An open letter to Frank Schaeffer

Dear Frank,I am a former Christian homeschooling mother of seven who finally walked away from fundamentalism after our radical extremism drove my oldest daughter to attempt suicide ~ and I would like to help you spread your message and sell your books.In bible college, your father was my absolute hero ~ I read all of his books and was determined to study Christian apologetics until I could defend my faith as skillfully as Francis Schaeffer!However, as the years went by, fundamentalist "family values" put me in my place as a woman ~ and so I shifted my focus and that's when your mother, Edith became my role model as I devoted myself to homemaking and motherhood.I dutifully birthed … [Read more...]

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Patriarchy Across Cultures: I Will Lay Me Down

by TapatiRadha and Krishna My 18th birthday came and went in December. We didn’t celebrate birthdays, although I’d made a cake for Mike’s birthday in September. I was disappointed that he did nothing for mine. I was used to celebrating it every year in some way.I began to talk about having a baby. It seemed like many of the women were having babies in New Dwaraka and the more time I spent with moms, the more I wanted a baby of my own. While there was no expectation that we would have lots of children, having children was the point of being householders. We were supposed to raise good devotee children, children who would be even more devoted than we were because they wanted to take birth … [Read more...]

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Vyckie's Tour de Crap: Please do not refer to homosexuals as "gay"

Warning: If you are a sensitive individual ~ possibly prone to PTSD reactions ~ please be aware that this particular edition of my "Tour de Crap" will likely trip your trigger.  It's a choice piece to be sure ~ and timely too, in light of all the ruckus over the Conservative Bible Project's determination to eliminate liberal/progressive bias from the bible.  That's right, not even the bible itself is conservative enough for True Believers ™.I understand the mentality ~ BTDT, wrote the following column for our "pro-life, pro-family" newspaper back when my head was totally "there" ~ that is, in a place of absolutist, black & white, no-room-for-compromise thinking.Okay ~ and I have to sa … [Read more...]

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Patriarchy Across Cultures: I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)

by TapatiKiss me once again Don't you never, never, never say that we we're through Cause I ain't never, I ain't never I ain't never, no, no, loved a man The way that I, I love you--Ronnie Shannon (sung by Aretha Franklin)Sri Sri Rukmini-Dwarakadhish Once we arrived at my mom’s apartment, our relationship was on fast forward. We spent a few weeks together every waking moment, with my mom at work and the run of the place. We cooked together, with Mike teaching me a lot about Indian cooking. He’d been hanging out around the temple for years and had learned a lot. He was four years older than me and seemed wise beyond his years. Like me he was raised by a single mom and had previously had … [Read more...]

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Biblical sexism tops "Ten worst verses in the Bible"

I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. (1 Timothy 2:12) by VyckieRecently, I came across a "Ship of Fools" video which invited people to submit their nominations for the "Ten worst verses of the Bible"At first, I assumed that Ship of Fools must be an atheist website holding this "Worst Verse" contest as a way to raise awareness of some of the horrific messages contained in the pages of the Christian scriptures.  My assumption was based mainly on the website's name since Psalm 14:1 tells us that "The fool" says in his heart, "There is no God."  Plus ~ who else would sponsor this sort of bible-bashing contest? … [Read more...]

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No choices of my own

by ErikaMy sister and I in the winter of 1991-1992, the year we started homeschooling It wasn't long before my parents got really frustrated with the church in town and wanted something different. My father told the pastor that we would be going down to the church in Bellows Falls (run by John Thompson) but would still come to services here and there at the church in town. The pastor felt frustrated at the time, too, so he gave my parents his blessing to attend this other church.I remember when the people at church found out that we wouldn't be attending regularly there anymore. Many were upset and felt offended. Quite a few voiced accusations that my parents only stayed long enough for … [Read more...]

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Patriarchy Across Cultures: Magic Man

by TapatiChicago, Illinois Cold late night so long ago When I was not so strong you know A pretty man came to me Never seen eyes so blue I could not run away It seemed we’d seen each other in a dream It seemed like he knew me He looked right through me--HeartPreviously I described how I left the Chicago Hare Krishna temple. I was headed for my friend Suprabha’s apartment. I had her phone number and address written down, and knew which El stop to look for. When I got off the El I called Suprabha and she gave me directions to her dad’s home. She’d told me that he traveled a lot and wouldn’t be around.Suprabha greeted me warmly and we talked and cooked together and generally enjoyed hang … [Read more...]

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Patriarchy Across Cultures: Over The Rainbow

by TapatiSrimati Kishori, a vision of Radharani, Krishna’s consort, during Her teen years, at the Chicago temple.Somewhere, over the rainbow, skies are blue. And the dreams that you dare to dream Really do come true. Someday I'll wish upon a star And wake up where the clouds are far Behind me. –E.Y. Harburg, Wizard of OzOnce again I was on my way to St. Louis, grateful to be leaving my mother behind. I no longer considered whether or not I loved her; I just knew I had to get away.When I arrived at the bus station I was greeted by some male devotees in the polite, formal way that was common in ISKCON temples. We were not allowed to make conversation but rather had to keep to the ess … [Read more...]

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A Most Twisted Love

by VyckieMom & Dad are in love ... but is a patriarchal relationship of entitlement-meets-martyrdom a healthy and mutually beneficial expression of love?Following a recent interview with the religion editor of our local newspaper, I've been thinking more about what I've learned from St. Bernard of Clairvaux concerning the four "degrees" of love which the ancient monk postulated in considering man's relationship to God (note that this applies to all other relationships as well) ~ although I've already written briefly on this topic here, I'd like to now give a more thorough explanation:Level 1) I love me for my benefit ~ here's an infantile, self-involved person with a severe … [Read more...]

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Patriarchy Across Cultures: All Things Must Pass

by TapatiKeokuk is in the southeast corner of Iowa“All things must pass, none of life’s strings can last.” --George HarrisonPreviously I described how my mom and Aunt Gin came to take me back home to Keokuk, Iowa. I rode in the backseat, resigned, tearful, but filled with resentment. I had been assured by our temple president, Makanlal, that he would challenge my mother in court for custody. She didn’t know it yet but I hadn’t given up on going back to the temple for good.Back home I tried to pick up from where I left off in terms of doing my own worship, chanting my rounds, and staying focused on service to Krishna. I started writing my friends from the registered membership progra … [Read more...]

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