On Being a Prodigal

My parents are the ones who set out with a very specific end goal in mind when approaching childrearing—i.e., that the children turn out to share their beliefs and lifestyle choices. I didn’t chose that. They did. But children are wild cards, and don’t always conform to parental expectations—especially when those expectations are rigid or constrictive. In communities like mine, children who don’t conform are too often cast aside, and a prodigal is born. Read more

Fifty Shades of Disagreement: Evangelicals and Feminists on Fifty Shades of Grey

In general, the thing that has evangelicals up in arms over Fifty Shades of Grey is its endorsement of premarital relationships and kinky sex, while the thing that has feminists up in arms is its glorification of abuse and its perversion of kinky sex. These differences are, of course, rooted in a huge divergence in the two groups’ underlying sexual ethics. Read more

What I Love about My Feminist Husband

When I was a teen, my father told me it would take a special kind of man to make me submit. I was headstrong, you see. I was opinionated and bossy. I sometimes envied those quiet, demure girls to whom submission came naturally. That wasn’t me. My father couldn’t know, then, that the man I would ultimately marry wouldn’t expect me to submit to him. I didn’t know, then, that I would reject the entire idea of wifely submission before I walked down the aisle. Read more

Pope Tries to Have It Both Ways on Family Size

Having no children is “selfish” . . . but having too many children is “irresponsible.” It doesn’t help that the pope praises his mother for having five children but condemned a Filipino woman for having eight children. Where’s the line, then? Six kids? Seven? When does it move from “the joy of children” to being “like rabbits”? Read more

The Pennington Point on Adult Children, Maturity, and Drivers Licenses

I wan’t to be clear that this isn’t an isolated thing. When a parent home births and homeschools, they have total control over their children’s documents (including control over the very existence of those documents). I grew up knowing several homeschooling families that didn’t obtain social security numbers for their children. Read more

Anonymous Tip: Donna Makes Her Case

Remember that while Donna’s creating a case that Gwen is unstable, her actual concern was not Gwen’s instability but rather that Gwen called her names. This is what’s so odd about this entire situation—everything that happens from here on out will happen for the simple reason that Donna has a grudge against Gwen. Read more

The Tony Jones Affair: Releasing the Documents

It is up to other Emergent Christians to deal with this situation, because Tony Jones is their leader, not mine. If they think Tony Jones is fit for leadership after how he unrepentantly treated Julie—and remember, too, that Tony was diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder during the proceedings—so be it. But if that is what they decide, my grave concerns about Emergent Christianity’s priorities will be confirmed. Read more

The Pennington Point on Adult Kids Living at Home

I just stumbled upon a blog post Lisa Pennington wrote last August, a month before her daughter, Alecia Faith, left home. In this post, Lisa talks about how she handles having adult children living at home. Read more

I Stand with Alecia Pennington

The more I read of Alecia’s mother Lisa’s blog, the more familiar it all felt, down to the line about Alecia’s actions being “completely out of character from the girl I know.” The truth is, my mother thought she knew me, but she didn’t, because she only knew what I showed of myself, which is what she wanted to see. And when I started to stake out for myself who I was, she clung to a me that was gone, sure that it was the real one, unable to see that what she was holding onto was an echo. Read more

Homeschooling Parents Dismiss Alumni Voices Again

I suppose I’m left wondering when homeschool alumni are actually allowed to speak, in the eyes of these parents. I’m a homeschool alumna. I have thoughts, experiences, and ideas. Why, then, do I find my voice and those of other homeschool alumni so undervalued by homeschooling parents? Are we only allowed to speak if we have positive things to say? My mother used to say that—“if you don’t have anything positive to say, don’t say anything at all”—but I’m a grownup now, and I’m sorry, but it doesn’t work that way. Read more

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