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… Read more

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… Read more

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”… Read more

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… Read more

I just found an interesting article at the Friendly Atheist. It seems some state senators in Indiana have introduced a bill to reinstate school prayer. The bill reads as follows: In order that each student recognize the importance of spiritual development in establishing character and becoming a good citizen, the governing body of a school corporation or the equivalent authority of a charter school may require the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer at the beginning of each school day. The… Read more

I just came upon an article called “Are you raising your children in a religious, authoritarian culture?” and I thought you all might find it interesting. The author, Janet Heimlich, has written a book called Breaking Their Willon religious child abuse. She has also written an article on Michael Pearl. What I found most interesting about this particular article, though, was that Heimlich gives a list of ten beliefs held by “religious, authoritarian cultures.” I thought I’d use this article… Read more

When I got married, I had left behind my parents’ fundamentalism and evangelicalism, but I did not realize how many of their other beliefs, especially related to Quiverfull, I still retained. I believed that women should be allowed to choose their own beliefs and their husbands, but I had not yet fully embraced feminism. I could not fathom the idea of having a career and still planned to have eight or so children. I still saw daycare and public school… Read more

A while back I saw a church sign that said “I Miss Hearing ‘Merry Christmas.'” You know what, Mr. Christian? If you miss hearing “Merry Christmas” how about you say it more often? You can’t control anyone else, and you shouldn’t want to. If it floats someone else’s boat to say “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s Greetings,” what is it to you? We have this thing called “freedom” in this country, and that means people don’t have to celebrate the holidays… Read more

I have to say, the #1 hardest time to gentle parent is when I’m around Pearl-following relatives. It’s actually one of the things I dread about visiting my parents house, because I know they will be watching my daughter for any error and chalking it up to the failure of my gentle parenting methods. The problem is that the things they interpret as failure I interpret as success. They believe that immediate obedience and complete submission should be expected from… Read more

Those of you who read this blog regularly know I have some concerns about homeschooling. It’s not that I’m unaware that it can be done without isolating or indoctrinating kids, it’s not that I don’t know it can produce well-educated and confident kids, it’s just that I’ve seen the problems it can cause and the problematic ideologies it can shelter. Over the holidays, I spent some time at my parents’ home and I looked around the curriculum my siblings are using, curious to… Read more

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