Narnia and Tolkien, Yes. Harry Potter, No.

gandalf

Reader Alexandra McKay recently posed a question. You say that your upbringing contained both Narnia and Tolkien, but that Harry Potter was not just considered Satanic, the books themselves were even believed to harbour demons. Why is it that fundamentalists hate Harry Potter so much, but not Tolkien? Both present magic as morally neutral, usable for good or evil, and only by certain people. Is it because the wizards in Harry Potter are mortal humans, while magic in Tolkien is used only by … [Read more...]

I Was Grace Evans; Or, Using Children as Political Props

Grace Evans

When I first heard about an eleven year old girl speaking against marriage equality before a Minnesota hearing, I immediately wondered if she was someone I knew. Why? Because it was so, so familiar. The truth is, I've been there. I never spoke before a house committee, sure, but when I was that age my father was quick to push me forward to speak to reporters in support of "traditional marriage," or against abortion, or in favor of gun rights, or what have you. And I saw this pattern repeated … [Read more...]

“That Just Means He Likes You”

bully

This image cropped up in my facebook feed today. The issues it discusses are things I've thought about quite a bit, and I think this little story brings together the threads in a fairly powerful way. First the image, and then some discussion. I was reminded of a viral blog post I ran across a year ago, posted on a mommy blog and provocatively called "You Didn't Thank Me for Punching You in the Face." I am sure every girl can recall, at least once as a child,  coming home and telling their … [Read more...]

“Boys Are Wonderful and Wild and Dirty”—And So Is Sally

11 girl in field

I just came upon this sentence in a comment on a blog post on some other blog out in the blogosphere: Boys are wonderful and wild and dirty and tender and love their mamas and want to be like their daddies. Here's the thing: Sally is wonderful and wild and dirty and tender and loves her mama and wants to be like her daddy. A couple months ago I was at a wedding, and an older woman stopped by me to admire my small son Bobby, who had just started furniture creeping. He had a bruise on his … [Read more...]

Your Children Are Not Programmable Robots!

blog-raising-kids-the-world-will-hate

It's not often I come upon an article that just makes me want to tear out my hair. Actually, that's not true. I come upon articles that make me want to tear out my hair all the time. But for some reason, this one felt different. In this article, the author, a Christian pastor, wrote about all the dreams he has for his toddler son, and about how he realized that, because the Bible says that if you are a Christian the world will hate you, he has to raise his son not to be loved or admired, but to … [Read more...]

Imaginary Worlds from Chronicles of Narnia to Doctor Who

11 Tardis

When I was little, I absolutely loved the Chronicles of Narnia. My dad read the series aloud to us kids several times, and once I learned to read I read them through additional times myself. I memorized the stories and acted them out with my siblings. I always played Susan, of course. Sometimes we would go to Narnia through the pools, just like in Magician's Nephew. We made the yellow and green rings out of wire and beads, and used them to take that journey. We held onto them like they were … [Read more...]

Homeschooling under the Influence

convention

After I wrote my posts on academics and socialization, I realized that there is another way homeschooling affected my life---and it's no less significant. In fact, it's a whole lot more significant. Quite simply, homeschooling affected my life because it changed my parents. When I was born, my parents were fairly ordinary evangelical Christians. That didn't last. Their involvement in the homeschool movement introduced them to new ideas they had not before been exposed to---ideas put forward by … [Read more...]


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