com Kacy

        Yes, one reason I haven’t come out to my family is because they will say something like, “We warned you about becoming Catholic. The Catholic Church made you an atheist.”

        Ummm, no. The Catholic Church kept me from becoming an atheist 5 years earlier. I like to say that I needed to test-out as much of Christianity as I could before completely rejecting it.

  • http://equalsuf.wordpress.com Jayn

    I’m Jayn. Technically, I was raised Catholic, but it’s more of a cultural signifier for me than anything else, as my mother wasn’t exactly a regular church-goer (and as a result I didn’t attend between ages 8 and 13, and inconsistently after that). My current beliefs are a personal flavour of Christianity–I still don’t attend church regularly, though neither does my spouse–that evolved through high school and especially through university, making them hard to sum up, but the core of them is respect and equality. I grew up conveniently sheltered–small community, no actual effort of my parents–so now that I know how much I don’t know about other people’s experiences, I rather enjoy learning about them. That interest at some point brought me to NLQ, which just recently led me here.

  • http://www.subparker.com Neal Edwards

    Longtime reader, sometimes commenter… My Internet pseudonym is Neal Edwards. I was raised somewhere between evangelical and fundamentalist, heavily involved in Christian homeschooling and the religious Right. I’ve been an atheist since college, and a political liberal for two years. These days I live in the same southeastern US town as my Christian family, as the lone atheist. I get paid for being a web application developer, but am also insane enough to act, sing, and draw Internet comics for free. I frequent Love, Joy, Feminism because I find it to be the most relatable and best-written of the Ex-Quiverfull blogs, and for the unique perspective you provide.

  • smrnda

    Smrnda. Some people in my family are Reform Jews though most of them had completely abandoned it by the time I was born. I grew up being skeptical of religion. I read Dawkins’ books as a kid and always felt that instead of religion, people should try to solve problems with either technology or sound public policy. I had some friends growing up who were Jewish but also a few who were nominal Catholics, but that was more cultural identification. I really didn’t encounter any Fundamentalists or Evangelical Christians until I went to college where I found they had a huge presence. I went to a reasonably well-ranked State University, and what surprised me was that people who seemed intelligent in some ways would do anything to try to justify a 6 day creation store and the like. I didn’t think religion was still that powerful in the States, but this is probably because I’ve been around educated people in big cities my whole life.

    I’m definitely left-wing and a feminist but I rarely apply the label ‘atheist’ or ‘agnostic’ to my self because in my life, not being a believer was the default. In terms of morality I think the only way to go is a utilitarian view that focuses exclusively on the here and now. I don’t just think religion is false, I think that the argument that is answers questions in a satisfying way that you can’t answer without God is false. A universe without any sort of personal god or gods just seems to make sense to me, and you can use any number of disciplines to explain human behavior. Religion typically has no answers, or empty platitudes, or an answer to simplistic that it’s impossible for it to be true or useful. Religious beliefs regarding suffering, authority, forgiveness, are all either bad or can be easily twisted to do harm to people.

    About me, I had the good fortune to have educated parents so I did well in school and studied mathematics and computer science in college, though I also worked in child care when I was thinking of a career change. I did some graduate work in the psychology of religion but dropped out to get a job that I still have. I have schizo-affective disorder which has been managed pretty well the last few years. I work as a programmer and my ambition is to get enough money to make an independent film.

    I think I first read your blog when it was on blogspot – I was doing some research on the whole Quiverfull movement and I think that’s how I found it. It’s one of the blogs I make a point to read every day.

  • Discordia

    I’m Discordia. I grew up in a Lutheran but very secular family; religion was never a part of our everyday lives. Now I’m an atheist, a feminist and a defender of human rights. I’m a 31-year-old childfree woman living in Northern Europe. I’m in a serious relationship with a non-practising/non-religious Eastern Orthodox boyfriend. I enjoy many types of creative things, especially arts and crafts. I enjoy reading this blog because I like to learn more about fundamentalism and feel strongly about feminism (gladly I was raised by a feminist mother). I also like to read your posts about gentle parenting (even though I don’t have/wan’t children) as I’ve always been against hitting children.

  • Froborr

    I’m Froborr. I was born in Israel but have lived in Washington, D.C. or its suburbs since I was 3. I was raised in what my mother termed “gastronomic Judaism”–if there was a special food or ritual meal, we ate it, but otherwise we didn’t bother with religion; both my parents were pretty open about being atheists but also very proud of our Jewish heritage.

    I generally describe my beliefs with the words “liberal,” “postmodern,” “positivist,” “agnostic,” “atheist,” and “Jewish”; the order is pretty variable. I believe that questions about the physical properties of material objects (positive questions) have universally true answers, and science is the best method for discovering those answers, but all other questions (normative questions) have only locally true answers which are largely defined by (ultimately arbitrary) personal and cultural constructs. I place the question of the existence or non-existence of non-material entities such as gods and afterlives in the normative category, but personally I do not believe in them. I consider myself Jewish ethnically and culturally, and some elements of Jewish ethics have influenced me quite a bit.

    I’m a technical writer in Washington, D.C. and (very) occasional blogger. I live with my fiancee, and we’re both big animation nerds. I’m also a bit of an SF and fantasy nerd, though not as much as I used to be.

    I found this blog when somebody commented on the Slacktiverse (I think, might have been Slacktivist) that it was moving to freethoughtblogs, and gave it a rather glowing recommendation.

  • http://www.fromtwotoone.com from two to one

    Hi all, I’m Danielle and frequently go by from two to one because of my blog name: http://www.fromtwotoone.com. I write about the intersections of marriage, faith, and feminism from a progressive Christian and feminist perspective. I grew up Catholic and have attended over 16 years of Catholic and/or Jesuit Catholic schools. At 14 years old, I attended a summer camp run by the Awana group that Libby Anne has mentioned here before, a conservative evangelical denomination. I then left the Catholic Church and attended a nondenominational, but very evangelical church for a number of years before I began seeing its descent into end-times theology, fear tactics, and overt Republicanism. In college, I returned to Catholicism, albeit from a more feminist theology perspective. My husband and I now attend a nondenominational progressive church that allows women to be in leadership positions and teaches egalitarianism. I am passionate about social justice issues, particularly human trafficking, social enterprise, writing, authentic community, and figuring out how to balance faith and feminism.

  • http://jw-thoughts.blogspot JW

    I am John aka JW. Raised Lutheran till the age of 10ish. I am 43 years old and married to a Filipina for near 11 years now. Got married in the Philippines( I was not in the military).Age 20 I became a Christian and was passionate about it but then walked away from it at age 29 over some deep inner issues during the course of a year. I have come slowly come back but not in the same mold as I once had been.
    Have an A.A. in Liberal Arts and 4 class enroute to an B.A. in interdisciplinary sciences. Stopped that route to look at a B.A. in computer engineering simply because the I.S.S. I don’t know what I can do professionally with it yet I have a passionate for it. Thought about journalism at one time.
    I was brought here through NLQ. I never heard of this thing until a year ago September through hearing Vyckie on ‘The Story’. I decided to find out more about this movement and listen to those who are or were involved in it.
    I consider myself moderate to conservative and in the last few years I have begun listening to more liberal talk to understand the thinking because it seems opposite of how I think. It is another reason Why I read the blog.

  • Mollycar

    My name is Mollycar. I grew up in a very religious Catholic family, we prayed together for an hour every day. I started reading the Bible as a teen and left the Catholic church. My family rejected me for many years because of this e.g. I was married with a son before my family agreed to meet my husband as they believed we were living in sin as we did not marry in a Catholic church!! I am now very close to my family of origin, time is a great healer! I remain a Christian as I am still in awe of Jesus. I enjoy reading especially politics, sociology,theology, sport and fiction. I live in Europe, I do not share the approach of conservative Christians, I worked when my children were young, they attended a day care run by a women’s collective. I never heard of Quiverfull until a few years ago. I am 49 now with 3 adult children, 2 0f whom are married. I have 2 wonderful grandchildren. I continue to work full time with adults and children who have Intellectual Disabilities. I have been reading your blog since soon after you began blogging, and have followed you as you moved, I do not remember how I found your blog. Keep on writing!!!!!!

  • Paula G V aka Yukimi

    Hi! You can call me Paula or Yukimi. Being spanish and having a pretty devout family on my dad’s side meant that I’ve been immersed in catholic culture most of my life. I’m an agnostic atheist, a humanist, a progressive leftie, a feminist, bisexual, a tomboy and a bunch of other things. I live with my boyfriend (we are about to make 10 years together on September ^^) and our pervy cat Azuki in a shared flat while I try to get my Medicine grad. I love reading from novels to manga and when I was a kid I was a fangirl of Agatha Christie and any detective novel writer. I also like procedural, drama, fantasy and SF shows very much and I’m really looking forward to the start of Doctor Who. Other hobbies I have are cycling, crafts (I have Yoda in origami decorating my living room), learning languages, … I found LJF through a tweet by LGBT advocate youtuber Hanksterchen and the stories of something so different from what I knew were just so interesting. I stayed because the posts are always well written and researched and I enjoy the atmosphere of this blog and the people who comment.

  • http://valuesfromscratch.blogspot.com Marian

    Hi! My name is Marian. I grew up in an evangelical go to church every time the doors are open type of family. My current beliefs are not really fully formed. I know I’m a Christian of some sort, and decidedly NOT an evangelical one. I blog at http://valuesfromscratch.blogspot.com to help me sort out some of my beliefs. I just graduated college, and I’m married and have one daughter, who is almost two. I found Love Joy Feminism at the very beginning of a year long period when I was questioning my faith and considering atheism. I found Libby Anne to be one of the most fair minded and intelligent and compassionate people I have ever “met” and it was my utter disbelief that one such as her could possibly be destined for hell that led me to reject a lot of traditional Christianity, though ultimately not God himself. Even though I came to a different conclusion from her as to God’s existence, I stick around because I love what reading what she has to say on just about every topic, but particularly feminism in our modern times and gentle parenting.

  • Christine

    I’m Christine. I’m a Catholic (raised culturally Catholic, went more to the church in my teens), from a Canadian urban centre (raised in one, living in another). So pretty much everything in this blog is foreign to me. I did my undergrad in mechatronics engineering and my master’s in mechanical. I’m currently a SAHM to a 7-month-old.

    I’m still in the Catholic church, although I don’t actually make to mass more than two or three times a month since the baby came along. Nor do I manage to do much more than going to mass (I quit everything at my church back in December, not that I was really involved to begin with). My husband is an Mennonite, so he helps me stay challenged. I tend to be somewhat to the left on some issues, most of where I’m more to the right is on stuff where I don’t agree with it being mandated. I don’t think that the local (or at least semi-local) bishops make any sense on a lot of things (theologically speaking). Hence, I’m pro-GSA, pro-legalisation of same-sex marriage, etc. (Yes, I grant that my reasons for being pro-GSA are probably considered homophobic, but I’m still more progressive than the archbishop of Toronto and the Toronto Catholic District School Board.)

    Most of my friends are university educated and/or churchgoers (most are both), so I live in a bubble of left-leaning people. This blog helps me understand the others. My husband does have some cousins who are more Evangelical, and there are issues there (refuse to allow the one aunt to bring her girlfriend to family gatherings, global warming deniers, believe in YEC, etc), so I really appreciate the insights. (Given that the cousin we had the long discussions about homosexuality and YEC with also refused to believe that 0.9999 repeating is exactly equal to 1, it’s nice to see that it’s not just being stupid and not listening that causes these beliefs.)

    I found your blog through No Longer Quivering and, I confess, started reading it because I was running out of books (I have a very hungry daughter), and needed something interesting online. I got hooked.

  • http://bunnystuff.wordpress.com/ Jaimie

    I’m Jaimie. I grew up in the Protestant church that started out ok and progressively went more political and fundamentalist. I left gradually and after some years as a non practicing Christian was drawn to Catholicism. Looking back it was like going from a tiny box to a much larger box. I had some wonderful experiences there but was turned off by the Vatican patriarchy. My priests were nothing like that so I can’t fault them at all. It was here that different points of theology led me to some serious questioning. I’ve stated before that a Catholic priest introduced me to Buddhism. Their teachings about transforming the three poisons of greed, hatred, and delusion hit me like a ton of bricks. I had been deluded.
    I found your site because I met some wacky homeschooling families when I pulled my high functioning autistic son out of school to teach him at home. Some of their teachings sounded alot like the fundamentalist church of my later youth. On the surface their lives seemed happy, almost idyllic. Quite frankly, too idyllic. I had my suspicions it was no bed of roses and you have spelled out the reality very well.

  • Caitlin

    I’m Caitlin. I was raised in a Unitarian Universailist/athesist household, and my family did not attend church for most of my childhood. I became an evangelical, findamentalist leaning Christian in late elementary school and stayed with the faith through my mid teens. I am now an actively practicing UU and although I don’t define myself as atheist, I think most other people would see me that way. I was a junior high school teacher when my children were young, then returned to graduate school in my mid 30s, and earned a PhD. I am now a reseracher in poverty and health (with a focus on maternal-child health). I am in an egalitarian marriage to a man I married at age 21, and we have three teenagers. All of the kids attended urban public schools, but the oldest homeschooled for part of 3rd grade and all of 11th and 12th grade. I am interested in orthdox/fundamentalist religion as it relates to gender, health, education, and family structure.

  • http://thaliasmusingsnovels.com/ Amethyst

    I’m Amethyst. Homeschooled K-12, raised Christian, experienced an evangelical ’80s, fundamentalist/patriarchal ’90s, and questioning ’00s. Today I identify as a progressive Christian, basically Unitarian/Universalist. Social justice issues are of supreme importance to me. I feel like I have much more in common with Humanists like Libby Anne than with mainstream evangelicals. But I like the idea of a Supreme Being who had an avatar called Jesus Christ, so I’m keeping hir.

    As proof that I am insane, I’m building a career as an indie author. My name links to my webseries. (Sorry for the blatant self-promotion, but writing is the biggest part of my life atm.) I have way too many geeky hobbies and identify with way too many niche groups and fandoms to list here. For the moment, I’m enjoying being single and child-free. In the future, I look forward to having a family with a spouse who’s as committed to egalitarianism and positive parenting as I am.

    I can’t remember how I first found Love Joy Feminism. I know it was from another blog in the “recovering patrio survivors” circle. I thought the title was awesome, and I loved Libby Anne’s writings, so I kept coming back. 8)

  • http://deird1.dreamwidth.org Deird

    Hi, I’m Deird. I was raised in an evangelical household with great respect for James Dobson, Newsboys, and Christian t-shirts. These days, I’m still a Christian – but half my beliefs would no doubt horrify past-me, like the fact that I’m firmly pro-marriage equality, and that I think most worship music is mindless pap.
    I live in Australia with my cat, I edit technical documents, and I love music.
    I ended up here through an ex-quiverful blog – although I don’t remember which one.

  • http://cfiottawa.com Eamon Knight

    I’m not Eamon Knight (ie: that’s my net-nym). Raised by agnostic parents, fundamentalist religion was a piece of self-inflicted teenage stupidity that lasted waaaay too long. But I never drained the kool-aid to the dregs, and in my mid-20s my faith mellowed out into squishy United Church of Canada liberalism, which gradually tattered away into frank atheism by my mid-40s (ie. about 10 years ago). I now think that even moderate progressive religion, while mostly harmless, is at best a bit silly. Politically I’ve always been left-of-center and concerned with social justice issues (as a Christian, I preferred Sojourners to Jerry Falwell. Now I’m feeling stoked about Atheism+).

    Professionally, I’m an engineer who hacks code for a living. I’m also a science geek, a budding philosophy geek, and in a totally other life I play with model trains. Domestically, I’ve been married for 32 years to this geeky chick I started dating in high school, who’s also an engineer. We have two grown sons, a bunch of cats, and some koi in the backyard.

    Can’t recall how I ran across Libby Anne’s blog — maybe when she started at FTB? Anyways, she has a fascinating story, and I like that the commentariat here is a different demographic than some of my other internet haunts.

    • Aaron

      Engineers represent!

  • Rae

    Hi! I’m Rae, a 20-something cis woman. I was raised in a fundamentalist church of the Focus on the Family idolizing variety, and now I’m in grad school, 3000 miles away from my family, a progressive Christian (or maybe even unitarian on some days) and exploring my newfound identity as an asexual. I like everything sci-fi, fantasy, and superhero related, I have one cat, and I’m a scientist. I ran across Libby’s blog after reading No Longer Quivering.

    • Rae

      Oh, and I was homeschooled, too!

  • http://www.feathers.me.uk Marta

    Hi! This is also my first comment here… I’m Marta (without the ‘h’, I’m Italian). I am a research student in Mathematics, hoping to work with computers in the not too far future.

    I was raised Catholic in Italy, but in a quite liberal family; then I spent most of my teens and of my 20s believing in God but not in religion. After a series of small events too long for this comment, in 2004 I converted to Protestantism – in particular, I became a Waldensian. The Waldensian Church is a *very* liberal (gay rights, separation of Church and State, social commitment, etc…) Church that is present in Italy and Uruguay only. In 2007 I moved to London; after looking around a bit I became a member of a very nice United Reformed/Baptist Church (although I am a member of the URC only, given the UK Baptist position against marriage equality), where I think I am the most liberal member (but I feel very accepted nonetheless!).

    As for why I come to this blog: my husband and many of my friends are atheists, so I am very curious about atheism (I came here via PZ Myers’ blog). Furthermore, I am terribly afraid of (therefore I would like to know better, in theory but not in practice) fundamentalism – for political reasons, for personal reasons (I am bisexual), and for theological reasons: I believe that God is above and beyond human beings (although I do believe in the Incarnation, see under: “Christian”), so I think that constraining Him (I use the masculine pronoun for convenience, with a certain caution) is a form of idolatry. Finally, I like to read about the Bible and about Christianity, and the author of this blog seems quite knowledgeable about them (yes, this is me hoping for more Theology 101 posts)!

  • machintelligence

    I’m machintelligence. I picked the blogonym because I believe that if we ever encounter extraterrestrial intelligences, they will not be “soft robots” (thanks, Dilbert) like us. Carbon based life forms are to fragile and short-lived to do a galactic grand tour.

    So far I appear to be the token Old White Male Atheist(TM) commenting here. I am 64 years old, and now semi-retired from a career in the construction trades. I was married for 20 years (now divorced) and have two grown children: a son who is a video game programmer and a daughter who (we all hope) will be starting medical school next year. I was a computer programmer back in the days of the dinosaurs (main frames, punch cards) and have a MS in Zoology.

    I was baptized and confirmed a Lutheran, but quit the church and called myself an agnostic/atheist by my 13th birthday. Religion was never a big part of my life, and most of my friends are irreligious.

    Now that I have more time on my hands, I spend some of it reading and commenting on blogs, both here at Patheos (atheism) and at FTB. I also regularly read Respectful Insolence. I have probably entered at least one comment on most of the blogs at these two sites. You might call me a prolific (or promiscuous) commenter. I also enjoy remodeling my house, reading SF and Fantasy, and travel. So far I have visited Canada, England and Europe (12 weeks on a motorcycle). Japan, and Ecuador/Galapagos. My hobby is collecting old Christmas ornaments and lights.

    I discovered Libby Anne’s blog when she was at FTB, and followed her here. The culture of Quiverfull/Christian Patriarchy is so different form anything I had previously encountered that I was intrigued. I hang around because I like the topics and the other commenters.

    If you want to read the previous version of this introduction (and there’s no particular reason why you should, although it is longer and covers slightly different topics), here is a link
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2012/08/an-illustration-of-atheisms-diversity.html

    • http://cfiottawa.com Eamon Knight

      I’m white and male, but only 55. Does that count?

      • machintelligence

        I guess so. “Old” is someone 10 years older than you are.

      • Christine

        In that case I’ll step up to the plate to declare Eamon Knight to be old.

    • smrnda

      I’m with you that we’ll probably encounter some alien civilization’s equivalent of the Mars Rover landing on earth. Carbon based life forms just don’t do well in the vacuum of space…

      • Aaron

        YET.

  • ArachneS

    I’m Arachne. I was raised in a huge (14 kids) ultra-conservative Catholic family, as my parents became immersed in the SSPX(society of st. pius X-ultra conservative faction of catholics- hugely patriarchal) for most of my young life. Wearing skirts, no tv, girls became nuns or wives, rosaries every day, sometimes more elaborate prayers such as “storm novenas”(45 minute prayer with both your arms raised the whole time) were all par for the course. We home schooled for all but 4 years of my 1-12 grade school years(the other years were in small conservative catholic schools) because the schools were scary brainwashing places that taught evolution, sex ed and “who knows what else”.

    Today I am a feminist, liberal, athiest, wanna-be activist with 2 small children in tow. I am a stay at home mom for economic reasons. I dearly wish to go back to school one day and get into sociology.
    I found LVJ through a link at Permission to Live around a year ago when I was looking for resources on Positive Parenting. I stayed after reading one of the posts on growing up home schooled.

    • Caitlin

      I went back to school for my PhD in sociology when my youngest entered kindergarten. Best decision I ever made.

      • ArachneS

        :) Good to know!

  • Rosie

    Hi all. I’m Rosie. I was raised in a family of preachers and missionaries. They’re what I’d call “non-denominational evangelical”, but the denominations they are most closely associated with are Church of the Brethren (which I believe to be now defunct in the States), (conservative) Baptist, and Christian. They differ from these mostly by their heavy emphasis on foreign missions. Aside from a short stint on the mission field when I was a toddler, I was raised in the Bible Belt of the States. I’m now living there again (after nearly a decade on the west coast), and sometimes I wonder what in the world was I thinking to move back. These days I consider myself an atheist and a pagan. I claim atheism because I don’t certainly believe in any deities, and do certainly disbelieve in at least some of them (including the one I grew up with). I claim paganism because I like dressing up in “witchy” clothes and planning/participating in outdoor rituals involving lots of candles and/or big bonfires. I have a pretty extreme aversion to anything claiming to be/know the One True Way of being/thinking/doing anything. I found LJF through an “ex-religionist” Facebook group I’m a part of, and have stuck around for the excellent writing. And the fact that I identify with a good bit of where Libby Anne has been (though my family was not quite so extreme in some ways)…and I had thought for decades I’d never find anybody else in the world who could understand both where I’ve been and where I am now.

  • Noelle

    I already did the long version. Your list reminds me of ones I’m handed throughout the day to tackle. Hand it over. Pushes glasses up nose.

    1. You’re looking at it. For this site anyway. I’m not that creative.
    3. Atheist now. Various Christian denominations throughout childhood, with Lutheran being the one I was in the longest.
    2/4. Meh. I talk about myself enough as it is.
    5. From UF. Vorjack said you had a parasite and likened it to Aliens. That got my attention and I’ve been following since.

  • spidergal

    Hullo there! My first ever post although I have been reading this blog regularly for the last couple of months. I am spidergal on the interweb and Nae to my friends. 31, from Brisbane Australia, working in the IT industry. I have degrees in Maths, Physics and Computer Science and am working towards a degree in Ancient History…Just for fun! My religious persuasion is…well is undecided a valid answer? I claimed to be a Jedi on the last census they did over here if that counts? LOL I guess the best way to describe me is agnostic – There are things that science just can’t explain but that I refuse to attribute to, what seem to me, the very malevolent god like figure of Christianity. When was younger I went to an Anglican church – just cause I wanted to go to Sunday school with my cousin. At about 7 my parents made me choose between Sunday school and Netball – Netball won out in a big way (Also showing my parents distinct lack of enthusiasm for anything religious)! During primary school (even though I went to public one) we still had RE once a week and I remember in grade 4 having the scariest RE teacher ever – she decided that it was a wonderful idea to teach a bunch of 9 year olds revelations…literally. I had nightmares for weeks about 3 headed beast and the “end times” and at that point I turned away from Christianity- Faith should be enlightening not frightening!
    I found LJF through funny enough..The Duggars lol. xx kids and counting shows on cable over here and I have watched a few episodes. At first they seem the model family, though decidedly weird, but then you start listening to some of the crud they spew out (Joy Anna going on about having to wear skirts even when rock climbing!) and its just disturbing. Add that to, what looks to us on the other side of the world, an extraordinarily powerful christian right, I decided I needed to know more about the various beliefs in this space (Being that the US is de-facto superpower at the moment and has a lot of moral control over other parts of the world, much like the Romans had a few millenia ago). I find Libby’s blog entertaining, insightful and it is great to see people escaping from what seems to me a very cult like existence.
    Oh and no kids, wonderful partner of 4 years and a gorgeous staffy called Spike. My partner and I have chosen not to get married because as part of the ceremony you literally have to agree to the following statement “Marriage is a union between a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others” and if you don’t sign off that you agree you are not legally married. I am pro- choice in all things and was really impressed when the QLD government allow same sex civil unions…Which the new government (being a little more conservative) is trying to now take away. I think in relation to freedom we are very lucky over here – I am a bisexual, non-religious, unmarried gal working in a male dominated industry and have faced very little discrimination and in fact have been encouraged to pursue my choices both educationally and personally.
    Looking forward to reading more fantastic posts on here.

    4. A bit about you

    5. What brings you to Love, Joy, Feminism

  • Ray

    My name is Ray and like others it’s not my birthname. I’m a late 20s bigendered bisexual atheist female living in Arizona studying to become a teacher. I was raised Lutheran in a major Catholic community. I have researched other religions in my youth after I started questioning. I became an atheist due to my ordeal with depression, being severely over-medicated (it was the 90s and late 00s), and the majors deaths I had in childhood. I’m interested in social justice since I grew up with a disabled brother and a gay brother (as well as being queer myself). I forgot how I got here, but it was probably via links on the blogosphere.

  • lane

    My current internet handle is Lane (subject to small variations), and I’ve been reading LJF since around the beginning of this year after Friendly Atheist linked to something she wrote. This blog is special to me because Libby Anne is the first person I discovered who went through the same childhood and subsequent change of heart as I did. I was raised in essentially the same environment as Libby Anne–homeschooled evangelical quiverfull–just with somewhat less overt CP. I gradually cut ties with Christianity and accepted my new identity as an atheist when I was 21, not quite 2 years ago. I am a scientist-in-training who just started graduate school, which has left me woefully out of touch with the atheist blogosphere. In my free time you’ll find me hanging out with my two dogs, wasting time on the internet, trying to deal with my issues and reinvent myself after the trainwreck of my first 21 years, or baking something delicious.

  • http://vixidragon.blogspot.com Vixi Dragon

    I’m Vixi. I like to think of myself as agnostic -humanist although I was raised in Science of Mind (not scientology, basically a non evangelical christianity that draws from teachings of many world religions, ie buddah, Mohamed, and others but refers to God as The Universe, or Universal Power). My grandmother is a minister in this faith. I withdrew from the faith in high school, prefering to be a good person because it’s important instead of to avoid punishment after death.
    I turned 30 this year, have 5 kids (2 boys and triplet girls), and early this year my husband (of 8 years) came out to me as transgender. Since she began her transition our relationship has become so muchmuchMy best friend sent me a link to permission to live and I followed the links here. I blog about my craziness (I mean life) at http://vixidragon.blogspot.com.

    • http://vixidragon.blogspot.com Vixi Dragon

      Sorry. Was supposed to read: our relationship has become so much deeper.
      (Kindle touchpad doesn’t like it when you type more than fits in the comment box…).

  • http://findingsnooze.blogspot.com Lina

    Lina here, joining the chorus. I grew up as a Pentecostal pastor’s kid and total model child, went to a hyper-conservative college, lost most of my faith and unexpectedly ended up with a girlfriend (seriously, never saw that coming). My current religious status is around the vicinity of “doesn’t give a shit,” though that is of course subject to change. Said girlfriend and I have been married for a year and a half; she’s getting her master’s in montessori education, and I’m a nanny for 4 year old twins. (My blog is findingsnooze.blogspot.com, and it pretty much talks about anything above.) I originally found LJF through a guestpost Libby Anne did for Offbeat Mama, and got hooked.

  • http://campuskritik.blogspot.com Malte

    Hi! I’m Malte and I grew up agnostic in rural northern Germany, where my family was the odd one out in a village where everyone was at least nominally Lutheran. I’ve been an evangelical Christian since I was sixteen and have recently made the jump from a conservative to a much more open, inclusive church, following the evolution of my beliefs. I’m now in my mid-twenties and studying for a PhD in England. I’ve come to Love Joy Feminism through the progressive Christian blogosphere and find that I learn a lot here.

  • Nathalie

    Hi, I’m Nathalie! I’m a college student in New York, raised Catholic, conservative but not overly so. Church every Sunday, confession, Lent, etc, but a pretty secular family in that sense. I began my questioning of Catholicism in high school when I realized I had no problem with homosexuality and abortion. Am now still questioning the existence of God, and am coming to be either an atheist or agnostic, but a humanist and a feminist.

  • http://ripeningreason.com/ Bix

    For the purposes of writing online, I call myself Bix. I grew up in a non-religious house, and I consider myself an atheist, feminist, and humanist. I’m 25, I was raised in the New England countryside, I have a degree in International Relations from a British university, and I love studying history. I’m trying to develop a career as a writer, both through my blog and through other endeavors–which is partly why I’m anonymous, at least for now. I live in Los Angeles with my boyfriend, who is a film director, and I desperately want guinea pigs. I arrived here at Love, Joy, Feminism via looking up the Pearls, who were in the news because of the child murder cases, and I kept researching Quiverfull and Christian Patriarchy and found this blog through No Longer Quivering. This is definitely one of my favorite blogs.

  • http://www.seditiosus.blogspot.com Schaden Freud

    I use the name Schaden Freud on the Patheos blogs. I was raised Baptist. I was homeschooled for a few years, and through homeschooling mum got exposed to a lot of ideas that I now recognise as CP/fundamentalist. I’m an atheist. The CP ideas my family rubbed shoulders with when I was young actually helped steer me into atheism, because I thought they were a) stupid, and b) unpleasant. Only my mum was Baptist, and dad counterbalanced her religious influences. Dad’s an atheist as far as I can tell (we’ve never actually talked about it), and he taught me not to put up with that crap. I drop by Love, Joy, Feminism every so often because it’s so interesting, and it helps me to understand a lot of things that I was aware of growing up, but didn’t quite “get”. I really struggle to understand how fundies see the world, and this blog helps enlighten me. I guess you would say I’m here for anthropological study.

  • Rod

    Rod here…. grew up in a non-religious household in Ontario, went to the United Church, mostly to be able to go to their camp. Studied science and worked in the chemical induustry, now retired. Didn’t have my kids baptised or christened…. no need.
    I had never heard of CP/QF movement, and Ontario was/is not a hotbed of conservative christianity, so a lot of this is new to me, and very strange.
    I never saw the need for a significant religion in my life….. kids, grandkids, learning, teaching science all are very fulfilling.
    I first saw Libby on FTB and follow her here now…. good insights and pithy observations.
    It is pretty difficult to believe that Falwell , Robertson et al are or were actually taken seriously. How can anyone believe that stuff, in 2012 in a supposedly advanced country? Your comments help me place this in perspective.

  • Jenna

    I’m Jenna. I come from an evangelical background. Basically my mom was baptist originally, my dad was an adult convert that mom missionary dated, and we attended a bunch of Presbyterian churches, so my theology was sort of a mishmash. I currently identify as agnostic/apathetic. I am a new pediatric nurse and live with my husband and 5 yr old. I went back to school after my son was born with a very serious health condition mostly because we needed more secure jobs/health insurance to guarantee he would keep getting care. Facing life/death/pain/quality of life issues with our son was a major factor in my husband and my deconversion experiences. I found L,J,F through Libby Ann’s posts on NLQ.

  • ScottInOH

    I’m ScottInOH. I did not grow up in a quiverfull, CP, or homeschooling environment, but I still see a lot of myself and my extended in what Libby Anne writes. I found Love, Joy, Feminism when a commenter at Pandagon linked to a post. I was overwhelmed (in a good way) by the site and spent a long time reading the archives (this was shortly before the move to FtB). I feel like I should share more, given that others have been so open, but I would very much like to remain anonymous at this point in my journey.

  • Karen

    I’m Karen, but if you read other fora you’ll find my commenting under the name geocatherder. That’s geo for geologist, plus catherder because I used to be an engineering manager before I took up geology. It has nothing to do with the fact that I’m owned by two real live cats. :-)

    I was raised by a devout Catholic mother and a non-churchgoing Lutheran father. I grew up in the U.S. church in the liberal post-Vatican-II ’60s and ’70s, went to Catholic schools through high school, and learned a much, MUCH more liberal version of the faith than my mother knew. I find stories of women who’ve escaped CP interesting because my mother, without my father’s cooperation, sought to instill CP notions in my head. It took a long time and some serious thinking to undo the damage. I’m a depression survivor as it is; I suspect I’d be a basket case if Daddy had non-egalitarian notions of marriage.

    I’m currently unemployed due to chronic health problems (which are slowly getting under control) but my skills qualify me to be a GIS specialist. (READ: mapmaking computer geek).

    Reading this blog sorts out the spiderwebbed, ignored, but still potent stuff in the back of my brain that’s trying to slow me down.

    • Karen

      Oh, and I’m currently an atheist.

  • Aaron

    1. Aaron is, indeed, my name.
    2. I’m from a rural area in the South, grew up with my parents going from Baptist to Episcopalian (my dad went all the way to Deist, my mother sticks with the faith). I lost whatever faith I had just before becoming a teenager, and spent the rest of high school defending my decision against a highly Christian community of other high schoolers (and teachers, although that never amounted to anything significant). I eventually got to relax in college.
    3. I’m gnostic atheist (and identify with Atheism+ or Ethical Atheism or whatever name people want to cmoe up with), and have been for a long time. I was agnostic atheist for a long time before that.
    4. Was married, now not. I develop software for a living and like to travel.
    5. Found you through Pharyngula, have kept following because the conversion from faith to atheism strikes a chord with me, because I understand sympathizing with and continuing to be friends with people who hold very conservative religious views. You balance with patience what PZ riles up with venom.

  • RJ

    My internet name is Robyn. I read your blog every day but rarely comment. I was raised fundamentalist, and have mostly left this behind, aside from occasional guilt attacks and panic about the afterlife. I currently have few beliefs, other than a firm commitment to environmentalism and social justice. I’m a student and I’m in a LTR that my family isn’t particularly happy with (I’m happy with it, though!!). I found Love Joy Feminism through Free Jinger. Love Joy Feminism is very inspiring to me as your story and journey, Libby, remind me of my own.

  • Soren

    Hi I’m Soren, I am 39. I was born and raised near Copenhagen, Denmark, in a typical suburbian environment. My parents were cultural christians just as most of Danes at the time. I was baptized into the Danish Peoples Church, a Lutheran church, and later confirmed. The only thing showing our Christianity in our household was celebrating christmas, and going to weddings, confirmations, baptisms and funerals in the church, and my brothers and my confirmation were we had to go attend religious class in school and go to church 10 times before being allowed to be confirmed.
    I am an atheist, which is so not a big deal in Denmark, although I take it a bit farther than most since I am a member of no less than two Danish Atheist organisations, mostly because I at time like to discuss such matters.
    I work in IT and have a wife and two children Alba 2, and Nathan 5. Alba has a relatively mild congenital chromosomal abnormality causing a developmental delay. We have no way of knowing how much of this she will be able to make up for, but for now she is developing at her own pace.
    I found this blog when it was at Freethoughtblogs, and I just love to hear about the experiences of people who have lived different lives. Being a veteran of especially the Evolution – Creationism wars, I recognize that it is never as simple as just one side having misunderstood som basic facts, it is indeed a clash of different worldviews. A good example was Libby Anne showing how conservative Christians view sexual morality versus how liberals view it.

  • http://blog.luigiscorner.com/ Azel

    My nick is Azel, as you can see.

    I am French and was raised Catholic amongst a Mauritian family where there are Hindus, Catholics, probably the odd Anglican or Muslim and some others I must have forgotten. All that to say that religion wasn’t that important a part of my upbringing compared to some commenters: regarding religion the only common point is that my family members’ have some form of faith.

    My current religious beliefs are apatheism aka “Gods ? I don’t know if there is one and it doesn’t seem to intervene or be of any import whatsoever. So, I don’t care” aka practical atheism. Apart for that, I’m an hedonist with a “live and let live” attitude.

    Well, I’m in my last year of studies for becoming an engineer in Software Engineering in France (the French school system being what it is, that is very odd, as far as I can translate the Engineer’s diploma I am working for is roughly equivalent to a Master of Engineering). I have many various interests, amongst those games (cards, videogames, tabletop, role-playing…), cooking, foreign languages…

    I don’t remember exactly how did I get on “Love, Joy, Feminism”, but if I recall correctly, it was via either “Friendly Atheist” or “Unreasonable Faith” here on Patheos.

  • Ismenia

    Hi, I’m Ismenia (or rather that’s a name I use online). I’m British and live in London. My family were the kind of Christians who go to church at Christmas and special occasions. However, in the UK state schools are required to have religious assemblies so I got a lot of exposure to religion at school. I made the mistake of taking it seriously, even taking religious studies as an option at high school. I tried hard to believe but was tormented with doubts, which only got worse when I studied the Bible. In my early twenties I gradually let go and am now an atheist and secularist.

    I now live with my husband and have recently finished a law degree. I’m also getting involved in the UK atheist movement. I first discovered LJF on Freethought blogs. I find it fascinating to hear accounts of an upbringing so different to my own and also like to read Libby-Anne’s analysis.

  • picklefactory

    I am picklefactory.

    My parents both came from very religious households — one Adventist, one Catholic — and in the course of meeting each other, falling in love, and having children they both rejected their religious education and upbringing. I recall attending a Unitarian Universalist church as a young child, but in retrospect I think that was just a way for my parents to connect with other progressive-minded secular people. I received no religious instruction whatever from my parents, just encouragement to read and learn as much as I could before making up my own mind.

    When I was younger I felt that supernatural things might exist, but retrospectively it had the air of attempting to convince myself, and I seem not to have succeeded. I’ve done a great deal of self-study of religions and philosophies, and of them all I’d say that Taoism intrigued me the most. Although I still think it has some valuable lessons to teach, lately I’ve been of a more atheistic and skeptical frame of mind. In short, I reject the idea of a magical universe.

    Reflecting, it’s interesting that growing up in the South had as little effect on me as it did — I remember a strong Christian undercurrent to many of my social interactions with my peers, and just the general idiom. Then again, I never managed to pick up a Southern accent, either.

    I’ve always been fascinated by cults — the People’s Temple, Juche Idea, Scientology, O.T.O., Unification Church, transcendental meditation — and since I frequent this area of blog land, it was inevitable that I would run across the Quiverfull folks. I think my interest is a combination of empathy and fascination with reading the accounts of people who have been subjected to a strong form of mind control.

    Of course I read everything on NLQ and then decided your blog was worth reading on a permanent basis. I was very pleased when you joined FtB, but for the variety of folks I think you are addressing Patheos is clearly a better choice.

  • http://heresyintheheartland.blogspot.com Jeri

    I’m Jerusha, the oldest of 11 homeschooled kids. I was raised with a lot of variety over the years: charismatic, evangelical, fundamentalist, etc. My parents were Bill Gothard fans, and very anti-contraception. I was a stay at home daughter for too many years. I courted another Gothard follower after a short stint on the mission field in the Philippines.

    Over the last 12 years, my husband and have gradually become atheists, and passionate about women’s and children’s rights. We have put two of our kids in public school (I’m still homeschooling the youngest this year). I’m a part-time college student, looking forward to a career someday.

    I found LJ&F via Hilary from Quivering Daughters. I love Libby Anne’s commentary on current events, and hearing her process her adolescent experience is incredibly helpful.

  • appellategirl

    I am appellategirl, because I happen to be an appellate lawyer. Raised Catholic, complete with nine years of Catholic school, weekly Mass, confession, Lent, meatless Fridays, etc. But it was the liberal Catholic church of the 1970s. In the late 70s they actually taught us sex education in Catholic school in 7th grade, including all the different birth control methods. Now, living in a Texas suburban public school district, my teenage daughters are taught “abstinence only” and when a student asked a question about birth control, the teacher had to respond “if I answer that question, I will get fired.” A few years ago, my fond memories of the loving people in my childhood Catholic community were overwhelmed by the regressive, harsh, conservative, strident Catholic church of today, and I no longer consider myself Catholic. I am a progressive liberal and I guess my current beliefs waver between liberal Christian and agnostic. I believe that much of the gospels and 1 Corinthians provide a good blueprint for living your life (feeding the poor, serving others, being patient and kind, not judging, healing the sick, visiting the prisoner, welcoming the stranger) but I don’t have any use for organized religion any more. I found Love Joy Feminism through Ed Brayton’s “Dispatches from the Culture Wars.” I like Libby Anne’s posts on feminism, gentle parenting and humanism. My jaw drops to the floor when I read about the Quiverfull and Christian Patriarchy movements. It really sounds to me like a combination of the Taliban and a Margaret Atwood novel.
    4. A bit about you

    5. What brings you to Love, Joy, Feminism

    • appellategirl

      Forgot to say that Libby’s posts on the Purity Culture have really made me re-examine a lot of the things I was taught (or absorbed) as a young Catholic girl, this unhealthy obsession with “virginity” over everything else. Pulling all of that out of my subconscious and looking at it critically has helped me be a lot more relaxed in raising my teenage daughters. As they start to explore their sexuality, I have become less concerned about what exactly they are doing and more focused on making sure they have the accurate and complete information they need about birth control and protection from disease, and talking to them about being emotionally ready, and having a partner who is loving and cares about them, and that they have a right not to be pressured or pushed into anything they don’t want to do.

  • AnyBeth

    I go by AnyBeth on most blogs (as at FTB there came a Beth I didn’t want to be confused for). I use another handle someplace private and have used it an another elsewhere in many years past, but I don’t comment under them because my parents know of them.

    I was raised in 10+ Calvin-ish fundamentalist Baptist churches (mostly independent or Primitive) by an abusive mother and passive father. I never fit in at the churches because I believed unspeakably radical things like that women should be allowed to preach, that God didn’t mind if I were to wear pants in church, and that “love one another” was more important than all the condemnation in the book.

    I’m an atheist, humanist, feminist — and I’m thinking about the A+ thing.

    I’m in my late 20s, living alone (but getting occasional help from family, who know nothing of my atheism), with multiple acquired disabilities and a long-term, long-distance boyfriend who is disabled, too. The most notable thing about my current beliefs is that, though my religious beliefs changed quite a bit when I thought I was dying, I literally became an atheist overnight. (Brain damage can do really weird things.)

    I came to LJF via a link from Butterflies and Wheels. Haven’t left.

  • http://freiheit86.blogspot.com/ Georgiana

    Hi there! In this corner of the internet I go by Georgiana… not my real name though.
    I’m in my mid-twenties, and was homeschooled K-12 by very fundimentalist, conservative parents who idolized the puritans and the past. Going to a liberal arts university (where I majored in Illustration) really changed everything about how I viewed the world and what I believed.
    Now I’m mostly agnostic… I think reincarnation makes a lot of sense but I’m not sure I actually believe it or if I just want to believe it.
    I also discovered I’m mostly gay, and though it was quite a relief to realize and accept that about myself, I’m really REALLY am not looking forward to having that conversation with my parents.
    I found Love, Joy, Feminism when browsing through ex-Quiverfull blogs, and could hardly believe how familiar everything sounded. I’ve been reading for several months, and recently started a new blog to talk about all the things it’s stirred up in me. Even though I don’t comment very much, I look forward to and read every post!

  • http://dukesofearl.blogspot.com Joy

    Hi! I’m Joy or “Joykins;” I was raised evangelical but am now a liberal Christian; years of editing indexes taught me brevity; and I’m here because I find your blog interesting.

  • Rilian

    I’m rilian, i was raised atheist, I’m still an atheist, I like languages and grammar, among other things, and I found lovejoyfeminism on freethoughtblogs, and I like reading about the religion stuff and I’m a feminist.

  • http://alisoncummins.com Alison Cummins

    1. Alison Cummins

    2. Raised non-religious. I didn’t learn that my parents weren’t atheists until my teens. I went to an american missionary high school when my family moved to Nigeria in the 70s, which is where I discovered that people still went to church. I loved Bible class.

    3. The atheist end of the agnostic spectrum. Progressive, but being progressive is the default where I live (Québec) so it’s not an identity issue.

    4. I identify as lesbian but am legally married to a man. (If you care, click http://www.alisoncummins.com/2007/09/23/im-it/ for more.) Forty-eight years old, no children, two dogs. I own property as a hedge against what I believe are very hard times to come due to the confluence of climate change and rising energy prices. Libby Anne seems to be a very nice and smart person but I don’t understand why she has built her family by creating new human beings who are going to be facing a very difficult and conflicted world. (I am saying this to share information about me and my assumptions and thought processes, not to make judgements of Libby Anne.)

    5. I’m learning more about the people I went to high school with. Generally I think it’s good to know more about people who aren’t like oneself, especially people who seem to have a lot of influence on modern popular culture — and who may have even more influence as life becomes more difficult and conflict-ridden for many more of us.

    • http://alisoncummins.com Alison Cummins

      Further to 5.: Also, of course, because Libby Anne is a nice and smart person.

  • http://www.texannewyorker.com jwall915

    I’m Julie, my website is http://www.texannewyorker.com. I’m a food blogger and lawyer-turned-real estate investor. I grew up in a severely strict fundamentalist evangelical, though not Quiverfull, home. My parents’ biggest influence was James Dobson, and while he may be tame compared to Michael Pearl, he shouldn’t be dismissed. His poisonous advice causes much suffering. I suffered much physical, emotional and financial abuse until my mid-twenties when I got married.
    My beliefs at present are agnostic/atheist. I do not attend church, my politics are liberal, and I value things like compassion, fairness, equality for everyone, and social justice.
    A few years ago I was really hurting from the after effects of the abuse I suffered as a child. I was trying to make sense of everything and I stumbled on No Longer Quivering, which turned out to be a saving grace for me. I found Libby Anne’s blog through that site.
    I am doing much better in my recovery now. I keep returning to Love, Joy, Feminism (and other similar sites) because it is comforting to know there are so many others on a similar journey as me. It also reminds me of how far I’ve come, and that I should give myself credit for that. Also, they are informative for staying abreast on political topics that interest me. Thank you for writing, Libby Anne!

  • Ariel

    1. I’m Ariel.
    2. I was raised as a nontheist; no one in my family is religious.
    3. I consider myself a rationalist; because I see no rational or empirical reason to believe in the supernatural, I am an atheist; because I am an atheist, I believe it is up to human beings to build the world, and so I am a humanist.
    4. I’m a math teacher and a longtime fan of science in general.
    5. I came here because one of my atheist friends linked to one of your posts on Facebook, and stayed because many of the things you said were interesting or thought-provoking.

  • Louise

    I’m Louise. Friends and family call me Lou. Raised Methodist and Presbyterian, went to public schools and a state university, currently evangelical but not a fundamentalist. Do attend church with some homeschooling families and have encountered quiverfull families also in our area. I am licensed in a health profession and am now retired from that. I am married and my husband and I have raised three children, two of whom are married now. I have two grandchildren who are toddlers. Not sure how I started reading here maybe it was the post about Girl Scouts. My youngest is the same age as Libby Anne. I am glad that Libby Anne escaped fundamentalism/quiverfull and am sorry that some have distorted Christianity to that lifestyle of legalism and authoritarianism.

  • Skjaere

    1. I go by a few names, but Skjaere is the one I most commonly use for day-to-day stuff.

    2. I was raised, along with my younger sister, in a casually Christian household, first in the Methodist Church, and later (middle school and high school) in the Episcopal Church. My parents thought putting us in Sunday school was something they “ought” to do. We joined our first church because my dad wanted to be part of their softball league, and our second church because it was a block from our house.

    I went to Episcopal church camps that I really enjoyed and remember very fondly throughout middle and high school. They were liberal and open-minded to the point of being almost permissive. They never said a peep to us about homosexuality or abortion, and hardly anything about premarital sex. It was a very good experience which shaped my youth and gave me many wonderful friends.

    My mother became born-again when I was in high school, and has since joined a conservative Evangelical church. Politics and religion are huge points of contention between us, and our relationship is troubled because of that. My sister also attends an Evangelical church, but is somewhat more socially progressive than my mother. My father is a science teacher, and I assume he’s agnostic. He never talks about politics or religion, and as far as I can tell, he goes to church with my mom to make her happy.

    3. I stopped being active in the church after high school. I never found myself a “home church” while I was at college, and even after, I would mostly attend church when I was moving to a new job, in order to meet people outside work. I still considered myself a Christian, but it wasn’t something I put much thought or effort into. It’s only really been in the past year, as I’ve been reading more blogs like this one, that I’ve come to really examine my beliefs. After a lot of soul-searching (no pun intended), I’ve gotten off the faith bandwagon with minimal angst, and currently identify as a naturalistic pagan. I don’t believe in literal deities or supernatural forces, but am happy to consider them as symbolic representation of the natural forces which shape our lives and our universe.

    4. I grew up in the Pacific NW and went to university in the UK, earning two degrees in historical archaeology. I’m currently in my mid-30′s, back in the NW, single and childless, working night shift at a hotel (don’t y’all love this economy?). Other boxes I fit in: white, lower middle class, cis-female, pansexual. I’m a big geek who loves Harry Potter and Doctor Who, and my main getting-out-of-the-apartment activity is board game meetups.

    5. I started seeing people on other blogs linking to Libby Anne’s posts about a year ago, and they were always so fascinating and insightful that I started making this one of my daily stops on the web. Her upbringing was way to the right of mine, but there are definitely themes that resonate with me (posts on purity culture and homeschooling especially). She provides insight into a world of which I have an imperfect grasp but which still impacts my life, and she makes points and helps me think about it in ways I would never come up with on my own, for which I am grateful

  • http://sopheliajapan.blogspot.jp/ Sophelia

    Hi, I am Sophelia. I was raised in an Australian home schooling, home churching family that managed to combine elements of Christian patriarchy and right-wing paranoia (guns, demons, the sign of the beast etc etc) with hippy-dom (environmentalism, organic farming, natropathy etc etc).
    I’m now a happy atheist living in Japan. I found Love, Joy, Feminism through another atheist blog (Friendly Atheist I think… can’t quite remember) and pretty much everything Libby says resonates so deeply that I hang out for each new post. The post about feeling never-ending culture shock especially spoke to me.

  • Bre

    Hi, my name is Bre. My parents were Catholic but we didn’t attend church much, although we did go to a Lutheran church for a couple years. I never really liked going to church and it’s hard for me to remember what I actually “believed” at that age (about 10 years old). My mom is a feminist and when I was a teenager I would borrow her copies of Our Bodies, Ourselves, Backlash and Gloria Steinem and read them over and over. I identified at a feminist and pro-choice by the time I was 15 or 16, and I loved studying evolution is high school and college. I started to think of myself as an atheist after college, and especially when I moved to Salt Lake City with my boyfriend. It was hard to live in such a “religious” place, I felt like an outsider, even though people there are so nice. I am back in Alaska now, where I grew up, and happily married to my atheist husband. I can’t remember why I first came to Love, Joy Feminism but I do like to frequent conservative mommy bogs (not sure why, it ‘s just a guilty pleasure) and I figure- hey, I don’t want to support these women when I really don’t agree with their views AT ALL so I better balance things out and visit feminist, atheist, liberal sites as well!!

  • Julie42

    My name is Julie. I was raised in an evangelical/fundamentalist family. I’m number six out of ten kids, though we weren’t really part of the Quiverfull movement. I started doubting my beliefs during my senior year of high school and transitioned into atheism over the next few months. With that brought a wonderful change in my personality as I started to fully grasp who I am and realize that I don’t have to be a certain way just because that’s what a good Christian girl is supposed to do. I’m currently in an amazing sinful relationship with a great guy that wouldn’t have been possible a few years ago and I’m studying art & design in Chicago. I come here every now and then for a good dose of feminist atheism or atheist feminism. Whichever I’m in the mood for.

  • Alison

    I’m Alison (or Alie, my nickname).

    By background, I was raised Methodist, and at one time considered ordination. I’m now evangelical with very strong Methodist leanings (which in some evangelical circles makes me–gasp–almost an unbeliever!), and am flirting with Episcopalianism because I don’t like the pat answers I get on a lot of the questions I have. In other words, I’m a crappy Christian. I’m an only child of divorced parents. I’m a cashier by trade, since I write poetry and paint; I’m too broke to do either full time! I came here through Fred Clark (slacktivist; one of his “smart people saying smart things” a while back mentioned this blog), and I enjoy the heck out of it, especially the observations and the pushback from you, Libby, on some of the issues of faith that I can fall into taking for granted.

  • http://www.thedrantherlair.com quietpanther

    I’m Scottie, a.k.a. quietpanther. I blog (occasionally) at The Dranther Lair. I’m the oldest of nine raised Presbyterian (PCA), complete with the whole fundie-lite package: homeschool through high school, complementarianism, creationism, Biblical inerrancy, Calvinism, mild patriarchy, and my parents practiced but didn’t necessarily advocate Quiverfull (they believe it’s a personal choice issue and what “God called them to”). A couple years ago, I fell in love with an amazing woman who lived in a super-fundamentalist controlling cultic isolationist Patriarchal family, and in helping her exit (which cost her nearly her entire family) and embarking on married life with her, I had to begin confronting and examining many things I’d believed, determining to seek truth for myself rather than blindly accepting what I’d been taught … and once I took that road with a few specific teachings, for the sake of intellectual honesty I had to apply that to EVERYTHING I’d ever believed … resulting in a painful but promising journey from fundie-lite Christianity to agnostic humanism.
    I’m a 25-year-old bi humanist agnostic with an amazing wife and a 9-month-old daughter who blogs (occasionally, when time permits) at The Dranther Lair. Between working nights, helping take care of the baby while Anne’s at work, spending time with the family and trying to keep up on sleep, I don’t get online nearly as much as I’d like to. When I do get on, LJF is one of the first blogs I catch up with (though I tend to do more “sharing” than commenting).

    • http://www.thedrantherlair.com quietpanther

      …and I just realized that in my haste to finish that comment, I accidentally plugged my blog twice. Sorry … I’m not a spambot! Really! I swear!

  • kisekileia

    I’m kisekileia. I come from a progressive evangelical family (think Sojourners). I was raised in an extremely liberal denomination but came to think of it as spiritually empty. I had a conversion experience to evangelical Christianity when I was twelve, which also involved realizing that hey, maybe I wasn’t completely unlovable to everyone outside my family. I immersed myself in evangelical Christian culture for the next few years, and became thoroughly indoctrinated in evangelical views on sexuality and theology. My disillusionment started at age 16, with a PTSD-inducingly horrible experience at the same place where my conversion happened. I’ve gradually drifted away from evangelicalism since then.

    I’m now in my late 20s, am a staunch feminist, live with my boyfriend, and identify as a sort-of-Christian (very conflicted about a lot of it) agnostic theist. Some of the intellectual arguments in favour of atheism are getting harder to ignore, but I have a very strong emotional belief in God. I haven’t even really shaken my fear of hell, and that holds me back in my questioning.

    I can’t remember now whether I found Love, Joy, Feminism through No Longer Quivering or through Slacktivist. The former, I think. I’ve been very drawn to ex-Quiverfull blogs because they help me make sense of my experiences, but are far enough removed from my trauma that I don’t find them too triggering. (I read less of the ones that go into a lot of detail about abuse, like NLQ, than of blogs like this one and Permission to Live.) I like Libby Anne and her blog because she’s an extremely lucid thinker and writer, she’s mostly the type of parent I’d like to be when I have kids, and she sheds light on a lot of things I think about.

  • plch

    A bit late but here I am, I’m plch, my ‘web alias’ means ‘fat dormouse’ in Czech, but I’m not Czech, I’m Italian and I live in the Czech Republic.

    I’m 41 and, as most Italians of my generation, I was raised in the relatively liberal Catholicism of the ’70s. My parents weren’t and aren’t active churchgoers but I was sent to cathechism and I got confirmed at age 11. My parents have both degrees in sciences and taught me to think critically. This led me to understand that I couldn’t ever be a believer since the moment I undestood what having faith really means (believing against evidence). I considered myself an agnostic since I high school. Later on I understood that atheist was more appropriate a ‘label’.

    I studied Biology at university and moved to the Czech Republic to complete my PhD about 15 years ago, here I met my now husband and here I stayed. Now we have a child (2 years old) and we are trying to be his ‘gentle parents’.

    I consider myself an atheist but I am also an humanist, very much on the left politically, a rational/sceptic person and also a feminist (among the rest).

    I reached Love, Joy, Feminism through NLQ, which I started following a few years ago thanks to a link found on the atheist forum on about.com. I found Libby Anne’s entries some of the best on NLQ and so I started rading her blog. I agree with her on so many things and it’s for me very interesting to see how we reached very similar conclusions starting from such different backgrounds.
    Thank you Libby Anne!

    5. What brings you to Love, Joy, Feminism

  • Jessica

    Hi, I’m Jessica, jcatgrl elsewhere on the internet. I was technically raised Catholic, but a very casual, Christmas&Easter sort of Catholic. Luckily, in my opinion, we never had the money for Catholic schooling, so my three sisters and I have gone to public schools all of our lives. Now, I’m an intersectional feminist, LGBTQ+ rights activist, environmentalist, animal welfare advocate, all-around Liberal, and Pagan.

    I like fantasy, sci-fi, and young adult novels (both reading and writing them), biking, Star Trek, Supernatural, various anime and manga, and talking to my friends, mainly on tumblr. I’m seventeen, bisexual, and a high school graduate, as I skipped a grade and have a late birthday, so I graduated when I was sixteen. I’m still living with my family, but I’m aiming to enlist in the Air Force and become a linguist, not because I’m particularly patriotic, but because it’s the easiest solution for me, personally, to get a college education without massive debt, to start a career, and to get out of a not particularly good family situation.

    I found Love, Joy, Feminism through a link to the post about how you lost faith in the pro-life movement on tumblr, and I’ve been binge-reading through the archives for the past two days.

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

      Welcome! :)


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