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Tag: arguing with evangelicals

Never a helpmeet Part 4: Patriarchal narratives

As an ex church-goer, living in one of the least church-going parts of the country, it’s easy for me to forget about church as a potential answer to the question “where on earth do people get these bizarre and terrible ideas?” The last time I attended an evangelical church, a couple of years ago, it was Father’s Day, and familiar patriarchal narratives were on display: masculinity defined according to traditional stereotypes involving fishing and not wanting to talk about feelings; essential but vague differences between men and women viewed as a really important characteristic that needed to be frequently remarked…

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Never a helpmeet Part 3: Patriarchy, what happened to it?

So what is patriarchy, anyway? This is an area where the Quiverfull version is, at least, honest, openly declaring itself to be pushing patriarchy and setting itself against feminism. Secular anti-feminists — the informal kind you run into on the Internet, anyway — are in the habit of denying that patriarchy is even a real thing that exists. I don’t know if this is Because they don’t actually know what patriarchy means, Because they want to claim more symbolic territory, by making the conflict not “feminism vs. Patriarchy” but “feminism vs. The default that doesn’t even have a name because…

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Never a helpmeet Part 2: The cult of lifestyle Christianity

The Christian patriarchy has a plan for world domination that involves out-reproducing feminists, liberals, heathens, secular humanists, etc. This plan is very white-America-centric. It also assumes that each subsequent generation has no apostates who leave the faith. Evangelicals typically believe in a literal hell which only their particular version of faith will save people from. This gives evangelical parents an exceptionally strong motivation to try to ensure that their children will remain believers as adults. One major theory that I remember from my own youth appeared to be that children fall away from the faith as teenagers because they are…

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Never a helpmeet Part 1: Selfish

I finished reading Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce (2009). I was looking for additional insight into the kinds of experiences Abby might have had growing up in a family cult based on patriarchy doctrine teachings, such as Quiverfull. The book was informative, but I found reading it to be a weird, triggering experience. I had to keep stopping to process overwhelming feelings of rage, shame, and fear, some of them buried since I was a teenager. My usual narrative of my religious past is pretty simple. I was raised as an evangelical Protestant and remain a…

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Mark Driscoll and the he-man woman-haters Gospel

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I started writing this back when Mark Driscoll was still head of Mars Hill Church and Mars Hill Church was still a thing. I set it aside when he resigned,  thinking perhaps it wasn’t relevant anymore. 

But grifters gotta grift, I guess, and there seems to be no level of humiliation that’ll ever really get rid of con men like Driscoll. He’s all set up to pretend nothing ever happened, and get another congregation going in Arizona

Don’t be fooled. He is still the man who wrote under the pseudonym “William Wallace II.” In the original discussion thread, and also now that the statements have found a wider audience, there are some who defend Driscoll as making a “sound point” even if crudely and rudely expressed.

That’s what I want to address here. What point is Driscoll really making? And is that point sound, in a theological sense, or any sense at all? 

As a warning — in the portion that follows, I quote his words directly, in order to analyze them, and they are grotesque and vile, which should tell you something about any potential theological soundness right there. (“If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.” — James 1:26 )
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Good news, a play in two acts

Act 1 — Circa 100 AD — two people pass each other in the marketplace Good day. Good day. Have you heard the good news? What good news? We are all loved and should love one another in return. That sounds pretty good. How do you know this? The creator of the universe sent an emissary, to unite the human and the divine, and to show us the way. This emissary was executed, and died, and lived again. Love transcends death. We no longer need to fear death. We don’t have to be afraid of anything. Wow, that does sound…

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It’s a monstrous thing

And why should you obey your parents, girls? It’s good practice for obeying your husbands! — the minister’s wife, to a Sunday school class full of teenage girls, including me. When I wanted to write a novel playing around with the loup-garou legends of Cajun Louisiana, I started with what I saw as the fundamental basis for a werewolf story: your protagonist wakes up somewhere unusual, with no clothes and no idea how she got there. Maybe she appears to have eaten a duck, in spite of being a vegetarian. Now, go! For me, the ideal werewolf story also needed…

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She comes home from church, she takes off her pants

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By special request — an essay ranting about Christian Rock!

I first encountered Christian Rock when I was 12 years old, right in the middle of a very chaotic thirteenth year. (Yes, I just now realized that the year you are twelve is your thirteenth year. Oooooooooo! Superstitiousness!)

My thirteenth year went kinda like this: junior high; menstruation; zits; hair turning into some kind of extruded strawlike substance about which nothing could be done and which my fellow seventh graders seemed to find the most hilarious and mockable thing they had ever seen; moving a thousand miles away; a different junior high; living with friends of the family and being subjected to an inconsistent patchwork of rules and expectations from two sets of parents right when my adolescent brain was starting to chafe under the notion of adult authority of any kind; a third junior high; my mother’s father diagnosed with lung cancer.

All that, and I was twelve. So, you know, I didn’t really know how to deal with any of it.

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Thoughts on Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch

It comes up in this blog quite a bit that I was raised as an evangelical Protestant during the 70s and 80.1  So I was right on the front lines as end-of-the-world fever became an epidemic, and evangelical Protestantism turned into a doomsday cult. I read the Chick tracts and The Late, Great Planet Earth. I read the Reader’s Digest Condensed Books version of Rosemary’s Baby, and the first three chapters of The Omen movie tie-in novel. I giggled over bumper stickers in the church parking lot that proclaimed: “in case of Rapture this car will be unmanned” because didn’t…

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Santa Claus is real, and he is not white

Santa Claus Every Christmas season, at least one movie will come out where the main thrust of the story is an argument demonstrating the virtue, in fact, the absolute necessity of all children everywhere believing in the literal existence of Santa Claus. Yet every adult connected with this venture knows that Santa Claus does not, in fact, exist. What’s up with that? Belief Belief is a funny word. We use it casually to mean both what we believe in — gods, philosophies — and also what we believe is factually true. Does this indicate that, on some level, our brains…

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My existentialist grandma, my other grandma, and me

I grew up in southern California with a full quartet of grandparents, something Paul envies. My mom’s parents, Bernice and Judson Phillips, lived in Brea, near a park with a jungle gym shaped like a rocket ship. Grandpa Judd and I shared a birthday, and we celebrated together nearly every year. My dad’s parents, Laura and Fred McGalliard, lived in Santa Ana, near the Santa Ana River trail, and we sometimes rode our bikes to visit them. Dad’s parents were devout followers of two religions: evangelical Protestantism, and Disney. If Mom’s parents had religious beliefs, it was never obvious. My…

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Arguing with evangelicals: waaaah! They’re calling me names!

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I happened to recently read this piece on CNN’s website, “When Christians become a ‘hated minority’” (even though the piece itself is from a month ago). It tries too hard to be even-handed, I think, and ends up feeling unreasonably flattering to the “your intolerance of my bigotry is the REAL bigotry!” standpoint that conservative evangelicals love to adopt. Anyway, I’m going to visit my conservative evangelical relatives in a couple of weeks, so I felt the need to get this out of my system.

We’ve heard of the “down-low” gay person who keeps his or her sexual identity secret for fear of public scorn. But Sprigg and other evangelicals say changing attitudes toward homosexuality have created a new victim: closeted Christians who believe the Bible condemns homosexuality but will not say so publicly for fear of being labeled a hateful bigot.

Break out the fainting couches. Being called a bigot is obviously far worse than being denied housing, jobs, marriage to the person you love, the opportunity to adopt, or custody of your own children. Hurtful names are absolutely the worst!

Hey, you know who also gets called hurtful names? Gay people. In fact, they get called hurtful names by people like you. Isn’t that what this whole thing is about? Used to be, you could call gay people hurtful names and get away with it. Now you call them hurtful names and get called a bigot. Lawdy, what is the world coming to!
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