What We Need to Hear: How to Talk to Abuse Victims

Can we talk about how people respond to adult abuse victims?*Let me start by noting that I sometimes have trouble naming what happened to me as abuse. We typically associate abuse with adults beating children in an angry or out of control or sadistic way. That didn't happen to me. Instead, I had what many would see as an ideal childhood, growing up in the country with parents who read to me, played board games with me, and made even maintenance projects around the house fun, interesting, bo … [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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The Sexual Predators in Evangelicals’ Backyard

There's something we need to talk about. Opposition to trans bathroom access is perhaps most pronounced among evangelical Christians, a group whose inability to deal with sexual abuse in their own communities rivals that of the Catholic church. Evangelicals claim they oppose trans bathroom access because of the threat this access poses to women and children. Why, then, are they so quick to turn a blind eye to the abuse of women and children in their own communities?When 15-year-old Tina An … [Read more...]


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Answers in Genesis Mistakes Evolution for a Religion (Again)

Can we talk about a recent Answers in Genesis article about the problem with pain? The piece was written by Avery Foley and published earlier this month. It read as follows: One of the most common arguments atheists challenge Christians with is the so-called “problem of pain.” If there’s an all-powerful, loving God, why do bad things happen? Well, the believer can turn right around and challenge the atheist: “In your worldview, by what standard do you define good or bad things?” Of course, Fole … [Read more...]


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Do You Love God More than You Love Your Children?

I've written a lot about the evangelicalism I grew up in. I've written about patriarchal ideas about male leadership and female submission, and about what it was like to believe demons were literal beings I might encounter. I've written about young earth creationism and end times eschatology. I've written about ideas about corporal punishment and filial obedience. But it occurs to me that there's still a major belief I have yet to write about---one I think receives less attention than it … [Read more...]


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Can the “Women Submit” Command Be Redeemed?

When I saw the title of a World Magazine article by Janie B. Cheaney last month---Upside-down Headship---I was immediately curious. World Magazine is a conservative evangelical magazine and has stumbled on issues like abuse in the past---remember Andree Seu Peterson's column about how sexual abuse prevention measures get in the way of Sunday school teachers being able to love their pupils the way Jesus did?---the publication brands itself as reasonable and open to dialogue. In other words, they … [Read more...]


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Kevin Swanson: Media Pushback is Christian Persecution

If you spend much time at all listening to conservative evangelical pastors, Christian radio, or Republican politicians, you know that these groups promote a persecution narrative in which they position themselves as the victims of religious persecution. (And then accuse the Left of promoting a culture of victimization.) Given that we live in a country that is a majority Christian and invokes the Christian God on its currency and in its national pledge, among other things, this claim is … [Read more...]


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