Kevin Swanson, Scott Brown, and the Jackson Brothers

Let me tell you a story that involves Scott Brown, Kevin Swanson, a "typical" large Christian homeschooling family, and a decade of sexual abuse. I will use this story to illustrate some of the points I've made about churches, homeschooling, and accountability. Let's get started, shall we? Six brothers from Perquimans County [North Carolina] have been charged with sexually abusing a 16-year-old girl for more than a decade.Eric, 27, Jon, 25, Matthew, 23, Nathaniel, 21, Benjamin, 19, and A … [Read more...]

“Daddy, Is the Devil Real?” A Response

A few weeks ago, a reader sent me a post from a blog on the progressive Christian channel and asked for my opinion. The post is called Daddy, is the Devil Real? The author, Morgan Guyton, explains that the devil came up during scary story telling with his sons, and that his five-year-old asked if the devil was real, and that he said yes, which very much concerned his son. Guyton explains his belief as follows:  I really do believe that somebody’s out there who’s behind the world’s evil. People r … [Read more...]

Charisma News Publishes a Call for Genocide

Charisma News---a sort of charismatic version of the conservative evangelical publication Christianity Today---recently published a piece by Reverend Gary Cass titled "Why I Absolutely Am Islamaphobic." I opened the link expecting something bad, but was in no way prepared for what I read. Cass calls for genocide against the world's Muslims. In this post I will quote from Cass's article and respond, generally with actual points but sometimes with simple shock. I confess: I'm "Islamaphobic," but … [Read more...]

The Real Lesson of My Story

Quick Libby Anne, rewrite the ending of your story, it's not playing well with Christian test audiences!A regular left this comment on my post about the Duggars, in response to comments from Christians suggesting that my own apostasy was proof that college turns people into atheists and that the Duggars are right to keep their kids from college. Yes, this commenter was being sarcastic in her suggestion that I rewrite my story. But frankly, it is this more than anything else that originally ga … [Read more...]

The Limits of Science

I love science. I love its potential to improve the world through innovation, and I love using it to learn more about the world around me. The physical world we live in is truly fascinating. But science alone does not give us values or ethical systems.First are the things we value in or find meaningful. Science can tell us the fail rate of various birth control methods, and how STDs are spread and best avoided. It can also tell us the function sex has played among humans and in various other … [Read more...]

There Is More to Christianity than Penal Substitutionary Atonement

I object to the idea that Jesus needed to die on a cross to pay for my sins. For one thing, I object to the way individual sin is conceptualized. Yes, people do unkind and hateful things, but the entire framework of "sin" (and what counts as sin) and the penalty for sin (eternal torture) is fatally flawed. There are much better---and less traumatizing---ways of approaching humanity. For another thing, I object to the idea that an innocent man's death can in some way pay the price for my own s … [Read more...]

Guest Post: I Am Not Planning on Being a Stay-at-Home Mom (part II)

Originally posted at I Turn and BurnRead part I here In my last post, I left off talking about the decision I made during high school not to have children, even though I knew my decision would be frowned upon by others in my Christian community. When I was in high school, I believed that public school damaged children in irreversible ways. I imagined students having sex and performing drug deals right there in the classrooms with the teachers there, condoning their behavior. I imagined … [Read more...]