Samaritan’s Purse and the Borders of Belonging

I've long been fascinated by the idea that evangelicalism has "borders" that it enforces---beliefs that are considered required for membership. Every religion or belief system has such borders, they just define and defend them differently. What I find fascinating about watching the borders evangelicals draw is how drastically these borders have changed over time, and how very specific they can get. Fred Clark of the Slacktivist uses the term "tribal gatekeepers" to describe this phenomenon.I … [Read more...]


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The Family Research Council and the Politics of Exclusion

Guess what I noticed on the Family Research Council Facebook page?Image description: A Family Research Council Facebook post featuring a picture of three girls in swimsuits in a locker room with the text "Protect Their Rights" emblazoned on it, the words "because they should not be silenced for feeling uncomfortable with a male student in their locker room" above it, and the words "urge Congress to take action to protect our children and stop the Obama administration's radical overreach" … [Read more...]


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That Christian Man Selling Child-Training Whips Is Back

The above image is an advertisement that used to run in Christian homeschool magazines. "The ideal tool for child training," reads the test below an image of a long, thin shaft with a handle, a rod intended for whipping children. "The means prescribed by God," it reads. And there's a poem: "Spoons are for cooking / Belts are for holding up pants / Hands are for loving / RODS are for chastening." This "flexible nylon rod" with its "cushioned vinyl grip" was marketed by Steve Haymond, and was … [Read more...]


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For the Children of the Latest Target Protestor

By now, you've probably seen this video of a mother of twelve walking through Target, Bible in hand, loudly condemning Target for its trans-inclusive bathroom policy.Here are some of the things the woman said as she walks through the store: “Mothers, get your children out of this store!”“Are you going to let the devil rape your children, America?”“Repent, wicked Target…the judgement of God is coming on this nation and Target!” According to a blogger who grew up with one of the i … [Read more...]


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Promises of Change Are Not Evidence of Change: On ABWE, the Pii Report, and Christianity Today

This past weekend Christianity Today published an article by Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra titled Missionary Donn Ketcham Abused 18 Children. Here’s Why He Wasn’t Stopped. This article was written in response the release of a report created by Professional Investigators International (Pii) on their investigation of the sexual abuse allegations that had dogged the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism (ABWE) since the early 2000s. If you're a longtime reader, this will sound familiar. If you're not … [Read more...]


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Josh Harris Apologizes

Last year Joshua Harris announced that he was leaving the ministry and going to seminary. He spoke of his life as being lived backwards, and his words resonated with me and with others who grew up in the Christian homeschool movement. Josh published his career-making book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, in 1997, when he was only 21. His book had a huge impact on not only the Christian homeschool movement but also evangelicalism more broadly, and frankly, messed a lot of things up for a lot of us g … [Read more...]


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Bill Gothard and the Dynamics of Abuse

Yesterday I found out that a Catholic priest who was accused of sexually abusing a 16-year-old girl decades ago has been made director of a teen pregnancy center. This made me think about all of the ways abusers within the church gain renewed access to positions of power (I'm sure it happens outside of the church as well, but this is the area I'm most familiar with). Curious, I looked up Bill Gothard to double check precisely what he's doing today. I arrived at www.billgothard.com. The website is … [Read more...]


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