“You Are Not Your Own:” Men Are Animals

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This post is part of a series called“You Are Not Your Own,” focusing on rape and sexual assault in Christian relationship/dating books Trigger Warning for rape, sexual assault, victim blaming, sexism Note: this research mainly focused on female rape. Though it is not the focus of my project, male rape is a huge problem as well–1 out of every 10 rape victims is male. I wanted to make it clear that, despite the focus of my study, it is not only women (and definitely not only … [Read more...]

Privilege, oppression, and being “nice”

Imagine you're standing there, minding your own business, and all of a sudden someone steps on your foot. You don't know if they're doing it on accident or on purpose--all you know is, it hurts. So, you tell the person standing on your foot, "Oww! Get off my foot!" The person standing on your foot responds by stomping down even harder, saying, "I didn't mean to stand on your foot. Why do you have to yell at me?" As they dig their heel further into your foot, they say, "I'd stop, but you … [Read more...]

From the archives: On privilege and taking the stairs

This post was originally published on February 13, 2013 Many people think we shouldn't talk about privilege. Usually, those people who say we shouldn't talk about privilege have quite a lot of it. But (speaking even as a relatively privileged person), speaking about privilege is important, and I think the concept of privilege is often misunderstood. So, I want to share an illustration that helped me understand the concept a little better. I've based this illustration off of an example of … [Read more...]

Tony Jones, Peter Rollins, and the trend of “don’t call me racist!”

Image via Manarchist Ryan Gosling Tumblr (click for link)

I've noticed a trend among white, straight, academic cis men in so-called progressive or emergent Christianity where calling someone racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. is a bigger problem than the existence of racism, sexism, and homophobia. Emergent Christianity is a broad term, and progressive an even broader one, so I don't speak about all people from all movements that use these words to define themselves. I want to make that clear before I move on, because I appreciate and benefit from … [Read more...]

The cross and radical activism

She Stopped Eating

The idea that Jesus chose, out of his own free will, to go to the cross is a favorite among abusive church leaders. What better way to get people to submit to you than to compare the God they worship to a lamb led to slaughter? Over and over and over I've heard Jesus' submissiveness unto death used as an excuse to abuse or to silence those who wish to call out abuse. I want to propose a different perspective and I want to start with a woman named Alice Paul. In 1917, women in the United … [Read more...]

Crucifixion and Liberation

Image by Aaron Douglas

[Trigger warnings for abuse, rape, and violence against oppressed groups] I recently wrote a blog post for Rachel Held Evans in which I talked about how many popular images of God are abusive. Someone left this comment: I read something once -and it has troubled me since - that God requiring Jesus to die on the cross 'for our sins' was the equivalent of child abuse. I would love to hear some opinions on this matter. A few commenters jumped in to say that since Jesus IS God, it was a … [Read more...]

On equality, humility, and privilege: A response to Matt Appling

When I first began blogging, one blogger that I both read and respected was Matt Appling of "The Church of No People." He was even on my blogroll for quite awhile. I start with this because I want you to know that I once thought like he did. I was raised to think like he did, and I'm sure he was raised in a similar way. I want you to understand, before I write this response, that I do so with as much understanding and empathy as I can sum up, because I've "been there." But I want to write this … [Read more...]

On being a female body at a Christian college

[I wrote recently about learning to love my body for Lent. Part of that loving so far has involved some deep contemplation about where the fear and hatred come from. And I've realized something. Part of my body hatred, and by extension part of my self hatred, comes from the fact that oppressive people have used my female body  to justifying oppressing me. I hate my body and myself because, deep down, I blame my body (and thus myself) for the ways in which I've been hurt by others. Two … [Read more...]

On privilege and taking the stairs

Many people think we shouldn't talk about privilege. Usually, those people who say we shouldn't talk about privilege have quite a lot of it. But (speaking even as a relatively privileged person), speaking about privilege is important, and I think the concept of privilege is often misunderstood. So, I want to share an illustration that helped me understand the concept a little better. I've based this illustration off of an example of privilege given by one of my Women's Studies professors--Ami … [Read more...]

It won’t be their world anymore: Universalism with boudaries

I really don't know what I believe about the afterlife. Ever since I gave up the idea of an eternal hell, I've found myself able to embrace many different theories with some comfort. As a Christian, though, I find particular comfort in the idea of a future Kingdom of God. I am inspired and energized by the hope against hope that what's next is some kind of Kingdom ruled by a Love and by a just God. However, this idea has a lot of baggage surrounding it--mainly the idea that anyone who isn't … [Read more...]


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