Liberating Liturgies: Virgin Mary and the Purity Myth

Virgin Mary and Jesus (old Persian miniature). Artist Unknown.

I have some more thoughts on Liberating Liturgies for you today. I'm going to keep on talking about my (not the, but my) feminist Apostles' Creed, and why I rewrote this creed the way I did. I've already talked about some imagery for God that I find extremely empowering: God Our Mother Bear and Sophia. Now I'm going to talk about something a little different: Mary, the mother of Jesus.I believe in God, our Mother Bear,   source of all being. I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s wisdom made flesh, … [Read more...]

Purity Culture Doesn’t Want Men To Stop Getting Sex: It Wants Women To Stop Getting Power

Yesterday, I stumbled across an interesting blog post by David Murrow of "Church For Men." Interesting in that it is revealing of the way Christian purity culture operates.Purity Culture claims to be an anti-sex movement, but it's really not. As I've pointed out before, in purity culture is often all about sex...in marriage. Just take a gander at Mark Driscoll's infamous "Can We ____?" chapter of his book Real Marriage wherein he extols the virtues of marital sex--even oral sex, anal sex, and … [Read more...]

Lauren Winner’s Real Sex, and the Church’s Responsibility to Single Parents

Image of the book cover of Real Sex, by Lauren Winner. The cover is black, with a white blooming flower.

If you’ve been following this blog for any amount of time, you’ll know I have this thing about Christian dating/marriage books. By that I mean, I did my undergraduate research capstone on rape culture in Christian dating/marriage books. I’ve published a whole series about my research that you can read on this blog called “You Are Not Your Own: Rape, Sexual Assault, and Consent in Evangelical Christian Dating Books.”When I started doing this blog series, I also started getting recommendations … [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...]

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...]

#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 ShamingDianna 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 them s … [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...]

Once Upon a Cheap Hotel Room

Content Note: Brief Mentions of Rape/Sexual Abuse[Disclaimer: This is a story of my personal experience, not a universal prescription for how people should react to sex. Obviously others have different experiences and what not. Those other experiences are valid, but so is mine] I didn't wait until marriage to have sex.If I'd heard someone admit that when I was younger, I might have gasped. I might have thought, "You didn't wait until marriage? What's wrong with you? How did you ever … [Read more...]

“You Are Not Your Own:” Is Rape Just Another “Sexual Sin?”

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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 booksContent Note: rape, sexual assault, victim blamingThis is the LAST post on the findings of my series on rape and sexual assault in Christian dating books (Dateable, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Real Marriage, andWhen God Writes Your Love Story). I may have a wrap-up post or two after this, but we're coming near to the end!If you are behind and need to c … [Read more...]

“You Are Not Your Own:” Unmarried Women Belong to Their Parents

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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 booksTrigger Warning for rape, sexual assaultNote: 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 cisgender women) who face sexual violenc … [Read more...]


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