July 11, 2011

I admit it. Some of what happened I did to myself. I took what my parents taught me and ran with it, embracing Christian Patriarchy and all that it included almost more than they did. My like-minded friends and I pushed each other to be more extreme. I embraced it, all of it, with all of my being. It came to define me, who I was, and what I wanted for my life. It shaped how I saw the world,… Read more

July 10, 2011

I don’t know exactly when it happened, but at some point early on my mom handed me the rod. She told me I was to spank my younger siblings if they misbehaved or broke any rules and she was not in the room. The rule was that I could spank any sibling at least five years younger than me. This meant that at ten I could spank my five-year-old sibling, and all those younger than him. Parents, don’t do this… Read more

July 9, 2011

I recommended some books by Bart Ehrman to a couple of you before you knew I was an atheist, so I think I owe a word of explanation. What I like about Ehrman’s works is that he explains the textual critical approach to the Bible. Ehrman did not invent this approach. Rather, it has been around since the mid 1800s and has been endorsed by the Catholic Church and mainline Protestant Churches for a hundred years. In fact, fundamentalism originally… Read more

July 8, 2011

For those who don’t know, Michael Pearl is the (self-taught) founder of No Greater Joy ministries, which specializes in marriage, family, and parenting support and advise. He is extremely popular in Christian Patriarchy circles. Michael Pearl can read minds. Skeptical? Read on! In the latest edition of No Greater Joy magazine (July-August 2011), Michael and Debi Pearl respond to a letter they received in an article titled “Go Love Yourself?” This advise column format is very typical for the Pearls,… Read more

July 7, 2011

Everyone who leaves the Quiverfull movement, Christian Patriarchy, or fundamentalism in general has a long journey in front of them. They have to sort through everything they have always believed and determine what to throw out and what to keep, what still makes sense and what does not. This can be a long and difficult process, and can even take years. Everyone’s journey is different. My personal journey led me out of Christianity altogether. This is the story of that… Read more

July 6, 2011

Sometimes, as sons and daughters of Christian Patriarchy, we tend to see our situations as unique and unprecedented. I realized today as I read a book on the history of childhood that this is simply not so. Rather, our situations are as American as apple pie. The hard decisions we have to make, the heartache we feel? Yeah, that’s not new. The section I read that really struck me was on the Puritans, who began arriving in the American colonies… Read more

July 5, 2011

My parents think I don’t have a brain. It didn’t used to be this way. When I was a kid, they fostered my love of politics and theology. They loved that I thought about everything, including such issues as gay marriage, abortion, the nature of salvation, how to fix welfare, and solving our nation’s fiscal problems. Of course, never having been exposed to any arguments besides theirs, I always agreed with my parents on these issues. Yet my parents saw… Read more

July 4, 2011

It has now been some years since I left my parents’ house and shifted for myself. I think my parents were somewhat surprised that I was able to make it on my own and that I did not come home asking for help, or maybe it was just me who was surprised. I found inner sources of strength I had not known I had. At the same time, my college friends, both the original evangelical ones and new ones I… Read more

July 4, 2011

1. Jesus was not an American. He was a Palestinian Jew. 2. America is not, and was not, God’s chosen country. Israel was. 3. Jesus was not a capitalist, and didn’t endorse our economic system. 4. Jesus was not patriotic. His was a heavenly, not earthly, kingdom. 5. God’s Word and patriotism do NOT go hand in hand. I call bullshit. Happy Fourth of July, everyone! I hope you have an enjoyable holiday! Just please, please, please don’t mix your… Read more

July 3, 2011

There are a wide range of views of what constitutes salvation, from the Catholic view that people must work out their salvation, backing up their faith with deeds, to the Calvinist view that people cannot even know if they are saved because God determined who would be saved and who would not before anyone was actually born. My parents taught me that salvation comes only from believing in Jesus and praying the sinner’s prayer, and that we can therefore be… Read more

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