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...]

“How Many Kids Do You Want?”

When I was a child, when strangers found out how many siblings I had they invariably seemed to want to know how many kids I wanted to have when I grew up. And so they would ask me. They were shocked with the response: "As many as I can have!" or "More than my mom!" or "At least eight but not more than twenty!" For some reason I think these interested adults expected me to say "none!" or "just one!" It was like they thought I would feel so overwhelmed by so many siblings that I wouldn't want a … [Read more...]

Children are NOT Cheap

My parents always laughed when people suggested that children were expensive. They said this wasn't true. They said children were only expensive if you thought kids had to have personal computers, brand new cars for their 16th birthdays, and college tuition paid by their parents. In contrast, if your kids wore hand-me-downs and you bought food in bulk and didn't eat out or spoil your children with the newest gizmos, kids hardly cost anything at all! I cannot tell you how many years … [Read more...]

Addicted to Pregnancy and Babies?

I just ran across this quote by Kelly Bates on learning that she is expecting her nineteenth child: While some parents struggle with just a couple of kids, Kelly, 44, has spent almost half her life pregnant — and she’s happiest when she’s carrying a child. “It feels more normal to me to be pregnant than not be pregnant,” she told ABC’s Nightline. “I’m happy holding a baby.” This reminds me of a Michelle Duggar quote I ran across a few months ago. I can't find it now for some reason, but Miche … [Read more...]

“We don’t ‘do’ teenagers”

As I approached puberty, my parents told me that "we're not going to do that whole teenager thing." They said that this whole idea of teenage angst and rebellion is a modern social construct, and that the word "teenager" was less than a hundred years old. Children, they asserted, were supposed to move straight from childhood to adulthood, no questions asked, no angst or rebellion permitted, no being teenagers allowed.This is actually fairly common in the world of Christian Patriarchy. … [Read more...]

An Ideological Straight-Jacket

I just realized that in my last post I made the my home and those of other daughters who leave sound like a sort of prison complete with wardens. I will explore that idea here, and argue that the children of Christian Patriarchy essentially grow up in ideological straight-jackets.The parents of Christian Patriarchy have one goal in mind: to raise children who believe and act as they do. The reason, of course, is that they see their beliefs and lifestyle as the only one that is truly … [Read more...]

Like a Little Child

My little girl says “hi” to everyone we pass on the street. And it’s not just a motion, either. She turns, smiles, waves her hand, and practically shouts “hi,” with happiness in her voice. She’s happy to see new people, happy to make new friends, happy to be alive. And what’s more, she doesn’t judge. She says “hi” to the homeless man with the same enthusiasm she exudes when she says “hi” to the man in the business suit. Fat, thin, black, white, Hispanic, beautiful, homely, Christian, Musl … [Read more...]


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