Raising Children Without the Evangelical Savior Complex

“People need the Lord ~~” I can’t tell you when I first heard this emotionally stirring chorus, but I can tell you that I was very young. Growing up evangelical, it was instilled into my impressionable spirit a sense of urgency to reach the world for Jesus. Soothing, meditative music was good. Cultivating a love [Read More…]

Teen Vogue, Anal Sex, and the Christian Response

I started following Teen Vogue back in the fall, when it first became clear that the editorial content had moved well beyond fashion trends and into the realm of politics. Here was a publication with a critical editorial vision and slant that lifted up marginalized voices — young women, people of color, queer folks (even [Read More…]

I Miss Pride Month

I miss PRIDE Month already. I miss Facebook’s rainbow emoji’s, the vibrant colors and encouraging words woven throughout corporate ads and banners, and the sea of rainbow-clad children parting the streets of Huntsville, Alabama, and other townships and cities that intertwine to form the Bible Belt. Photo: provided by author, Rebecca Wortham. Pictured: Rebecca and [Read More…]

Family Drama, Bad Religion, and Shit Happens

Family life is unruly. And I’m not just talking about the teenager’s bedroom, I’m referring to the reality that shit happens, from the inconveniences of delayed flights on family vacations to life-altering blows of divorce, depression, or death. Image: Unsplash There is within us a human impulse to try to contain the chaos, to explain [Read More…]

Don’t Ask Your Child to Forgive

Growing up fundamentalist, forgiveness was an indispensable part of Christian life. Embedded in the gospel was the narrative of God’s forgiveness of our sins, and our subsequent reflection of God’s grace through our own forgiveness of others. ‘Forgive us, as we also forgive others,’ Jesus taught us to pray. There is depth and spiritual wisdom [Read More…]

VBS Alternatives for UnFundy Parents

Summer is upon us. For parents, this means day camps, pool days, and for church folk – Vacation Bible School. VBS is fun-filled, over-the-top, and often chaotic but gosh, some of my fondest memories as a kid were those I made at VBS. There’s something special about a space carved out in the church during [Read More…]

Parenting Without Spanking

In two recent posts, I took issue with the practice of corporal punishment against children. First, I said it’s high time that the church starts talking openly about physical punishment if we’re going to get serious about ending child abuse. And second, I argued that corporal punishment is inherently violent and violence against children is [Read More…]

Is it Possible to Maintain Healthy Relationships with Fundamentalist Family?

E asks, Hello, Cindy! I was hoping to receive some advice regarding creating and maintaining positive relationships between my children and their fundamentalist grandparents and other family members. I was raised in a fundamentalist family, where I was homeschooled and forbidden to have “secular” relationships with people, including cousins and neighbors. I’m now 34, married [Read More…]

Contemplative Prayer with Kids

It’s hard for a five-year-old to stay quiet for any stretch of time. It’s also challenging to help children stay on topic while sharing their thanksgiving and requests during prayer each evening. So it’s another level of difficulty altogether to guide my youngest son in the silence of contemplative prayer when we pray together. I [Read More…]

9 Unfundamentalist Summer Activities

It’s summer! Many families experience a change of routine as school is out and warmer weather beckons activities beyond regular programming. However, unfundamentalist parenting continues even through the summer season. With a little extra time and a little extra mental capacity released from the school year, this is a great time to make a big [Read More…]