A Reader Asks: How Can I Free My Daughter from Fundamentalist Fears?

fear

I recently received a question from a reader, and I thought I would put it to all of you to help answer it: What resources are there for me to share with my thirteen year old daughter about coming out of the darkness of the culture you write about? I grew up in an independent fundamentalist baptist church.  My parents were completely into it.  I didn't want to be, but got sucked into it.  The whole "you're going to hell" stuff, and "God will punish you" is so powerful psychologically.  Long stor … [Read more...]

Evil and Demons and Sin, Oh My!

columbine

By now you have surely heard of Liza Long's article, I Am Adam Lanza's Mother. In it Long talks about the difficulties of dealing with her mentally ill teenager, of searching for answers, and of the need for better systems of mental healthcare.I will admit to being a bit ambivalent about Long's article. Like her, I feel very strongly that we need find better ways of approaching and handling mental health issues in this country. However, Adam Lanza's mother is dead and unable to tell her … [Read more...]

Tragedies Should Be Calls to Action

tragedy

I'm hearing it again. Eighteen elementary children met pointless deaths today, and yet my facebook feed has lit up with cries that gun control doesn't solve anything and assertions that the problem is spiritual darkness, not things like guns or mental illness. Eighteen families have lost their children, and yet the cries of denial are loud already.I am a mother. I have children, one of whom is fast approaching elementary school age. I cannot imagine the grief those families in Connecticut … [Read more...]

Aurora and the fundamentalist response to tragedy

tragedy

When I heard about what happened in Aurora, Colorado, last night, I couldn't help but think about how I would have responded to a tragedy like this in the past.First, I would have seen it as evidence of sin and evil in the world. I would have imagined the presence of pure evil that must have pervaded that movie theater as demons and perhaps even the devil himself goaded the perpetrator on. The presence of evil so dare you could feel it.Second, like many fundamentalist leaders have done … [Read more...]

Answers in Genesis: Are we more moral than God?

This week a read an article in Answers in Genesis' Answers Magazine asserting that if you think God's cruel for sending people to eternal torture in hell, well, you just don't truly understand God's goodness (yes, yes that is indeed their argument), and a post by the Slacktivist in which muses that it must be awful to believe that God isn't as loving as you want him to be. Reading these two in tandem brought to mind the "wager" I created while exiting religion. So hang on to your seats as we set … [Read more...]

You’ve been brainwashed; or, following after fleshly lusts

Sometimes, from time to time, a fundamentalist or evangelical child grows up to question and reject her parents' beliefs and values. The funny thing is, this shift in belief is rarely seen as a legitimate rethinking and change of belief. Oh, no! Far from it! After all, how could a child raised on the Truth (tm) go on to reject the Truth (tm)? How could a child raised to know Jesus and the amazing life he brings go on to reject him and his gift? It's incomprehensible! And so, an explanation must … [Read more...]

Worthwhile Reads: The Unforgivable Sin

The Unforgivable Sin, by Sierra of The Pheonix and Olive BranchSierra's post reminded me of my own post on the subject:Salvation Anxiety and the Unforgivable SinIf you grew up in a religious family, what were you taught about the unforgivable sin? I ask because what Sierra was taught about it is very different from what I was taught about it, and that makes me wonder just how many different interpretations pastors are out there teaching! … [Read more...]


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