When It Really Is about Controlling Women

A reader offered the following in a comment on a recent post on abortion: “What I had really wanted to say is that, except in the case of a rape, the pregnancy had to have resulted from a voluntary decision on the part of the woman, and therefore she should take responsibility for it, and carry the baby to term.” I’ve been encountering this argument with growing frequency, and it really bothers me. Just last week my awesome husband helped… Read more

On Horses, Unicorns, Women, and Motherhood

I am a unicorn, but there is more to me than just my horn. There, is your interest piqued? Dianna Anderson recently offered an excellent analogy regarding how the Republican party treats women. And yes, it involves unicorns. It also speaks to how the Republican party views women and, ultimately, how it uses the image of the unicorn – i.e. the mother – to cover up for its lack of attention to women’s needs more broadly. To start, let me… Read more

Purity Rings: An Invitation for Stories

I’ve been thinking lately about my purity ring. My dad gave it to me on my thirteenth birthday, and I still have it tucked away. I have a lot of strong feelings about it, weird though that may seem. There’s a lot of my girlhood wrapped up in it, years of idealism and dreams. There’s pain in it too, and heartbreak and fear. But you know what? I don’t think I’m the only one to have strong feelings about my… Read more

Dear Pro-Lifers: STOP ERASING WOMEN

I’ve talked before about pro-lifers erasing women in their discussion of abortion. Well, I was perusing the Patheos evangelical channel and I found this YET AGAIN. “I’m sure evangelical youngsters everywhere would rejoice if their elders decided that they should have sex with great frequency because “if a sperm is wasted, God gets quite irate.”  But alas, there is a key distinction between a sperm and a zygote.  A zygote, left to develop naturally, will tend to develop into a… Read more

Demons v. Psychology: Possession and depression

Do you remember that after the Aurora shooting happened this summer some Christian religious leaders suggested that James Holmes might have been possessed by demons? I have to say, I wasn’t surprised. Evangelicals – or at least the ones I grew up among – believe that demons are alive and well in this world, fighting invisible battles with angels all around us. And more than that, demons interact with human beings – and even possess them. Have you ever heard… Read more

Worthwhile Reads: Politics and Lying

  It’s long been a truism that politicians will say anything they have to to get elected. But it seems to me that this has been getting worse. It’s no longer about promising the moon in return for someone’s vote – it’s about flat out bald lying. So, I thought I’d collect together a number of interesting pieces I’ve read on this issue in recent weeks, both about politicians lying and about the media lying. I’ll finish by asking for… Read more

“When God Closes A Door”

Have you ever heard the phrase “sometimes God closes a door”? It was a common phrase in my evangelical upbringing. If you, say, were applying for a job and then didn’t get it, well, you would say that God “closed that door.” And this was good, of course, because by closing a door God was guiding you to something better for you. See, growing up as an evangelical Christian meant growing up believing that God was intimately involved in our… Read more

The Merger: Evangelicalism and the GOP

Growing up, I knew there was a close alignment between my family’s evangelical religion and our politics. They seemed to fit hand in glove. Of course we were Republicans! What true Christian could be otherwise? The Republican party stood for good Christian values and Biblical policies while the Democrats stood for everything anti-Christian, from socialism to gay marriage to abortion. I mean, Jesus loves capitalism, right? Right! But this alliance is not simply something that is natural or a given. In fact,… Read more

“Suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man”

The Friendly Atheist recently posted an the results of a survey on women in the church, and was shocked to find that some churches don’t allow women to teach men. Frankly, I was surprised that the number was so low – only 3%. Because, well, growing up that was just how things were. I remember that there was a woman who wanted to teach my high school AWANA group at a fundamentalist church across town. Thing is, there were, well, teenage… Read more

In Defense of Susan Pevensie

I read the Chronicles of Narnia over again and again and again as a child. My dad read them aloud to us, and we read them to ourselves, and then we acted them out in the woods, creating wooden swords and bows and going on adventures. The oldest four of us, two boys and two girls, took on the roles of Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy. This meant that I was Susan. I felt very conflicted about being Susan. On… Read more

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