Fundamentalism and the Duggar Fantasy

Image found at newsbusters.org

I’m a writer, artist and poet, which means I fantasize quite a bit. Sometimes I fear I spend more time in my head than I do in the real world. In the recesses of my mind, anything is possible. The colors are brighter, the adventures more exciting, the people more fascinating. When I’m in that space, I feel comfortable. Joyous. Sometimes it’s hard to come back and rejoin reality.

And that’s exactly the problem. Sometimes the fantasy is so seductive, so compelling, that I start to think that it is reality–or, at least, could be. This can affect how I interact with others. In my effort to affirm the fantasy, I start to ascribe to them feelings and motivations that they may not actually have. I want the fantasy to be realContinue reading

Don’t Worry about God

Lately, I’ve been receiving emails and messages from readers, thanking me for addressing the topic of sexual abuse on this blog. Despite being a survivor myself, I sometimes feel woefully inadequate to offer comfort whenever people share their stories (though I very gladly do). These feelings of inadequacy come from the place inside of me that is still wounded, from a pain that occasionally throbs so deep that I wonder if healing is actually a thing. I know that it is. I catch glimpses of it at times. It’s the moments when I sink into the dark that I start to wonder.

Today, a reader messaged me with her story. She said she had reacted so badly to her abuse, she now wonders if God has left her. It is a sentiment I hear often. Survivors carry so much guilt and shame that it’s difficult to believe anyone, especially God, would agree to stick around. Continue reading

Rethinking Joy

A dark night of the soul is this, sans light bulb.

It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned my dark night of the soul. The news is, I’m still in it. And where I am is black. Pitch black. Moonless, starless, candle-less nothingness. I’ve never experienced a crisis of faith quite this deep, long or disconcerting. I’m not sure where the end of this thing is.

The other day, I asked myself what it would look like if I really loved myself. All of myself. The way God loves me. And in that moment, 90% of my theology fell apart. I realized that while I had experienced some of the best things in my church upbringing, I had also experienced some of the worst. There’s very little room for self-love or self-acceptance (let alone acceptance of others) in the doctrine of my denomination. I was always taught the JOY acronym: Jesus first, others second, yourself last. Except, like much of everything in evangelicalism, it’s arranged in a hierarchy. JOY is spelled vertically. Jesus is at the top, others are below that, and you are the bottom of the totem pole. It’s the trickle-down economics of love. You give most of your devotion to Jesus, then some to others, and hopefully have enough for yourself afterwards. Continue reading

The Bulls**t of Anti-Welfare Christians

Warning: In this post, I intend to call a spade, a spade. Which means there will be strong words that don’t normally appear on this blog. My use of these words won’t be excessive, but if you find such language offensive, it might be best to skip this piece.

There have been several reports in the news lately about states that are seeking to place further restrictions on their food stamp programs (called SNAP). The argument is that welfare recipients shouldn’t be able to buy certain items or shop in certain stores if they’re receiving government funds. Aside from the fact that these new limitations will only serve to further deprive and humiliate the poor, SNAP fraud is already the lowest of any government program, at less than 4 percent. The little bit of fraud that is committed usually occurs on the retailers’ side. Continue reading

On Chewing Up Meat and Spitting Out Bones

Image from garmaonhealth.com

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my beef (no pun intended) with the book Love & Respect by Emerson Eggerichs. I wasn’t terribly surprised when a few commenters responded in favor of the book, saying it had helped them tremendously. If the reviews on Amazon are any indication, the book has apparently helped a good many people. I certainly won’t discount those experiences.

However, that does not make the doctrine the book is based upon sound or biblical. The book may have some mutual submission-sounding guidelines sprinkled in its text, but readers encounter Eggerichs’ true premise on the cover – before they even pluck the book from the shelf – and that premise becomes the (unbiblical) framework for everything that follows. THAT is the problem. Continue reading