Kids, Commercials, and Focus on the Family

I wrote the other day about the problems of using children as political pawns. The Friendly Atheist spotted another example of this that I thought I would point out, namely Focus on the Family's commercial during the football game last weekend, which consisted of children reciting John 3:16 Click the link to see the video and an analysis of how this sort of thing comes across to a non-believer. Here are the two best points: When you don't have logic and evidence on your side, just go for an … [Read more...]

Quiverfull: Outbreeding the World

Yes, the Quiverfull movement really wants to out breed the rest of the world. That's kind of the idea. You hear all the time in families influenced by Quiverfull ideas the travesty of the average Western family only having two children, and how that presents an opportunity for those true Christian families that have many more than that average, and about how if we don't do something the Muslims with their huge families will take over the world. I got these messages loud and clear growing up. I … [Read more...]

A Little Child Shall Lobby Them

This little girl was one of dozens of children brought to the Ohio statehouse last week to speak on behalf of the "heartbeat bill" that, if passed, will ban abortion past six weeks (to put the time frame into perspective, the day you miss your period you are technically already four weeks pregnant). These children also passed out teddy bears that play the sound of a fetal heartbeat to each Ohio congressman. This could have been me. No wait, strike that, this was me.I began marching the … [Read more...]

From Homophobe to Gay Rights Advocate

I didn't meet a gay person growing up. "Homosexuals" were talked about in tones of disgust and sorrow, and we children knew that it was wrong for "men to kiss men" and "women to kiss women," and that the Bible condemned homosexuality, but it was all in the abstract. It was about those depraved people who were out there trying to ruin marriage and subvert youth, not about any actual people we knew.This is the story of how I met gay people, heard their stories, realized that they were human, … [Read more...]

Submitting to Parents, Submitting to God

I knew that Michael Pearl tells his followers that their children must learn to submit to them or they won't learn to submit to God, but the truth of this didn't hit me until just now. Let me explain.Here are things parents following the Pearls' child training methods say to their children, and indeed things that were said to me growing up:"Don't ask questions, just obey.""Obedience is more important than understanding.""Just accept that we know better than you because we … [Read more...]

The “Christianity Makes People Good” Myth

Recently, a Christian friend bubbled to me about her new job at a Christian business, and how wonderful it was to be working in a Christian workplace that even has Christian weekend retreats for its employers and prayer groups, etc. "I think everyone, regardless of their beliefs, would be better off working in a Christian workplace!" she told me excitedly. She knows I am an atheist, but when I told her I disagreed she was honestly surprised.Growing up, "Christian" was synonymous with "good … [Read more...]

How Creationism Drove Me out of the Church

To be more specific, creationism led me to a crisis of faith that ultimately, through some twists and turns, drove me out of the Christianity. My parents did not realize that in teaching me that literal young earth creationism was the foundation of Christianity they did not simply fortify my faith but rather gave my faith an Achilles heel. And apparently, I am not alone. Really, really not alone.My parents taught me that Christianity was about being filled with the Holy Spirit and having … [Read more...]