A Benediction for My Fellow Queer Christians

For personal safety reasons, I'm going to ask anyone who chooses to share this post to please not tag me on any social media sites. Thank you.   ______________It's not a sin to be gay, lesbian, or bisexual. And I don't mean it like some folk mean it--"It's not a sin to be gay! Just to act on your gayness." To quote my grandmother-in-law, "That's horse piss!" Acting gay, lesbian, or bisexual--finding members of your own sex attractive; crushing on, dating, marrying, flirting with, and/or sl … [Read more...]

Modest Is Hottest: A Guest Post for No Shame Movement

Today, I'm over at No Shame Movement sharing my story about growing up in Christian purity culture. Check it out! Also, be sure to read the other stories at NSM, and follow No Shame Movement on Twitter! “What would happen if I bought this shirt three sizes too small?” I joked to my sister, as we waited for my mom to finish up her shopping at the Christian bookstore. The shirt in question was a woman’s tee shirt with the words “Modest Is Hottest” across the front.The sizes seemed to line up w … [Read more...]

Loving My Mind for Lent.

Last year, during Lent, I wrote what would turn out to be one of my most popular blog posts of all time. In this post, "Loving My Body for Lent," I decided that for Lent, I would give up the harmful teachings I'd inherited from purity culture, and I would take on a new attitude toward my own body. I’m setting it free from the hatred that I have directed toward it for years and years. I’m setting it free from any responsibility that the church tries to put on it for the sins of men. I’m setting i … [Read more...]

The Answer To Sexual Shame is Not MORE Sexual Shame, Carson T. Clark

[Content Note: Sexual and Spiritual Abuse]When I was 16, I dated an abuser who was constantly coercing me into having sex with him. I had been raised in fundamentalist purity culture, so I thought of sex as something gross and scary. My boyfriend at the time tried to combat those feelings by sending me on guilt trips and by holding me to his manipulative, subjective standards of "responsibility."He'd say things like, "You hugging me turned me on. You're a horrible person if you turn a … [Read more...]

Why I’d Choose Conservative Christianity Over Amanda Marcotte’s Feminism

Photograph of Amanda Marcotte

[Content Note: Rape, Victim Blaming, Unjust Arrest]This Monday, popular feminist writer Amanda Marcotte wrote a decent piece for Salon, describing victim blaming in conservative Christianity. In it, she pointed out that in many conservative Christian circles... "...[m]en’s choices, especially men’s sexual choices, are the responsibility of women. So if a man chooses to rape you, it’s understood not as him asserting dominance over you, but as the man taking the liberties you must have extende … [Read more...]

Was Jesus Progressive For His Time?

Liberal/progressive/leftist Christians like to paint Jesus as an exceptional figure who fought for human rights centuries before anyone else did. You've probably heard, or said something like the following (I know I have):Jesus was the first feminist, the first Marxist, the ultimate humanist/democrat/anarchist.  Jesus was [fill in the blank depending on your preferred political associations].I'm sure most people who use these statements use them as attention grabbers and conversation … [Read more...]

On Bob Jones University, and Letting Survivors Speak

Content Note: Rape, Sexual AssaultGrowing up expecting to go to Bob Jones University today was just another part of life as a member of an IFB (independent fundamental Baptist) church. Unless of course you were one of those heathens who went to Hyles-Anderson. Really, though, if you grew up in the IFB church and school that I grew up in, your options for acceptable colleges were limited. My choices were to go to Maranatha Baptist Bible College, Pensecola Christian College, Northland, or good … [Read more...]

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 t … [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...]


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