(Mis)Reading Children’s Intent

Having watched Sally’s words and reactions—and having seen the neighbor lady’s reaction—I decided that Sally could not have been other than intentionally unkind. I tried to talk to her about it, but Sally clammed up and ran out of the room. I told her later that I couldn’t take her out in public if I couldn’t be sure that she would treat those around her kindly, and she again became angry and then teared up. She put a pillow over her head, but I could hear her small voice through it. Read more

The Real Lesson of My Story

Many in the Christian homeschooling world homeschool in large part to ensure that their children grow up to be conservative evangelical or fundamentalist Christians just like them. They are told by Christian homeschooling leaders that if they do just so—shelter their children, have them study from Christian textbooks, and keep them from the evils of world—their children will turn out perfectly. They are eliminating risk, they believe, and creating a hothouse environment for raising strong, secure, unwavering conservative evangelical or fundamentalist Christians. Read more

WORLD Magazine Takes Aim and Misses

Growing up in a conservative evangelical home, I read WORLD magazine regularly. You can think of it as a sort of evangelical Christian version of TIME magazine. It covers all the issues, both internationally and nationally, but through a conservative evangelical framework. My parents have been subscribers since before I can remember, and continue to receive the magazine today. I say all of this as background to WORLD magazine’s extremely unfortunate feature article last week on the child abuse and neglect problem within the Christian homeschooling world. Read more

Strong-Willed Child: Where Dobson Almost Gives Good Advice

By Victoria. Had he stopped there, this blog post might be really, really short. I will agree here that the phrase “I hate you” is incredibly destructive and really doesn’t have any place in a loving relationship. It can be apologized for, but never truly unheard. It is simply not a good or constructive tool to have in one’s arsenal of conflict resolution tricks. But I said IF Dobson had stopped there. He didn’t… Read more

A Doctor Who Open Thread!

The new season begins tonight, with the 12th Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi. As a Doctor Who fan myself, I’ve always found the transition from one Doctor to the next especially interesting, because that transition tends to both be a sad time for what is lost but also a time of new possibilities and potential. This transition promises to be especially interesting given the dramatic events that closed out the last season. Read more

What I Learned from Almost Being Arrested

Almost three years ago I had a severely unpleasant experience with a police officer that left me completely shaken. Up until this point, I’d been given no reason to distrust cops. Ever since this moment, though, I’ve understood why many people have their reservations. If I could have an experience like this—and I’m white, educated, and middle class—I can’t imagine how much worse it must be for those who are black, or poor, or in another marginalized group. As protests continue in Ferguson, my mind has gone back to this experience, and how it affected me. Read more

CTBHHM: So Your Husband Says Not to Go to Church . . .

In sum, what we have here is more of what we’ve been seeing—Debi once again chose a situation that’s not that hard to answer. Your husband is sexually molesting your son? Report him. Your husband is stealing out of tractor trailer trucks? Report him. Debi’s other examples were more tortured—don’t have sex with your husband while he pretends he’s a woman because it’s mental lesbianism, and don’t sign an inaccurate tax return (provided your objection is your conscience and not a desire to control your husband)—but by and large she has avoided the harder questions. Read more

Are You Crunchy Enough?

A couple of weeks ago we ran into a family at the park. We’d run into them several times before, and Sally had taken to their daughter, Ella. This time we learned that Ella will be attending kindergarten at the same school as Sally this fall. After we left the park, I remarked to Sean that it might be good to have this family over—that we might get on well with them. “But then I don’t know how crunchy she is,” I added. I was referring to Ella’s mother, and Sean asked what I meant. Read more

An Open Letter to Duggar Defenders

More than two years ago I wrote a blog post titled My Concerns about the Duggars. To this day it continues getting hundreds of hits daily, along with the random comment. Probably half of the comments left on it defend the Duggars as upright, responsible people raising healthy, well-adjusted young people. These comments often lash out against me, calling me bitter and so forth. I’ve often thought of responding to these comments with further blog posts, but so far I haven’t. Today that changes. Read more

Michelle Duggar Goes Full Anita Bryant

Do you remember Anita Bryant? She became a household name in the late 1970s when she sought to repeal a recently-passed anti-discrimination ordinance in Miami. She founded an organization she called “Save Our Children,” and capitalized on fear mongering about the fact that gay men and lesbian women would now be allowed to teach in public elementary schools. “As a mother, I know that homosexuals cannot biologically reproduce children; therefore, they must recruit our children,” she said. Read more

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