Archives for May 2013

Can you love others if you can’t love yourself?

Trigger Warning for discussions of depression and suicideToday on Twitter, someone that I follow tweeted a familiar phrase. You've probably heard it before too."How can you love others if you can't love yourself?"I hear this line frequently. Often it's from smart people, from people that I admire. From people who really, really think that they've got a good idea going here. But here's the thing . . .It's bullshit.Not only is it bullshit, but it's harmful. I'm guessing the … [Read more...]

When rape is a bigger problem than “I don’t approve of rape”

Trigger Warning for Rape and Sexual AssaultThis post is part of a series discussing research that I've done on rape and sexual assault in evangelical Christian dating books called "You Are Not Your Own."  One of the questions I had to answer often, from my professors, fellow classmates, and most recently from someone in the audience when I presented my research at an undergrad academic conference is "Why did you choose to study Christian dating books?" I have an academic reason … [Read more...]

“You’ll LOVE chewing one piece of gum every day for your whole life”

Trigger Warning for Rape, Sexual Assault, and "Slut Shaming"Earlier this week I talked about a quote from Elizabeth Smart that has received a lot of attention lately. In this quote, Smart talks about how some techniques for teaching abstinence that are rooted in shame can make it harder for rape victims to escape or share their stories. One technique she specifically mentioned was a teacher comparing sex to gum that someone has chewed up and spit out.I talked earlier about how these … [Read more...]

Must Reads!

Here are some recent Must Read articles and posts. Enjoy! “Implicit in the insistence that we weren’t one of those homeschoolers is the acknowledgment that those homeschoolers exist.” “Pleasant fundamentalists? I’m sure there are many. Decent fundamentalists pastors? I’ve known a few. It doesn’t make the movement as a whole any less dangerous or destructive. It doesn’t make all fundamentalist churches nice.” “When you’ve grown up in the conservative Christian world and … [Read more...]

Elizabeth Smart, chewed gum, roses, cars, and me.

Trigger Warning for Rape, Sexual Assault, and "Slut Shaming"As you may have seen, this storyabout rescued kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart has been making the rounds on the internet. Smart said she "felt so dirty and so filthy" after she was raped by her captor, and she understands why someone wouldn't run "because of that alone." Smart spoke at a Johns Hopkins human trafficking forum, saying she was raised in a religious household and recalled a school teacher who spoke once about … [Read more...]

New blog series on Patheos!

In case you missed yesterday's announcement, this blog has moved to the Patheos blogging network! I'll be posting updates here for awhile to redirect people over there, but you may want to head over to and sign up for email updates if you want to keep in touch in the long run! I hope to see you over there, because I'm starting a new series called "You Are Not Your Own" in which I'll be sharing the results of some research that I've done on rape and s … [Read more...]

New Series on Rape and Sexual Assault in Christian Dating Books: “You Are Not Your Own”

If you're a regular reader from my old address at, or if you follow me on social media (and if you don't, check out my Facebook page and Twitter account!), you've probably heard me about a research project that I've been working on since January for my undergraduate capstone. I've been reading Christian dating books and analyzing the messages that they send (or fail to send) about rape, sexual assault, and consent. My project is called "You Are Not Your Own: Rape, Sexual … [Read more...]

Packin’ up and movin’ to Patheos!

Hey readers! It's official. I've made the move to Patheos Spirituality. The new URL is out my first post here!When I was a kid growing up in an independent, fundamental Baptist church, spirituality was a dirty word. When many independent fundamental Baptists thinks of “spirituality,” they think of pantheism, paganism, postmodernism, and Harry Potter (Harry Potter is, of course, the worst of these). To the fundamental Baptists I knew, “spiri … [Read more...]

God is not really a king.

I've been thinking a lot about my deepest held images of God: why do I hold them? Where do they come from? What do they say about the Christian faith I was raised in? What do they say about me? How do they hold me back? Or how could they possibly be liberating?I used to be afraid to think about images of God. I used to think that if there were no more images of God, God would disappear for me.Yet, personal religious experiences that I've had recently have changed my mind.I believe … [Read more...]