Rhetoric Matters: On the Capture of “Family Values”

The Slactivist wrote recently about how conservative evangelicals have been working to an exclusive claim on the label "Christian," quoting from an article by Timothy Noah of The New Republic to make his point: A 78-percent majority of Americans is Christian. Only about a third of them self-identify as evangelical, which is a very rough proxy for the Christian conservative minority that increasingly insists on being called, simply, “Christian.” Such totum pro parte synecdoche de-legitimizes mai … [Read more...]

Worthwhile Reads: Emotional Incest

Inspired by my series on emotional incest a few weeks ago, Sierra of The Phoenix and the Olive Branch recently wrote three posts on the topic herself. By the way, I can't praise Sierra and her writing enough. I really can't. If you haven't perused her blog yourself, you should. Start with the three posts I just mentioned:Emotional Incest: The Junior WifeEmotional Incest: The Mama's Boy and the Other WifeEmotional Incest: The Bottom Line … [Read more...]

Do I want my siblings to be atheists?

Someone asked me a while back whether my goal is for my siblings to become atheists. I was completely taken aback because I had never even thought about it like that. The answer is no, that's not my goal, and it never has been. But the question made me think. What is my goal for my siblings? Why don't I feel a driving desire to deconvert them into atheism?There is something similar involved when I think of my children. I've had conservative Christians tell me "just wait until one of your … [Read more...]

Oh the Dangers of Daycare!

daycare

I grew up being taught that daycare was the place where selfish moms go to abandon their children. I thought children who were in daycare were miserable, deprived, and stunted. And the same went for preschool as well. I believed that being carefully tended by a state at home mom was the only right option, the only wan to turn out healthy and well-adjusted children, and the only godly option.And then I reached a point where I had no option but to send my daughter to daycare. I was nervous. I … [Read more...]

“Are You Teaching Her About Jesus?”

A letter from a relative recently asked me this question with regards to my daughter: "Are you teaching her about Jesus?" The trouble is, this is an older relative that I love deeply. She has never been anything but kind to me. I really don't want to hurt her. But when I eventually answer that question, and truthfully - I don't feel I can lie - I know that I will hurt her, a lot.Now for the moment, I am planning to just not answer her question. It was one line in a newsy letter, and I don't … [Read more...]

Homeschooling, the family, and agents of socialization

schoolyard

I attended an academic talk on homeschooling not too long ago, and one of the speakers asked this: For the homeschooled student, when does the family stop being the primary agent of socialization? He went on to explain that for most children, school becomes a primary agent of socialization alongside the family. This does not happen for homeschoolers, though, who generally continue to go where their family goes, see who their family sees, and be where their family is. The family continues to be … [Read more...]

Dear Libby: How can I be a good role model?

Dear LibbyI have a situation that I thought you may be able to help me with.  I'm a liberal Christian whose brand of faith has more to do with living out Jesus' example of love than anything else -- I tend to identify more with Quakers than most denominations I've run across, but the absence of a meetinghouse in my area has kept me from becoming more involved.I have a dearly, dearly beloved aunt who, over the years, has become increasingly fundamentalist in her political and religious … [Read more...]


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