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...]

Children’s Rights?

Do children have rights? If the do, should the state step in to guarantee these rights? Or, in contrast, do children belong entirely to their parents, who can do as they please with them?My dad believes that the state has no right to step in and force families to have their children treated for medical problems such as cancer. To him, that is an infringement on the parents’ rights and an overstepping of governmental authority. He is not alone in this. Many families involved in Christian P … [Read more...]

Mass Produced Children?

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar assure the world that they have enough love in their hearts for all nineteen of their children. Well okay, who am I to doubt a parent’s love for his or her children! But I have to ask, how much time do they have for each child? What the Duggars appear to be doing is mass producing children. Let’s try a thought experiment. In today’s society, most cups are mass produced. Factories can make tens of thousands of them per day with very little labor. These factories … [Read more...]

Children Are Not Trophies

  When there were eight children in my family, I had a friend who was also one of eight. Then my mother had another baby. What do you think my friend did? She was so jealous of me that she didn’t talk to me for three months. Finally, she came to me and confessed her jealousy and apologized for letting it jeopardize our friendship.   I talked recently with a woman with nine children. She told me she wants more, because she loves kids and loves being pregnant. I looked around at t … [Read more...]

Giving the Child the Rod

I don’t know exactly when it happened, but at some point early on my mom handed me the rod. She told me I was to spank my younger siblings if they misbehaved or broke any rules and she was not in the room. The rule was that I could spank any sibling at least five years younger than me. This meant that at ten I could spank my five-year-old sibling, and all those younger than him. Parents, don’t do this to your older kids. Please, please, just don’t. It breaks my heart because now, years and year … [Read more...]

As American As Apple Pie

Sometimes, as sons and daughters of Christian Patriarchy, we tend to see our situations as unique and unprecedented. I realized today as I read a book on the history of childhood that this is simply not so. Rather, our situations are as American as apple pie. The hard decisions we have to make, the heartache we feel? Yeah, that's not new.The section I read that really struck me was on the Puritans, who began arriving in the American colonies in the years following 1620 and settled most of … [Read more...]


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