Some humans are more equal than others: John Piper on spousal abuse and submission

I'm doing a series on complementarianism's manipulative claims at promoting equality. You can read the intro here. The first entry, on Joshua Harris, can be found here.When I first left the tiny bubble of the Independent Fundamental Baptist Church and stepped into the larger (but still restrictive) bubble of conservative evangelicalism, I learned that I was supposed to love John Piper.However, even though I was still a (fairly rebellious) conservative at the time, John Piper's view of women … [Read more...]

Some Humans Are More Equal Than Others: Joshua Harris on Male Authority and Female Submission

I'm doing a short series on some examples of the way that complementarians claim to promote equality for women....but don't. You can read the introduction here. The first complementarian leader I'd like to discuss in this series is Joshua Harris. Like many ex-fundamentalists and evangelicals, I read one of his books in college (Boy Meets Girl) and still have some issues because of it.And now, for research purposes, I am reading another Joshua Harris book (I Kissed Dating Goodbye) and t … [Read more...]

Some humans are more equal than others: Introduction

Complementarian evangelical leaders like to pretend that their view of women is something other than exactly what it sounds like. They like to pretend that feminists (with our silly, womanly emotions) are just overreacting, misunderstanding, or twisting their words."Real" complementarians practice godly, Christ-like leadership. They don't dominate or abuse their wives. Feminists just don't understand what's really good for them--they don't understand that complementarianism isn't about a … [Read more...]

When I don’t want to be a Christian anymore, I just believe in love

I believe in love.I feel that I must take a moment to define my term as best as I can here. I'm not talking about romance or affection or coziness or anything else that we all sometimes call love.I mean the force that moves us to see others as fully human. The force that moves us to care, and to hope for (and more importantly work for) a world where everyone is seen as (and treated as) fully human.Love, the absence of abuse, oppression, discrimination, exploitation.Love, the absence of … [Read more...]

Why?

Trigger Warning for discussion of Sandy Hook Elementary shootingsWhy?I guess that's what everyone's wondering in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings this week. Why did this happen? Could we have prevented it? How can we stop it from happening again?As an activist, I turn my eyes to social structures, to laws, to ideologies of domination. I think of words from Martin Luther King Jr., from so many years ago, that apply still today: "we must be concerned not merely about … [Read more...]

On apologetics

Often I try to process my faith publicly, either through my blog or through facebook or twitter. Sometimes in personal conversations, although my introverted self has a rough time with that. Usually this is a good experience. I receive support and affirmation, "me too"s and "I believe something else but your way is cool too"s, or "have you considered ____"s. I have friends who know more theology than I do, who chip in. I have friends who are atheists who challenge me. There are times when I … [Read more...]

A new hope

Today, I checked my phone compulsively for tweets from Connor Park and Dianna Anderson, who were updating the Twitter world on the status of the Church of England's synod on whether or not to ordain women bishops. Today, I thought that there was no way women could lose this battle. No way.But I was wrong.Today, I sat in the student union, and a couple of men (who I can only describe as "dudebros") sat down near me. As I received the disappointing news via Twitter that the Church of England h … [Read more...]

We have it “so good.”

What if I told you a story about a Muslim girl from the Middle East? She is dating a man. They're probably going to get married. She doesn't really want this to happen but she's afraid to leave him. Besides, she's given him her virginity (well, he took it, anyway) so she's now damaged goods. "No other man could ever want you," he tells her. Every day. And she believes him because her religious leaders have always taught her the same thing. He dictates what she wears. He tells her she must … [Read more...]

Feminism and abstinence

bell hooks states in her book Feminist Theory, From Margin to Center: One aspect of sexual norms that many people find oppressive is the assumption that one "should" be engaged in sexual activity. This "should" is one expression of sexual coercion...When...emphasis is placed on ending sexual oppression...it is possible to envision a society in which it is as much of an expression of sexual freedom to choose not to participate in sexual activity as it is to choose to participate. Having grown up … [Read more...]

John Shore on IFB survivors and my journey toward healing

This piece at John Shore's blog just awakened all kinds of emotions for me: In surviving the worst survivors of IFB have become the best. The writings that I’ve read from former IFBs are some of the strongest testimonies to the strength and decency of the human spirit that I’ve ever come across. I appreciate being asked to offer you guys a word of support, but you should be offering support to me and anyone else lucky enough to hear what you have to say. You’re the power. You’re the strength. It’ … [Read more...]


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