Religion Is Not Black and White

I took a class on gender and sexuality in graduate school. I decided to analyze scholarly works on ways Christianity was used to limit women's rights and roles in the nineteenth and early twentieth century in my final paper, a historiography. At some point in the semester, my professor told me that I needed to start my project over, looking instead at scholarly works on the ways in which women used Christianity to expand their rights and roles. I was already partway through my research and wasn't … [Read more...]


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Which God Is Looking Out for Them?

And so it has begun. Evangelicals on my Facebook feed are praising the faith of various of the five female gymnasts representing the United States in Rio, sharing articles and images. That's why they can keep going, they're saying. That's why they never give up. I grew up in an evangelical home, so this is familiar. We heard stories of Scottish athlete Eric Liddell, who put his faith ahead of everything still set a world record at the 1924 Olympics. Christian athletes spoke at our church on … [Read more...]


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How Do You Explain the Rapture to a Secular First Grader?

I grew up in an evangelical home. My daughter is growing up in a nonreligious home. One of the weirdest things about this situation is attempting to explain concepts that made perfect sense to me as a child---because they were all I knew, and all the adults around me believed them---too my children, who have no context for any of them. My son, Bobby, is still a bit young for such discussions, but my first grade daughter, Sally, is not. She is becoming more and more curious and more interested in … [Read more...]


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Study Philosophy with Dan Fincke!

Hey guys! I've known Dan Fincke of Camels with Hammers almost since I first started blogging. In fact, way back when, he and I drafted a post comparing our experiences growing up in very different yet in some ways similar evangelical homes that I don't think we ever ended up posting! Oops! Anyway, I wanted to take a moment to make sure my readers know about Dan's online philosophy classes.Dan was an adjunct college instructor for a number of years before deciding to go into business for hims … [Read more...]


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Who Is Outside the Circle?

The Phoenix City Council has voted to replace the traditional prayer before their city council meetings with a moment of silence rather than allow a Satanist group a turn to give the prayer. As I was reading about this decision, I was struck by this image:The text reads "Prayer circle forms outside council meeting following vote to switch to moment of silence" and the image shows a large circle of people, some in suits, holding hands. Do you know what I feel when I look at that … [Read more...]


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Richard Dawkins’ Patronizing Paternalism

Richard Dawkins has stepped in it on twitter again. This time he tweeted a photo of the wife of a prominent Middle Eastern dictator who does not wear hijab, with the text "This is how a good Muslim speaks. And how she dresses. And wears her beautiful hair." Can you say patronizing? Dawkins then deleted his tweet, not because he realized he'd said anything wrong but rather out of concerns that it might put this woman's life in danger, but not before someone on twitter captured a screenshot. We … [Read more...]


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A Fundamental Misunderstanding of Ex-Fundamentalists

Christian blogger Allan R. Bevere recently wrote a blog post titled "Re-Formed Fundamentalists." I came upon this post because it was mentioned on Exploring Our Matrix, a progressive Christian Patheos blog that I generally like. Bevere's basic premise is that fundamentalists who consider themselves reformed are often actually "re-formed"---i.e., they have simply become fundamentalists of a different type.Bevere begins his post as follows: If there is one thing that can be asserted without pr … [Read more...]


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