Vision Forum, Christmas, and a Marketing Scheme

I am subscribed to "vision forum" on google, which means I get an email each day with every new internet article or blog post containing the words "vision forum." Lately, essentially every new article or post has been something on all of Vision Forum's Christmas sales. Fundamentalist and evangelical blogs across the segment of homeschooling influenced by patriarchy are lighting up in excitement and in preparation for giving their children a very Vision Forum Christmas.There's just one … [Read more...]

Is atheism a phase?

I've been wondering lately if atheism is a phase. No, I don't mean wondering if atheism is a phase people go through on their way back into religion, but rather wondering if atheism can serve as a phase to something else. Let me explain.If there was no such thing as religion, no one would call themselves an "atheist." They would just, well, be. I have a colleague who doesn't believe in a deity, but who would never even think of going to an atheist conference or a secular alliance meeting. H … [Read more...]

Religion: Something you believe or something you practice?

Is religion something you believe, or something you do? Is religion about what you think happens after death, or about how you cook your food? Scholars of religion have long tied themselves into knots trying to define "religion," but most make a distinction between "traditional" religions and "modern" religions. Namely, traditional religions privilege ritual and action while modern religions privilege belief.In traditional religions, how you cook your food, how you sleep, and how you dress … [Read more...]

Transgender Individuals, Bible Believing Christians, and Discrimination

Growing up, I believed that I belonged to the most discriminated against group in the United States, not because I wore skirts or because I was homeschooled, but simply because I was a Bible believing Christian. I believed that our rights were being eroded year by year, that government crackdowns on religion were just around the corner, and that someday people like me would be thrown in prison for their beliefs. Part of the antagonists in this story were the gays, lesbians, and transgender … [Read more...]

Religious Homophobia, Gay Youth, and Unconditional Love

Today I watched "The Bible Told Me So," a documentary about religion and homophobia. Two things struck me especially. The first was the section where Chrissy Gephart came out to her father, Dick Gephart, and the second was the absolute damage done to young gay and lesbians by religious homophobia and organizations like Focus on the Family.Here is the transcript of the section on Chrissy Gephart's coming out to her father, a prominent conservative politician. If you want to watch it in the … [Read more...]

Catholicism and My Desire for Beauty

I wrote several days ago about how I was attracted to Catholicism because it offered me infallibility immediately after my belief in the infallibility of the Bible had been shaken. A second reason I was attracted to Catholicism was the beauty and ritual it offered.The first Catholic mass I ever went to was Easter vigil. I went with some Catholic college friends because I was curious. Easter vigil begins at 9:00 p.m. the night before Easter and ends at midnight. It starts outside with a huge … [Read more...]

Catholicism and My Search for Infallibility

Some readers have asked that I write more about my experiences with Catholicism, what drew me to it and why I left. So I thought I'd write about the first thing that made me question Catholicism.The Catholic Church claims infallibility. This made sense to me when I was leaving a sort of fundamentalist evangelicalism, as I had just realized that the Bible was not, as I had been taught growing up, infallible, at least in any literal or straightforward sense. The Catholic Church says that the … [Read more...]