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

Anonymous Tip: Donna Tells All

Last week Gwen bumped into a new lawyer, Peter Barron, and they headed off to talk about the case over lunch. This week we pick up with Donna, who is also having lunch out. Read more

A Letter from Jesus and Living in Fear

This letter communicates to an impressionable little girl that she is selfish and a bad person for a completely natural human want—to have friends. In fact, it’s not a want, it’s a need. People—including children—need friends. Read more

Red Town, Blue Town

The last time I visited my hometown to see my parents and siblings, I found myself in the gym at my parents’ church, juggling kids and donuts. One of the church elders saw me and struck up conversation. He asked where I was living now, and when I told him, he shook his head. “It must be hard to raise a family in such a godless place,” he said. I found that comment so bizarre—and yet somehow so insightful—that I haven’t been able to shake it. Read more

Picking Things Up from the Culture, Homeschool Edition

If you’re a regular reader, you may have noticed that, when speaking of my conservative evangelical homeschool upbringing, I frequently say “I was told X” rather than “my parents told me X.” There is a reason for that—sometimes I can’t remember whether my parents actually taught me some specific aspect of purity culture or political conservatism or whether I just picked it up from the Christian homeschool culture around me. After all, I read the homeschool magazines we subscribed to, listened to the… Read more

The Lesbian Duplex 15: An Open Thread

It’s time for another Lesbian Duplex thread! Read more

Evangelical Rhetoric and the “Church of Gay Dominance”

Evangelicals aren’t going down without a fight, are they? Marvin Olasky of World Magazine is upset that Jennifer Schoenrock, a deputy clerk in Missouri, was fired for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples—and that the Americans United for the Separation of Church and State (AUSCS) did not defend her. You might think that AUSCS, which in previous decades wanted to restrict government power out of concern that officials could then impose a state-sponsored belief system on others, would… Read more

Anonymous Tip: Gwen Gets Rescued

Last week, we left Gwen running into the parking lot crying after skeezy lawyer Bill Walinski attempted to coerce her into a “cozy” relationship with him. One reader rewrote the exchange in a way that gave Gwen a backbone, and the difference between book Gwen and backbone Gwen was startling. Backbone Gwen would file a complaint against Bill and then look into legal assistance or start thinking about ways to raise money to hire a new lawyer. But no, this is book Gwen, and book Gwen needs rescuing. Read more

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