Condescending Self-Righteous Parents Make Parenting Sound Terrible

And to all of you who are not parents, I’d like to apologize on the behalf of this author and every other similarly condescending and mean-spirited parent you come upon as you go about your life. I realize I can’t actually apologize in their places, but I can at least say that I am sorry you have to put up with that. Because I am. Read more

A Letter from Hell, and Self-Reinforcing Beliefs

Okay, so, there are like 150 different things wrong with this letter. I honestly feel like a letter like this ought to be an affront even to a Christian. Isn’t there a Bible verse that warns against adding to the Bible? Things like this read like that to me. And then there’s everything else that’s wrong too, and you’re free to pick it apart on the comments, but I want to focus on something slightly different for the moment. Read more

My Kindergartener Knows What It Means to Be Transgender (and the Sky Hasn’t Fallen)

Before I sign off, let me return to the title of this post. Over the years, Sally and I have had a number of conversations about what it means to be transgender. She thought it was a bit weird the first time we talked about it, perhaps in part because she went through a stage in preschool when who was a “boy” and who was a “girl” was suddenly very important (I think this is an actual developmental stage). But honestly, it never really phased her. It never seemed like a huge deal to her. Just like she knows that some children have two mommies, she gets that some people are born with a body that is one gender and a brain that is the other. Read more

I Have Never Seen a Supernatural Entity Create a Universe

As my regular readers will know, I don’t believe in the supernatural. I don’t think there is a god, or gods, or supernatural forces out there. As an atheist, I have heard the arguments for religion many times. There is one argument I find particularly annoying, because it is so completely nonsensical that I can’t believe it’s even used. I heard it articulated like this the other day: A Christian man whom we’ll call Peter had an atheist friend named… Read more

Anonymous Tip: In Which Peter Says Too Much

So far I feel like the moral of this story is less “CPS is out to get you” and more “getting a bad lawyer will completely screw you over.” But maybe that’s just me. In all seriousness, at this point in the story I do feel relieved for Gwen that she now has a competent lawyer. Read more

Be Pretty, but Not Too Pretty

I want my daughter to know that her value does not come from her looks. Purity culture teaches the exact opposite. In fact, purity culture ramps the idea that your value comes from your looks up to 11. Read more

#makehomeschoolsafe and Michigan’s HB 4498

Take a look at the comments on Rep. Chang’s facebook page to see how homeschooling parents are responding to her proposed bill. Then remember that most of them profess to be Christians, and ask yourself whether this is how Jesus would have responded. To their credit, several homeschooling mothers voiced their support for the bill during a twitter conversation under the hashtag #makehomeschoolsafe earlier today. Now if only more would follow their example. Read more

Why We Should Teach Children to Say “No”

I feel for MaryEllen’s children. I was raised in just the environment she describes in her post. I was not allowed to say “no” to my parents—it was considered backtalk. I learned that obedience is “immediate, complete, with a smile, without question, and without complaint. This did not prepare me well for the world around me at all. I still have trouble interacting with authority figures like my boss, because I’m forever afraid of getting in trouble, even over little things. “Obey me completely or reap the consequences” does not prepare children for adulthood. Instead, it simply warps them, and I’m still dealing with the consequences of that today, as an adult with children of my own. Read more

Why I Take My Kids to the UU Church

This Easter, I talked to Sally about spring holidays and the stories societies share. I explained that many different religions and cultures have holidays that celebrate spring, and that Easter is our culture’s spring holiday. I also talked about the history of Easter, and the religious significance the holiday has for Christians. I explained that we as humans create stories about the world around us, and drew parallels to other religions and other cultures. I brought up Greek mythology, which she loves, and reminded her of how the story of Persephone is used to explain the changing of the seasons. Read more

On Orgies, Bisexuality, James Dobson, and Evangelicals

Evangelicals’ understanding of LGBTQ individuals is less about reality and more about crafting an image that fits within their worldview. In evangelical parlance, homosexuality, orgies, and pedophilia—these things all naturally go together. This is why evangelicals believe that gay people are naturally promiscuous and that transgender individuals are likely to abuse children in public restrooms. This image they have crafted of LGBTQ individuals may not resemble the reality, but it does allow them to fit the issue snugly into their belief system. Read more

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