I was raised in an evangelical home. I embraced my parents’ and church’s beliefs wholeheartedly. I was the sort of evangelical teen who hung out in the church library looking for new apologetics books to read. I was dedicated, and passionate, and wholehearted in my beliefs. As a young adult, these beliefs crumbled and fell through my fingers and I looked around, bewildered. How could I have been so very wrong, I wondered? That experience taught me something important—that I could be completely sure I was correct about something and yet be completely wrong. Read more

Last summer Ladies Against Feminism posted an article titled “Speak for Yourself: Why Single Feminists Should Not Speak for Married Mothers.” I’ve been ruminating over this article ever since and it’s still bothering me. For one thing, I’m finding it highly ironic that the author of this piece, Marian Shah, is herself not a mother, while I, the feminist in the room, am a mother. For another thing, the author doesn’t seem aware of third wave feminism. And finally, the author’s words do not reflect my experience or the experience of the vast majority of the mothers I know, even as she seems to think she is speaking for mothers. Read more

Having read through the lawsuit in full, I want to take a moment to mention ten things even I found surprising. Many of the allegations included in the lawsuit have been common knowledge since being posted in 2013 and 2014 by Recovering Grace, a website run by graduates of IBLP programs critical of Gothard and his teachings. However, the lawsuit also includes information I had not seen before. I want to focus on these points because of the questions they raise about why Gothard’s abuse was not recognized and addressed earlier. Read more

It’s time for another chatter thread! Read more

Share your articles and find new ones too! Read more

It’s Saturday, and that means Peter is going to have dinner with Gwen and her parents (plus Casey, of course). First, though, Peter spends the day in the law library writing up his federal civil rights complaint so that he can show it around the table at dinner. Read more

It has been nearly two years since Bill Gothard stepped down from leadership at his ministry, the Institute for Basic Life Principles (IBLP), amid a growing number of accusations that he sexually harassed and molested girls and young women in his employ. This past October, a group of individuals filed a negligence lawsuit against IBLP. This lawsuit has been amended, and Bill Gothard is now named as well. Read more

If evangelical Christians want to be seen as a group that values and protects children—as they claim they are—they have got to stop doing this. Look, I understand the concern about the government dictating what you can and can’t teach your children about religion. Believe me, I do. But that concern does not justify downplaying or ignoring child abuse allegations. And you know what? This isn’t just about spanking. The children’s uncle has reported that the children told child welfare workers that their father shook their baby sibling like a rag doll. He writes that the children’s father (his brother) denies this, and U.S. evangelical Christian media sources have accepted that denial as fact. Read more

When Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar signed on with TLC, they put their family before the public as a form of entertainment, and that is how many Americans seem to view the Duggars—as entertainment. I’m not surprised, then, to see people publicly speculating about the Duggar children’s sexuality, but I am concerned. To be clear, I’m not talking about noting that the odds are one of the Duggar kids is going to be gay. I’m talking about public speculation about the sexual orientation of individual Duggar children. I’ve seen fans and critics alike analyze individual Duggar children’s dress, bearing, and other details looking for indications that this one or that may be gay, and then gleefully trumpeting their findings. Read more

This afternoon I learned that an armed militia group has occupied a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon. As I peruse twitter and read about the militants’ calls for all true patriots to bring their guns and join them, I am reminded of the summers I spent at a small camp in the midwest. We didn’t drill or shoot guns—the camp was held at state parks, and I suspect that wasn’t permitted—and the camp was ostensibly about teaching young people how “true” constitutional principles and Christian religion, not about creating a paramilitary force. Still, every time something like this happens I am taken back to those summers and that camp. Read more

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