In Group, Out Group

In many, many ways, growing up as an evangelical was great. I was surrounded by friends who shared my views, and we had good times together. Sermons were generally interesting, the worship music was uplifting, and we were firmly positioned within a dynamic evangelical culture. There was a real sense of community, purpose, and love.What I didn't realize while growing up was that this community had carefully policed boundaries. I was a bit naive, I think, when during my college years I started … [Read more...]

The Duggars, Rick Santorum, and a Religious Realignment

The Duggars have been campaigning for Rick Santorum, endorsing him wholeheartedly. The evangelicals of the Christian Right have embraced Santorum, and he is now their candidate of choice. There's just one thing that's odd about this picture. Santorum is Catholic.Just over fifty years ago, when John F. Kennedy was running for president, he had to convince evangelicals and Protestants in general that he was not going to let his Catholic religious affiliation influence his politics. In fact, he … [Read more...]

Coming out (as an atheist) is a journey not an event

For those raised in religious families surrounded by religious friends and relatives, coming out as an atheist is a big deal. It means risking the potential - and in many cases the likelihood - of losing friends and experiencing damaged relationships with relatives. It may even mean facing emotional manipulation and the pain of rejection. It means a complete change of identity.Personally, I don't see coming out as an atheist as a one time thing. For some it may be, but for me at least, it has … [Read more...]

On anonymous blogging and “coming out” as an atheist

I hope my readers don't think less of me for this, but there is a reason I blog anonymously. The truth is, I'm not out completely to all of my family members. And at the moment, that's okay. For me, coming out as an atheist is a journey rather than an event.Basically, I stopped talking to my parents about my spiritual journey some years ago, and they probably assume I am still frozen where I was: Christian, but not of their specific brand. For the time being, I let them assume that. Why?I … [Read more...]

A humorous post on reading Bible story books to my daughter

Any atheist parent with religious relatives will have to figure out how to deal with the Bible story books their children will inevitably be given for birthdays and Christmas. This is something that's been on my mind lately because a Noah's Ark board book has suddenly become my young daughter's favorite book.Some atheist parents may just return Bible themed story books when their children receive them as gifts, and that's fine, but I didn't want to do that. Now I know I could just read them to … [Read more...]

You can’t pray the gay away, even at BJU

I just found a fascinating website. It's called "Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Alumni of Bob Jones University." It's little explanatory subheading is "Because' we're here too."In case you're not from the U.S. or simply not in the know, Bob Jones University is probably the most fundamentalist of all fundamentalist colleges. The school didn't lift its prohibition on interracial dating until 2000. There are strict dress codes and student codes of conduct, classes are all taught from a … [Read more...]

Carefully scripted lives: My concerns about the Duggars


I can't say how often I've heard ordinary Americans defend Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and their popular TLC television show, 19 Kids and Counting. "I wouldn't choose to have nineteen kids," they say, "but if they can manage it, who am I to question their choice?" "The kids look happy and healthy," they say, "look how polite and well mannered they are." I hear these comments and I just have to sigh.First of all, I want to pout out that I would have concerns about the Duggars even if … [Read more...]