Jessa Duggar’s Happily Ever After

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So Jessa Duggar is officially courting and seeing the headlines on news sites and the links people were sharing made me feel nauseous. Reading the articles where they are portrayed as a young couple making a quaint and cute (albeit different) choice when it comes to romance. And then reading the comments where clueless person after clueless person gushes admiration for the “values” and praises them for being “role models.” My heart rate goes up. I close my laptop. I try not to think about it, but still end up feeling vaguely sad. Because I know the rest of the story, I lived it.I know the stuff that the news articles and the commenters don’t know. How a girl in this movement is told thro … [Read more...]

Malpractice on the Air

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It was almost midnight and I was driving home after my usual shift. Yawning, I pushed the radio button hoping to catch a peppy song to keep me awake, but the station that usually plays pop music had one of those call-in counseling shows on. “Hello Brooke, so you are 19 and pregnant?”“Yes, unexpectedly so.”“Wow, you’re going to be a mom.”“Yeah, I’m excited, but nervous, because I don’t have a lot of support ya know?”  I fumbled with the dial, trying to change the channel before I got sucked in, but it was too late.  “Don’t you have family?” The host asked.“Well, they don’t really want to be a part of my life.”“Oh, that’s sad, why not?”“Well, they th … [Read more...]

On Being Evangelized

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I can usually spot them when they come in. The "superchristians". The excessively patronizing men make the order while the women stand quietly in their long skirts behind them. The group of middle aged women who come in for their bible study, order each of their drinks individually, and never ever tip.Or the conservatively fashionable woman who takes forever to make up her mind what she wants, and then when she decides on an herbal tea for it’s health benefits, she plucks up her courage and shakily makes her evangelistic comment about how amazing it is that god has made tea.One time I spotted a middle aged couple sitting rigidly next to each other across from their long-haired  adult … [Read more...]

Shame and Hospitality

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Haley had scheduled the get-together a week in advance. I knew all about it. And then we both forgot.Haley called me at 4 in the afternoon, “Do you remember that we have people coming over at 6?” My whole day came crashing down.We hadn’t cleaned the house that weekend, because no one was feeling that well. There was a mountain of laundry in the kitchen in front of the wash machine, and the sink was full of dishes. Toys were scattered throughout the house along with used tissues from all the snotty noses. I had nothing on hand to serve a guest. I wanted to cry.I snapped at the kids, I turned up the radio and buckled down to cleaning as fast as I could. I cleaned up the bathroom, mo … [Read more...]

“Natural”

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 There is a Christian arguement against being gay that claims it is "unnatural". You know, Men and Women belong together. Heterosexuality is the normal natural way to be. Tab A fits perfectly into Slot B and all that. The argument is that most people are straight, gay people are just a small percentage of people who have fallen into unnatural desires.Conservative Catholics in particular love this “natural law” argument, because they feel that it is non-religious in nature, and therefore in their mind applies to everyone. And yet, growing up as a conservative Christian, I was told to be different, part of a peculiar people, to stand out from the crowd and avoid the majority cultur … [Read more...]

Spanking and Unconditional Love

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I wrote in several of my childhood journals that I would never spank my kids. The shame and frustration I had experienced was enough to convince me it was ineffective and harmful. But somehow by the time I was an adult I had changed my position again. Part of my reason was the major denial of any issues in my childhood. I felt like acknowledging painful things from my past would be a betrayal of my parents, and I loved them and wanted to be loyal to them. So I continued to pretend that nothing had ever been wrong, and tried to prove that to myself.  I was also a very conservative Christian, and every parenting book I read was written from that punitive perspective. One of them was “To Train u … [Read more...]


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