A Survey for Those Raised in Religious Homes!

I’ve written before about the serious methodological problems besetting essentially every study of homeschooling. Well, it’s about to move way beyond that. Brian Ray, founder the agenda-ridden National Home Education Research Institute, is now expanding his repertoire with a study of all young adults who grew up in religious homes. Here’s how he describes the survey (which you can take here):

This is a survey of those between the ages of 18-38 years old that grew up in religious homes. Our goal is to come up with data points of key influences that either encouraged or deterred the participants from practicing the same faith as their parents. Dr. Brian Ray, a decades-long experienced researcher, is the principal investigator and will confidentially analyze the data. We will use the statistics from this survey to help equip parents to make more informed decisions in the education and spiritual guidance of their children. All results are anonymous. We greatly appreciate your participation in this effort.

I’d like to encourage everyone who is between age 18 and 38 and grew up in a religious home of any kind to fill out the survey and pass it on to their friends (via twitter, facebook, blogging, etc.). Yes, Ray et al. are trying to find a pattern so as to prevent the loss of adherents—they’re aware that Millenials are less religious than previous generations—but I don’t think telling our own experiences as those who have left or at the very least moved in a different direction can hurt, especially given that the survey ends with a text box asking for any further input. We might as well let them know we’re out there!

This survey is being shared from person to person, meaning that it’s not going to get a random sample. That means it’s really not very scientific at all—though given Brian Ray’s track record in this kind of thing, it will still be passed off as though it is. Lana of Wide Open Ground received this email about the survey from a Christian homeschool leader:

After 30 years of a homeschool movement, we’ve learned something of the academic success and the socio-economic successes by various surveys. But what about the spiritual condition of the graduates of this first generation of home education? How did we do? What were the educational, cultural, relational, and spiritual influences in our children’s lives, and where are they today?

From all reports, the millennial generation is less committed to a Christian worldview; they’re leaving the institutional church; and they are the most narcissistic, the laziest, the most unsuccessful, and the most spiritually bankrupt generation ever. (Reference: herehere).

So. . . what about our children? What is the condition of our homeschool graduates? What happened to those children raised in Christian homes back in the 1990s? Where are they now?

Introducing. . . The Gen 2 Survey.

We have released the Generation 2 survey for every young person (18-35 years of age), Christian, Non-Christian, Public Schooled, Private Schooled, and Home Schooled.

The survey is anonymous (there is no tracing of answers to sources). It will take 10-20 minutes to complete, and each participant enters a contest to win one of THREE I-PAD MINI’s!

Click here to visit the Survey Webpage: www.gen2survey.com

We Need Your Help!

Please pass this survey on to every young person 18-35 years of age that you know (preferably raised in Christian homes in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s)! Pass it along to churches, homeschool support groups, or any family you know with older children.

Click here to visit the Survey Webpage: www.gen2survey.com

If this isn’t proof that this survey is unscientific, I don’t know what is. And further, if this isn’t proof that we shouldn’t also have our say, well, again, I don’t know what is. Fill out the survey and let its makers know how you feel. Let’s not let them have any excuse to deny our existence.

I do want to be clear, though: This survey is only for those who are between the ages of 18 and 38 and grew up in religious homes. Do not screw with this survey. If you qualify, answer it honestly. If you don’t, don’t.

If you want to know what sort of questions are asked—and trust me, it’s interesting—anyone can view them by flipping through the survey with or without filling out the answers. Some of the questions are obviously leading, some are impossible to answer (how do you rank how close to or distant from God you feel when you don’t believe there is a God in the first place, for instance?), and some seem odd if the survey really is meant for anyone raised in a religious home and not just for homeschoolers (for instance, the question about what kind of homeschool groups your parents were involved in).

When I filled out the survey it said I would receive an email when the results come out, so I’ll keep you posted!

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.

  • Caramello

    Can I register my profound abhorrence at the description of Millennials as lazy and unsuccessful in an era of huge and devastating worldwide youth unemployment, arising from causes that these young people themselves have nothing to do with?

    • Hilary

      Please, do so.

    • Kate

      Yes. Thank you. I am really tired of reading all about how dreadful, lazy, and disillusioned I and others of my generation are, but never seeing acknowledged that perhaps there is a reason we seem that way – like, say, maybe the over a decade now of constant war and high unemployment, or the fact that maybe we’re just doing life *differently* but just as well as the last generation, which, lest we forget, was also called dreadful, lazy, and disillusioned by the generation before it. sigh…

      • tonilaura

        Perhaps the “last” generation is the reason for your disillusionment.
        Whoever said life was easy? One builds one’s life and it is not always easy. In fact, it is darn hard but it can be done.

        I wonder if the statement “Do no harm” would apply to you? Have you hurt some one who loved you because you are so full of self pity? You do things differently but at what cost? You and others like you are to be excused from any form of doing for others occasionally, even such a small thing as voting? Helping an elderly person? Protecting a child? Or being n time for work and doing an honest job for which you receive an honest wage? So not as much as you need, so not the job you want or believe more worthy of you but honest.

        I think what i object to most about your theory of life is your do nothing attitude and wanting others to give more to you because??

      • Nate Frein

        Stop whining. Put up evidence that the generation that you’re insultingly overgeneralizing is, in fact, demonstrably worse than your own generation.

      • tonilaura

        Not all of that generation. My sons have courage, one worked for self with six figure income but had to go in dialynsis for five years, lost his business, a friend gave him a kidney and he now is working for someone else. He is still on borrowed time but he is living. My eldest son is not as lucky. He has at the most two years. So don’t tell me I am whining. I have the courage to live the life granted to me, to accept the tears, in silence and alone, and I smile without blaming anyone else for the tears. I wish my only hurts were not having the job I wanted. Not having all I wanted. Yes, I insult those whose only complaint is the lack of some one giving them what they want. Yes, I insult the rioters who refuse to accept a verdict from a US court because they really know nothing else to do. And that includes our Attorney General.

        Whine? Not yet. Not when I lost my parents, not when I lost my husband because they belong to me, none will see them.

      • Nate Frein

        Your comments here have been nothing but unsubstantiated whining. Put up evidence to support your accusations or don’t complain when people don’t take the kindest view of your statements.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Rioters? There have been protests, but no riots. I have no idea where you get your news from, but your sources are clearly failing you.

      • tonilaura

        Well, i guess the reports of broken windows, store been ransacked, paint spray on cars, buildings, the beating of a Hispanic man in Baltimore, MD.by a gang with the chant “For Trayvon” was all a misquote. All tis on the news today. Sorry, it as FOX and the AP.

      • AnonaMiss

        Speaking as a person who lives in Baltimore, that’s Baltimore for you. I don’t think it counts as a riot when it’s not unusual for the area.

      • tonilaura

        I haven’t been to Baltimore in years but I liked it. It has such a wonderful history.

      • Richter_DL

        The difference between a protester and a rioter is skin colour and red-ness versus blue-ness, not actual rioting. Do you never watch Fox News?

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        I try really really hard not to lol. My outrage-at-bullshit quota per day is only so high, and Fox blows it in the first five minutes every time.

      • Kate

        Those difficulties in your life are tough and must take a lot of your time and emotional energy. For those things, I hope that you find strength to continue to support your sons through their challenges.

        BUT I don’t understand why that means that you’re more right about what you’ve said about our generation. Personal tragedy, though of course terrible, difficult to deal with, etc. does not give you a free pass to say any unsubstantiated thing you want on other topics and be automatically right.

      • tonilaura

        Again, I apologize because as you said, these are my opinions, granted inspire by the surroundings of a small town, less then 250,000 people but I have worked in New York City,14th Street a realtor, the Battery and it was a favorite playground of mine, and I have children who work in California, Arizona, New York City, Florida, so I was speaking of personal experience and information my children spout. And why don”t I have a free pass to express my opinions first hand? My experience in Hawaii at a Naval Depot, also at NCIS added much to my experience. As a military dependent, I worked overseas, all over this country and even made a business trip to Poland under the Small Business agency.

        Did I give the impression of believing I was more right than others? Sorry but you know, it is hard to see so much gong to waste. Again, my personal opinion.

      • Shadow Spring

        You voted for the politicians that denied quality health care for all Americans. That includes your sons. There are no riots happening, only protests. I fear you are delusional. If you lived in a different country, you might be eligible for mental health coverage and find treatment, but here in the good old USA, mental health coverage is only for the wealthy elite and the desperately poor. Oh, and vets provided they live long enough to have their paperwork processed!

      • Richter_DL

        So your son lost everything he owned because America’s healthcare system is fatally broken. God bless America! And especially the people who broke it – your generation.

        And I’d like to see you if any of your sons was gunned down for being who he is. Of course, as a White, you don’t have to worry about that, do you?

        Stop your whining yourself. In an actual civilised country, people with failing kidneys can work jobs because there is comppulsory healthcare coverage and relatively affordable helathcare. You people voted that down. You made the bed, now your children have to lie in it.

        And it is your fault. So really, don’t whine. Start apologizting to your sons.

      • Shadow Spring

        It’s the times you live in, not the fact that you live.

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/28/poverty-unemployment-rates_n_3666594.html

      • Anat

        Here is something positive about millenials: The Wanted Generation

        From there:

        Will millennials be the generation that breaks the cycle of
        intergenerational warfare? This generation, whose oldest members are
        reaching the first years of their thirties and whose youngest members
        are still teens, has been examined and dissected thoroughly, and a
        picture of their “character” has come out. Conclusion: The kids are
        alright. As a group, millennials are more optimistic, kinder,
        team-oriented, more confident, and more responsible than their
        forebears. Even Joel Stein’s cover story for Time
        last week, which was supposed to paint a negative picture of
        millennials, ended up making them look pretty good, concluding that
        they’re “earnest and optimistic” and even “financially responsible.”

      • Kate

        Interesting straw man you’ve set up from my comment, tonilaura. And so far from fact, I’m literally, truthfully, laughing out loud at it. Heck, I showed it around to my colleagues (also almost all Millennials) because it’s just so damn wrong it’s HILAROIUS.

        I am a full time development consultant and humanitarian in eastern Congo when I’m not a professional musician in the U.S. So, full of self pity? You couldn’t be more wrong. Have I worked damn hard to get here and do I work damn hard every day? Absolutely.

        I do things differently BECAUSE doing things the way they’ve always been done has resulted in 40 years of civil war and unrest in this part of the world and many others. So yes, Do No Harm does apply to me as it is something I talk about with people every day as we work to disarm rebel militias and teach youth who have never lived a day outside of a war zone that violence is not the answer.

        Small things such as voting? Yes, I vote, but I’m also living in eastern Congo. Check out some headlines on AlJazeera or BBC for recent news in Congo and remember that me, my Congolese friends, and my expat friends here (the VAST majority of whom are Millennials) are giving up careers elsewhere to address this situation here.

        Helping an elderly person? Most definitely. Building counseling and support group programs for elderly widows who have been recent victims of sexual violence seems like helping, in my book at least.

        Protecting a child? Working with children who have escaped their forced service in armed militias counts, I would expect.

        Being on time for work? I work around the clock, always on call. I have never had a 9-5 in my life. More like a 8-9, or 7-10…

        Doing an honest job for which you receive an honest wage? Don’t make me laugh. I and my colleagues work 60 to 80 hours per week and my stipend this year was $14,000 ($3000 was spent on airfare just to get here).

        MY DO NOTHING ATTITUDE. Are you f***ing serious. Not sure where you got that idea at all. You obviously are projecting your preconceived negative response to the unconventionality and willingness to question the norm that my generation exhibits onto me just because I dared say that previous generations have been shat upon by the generations before them as well, and you have drawn so many LAUGHABLE conclusions that I am tempted to think you are just trolling.

        Wanting others to give more to me? Riiiight. I have no illusions of getting any Social Security checks when I am 70 because we all know how that’s working out now. I am entirely self-supported, despite the tiny stipend. I have to wonder what Millennials you’re spending time with, really.

        And lest you brush this all off as just one exception to your neat little rule, let me assure you – my generation is working their a$$es off the world round. My professional musician friends (I’m also a professional musician when I am Stateside) practice upwards of 5 hours daily (on their own time in addition to work) in order to perfect their craft and teach and perform as well as they do. I have friends who have built their own online businesses and are living happy lives by doing things DIFFERENTLY. I have friends teaching elementary school in Haiti, directing refugee resettlement programs in Chicago, building community art programs in Guatemala, working on Capital Hill as Nuclear Nonproliferation advisors, making peanuts working with AmeriCorps simply because they believe in it So Strongly, and the list goes on.

        So basically, your comment couldn’t be more laughable. Try hanging out with some other Millennials sometime. We don’t bite, generally, and there quite a few doing some really great things. Who knows, you might even learn something. Get a little injection of our well-documented adventurous spirit and love of life. I am really just sorry for you and your sad, narrow view of us and probably life in general.

      • Kate

        Shoot, I misspelled “hilarious.” Hopefully that doesn’t come back to bite me as proof that I don’t know my three R’s.

      • Nancy Shrew

        What are you even going on about?

      • tonilaura

        i was answering another person.

      • Nancy Shrew

        Let me rephrase: What even is this? All I see is a bunch of turgid whining and ignorance about the reality of getting a job.

      • tonilaura

        Well, well, you can read!

      • Nancy Shrew

        I know, it’s such a surprise considering what a stupid, lazy Millennial I am.

      • tonilaura

        If you say so!

    • Jayn

      I wish I’d bookmarked the article, but I read something a while back that said that Millennials only seem entitled because we’re upset over not having the life we were told we would have, after doing the things we were told to do–we followed our parents’ footsteps and wound up in a different place. Yet most complaints about us include some sort of “When I was your age…” angle.

      Yeah, when you were my age high school dropouts still had decent career options. Now even a college degree means little.

      • Lucreza Borgia

        Perhaps we read the same article because I remember something like that. Did they also talk about how college practically guaranteed a job for them yet for us it’s considered to be a specialized form of HS diploma?

      • Lucreza Borgia
      • Jayn

        That’s not it, but some of the points are pretty obvious and I’ve seen them mentioned in multiple places (heck, my father is in a skilled trade, so I’ve been hearing complaints about the death of vocational schools since I was a teen. When you’re in your fifties and one of the youngest people in your field…). The article I’m thinking of hit mainly just the Baby Boomer and Student Loan et al. points, adding that working your way through school isn’t really an option with how expensive university is now.

      • Lucreza Borgia

        Oh bullshit. One of my coworkers at Walmart had finished trade school and was a certified welder. He couldn’t find a single job. In fact, lots of my co-workers had either college educations or had a trade. There just aren’t enough jobs even in the trades. Not unless you have lots of experience and even then it’s a crap-shoot.

      • AnotherOne

        Seriously? All the tradespeople I know decry the lack of skilled trade labor, and the way the breakup of unions has resulted in a lack of training opportunities, since unions were previously a prime source of training and apprenticeships. Also, as the building industry slowly picks back up, I know builders are dealing with a shortfall of skilled electricians. I have a couple of relatives who are skilled construction workers (i.e., they work with highrises and on large projects), and their employers are shortstaffed but have trouble finding people to meet the positions. I don’t pretend to be any kind of expert in terms of vocational labor, but certainly the welders and machinists and mechanics I know aren’t hurting for work nearly as bad as the young people I know with liberal arts degrees.

      • AnotherOne

        I did a quick google of “shortage of skilled trades workers” and posted the resulting links, but I think the links made my comment get caught in the spam filter. Anyway, the summary is that it does appear that there is a notable shortage of skilled tradespeople in the US and more broadly.

      • eamonknight

        There’s supposed to be a skilled trades shortage in Canada, too — mostly out West in the oil patch, I think. Around here (Southern Ontario) not so much.

      • AnotherOne

        Yeah, I do think there’s probably a regional componant to it.

      • Jayn

        It probably depends on the trade and your location. I know my father had trouble finding an employee when he looked for one. He hasn’t had another tech working with him in a few years, though.

      • tonilaura

        Right. We moved from New Jersey to Colorado when my father’s company moved headquarters. Needs must.

      • Richter_DL

        The military footed your bill. That’s not comparable.

      • The_L1985

        Really? And did YOU pay for temporary storage, transportation halfway across a continent, AND the rental of moving vans? NO. The US military (i.e., my tax dollars) did.

      • tonilaura

        But they are working. Speaking of welders , I am not joking, but South Dakota is booming and there are welders wanted there. I know this because a family member has just finished welder’s school. But not always easy moving to where the jobs are, is it?

      • Nate Frein

        At least they’re working?

        How much debt do you think he had to get into in order to get that education? Do you think that walmart is paying enough for him to afford the loans he had to take?

        Why do you assume he can afford to move to South Dakota in the first place?

        Get the hell over yourself.

      • tonilaura

        My youngest is still paying her loan. We paid her first year. she wanted a year off and we said fine but no more help from us. So she had to have loans. She realized her error and went back two years later. We did help of course, she lived at home, no housing or food costs because we didn’t ask, bought her a car but she also worked and attended school. it can be done. Ten years later, she obtained her Master’s but she is still paying off her loans. Myself? As a military dependent moving much, wife, mother, worker, I attended night school but i did get my degree. Who ever said life is to be easy?

        I di not assume he could pay for his transportation but some companies, if desperate enough, will pay or advance the cost. Worth a shot? What does a stamp cost these days$.48?

      • Nate Frein

        Worth a shot? What does a stamp cost these days$.48?

        According to you, resumes don’t make it past mailrooms.

        Which is it? Or are more interested in denigrating people then maintaining a consistent story?

      • tonilaura

        If one is desperate anything is worth trying?

        One should try all ways to get a job. Ask friends if anything is opening, watch for new businesses opening, going to company employment offices, finding a headhunter, going to the state, federal employment offices. Become a waiter waitness, baby sitter, sub teacher, caregiver, even a voluntary at churches, hospitals, retirement homes attend school board meetings, involve one self with political, look for internships. Write Congress members for staff jobs. Even run in a election but do more. You would be surprised at what opportunities are out there. But it does take effort, it takes time, it takes shoe leather.

        And I am not talking through my hat. Been there, done that.

        One more thing, looking for a job is not consistent except in getting the job. Not what you want? Not up to the standards of your college degree? Tough.

      • Nate Frein

        If one is desperate anything is worth trying?

        Get the fuck off your high horse before you get oxygen deprivation. Seriously. You come in and assume that these people are not exhausting every opportunity available to them. You have done nothing but prove their fucking point from your very first post.

      • Kate

        I’m really glad this blog has its own employment advisor saying all those things that the employment advisors at our high schools and universities never told us like “become a waiter” and “look for internships.”

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        EDIT: Oops, replied wrong person. Carry on! Moved to reply to tonilaura above like I meant to originally.

      • Kate

        Heh, no problem. I figured that’s what you meant. :)

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Yeah, cuz it’s super easy and all, especially with student loans hanging over one’s head.

        We’d be surprised at what’s out there? Not hardly. We know what’s out there, and it’s slim pickings. I’m incredibly lucky- while I am unemployed, my husband has a job that can support us both. I can afford to take my time looking for a job. If I couldn’t, I’d be pounding that pavement for a minimum wage job, and I’d be damned lucky if I found even that. I’d never have anywhere close to 40 hours at one, so I’d have to get two or even three. I wouldn’t have any insurance or benefits on my own, and if I got sick at all I’d likely be fired from all my make-shift, part-time, minimum-wage jobs at once.

        And you know what? That’s not okay. That’s not acceptable. Your generation made this economy and this social contract, and it sucks. We blame you for lying to us about how hard work always pays off because sometimes it takes extreme effort just to tread water. We want to make this country a place where you can have a job, and that jobs pays a living wage, and protections for workers so that job won’t hurt or kill you. We want a country where our educations mean something and we don’t have bridge collapses and we can work hard and get ahead, instead of one where the rich get richer and the poor get … um, you said you were a prude, so I have to change my vocab. *Ahem* The poor get exploited.

      • Composer 99

        You know what? Fuck your authoritarian-submissive attitude.

        I’m sick of people whinging when others fight, protest, or make a fuss to get a better deal.

        Borrowing a page from your book of straw, apparently everyone should just accept having to take two to three shitty-ass jobs with horrible working conditions, lousy pay, petty jackasses (doubtless clones of you) for customers and bosses, little to no benefits. And then look forward to having nothing like a decent future because, on the one hand, oligarchs are picking others’ pockets to line theirs, and on the other hand, global warming is fucking things up big time and will only become more of a problem as the years go by.

        No, just be good little automatons, work your ass off for nothing, and “count your blessings”.

        Seriously, why do you think first Mubarak and then Morsi were ousted in Egypt? Because the young, poor, and dispossessed sat on their asses and toiled away desperately with elbow grease and shoe leather? Nope, because they made a huge fucking stink. And in the long run, Egypt will probably be better off for it.

      • Richter_DL

        Ah, so you’re part of the military. That explains things.

      • tonilaura

        True, maybe but at least the past generation did work. Maybe because they could read, write and do simple arthmetic?

        Gosh, I have been a waitress, file clerk, substitute teacher, and also a wife, mother, worker, college student. Your are darn right I am proud of my accomplishments but it all took time. First, was facing my failures, I was a spoiled brat, make changes , second,counting my blessings, husband and five children and proceeding with joy of life.

      • AnonaMiss

        Oh my goodness

        Completely leaving aside all the tosh about how Milennials don’t work – you think Milennials can’t read, write, or do arithmetic?

        Lady, first off, you’re talking about a generation that slips into the internet like a comfortable pair of jeans. You can’t effectively communicate on the internet without reading and writing. And don’t bring up text-speak as some kind of ‘well they don’t do it PROPERLY’ because that’s like saying that because someone says “ain’t” in an informal setting, they’re incapable of speaking formally in a formal setting. It just doesn’t follow.

        Second, reading, writing and arithmetic are skills you’re supposed to be taught in elementary school. As in, at a young age, before you can reasonably hold a person responsible for what they know or don’t know. So even if it were true that Millennials had trouble with the 3 Rs – which it isn’t – the people that would reflect most poorly on would be their parents, who didn’t teach them how at the appropriate age.

        Jesus H Christ, is this a Poe or what.

      • The_L1985

        Not to mention, Boomers weren’t yet required to do basic Algebra I to graduate from high school. You could take up to calculus in HS then, just like you can now, but since it wasn’t required, there are a lot of Boomers who have never had to solve anything for x.

        In the 70′s or so, Algebra I became a near-universal HS graduation requirement in the US, and quite a few states require geometry and/or Algebra II as well. Not for a specialized honors program, but for a basic, high school diploma. But we’re the ones who are stupid and uneducated. Riiiight.

      • The_L1985

        HI! I’m a Millennial. I’m also a college math professor. I don’t know anyone my age who is functionally illiterate, and I’ve lived and worked in a lot of settings.

        Tell me more about how I don’t know the 3 R’s (2 of which don’t even start with an R). Please. Or maybe you’d prefer to demonstrate your higher competence than my generation by integrating a compound transcendental function without doing so by parts?

      • Richter_DL

        You couldn’t listen. You ran headlong into two wars that were entirely unnecessary, you turned the country into a police state and, through handing the economy over to oligarchs, trashed the American middle class.

        Maybe the Millenials lack the privilege to grow up in the country before the previous generation wrecked it. You know, the country you were privileged to grow up in, where ‘college education’ did not necessarily equate crap education or lifelong debt.

        You had it good. The Millenials don’t, and you keep lying to them and yourself about that and, when they find the country letting them down on their parents promises, blame them for your own shortcomings.

        Victim blaming – it’s just the American way.

      • Anat

        Actually NAEP data show that all age and race groups of US students improved their scores in both reading and math over the last generation.

        Next problem?

      • LizBert

        Right, nobody in my generation works at all. Except for those of us that do, in my time (which isn’t all that long) I have been a barista, store manager at a historic site, receptionist, waitress, butcher’s assistant, scientist, US Census employee, and telephone survey worker. I’ve got that reading and writing thing down and I know enough mathematics to make your head spin.

        This is in addition to helping my mother, being a wife, and a full-time student (both undergrad and graduate). I don’t want to hear your bullshit about how lazy and entitled I am. I have worked my ass off since I was 15 so that I could escape the crushing poverty of my childhood.

        You better believe that I think I deserve a good job when I graduate from school. After spending the last 6 years of my life at a university acquiring extensive knowledge in molecular biology, yes, I think I deserve a job that pays better than just a living wage. I have worked hard to get where I am and I plan to work very hard at the entry level job I get, but don’t try to tell me that I should be satisfied slinging burgers for minimum wage or some other crock of crap.

      • tonilaura

        I have made too general a statement, haven’t I. Well this has gone far enough.

        Relax, do your thing because I am just not into these childish debates and they are childish. God knows everyone has problems, some bigger than others, but it seems to fill your life.

        Find another to filled your bitterness. I will grant you that your are the only wan who really has so much trouble.

        Pease, good bye and good luck. if you do answer, I will not open or response.

      • LizBert

        I’m not bitter, I am angry at the injustice that my generation faces. Justified anger is not the same as bitterness, which is what I would call an irrational hatred of people younger than myself.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        We can translate tonilaura’s response as:

        “Well I just got pwned. I’m out because I don’t like looking bad, but I’d rather just flounce than think about why people keep jumping on me for blanket statements about a whole generation. Also, it’s all your fault you’re angry about a shitty situation; I’m an authoritarian and you shouldn’t ever argue with me, ever, because.”

      • Kate

        The inevitable flounce has arrived at last. The non-sequitors and red herrings were rather entertaining, but I imagine it must be just too tiring to keep up that rate of straw-man production.

      • The_L1985

        ” I will grant you that your are the only wan who really has so much trouble.”

        These folks are inclined to disagree with you.

        And before you mock them, or dismiss them, READ their stories.

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

      YES! I hate hate HATE that! Everyone generation likes to dump on the young, but it only seems to be getting WORSE. You know, I get the feeling Baby Boomers have forgotten what it felt like to be on the receiving end of that—and you would think they of all people would remember!

      • AnotherOne

        Do you guys notice homeschooled young adults doing the same thing? It drives me crazy when my younger siblings (in their later teens/early 20s) start blathering on about the laziness and selfishness of “kids these days” like they’re 60 years old. I have to bite my tongue to keep from pointing out that 1) they’re still living at home and mostly jobless themselves, and 2) they don’t exactly have a grasp on “kids these days” since their social circles are so impossibly limited.

      • Kate

        Their comments about “kids these days” is ONLY parroting what their parents have been saying for years around them. I used to say stuff like that on occasion in my homeschool days until I started university, met some non-homeschoolers, and began to see just how wrong all of that rhetoric was.

      • AnotherOne

        Yeah, I know. It actually makes me sad to hear them sound like 60 year olds; it’s a reminder of how poorly socialized they are.

      • Kate

        It is sad. The strange thing is that many of us I know actually felt very proud of sounding like a 60 year old and thought that it was a clear sign of maturity and intelligence. The homeschooling community really encourages that sort of view and looks down on kids and teens acting at all like kids and teens. They would much rather jettison the whole idea of child and young adult development because of that uncomfortable fact that as children grow, they develop their sense of self and independence. Childhood development is terrifying to the homeschool movement which is so built on controlling and programming, as though children are robots.

        It’s strange to remember now how as a teen, when people asked me about friends and social life, I often included in my response some quip about feeling more comfortable around people my parents’ age or older. It was quite true, and I made sure to include it because I was proud of it. I thought that made me seem mature. In the end, I came to realize that only relating to older people was a pretty severe handicap and had to work really hard to begin to be able to relate to my peers.

    • Gail

      My mother does the “young people are lazy” thing all the time. She teaches the 12th grade, and is constantly complaining about how much worse kids have gotten, they are all so lazy, etc (she excludes “kids like you and your sister” from this statement). I considered that maybe it was because her school has gotten more socioeconomically diverse over her time teaching there, and that she is probably judgmental about students struggling with schoolwork because their home lives are not ideal, but then I realized she taught all through loads of gang problems in the 90s and I’m sure there were plenty of struggling kids then as well. I have been listening to her say this since I was about 5 years old, so it’s definitely just the typical blaming the young people thing.

      • tonilaura

        Please, for all who think that my remarks are because I am accusing them of laziness, accept my apology. I don’t think the majority are lazy but I do think that pride keeps some, maybe a minority, from downgrading themselves. Some believe certain jobs are beneath them.

      • Nate Frein

        IF they believe that, they believe it because that was the story fed to them from grade school to college.

        This was how they were raised. By your bloody generation.

      • tonilaura

        Whoa! No thinking for self? Believe all that is told?

        And you don’t know my generation, you might be surprised.

      • Nate Frein

        And you don’t know my generation, you might be surprised.

        Gee. I could tell you the exact same thing.

        Get over yourself. Grow up.

      • tonilaura

        Undoubtedly. So what? Thank you for the suggestion to grow up.

      • Nate Frein

        Oh come off it.. You were a military dependent?

        Whoop-de-doo. So was I. You conveniently leave out everything that was handed to you on a silver platter.

        Like medical care. Free and clear access to any medical care you need.

        Or how about housing? Yup. Either a free house on base or an allowance to get one off base.

        Subsidized food? Absolutely.

        Free continuing education for your serving spouse? Yuppers.

        One of the most generous retirement plans in the country? Please and thank you.

        Oh, and while we’re talking about jobs…how about that spousal privilege game? Once per tour you get to go and say “I want this job” and immediately get priority over any other applicants except another spouse playing the same card.

        You had to go overseas? You mean, you were moved at government expense, with storage at government expense for what you couldn’t take, to a little bubble of Americana which you never, ever, had to leave if you didn’t want to? Oh, my heart aches for you.

        That you could afford to pay for any of your children’s college says you lived a life that most of America will not experience.

        You simply have no idea what the bulk of these people are facing. Walmart isn’t a job, it’s a poverty game. Your individual anecdotes to the contrary do not disprove the overwhelming evidence that there simply aren’t enough jobs for all the applicants.

        Grow up and leave your bubble of ignorance. Until then you have nothing to contribute to this conversation.

      • tonilaura

        You real are a stupid brat, regardless of your age. My status as a military dependent was to explain my contact with other people, fool. And, we paid income tax on the housing allowance. We had government quarters overseas but civilian housing stateside and you think the allowance was enough for decent housing?

        And put notice on Facebook when you put your life on the line for others. My husband served in too many wars, WW2, only sixteen, Korea, Viet Name, two tours and his reward? Death from a particular nasty cancer caused by a parasite found only in South Asia. Cholangio Carcinoma was the name, look it up. Live high on the hog? You are really a brat. Try to think of supporting wife, 5 children on less with moving every two years or packing up, driving without your husband to port, going to a foreign country, trying to learn a new language, not able to really have any home. Of course, we could have denied ourself children and really lived it up. Of course, we would have denied ourselves such joy but than, what right did we have to even have any children while serving our country. Free medical care? Sure and having miscarriages was sure fun because it cost nothing? Struggle to pay college tuition, buy shoes and tell me have you ever had to eat “C” rations? Well, we have and my children made us proud. How about a son pushing carts to get money for milk for the youngest? You were no military dependent. You were just along for the ride.

        Who had subsided food? Free continuing education for spouse? Yes, after spouse’s death. A decent retirement? Of course, with me working. I had no retirement plan because we moved so much, unable to stay in a position long enough. My children worked darn hard to obtain scholarships but we still had to pick up expenses. Proud we were to have serving children.

        Tell me, what have you done for your country? Ever?

      • Nate Frein

        The country you gave me doesn’t deserve my service. Brat? Better than what you are. You’re a hanger-on judging people you don’t know. His glory was not yours.

      • tonilaura

        Join Snowdon. You are under no obligation to retain your citizenship. Renounce it, coward.

      • Nate Frein

        Yeah, no. As a citizen I have the opportunity to try to fix it before it implodes.

        Joining the United States Mercenary Corps is not an act of bravery, cupcake.

        Remember, all you were was a dependent. You didn’t serve. You’re as much a coward as I am by your rhetoric.

      • Richter_DL

        Ah, the good old “take it or leave it” argument. Because that’s how democracies should work.

        Also, Snowden did not renounce his citizenship, the government is hunting him down becasuse they’re afraid he reveals more of what kind of a country America has become.

      • tonilaura

        I am not sure how others review their oaths taken for their job but me, I take my oath, any oath most seriously. I still honor my non-disclosure oaths. i do express strong opinions but I had not broken my oath, my promise to my country.

        Oaths taken during marriage, godparents taking an oath, are not to be honored? Yes, marriages are on very shaking grounds, godparents almost a thing of the past, oaths to our country, passé. So we are left with what?

        How do you explain Snowdon’s running? It does seem a fact that he didn’t want to face any chargers. There are whistle blower protection laws on the books. Not easy to stand tall, in public and make, prove what seems wrong for the benefits of others? It does take a heck of a lot of courage. Just look at all the directors, members of the IRS. FBI, taking the fifth for their accused wrong doing. Not easy to express your opinion against the majority. or Attorney General Holder playing games with Congress until he tired of the game and crawled under Obama’s executive privilege, which is not absolute according to the US Supreme Court’s verdict in Nixon vs United States.

        And what kind of a country has the United States become? In your opinion, of course.

      • Nate Frein

        Snowden took an oath to defend his constitution, not the politicians who are running roughshod over the constitution.

        Snowden has not broken that oath.

      • Richter_DL

        The US have become a police state where an out of control intelligence and military community can do what they want, and politics is contolled by a few dozen oligarchs. Rigged elections, voter intimidation fraud, rampant racism …. it’s effectively like Yeltzin Russia, just with a much more aggressive foreign policy and a lot more delusions about what kind of country it is. Thank you, Reagan Revolution.

        You do not take your oaths seriously, you take your submission to authority seriously. That is not the same.

      • The_L1985

        Hear, hear!

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Snowden took an oath to uphold the Constitution. When he found what he considered unconstitutional government activity, he told us about it. He had to pick between nondisclosure agreements and his oath, and he picked his oath.

        Isn’t that the epitome of honoring your oaths?

      • Richter_DL

        Tell me, what have you done for your country? Ever?
        And what have YOU done? Reaped the benefits of your husband’s service and been a model conservative housewife? Wow. That sure made the country safer, even more than firebombing children in Laos.

        Miscarriages sure are more fun without decent medical coverage, like the jobs you propose people take provide, because Obamacare is *so Unamerican*. You got medical care. Othe women cannot AFFORD that. Spot the privilege!

        And what’s about this whining about moving? “It’s not always easy moving to where the jobs are, is it”, in your own words, right?

      • tonilaura

        You miserable fool. Who pays your medical bills? Oops, forgot, you don’t have any medial bills.

        What have I ever done for my county? More than you can imagine.

        So do away with all official military. I am sure you would run the fastest from the enemy. You would be the coward, whiny that the government has betrayed you. You wouldn’t join a militia to defend your country. Unlike Benedict Arnold, you wouldn’t even leave a leg in the ground in honor. The leg grave is in upper New York state near Saratoga.

        What have I done for my country? I supported my husband in his chosen field of defending our country. We raised our children to honor, respect and do their duty for their country. I gave up good jobs to follow and support my husband so we were a family supporting each other and raising children. I worked at below my qualifying education because people didn’t hire moving military for career jobs. More, you know what, nothing was regretted. Any specials we gave up that aided our country was okay. But even more, we didn’t ask for much. Ever live in military housing? Restrictions, the cleaning when clearing quarters, the long flights of stairs, only good nature complaints. Schools were educational paradise. DOD gave us the best instructions, elementary teachers with MAs and most high school instructors had PHDs. Most of all, real teachers/instructors who could and did teach. ‘Course college wasn’t a given, just the opportunity and tuition was required from the attendees. I had to finish my college on the run so to speak, hold a full time job but I was thankful to have the ability to complete my school. No government help with tuition for any of us.

        You ask what I gave my country. I give loyalty, love, respect, and entered danger zones willingly, not joyously but as a responsibility, my duty as a citizen of the United States. I accept laugh from people such as you then and now.

        What have you given your country besides complaints? You should be very grateful for those who place themselves in front you to take the first bullet.

        And just a thought. Think of the thousands who died aboard the USS Arizona and the twenty plus sailors who lived for over twenty days trapped below the surface of the water on the Oklahoma, or of the bravery of the Commander and crew of the USS Nevada who though damaged, refused to abandon ship because it would have blocked the channel. Instead they bravely stayed at post and coxed the Nevada away from the channel and beach the battleship. Think of the men dying on Scofield Field as they desperately tried to reach their planes to battle the Japanese and of those few brave men who did reach the skies and performed bravely. Tell me, would you have had that courage? Begrudge the men of the Batan death march respect and even more, those who lived under the Japanese. The brave men and woman in Afghanistan
        who have given life and/or limbs for another people in the hope these people would have better life.

        I never was placed in such situations but had instructions of behavior if such an event occurred. I have visited the field, the waters of death to give thanks, respect. Have you? Have you ever visited a military cemetery Yes, I did visit the grave of Benedict Arnold’s leg. And my husband is buried in a military cemetery. Begrudge him that honor because the Government paid for the grave, but not the funeral expenses.

      • The_L1985

        I pay my medical bills out-of-pocket. I have chronic migraines (of the daily, can’t-think-straight-and-feel-queasy variety), generalized anxiety disorder (which also would keep me from being able to think straight if I remained unmedicated), and PMDD that would render me bedridden on a monthly basis if left untreated.

        If I hadn’t been extremely lucky and had wealthy parents who allowed me to live in their home rent-free for an entire year after getting a professional job in order to build up savings, I would not be able to function, because medical treatment is really fucking expensive.

      • The_L1985

        Self-pity? How is feeling sorry for people who cannot afford medical treatment self-pity?

        And…I honestly don’t get what you’re trying to insinuate with the migraine comment. Daily migraines are seriously unhealthy and insufferably painful. I was taking Excedrin two to three times a day, keeping stashes of the stuff at home, in my purse, and in my office, before my boyfriend finally sat me down and said, “Honey, this isn’t normal and you should probably see a doctor.” I honestly thought I could push through it unmedicated, and now I see that not only do I not have to, but I have a higher quality of life on my medication.

      • tonilaura

        Lucky you, that you could take medication. Migraines are dangerous. I do hope you had at least one MRI. Unfortunately not all people can take medication to ease the pain. I happen to be one. But I don’t expect you to understand. That is alright. Good you had help from your boyfriend. Myself? My husband was gone every day but my eldest son, age six, was and is a sweetheart. He’d make me a strong cup of tea, which did help. Now it is my term as he has two to six months of life left. Self pity? No way.

      • The_L1985

        Sorry. I’m used to people thinking, “Oh, she gets headaches. Big deal.” I didn’t know you were a fellow sufferer. *hugs* Luckily, an MRI didn’t show anything out of the ordinary for me–this appears to be an inherited condition in my case. You and your son will be in my prayers.

      • Shadow Spring

        You life of privilege and relative ease only seems “hard” to you because you flatter yourself and denigrate others.

      • Whirlwitch

        You’re using up a lot of type insulting people, making baseless accusations and generally being a horse’s rear end. Have you considered finding something worthwhile to do and getting off the Internet until you can behave like an adult? Maybe doing something that will benefit others or your country, like you keep accusing other people of not doing?

      • tonilaura

        Doing something to help others? Giving to my Country? Like my husbands death from his military service? Paying taxes. Giving to charity for others in need? Smiling at a child in a store cart and receiving one in return? Picking up a package for an elderly person? Taking good clothes to a woman’s abuse center? Putting food in boxes for the Holidays for those in ned? A toy for a child? Reading my US Constitution? Writing to Congress members not just my state’s representatives? Voting in all legal elections? Appreciating friends? Maintaining my faith? Any suggestions from your own adult experience might be worthwhile.

      • Richter_DL

        Your husband’s death is YOUR gift to the country? Reading the costitution? *Paying Taxes*? Because people living from minimum wages don’t pay indirect taxes? Paying taxes isn’t exactly an achivement when you owe ALL YOUR HUSBAND EARNED TO OTHER PEOPLES’ TAX MONEY. Not to mention your housing grants, your moving costs, your childrens’ educations in military grade/high schools, your medical bills … seriously, what fantasy land do you live in. Paying taxes should be the least you can do. It is not a grand gift of yours. I highly doubt you gave a fraction of what you cost the taxpayer back.

      • Nate Frein

        your childrens’ educations in military grade/high schools

        Not sure I agree with this. I don’t see a difference between DoDDS overseas and local stateside public schools.

      • tonilaura

        Not my gift, fool, my husband’s. I never received moving costs, the bill always went to the government but storage was paid by us. Owe all my husband;s earnings to others? Just how small minded are you? He had a job, did it well. All employed people do receive compensation for doing their job but according to you anyone working, civilian or military, are paid by others for doing nothing but grabbing with greedy hands?

      • Richter_DL

        Who do you think pays for the military? Where do you think the money they spend on their weapons and servicepeople comes from? Money trees? That is TAX MONEY, Lady. Your husband was paid with TAX MONEY paid by people who are not you. So don’t you dare complain about your tax bill. Taxes are what funded everything he earned as a serviceman, so unless he had incomes on the side (legally or otherwise), yes, most of what you own was paid for by some taxpayer. So really, shut your mouth about paying taxes yourself. It’s the least you can do, given how your family profited from taxes paid by others. Not to mention your medical bills, or your moving costs, which probably were pretty substantial given you moved overseas.

        Lady, you lived a life of privilege in a bubble. You, right now, are incredibly arrogant and ignorant. Either because you’re an arrogant, ignorant, racist person with a superiority compley (which I think you are), or because you never realised this. In this case, consider this a wakeup call.

      • Whirlwitch

        This is going to go to waste, but heck, I just finished cleaning up my own blood and I won’t have to do it again for another hour or so, and I need something not too taxing to do in between.

        My own experience? I won’t restrict myself to adult because I’ve been doing volunteer work since I was a child, but most of this is as an adult:

        What I do, and what I would advise anyone else to do, is evaluate my/their own talents and apply them anywhere a good cause can use them.

        I’m a singer and storyteller. I perform at benefit events for various causes, and I have also performed at old age and nursing homes. I have also used my psychology training and storytelling skills together to do special therapeutic sessions – I’ll be working with troubled teens in the fall. If you have any good performing skills, many good causes can use them.

        I’m handy with arts and crafts, and baking. I give my creations to be sold or auctioned off to raise funds for charities. If you can produce saleable items, you can do this too.

        I foster special-needs rescue animals. That takes being very patient and caring, and willing to deal with mess. You need to be the kind of person who can wipe poop off the floor twenty times a day without ever snapping at the animal who made it, and who can rock and comfort an abused animal who has just bitten you from fear. That’s not for everyone, but then I’m not an accountant or particularly good at soliciting corporate donations and sponsorships, and the rescue I work with needs those skills too.

        I served a human rights group by editing press releases and suchlike and uploading news articles. They were in sore need of people with more advanced web skills – everyone needs web presence.

        I’ve worked in libraries from the age of 9. When I lived in the city, I spent several years helping run the library of an LGBTQ community centre. Now I live in a rural area, and the local library relies on volunteers. Even in places where all the library staff is paid, libraries have many volunteer opportunities.

        I used to volunteer as a clerk and manager at a second-hand clothing store run by an anti-poverty group. There are quite a few stores that benefit charities. Every hospital I know of has one. You don’t even need retail experience to start.

        I did Meals on Wheels as a teenager, as a delivery person. My grandmother cooked for them. They need drivers, too.

        I’m good at planning and coordinating events. I’ve done this both working with the charity involved for their own events, and by putting on an event and using it as a fund raiser for the local food bank or snowsuit fund. These kinds of events can use a lot of help, much of it not all that skilled. Can you wash dishes and sweep floors? You could be very useful.

        I counsel people who are going through difficulties, including abuse survivors and people who are suicidal. It’s hard, but it’s rewarding. You need empathy, compassion, listening skills, and a non-judgemental attitude, so I implore you never to do this, but your local suicide prevention or rape crisis centre could use some help raising funds. These groups are chronically underfunded basically everywhere.

        You mentioned food banks. Hot tip – forget Christmas, they need help year-round. Christmas is when everyone wants to do their little bit and feel good about it. Contribute at other times, and remember they need money for fresh food, as well as non-perishable donations. And they also need people to pick up food donations, and cook and serve food. Ask about their needs with regards to baby supplies and non-food items like toiletries and cleaning products.

        You also mentioned shelters for abused women. Yes, they need clothes – what they need most is new underwear and socks, and new or newish sleepwear for women and kids. They have other needs as well, and if you call they’ll tell you.

        The only talent I know you have is being offensive and judging people, which is NOT useful, but it’s an element of faith with me that everyone has at least one useful thing they can offer, and I know from experience that every useful thing can be well used by someone somewhere.

        Rack up some real volunteer experience, and you should be less inclined to troll comment threads, or at least have less time to do it, and you won’t embarrass yourself by suggesting things like “smiling at babies” and “reading the Constitution” as ways to help others.

      • tonilaura

        Sorry, but I don’t tout my life’s history of “my” good deeds. I just mention those so readily exposed for the general public. And you have no idea of what I do or do not do to help others.

        As for reading the US Constitution, it does help others.

        And the Bible does suggest one keep silent over one’s charity toward others.

      • Whirlwitch

        You asked me for something. I gave it to you. Now you want to criticize me because I gave you what you asked for? You wanted some examples of of how to help others from my adult experience, and you got it. Giving asked-for information is not bragging. You’re trying to cut me down, and you’re doing a really poor job of it.

        I have a pretty good idea of how helpful you are to people based on everything you’ve been revealing about yourself all over this thread. Your character shows clearly in all your insults and put-downs. And it’s not a pretty sight.

      • Kate

        The privilege is strong with this one.

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

        And you are BANNED. Bye!

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Thanks for that. She was derailing multiple threads.

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

        Yeah, I should have done it sooner. It’s just I get so many comments and have multiple jobs and I don’t always have the time needed to properly moderate. :(

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Understandable! I actually really like how lightly modded this blog is.

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

        I’ve been thinking about making a few regulators moderators just for when things get out of hand, so that I know there is some check on things without feeling like I have to be constantly watching. Thoughts?

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        That’s a good idea. People like Anat are on a lot and very calm most of the time; there’s a few others I wouldn’t mind having mod powers either.

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

        Could you email me with your suggestions? lovejoyfeminism@gmail.com

      • The_L1985

        I know quite a lot of Boomers, and close to my grandmother (Greatest Generation), and am engaged to a Gen X-er. Please tell us more about how we don’t know or socialize with people who are older than us. Clearly you know us better than we know ourselves, after all.

      • Richter_DL

        The sad thing is, we know that generation all too well. they sold civil rights for green light on the daily terror warining forecast, sold the middle class for the promise of trickle-down, sold healthcare for the promise of affordability, sold the country for the promise of efficiency. They didn’t deliver on anything.

      • Kate

        Thanks for the apology, but see, the thing is you ARE accusing me of being lazy. Your response to me, personally, included such gems as:

        “Have you hurt some one who loved you because you are so full of self pity?”

        “You and others like you are to be excused from any form of doing for others occasionally, even such a small thing as voting? Helping an elderly person? Protecting a child? Or being n time for work and doing an honest job for which you receive an honest wage? So not as much as you need, so not the job you want or believe more worthy of you but honest.”

        “I think what i object to most about your theory of life is your do nothing attitude and wanting others to give more to you because??”

        I’m not really sure how these remarks aren’t accusing me of laziness…

      • Richter_DL

        Paula, that’s not good enough.

    • http://exploringthejungle.wordpress.com/ Kat

      Yes! Especially since some of the very people saying that were probably the ones throwing my resume in the trash during my long period of unemployment a few years ago. To me, looking for work is MUCH harder than any actual job I’ve ever done, and I’ve spent far more than my fair share of time doing it (after busting my ass to graduate with honors, might I add). I never did find anything that would actually use my college degree and pay more than minimum wage, but I finally managed to get something. I ended up working three simultaneous jobs for shit pay and no benefits just to try and scrape together enough to move out of my parents’ house, and most of my friends have similar stories. I’d like to throttle anyone who describes my generation as lazy, but I know I’d have to stand in line to do it.

      Sorry, I got kinda large, green, and muscular for a minute there. All better now.

      • Olive Markus

        I have had EXACTLY the same experience – only still unemployed and very close to desperate. Two degrees, nearly killing myself to do exceptionally well, previous job experience. I worked through two devastating illnesses and severe anxiety disorder to graduate with honors, as well. But now I’m quite positive my resumes and applications go straight in the trash.

      • http://exploringthejungle.wordpress.com/ Kat

        Ouch. I’m sorry to hear that. I wish I had some kind of helpful advice or something to say, but there’s just so much of it that’s out of your control. I really hope things get better for you, though.

      • Olive Markus

        Thank you :). It seems out of my control, but I am hoping for some kind of creative thinking to kick in to get myself back into self-sufficiency. I feel like a child again, having to be dependent on others. It is a sickening feeling at my age, and alway exactly the opposite of what I’ve worked for :).

        Thanks for the support!

      • tonilaura

        Well, I know for a fact that resumes sent in seldom get beyond the mail clerk. Been there, done that so I made many a long trek to companies until noticed. I am not saying you are wrong because I have no right to do so. I am merely, as you have, voicing one solution. One time, a friend knew a position was coming open in a week and I applied,in person for the job. It was a lower one then one I had but…thanks to the info, I had a head start. Yes, I did get the job. I even remember one interview wherein told I was too good for the job. It was as a maid in a motel. My husband overseas and four children to feed, etc.

        Sorry for your hard times and illness but you do write as a person of courage. it is hard but maybe you will have to downgrade yourself for awhile. We are a proud people.

      • The_L1985

        “Sent in?” “Mail clerk?”

        Nobody mails in resumes anymore. They’re either brought in person or sent via online job-seeker services to places that have an opening. Mailing in a resume anywhere nowadays is a sure-fire way to waste time, paper, and a perfectly good postage stamp.

      • patandfritz

        I still run across companies that in their ads ask that the resume be mailed in. I spent a lot of money honoring that request.

      • gimpi1

        Your reference to sent-in and mail clerks mark you as a bit behind the times. I’m also older. I remember when full-time employment virtually guaranteed good medical coverage. I remember when most employers hadn’t thought of using two part-timers to replace one full-timer as a scam to avoid providing medical coverage. I remember when minimum-wage would at least feed and house most people. I even remember when college was not so expensive that it was possible, with work and some help, to get through without amassing huge debt.

        However, it seems unlike your good self, I understand that that is no longer the case. Because of that understanding, I don’t bitch that younger folks are “lazy” because of the mess they find themselves dealing with.

        It’s a different world, one made more savage by our corporate masters and the 1%. I warned people that this was the way this would turn out 30 years ago, when we started to fall for the “divide and conquer” strategy” of the powerful. I tried to stop it. I failed. For that, I am sorry.

      • Richter_DL

        The invention of email must have passed you by.

        Good for you that you got a job by pulling strings. Not everyone is lucky (or callous, depending on where your moral compass is) enough to get on through plutocracy. I suppose you were desperate, and had I been in your shoes, I may have made the same decision. Just, don’t claim any ‘courage’ for it. ‘Courageous’ would be to work hard and not be discouraged, not to take a shortcut.

      • tonilaura

        Pulling strings because a friend told me of an opening? I was merely mentioning, I though, some helpful hints on job hunting. Sorry if I wasn’t clear. Courage? For what? Give an honest day of work for an honest dollar? Now pride would have been another story. it did take courage to swallow my pride, False pride. I learned much and one was to stop self pity and just get the job done.

        Courage: the ability to do something that frightens you.

      • Richter_DL

        Demeaning yourself doesn’t take courage, it takes resilience (disgust and fear are not one and the same). Demeaning yourself and being proud of it takes delusion.

        And considering that you have to do this to even have a job a sign of greatness means you are an American conservative. This is the joy you speak about so much, right?

      • Olive Markus

        You are right, and every time I get a lead, I am there in person. But believe me, I am not picky about jobs, as I would be thrilled with minimum wage to at least start building a resume again and the ability to purchase my own food once in awhile. I have applied multiple times for everything you can imagine – for fast food, a maid in retirement homes, coffee shops, big box stores, grocery stores, any kind of office job imaginable, physical labor, landscaping labor, etc. It certainly isn’t my pride standing in the way, as I no longer have any :). Even my husband told me to stop applying, as he is embarrassed on my behalf :.

        ETA: For the last 3 years, I have diligently filled out about 10 applications daily (as a minimum), and only a handful of them were for jobs with pay higher than barely adequate. Almost all of them minimum wage. If I had been applying for more prestigious jobs and been rejected, I probably wouldn’t feel too bad about myself. But when I am denied for pretty menial and barely-paying jobs for years on end – it starts to mess with my head.

        I was also fighting the urge to be offended that your first thought about me was that I must be a spoiled brat who thinks she deserves everything handed to her on a silver platter, but I was trying to give you the benefit of the doubt that you were simply giving advice. After reading your comments to others, I see that you are indeed going around blaming everyone here for every hardship they encounter. That is quite rude of you, actually, and given how exactly the OPPOSITE of this my own experiences have been, I am, indeed, offended.

        And, by the way, one of the reasons I developed an anxiety disorder was because while recovering from one illness, my mother became very ill, normally the primary caregiver of my grandmother, who was dying. So I was also taking care of my mother, physically and emotionally and scared out of my mind that she was going to die, my grandmother, physically, mostly, and my father emotionally. Oh, yeah, and going to school. I also spent the first 8 years of my life after high school working multiple jobs (during a gold mining boom in my hometown, so jobs were easy to come by) so that I could help my parents pay bills. Definitely a spoiled brat who just wants the world to wait on her hand and foot, right? Stop being a jerk. You’ve really pissed me off.

      • tonilaura

        Piss you off? Too bad. You seem to think or at least your words give the impression, that “we” are to blame for your lack of work. Because we breathe? Pay too small? Walk, ride but get to our capital, Washington, DC and see the homeless sleeping on grates. See wash on lines between government buildings of the homeless, see the hunger in a child’s eyes. See the smiling faces, the bright eyes of the children at St. Jude;s dying from cancer.

        Walk a mile in my shoes, having lost a husband to cancer cause by his two tours in Viet Nam, now facing my eldest’s son demise from a fast cancer, maybe he has two years.

      • Nate Frein

        Hah. You ask for empathy but offer none in return.

      • tonilaura

        I ask nothing from you. Maybe another country would be more acceptable to you. Any secrets to give them?

        And I didn’t give you this country. Others worked and die for you.

      • Nate Frein

        Shit, maybe 1930′s Germany would be right for you. They might just be authoritarian enough for ya.

      • tonilaura

        You were there.

        When we were first deployed to Germany, we went to the Dachau Concentration Camp. The huge ovens, the still stench of burned flesh, the “garden” of ten thousand ashes, has never left my memories.

        And you make fun of it. Really isn’t that what you are doing?

        Our visit did it’s job. We all appreciated more what we had as Americans and more of a determination to preserve the Union.

      • Nate Frein

        Oh.

        Oh no. I’m not making fun of it at all.

        I’m saying you’re as disgustingly authoritarian as any SS officer. You just wrap yourself in the stars and stripes instead of a swastika.

        That you can gaze upon the consequences of your authoritarian rhetoric and so fundamentally miss the point…

        That is where you personally cross the line into evil.

        I have nothing more to say to you. You hide your bigotry behind another person’s sacrifice and justify your callous treatment of fellow Americans with ignorance. Your words spit on the men and women who died in WWII. With luck you will be gone sooner rather than later and there will be one less roadblock in the way of bringing America closer to the “land of the free” it was supposed to be.

      • Richter_DL

        You deployed into Germany at 16? You were married underage to a child soldier?

        When America learned of the concentration camps, it did nothing at all. Only later were they used for propaganda purposes. All the while America kept Asian Americans in it’s own concentration camps. Like Guantanamo today.

        I really wonder when a Republican will have the backbone and name the elephant in the room concerning Gitmo. Hint: Final solution. You know you thought it already.

      • AnonaMiss

        To be fair, she didn’t say her husband was deployed to Germany during WW2. There were still American military bases in Germany throughout the Cold War. Might still be today.

      • Richter_DL

        No way. Do you have any idea how socialist they were? They had Obamacare, AND MORE. Rhodesia maybe.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Actually, you did give us this country. Based solely on your posts thus far, I’m guessing you tend to vote Republican. That means you vote for people who want to lower taxes, slash social safety nets, end infrastructure investment, ruin public education, get us into wars for no good reason, end basic research, lower financial regulations on banks and investment firms, lower environmental regulations, slash worker safety regulations, and just generally make things worse.

        So yeah. This is your fault. It’s not yours alone, of course- it took millions of people to mess things up this badly. But we live in the country your generation bequeathed us, and we find it badly in need of fixing.

      • tonilaura

        I am a registered Independent and I vote for the person, never the party.

        Wasn’t FDR a Democrate? Clinton? Obama? i wasn’t a voter when FDR was here, Clinton, yes I did vote for him. Obama? No way, I am pretty good at recognizing a con man. Work experience only.

        But I do thank you giving me so much credit. Country of my generation? Then I do apologize for not recognizing your are still a child. Study well.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Oh, are you a Millenial then? From your comments, I was quite sure you were middle-aged (45+), possibly retired (65+). If so, then it was your generation that led to the now, yes? I mean, you talked about your husband serving in Vietnam, which was almost 50 years ago now. Assuming he was ~20 when he served, that would make him ~70 now (were he still alive, and I am sorry for your loss), which makes you likely close to his age.

      • The_L1985

        Do you live in an alternate universe where mental healthcare in the US wasn’t completely GUTTED in the 80′s, leaving millions of mentally-ill people homeless? One where it is actually as easy for poor people with mental conditions to seek medical treatment as it is for them to get guns? (No, really. If you’re uninsured and mentally ill in the US, it is far easier to afford a DEADLY WEAPON than psychiatric treatment and medication to keep you from becoming a danger to yourself or others.)

        One where the legal minimum wage actually kept pace with inflation, so that minimum-wage workers could actually survive on 40 hr/wk of work? (I’m not talking about ANY luxuries or non-essentials here; I’m talking about food, rent, utilities and second-hand clothing. Rent alone is not affordable on 40 hr/wk of minimum-wage work ANYWHERE in the entire USA.)

        One where on-the-job training still exists, so that low-paying skilled work can be done by people who haven’t spent tens of thousands of dollars on college degrees that they will never afford to pay off? (At a state college, mind you. A private college would cost somewhere in the hundreds of thousands.)

        Because I’d really like to live there instead of the real world. Then, I wouldn’t feel so tremendously guilty for being lucky enough (and having rich enough parents) to live on a teacher’s salary without having any outstanding debt.

        I wouldn’t see companies like IKEA outsourcing labor to our country, the supposed “land of opportunity,” because Sweden requires workers to earn a living wage and a week of PAID vacation time per year, and the US requires neither. They treat us like we treat Bangladesh, as a source of dirt-cheap labor that they don’t have to give any basic human rights or dignity to.

      • Shadow Spring

        FDR was one of the BEST presidents this country has ever had. After the wealthy elite drained our economy dry the first time, creating the Great Depression, he taxed those selfish creeps and used the proceeds to build an infrastructure we are still relying on today, creating decent paying jobs for multitudes of unemployed, starving Americans. My grandparents homesteaded their own farm until the Dust Bowl and unregulated predatory banking practices stole their land. They were starving as sharecroppers until the WPA created a job for my grandfather as a stone mason. The buildings he created are still in use in Ft. Sill, OK. Before social security, elderly people starved in our great country. Even after social security, private organizations like Meals on Wheels are necessary to stave off malnutrition among our elderly population- the very ones you claim risked their lives for us to have this great country. Yet VA benefits and social security are all being blamed for this country’s deficit, rather than the tax giveaways to the wealthy elite and the corporations that serve as their cash cows.

        Learn something honest about economics and American history, tonilaura, and then maybe you will have something worthwhile to share.

      • Richter_DL

        No, you took this country away from Millenials. And now you blame them for that, greedy, unempathic, arrogant person that you are.

      • Richter_DL

        Because you support policies that keep Olive Markus out of a job. Because you are elitist, racist, and exclusionary. Because you are a highly privileged person who spits on those less fortunate.

      • tonilaura

        Oops. you give me too much credit. I did not vote for Obama, I deplore his cabinets, I hate his $100,000,000 family vacation. I suppose we should be grateful the safari was called off. What an expense to make the jungle understand Obama and wife. I certainly did not willingly pay for Mrs. Obama’s trip to Ireland to check her husband’s Irish roots and I sure as heck never approved of a hotel suite at $3,000 a night. I also resent using Air Force One (or second AF1) as her transportation. Ancestry.com would have been a lot cheaper or a private company and probably would have done a better job. You rate me so high I am wondering why I have a ten year old car, why I am selling my home, why I am not going to the dentist and even why I didn’t replace my dog after he died? I can’t even remember the last time I bought a new dress or shoes. And, darn it, why am I limiting my coffee? Why aren’t I ordering movies on TV? I haven’t been in a theater in over ten years, those high price tickets and the popcorn is just a little priced out of reach. And who wants to go to the movies and not have popcorn? I am a racist? Have to tell hispanic, married into the family members, to stay away. As for blacks, sorry, Larry, friendship has to end, And really, I never spit, so unladylike, you know. Maybe I can have the maid do it. What maid? Gee, the nightmare is back. Wonder why my back hurts? How did I get those blisters? Surely not scrubbing.

      • Richter_DL

        Did you feel that way about Bush II too? Thought so.

        Racist.

      • Kate

        Wow. And she’s a racist. /surprise surprise folks/

      • Shadow Spring

        Racist and gullible. You can’t overlook gullible.

      • Olive Markus

        There wasn’t ONE single word I wrote that blamed you. Not one. I was simply giving my experience regarding lack of jobs and nothing I said blamed you, because I personally do not know the details well enough to make those assessments regarding generational contributions. Those were discussions other people were having.

        YOU, on the other hand, blamed me for and my generation for my lack of a job.

        You are a fucking lunatic and an asshole. No patience for people like you. Are you blaming me for Vietnam? I, for one, am glad that I am absolutely nothing like you. And yes, I am violating rules and simply insulting you. You deserve it.

      • Olive Markus

        I see my fellow posters, on the other hand, have done a beautiful job of explaining how your generation is to blame. I thank them for that.
        My post was simply an anecdote about how current economic situations – wherever they came from – have affected me.

      • tonilaura

        And I bet you are a pleasant co-worker.

      • Richter_DL

        I bet you are, given how much you like to take cheap shots.

      • tonilaura

        None of my “shots” as you designate my comments come cheap. We all pay a price for living and for your childish understanding, not all is about money.

      • The_L1985

        No, but when you don’t make enough to afford basic necessities, and your job refuses to give you full-time hours, money certainly helps. A lot of people are in that situation right now.

      • Shadow Spring

        You’re being a royal bitch, actually. You need a huge dose of both humility and reality. The world our kids are living in is NOT the one we entered into in the 70s/80s. They are not ‘entitled’ they are simply wanting to survive, and the politics of the right wingers from the 80s to today has stolen that opportunity from them.

        We owe them apologies as well as efforts to right the wrongs. I apologize. I voted those policies into place. I am now working to undo the damage, but like all “sin”- it has gotten bigger than I ever intended and it will be alot harder to undo than it was to do in the first place. :

        God help us.

    • Wren

      I remember hearing the same thing many years ago when I was in college. Gen X’s first nickname was “Slackers” I blame the Boomers.

      • Caitlin

        Yes, I’m 44, graduated during the first Bush era recession. I remember that while there were NO JOBS, there was all this press about how lazy we were for working as cashiers when we had college degrees. Yeah, because after going to college, it was out goal to get terrible, boring jobs. I didn’t even have a terrible, boring job (I was a daycare worker, then a teacher) and it still infuriated me.

      • http://www.everydayintheparkwithgeorge.com/ Matt Eggler

        I’m in the same group. The job prospects were so dismal that when we were deciding on a theme for our commencement some of us proposed “Do you want fries with that”.

      • Mogg

        I’m in the same group. I was lucky – I managed to get a job before the end of university, and was working there a day a week as well as two other part time jobs during my final semester. My two years younger sister, not so much – she went from university to a traineeship after being unable to find a full-paying job, which she could theoretically have qualified for as a 15 year old instead of spending all that time finishing high school and getting a degree and which paid junior training wages. She did a bit of call centre work, too, but that’s not an option these days – all the call centres are in China, India or the Philippines now.

      • The_L1985

        My brother has a BS in International Relations that he has never used (he wanted to go into politics). He was only able to get min-wage retail jobs until recently. Now he budgets supplies for a cruise line–which is not in any way related to his major, either.

      • Joykins

        Yes! I am 43 and remember graduating and then going through a series of temp jobs, ending up *thrilled* to do editorial work for $18K/yr.

      • tonilaura

        Understand.

      • Ibis3

        And how often did you hear the refrain that the problem was the Baby Boomers themselves taking up all the jobs, but just wait (a few months? years?) and they’ll all retire and lucky lucky you will reap the rewards of a labour shortage. Hah! Still waiting.

      • Stev84

        People have been saying this since the Ancient Greeks and probably before:

        http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:text:1999.01.0241:card%3D961

    • Michael W Busch

      It also happens that the supposed sources linked in that advertisement don’t support that particular false description – the Atlantic piece focuses on the structural problems of society rather than wrongly blaming the victims of them.

    • Hilary

      Fuck yes.

    • tonilaura

      And too many whine, take freebies and want all without effort? Fortunately, not the majority and then those few who do grow up but unfortunately again, some never do and make it their life’s effort to collect freebies, riot and distain education. As for religion, well, it fills a need within myself. My children were exposure to my religion and at about the age of twelve decided for themselves their path.

      I have always felt sorry for those without any belief in a greater power. Their lives must be so empty. Sort of likelost guess two years.and with a child growing up without love of any kind. A man or woman never knowing the loving nature between a man and a woman.

      I support St Jude’s to my limited ability because the pictures, the stories of the children tears at my hear. But you know what, the eyes of these so ill children…their smiles…the joy in their smiles, make me happy to believe that they will be comforted. My support of St Jude’s is coming back to me twofold. I face the lost of my oldest child, terminal cancer. A little of their courage is helping me.

      • Michael W Busch

        I have always felt sorry for those without any belief in a greater power. Their lives must be so empty.

        That you would assert something so incredibly untrue indicates that you should go read more of what atheists actually think and feel.

        An immensely simplified version: People determine what gives meaning and fulfillment in their lives. That has nothing to do with the existence or lack thereof of gods.

      • tonilaura

        Well, the atheists did put a monument in Florida with some of their beliefs. Sorry, lack of belief. Tell you what, when I can touch love, not just see signs, when I can touch pain, not just see the tears or hear the screams, then I will maybe be able to understand atheists. Most of all when I can understand death, maybe when I lose faith and am empty, i will understand.

        Most of all, I do not understand atheists but believe their right to not believe, to speak of such. My objection is that they will not afford me, others like me, the same courteous
        respect.

        Am I to extend that same courtesy to you?

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Why do you think no one lets you speak? We merely say the government may not speak with any religious voice or the voice of non-religion, but must remain neutral in all regards. You, personally, may go to church and speak your piece and have blogs and have radio shows and TV shows and whatever you will. You just may not entangle the government in your religious activities.

        The monument in Florida shouldn’t be there, but neither should the 10 Commandments. It’s there to say “you don’t like it? Neither do we. We should take them all away”.

      • tonilaura

        Let me see.

        The Ten Commendants in a piblic place?
        “The Bill of Rights, Amendment 1: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people to peaceably assembly, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

        Obamacare says Catholics must disobey one of their core beliefs and follow the birth controls, abortions of Obamacare for their employees. True not all employees are Catholic but they understand the rules or regulations when taking their employment. If the Catholic hospitals, for example, are close… lost of jobs, services, anger,just anything is possible these days. Free exercise of religion?

        Then there is the hacking into reporters phone calls, computers, family members, “or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press”. The warrant for James Rosen, as a possible conspirer? But the Attorney general’d office did said they never untended to prosecute him, so was it just for intimidation?

        How about lost of privacy? True there has been a lost over the years but now, special, at last count, nine enormous buildings built in Utah for the storage of records of any or all records of private citizen? I saw the pictures on TV. Not all are completed. How about the information available to the IRS, FBI and what ever federal agencies available concerning all our private jobs, medical records? We have no expectation of privacy so, any and all is open for or against us. No more stupid jokes or special codes, you know like i lv u. Ixay nay. and since I could’t, wouldn’t use bad language (Papa did all the cussing in our family and his strongest word was damm.) He said bad language was a sign of bad vocabulary. I have my own special language that my children understood but no one else.

        Shoo, my brother, Navy, had cryptic clearance and all of us had extend investigation of our background. Nothing for me to hide but still it was with my knowledge.

        Just think of some of the things you might have said in angry or just joking around. Think of your emails. Ever make a remark about a special group, or religion, or events of government?

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        What does unconstitutional surveillance have to do with unconstitutional monuments? They’re both unconstitutional. Did you have a point?

        I’m glad you know your whole first amendment- you’ll note there is no “right to not be offended” next to “right of peaceable assembly”. So we agree there’s nothing wrong with gay pride parades, yes?

        Requiring health care to be comprehensive isn’t impinging anyone’s conscience. Your employer does not determine your conscience. I get paid from my job, I get to pick what I do with that compensation- health insurance is part of that compensation. Should Jehovah’s Witnesses be allowed to deny their employees coverage for blood transfusions? How about Christian Scientists denying coverage for anything that isn’t faith healing? The employer has no conscience; it is an organization, an institution, a corporation. Only people can have a religion or a conscience, and they are explicitly prohibited from imposing it on others. My boss doesn’t get to tell me what’s moral outside work, nor may ze pay me less because our morals aren’t in sync.

      • AnonaMiss

        Obamacare says Catholics must disobey one of their core beliefs and follow the birth controls, abortions of Obamacare for their employees.

        And you accuse Millennials of not being able to read or write…

      • The_L1985

        The 10 Commandments inside a courthouse, however, implies that the judge(s) presiding therein are going to show partiality to Christians (and maybe Jews) in cases where religion is, and should be, totally irrevalent to the case.

        I am a member of a religion other than Christianity and Judaism. I do not like the thought that someone may be automatically biased against me because of my religion if I am ever on trial. And it’s a real danger–people have lost custody of their children for no other reason than their spouses converted to Christianity, falsely accused them of abuse because they were not Christian, filed for divorce, and the courts sided with the lying spouse and took the kids away from the non-Christian parent. This has happened even in cases where there is evidence of abuse by the Christian, and none at all by the non-Christian.

      • Michael W Busch

        Well, that is an impressive collection of non-sequiturs. As Feminerd said: you have exactly the same freedom of speech as everyone else. And Libby Anne is letting you speak here, on her blog. This is her personal property, and she doesn’t need to extend posting privileges to anyone.

        With regards to the rest of your statements:

        1. The atheist monument in Florida exists only because a Christian monument was installed in a public space, violating the principal of a secular government that endorses neither religion nor irreligion. If and when the religious monument is taken down, so will the atheist one. If you object to an atheist monument and not to a religious one, what you are saying is “I don’t like what atheists say, so they should shut up” – which is not a valid argument.

        2. Love and pain are feelings that exist only inside nervous systems. Saying “I want to touch love” is nonsensical – you might as well ask to touch the thoughts you are having while reading this page. Feelings and thoughts are expressed as patterns of neural activity and neurotransmitter levels, and can be seen (albeit crudely) in various ways of imaging a living human brain. Love can be measured by increased levels of oxytocin, vasopressin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. Physical pain is caused by nociceptor neurons. And a lack of understanding of the details of neurology is irrelevant to understanding atheists.

        3. All available evidence says that when someone dies, the organized structure of their brain that we call the mind is randomized and ceases to exist. We can measure this and even quantify the rate of degradation as a function of time (e.g. at normal body temperature and oxygen saturation, a human brain can handle only ~5 minutes without additional oxygen coming in in the bloodstream before things start to degrade). And death of a person is not the same as death of the body – it’s death of the brain. That’s why brain death is one of the main ways of certifying people as legally dead, even if their still-live organs are to be turned over to the transplant teams. Once again, understanding this is irrelevant to understanding atheists.

        You do not need to “lose faith and be empty” to understand atheists. All you need to do is to know what atheists think and do. e.g. I understand Christians (and Muslims and Buddhists and many other religious people). I just conclude that they are all wrong.

        And given the false statements you have made and your apparent propensity for non sequiturs, I am not inclined to reply to you further.

      • tonilaura

        Thank you for the lecture. I will cross reference with my medical experts. have three in the family.

        And I was aware of the Christian monument in Florida It is the atheist monument that annoys me, yes, annoys me, it is constant ranting and revving.

        As for the machines, they can and have been beaten. And one still can’t touch these emotions.

      • gimpi1

        I am unaware of a constitutional amendment protecting anyone against annoyance. Perhaps you could point that amendment out?

        Seriously, someone else speaking their mind is an infringement on your rights? In what universe?

      • Richter_DL

        When you can withstand the world in all it’s terror on your own, without an imaginary friend holding your hand, you will be able to understand.

        I don’t disgrudge you your imaginary frined, but don’t pretend it makes you a better person. It’s a crutch. And it certainly does not entitle you to passive-aggressive crap like this post.

      • Michael W Busch

        When you can withstand the world in all it’s terror on your own, without an imaginary friend holding your hand, you will be able to understand.

        Not quite – in that situation, tonilaura would be an atheist.

        As I said before, it is not necessary for someone to be an atheist to understand atheists.

      • Richter_DL

        Well, she can understand the concept without living it, just as the reverse. But yeah, it was kind of poorly worded.

      • Richter_DL

        For someone being fed and clothed and financed by the military, opointing the finger for ‘taking freebies’ seems awfully hypocritical.

        And then you play the God card. Splendid. For what it’s worth, I always feel sorry for those who need an imaginary friend to get trhough life. They must be so spineless and miserable on their own.

    • Richter_DL

      The most unsuccessful generation in recent American history is the one currently at the helm – under whose guidance America became a country of lower life expectancy, a police state, and it’s democracy has been irreversibly damaged. You want narcicissm? Check out what Congress has become. Or Primaries. Or Ann Coulter, for that matter. You want spiritual and moral bankruptness? Call Wall Street. Or the child rapists in your local church. You want lazy? Check out the people who let their parents’ fortunes work for them. Like the Koch Brothers.

      Freud called this ‘projection’.

  • lucifermourning

    how do they even define religious? i did the survey as i was raised attending church & youth group but i expect that, by their standards, the fact that my parents never pushed these beliefs on us made it a not very religious household at all.

  • Kate

    I am in the process of taking the survey, but just had to comment on here to express my utter confusion about the front page of the survey site. It said “Like Your Life? Tell Us About It.” over a black and white stock photo of young people with huge, cheesy smiles. What does that even mean? Unhappy people need not respond? Are they trying to skew the survey from the very beginning by weeding out all of those “narcissistic, lazy, unsuccessful, spiritually bankrupt” and therefore obviously unhappy Millennials and only wanting responses from the happy anomalies? I’m confused.

    • http://fundamentallyopposed.blogspot.com/ Linnea

      Right–I filled it out even though I don’t really like my life. Thought they should hear about the “poor outcomes” along with the shiny happy people.

      • Kate

        Thanks for doing that. Just from a solidarity standpoint, knowing that there are others responding who aren’t the perfect happyhappy automaton desired outcome of the evangelical homeschooling bubble is encouraging. I really appreciate Libby posting a link to this too and hope that this community can somehow break through and present another perspective. Though, flawed as the survey is, I have serious doubts.

      • Gail

        I am afraid of how they will interpret my answers on this. I do mostly like my life now, so I said that, but part of that is because I gave up religion. I was very unhappy for many of the years I was a Christian, but since leaving, I have been much happier. Still, they might be able to include me in the raised religious and is now happy category, even if my happiness is in spite of being raised religious and not because of it.

      • oywiththepoodles

        Share your story in the comments section. It won’t help how they will interpret the data, but it might help for the researcher to actually read some true stories.

      • Hilary

        Totally of topic of everything – I think Linnea is a pretty name. Whether or not it’s your real one, it’s still pretty.

    • Mary Leinart

      They want you to prove their thesis that people from religious homes are happy, while the non-religious are morally bankrupt malcontents.

  • Hilary

    So, Libby, you think I should go for it? Or do you think my data point would be totally ignored? I’m not yet 39, and I was raised in a religious household.

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

      You can give it a shot if you like. It’s clearly designed with evangelical homeschoolers in mind, but it does *say* it’s for anyone who grew up in a “religious home.”

    • Petticoat Philosopher

      haha, I’m turning over the same thought, Hilary–at least since I realized that I am technically (pretty much) eligible, which I initially didn’t since the questions are so obviously biased in favor of Christians (and evangelicals in particular). I think if you and I took it, we might cause earthquakes or something.

      • Hilary

        If we could give accurate answers, instead of their pre-picked ones . . . but then if they got too many accurate answers, their neurons might get to tangled to function.

  • Slow Learner

    “If you were unsure of what was right or wrong in a particular situation, how would you decide what to do?”
    “Do what would make you feel happy” – nope.
    “Do what would help you get ahead” – nope.
    “Follow the advice of a parent or teacher” – nope.
    “Do what you think God or the Scripture tells you is right” – nope.

    How about, do what I think will be best for the world in general, not just my happiness or my success? Oh, right, that comes under “Something else”…

    • lucifermourning

      i had the same problem! “weigh which option would help most or harm least” would be my approach.

      that and the ‘check all that apply’ boxes for types of sexual experiences you’ve had only lets you check one option…

      • Kate

        Yep. No quality control on this survey at all. That not-actually-possible-to ‘check all that apply’ sexual experiences question is a serious problem.

      • Katherine Hompes

        Yeah, because I couldn’t check both, I made sure to check the “homosexual experiences” box- I thought I’d best go with the numbers…

    • Kate

      Exactly. This survey is terrible. No option to express the fact that I care deeply about the world around me if I don’t fit into their narrow view of respondents following either God and leadership or “whatever I want because I’m a narcissist!”

      • AnotherOne

        This was hands down the most annoying part of the survey to me.

      • Rose

        I hope I made up for that in the volunteer bit… yeah, I help people and I don’t believe in a god! What a shock!

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

        I wanted them to ask where I volunteer so that I could say PLANNED PARENTHOOD. :P

      • Kate

        I was quite similar – not fitting into your religious mold AND volunteering big time!

      • Kait

        I felt kinda bad admitting that I did some volunteer work back when I was with my old church, but don’t do any anymore… I love helping people, but I have no vehicle, can’t even ride a bicycle, and live in a town with no usable public transportation. I’ve looked for stuff within walking distance that I could do, but couldn’t find anything that didn’t require special skills or knowledge and wasn’t faith-based. So even if I found something I could do, I wouldn’t even be able to reach it. There’s the option of donating money, but I’m unemployed and financially dependent at the moment, so I can’t even do that.

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

      I KNOW. This one stopped me up short as well! And seriously, “Do what would help you get ahead”?! Even people who actually do function that way wouldn’t word it like that, that’s just the wording of evangelicals talking about these mythic selfish assholes they’re sure exist in spades among those who aren’t valiantly following the Bible’s every command!

      • Sally

        It does sound like a religious middle schooler wrote it!

      • Kate

        Exactly! More attempts to skew it toward making Millennials out to be total assholes. And for people who use the term “worldview training” and so obviously have done it at some point, they don’t seem to be very aware of the humanist point of view and belief in the common good.

      • The_L1985

        …I thought “worldview training” meant “Were you indoctrinated toward a conservative Christian worldview?” That’s how I answered it.

      • Nate Frein

        Hm. I just assumed that “worldview training” was a specific term describing a specific form of indoctrination, so I simply checked “no”.

      • LizBert

        When I was in high school my Sunday School class did a 3 month long Christian Worldview course, I figured that was a normal sort of thing. We talked about everything from evolution to democracy.

      • The_L1985

        My elementary school was one long Christian Worldview course.

      • Mary Leinart

        I had to look up “worldview training” and “family-integrated church” just to make sure I knew I was giving an accurate answer.

      • Richter_DL

        “If you were unsure of what was right or wrong in a particular situation, how would you decide what to do?”
        “Do what would make you feel happy” – nope.
        “Do what would help you get ahead” – nope.
        “Follow the advice of a parent or teacher” – nope.
        “Do what you think God or the Scripture tells you is right” – nope.

        I would do what my personal set of morals and a logical evaluation of my options point out. But it seems independent thinking is a strange, foreign land to these people. I even think they genuinely tried to offer all options they could think of here. Which makes this all the more disturbing.

    • The_L1985

      I know! I wanted to say “Do what helps the greatest number of people and harms the fewest,” but that just wasn’t an option. Why couldn’t they have a text box, and “Something else (please specify)” instead? Is that so fucking hard to do?

      • Kate

        Not hard to do practically, but when your entire life is consumed by a set-in-stone Right and Wrong intellectual rigor mortis, it’s probably impossible to even think of including any “something else” options because what on earth could those other things possibly be???
        I was in general bothered by the fact that the few times they did use “other” or “something else” they never included space to specify. Ugh.

      • The_L1985

        I feel like contacting the survey creator and insisting that “Please specify” be added to the “Other” options. I basically made sure my comments made my “Other” choices clear.

      • Kate

        Yes, I totally agree. Now, how to contact them… I’m not finding anything at all on the survey page. /surprise of a lifetime/

      • Michael W Busch

        There is an email address given: info@gen2survey.com . It is buried in the FAQ section.

      • Kate

        Brilliant! Thanks. I’m working on an email now.

    • Happily Homeschooled

      Yeah, that one really annoyed me.

      “Follow the advice of a parent or teacher” – nope.

      How about “Give the situation a lot of personal thought as well as soliciting advice from friends I respect, and then make a decision I think treats as many people as fairly as possible.”

      • Sally

        It sounds like the survey was geared towards teens. If it’s for up to 35, what 34 adult is going to consult first consult their spouse, if they have one? (I know, patriarchs theoretically won’t, but regular evangelicals will.) They might pray about it and read the Bible too, but I think most Christians talk other people mostly (and hopefully act like adults).

      • Sally

        Ugg.

        “what 34 adult is going to consult first consult their spouse, if they have one?”
        …what 34 year old adult isn’t going to first consult their spouse, if they have one?

      • LizBert

        Yeah, I’m a decade away from 35 but my husband is the first place I go when I’m not sure about something.

    • Ibis3

      Very authoritarian, isn’t it? Do what you’re told or act immorally. There’s no other option.

      • oywiththepoodles

        I specifically addressed this in the comments at the end- the whole issue of how an athiest family can teach morality, and not just teach a child to rely on their own desires to make their choices. Gar so frustrating!

    • Michael W Busch

      Far too many of the questions in the survey are incredibly poorly written. I sent a critique citing some of the more egregious problems to the email address given on the front page: info@gen2survey.com .

      I encourage others to do so. Maybe if they get enough different voices explaining why the survey is so badly done, they will understand that it is.

      Edit: things that I didn’t email them about, but probably should have:

      The survey almost entirely ignores anyone who didn’t grow up in a family with two living at-least-somewhat-authoritarian opposite-sex parents who were married to each other.

      It also makes a number of patriarchal assumptions – e.g. asking “was your father involved in your family home life?”, without asking the corresponding question about female parent(s).

      It ignores anyone who doesn’t conform to the gender binary.

      And it makes the extremely creepy assumption that corporal punishment is okay with “loving control”.

      • Liz

        I had a hard time with that question. I kind of wanted to ask what ‘loving control’ was…. but then I really didn’t. Of course, I can guess, can’t I?

      • Michael W Busch

        I think it came from James Dobson of “Focus on the Family” and his attempts to justify people beating children:

        James Dobson: “A child wants to be controlled.” “… The need to be controlled and governed is almost universal in childhood… It is through loving control that parents express personal worth to a child.”

        As I said, extremely creepy – as well as contradicted by all current developmental psychology. And also borderline illegal – enabling child abuse is a crime (at least in the United States), so Dobson is getting very close to the edges of protected speech.

      • Slow Learner

        I may have mis-interpreted that bit. I assumed it meant corporal punishment while the *parent* is under self-control, rather than punishing while angry or emotionally unstable.

      • Michael W Busch

        Even that would be very creepy. It assumes that it is loving to beat children.

        But the phrase “loving control” is keyed to things like the Dobson quote I mentioned before. The goal is for the parent to control the child – treating the kid like an automaton rather than as a person (we even treat dogs better than that). Hence the extra level of creepiness.

      • Richter_DL

        Yeah, reminded me of Pearl’s super creepy sentence about how whipping an infant is “beautiful”.

    • Joykins

      Its a poorly designed survey, over all. There is actually an art to survey design…

    • Mary Leinart

      That bugged me, too. I consult people I trust, and talk it over before making what I think is the best decision for me and anyone else affected.

    • gimpi1

      In most surveys, I find myself looking for the “none of the above” selection. Good to know I’m not the only one.

      It obviously never dawned on whoever wrote this question that anyone could; a) think for themselves and, b) worry about the outcome of their actions, not just how they justified them.

  • http://fundamentallyopposed.blogspot.com/ Linnea

    LOL. I like how it lists “agnostic” and “atheist” as options under “churches and religions you currently associate yourself with.”

    • The_L1985

      And the only non-Christian options are “Jew,” “Hindu,” and “Muslim.”
      Sikhs? Pagans? Never heard of them!

      • Michael W Busch

        Jain, Buddhist, Taoist, Chinese traditional, Shinto, Spiritism, Baha’i, Cao Dai, Zoroastrianism, Tenrikyo, Universalism, Rastafarianism, …

      • The_L1985

        Hey, quit making up words!

        </Brian Ray>

      • Michael W Busch

        It gets worse – we could subdivide Islam and Judaism to the level that they subdivided Christianity. And then do the same for Buddhism and Jainism and Hinduism and all of the different things that are currently lumped together as Paganism. They’d need several hundred entries at a minimum.

    • Liz

      what *really* bugged me is that they asked how many churches I had attended from age 0-18, which is close to ten, and then they asked me what kind of church that was, how many attended, etc…. with radio buttons. I just checked Baptist and some random number of families attending when really the first few were really big Baptist churches, then we moved on to a small nondenominational church, then to a succession of tiny charismatic churches, then no church for a while, then even smaller house churches. But all their survey captured was ’6+ churches’ ‘Baptist’ ’20-35 families’

      • victoria

        It definitely raised my eyebrows when the largest number of families for church size was 61+. The church I grew up in (Catholic) was considered small, and we had maybe 150 families. Then we moved to a larger city and went to a church with around 800-1000.

        The biggest evangelical church in the immediate area of the second church was big enough that they had a parking shuttle. (I just looked it up — they have over 8,000 members). I only went in there once, to do music for a wedding, but from seeing the church and from knowing people who went there I think the experience would’ve been totally different from the church I went to. Yet all churches of 61+ families are the same in the view of the survey makers.

    • Hilary

      This has absolutely nothing to do with the topic, but I’ve always liked the name Linnea. It’s very pretty. And you have a picture of the flower as your icon.

  • House Baelish

    I started to take the survey, but by “religious”, they seemed to mean “Evangelical”, or at least “Protestant”. While a lot of the questions were applicable, some of them just had no answer that applied to me, as I was raised (and still am) Catholic, and it seems as though anyone who was not raised Christian would have even more questions like that. It makes perfect sense for them to want to study those raised Evangelical, but I wish they hadn’t just entitled it “religious”.

  • SinginDiva721

    What kind of religious home are they referring to? I was raised in a religious home but a more mainstream religion (Lutheran) and I was not homeschooled. I am 32 so I am within the age group. Wasn’t sure if they were looking for specifically homeschooled individuals or more evangelical/fundamentalist christians.

    EDIT: I took the survey. I did seem geared toward the fundamentalist/evangelical crowd but I wanted to give my opinions. If they want a large group of people, then why not?

    • Whirlwitch

      I’m guessing from comments that if you were raised in a Buddhist or Pagan household the survey won’t work well for you.

  • kisarita

    as you wrote, libby, many of the questions seem geared toward fundamentalist religious homes, and not just religious homes. i suppose the answer is that the authors view non-fundamentalist as less religtious.

    But whats mroe, as a Jew from an Orthodox background, its clear that the survey isn’t about me. Many of the questions would not serve as a barometer of religious adherence for Jews (and many that would, are not included) and some that are applicable are worded in distinctly Chrisitan terminiology such as they could be interpreted differently by jewish responders (ie church, scripture….). and while Judaism is included as a token response on the checklist, no jewish denoninations are listed, althought the list of christian denoninations is rather lengthy.

    I suppose some of these criticisms could apply to other religions practiced in america as well. Now a survey of chrisitans is just fine, in fact, i believe such a survey should be addressed to only one religion as multiple religions is too broad. but it should be so titled: “Religious Christian Homes” instead of just religious.

    I’m curious if the studies that refer to millenials being less “religious” also selected out for the different religions or assume that the christian majority applies to everyone.

    • Kate

      Exactly. I was wondering about how friends who were raised in Sikh and Muslim homes would even begin to respond to this survey, when they were, in fact, raised in deeply religious homes. It does need to say explicitly Christian or be altered to reflect other religions, though I, like you, suspect that in their minds, only Christianity counts. The others aren’t “real” religions.

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

      Well, they very clearly state “religious homes” rather than “evangelical homes,” but I think what you have going on is the very typical glossing over and ignoring of everything that isn’t *Christian.* Because yeah, going through it, I kept going “wait, how is this not just a survey for evangelical homeschoolers?!”

      • AnotherOne

        Yeah, I love how there were forty bazillion kinds of Christians listed, but just “Muslim.” Because you know, a member of the Nation of Islam in Chicago is exactly the same as a Shia Muslim in Karachi, who is exactly the same as a Ghanaian Sunni Muslim.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Which is exactly the same as a Sufi from India.

      • Hilary

        Or a Somali in Minneapolis, known as little Mogadishu in a few neighborhoods.

      • Christine

        I’m also interested in the fact that they listed “Anabaptist”, but not “Mennonite”. There are very few anabaptists these days. (Most people who belong to churches in the Anabaptist tradition were only baptized once, as an adult.) So I don’t know whether they just have no clue what they’re talking about, or are just omitting a sizeable number of denominations in favour of a much smaller group.

    • Mel

      It has similar problems for the Roman Catholic Church as well. I got really confused in several points. I don’t know what “worldview” training is. It doesn’t ask if you are receiving the Eucharist which isn’t the same thing as going to church once a week. We’re definitely a family friendly church – NFP is great for babies – but some Masses offer a separate portion of the readings for the kids who come back after that. How does that fit in a yes or no question?

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

        Worldview training: You learn about the “Christian worldview” as opposed to the “Socialist worldview” and the “New Age worldview” and the “Humanist worldview,” etc. You learn about how the way you view the world depends on which worldview you are viewing it from, and about how all of the other worldviews (besides Christian) are built on no foundation at all and lead to genocide and worse. You usually learn these things by being sent off to a week-long seminar as a teen or through a textbook produced by the people who do the seminars. My parents still send my minor siblings off to these things.

        Family integrated church: They believe that Sunday School is anti-biblical and that children should only receive theological training from their *parents.* In family integrated churches, the kids sit right alongside their parents in the service rather than being separated out in any way.

      • The_L1985

        OK, good, I did have that. But not in a seminar–I had that in private school ALL THE DAMN TIME.

      • http://plantsarethestrangestpeople.blogspot.com/ mr_subjunctive

        Huh. Then I don’t have any idea what category my parents’ churches fall under. We almost always went places that started with (usually an hour of) Sunday School, divided by age group, and then everybody came back together for the main service except for the very smallest kids (<2 yr or so). I didn't even know there was any other way of doing it until I was in high school. So I guess I probably answered that one wrong.

      • Mel

        Thank you! That helps. I’ve never gotten Christian world-view training and my church is apparently anti-family integration. The survey just gets weirder the farther in I get.

      • Hilary

        You mean that’s a thing? Seriously? I mean I don’t doubt you, I know you’re not lying, but that is so weird to make an issue out of. My temple has free child care up to age 6 for Friday Shabbat services, although younger can sit with their family if they aren’t screaming uncontrollably. If there is a problem, there are plenty of places outside the main sanctuary for parents to sit comfortably with their child and still hear what is going on. Then at the end, all children are invited to the bima (pulpit) for a blessing over bread, share the bread then we all head out for a light dessert buffet and gossip.

        Over half of the square feet of the temple building are classrooms. But then again – at least you didn’t have to try and learn a foreign language as part of your biblical training. Or try to prove you could read a few paragraphs from the NT in Greek by the time you where 13. I couldn’t then – my bat mitzvah was when I was 25.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        I didn’t exactly read mine. I half-memorized it, and used the squiggly letters as memory aids. I don’t and didn’t speak or understand nearly enough Hebrew to actually read the passage!

    • The_L1985

      Oh, indeed. I’m a Wiccan ex-Catholic. None of the descriptions of “How do you believe now?” really fit me very well. “Do you feel close to God?” Well, I feel pretty close to Diana and Bast, and Thor and I get along pretty well, but I’m not close to the Christian god…WHAT DO I PUT?

      I made sure in the comments to specify exactly which kind of “Other” I am. Not everyone who leaves Christianity becomes an atheist or agnostic!

      • LizBert

        How do I answer how close I feel to a concept that I don’t believe exists?

    • http://exploringthejungle.wordpress.com/ Kat

      I was going to comment on the exact same thing. I mean, I found myself pretty clearly reflected in their intended audience, but I was pretty flabbergasted at the arrogance of using “Christian” and “religious” basically interchangeably. I mean, growing up in that kind of environment, I do recognize that most of them see two categories of religion: Christian ones and wrong ones.* But it still irked me. I had a friend in high school who was raised in a Wiccan household, and there’s no way he could’ve given any kind of meaningful answers to this thing. Of course, they aren’t interested in his answers anyway, but then why advertise it as if they are? That just makes no sense to me.

      *Of course, many that are labeled Christian actually fall into the latter category, because basically everyone is going to hell.

  • Kate

    “How would you describe yourself as a child?”

    1. I was very rebellious

    2. I struggled with rebellion, but overcame it

    3. I was always fairly obedient and honoring as a child.

    wtf. seriously. “I struggled with rebellion, but overcame it.” Also, there is no space for things like, say, I didn’t do everything that people told me because I was a very unconventional child and it’s turned out really well for me, my family, and my current life as a creative and unconventional professional adult.

    • Composer 99

      I didn’t do everything that people told me because I was a very unconventional child and it’s turned out really well for me, my family, and my current life as a creative and unconventional professional adult.

      Of course not. That’s not what the surveyors want to hear, so they’re not going to include it as an option.

      • Kate

        I know. This survey is a such farce. It deserves to be into a drinking game.

        - 1 shot every time you read the word “biblical”
        - chug a beer for every time there is an obvious “right answer” option
        - body shot for every use of the word “moral”

        etc…

        It can only get better with a little alcohol.

      • Kate

        And of course, the next question I get is: During the past six months, how many times have you been under the influence of alcohol or drunk with alcohol? (Please enter a number 0 through 100.)

        You couldn’t just say “how many drinks have you had in the past six months?”

        I’ve got to stop spamming Libby’s blog with my responses to all of these insane questions and just start live-blogging it myself, because it’s obvious there will be many more such treasures ahead in this bizarre survey… quest… thing.

      • Jayn

        I dunno, unless you’re a very casual drinker it might be easier to number how often you drink versus how many drinks you’ve had. Plus, how many drinks constitutes ‘too many’, at least in terms of being under the influence, will vary from person to person–I spent a few days in Vegas with a guy who I never saw without alcohol in his hand, and he was complaining about never even getting buzzed, while I get a mild buzz if I drink a glass of wine too fast.

      • Kate

        Exactly. It would be better to do something like per week rather than 6 months (holy cow that’s a long time!) but my real problem with it is what exactly constitutes “under the influence of alcohol”? Like driving blood alcohol content under the influence? Having half a glass of red with dinner? Anywhere from one sip up to “drunk”? It’s weirdly worded.

        Also, I’m one who definitely gets a buzz from one glass of wine. Cheers for the lightweights.

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

        Ugh, I had the same issue. They pretty clearly mean, “how many times did you drink an amount we would consider unacceptable?” But of course, they can’t just SAY that!

      • oywiththepoodles

        “How many times did you try to drown the sorrow, despair, and loneliness of your heathen lifestyle by using alcohol or drugs?” <- is what they MEAN to say.

      • LizBert

        My problem is that I’m drinking to celebrate the freedom and happiness of my heathen lifestyle!

      • Kate

        Yes, me too!

      • Hilary

        “How many times did you try to drown the sorrow, despair, and loneliness of your heathen lifestyle by using alcohol or drugs?”

        Once a year, Passover, four cups of wine. L’chaim!

        With childhood memories of sneaking a tablespoon of Manischevitz onto ice cream as a sundae topping. The first time I had real wine, I gaged because I didn’t know why it wasn’t sweet.

      • Jayn

        Good point about what constitutes ‘under the influence’. I guess I’m just coming at it from the point of someone for whom ‘the last six months’ is actually pretty easy to quantify how many times I’ve been drinking, since the number is usually going to be somewhere between 0 and 2.

      • Christine

        I got drunk enough to start acting like an idiot from less than a glass of champagne. This is because I normally am lukewarm about the taste of alcohol, so having a sip whenever it starts seeming like a good idea is fine, and I’ve never had to learn how to pace myself. 1 drink in 15 minutes at 70 kg can make me drunk enough to wonder why people do it deliberately.

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

        Eh, spam away! It’s too beautifully crazy not to. :P

      • Kate

        Aww, thanks Libby. It’s so insane, I have to say this stuff somewhere!

      • victoria

        I took that one to mean actually inebriated, to the point that it would impair driving, etc. I might drink alcohol three or four times a week, but we’re talking 1-2 glasses of wine or a cocktail with food. Drunkenness is a rare thing for me, so that’s how I answered.

      • The_L1985

        I’ve had one-drink-in-a-day several times in the last 6 months, but since I didn’t drink enough to become intoxicated I figured those didn’t count.

      • AnotherOne

        I know. That one was a serious WTF moment for me too. My random glass of wine now and then qualifies as “under the influence” or “drunk”?
        And the options in the creation/evolution questions were insanely bizarre.
        Also, is it just me, or did anyone else check that they were satisfied with their life and then bristle in the knowlege that you’ll come up as a statistic for how happy homeschoolers are, when whatever life satisfaction you have was fought for inch by hard-won inch, and acheived in SPITE of your upbringing, not because of it?

      • Kate

        Yep, no possibility for that reality to be expressed. I had the exact same concern.

      • Jessica Stebbins

        That one confused me since I didn’t know whether it counted pleasantly tipsy with friends versus just wasted/out of control.

      • Composer 99

        It deserves to be into a drinking game.

        +1

      • The_L1985

        The best part is, every time it asked about my relationship with God, I was tempted to ask, “Which one?”

      • Kate

        Yes.

        - Jaegerbomb every time it assumes you have a relationship with God

      • Hilary

        word, that’s a good one!

      • eternalgradstudent

        Oh, but that would really complicate answering the question about how many times you have been “under the influence of alcohol or drunk on alcohol”. Is that the number of alcoholic beverages I’ve imbibed? or the number of times I’ve been hungover?

      • http://exploringthejungle.wordpress.com/ Kat

        That could still lead to weird results. For example, I drink quite a bit more than my husband, but that’s in large part because he’s a lightweight compared to me (it takes 3+ drinks to do me what one does to him). On the other hand, he has this amazing superpower where he never, ever gets a hangover no matter how much he drinks. To be honest, it’s hard to quantify drinking habits because alcohol affects everyone differently. That being said, what’s so hard about asking how many drinks per week? That’s how they do it at my doctor’s office, and it seems to work well enough for their purposes.

      • Ibis3

        Even asking number of drinks per week can be misleading. In some cultures it is common to drink a glass of wine every evening with dinner, but that’s not the same as having a habit of binging every Saturday night with 7 beers and/or cocktails and/or shots. Neither of which necessarily indicate having a problem with alcohol. If I had 7 beers in one night, I’d be lightly toasted, but my brother-in-law wouldn’t even have a buzz. A friend of mine would be utterly plastered by drink number 7. I drink occasionally (I just reminded myself I have a hard limonade chilling in the fridge which I’m going to get right after I finish this comment–fantastic!), but the last time I would consider myself to have been “under the influence” or “drunk”? Years ago.

      • LizBert

        Dear god, 7 drinks would have me puking at best and blacked out at worst.

      • LizBert

        I was super unsure of how to answer the alcohol question. I drink fairly regularly and I’m a lightweight, two drinks and I probably shouldn’t be driving. I don’t especially consider that being drunk, though. I go out with my friends, have a couple drinks, giggle about our lives, and go home.I haven’t been drunk to the point of throwing up and stumbling around or anything more than once in the last year.

      • Baby_Raptor

        Please don’t do that, Kate.

        The next time we hear from you, it’ll be your spouse or a family member telling us you’re in the hospital from alcohol poisoning.

      • Kate

        So true, so true. I wouldn’t make it past the first page.

    • Conuly

      Or “my parents weren’t big into the whole obedience/rebellion dichotomy, believing that people could usually find a compromise”.

      • AnotherOne

        or, “I was a model homeschooled child, praised to high heaven by everyone for my stellar maturity, intellect, work ethic, and nauseating politeness and respect. Meanwhile, the only things that kept me–literally–from committing suicide were abject terror of going to hell, and the hope that someday, somehow, I would break free.”

      • The_L1985

        Holy fuck, that was me!

      • Fanraeth

        Sounds familiar also.

      • SmallestOfSpoons

        I don’t know if they really understand that children are people, and are as capable as any adult of having an inner life that doesn’t necessarily coincide with an outward appearance of functionality.

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

      I know, right? That question pulled me up short as well. Who words things like that?! This is no ordinary survey.

      • Kate

        Not at all. As someone who actually does social research and conducts surveys regularly, I’m quite tempted to take screenshots of this all and use it as an example in the classes I teach of exactly what NOT to do when creating a survey. It’s bizarre.

      • Sally

        Do good surveys get beta tested?

      • Kate

        Good surveys are written and rewritten many, many times, tested on target groups, tested on random sample groups, edited, re-edited, etc. It can be a very, very long process to create a decent, actually useful survey, especially when you’re trying to ask about really complicated and personal things like religion and upbringing.

      • Ibis3

        Yeah. To be fair, the last time I tried to fill out an atheist survey (Darrel Ray’s one on sex) I bailed because that one was awful too, and full of preconceptions about respondents. For example, it assumed that if you had been religious, you had belonged to a religion that disapproved of sex; it assumed that you had been raised religious, had bad or no sex, then left religion and had better and more sex. I wasn’t raised religious, became religious (Pagan) in my late teens and twenties when I had pretty good sexy times, now I’m in my early forties and an atheist, but I am celibate (not because I have any aversion to sex, mind you, but I moved to live with my elderly mother and don’t have any social life; my last sexual partner no longer even lives in the country).

        Writing a survey takes a lot of discipline in jettisoning your biases and notions about how monolithic people are. People are diverse, with diverse experiences, not stereotypes.

      • Sally

        Based on all the problems you guys (in the age range taking the survey) are finding, they should be really embarrassed by how biased the survey is. I realize they’re probably trying to get certain results, but yet I suspect they don’t actually realize how loaded their questions are. It’s a shame, because real data might actually be meaningfully helpful.

      • http://exploringthejungle.wordpress.com/ Kat

        Speaking as someone pretty familiar with that culture (public schooled myself, but religious parents and went to church with a lot of the homeschooled kids who make up their target audience), I think a lot of it is honest ignorance. Some of them genuinely do not get that there are other options out there. They are unaware that people might leave Christianity for unselfish reasons, be pro-choice but still want kids themselves, have premarital sex without being promiscuous, etc. They live their lives in a bubble and DON’T KNOW.

        I remember once watching TV with a guy in his twenties who was raised in that environment, and a beer commercial came on, with the obligatory “drink responsibly” at the end. He said, “How can anyone ‘drink responsibly’? Getting drunk is not responsible?” He was shocked (and I don’t think he believed me) when I explained that most people can have a drink or two and get a little bit of a buzz without falling down and vomiting everywhere. So yeah, the survey’s skewed, but some of it might not be as intentional as it seems.

      • AnotherOne

        That’s exactly my take on it. I doubt the person writing the questions thinks they’re skewed, or that they are consciously trying to get certain results. It’s just the Christian bubble at work.

      • http://deird1.dreamwidth.org Deird

        *nods*

        I told the survey that I haven’t “been under the influence of alcohol” in the last twelve months – which is incorrect and honest at the same time, if that makes sense. I had to choose between being correct (yes, I have drunk lots of alcohol in the last year) and being clear for the poor innocent survey monkeys (no, I have not actually gotten drunk in the last year) – because it didn’t seem to occur to them that I could be someone who drinks alcohol but doesn’t get drunk…

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Yeah. My husband and I like to make cocktails sometimes, but that means we’ll have one or two drinks over the course of an evening. I haven’t been drunk in … quite a while. Happily tipsy, ok yeah that’s happened.

      • Mogg

        Yes, I tripped over that one too. I did happen to go to an awesome but heavy on alcohol ‘history of cocktails’ night a couple of weeks ago at which I was, indeed, technically drunk and wouldn’t have been legal to drive a car, but I was perfectly capable of making normal conversation, walking, catching a cab and so forth without running through the streets on a drunken rampage.

      • Whirlwitch

        How exactly do these people deal with all the wine in the Bible. Do they think Jesus and his crew were running around plastered all the time? Because it is fairly evident from the Bible that wine drinking was a daily occurrence, and we know Jesus and company did not abstain. Plus, wedding at Cana, anyone?

      • Nate Frein

        What they called “wine” was really just grapejuice *nodnod*

        (no kidding, I was given this story by my wife’s evangelical grandmother.)

      • Whirlwitch

        Ah yes, now that you mention it, I had heard that one before. I’m a little light-headed today on account of medical unpleasantness. I’m assuming if you pointed out that the word used for wine-that-JC-drank/magically provided is the same as the one used for wine-that-other-characters-got-drunk-off-of, they’d stick their fingers in their ears and sing hymns to drown out the reason.

      • Christine

        Honestly, as much as Kat is correct that it’s honest ignorance, I’m not sure that they’re interested in good data. It might challenge their assumptions.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Alpha, early beta, late beta, and revisions, yes.

      • victoria

        Also notice that nowhere on that website is there any indication that the research has been approved by an IRB.

      • Kate

        Because I’m sure it wasn’t.

      • Composer 99

        Don’t be silly!

        People doing the Lord’s work don’t need no stinkin’ IRB approval, or methodologically sound survey construction, or any of those other heathenatheistMuslimsocialist notions of proper process in sociology.

      • oywiththepoodles

        Geez victoria, next you’ll be asking for fact-checking and other obviously socialist/liberal/psycho garbage. ;)

      • Lunch Meat

        Example of how bad and untested/unproofread this survey is (page 3, I think): “If yes, How committed to Christianity where are they (he/she)?”

      • Kate

        Yep. It’s really bad. Not just in how biased and leading the questions are but in general use of the English language as well.

        Ironic considering how well-educated everyone in the homeschooling world is supposed to be…

      • Lucreza Borgia

        We need to send in Mr. Black Hat!!!

      • Kate

        OMG Yes Thank You!

      • Happily Homeschooled

        That’s where I come in and kill all their preconceptions! I was literally the perfect kid…as obedient, and honoring as I could possibly be. And for the most part, my parents deserved it. It was when I left the nest that they couldn’t cope (because the parent-child relationship that the religion promotes is unhealthy). And once I got outside my box, I was able to see how messed up things in the box were.

      • oywiththepoodles

        Taking this survey brought it all back to me… no matter how long you’re “out” you still know the familiar feeling of how evangelicals use words to tell you how you’re supposed to respond.

      • The_L1985

        I took great pleasure in the times my honest responses didn’t line up with how I was “supposed to” respond for just that reason. :)

    • The_L1985

      And nothing about “I was very obedient as a pre-teen child, but became rebellious as a teen or young adult.”

      • Kate

        Because OMG you can only be one or the other, *never both*, obviously.

      • Baby_Raptor

        Aren’t these the types that “don’t believe in teenagers”? They just try and force their kids to start acting like full grown adults at 13 so as to avoid the teenage rebellion years, because they’re a modern liberal creation?

        My grandparents tried that shit. It didn’t go well for them.

      • The_L1985

        My parents just kept treating me like a small child. That doesn’t work so well either.

    • onamission5

      I wanted an option for “my parents were and still can be total assholes who made unreasonable demands that would make any well behave child want to play in traffic.” But I didn’t have that option, so I subverted their paradigm by clicking obedient.

    • http://exploringthejungle.wordpress.com/ Kat

      Yeah, I never really got in trouble much, but I wouldn’t say it was because I was “obedient.” I was just… you know, reasonably nice to people. I didn’t go around looking to stir up trouble for no good reason. Sometimes I would disagree with my parents, and I would discuss it with them. Sometimes we would even work out a compromise. Sure, it didn’t always go that well, and there was some of the usual tantrums/grounding/etc., but I’d say I got in trouble the same amount or less than most kids my age. I don’t even remember what I answered for that question (or if I just skipped it — I know I skipped one or two), because it completely lacked a “WTF?” option.

      • Sally

        Right. I think this would describe myself and most of my Christian friends when we were teens.

    • Alice

      On the surface, I was a model home-school child pretty much the whole time growing up. My parents were always talking about how lucky they were that I wasn’t like “those kids.” Actually, I was very rebellious but I was very secretive about it because I was terrified of getting into trouble. They controlled everything and they were the only people I had, so open rebellion was not a smart option.

      As a small child, I would throw “silent fits” in my room (whisper-yelling, hitting/kicking the air, etc). As a teenager, I spent my free time on the internet, devouring all the TV shows, secular music, pornography, and atheist websites that I had been sheltered from my whole life.

      I’ve always thought it would be interesting to have surveys for home-school families and see how different the children’s/adult children’s answers are from the parents’.

      • Melody Jones

        You know I totally forgot about those. I would have ‘silent fits’ all the time. I would usually muffle my face with a pillow just to be extra safe. I am so glad I live thousands of miles away now… o.o

      • AnotherOne

        Wow. I did the same thing. I had forgotten.

        How sad.

        It also makes me thankful, in a weird way, for the annoying, earsplitting verbosity of my pre-teen child’s tantrum this morning.

    • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

      How about: I was pretty obedient as a child, but definitely didn’t obey everything, which means according to your horrible principles I was a Hellspawn?

      I mean, I argued back. I yelled at my parents. I slammed doors. I told adults on a regular basis they were wrong about things and backed up my arguments with facts and logic. I told my parents the summer after high school that I wasn’t honoring their curfew anymore, and if they locked me out of the house, I’d just go sleep at a friend’s. I never smoke, drank, did drugs, skipped school, or did anything majorly bad- I was out till 4 AM (in summer, not school days) playing Scrabble and drinking coffee at a local IHOP. I even waited to have sex with my then-boyfriend until we were in college out of respect for them. Such a horrible child I was!

      • Kate

        OMG playing Scrabble and drinking COFFEE?! Hellspawn indeed.

        Seriously though, cheers on backing up your arguments with facts and logic and not letting the hierarchy hold you back. I think people who do this end up much more well-adjusted than anyone who blindly obeyed everything and never thought for themselves, even as they transitioned into adulthood.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Oh yeah. My parents were never big on obedience though. I grew up in a lightly-Jewish home, and the sort of hyper-obedience, soaked-in-sin nonsense a lot of people are talking about wasn’t anywhere to be found. It would’ve been much harder if my parents hadn’t encouraged me to be logical and stand up for myself, even to them, because they were only human and could be wrong.

      • Kate

        Huge props to your parents then for encouraging you to stand up for yourself too. Really, I wish far more parents would do this. I had a weird transition from not being allowed to voice dissent at all during my younger years to being encouraged to think for myself as a later teen. It was a tough shift for me, but I know that my parents were altering the way that they view parenting, religion, etc. during that time, so I think they were recognizing some of the errors of their HSLDA years at that point. Seeing the difference between the way I was parented and the way they are parenting my brother (who is 9 years younger than me) is really fascinating. They’ve loosened up a lot, let go of a lot, and treat him like an autonomous, thinking individual, which I really applaud.

    • http://deird1.dreamwidth.org Deird

      How about “I ignored every rule my father laid down, but obeyed my mother no matter what. Which worked really well, because my dad’s rules were dumb.”

      (Seriously. “You can’t take the dog for a walk in summer at 1pm, because it’s not full daylight.” What the hell is that?)

    • Mary Leinart

      I was somewhat rebellious and I want my own damn check box for that.

    • gimpi1

      Absolutely, Kate. Rebellion can be a good, even vital thing. It’s interesting how many of these “super-patriotic” Americans don’t remember, we started out with a rebellion.

      Without my strong rebel streak, I wouldn’t be the creative professional (graphic-artist, illustrator and web designer) that I am today.

      • Kate

        This so much!! I’m a creative professional too (musician, creative activist…) And considering how the HSLDA and their ilk idolize the Revolutionary War and the Confederate cause, it’s just crazy that they are so anti-rebellion. The double standards and cognitive dissonance are just unbelievable.

  • Composer 99

    So the HSLDA and this self-styled researcher Brian Ray are passing out emails, characterizing millennials using The Atlantic and Time articles as references?

    Bwahahahahahahahahaha!!!

    • Kate

      I know. I KNOW! LOL.

  • Mel

    Um…This is a weird-ass survey. I’m going to complete it, but I’m having to look up a lot of the terms since I was raised in a Catholic household……

    • The_L1985

      I was raised in a Catholic household, too. However, I went to an evangelical school, and my mom’s former Methodist/Baptist, so I do speak “Christianese” fairly well.

      I’m not sure if that makes me lucky or unlucky.

    • Christine

      I’m not sure it’s worth the bother of looking up the terms. I did it, and the questions make so many assumptions that make it obvious that my experiences are too far from what they want the answers to be. You didn’t grow up in the “right” kind of Christianity, so it doesn’t matter.

  • The_L1985

    How can I contact the survey creator? I really do want him to patch up some of the holes.

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

      Brian Ray is listed as the researcher, and his organization is the NHERI, and this is their contact page: http://www.nheri.org/contact-nheri.html

      That’s all I’ve got for you, sorry.

      • Kate

        Thanks, Libby. Maybe if enough people contact them, they’ll do something about it.

      • The_L1985

        Better than nothing.

    • Michael W Busch

      There’s an email address given under the FAQ: info@gen2survey.com

  • “Rebecca”

    “What is your favorite inspirational/religious book (or series) besides the Bible?”

    After staring blankly at the screen for a few moments, I went with “The Demon-Haunted World” by Carl Sagan.

    • Michael W Busch

      I went with “This question is meaningless. The Bible is religious, but it is _not_ inspirational.”

    • LizBert

      I thought about putting The God Delusion but just skipped answering that all together.

    • Liz

      I just said I follow a lot of religious/post-religious blogs. I should have said something more interesting :-p

    • Hilary

      I wrote down ‘Pirke Avot’ and explained it was the ethical writings of the Pharisees. Which it is, and I do use parts of it in my personal moral code.

    • Carrie Cook

      I picked Watership Down.

      • Hilary

        I love both the movie and the book. “All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies. And whenever they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you.

    • Katherine Hompes

      I chose a BDSM erotica series… It certainly inspires me :)

    • Cosmic Love

      I went with The Lord of the Rings. Good literature always inspired me to be a better person more than the Bible, even when I was still Christian.

  • Slow Learner

    Additional point – it asked if I ever attended a youth group.
    “Why yes,” think I, “I was a member of the Sea Cadets for five years.”
    It then turns out that youth group means “Church run indoctrination group”.
    I don’t think this survey was written for me. None of my school friends went to a church that had its own youth group, I didn’t know that was a thing until I found blogs like this one…

  • Kate

    I love the three iPad minis giveaway touch. It’s extra special, since of course, those selfish millennials won’t do anything unless there’s some material kick-back involved. I hope all three go to people who took the survey because of this post.

    • Mary Leinart

      I didn’t trust them to give my name and email address. I don’t want an iPad that badly!

      • Kate

        My gosh, yes, scary. I decided on a pseudonym (semi-pseudonym, I have several names to choose from) because I totally do not trust them either. No way.

      • victoria

        Yes, I felt the same way.

  • eamonknight

    the most narcissistic, the laziest, the most unsuccessful, and the most spiritually bankrupt generation ever.

    ….except for all of the previous “worst ever” next generations.

    Personally, I think the Millenials I know are fantastic people. Including my grownup kids (OK, I’m biased there), their friends, several other 20-somethings we’re friends with, and a whole whack of internet people. Of course the characteristics I admire, these goofballs would probably consider “spiritual bankruptcy”.

    EDIT: And since they cite magazine articles in support of their assertion, I guess I should give a cite of equal weight for mine: Lee Adams, “Kids”, in Bye Bye Birdie, 1960.

  • Fanraeth

    I’d really love to see their reaction when they try to figure out what depraved box in which to put this non-drinking, non-smoking, non-drug-using single gay virgin agnostic. Those questions were absurd in their obvious bias toward OMG! UR NOT A CHRISTIAN GUESS UR EVUL!!!11!!.

    • Baby_Raptor

      Well, you’re gay, so you’re automatically hellbound according to them.

    • Christine

      I believe that, according to them, you can’t be both gay and a virgin. After all, there is no such thing as gay people. There are people who choose to have homosexual sex.

  • AnotherOne

    Hell’s Bells what a survey. I filled it out, but good lord did I ever laugh at some of the questions. I have social scientist friends who would have a stroke over all the methodological problems in this survey. Crazy.

  • Nate Frein

    So, for “favorite religious book”, I put “His Dark Materials”.

    • The_L1985

      I put Pagans and Christians by Gus DiZerega. :) I think more people in both groups should read it.

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

      I put anything by Bart Ehrman. :P

      • The_L1985

        Ehrman is just all kinds of awesome.

      • Alice

        Totally. I found one of his books in the library at the beginning of Christmas break, and then went back to check out four more. It’s important information, and it’s presented in an engaging way.

      • AnotherOne

        Oh, that’s beautiful. I so should have put that, since his books have been influential on me. I drew a blank and put “N/A.”

      • Nate Frein

        I was unfamiliar with him, so I looked him up.

        There’s more books to put on the kindle…

      • trinity91

        I put unconditional parenting by Alfie Kohn. I think their heads would explode if they ever read that book

    • Fanraeth

      I actually skipped that one because I couldn’t think of a book to list. Now I wish I had put the Harry Potter series.

      • Mary Leinart

        I thought about those, since they have inspired me … to write a ton of fanfiction. But I ended up putting “none” because I figured putting any contemporary fiction down would make it look like I wasn’t taking the survey seriously.

    • victoria

      Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse (I wasn’t trying to punk the survey; it really is among my favorites.)

    • oywiththepoodles

      If I do fill it out (still deciding), I’ll put “When God Was a Woman” by Merlin Stone. LOVE that you put HDM series!

      • Nate Frein

        I honestly wasn’t sure what else to put. The idea of putting a nonfiction book (like The God Delusion) didn’t even occur to me for some reason.

      • oywiththepoodles

        Don’t worry, I’m sure HDM was already on their “do not let the kiddos read” list anyway! ;) I appreciate why someone would list that series, though.

      • Nate Frein

        Right now I’m re-reading a lot of the books that were a big part of my childhood, and HDM is one of the few holding up.

        LoTR is actually starting to piss me off. Not even finished with the first volume, and it’s already clear that Tolkien clearly subscribes to the whole “good old days of the past” nonsense, as well as holding up a community of small-minded xenophobes as a bastion of innocence. that needs to be protected from the horrors of the outside world.

      • Christine

        This is interesting to me, because I found HDM to be rather insipid. I figured I was way over the target age when I read it.

      • Nate Frein

        Insipid is definitely not the word I’d use to describe His Dark Materials. Child sacrifice and parallels to castration can be called a lot of things…insipid really isn’t one of them, IMO.

      • Christine

        I remember, as I read the books, thinking “this should be really exciting and gripping, but there’s just nothing to it.” At the time I honestly put it down to the author not having the writing style to be able to do what he wanted. Now I think he was just writing to people who read less of that style of fiction in the first place, and had different expectations than I did.

      • Nate Frein

        Possibly. I found it perfectly gripping.

        But then, I enjoyed reading the Titas Groan series.

        As far as I’m concerned, C.S. Lewis is the king of “not gripping” writing.

      • Christine

        That would be because you never read other popular Christian allegory. I normally have a hard time stopping in the middle of a book or even in the middle of a series that I have easy access to. I made an exception for The Sword Bearer. Aside from it being too thinly-veiled to really count as allegory, the entire book was the “given what he’s set up, it should get interesting soon. Oh, nope” problem.

    • Slow Learner

      I put the Culture novels by Iain M Banks.

    • phantomreader42

      I’m thinking Small Gods by Terry Pratchett.

      • Christine

        But that one has GREAT theology in it. And I am totally non-sarcastic on this. (This still sounds sarcastic…) I

      • phantomreader42

        “Great theology” sounds like an oxymoron, so it’s pretty hard to say it without seeming sarcastic…

      • Christine

        How about “it works very well with a Christian worldview”? But even if I phrase it like that it sounds like I’m being sarcastic!

      • gimpi1

        Love Small Gods. Well, love pretty much anything by Pratchett. It’s a pretty good writer that can make you laugh till you wet yourself and think at the same time.

    • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

      I would probably put Kushiel’s Dart … though I’m not going to fill out the survey, because I grew up in a very lax Jewish home, so I’m not sure that counts as “religious”.

      Other options include Job: A Comedy of Justice and American Gods.

      • Hilary

        IIRC, you’re a gamer. What about a AD&D handbook for a cleric? Or only very slightly less snarky, a Humanistic Jewish Passover Hagaddah?

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Oooh those could be fun! I never played AD&D, so I wouldn’t pick that (started playing 3.0/3.5), but I do have a very nice Feminist Humanist Hagadah!

      • Hilary

        I did my time in AD&D in Jr. High, and read a lot of DragonLance and Forgotten Realms in Jr high and high school. It would might be worth it for you to hold your nose and take the survey, just so you could list maybe Firefly or Dr. Who as favorite tv series, put down a Feminist Humanist Hagaddah, and explain in the last question why you are a ex-Jewish feminist atheist. I’m thinking the more people out of their Christian homeschool bubble they get, the better. Maybe a sheer volume of alternative stories might be their only exposure to the outside world

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Tis true. I don’t know that I qualify for their survey is all- I wasn’t really raised in a religious household. We went to services most Friday nights and lit the candles for Shabbos, but we didn’t keep it at all other than that. Sunday school until Bat Mitzvah at 13, then youth group until high school, at which point my weekends were busy with other stuff.

        Do you think that counts or not?

      • Michael W Busch

        I’d say it should count, if only because the writers of the survey need to be told by as many people as possible about the actual diversity of human experience.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Fair enough! Off to the survey I go.

      • Hilary

        Yes, but you’ll have to wade through heavy Evangelical Christianese to get to the questions where you can make your point. After hanging out on LJF, I could understand most of it. I wasn’t much more religious growing up then you; everything you said plus holidays, and Jewish summer camp, but it’s not like we kept kosher or anything.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        I did go to a BBYO camp one summer- it was fun, and I can still half-remember the prayer for ending a meal.

        And holy crap, yeah the Christianese was heavy. I am glad Libby Anne has taken the time to explain it, or I wouldn’t have had a clue what 1/3 of those questions meant.

      • Ibis3

        As someone who grew up in a non-religious family, I’d say that counts. In our house, there weren’t any religious services other than ones we went to on our own or with our friends or via the school (which were also optional). I was never sent to a Sunday school (I decided on my own to go to a Sunday school for a few months in grade 4 with a classmate who attended a Chinese megachurch). We celebrated Christmas as a secular holiday. I’ve never heard my mother, father, or step-father pray or seen them involved in any kind of religious ritual or attend a church/mosque/temple (other than for a couple of weddings).

      • Christine

        I decided I counted, and we were C&E Christians until I was in my early teens (then we switched to going to weekly mass & being involved with all sorts of stuff)

      • Christine

        My father-in-law is a pastor, so he managed to argue that he should automatically get to be a cleric when we play Munchkin. (We turned it around, and required him to play that normally, and he has declined the privilege now).

    • Michael W Busch

      For all of the “favorite X” questions (except the one that made no sense because it called the Bible “inspirational”), I put down that it was impossible to pick one – there are way too many possibilities. That is true. But I clearly missed an opportunity.

      • Nate Frein

        I think any reasoned answer is perfectly fine. I like your idea of “too many possibilities to decide”. There are definitely some spots where I would have used that, if I’d thought of it at the time.

  • Gail

    Well, I filled it out (was raised in a very religious home but went to public school), although I think I accidentally gave the wrong answer for the church being age-integrated and homeschool friendly (I didn’t know what it meant, and there were some homeschooling families at our church so I answered yes, but our church was definitely divided by age).

    One of the first signs that it was going to be very poorly-written is that it asked how my relationship with my father was, and there was no option to explain that my father died. It pretty much went downhill from there. I answered honestly, but the limited options for answers were confusing. I got the feeling that if they use my answers at all, they are going to twist them to show why young people leave the church. I said I was an atheist and that my father read the Bible to me infrequently, so they will probably say something like, see, this is what happens when fathers don’t read the Bible to their children every day! I hope they understand correlation v. cause/effect but I have my doubts based on the types of questions they asked.

    And for favorite inspirational/religious book, I put The God Delusion. I don’t really read a lot of books related to religion, so my options for an answer were limited. I loved their implication that everyone has a favorite religious book. I was tempted to put the Kama Sutra, but I was trying to give honest answers.

    • http://exploringthejungle.wordpress.com/ Kat

      Yeah, my answers are going to end up quote-mined as well. I’m also an atheist whose father also read the bible to me infrequently, but I found it interesting that there was no answer for how often I read it on my own (pretty much daily!) I also said that we went to 6+ different churches when I was growing up, which they’ll probably mention while omitting the fact that in the comment section I explained that we were a military family (You think we changed churches a lot? Guess how many schools I went to!)

      I said my favorite inspirational/religious book was The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Partly because I was feeling snarky, partly because I couldn’t think of anything else, and maybe because lately I feel like more books should have “Don’t Panic” printed in large, friendly letters on the cover. The world would be a better place, that’s for sure.

      • Slow Learner

        One of my most prized possessions is a fluffy black towel with “Don’t Panic” on it in large, friendly yellow letters.

    • “Rebecca”

      I was tripped up by a lot of the same things you were. My mom is severely brain-damaged and can’t really communicate anymore, so I can’t say my relationship with her is good, but they’ll probably take that to mean we had a fallout or something. And yeah my parents didn’t really read the Bible to us kids but they surrounded us with all sorts of teaching materials and we picked it up ourselves. It’s not like they had no part in our religious training.
      I also almost put The God Delusion down but I decided I liked The Demon-Haunted World slightly more. Ha ha :)

      • http://deird1.dreamwidth.org Deird

        And yeah my parents didn’t really read the Bible to us kids but they surrounded us with all sorts of teaching materials and we picked it up ourselves.

        Yeah, my parents never read the Bible to me – but my mum had heaps of Bible stories, Christian kids music, and books of theology right there so we could absorb it all ourselves…

    • onamission5

      It bugged the fuck out of me that there was no option for parents who divorced before I was born and being raised by a stepparent. Assumption that there’s only one kind of family in the world: seen and noted.

    • LizBert

      The really needed more options on the family questions. I would say that my father was the greatest positive influence on my religious faith, but he and my mom were divorced and he lived halfway across the country from us, so no, he didn’t frequently read the Bible to me.

  • Makoto

    “How distant or close do you feel to God most of the time? Would you say…” – uhhhh, n/a?

    • “Rebecca”

      How distant or close do you feel to Osiris most of the time?

      • The_L1985

        I’d feel closer, but the golden member kinda puts me off. He really didn’t need to have the gems installed.

      • Lucreza Borgia

        I’m a fan of Ishtar. Would totally name a child that but my husband would probably have a heart attack.

      • “Rebecca”

        Was Ishtar one of the goddesses condemned in the Bible? Because if Ishtar pissed off Yahweh she must’ve been doing something right.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Well, Ishtar is female. God felt all weird and tingly and didn’t like it, so it’s all her fault. Clearly.

      • Michael W Busch

        I don’t think Ishtar is mentioned in the Bible. She was the goddess of sex and war, and had a volatile relationship with Gilgamesh in the Epic.

      • “Rebecca”

        Ah right, i must be thinking of Asherah.

    • Makoto


      Could you provide any additional insights on how you were raised, and how you raise your own children?

      I was raised in a fairly religious household, with regular church attendance. My parents are still very religious and attend church regularly, though I personally do not believe in religion any more. We maintain an excellent relationship, and should I have children some day, I want them involved in those children’s lives. I would allow the children to explore and learn about the various world religions as I did, and help in any way I could, but I would not force them into religion or non-religion. I trust that by raising them properly, they will come to an answer that satisfies them – what more could I ask for?

      • Carrie Cook

        I wrote a rant to that question:

        I grew up Catholic, and as such,
        some of the questions didn’t really pertain to me. When my parents
        divorced when I was 13 (and thank goodness they did, because they fought
        constantly), I chose not to attend Church anymore. See, the “good”
        Catholics forced my mom to stop attending because she was divorced. She
        was devastated by that, but I was glad not to have to go and say the
        rosary over at the convalescent hospital – it was a terrifying place.

        So
        the Catholics lost a church family because of the way they shamed my
        mother from the church. I certainly hope you take this into account.
        Let me reiterate: THE CHURCH LOST A MEMBER, A WHOLE FAMILY, BECAUSE THEY
        FOCUSED ON IDEOLOGICAL PURITY AND NOT INDIVIDUAL NEEDS. I cannot
        overstate this enough.

        I converted to Protestantism after I
        was married, and I taught Sunday School at an age-segregated church. I
        drove kids that I knew from poor families to the church. I taught at
        Vacation Bible School. I loved teaching Caravan, a Nazarene scouting
        program. Then my husband and I joined the army and moved to Kansas. We
        tried to find a church community, and thought we had a nice one. Then I
        got ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and when I asked to be put on the prayer
        list, the pastor couldn’t be bothered. So we left. And haven’t been
        back, and yes, I am still a little angry. Such a small thing, to be put
        on a prayer list.

        I still believed in God, though. I didn’t
        turn agnostic until I ran into some absolutely terrifying church
        ideology that’s currently going on, about bringing back the patriarchy
        and dominionism. Because I was fascinated and terrified, I tried to
        learn as much as I could about it, and along the way, I learned
        historical context of biblical stories, and how the KJV is not inerrant,
        and that the books included in the bible are subjective (Catholics have
        some different books. Jews have a very different take on the book of
        Job, for example). So now, while I am agnostic, I still believe in the
        things Jesus stood for and tend to feel that the things Jesus said are
        more important than anything in the old testament or anything that Paul
        or Timothy wrote. But no one wants to concentrate on feeding the poor
        or doing any of those things Jesus said, especially not the “Christian
        Right” whose savior is Ayn Rand and worship at the temple of cold hard
        cash.

        This is why people don’t attend church. Not because
        Daddy didn’t read the bible enough. Not because my relationship with my
        mother wasn’t good when I was a teen. Not because I went to public
        school. You see, I became MORE involved in the church after these
        things. Clearly, this survey was designed to tell you one of these
        simplistic, wrong answers. I left because the church doesn’t help. It
        doesn’t want to help. The church focuses on church needs, and not
        people’s needs. You want people to come back? Quit judging. Quit
        actively campaigning for the repugnicans. Listen to people. Help them
        as individuals. And quit judging.

      • Carrie Cook

        Wow. the way that formatted, it looks like poetry. :)

  • Trollface McGee

    They got a bunch of questions on how many hours do you spend on online activities and video games now vs. when you were 10-17 years old? Really? They’re asking 18-38 year olds? When technology has gotten a major overhaul and the stuff that exists now didn’t exist for a lot of us growing up? Ah well, more proof that we’re narcissistic and self absorbed or something.

    • AnotherOne

      Yeah, I’m at the very top end of the age range, and those questions obviously weren’t asked with me in mind. I didn’t use a computer or the internet until college, and I didn’t have a cell phone until I was 28, but that has everything to do with my age, not my family of origin. My youngest siblings still at home use the internet (though they are highly monitored), and they have cell phones.

    • Jayn

      No kidding. Computers and internet were both only becoming common-place during that time period for me (I started high school having to write out any papers, and ended it needing them printed out). And I’m in the middle of their age range for the survey. People younger than me may be able to make a comparison, but for many people older than me computers and internet wouldn’t have been a ‘thing’ at that age like they are today.

      • http://exploringthejungle.wordpress.com/ Kat

        Honestly, it’s just a weird age range to pick. I remember looking at it before I started and thinking, “How are you going to write a survey that encompasses ages 18-38?” My mom had me when she was twenty (which isn’t even unusually young when you consider the religious tradition this is geared toward); if this survey had come out was 18, she and I both could have answered it. That leads me to think the age range they went for is way too broad.

        And it’s definitely skewed toward the younger end. Like you, I’m right in the middle of that range — for the first eight or nine years of my life, our family computer was a Commodore 64. Once we finally had internet at home, unrestricted access would have meant no one yelling, “Get off the computer, I have to use the phone!” I did have a Nintendo, though. It was probably all those violent video games that corrupted me, what with all that squishing goombas and shooting ducks and stuff. That’s gotta be it.

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Well, you can do broad surveys like that, so long as you can separate out the data by age later. It’s rather tricky, but it can be done. They won’t do it though, because they’ve made it perfectly clear that methodological honesty is not a priority.

        EDIT: I don’t know how good a sociological study like this one is for broad age ranges. I’m more used to political survey data sets, where you want broad age ranges so you can use that to tell you something interesting.

    • onamission5

      My fave was about how much internet access we had growing up. Um, I’m 42, the internet didn’t exist when I was growing up!

      • AnotherOne

        but weren’t respondents supposed to be 18 – 38?

      • onamission5

        I must have missed that part, but regardless the internet didn’t make it to my part of the rural US until I was in my 20′s, so I wouldn’t have had it growing up anyway!

      • Nate Frein

        To be fair, you weren’t part of the target demographic :P

        But as a 28 (well, in two weeks) year old, I didn’t have access to anything but dial-up at home until I was twenty. Part of this was the fact that I lived in Japan between 15 and 20 and even ADSL was prohibitively expensive for my father’s budget.

      • Trollface McGee

        My parents were computer programmers (I’m 31) and I still grew up with dial-up for most of my childhood. But even for the younger people technology is very, very different than what they grew up with. Twitter is relatively new. Facebook is now something everyone has. I look at my cell phone from a few years ago and it seems so archaic.They just seem to completely overlook how technology has changed and permeated our lives (seemingly intentionally as they’re giving the survey online and giving iPads out as prizes).

      • Baby_Raptor

        Yup. We had dial-up too. Good old Juno…

      • Nate Frein

        I spent five years on AOL

      • Baby_Raptor

        I still have an AOL email address. It just feels nostalgic.

    • LizBert

      I think I threw that question off since despite being the right age I have never really liked video games.

    • Mary Leinart

      Yeah, we didn’t have internet in our home when I was growing up because it was the mid-90′s and not that many people did yet. And I didn’t play video games because they bored me.

  • http://plantsarethestrangestpeople.blogspot.com/ mr_subjunctive

    I’m a gay man. When I came out to my parents, I was initially delighted to find out that they wanted to talk to me about my experiences and understand where I was coming from and all that. And then I was horribly disappointed when it turned out that they weren’t interested in what I’d experienced so much as just wanting to know which of the five explanations for kids being gay that they knew of (molested, rebellious, Satanic attack, generational curse, bad parenting) fit my particular case, and that nothing I told them about what I actually went through was going to prevent them from forcing my story to fit one of those five. (They eventually settled on generational curse.)

    So imagine my fucking delight to come upon this survey and discover that it was yet another case of a group of evangelicals pretending to be interested in my experiences so they could shoehorn them into one of the explanations they’d already come up with (bad parents, bad schooling, bad church, bad media), and that whatever I might actually have felt or thought or decided at the time is of so little interest to them that they don’t even provide a write-in “other” option for most of the questions.

    I mean, don’t get me wrong — I’m just fine with the survey being horribly constructed and horribly written, because I would just as soon that these people not understand why young people leave the church. I think more people ought to leave the church. And I hope that this survey will cause its originators to apply their effort and resources in un- or counter-productive ways. But for a single giddy second there, I’d thought that maybe my answers were actually going to matter to somebody. So disappointing.

    • Also, it’s PREDOMINANTLY, not “predominately.”
    • And “Democratic candidate,” not “Democrat candidate.”

    • AnotherOne

      “evangelicals pretending to be interested in my experiences so they could shoehorn them into one of the explanations they’d already come up with” is the best summary of this survey so far. At first I was laughing a lot as I went through and filled it out, but now I just have a bad taste in my mouth, because I know they’ll take some things that I answered (my parents not reading the bible to us, for example), and use that to explain the fact that I’m an agnostic who votes for democrats and is pro-choice. When actually I’m kind of grateful for the ways in which my parents fell short of fundamentalist ideals. Some of the biggest problems from my childhood stemmed from the ways they LIVED UP to fundamentalist ideals.

      • The_L1985

        Right. Plus, while my Mom didn’t read directly from the Bible itself, we had TONS of Bible storybooks in the house, and she definitely read to me from those!

    • Baby_Raptor

      You have my sympathies and offers for hugs. My grandparents disowned me for “refusing to get over my rebellion” and stop being Bi.

      It’s just impossible for them to accept that we can’t choose this. And who *would* choose anything but heterosexuality, knowing what a fundie family would do to them for it?

    • Liz

      Damn, I’m sorry that happened :-( I can kind of relate to the generational curses thing… my mother believed in that and took us to a weekly meeting where we had to recite a repentance prayer for every imaginable “sin” and it resulted in me having so much shame over having an anxiety disorder and feeling fear that was out of my control.

      • http://plantsarethestrangestpeople.blogspot.com/ mr_subjunctive

        Wow. That’s a spin on generational curses I hadn’t heard of before. That’s awful.

        As for my thing, well, a lot’s happened to me since then (that was ~15 yrs ago), so it’s not something that occupies my mind much these days. My parents have never really come around on the subject, but we’re still in touch, and I suppose we have as good of a relationship as it’s possible to have if them reexamining their beliefs is completely off the table.

    • gimpi1

      Well done on the grammar corrections. Trying to modify a noun with another noun is one of my bug-a-boos. Taking grammar advice from George W. Bush is never a good idea.

      I think you’re destined to be disappointed in this kind of survey. I went and looked at it, and it has “push-poll” all over it. I think the evangelical bubble actually makes it almost impossible for people to even understand what constitutes a fact. The idea of simply looking for any information that appears to support what you already believe constitutes research is one of the most pernicious in that sub-culture.

      • http://plantsarethestrangestpeople.blogspot.com/ mr_subjunctive

        The “Democrat candidate” thing may well have been deliberate; it’s been a thing for a while, where right-wing sites refer to “Democrat” and “Democrats” but never to the “Democratic Party.”

        My understanding of the logic is that the word “democratic” still has largely positive connotations: democratic voting, democratic country, etc. They may also be hoping to benefit from negative associations with “rat,” though that’s more of a stretch.

        Democrats have picked this up to a degree as well, just because people adopt whatever terms are popular, but usually if you hear someone using “Democrat” where they should be using “Democratic,” it’s because they are right-wing hacks or get all their news from right-wing hacks.

        (Also w/r/t modifying a noun with another noun: “grammar corrections.” Also “grammar advice.” Judge not, lest ye be judged.)

      • gimpi1

        Yes, you’re correct. Former President George W. Bush started it, saying that “democratic” had positive connotations, and that somehow that made it propaganda. The man obviously never cracked a grammar book. The right-wing sites you refer to got the idea from him.

        And, thanks for the correction! You’re right, If I want to be the grammar police, I better watch my own grammar :)

  • oywiththepoodles

    Was anyone else annoyed that the “reading magazines” and “reading newspapers” options were only for PRINT media?! Way to try and skew the results there! Reading the news online is still reading the news! But now they can easily make it look like Millennials are lazy, self-absorbed jerks.

    • oywiththepoodles

      Though actually, I decided that the time I spend reading magazines on my Nook isn’t technically online, even though they clearly weren’t thinking of that possibility.

    • eamonknight

      This lazy, self-absorbed Boomer reads all his news and commentary online. The only dead-tree subs we have are science and hobby magazines.

      Another dud question that fails to think outside the questioner’s box.

      • Lucreza Borgia

        My 72 year old dad has a kindle and reads everything on it now.

      • Kate

        Yes, thank you! My Boomer parents get all their news, commentary, etc. online as well. They just want to be sure that Millennials responses (since we tend to get our info online) sound as lazy as possible, like “OMG, this lazy good for nothing spends 4 hours of personal time every day online and never reads a newspaper! Loser!”

      • AnonaMiss

        I’m sure they’re also going to treat the “online time” and “video game time” as completely separate things too, instead of the video game time being a subset of the online time…

        “OMG Milennials spend all their time on frivolous leisure activities!” (And that’s leaving aside that spending time online can be extremely productive.)

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        I had to say 0 to video games. I do all my gaming on my PC, and the way it was worded, they clearly meant console gaming. I don’t like console gaming …

      • Kate

        You’re so right. Spending time online can be so productive. Aside from the obvious fact that many jobs and types of work these days requires working online, the time that I spend outside of work online is generally used reading news and commentary, researching things in which I am interested, and publishing in my blog and photography site.

        But also, how many studies now have suggested that time spent taking a break doing more “frivolous” leisure things periodically helps boost productivity rather than harming it?

    • Ibis3

      Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. If you read “all of them” books and newspapers (whether online or dead tree), you’re corrupted by the media. If you don’t, you’re selfish and uneducated.

  • onamission5

    Vague survey with an obvious agenda is vague, and has an obvious agenda.

    I’m a little annoyed that the most options for church attendance were once a week. What about those of us who grew up going to Sunday school, regular service *and* evening service every Sunday, bible study Monday nights, youth group every Wednesday, Worship service on Fridays, and prayer meeting Saturday afternoons?

    Also, the one about sexual relationships said to check all that apply but would only let me check one box. Apparently bisexual people don’t exist.

    • http://plantsarethestrangestpeople.blogspot.com/ mr_subjunctive

      Seriously. I didn’t attend quite as much as you did (Monday? Friday? Saturday? Holy crap.), but it was well over once a week.

      • Mogg

        The expected routine at the church I went to for years was: Bible study, Sunday school and regular service on Sundays (we varied between having one really long morning with a break for morning tea or having a shorter morning family service with Sunday School and a big evening service, but everyone was expected to go to both), Youth Group Saturday nights (the program went up to 25 year olds, and in the last few years before I left included coercive signed committments, written assignments, extra working bees and working in the cafe run by the church as unpaid labour), home group meeting every second Wednesday and choir and music practice on the alternate Wednesdays, Ladies’ Meetings Thursdays once a month, and all day working bees at least once a month on Saturdays. Special Bible Study series once a week for 4-6 weeks of 2-4 hours at a time, 2-4 times a year on either a weekday evening or a Saturday during the day, and the church used these as justification for tax-exempt educational status, so these had assignments attached as well. Everyone was expected to take a turn teaching children’s Sunday School for at least a term a year, and do at least the occasional talk at Youth, Ladies’ meeting or a smaller Bible Study class, so factor in preparation time. If you couldn’t sing or play an instrument you were expected to have some other regular “job” about the place – staffing the bookshop, stuff like that. You were also expected to regularly catch up with elders on an individual basis – courting couples would meet with their supervising elders or a couple assigned to them as their supportive influence up to three times a week. And if you didn’t socialise with church people, you were considered to be not relating in the Body of Christ, and therefore potentially subversive.

        Huh, writing all that down has made me realise that there’s a good reason I got ill while I was there…

    • Karleanne Matthews

      Had both the same problems. Jesus, if they’re going to write a survey so horrible it could make sociologists cry, they might at least try to have the technical capabilities match up with the awful questions…

    • Scott_In_OH

      This one (the limited options for church attendance) surprises me. As a couple of people have said, it’s quite common for committed evangelicals to be at church several times a week. Is this not as true for the homeschoolers or something?

      I would have expected a church-oriented evangelical to include “more than once a week” as an option.

      • Kate

        I thought this same thing too. I a homeschooled evangelical and was at church 2x on Sunday, Wednesday night for youth group/AWANA/bible study, and usually another night during that week for one or another special events. Plus my family cleaned the church building twice per week.

    • Trynn

      Let me guess; asexuals don’t exist either?

      • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

        Nope. Nor any genderqueer folk of any kind- transgender, genderfluid, etc.

      • Richter_DL

        Of course not. Not even bisexuals do, though the relevant question has “check all that apply” in it’s wording.

        I guess just checking “no sex” covers asexuals in the surveyers’ minds.

  • Stephanie

    I have a deceased parent. It wouldn’t let me opt out of the mother questions, so I just had to answer something so it would let me go to the next page. That’s going to cause some skewed results.

    • http://plantsarethestrangestpeople.blogspot.com/ mr_subjunctive

      Really? I skipped a few of the questions and didn’t have a problem going to the next page.

    • Hilary

      I noticed that too. Like everybody comes from perfect intact families untouched by death, divorce, or any possible human variation.

  • Gillianren

    I threw in an ringing endorsement for public school and not forcing religion on your kids. They will not, I suspect, take it seriously.

    • AnotherOne

      Yeah, I summed it all up with a description of how my spouse and I found happiness in our marriage and lives only after discarding the beliefs in which we were raised, along with a summary of how our children have thrived in public school. I doubt they’ll take that seriously either, even though it’s true. I really did answer all of the questions as truthfully as possible (though some of the options were laughable), but who wants to bet they dismiss any results that don’t fit their predetermined paradigm?

      • Gillianren

        I mean, I also had the same problems as everyone else–widowed mother, raised Catholic and so didn’t understand some of the terminology, my life is more complicated than their answers permit, no longer Christian, etc.–but my biggest problem is that they’ll think I’m making up what went RIGHT in my life, because it doesn’t fit their paradigm. Including that I’m unmarried, just had a baby, and only have depression and self-esteem issues because I’M BIPOLAR, not because I’ve Turned Away From Jesus.

      • victoria

        I’m guessing they’ll interpret that as “demons.”

      • Hilary

        Congrats on the baby!!!!!! I hope everything went as well as possible.

      • Gillianren

        He was an emergency c-section, but he’s doing just fine, and so am I. Thank you.

    • Michael W Busch

      And I explained that if and when my wife and I have a kid, we have formed a plan of “make sure the kid is exposed to all the things” and while irreligion may be statistically probable given thorough training in science, we will not attempt to force irreligion or religion on the kid – and I refuse to try to predict what a person who doesn’t exist yet will believe.

      I wonder what they will make of that one.

      • Gillianren

        My boyfriend is okay with me raising our son in my faith because we “don’t have a book to take literally.” But one of the books I bought while pregnant was a children’s picture book of evolution; just because I’m religious, it doesn’t mean I won’t be emphasizing the value of science. I really don’t think that they understand that people who think that way exist.

      • Christine

        That evolution question was awful. Apparently only atheists can believe in evolution, because they made it clear that if you believe in evolution you don’t believe that God could have influenced anything. (Given that that option probably meant ID, I wasn’t about to pick it)

    • Katherine Hompes

      Yeah, I put in about teaching my daughter HOW to think, not what. Also, that while my father WAS a Christian, he is now an atheist due to my talking about my thoughts regarding religion as a teenager.

      Add to the fact that I’m one of those nasty homosexuals (I’m actually bi, but that wasn’t an option), I don’t think that I’m the sort if person they were hoping would fill out their survey.

  • http://exploringthejungle.wordpress.com/ Kat

    I’ve seen the survey pretty well picked apart in the comments thus far, but there’s one thing nobody’s mentioned that REALLY got to me. In the section where they ask about premarital sex, they ask if you ever had it, and then ask if it was consensual. Which had a couple of disturbing implications:

    1. If we’re going on the assumption that premarital sex is inherently bad, a kid who was perfectly “pure” and virginal but got raped is lumped into the exact same category as someone who chose to have sex. Not surprising, but not even close to fair.
    2. The question about whether sex was consensual or forced does not ask which side you were on! If you answer “forced,” were you the victim or the rapist? Does that not matter to these people?! What the hell?!

    I realize this survey is screwed up in pretty much every possible way, but that strikes me as by far the worst of it. Because either we equate rape with consensual sex (sadly, not unheard of), or else we don’t include those who were forced OR WHO FORCED OTHERS. I am very, very bothered by this.

    Of course, there’s also no option to indicate that you have had consensual sexual relationships as well as forced ones (Actually, I just reread it and there is, but that doesn’t negate the rest of the wrongness). I just… That was horrible. Seriously.

    • Slow Learner

      I don’t “like” this, but you get an upvote for articulating beautifully something I hadn’t really wanted to touch with a barge pole.

    • Kate

      Yes. You have really articulated something that was bothering me but that I was having trouble thinking through clearly. The consensual/rape victim/rapist etc. confusion here is horrible.

      Also, I do assume that they’re trying to somehow measure how many people answered nonconsensual in their sexual encounters and also answered that they had homosexual sex. It’s no secret that these are the sorts who think that poor parenting and/or sexual abuse is what makes people gay.

    • Richter_DL

      Also, the survey seems broken, because you can only choose to have either homosexual or heterosexual sex. At least many women would, being honest, have to choose both, even if they later settled for one.

  • Lunch Meat

    Haven’t read all the comments yet (sorry!), but did anyone else notice how it specifically excludes children raised by single parents, same-sex parents, or other family members, with all the questions about “your father” and “your mother”?

    • “Rebecca”

      And people whose siblings were responsible for a lot of their upbringing….

  • David Kopp

    Lots of very leading and questions that don’t have correct answers available, but I did it to the best of my ability ;)

    • Jayn

      Yeah, some of the questions really need an “other” or “I don’t know”. Like the ones about how close your beliefs are to your parents’…I don’t actually know what my father’s beliefs are! (suffice to say, I was raised in accordance with my mother’s) And the age range on some of the questions are too broad to give good answers, like church attendance in my later years. I didn’t go much at all from 9-13, but began attending regularly again when I had my Confirmation. So how often did I attend from ages 9-18? Well, it depends on what age you’re talking about.

  • http://smashed-rat-on-press.com/ The Rodent

    I took the whole survey but wow it has so much built-in bias I kept wanting to quit in disgust.

    • Petticoat Philosopher

      But, hey, “what else are you going to do? Check facebook again?”

      • http://smashed-rat-on-press.com/ The Rodent

        Right… Because nobody does anything else these days! ;-)

  • “Rebecca”

    Two of the questions were interesting to me: The one about whether your parents (gender separated for some reason) read to you from the Bible, and the one about whether your youth group had a focus on “Biblical life” or “Fun.” It seems like somebody has some pet theories they wanted to examine.

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

      Wow! I didn’t get to the youth group one, because I marked that I didn’t attend youth group (because I didn’t—they were too “worldly”). What about youth groups that do both?!

      • “Rebecca”

        Thankfully there was a scale of possible answers for that, I think there were 4 options to account for the different levels of “serious” or “fun.”

      • Lunch Meat

        But none where both levels were equal…

      • LizBert

        I think mine was pretty balanced but that wasn’t an option.

      • The_L1985

        Not to mention the idea that you can’t discuss serious religious concepts in a fun way. Every youth-group leader I had would find that idea absurd.

    • Christine

      And there was no explanation. What are service projects? What are theological discussions? What is learning about religious history? That’s the bulk of what I’d expect from a youth ministry, and it fits into neither black nor white.

  • Baby_Raptor

    “From all reports, the millennial generation is less committed to a Christian worldview; they’re leaving the institutional church; and they are the most narcissistic, the laziest, the most unsuccessful, and the most spiritually bankrupt generation ever.”

    Wow. Fuck you, buddy

    Signed,
    A Millenial

    • Liz

      This needs a million votes!

    • gimpi1

      The fact that they wrote that statement makes it clear that their survey is worthless. Can you say, “Have an agenda?” I knew you could.

  • Liz

    I really hope they actually read an pay attention to the free response question. Mine was more of an essay and clocked in at over 500 words :-p

  • Rosie

    I really wish I could take part in that survey, but I’m just a couple of years too old. I was born between generations.

    ETA: Though a lot of my honest answers are not options, I notice.

  • Hilary

    “I was raised well, by parents who loved me, did not hit me, and supported me to be the person I am, not a programed robot beaten into obedience. Because of this, I am very close to them now. My father is kind, funny, taught kindergarten, and was greatly involved in Jewish storytelling traditions when I was young. My mother grew up Catholic but left the Church for how sexist it was (and still is) and converted to Reform Judaism because it allows for women rabbis and is egalitarian, and she wanted me to have the option of being clergy when I grew up.

    I call home twice a week, and I visit my grandmother every week. I’ve been in a monogamous, happy, stable lesbian relationship for 13 years, and she is my one and only lover. She was raised liberal Protestant Christian, but has converted to Judaism as well. Her family loves and accepts us, and she has dinner with her mother once a week. We will get legally married soon, and our Rabbi can’t wait to sign the civil marriage license for us. My parents love my wife very much, they think she is a wonder asset to our family and appreciate how much she loves me. I can’t wait to adopt children and raise them in my Jewish temple, with a large circle of friends and family. However, I will respect what choices they make as adults regarding religion. I plan on gentle, respectful parenting without beating them into (false) obedience. I plan on using public schools, although I will homeschool if that is what they need. If I have to do that, I will make sure they learn real science, and have a variety of opportunities for socialization.”

    Well, I took it. That’s my answer to questions about how I was raised. Actually, my childhood was a little more complicated that that. I did get spanked a few times, but it was never a beating, just the open-handed 2-4 swats. I had some serious problems with making friends as a kid and was very lonely at temple. But every thing I told them is true, and given how hard they tried to drive specific answers I don’t feel bad glossing over some complicated details to present myself as happy and competent.

    Sheesh, that was Christian-oriented. I don’t know if they will believe that I can be liberal, Jewish, lesbian, happy, and that my family can be this loving of all choices made regarding religion and sexuality. For them, this could damn near be the liberal version of a Poe.

    And thanks to you, Libby, that I could navigate some of the language, particularly around parenting and discipline. Who knows? Maybe whoever reads it will be impressed that such secular heathens as my family don’t need parental violence to having loving relationships.

  • Christine

    Frankly, I was annoyed at a lot of the questions, because a lot of the time the answer that was most accurate for me was one that I KNEW they meant something else by. And this is in cases where there was an answer that made sense to me. “Do I think that there is absolute right and wrong?” I know that they were probably asking “Is it appropriate to assume that everyone should be doing what we think is right vs anything goes”. Nothing about are circumstances ever important, etc.

    And why were there no option for spoiling your ballot in the election question? Is that also illegal in the US? Do they not realise that it being illegal a) doesn’t make it not a good thing to do in certain circumstances b) doesn’t stop people from doing it because c) in most cases the law is completely unenforceable.

    • “Rebecca”

      Yeah the thing that annoyed me about the “There are clear and absolute standards for what is right and wrong” question was that while I think there is a right moral answer to nearly any circumstance, it’s not always /clear/ what it is because humankind is in a constant state of learning. So I put “somewhat agree.” The questions are really simplistic.

  • Jolie

    First of all, it would have been better to ask, before “what religion do you identify with” to ask: “Do you believe in a deity?”, not way after.
    Then….
    “How often do you share the Bible with your spouse and/or children (family worship, family devotions)”….. if you happen to be- I don’t know… Muslim or Neo-Pagan? :P
    “What is your favorite inspirational/religious book (or series) besides the Bible?”
    This assumes that (a) you enjoy inspirational/religious books and that (b) you count the Bible among your favourite inspirational/religious books

  • Katherine Hompes

    Wow! Those were awful questions! I had issues with a few, although the ones regarding children I thought funny- they asked how many children I have – 1. Then asked how many I want to have-
    /I don’t want any
    / I only want a few
    /as many as god gives me or
    / I don’t know.

    As I only have one child and don’t want (and can’t have) any more, I answered that I didn’t want any. Too bad if you are infertile or only want one…

  • victoria

    Have they changed the survey since yesterday?

    I was flipping through without answering, and I noticed the question “How many church splits/fractures did your family experience during your raising?” That wasn’t there yesterday, was it?

    And the question about who you voted for in 2012, I don’t remember there being a whole long list of third parties one might have voted for.

    Maybe I was just “under the influence of alcohol” when I took the survey, but that seems unlikely.

    • Nate Frein

      I honestly don’t recall about the splits/fractures question.

      I do, however, know that I was able to choose the green party as the candidate I voted for.

      • “Rebecca”

        Same here, about the Green Party. :)

    • Happily Homeschooled

      I don’t remember that being there yesterday. There might have been a question about how many churches you went to, but I don’t remember seeing the phrase “splits/fractures”.

    • Christine

      There was a whole long list, but it only showed up after you said you won’t have voted either Democrat or Republican.

    • “Rebecca”

      No, that question was there yesterday. I remember being confused by it because I didn’t know whether a “church split” meant being part of a congregation that was divided into factions that split off from the main church, or that one’s own family split away from a church as an individual thing.

  • MaJoRoesch

    Very loaded questions. Sheesh. And to a christian, they would think that is perfectly normal. It’s easy to forget how freakin blind I was in the bubble…

  • gimpi1

    This is a push-poll, period.

    I went and looked at it, but didn’t participate, since I’m both too old, and was not raised in what I would consider a religious household. However, I can recognize a set-up when I see it. This is a survey from the bubble, and the only information it will generate is that information that fits inside the bubble.

    This kind of is poll designed to gather raw “data,” not facts, that can be skewed to back up a viewpoint the authors want to support. They don’t care if they get any truth or if they really learn anything, they just want raw “data” so they can generate the sort of report they no doubt already have written, and claim it was based on real research. Objectivity, factual information and real-world outcomes are NOT what this survey is about. Very disappointing.

  • Happily Homeschooled

    Oh man, we all have been saying that this is a very biased poll. But I just noticed something on reading through it a second time. When they have an opinion question where you have to select your agreement in a range between strongly disagree to strongly agree, there is a very clear pattern. On pro-religion statements, they just give the statement. On anti-religion statements, they start with the proviso “Some people say that…” How blatant can you get?

  • Trynn

    My thoughts on the survey:

    1. The question about children is off. My answer is neither:

    I don’t want to have children

    I want no more than a few children

    As many children as God will provide

    I don’t know

    I actually do want to have a large family, but I do not want a family “as many as God will provide” because I do NOT want 19 kids, at least, not so closely spaced together like that and not all biological…

    2. I’m surprised the religion I grew up in, Seventh Day Adventism, is on the list. We’re not exactly well known, even among Christianity.

    3. In the “what education do you plan to use for your children” section, why is there not a “homeschool/public school” combination, yet there is a “homeschool/church school” combination?

    4. why the hell are they asking me about my total family income for last year and, even more important, why is there an “I have no stinkin idea because my parents don’t discuss finance with me” option?

    5. How many churches did I attend from ages 0-18? They didn’t add the word “regularly,” so, Well, let’s see here, there’s all those times we went on vacation and visited a church…

    6. Well, we weren’t homeschooling UNfriendly… I honestly don’t know how to answer this one. I’m not sure what it means. Why is there an “I don’t know” option?

    7. Sigh. This question is SO BIASED: Did you attend a church Sunday school growing up? No, actually I didn’t, because my family went to church on –Saturday– and we called it Sabbath School. I did not attend a –Sunday– school until I got old enough to start experimenting with other religions (yes, on Planet Adventist, other denominations –are– considered other religions, at least, by the majority that I grew up with).

    8. I don’t really remember much of my childhood spankings, so how would I know? I think about half of these questions need an “I don’t know” option. I mean, good Lord, once I got old enough to really remember them, my parents stopped spanking me.

    9. How am I supposed to know the status of my parents’ marriage? They never talked to me about it. Besides, I know now that they would think of it as a strong marriage. I, on the other hand, see it much differently.

    10. What is their criteria for judging how committed to Christianity my parents were during the time of my upbringing (which again, I wouldn’t actually know because most kids I know didn’t pay attention to these things till at least the mid to upper teens). I therefore have no basis with which to answer this question. I am going to mark them both as “very committed,” since they both went to church every week, but I have a feeling I’m supposed to mark them lower because they’re not as conservative as they “should” be.

    11. Does mother reading my sabbath school lesson (or at least, trying to before giving up because I found it incredibly Bo-ring!) count? I’m going to decide that it does…

    12. My father was very involved in my k-12 education. What does this one even MEAN? He was on the school board of the SDA school a couple of times, and he once taught a web design course for the upper grades (while making a conspicuous effort NOT to teach me anything, jerk). Why on earth would a father be “very” involved in a kid’s education unless the parents were homeschooling? I’m gonna put “very involved” to throw them off, if nothing else.

    13. What is your favorite movie/series of movies?

    Me: I don’t really have one… I tend to hate them all equally, but I do watch them on occasion, so can’t put the previous answer. (that I don’t watch any.)

    14. I just know they’re going to use the fact that I had total access to internet with no filtering to say that this is the reason I’m a “dirty little heathen.”

    15. Why is “Mickey Mouse” not an option for the 2012 election? I hated both candidates pretty equally, so I voted for good ‘ol Mickey, who could probably run the country better than the last 4 presidents put together and multiplied.

    16. There are not enough options in the “growing up, who did you spend most of your time with? Category. Why, for example, is there no option of “friends and parents,” “friends and siblings,” “just parents –I was (mostly) an only child,” “adults who were not my parents,” etc.

    17. I don’t actually text every day you jerkwads. I text maybe 10 times a week, IF that. Where’s the option for, “I don’t have a texting plan” or “my phone doesn’t support texting?” It won’t even let me enter in a range of numbers. Siiiiigh.

    18. I feel like a lot of these paragraphs start with, “where is the option for…” This time, I want the option for, “I did pot once and it was a bad experience, so I can’t put never but neither can I put ‘a few times a year.’”

    19. come on. No one is –Always– feeling sad or depressed. Even the most depressed people I know have their moments of happiness. They may be few and far between, but they do occur. (I generally have issues with “absolutes” like “always” and “never.” Things in life are rarely absolute.)

    At the end I told them that I DO NOT plan to raise my children Seventh Day Adventist. I do not want that life for them at all. I want them raised outside a religious bubble. (Yes, I know not all Adventists raise their children in a bubble, but in my state it’s fairly common.)

    And there you have my reaction, for what it’s worth…

  • patandfritz

    I have been reading through here. There seems to be an instigator in here with nothing better to do than be insulting, miserable, mean and a narcissist who thinks we all should be kissing his/her feet. Richter_DL, you need to go learn manners and a touch of kindness will go further than your constant insults and arguments. There is nothing anyone can say right with you and nothing anyone says that you feel is worthy of your thought. You are a person who hangs out in these places just to be an insult. Shame on you!!

    • Composer 99

      There seems to be an instigator in here with nothing better to do than be insulting, miserable, mean and a narcissist who thinks we all should be kissing his/her feet.

      Funny, I would have said this best describes tonilaura.

      • patandfritz

        Then obviously you don’t seriously read her responses and comments. She is experienced, proves her facts, doesn’t resort to name calling and insults and is respectful. You want to consider that as an instigator then go ahead.

      • Composer 99

        She is experienced,

        Irrelevant appeal to personal experience. tonilaura’s personal experience can only tell us about tonilaura’s life; it has nothing to say about anyone else’s, despite her occasional attempts to universalize it.

        proves her facts,

        False. tonilaura hasn’t provided a single reference to any evidence to support any claims she has made.

        doesn’t resort to name calling and insults and is respectful.

        False. Without using a single bad word, tonilaura condescendingly (though I suspect unwittingly) dismisses or trivializes others’ lived experiences, and under the guise of civility makes some of the most obscene statements this comment thread has seen.

        I assure you that she has been the least respectful person commenting here.

  • Marta L.

    I got about 18% through before giving up. I mean, I’m still a Christian. A mainline Protestant – politically progressive, but religiously I’m actually something of a traditionalist. (Not evangelical; just someone that takes theology and church history seriously.) And even *I* got fed up. Those questions were truly unfair, some of them. I mean, I was in youth group regularly throughout junior and senior high, but to hear the poll look at it you either talked about the Bible or just went for fellowship. As if the hours I spent cleaning out gutters for the church elderly, tutoring kids and watching over them in the church’s after-school program, organizing the cupboard for needy families in the community, and other service-oriented things –never mind choir, handbells, and other things that were vaguely religious but not what I’d call Bible study– simply don’t count?

    Garbage, as far as I’m concerned.

  • Silas

    There’s something kind of terrifying about the possible responses to the following question:

    “If you were unsure of what was right or wrong in a particular situation, how would you decide what to do? Would you most likely…”

    The possible answers to this include: “Do what would make you feel happy”, “Do what would help you to get ahead”, “Follow the advice of a parent or teacher, or other adult you respect”, “Do what you think God or the scripture tells you is right”, and the nebulous “Something else”. Since so many of the “other”-type answers opened text boxes to specify something, I fully expected and even looked forward to figuring out a short explanation for “Something else”, but it didn’t even ask for one. I’m not sure what to think of the bereft enumerated answers or the fact that any other possible answer was so uninteresting that they left it unnameable. Perhaps it’s been too long since I’ve rejected willful ignorance and don’t remember what it feels like well, but it’s boggling to me that there might be people around me who might be so limited in their ability to make a decision when the answer isn’t clear. And frightening. What if my life or the life of a loved one is on the line in some kind of emergency? Is that list of potential answers the absolute limit of thought I can expect from Christians?

    Wow. Just wow.

  • Shadow Spring

    These questions are SO loaded! If anyone doesn’t have the desired outcome (church- attending, Bible-reading, wealthy, breeders) then there are all kinds of bogeymen ready to catch the blame, from youth group, Sunday school, mothers being more involved than fathers, public college- I can see where this “survey” is headed and I only got one third of the way through it. Basically, the idea is how to turn out unwavering cult members, and patriarchal FIC churches/homes are going to come out as the ideal vehicle. Not a surprise.


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