“I don’t like those loud voices”: Children and Demons

"Mommy, I don't like those loud voices."I turned to my daughter, sitting in her car-seat behind me."What loud voices?""Those loud voices."She was pointing behind her, toward the rear windshield. There were no loud voices. I had the radio on quietly, but there is no rear speaker. … [Read more...]

Emotional Incest, Part 1: Definitions

"Emotional incest" is a tricky term because it sounds as though it implies a sexual relationship when it doesn't. Some scholars use the term "covert incest" instead, but that doesn't really help because it retains the word "incest." Other scholars have used the term "enmeshment," "co-dependency," and "emotional abuse" is another related concept as well. For the sake of this short series of posts, I will use the term "emotional incest" because I think that if you can get past the "ick" factor of … [Read more...]

So many kids they’re easy to lose…

A reader recently alerted me to an article about a five-year-old who was left at Chuck E. Cheese after a birthday party - and whose absence was not noticed by her parents until the next morning. A 5-year-old girl was placed into emergency custody with caseworkers from child protective services after being left at a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant following her own birthday party Thursday evening.Investigators said the child's mother didn’t realize her daughter, 5-year-old Azana Jackson, was missing … [Read more...]

Homeschooling, vaccinations, and a giant loophole


I've seen some recent discussion of the existence of a religious exemption from vaccination requirements. It has occurred to me that people may not know about what I call "the homeschooling exemption."In most states, vaccination requirements are made so that a children are not allowed to start kindergarten until they have all of their vaccinations. This does not, then, affect homeschoolers. In other words, if you homeschool, most states have no requirement that you get your children … [Read more...]

On sacrificing your children

I wrote a whole ago about an article by a secular woman dating an evangelical man, and how that man as an evangelical believes he must love and serve God before even his serious girlfriend. In evangelical and fundamentalist circles, this same idea applies even to parents' love for their children. One must always love God more than one's own children, or else those children become an idol.One passage of the Bible was held up to us growing up as an absolute validation of this idea: the story of … [Read more...]

Prince of Egypt modifies a Bible story

I recently re-watched the 1998 animated movie Prince of Egypt. I've always loved that movie, with its beautiful animation and awesome songs (it's a bit of a musical). And that was all just as I remembered it, and just as moving. But there was one thing I noticed this time through that I don't remember noticing before. Specifically, the movie has a significant plot change from the original Biblical story of Moses on which it is based.The basic layout is that the Hebrews are slaves in Egypt, a … [Read more...]

“For your own good”: The insidiousness of spanking

This is part of a series in which I am re-posting a number of posts I've written in the past on issues involving parenting and Michael and Debi Pearl. I think these posts may be of interest to new readers, and if you're a reader who has been around with me since the beginning, they may be worth a re-read. This post was originally published here.   “I’m doing this for your own good.” “Believe it or not, this hurts me more than it hurts you.” “Someday you’ll thank me for this.”It st … [Read more...]