How Doug Phillips Wreaked Havoc on My Family

Adolescent Girl with Head in Hands

My parents homeschooled me K-12, and during those years they fell under the influence of several Christian leaders who spread toxic dogma and find their following within the Christian homeschool movement. My parents never followed Gothard, but they did follow both Michael Pearl and Doug Phillips. I think it’s worth fleshing out what my parents adherence to Vision Forum did to my life, because, well, let me put it this way: Without Doug Phillips, I would have been spared an incredible amount of pain, grief, and yes, broken family relationships. [Read more...]

“The Female Sin of the Internet”


Doug Phillips doesn’t like blogging women. According to Doug Phillips, blogging is “the female sin of the internet.” Which totally makes sense if you think about it. I’ve read at least a dozen blog posts critical of Doug Phillips’ resignation in the past week, and only two were written by men. If women like Julie Anne weren’t “blog-gossiping” all over the internet, Doug wouldn’t have to worry about them pointing out the inconsistencies or insincerities in his letter of resignation and repentance. Convenient, eh? [Read more...]

Under Her Father’s Authority

father daughter

In many ways, my upbringing and background isn’t that weird. Yes, I had twice as many siblings as most people have cousins, but in general my upbringing was very normal—for the evangelical subculture, that is. But when I tell people about my background, the thing that always trips them up is the part about unmarried adult daughters being under their fathers’ authority, to the point of requiring complete submission and obedience. [Read more...]

The Harlot v. the Godly Woman

How to dress like a ...

I just ran upon an image comparing the “Harlot” to the “Godly Woman.” I was going to get all in depth examining all of the implications and issues involved, but then I found myself short on time and thought instead I’d hand it over to you all to dissect. So, what do you think? What all is going on with this sort of contrast? If you spent time as an evangelical or fundamentalist, how have you seen this contrast between the Harlot and the Godly Woman presented? [Read more...]

When a Gospel of Servanthood and Suffering Stands in the Way of Equality and Justice


When I saw this image I thought of a recent article in Prodigal magazine. It was called “The Lost Art of Servanthood (A Letter to My Feminist Sisters).” It hit on all of these same points, arguing that if Christ calls his followers to be servants, fighting for equality should be out of the picture. And thinking about this, I realized that there are two Christian doctrines that can easily stand in the way of any attempt to reach equality or justice—servanthood, and suffering. [Read more...]

John Piper on Submission and Abused Women


I recently came upon a video from a few years back where John Piper discusses whether God requires married women to submit to abuse at their husbands hands. Piper recently clarified his views, though without really improving them. Honestly, the fact that this sort of question is still considered a weighty and complex matter by a figure as respected as John Piper shows the depth of conservative evangelicalism’s love affair with wifely submission. [Read more...]

Suzanne Venker’s War on Men


I tried to avoid Suzanne Venker, but I’ve found I just have to say something. So, a few quotes and a few words. [Read more...]

“A truly loving husband won’t take advantage”

loving husband

Evangelicals and fundamentalists who endorse patriarchy and wifely submission have a problem: teaching that God requires wives to submit to their husbands opens up the door for all manner of abuse. In order to get around this, supporters of patriarchy often respond by saying that God has commanded husbands to love their wives, and that truly loving husbands won’t take advantage of their wives’ submission. But does this idea hold up? [Read more...]

From “Legal” Coverture to “Visionary” Coverture

law of coverture

Lately I’ve been thinking again about the whole name changing thing – and about why it was seen as completely natural, obvious, and mandatory in the conservative evangelical community in which I was raised. And then I realized something. The woman changing her name to her husband’s is related to the idea of “coverture.” And while “legal” coverture” has been overturned, it has been replaced among evangelicals and fundamentalists with “visionary” coverture. Let me explain. [Read more...]

“Suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man”

Women's ROle

The Friendly Atheist recently posted an the results of a survey on women in the church, and was shocked to find that some churches don’t allow women to teach men. Frankly, I was surprised that the number was so low – only 3%. Because, well, growing up that was just how things were. I remember that [Read More...]

“Little Bundles of Sin”: Evangelical Child Rearing

little bundle of sin

I recently ran across a truly excellent article on the politics of the conservative family (seriously, go read the whole thing). I found the section on children and child rearing especially pertinent to my own experiences and a helpful overview of a lot of the particularities of evangelical and fundamentalist views toward children and child rearing. [Read More...]

If he’s Jesus and I’m the church, that’s not equal

Bride of Christ

“Husbands and wives are equal, they just have different roles.” Do you have any idea how many times I’ve heard that? At one point I believed it, but somewhere along the line I realized it couldn’t be true. Why? Because the husband’s role always ends up being “being in charge” while the wife’s role is [Read More...]