Can detachment from others serve life?

Calls for empathy and compassion toward oppressors and abusers are popular in American Christianity. I think this is true of a variety of branches of Christianity, although more conservative branches may express this empathy differently from more liberal branches. Not really surprising--after all, Jesus told us to love our enemies. Jesus said "Father, forgive them." Jesus was always being moved with compassion. Empathy and compassion can be great things. But after leaving fundamentalism, I … [Read more...]

Proverbs of Ashes and suffering to save our oppressors

I'm currently reading through Proverbs of Ashes by Rita Nakashima Brock and Rebecca Ann Parker. In the chapter I'm reading, Parker shares some thoughts about several different theologies of suffering and what these theologies say to and about survivors of abuse. One of the theologies Parker addresses is the "moral influence" theology of suffering (pg. 41). This theology states that by accepting violence, as Christ did on the cross, we can appeal to the conscious of our oppressors and change … [Read more...]

Proverbs of Ashes: “What If This Is Not True?”

I am tired of the ways Christian theology is used, over and over and over to justify and enable abuse. Tired is the right word to use there.  I was angry. I was outraged. I was determined to find a new way of thinking about Christianity that was freeing, rather than oppressive. But right now, as I deal with some health problems and personal issues, I am just tired. I feel exhausted, hopeless, powerless as I see more and more people use Christian theology to silence those who would speak out … [Read more...]

#PlanetCCM: Five Iron Frenzy, the Soundtrack to My Deconversion (and Reconversion)

Photo by me!

Content Note: Discussion of suicide and depression My husband (fiancé at the time) went to a Five Iron Frenzy show last year, shortly after the band reunited and started touring again. When we walked out of the concert venue, we both started to say something at the same time, then stopped, and laughed. "You first," I said. "No you." "Alright. I was just thinking that Five Iron Frenzy kind of makes me believe in God again. Maybe being a Christian doesn't have to be horrible. What … [Read more...]

“Turn and Face the Strange”

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I got married this past August and moved from Michigan to Ohio. When I did this, I attempted to bring along my cat, Smeagol, who had been living at my parents house his entire life.   He didn't like it. He was confused by his surroundings. He was afraid of our other cat, Pickle. He was sad that he no longer could go outside without a leash. He didn't like the neighbor kids. And so he kind of gave up on life. He stopped eating and drinking. He went and sat in his litter box, … [Read more...]

Stealing Sexy Calendars isn’t Jesus, and it isn’t Radical.

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On December 4th, the editors at Jesus Radicals chose to publish a post that left me baffled for awhile. I had to read it multiple times to make sure it wasn't a joke, and double check the website to make sure I hadn't accidentally ended up on a satire site. But nope. This post was real life. It shared an anonymous woman's story of walking past a calendar kiosk, seeing those sexy calendars that feature a different woman in a bikini each month, and getting angry at the objectification of … [Read more...]

#PlanetCCM: Relient K And Using CCM To Sell Sexism

This the cover of the book "The Complex Infrastructure Known as the Female Mind," designed by Margaret Pesek, with photo by Dave Johnson. Found at Christianbook.com

Content Note: Victim Blaming, Body Shaming Dianna E. Anderson is hosting a synchroblog this week about contemporary Christian music (CCM) and how it affected the lives of those who grew up with it. I've already written one post on the subject explaining that, because of my ultra conservative upbringing, I wasn't the world's largest CCM fan. Relient K was one of only two Christian bands that I ever ended up liking (Five Iron Frenzy being the other). I have a special place in my heart for … [Read more...]

#PlanetCCM: When Planet IFB has no CCM

Dianna Anderson, my friend and fellow blogger, is hosting a synchroblog on contemporary Christian music (CCM) until the end of December. In her post announcing the synchroblog, she states "So here is our challenge: write a blog post about how CCM affected your life." At first, I planned to participate in this synchroblog by doing what I'm best at: analyzing Christian dating books. I was going to analyze the book The Complex Infrastructure Known as the Female Mind, which is based on Relient … [Read more...]

Love And R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Image Found on Wikipedia (click for link). From Billboard, page 9, 15 July 1967

As regular readers know, I've recently read the Christian marriage book, Love and Respect (which was supposed to be included in my "You Are Not Your Own" series, but had to be cut due to time constraints), and have been discussing it here in blog posts and on Twitter. The big theme of the book--the one from which the title is derived--is author Dr. Emerson Eggerichs' theory that a man's primary need is respect, and a woman's primary need is love. Eggerichs' believes women need to learn how … [Read more...]

The Magical Marriage Switch

This is a picture from Abe and my wedding. I took it.

[Content Note: Marital Sexual Coercion] Purity culture Christians like to think of marriage as  something almost magical. It's like flipping a magical switch where all the rules, standards, and beliefs about reality change. It's as if saying "I do" plummets you into an entirely new universe. Looking at how things change after the flipping of the magical marriage switch reveals some gaping holes in purity culture thinking. One of the most integral moments in my decision to say "screw … [Read more...]


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