Child Abuse, Karen Campbell and Lisa Cherry, and Facts

rovide protection for children. And here, too, we see why it matters that Campbell (and Cherry, too, it seems) sees child maltreatment as something committed by those other than parents. If you believe child maltreatment is committed by someone else, someone out there, empowering parents looks like the most effective way to prevent child maltreatment. But this requires one to ignore the man behind the curtain—the fact that 80% of child maltreatment is committed by children’s parents. We’ve been talking about child abuse in homeschooling settings off and on for a long time now. As a homeschool alumna, this is an issue I care about. The more I hear homeschooling parents in positions of leadership—people like Campbell and Cherry—talk about child abuse and how to prevent it, the more concerned I become. Read more

The Lesbian Duplex 9: An Open Thread

I was going to start another general chatter thread (that’s my “Lesbian Duplex” feature), but then last night conversation on another thread turned to helping a specific longtime commenter, Mrs. Grizzley, figure out how to leave an abusive marriage. I’m dedicating this chatter thread to her and others like her. While I won’t limit conversation here solely to this topic, I’d like to encourage conversation about recognizing and leaving abusive relationships. Read more

Terrie Elzie, and Children in Public Spaces

This story presents a good opportunity to talk about disagreements over the place of children in public spaces, and to promote understanding and consideration on both stories. Defending Elzie’s actions does the opposite. Read more

Punishment Has No Place in Marriage*

I grew up in an evangelical family, raised by parents who believed that husbands are to lead and wives are to submit. But I don’t recall hearing anything about husbands punishing their wives for lack of obedience. When disobedient wives came up, husbands were generally advised to simply love and pray for them. So I have to admit to being rather horrified by some blog posts I came upon this week. Read more

We Prosecute People for Actions, Not Beliefs

I’m not going to call Harris a “genocidal fascist maniac,” but I do take serious issue with his argument that it may be ethical to kill people for certain beliefs. In fact, I don’t think he actually believes his own statement, because every time he is asked to explain he brings up killing people for acting on certain beliefs. But here’s the thing: We prosecute people who commit or plan heinous actions regardless of their beliefs. It’s the action (or the planning) that we criminalize, not the belief. Read more

3 Ways Homeschoolers Actually Socialize Differently than School Kids

“What about socialization?” Homeschooled parents have been asked this question over and over again for decades. I understand finding it annoying to get this question so many times, but it’s a good question, and one homeschooling parents should take seriously. I’m really tired of reading blog posts by homeschooling parents arguing that homeschooled children are actually better than public schooled children. Trust me, I heard this growing up, too! Hearing this didn’t make me any less afraid of public schooled children, and it didn’t magic me more friends. Read more

HSLDA Defends Special Needs Cages Family, Redux

This is another verifiable case where HSLDA defended the rights of people who turned out to be abusers. In this case, it was actual legal assistance. (I know several individuals whose abusive parents were also defended by HSLDA, but these are stories where social services never became involved and the abuse was never discovered.) Now yes, abusers should have legal defense. It’s how the system works. But HSLDA doesn’t position itself as an organization that defends all comers and sometimes has to do dirty work, it positions itself as the family-friendly smiling face of homeschooling and actively works to shape policy. Read more

Sexual Repression, the Duggar Parents, and Mine

So, are my parents sexually repressed? That is not a question I can answer either “yes” or “no” to, because it’s more complicated than that! My parents did a number on my siblings and I through their incredibly repressive approach to not only premarital sex specifically but also adolescent sexuality in general, but when it comes to marital sex they appear to be more open about sex than your average parent of their generation (or so says my informal polling of friends not raised in my parents’ conservative evangelical culture). Read more

In Which Bobby Tries to Communicate

But for all that it is frustrating to me when I can’t understand Bobby’s attempts to communicate, it must be only more frustrating for him! I’m glad Sean and I were able to figure out why Bobby was so upset when we left the store the other day. Otherwise we probably never would have known that Bobby had left his matchbox cars (and dinosaur) in a store, and lost them—but he would have known. Read more

Dispelling Some Duggar Rumors

The Stir has been coming out with some “interesting” reports on Jessa Duggar and Ben Siewald’s wedding. According to writers for The Stir, Jessa and Ben’s decision to have their first kiss in private was made in the moment, and wasn’t something the Duggar parents knew of ahead of time (or were very happy with either), and also according to writers for The Stir, when Jinger went back to get Jessa at the conclusion of her private moment with Ben, the couple were caught in the middle having sex. The Stir gleefully declares it a “Duggar sex scandal.” Read more

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