The Problem with “Gender Roles”

Here is an excerpt from a comment recently posted by a reader going by the name JW. Since he asks his question honestly and politely, I thought I’d respond with a post in kind. “In the articles I have read of various feminists I always tend to read some kind of grudge within. It is as if the world is terrible because it seems to 'demean' women and deprive with of inequality. Yet, yes, there is inequality in this world and it is the right thing to do to fight for them but with feminism this del … [Read more...]

Atheism through the holidays, part 3: Family, generosity, and the true meaning of Christmas

Most Christians want Christmas to focus on the birth of their savior. Mass marketing, on the other hand, forwards the idea that Christmas is about getting stuff. Children come into contact with all sorts of ideas about holidays, but it is a child's parents that set the tone for the holiday celebration at home. So as a parent, I ask myself, what do I want Christmas to be about for my children? What meaning for the holiday do I want to convey to them? I think that every parent should ask this … [Read more...]

On being an Atheist AND a Feminist

When I named this blog, I chose to call it "Love, Joy, Feminism" and not "Love, Joy, Atheism" for a reason. I knew that I would be blogging about leaving fundamentalist and evangelical religion as well as blogging about leaving patriarchy, but I felt - and still feel - that my feminism is more important to me than my atheism. I thought about it and realized that I identify more - a great deal more - with a religious feminist than an sexist atheist. Fortunately, the main atheist bloggers I follow … [Read more...]

Children Spanking Children

Do you ever have those moments where you wonder if you're crazy, and then you receive confirmation that you most definitely are not? I had one of those today while reading an article by Michael Pearl's daughter Shalom, called Training a Child to Come. The article starts out with this: Everyone calls me the “soft-hearted Pearl”, and knowing this to be truth, I knew that I would have to train my children so well that I would not have to rely on spanking. The Pearls have been trying especially har … [Read more...]

You’re a sinner, you’re a sinner, you’re a SINNER!

  I just read this article about how fundamentalist Christian boarding schools are luring in Chinese exchange students with promises of sound economics and repaying them with religious indoctrination. This quote from one such student struck me:  “Before, what I believed, what Chinese people believe, is that people are innately good,” she said. “I realized that I was sinful. I was lying, not loving. Those are as bad as killing someone. There’s no difference between me and a murdere … [Read more...]

Atheism through the holidays, part 2: What to do about baby Jesus

My parents homeschooled me in part to "shelter" me - to keep me from what they considered "bad influences." They carefully monitored what movies we watched, who we were friends with, what we read and learned, and where we went or what we saw. The goal was to raise us to share their beliefs, unadulterated by potential corruption from ideas and beliefs they considered "wrong."Having been raised this way, I have to avoid falling into the same pattern. Sometimes it's tempting to think that I … [Read more...]

Patriarchy in Question: This Is Encouraging

I've said before that I grew up in a family influenced by the Christian Patriarchy movement, which teaches male headship and female submission, not only between the husband and wife but also between the father and daughter. In Christian Patriarchy, women must always be under male authority, and this includes not just some sort of nebulous "spiritual headship" but actual obedience and "protection." The existence of this movement will take many by surprise, but its influence is widespread in the … [Read more...]