Can We Please Not Defend White Supremacists?

Several months ago I took a stroll through some rather scary youtube videos about the English Defense League. Basically, the United Kingdom has a racism problem. So when I came upon JT Eberhard’s post about three British individuals given prison terms for invading and desecrating a mosque, I immediately assumed that this was the handiwork of the English Defense League and its associates. And perhaps for that very reason, I was surprised to see JT arguing that their sentencing was unjust. Read more

What Is Real—and What Is Not

Now five years old, Sally has been working overtime trying to differentiate between “real” and “pretend.” She has finally determined that fairies and magic are not real. I’m not completely sure how she determined this, but it matters a lot to her right now. This is a natural stage of development for children her age, this desire to distinguish between “real” and “pretend.” Still, part of me is a bit nostalgic. I liked her fantasy world in which fairies were as real as kittens. Read more

I Was in a College Cult

I’ve been blogging for three years now, but there’s an entire chapter of my life I’ve never really shared. When I was in college, I became part of a small close-knit group that veered in the direction of a cult. A friend and I clued in to what was happening and were able to shut the whole thing down before it went too far, but some rather frightening things happened in the meantime. But now, for the first time, I feel like I’ve been given a lifeline—both validation and tools for understanding what happened to us. Read more

The Strong-Willed Child: Dedication

While my parents drew primarily on the Pearls, they also read James Dobson’s books on child rearing and were fans of Focus on the Family. I’ve had readers comment on my posts about the Pearls’ To Train Up a Child pointing out that James Dobson’s advice is little different from the Pearls’ advice, even though he is more mainstream evangelical and dresses up his books in more credible-sounding language. Victoria’s reviews give us a chance to examine this. Read more

CTNAHM: Love Never Enslaves!

Holy cow. He really doesn’t get it, does he? The very act of repeating “weaker vessel” when talking about women is an attempt to put them in their place (under man). And anyone who has even a passing knowledge of his child-rearing book knows that the point is to put the children in their places, and not control the adult by screaming, crying, arguing, or rebelling. I’m trying to figure out how Michael’s teachings (that women are spotted, wrinkled, blemished, full of lady hormones that make them gullible and sensitive) is NOT putting women in their places. Read more

CTBHHM: What about the Head Covering?

But this does raise an important point. Any time Debi addresses what should happen if God’s commands and a husband’s commands conflict, she assumes that it will work out because the husband will come around. Remember when she said a working mother who wants to stay at home with her children should simply convince her husband to buy a smaller house and take fewer vacations and so make it financially feasible, so he couldn’t say no? Read more

Business as Usual for IBLP

Oh dear. The Board of Directors for the Institute for Basic Life Principles, formerly run by Bill Gothard, has released a statement, and it’s not good. In fact, they can’t even bring themselves to admit what happened—and nor can Gothard himself. Read more

When Evangelicalism Makes Things Easy for Sexual Offenders—and Hard for Their Victims

Evangelical teachings on repentance and forgiveness create a tremendous problem when it comes to rape or other forms of abuse. If you commit a sin and repent of it, God forgives you. I remember hearing Psalm 103:12 quoted constantly: “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” Of course, this was always said in a positive way—isn’t it awesome that God forgives us no matter what? But it doesn’t must mean God forgives us. It also means God forgives rapists, child molesters, and so on—fully and completely. Read more

“Modest Is Hottest” and Girls’ Self-Confidence

Frankly, I’m conflicted. When I was a teen striving to dress modestly, I struggled with body image. I covered my body in baggy clothing. I felt unattractive, and that affected how I carried and viewed myself. So I like the idea that in many churches girls like I was are now being encouraged to think about fashion and dress in a way that makes them feel confident and good about themselves. That’s a good thing! However, a person is generally described as “hot” if they are sexually attractive, and the whole point of modesty as it is taught in evangelical culture is to not be sexually attractive. Read more

The Female Body, a Source of Contamination

People arguing in favor of modesty often put women’s bodies in the same category as drugs or alcohol. These individuals objectify women’s bodies and treat them as agents of destruction, discussed in the same sentence with alcoholism and drug addiction. More than this, they view women’s bodies as a source of contamination—“[boys] can’t un-see a girl’s body once it’s been seen barely clad.” In other words, women’s bodies have to be covered up lest they forever contaminate the minds of good, god-fearing young men. Read more

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