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42 Responses

  1. Nancy
    Nancy March 9, 2012 at 11:23 am |

    I think you made a typo of omission:

    “It also does mean they should all be removed and placed in our obviously flawless foster care system.”

    should be

    “It also does not mean they should all be removed and placed in our obviously flawless foster care system.”

  2. TW
    TW March 9, 2012 at 11:34 am |

    Thank you for writing this. I also grew up in the Evangelical church and as a teen I experienced much depression and anxiety that I believe were a direct result of the women hating teachings that I was bombarded with. I had extremely low self esteem and self-hatred because of the fact that I was born female and not male. Discovering feminism and going through therapy has helped me immensely but I do feel sad whenever I see young children spouting the hateful vitriol that the church provides.

  3. Tristan Lear
    Tristan Lear March 9, 2012 at 11:38 am |

    They have mastered the art of framing hate as compassion. “We love the gays …” … “We’re praying for you …”

  4. Katya
    Katya March 9, 2012 at 12:23 pm |

    That kid publicly shaming himself because he doesn’t believe the way he’s been taught he’s supposed to is heartbreaking. Instead of teaching kids that doubts are normal, they teach them that absolute certainty is the only acceptable mindset. The result is all this other absolutist crap–there’s no room for nuance, let alone the kind of complications and contradictions that are a part of life. This is just the most life-denying faith I can imagine–it’s like they believe that their faith cannot survive sustained contact with the outside world. What a horrible thing to have such a fragile belief system. But of course, if you never learned to think for yourself, you have no way of adapting and reconciling your principles with the world you encounter, of weighing competing obligations, of refining and clarifying your beliefs. Rigidity or collapse are your only options.

  5. Tristan Lear
    Tristan Lear March 9, 2012 at 12:28 pm |

    yep. the threat of hell still occassionally gets under my skin. all the contemplation and the world can’t compete well with permanent torture.

  6. LotusBen
    LotusBen March 9, 2012 at 12:42 pm |

    To riff off of an ableist Christian expression, Evangelical child rearing is truly the ignorant leading the ignorant. Brainwash someone into not thinking for themselves and you have the perfect sort of person to brainwash subsequent generations into not thinking for themselves. It’s really pretty tragic. A maladaptive cultural meme that, like a killer virus, got out of control and kept spreading and spreading.

  7. ks
    ks March 9, 2012 at 1:02 pm |

    I love this series.

    I was raised Catholic in rural southern WV (against the wishes of my dad’s freewill baptist parents), so while I was never “in the middle of it,” so to speak, my sisters and I were quite often targets of conversion attempts by the fundamentalists/evangelicals we were surrounded by. And since my mom encouraged us to experiment with our religious beliefs and go to various churches with other non-Catholic friends and relatives, we got a lot of it. Some of those attempts were nicer than others, but I got told I was going to hell for worshiping Mary and various other imaginary sins many times. These days I’m an atheist with a *very* poor opinion of religion in general, but I’m also an adult and have had *conversations* with some of my more extreme relatives about which boundaries are not to be crossed. We’ve mostly reached a respectful truce about it all and it is fine. Of course, it helps that I’ve moved away and only go home a couple of times a year.

    My poor husband, on the other hand, has almost no experience with that sort of thing. He is Sri Lankan and was raised Hindu (now also a non-believer), but his whole family lives in the US/Canada now and his sister converted to Christianity in college. And her brand is of the Mars Hill/megachurch type. They’ve also sort of reached a truce about the whole thing, but it hasn’t been easy. She keeps trying to convert their devoutly Hindu mother (because she “wants at least one of her parents in heaven with her when she dies”) and her poor kids are very much used in the way you describe. Their whole lives revolve around the church–they go to the private school attached to the church, they play sports in the church league, all their friends are from church, etc. Except for the neighbor kids and our side of the family, everyone they are allowed to associate with is part of the church. It is really kind of scary. But since he was never a part of it from the inside, S was absolutely not prepared for being invited to the kids’ baptisms last year. He was freaked out for weeks after and kept going on and on about how he didn’t realize that his sister was *so* into it and he’s worried about the kids. He really does think that it is abusive, the way they are being raised (although, I’m sure she’d say the same thing about our own little multicultural, non-religious heathens).

  8. Verity Khat
    Verity Khat March 9, 2012 at 2:25 pm |

    Kristen J., I’m so sorry your parents put you through that. I really love reading the series, though.

    And now I’m going to add to everyone’s high blood pressure. The ‘thumper churches around here use a highly-effective, highly-enraging tactic that straddles the community activism and child rearing ideals. They pour lots of money and effort into cool, modern amenities for their youth programs. We’re talking movie theaters, arcades, and state-of-the-art skate parks on church campus.

    Then they have big events and encourage their youth to invite all their friends. What kid is going to say “no” to free food and cool activities? And their parents are inclined to let them attend, because “supervised church event” sounds wholesome and safe (and usually is). It’s a pretty foolproof way to attract a captive, impressionable audience. And then poor kiddos come home crying because the ‘thumper kids told them that they aren’t “real Christians” because they aren’t “saved” and they’re going to Hell. >_< Lather, rinse, repeat next weekend.

    I think my zen Lutheran pastor has to dial up the megachurch preachers at least once a season to remind them that such behavior is extremely shitty.

  9. ks
    ks March 9, 2012 at 2:41 pm |

    @11: It sounds like my kids’ karate dojo. We get free lessons when/if their friends join. Doesn’t seem quite as appropriate for church.

  10. Kylene
    Kylene March 9, 2012 at 3:38 pm |

    As a liberal christian I am concerned about the bias of this series. I think it may be slightly off base to basically classify all christian churches that identify as “evangelical” as cult-like. There are many sides to all aspects of faith, there are extremists in all religious as well as anti-religious sectors. Maybe add in a column written by someone who identifies as part of this “movement” and allow them to provide insight into the non-extremist aspects of the religion? I just get concerned that in the vein of being non-discriminatory, we begin to discriminate against religious people in bulk.

  11. librarygoose
    librarygoose March 9, 2012 at 3:52 pm |

    I just get concerned that in the vein of being non-discriminatory, we begin to discriminate against religious people in bulk.

    I get concerned that people classify me as a freak with no morals and that Presidents have stated that I am neither a citizen nor a patriot. But pointing out the actual problems that exist in the Evangelical movement is not discrimination. I like the actual looks into such a powerful religious movement, too often they get away with things because they have religious privilege.

  12. Rebecca
    Rebecca March 9, 2012 at 4:03 pm |

    Sadly, I don’t think any discussion of evangelical child rearing can be complete without talking about what is, in my opinion, the worst tactic of all that many of these people employ. They simply believe that they can beat the “devil” out of their children. After all, well behaved children in public are a good “testimony” too all those worldly parents who let kids, you know, be kids. To them, it is all about the appearance. It doesn’t matter that they are beating and abusing the children at home. Just look at the following that disgusting people like the Pearls have, and James Dobson, who also advises abusing your children.

    Beat a child into they are completely terrified to think anything other than what you tell them to, and you’ve got another little “solider” in your army. Evangelical child rearing and abuse go hand in hand.

  13. ks
    ks March 9, 2012 at 4:04 pm |

    librarygoose@14:

    I get concerned that people classify me as a freak with no morals and that Presidents have stated that I am neither a citizen nor a patriot. But pointing out the actual problems that exist in the Evangelical movement is not discrimination. I like the actual looks into such a powerful religious movement, too often they get away with things because they have religious privilege.

    QFT

  14. emandink
    emandink March 9, 2012 at 4:16 pm |

    Really, how many times does Kristen have to state that she’s not talking about all Christians or even all people who ID as Evangelical?

    I love the point in 10/11 about the youth ministry, having experienced these sorts of conversion attempts myself as a kid. There is nothing more dispicable than someone trying to force their beliefs on an essentially captive audience of 12 year olds by telling them that they and their families are going to suffer horribly for all eternity unless they share the speaker’s beliefs.

  15. EG
    EG March 9, 2012 at 4:51 pm |

    As a liberal christian I am concerned about the bias of this series. I think it may be slightly off base to basically classify all christian churches that identify as “evangelical” as cult-like. There are many sides to all aspects of faith, there are extremists in all religious as well as anti-religious sectors. Maybe add in a column written by someone who identifies as part of this “movement” and allow them to provide insight into the non-extremist aspects of the religion? I just get concerned that in the vein of being non-discriminatory, we begin to discriminate against religious people in bulk.

    Yeah, yeah. The poor, discriminated-against, evangelical Christians. When they stop trying to take away my rights and when they stop tormenting their kids physically and emotionally, I’ll try to give a shit about the fact that sometimes, on liberal-left blogs, people discuss how awful they are.

    You’re the one conflating the evangelical Christian movement with “religious people in bulk.” Personally, I’ve known too many religious people I’ve liked and admired to insult them like that.

  16. Stephanie
    Stephanie March 9, 2012 at 10:12 pm |

    My parents were “saved” when I was 13 years old. Before this, we never went to church. I was forced by my parents to “accept Jesus into my heart” so we could walk down the church aisle as a “born again” family. I had no idea what I was getting into. It was terrible to think that you were a pretty good person and then, at 13, be told you were a horrible sinner and were going to hell. The whole movement is based on fear and control. My sister recently told me that when she was 10 years old she came home from school and no one was home. She was terrified because she thought the rapture had come and she was left behind with all of the evil doers. My other sister told me how she would lie in bed praying all night long, never going to sleep, because my mother told her she was bad and going to hell. She was 8. This movement is abusive and frightening. I turned my back on it and have never been happier. Unfortunately, I don’t have a relationship with my parents because they are immersed in it. But I will gladly give up that relationship if it means never having to think I am inferior, to believe I am immoral, evil, and to live in a constant state of victimhood and fear.

  17. Amelia
    Amelia March 9, 2012 at 11:58 pm |

    Sadly, I don’t think any discussion of evangelical child rearing can be complete without talking about what is, in my opinion, the worst tactic of all that many of these people employ. They simply believe that they can beat the “devil” out of their children. After all, well behaved children in public are a good “testimony” too all those worldly parents who let kids, you know, be kids. To them, it is all about the appearance. It doesn’t matter that they are beating and abusing the children at home.

    My parents (especially my mother) were fundamentalists and had a copy of “The Willful Child” by Dobson when I was growing up. I only just discovered it a few years ago when searching their house for something to read. Its everything you would fear, and goes about comparing child rearing to training dogs. It was a well worn copy, and I remembered them using some of the techniques, but I guess it didn’t work because I’m not an evangelical anymore.

  18. WitchWolf
    WitchWolf March 10, 2012 at 4:46 am |

    Never got the whole original sin thing – They blame Eve for eating the apple — WTF — I mean Adam could have said no, and not ate the apple then turn tohis god and whine and complain, and let his god exile Eve like he did with Lilith.

    I mean if men “are” all that and peanut butter and jelly too, why did Adam eat the fruit he knew was taboo… Please —

    I see the myth as nothing more than a man not taking responsibility for his own choices, then blaming it on women. Then lashing out against the women, making her some kind of evil monster.

  19. konkonsn
    konkonsn March 10, 2012 at 5:30 am |

    I feel kind of bad (for not being sickened), but I was grinning the whole time the homophobe was talking about how the gay characters on TV get the best of everything (and PoC have the most lead roles in film, yeah?) and outright laughed when he screamed in his angry voice, “God loves you, friend…” Actions and words, it helps if they match.

    I did watch through the whole first clip on Jesus Camp (the nine minute one), and I want to warn you that there’s a rape joke in there (around 1:22). Also, I’m a bit concerned in the video summary as the Facebook page of two of the children were posted. I get if you want to troll/say something to one of the adults, and I know the children have grown up a bit, but it bothers me what the intentions of the video creator might have been. However, the end of the video did have nice demonstration of the using kids to convert method you were discussing (8:26). I felt so bad for that poor woman.

  20. konkonsn
    konkonsn March 10, 2012 at 5:43 am |

    Oh! And I do have a question.

    So Rebecca brought up the whole beating the devil out of the child issue. I’m curious how this interacts with thinking the devil/evil spirits are real, both how the parents handle it and how the children think of themselves. I’ve seen some clips in a Discovery (or History) Channel show on exorcism that show churches that do regular exorcisms. Basically someone goes up, confesses sins, hands are laid, and the person often faints. This looks the same to me as some types of faith healing.

    Since I was involved in Catholicism – and even then was a natural skeptic – the whole evil spirit possession (or is it thought of as a possession?) issue is something I don’t really understand. If you were possessed, your body and actions were out of your control and a professional exorcism needed to be done. Possession was exotic and terrifying; basically what’s portrayed in most USian exorcism movies. So the idea of a low level type possession is foreign to me. There was this underlying idea in some of the religious articles I read (and some of the EWTN shows I watched) about how evil spirits/Satan whispered temptations to you, but it was always framed as something that happened outside of your body, and you could either answer his whispers or deny them and choose God. Is this more what’s being talked about?

  21. Jen in Ohio
    Jen in Ohio March 10, 2012 at 7:26 am |

    Then they have big events and encourage their youth to invite all their friends.

    I think I actually saw this part of the movement get started when I was a kid in the 70s. I was not churched as a child and one of the few great privileges I was allowed was the complete freedom to read whatever I wanted and shape my own religious/spiritual views and/or to decide I didn’t need them. I had no religious education whatsoever until grade school, at which point I developed a close friendship with a little girl whose family attended what they called a “Christian Fellowship”. I began going with them twice a week and went for years — until I was about ten or eleven and actually sat down and read the entire Bible and started asking questions that no one could answer with anything that I recognized as sense.

    I look back on that group now and see it as a precursor to these modern kinds of massive evangelical movements because it seems like the ramp up, including the recruitment and these youth events (and more that I won’t go into here). For example, my little friend and I had previously enjoyed celebrating Halloween and going trick-or-treating and her family was fine with this; her mom even helped us to make our own matching costumes one year. But then the Fellowship decided that Halloween was now on the shit list and they strongly encouraged all the parents to bring their kids — and the kids to bring their friends — to some kind of Fellowship alternative event party. My friend invited me and I was dubious because trick-or-treating was a big deal where I’m from and an industrious kid could easily re-stock her candy stash until March. My friend assured me there would be candy and costumes and I was like, “So it’s the same as a Halloween party?” Her eyes got all wide. “Absolutely not!”

    And it was not, in fact, the same as a Halloween party. It was deeply creepy, though, I’ll give ‘em that. Imagine a party that mimics a Halloween party in almost every way except there are no witches or vampires or Frankenstein monsters on anything and there is instead Jesus everywhere. Jesus is on everything from the pumpkins and Halloween-colored streamers and decorations to the Halloween-like candy to the Halloween-ish booth-games to the prizes to the apples you bob for and there is even a big ole cross painted on the apple bobbing barrel. And there is no Monster Mash, there is only, like, pre-top-40 Amy Grant. Toward the middle of it, we kids were all brought inside the home for a sermon about the evils of Halloween and secularism.

    The utter fucking hilarity in my total lack of a religious education was immediately apparent to the pastor’s teenage kids, who’d already discovered pot but hadn’t shared it yet, when I had first arrived and was baffled by my surroundings. My child-mind flipped through the possibilities of what all of these representations of Jesus could possibly mean when they were juxtaposed with Halloween such as they were, and I concluded, “Oh I get it! It’s scary ’cause Jesus is a zombie!” The pastor’s kids howled with laughter while all the adults looked at me with a mixture of pity and horror, and after that I only agreed to go on “church field trips” if the pastor’s kids were going too.

  22. LotusBen
    LotusBen March 10, 2012 at 8:50 am |

    konkonsn. . .I’m not really an expert on the matter, but I believe many Evangelicals think of human nature as inherently evil (even if they don’t always admit it) as a result of Original Sin. So what most of us would interpret as our own emotions, desires, impulses, instincts, intuitions, etc. they often believe are messages for Satan or demons. Just like they often believe their own thoughts are messages from God. In this view, thinking (provided its Church-approved thoughts) is good, and feeling is bad–as part of an Aristotelian hierarchy of Being whereby repression (psychological and otherwise) is viewed as a good and appropriate form of the higher ruling over the lower. So “low level type possession” could just be the natural subjective state of most human beings prior to an effective and thorough religious indoctrination into Evangelical ideology. But all this has just been my opinion as someone who has known a lot of Evangelicals and studied the movement. I’ve never been an Evangelical myself (although I was a Christian and had some beliefs that overlapped with theirs).

  23. DouglasG
    DouglasG March 10, 2012 at 11:53 am |

    Ms Kristen @18 – I’d have sworn the right answer would be seventy… times seven.

    Your history of being used for ministerial purposes makes me think of Wicked and Elphaba singing hymns at the Quadlings.

    I’d seen that youth group anti-gay clip before. Just as well that sort of thing probably didn’t exist in my time; they might have burned me at the stake only to become immortalized in fiction had the cover-up provided inspiration for a case on Law & Order in which the church would get away with it.

    I was wondering a couple of days ago when something along a similar line came up elsewhere about how uniform (or not) strict vigilance is among various sects to protect their members’ children from informed choice rather than to permit or promote it.

  24. DouglasG
    DouglasG March 10, 2012 at 11:57 am |

    Oh, bother – sorry about the italics getting muddled.

  25. Elsa
    Elsa March 10, 2012 at 12:00 pm |

    Raising up godly children also entails having complete and utter control over everything they do, in order to make them an instrument for the Lord and to receive the blessing of raising good Christian children. For my parents, and many other families in the movements they were associated with, this meant homeschooling (using completely skewed inaccurate material of course), complete isolation from other children because no one was quite godly enough, monitoring music and often reading material, family prayer sessions (these amounted to public confession), and church attendance, including Wed, Sunday nights and revivals.

    I remember going to a week long revival where I was told that women should always be silent in church, fundamentalist evangelicals do love Pauline scripture and that we were all worthless and a 0 – only allowing Christ to work through us made our lives meaningful. But of course it was still only Christ that was working, only through complete surrender could we have value and it was clear that that value was borrowed since we were merely vessels. As a young teen, I desperately tried to believe and answered countless alter calls (again with the public confession) crying for God to “forgive my unbelief.”

    The abuse that children suffer at the hands of fundamentalist and/or evangelical parents is really incalculable. I and all of my siblings struggle to this day because of the hateful insidious messages we were fed as children. These are not people you can say live and let live to because they are ruining their children’s lives.

    Thanks so much for this series Kristen J. It is a much needed conversation.

  26. auditorydamage
    auditorydamage March 10, 2012 at 12:01 pm |

    Jesus Camp.

    *shudder*

    One shot in the film portrays a hall full of children praying before and praising a cardboard standup of George W. Bush. I had been turned around saying something to my partner, turned to the screen as this came on, and exclaimed “What the fuck???

    That was a messed-up, scary movie.

  27. auditorydamage
    auditorydamage March 10, 2012 at 12:10 pm |

    @25

    That’s awesome and hilarious. I grazed the outer atmosphere of that movement in the mid-1980s, though any specifically religious messaging went right past me.

    I have parents who were similarly liberal. A book given to me by Jehovah’s Witnesses at our front door ended up among the many I had in grade school, but I can’t recall a single piece of information from the text aside from the year… 1934? being presented as some kind of turning point. I must have liked the colour scheme or something; the text clearly meant less than shit to me. Now, the articles and pictures from Astronomy magazine, which I had a subscription to at the same time… those- were worth remembering.

  28. Colin Mackay
    Colin Mackay March 10, 2012 at 1:25 pm |

    “Then they have big events and encourage their youth to invite all their friends” and it seems like Kony 2012 was one of them.

  29. William
    William March 10, 2012 at 10:51 pm |

    As a liberal christian I am concerned about the bias of this series.

    That is unfortunate. Primarily because we all know where this is going.

    I think it may be slightly off base to basically classify all christian churches that identify as “evangelical” as cult-like.

    Absolutely. I think Kristen J. has done a significant disservice to us by not using the word “theocratic” often enough. The lack of overt comparison of Evangelical Christianity to Islam’s more violent strands also disturbs me, as I see little difference between American Evangelicals and the Taliban other than the relative impotence of American Christianists.

    There are many sides to all aspects of faith, there are extremists in all religious as well as anti-religious sectors.

    Yes, but Christianity have been more consistently violent than any other ideology in human history. Hell, you’ve got more blood on your hands than Communists.

    Also…who, exactly, are these extremists in the “anti-religious” sectors trying to bomb, burn, intimidate, kill, or other wise oppress. Have they been successful? Are they anywhere near as numerous as their Christian counterparts? When was the last time they rampaged through a contient?

    Maybe add in a column written by someone who identifies as part of this “movement” and allow them to provide insight into the non-extremist aspects of the religion?

    Ahh, yes, the whole “equal time” argument. I would…look forward to such an opportunity.

    I just get concerned that in the vein of being non-discriminatory, we begin to discriminate against religious people in bulk.

    Tell you what, put your house in order and then we can talk about how your feelings are hurt. Until then, shut the fuck up. Its quaint and all that you’re trying to find something redeeming in a morally bankrupt and ethically repellant ideology with a history of genocide, but your folk are still looking to violate my liberty. Control your people, then we can talk about a respectful discussion. Otherwise, I’d advise keeping your head down.

  30. konkonsn
    konkonsn March 10, 2012 at 11:46 pm |

    As for beatings…the theory as far as I can figure it out is that “demons” are interested in the pleasures of the flesh and that is one of the reasons they want to take on human form. Beatings, purgatives, starvation are all seen as ways to keep a child – and children are apparently very susceptible to demons – from being possessed or to remove a not very powerful demon.

    This is interesting, especially when also thinking about LotusBen’s comments. There seems to be a dual mindset here that allows for the most effective means of controlling behavior. If the individual can be properly, psychologically shamed (best and first option, I should think), then we can blame their behavior on original sin and make them feel bad about being human. If the individual needs a more abusive touch, then we can blame it on demons, thus dehumanizing the individual so it makes us easier to hurt them. That’s not your child (or a gay/female/non-Christian “person”) you’re hitting/yelling at. It’s a demon.

    I also like Elsa’s comment:

    Raising up godly children also entails having complete and utter control over everything they do, in order to make them an instrument for the Lord and to receive the blessing of raising good Christian children.

    Part of evangelical parenting seems to be instilling fear in the parents as well. I actually remember a story from some sermon (once again, think it was on TV) about a Christian woman who lived right but allowed her children to do as she pleased (she did pray for them, I believe). One night, she dreamed of burning in Hell, and when she asked why should would be there when she was a good Christian, she was told that she had allowed her children to go to Hell by not being proactive enough in their lives. Can’t remember if they lived godly ever after once she woke up.

    But, yeah, when I was dealing with my anxiety, I’d say shitty things to people not out of any real belief and even knowing it might be hurtful because of the overwhelming fear. Not excusing the abuse; even with my irrational fear, when I realized I was hurting people, I would isolated/immobilized myself because I didn’t want to do what I thought God was saying and I couldn’t do what I wanted. But I can see where it becomes an influence.

  31. DragonBreath
    DragonBreath March 11, 2012 at 1:48 am |

    That jesus camp crap turned my stomach the first time i saw it a while back via the Military Religious Freedom Foundation; once was enough. I see a glimmer of hope as many young people are turning away from their religious brainwashing and embracing non predatory religions, deism or no religion, agnostic/atheist. For all their god loves you, love thy neighbor ad nauseam; check out all the hate they display on atheist blogs. As Obi-wan said “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy” and i am not referring to the atheists. In all fairness i have met a few Christians who actually walk the walk; unfortunately they are few and far between.

  32. matlun
    matlun March 11, 2012 at 4:15 am |

    That jesus camp crap turned my stomach the first time i saw it a while back

    No kidding. I could not watch it all the way through in a single sitting since I found it too upsetting.

    In all fairness i have met a few Christians who actually walk the walk

    This I think is a misunderstanding. Most of the Evangelicals we are discussing here honestly believe in what they are saying and doing. Calling them dishonest or hypocritical is not generally correct (even though there are obviously many individual examples).

    There are many different interpretations of what it means to be a Christian.

  33. DaisyDeadhead
    DaisyDeadhead March 11, 2012 at 11:33 am |

    I live in Bob Jones University/Jim Demintland, and these people really DO want an entirely “Christian” country (their kind of Christian). I have been saying this for decades, and a lot of liberals, skeptics and others online (who live in nice enlightened areas and do not have to deal with them on a daily basis) have rolled their eyes at me as if I hysterically exaggerate or as if I am trying to start a panic. Neither: just describing what I see around me.

    The good thing about this recent birth control debacle has been that people finally believe us when we tell them what they intend. Santorum and Co are NOT KIDDING and they are not just using social issues as tools or diversions…. they are serious.

    Thanks for being on the case, Kristin! We can’t emphasize this enough right now.

  34. Bjorn Beer
    Bjorn Beer March 11, 2012 at 1:25 pm |

    Nice post. I like the way you get inside the head of an evangelical ( I grew up baptist) . I wrote a piece you might enjoy which uses the words of Jesus against the stance of the religious right on contraception: http://open.salon.com/blog/bjorn_philip_beer/2012/03/09/a_hard_pill_to_swallow_catholic_contraception_policy

  35. Colin Mackay
    Colin Mackay March 12, 2012 at 12:52 am |

    Don’t get so hysterical @guest blogger! No, it’s time we got strategic. But in an open forum like this we will still be forced to endure the_idiotic distractions. Best chance is to do a quick ring around and raise the funds for a top level secular domain. Then, in peace, we will be able to develop a global strategy to combat the_idiot conservatives. Strikes me that among progressive groups a lot of meaningful alliances can be forged. LGBTI, feminist, atheist, secularist, humanist, rationalist,…. We will all alienate some members…which seems a small price to pay for the benefit of a successful, global, progressive political lobby.
    I’ve tried, for years, to have meaningful dialogue with apologists; it doesn’t work!!

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