The Marriage Benefits of Leaving Fundamentalism

by LatebloomerIf I had stayed within the constraints of fundamentalism and Christian Patriarchy, my husband and I would absolutely not be happily married today. Our relationship from the very beginning consisted of many departures from the teachings I grew up with. Each of those departures furthered the development, health, and mutual happiness of our relationship.The first departure: As a single woman, I moved out of my parents' home to get a college education. What is a completely ordinary step for many North American women was a desperate and terrifying leap for me. My family's homeschooling church, led by Reb Bradley, promoted a very restrictive view of gender roles along with a … [Read more...]

Daughter of the Patriarchy: Ripping the Moorings Part 2

by SierraMy mother is stubborn.My father jokes that it’s the Polish in her (and me) that makes us clutch ideas so hard they fuse with our fingers and become permanent fists of stony resolve. This tenacity kept my mother with my father, kept her in church despite the disapproval of other women, kept her homeschooling me against everyone’s wishes and kept her focused with faith on the promise of the future. My mother is the kind of woman who will make this world a better place or die trying, and then come back and haunt the place until the job is done. She is physiologically incapable of giving up.The problem is, she’s not invincible.As I was settling into college life and tryin … [Read more...]

Gloating and Slander: Michael Pearl, Nancy Ann Wilson and Christian Fundamentalist Responses to Criticism

by Sierra(Editor's note: Many of our NLQ writers have sounded off on this situation. To see more visit Libby Anne, and Incongruous Circumspection. There are others who've also written of what happened that are worth checking out - Rachel Held Evans, The Friendly Atheist, Sarah Over The Moon,  Dianna Anderson, and Are Women Human.)Femina has been lighting up like a Christmas tree since The Gospel Coalition blog post that threw Doug Wilson into the spotlight for arguing that egalitarian sexual relationships were unnatural and that if “authority and submission” aren’t honored in sex, men turn to rape to fulfill their animal urges.Now Wilson’s wife, Nancy Ann, has joined the fray: 10 … [Read more...]

Baptist Taliban: Part 5

by Cindy FosterTHE SHUNNINGThis ‘discipline‘ as it turned out was not discipline at all, but punishment which had the appearance of one acting to satisfy his wrath against those who resisted or opposed him. He actually commanded the whole church to SHUN these young people for varying periods of time from 2 weeks to 6 weeks according to the severity of their ‘crimes’. There was only one given 6 weeks, and that was for making the statement about his not disciplining them unless he disciplined the others. This he said was the worst offense of all because that person was, “Making an accusation against a pastor without witnesses”. This person was also suspended from coming to church a … [Read more...]

The Duggar Family Doesn’t Go to the Beach, and Why That’s Bad for Their Kids

by SierraThis just in from the Department of Unintended Irony: Michelle Duggar makes a public statement about modesty, just to be sure you know how modest they are – too modest for the beach – in case you were straining your neck looking for their modest stairstep children in the crowd while you immodestly sunned your heathen midriff. After all, they’re so modest, they wouldn’t want you thinking and worrying about them too much!Michelle Duggar poses with her family in the hospital after delivering a baby.Michelle Duggar: We Don’t Wear Shorts – Or Go to the Beach!Okay, guys, I’m turning off my snark filter. Really. It’s starting to overheat.Before I go any further … [Read more...]

Post-Fundamentalist Motherhood

by LatebloomerWhen I look at my little toddler, I am so glad that I am no longer a fundamentalist Christian.First, I don't believe in total depravity anymore, so I don't feel compelled to interpret his actions with negative terminology. The doctrine of total depravity is a common belief among fundamentalists.  It teaches that every person is born with a sin nature, separated from God, and capable of the worst kinds of evil.  It also says that proper parenting can mitigate the effects of the sin nature, but only a relationship with Jesus can make a person capable of true goodness.If I believed that my child had a sin nature that predisposed him to evil, that would c … [Read more...]

Baptist Taliban: Part 4

by Cindy FosterPARTY TIMEIt was the end of the 1900’s. There was much uncertainty in the air everywhere, about what the next millennium would bring. Would our computer-dependent world come to a screeching halt? Would there be a shortage of food, water and electricity? Should we be stockpiling goods in preparation?If the ‘air’ everywhere else was unsettling, it was much more so in the church. If tension was butter, you could cut it with a knife. The young people were troubled, parents were hyper-alert, Paul and I felt like we were walking a perpetual tight-rope and The Preacher was venting rage through every sermon at our expense. With that kind of a pressure-cooker clima … [Read more...]

Baptist Taliban: Part 3

by Cindy FosterTHE CHURCH WE WEREThe Preacher and his wife graduated from Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri. At the time he attended there, the college was quite conservative. There were strict rules about dress, dating, curfews, entertainment, music and much more.The Preacher actually grew up in Springfield and was a member of a church that was not nearly as rigid in its standards as the college was, so in the beginning of his ministry as pastor, he did not have the extreme beliefs that he eventually embraced later in his ministry.It was several years after the church had started and was established with its own building that the more relaxed climate began … [Read more...]

Westboro Baptist Church comment on No Longer Quivering: Judge who sentenced child abuser “clearly wasn’t spanked enough as a child”

by Vyckie GarrisonI just came across this graphic on Facebook. We recently had someone from Westboro Baptist Church post a hate-filled, bible-thumping comment on No Longer Quivering - guess we must be doing something right to have attracted WBC's attention. (◕‿◕✿) Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi sentenced Pastor Philip Caminiti to 2 years in prison for preaching the standard of God Almighty as spelled out in the scriptures. This unjust judge swung her judicial gavel at God and the clear teachings of the Bible on how to love one’s children: “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.” (Proverbs 13:24). Judge Sumi called it conspiracy to commit ch … [Read more...]

Snipped! Part 6: The Fun Little Church

by Incongruous CircumspectionBill Gothard’s weekly marriage class was run by Pastor John Hartzell and his young protégé, Chuck Raichert in a little Independent Fundamental Baptist Church in Bloomington, Minnesota. Normandale Baptist was the name. The seminar was called Rebuilder’s and was all about loving Jesus Christ so much that your husband or wife simply rushed back into your arms and lived happily ever after. The only problem, it never worked that way. It merely created religious zombies with strict principles.Mama was one of these zombies. She would have hours of “conversation” with my dad over the phone. She never let him speak. You knew when he tried by the rise in the … [Read more...]