Oh That Sarah Jones! Censoring the “Nones”

On July 4th, the New York Times published a story on Sarah Jones. I've known Sarah Jones, both through blogging and in person, for over a year now. Like me, Sarah grew up in a conservative Christian homeschooling family. Like me, Sarah is now a feminist, a progressive, and a nonbeliever. Of course, our stories diverge on multiple points---Sarah was abused as a child in a way I was not, she was ultimately allowed to attend public high school, she went to a conservative Christian university, and … [Read more...]

Can We Please Not Defend White Supremacists?

Several months ago I took a stroll through some rather scary youtube videos about the English Defense League. Basically, the United Kingdom has a racism problem. The country has a growing Muslim population, mostly a result of immigration, and the English Defense League and other groups have sprung up in reaction, reminiscent to the Ku Klux Klan. This is not about protecting the separation of church and state (it's worth remembering that England actually does have an official church, the Anglican … [Read more...]

I Was in a College Cult

I've been blogging for three years now, but there's an entire chapter of my life I've never really shared. When I was in college, I became part of a small close-knit group that veered in the direction of a cult. A friend and I clued in to what was happening and were able to shut the whole thing down before it went too far, but some rather frightening things happened in the meantime.Frankly, I haven't talked about what happened because it seems too weird. I wasn't sure even I had a framework … [Read more...]

I. Don’t. Think. He’s. There.

From time to time I get comments like this on my blog: Hi I stumbled on your blog yesterday while researching homeschooling. I became quite intigriuedby your story. I am a christian homeschool mom and respected your insights. It brakes my heart how legalism and your upbringing push The Lord out of your life. That is man not God. Since you seem like a very educated girl, may I suggest you let your children decide if God is who He says HE is. I pray that you will love in with Jesus and not who … [Read more...]

Farris: Patriarchy Makes Kids Gays and Atheists

If you read my blog, you're probably aware of the Christian homeschooling subculture's patriarchy problem. A variety of prominent Christian homeschool leaders have been promoting patriarchal family structures at homeschool conventions and in homeschool publications for well over a decade, and two of those leaders---Bill Gothard and Doug Phillips---have recently fallen, engulfed in scandal. Michael Farris, another prominent Christian homeschool leader, has since come out criticizing these leaders … [Read more...]

In Which I Explain Easter to Sally

We saw my family over the Easter holiday, and in preparation I wanted to make sure Sally knew the Easter story. She already knew pieces, and as I helped pull it together I was trying to figure out how to bridge fact and fiction, or at least what scholars think happen historically and what exists in the grey area beyond that."These stories were all written down a very long time ago," I told her. "Sometimes with things written a long time ago it can be had to tell what part happened and what … [Read more...]

Jesus, Zeus, Persephone—and Fairies

"Mommy, what god to you believe in?" Sally asked me recently."I don't believe in any god, honey," I told her."But mom, you're supposed to believe in a god!" Sally responded."Uh, no, actually, people can choose what they want to believe," I said. "Who told you that you're supposed to believe in a god?" I asked."No one," she said. "I just knewed it.""Well okay, what god do you believe in?" I asked."Lots of them," she told me. "I believe in Jesus, and Zeus, and … [Read more...]