Every marriage advice manual should include things like learning to communicate, practicing compromise, and the importance of mutual respect. Debi’s book has none of these things. As for what it does have, well, I want to spend some time trying to pull together the overall themes that have come out in this series, and we’ll go from there. Read more

When I write about submission, especially in the context of Debi Pearl’s book, Created To Be His Help Meet, commenters frequently ask what Debi would say to a woman whose husband told her not to submit. I think we have our answer, or at least as close as we’re going to get to an answer. It’s an article by Debi’s daughter Shoshanna Easling. Read more

I mean, it’s not that I don’t know what the issue was. Growing up in an evangelical home, Satan and his demons were very real. We believed that they were at their height on Halloween, in a way, prowling around and wreaking devastation—spiritual warfare at its worst. In other words, the forces that led my parents to hold us back from trick-or-treating year after year were not tangible but rather invisible. I no longer believe in those invisible forces, and having seen the holiday for myself, it seems incredibly harmless. It’s sad, in a way, how easy it is to create boogeymen where none exist. Read more

I’ve seen people talk bloggers like me to task for airing our families’ “dirty laundry.” How could we do this to our parents, they wonder? Don’t we realize how ungrateful we’re being? Personally, my response is that I’m trying to help other parents avoid my parents’ mistakes—in a sense, I’m trying to bring something good out of my parents’ mistakes. If everyone was silent about their parents’ mistakes, how would we identify overarching problems, patterns to avoid? Read more

Kaveh Mousavi recently wrote a blog post titled Why I Will Teach My Children that Religion is Nonsense. I find statements such as these concerning because of my own experience breaking with my parents. My parents, you see, had an unwavering certainty that their beliefs were not only true but also the only acceptable beliefs, and that all those who believed differently were hedonistic and selfish. There was no middle ground, no place for us to agree to disagree. I was in their club, or I was out in the cold. This pattern isn’t limited to the religious—atheists can do it too. Read more

I can’t say for sure what I will do in the future until I live it. I hope I never forget my experience being graduate-student-poor. I hope I will live by my principles, and not try to grab more for my own children at the expense of others. I hope I remember what it was to take my “poor” children trick-or-treating in a “rich” neighborhood. I hope I can be part of the solution rather than becoming part of the problem. Read more

A few weeks ago, I discussed a chapter from one of Gothard’s IBLP seminar textbooks titled “How To Build the Spirit of a Marriage.” Today I want to come back to that chapter to discuss something often called “closing the fire escape.” Here Gothard is discussing things a wife can do that damage a marriage. Read more

One summer home from college, my parents insisted that I meet with our pastor. I was questioning evangelicalism and exploring other Christian faith traditions, and my parents were very concerned about me. So they set up a meeting and sent me off. I could have refused, I suppose, but I was living with them and dependent on them for transportation, so I really wan’t in a place to put up too much of a fuss. Read more

To sum up: I am disturbed by how one-sided all of this is, and by how often Debi serves as simply an object for Michael’s pleasure. But then, that is the crux of my criticism of this book, boiled down into one sentence. Read more

Next week Frontline Family Ministries is holding National Sexual Abuse Prevention Week for Homeschoolers. You would think this would be something I would support, right? I’ve talked before about a culture of looking the other way in homeschooling communities, the way homeschooling can make detecting abuse more difficult, and fundamentalist and evangelical beliefs that let offenders off the hook. Spending a week raising awareness and promoting prevention should be a good thing, right? Read more

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