A Little Child Shall Lobby Them

This little girl was one of dozens of children brought to the Ohio statehouse last week to speak on behalf of the "heartbeat bill" that, if passed, will ban abortion past six weeks (to put the time frame into perspective, the day you miss your period you are technically already four weeks pregnant). These children also passed out teddy bears that play the sound of a fetal heartbeat to each Ohio congressman. This could have been me. No wait, strike that, this was me.I began marching the … [Read more...]

Submitting to Parents, Submitting to God

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 than you because we … [Read more...]

“A Religious, Authoritarian Culture”

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 to go … [Read more...]

Child Rearing: From Cog to Individual

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 as evils and planned to homeschool. I still … [Read more...]

Children Spanking Children

Do you ever have those moments where you wonder if you're crazy, and then you receive confirmation that you most definitely are not? I had one of those today while reading an article by Michael Pearl's daughter Shalom, called Training a Child to Come. The article starts out with this: Everyone calls me the “soft-hearted Pearl”, and knowing this to be truth, I knew that I would have to train my children so well that I would not have to rely on spanking. The Pearls have been trying especially har … [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...]

“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...]