Tag Archives: religion

Why I Refuse To Criticize Islam As A Feminist And Atheist

Sam Harris and Bill Maher and Richard Dawkins all want really badly for me to criticize Islam. They claim I’m scared to do so because Islamic extremists bully people into silence. They consider it a liberal failing that people like me have deferred to that bullying. They say it’s not “phobic” to criticize Islam, nor is it racist.

Then, of course, they say that we should profile Muslims, and their self-defense starts to fall apart. They fail to recognize that I do not live in a majority Muslim country, and that especially since 2001 but even before that, white Americans have exhibited incredible fear of Muslims (demonstrated by a call to profile them, coincidentally) and committed hate crimes against people who even “look” like they might be Muslim. They fail to see their own criticisms as so sweeping that they amount to a judgment on anyone with brown skin.

I won’t do it. I won’t take the bait of a patronizing call for feminists to set aside their goals in America to address problems in Muslim theocracies, and I won’t take the bait of an anti-intellectual call for atheists to denounce an entire religion simply because a handful of atheist leaders prescribe it. I will exhibit more caution and conservatism in my judgment, and here’s why: Keep reading »

“Jane The Virgin” Handles Unplanned Pregnancy With Humor, Respect & Realism

When I was very young — eight, maybe — I remember walking out the back door of my family’s house with my mom. I had probably just asked for a cookie or something, and my mom’s response was this: “You know, if you keep eating sweets so much, people are going to think you’ll be an alcoholic one day.”

She contends this never happened, but I remember it clear as day. That was when I decided not to drink. It seemed expedient: I could keep eating sweets, and it wouldn’t matter what people thought about my future drinking habits, because I’d know that I wasn’t going to drink and therefore wasn’t going to become an alcoholic.

So the scene in the CW’s new show, “Jane the Virgin” (which premiered on Monday night), in which the heroine’s grandmother tells a pre-adolescent Jane not to lose her virginity, speaks to me. I know that feeling. That is Catholic guilt. Apparently, I don’t even know the half of it — my mom is good at guilt-tripping, but my aunt tells me that my grandmother’s ability to discipline via shame was downright masterful. In fact, my mother even harnessed some residual power from her mother’s guilt-tripping expertise by telling me a few times over my childhood, “Your grandmother would be so disappointed.” Keep reading »

Carrie Underwood Addresses Her Atheist Haters: “If You Don’t Like It, Change The Channel”

Carrie Underwood Addresses Her Athiest Haters: "If You Don't Like It, Change The Channel"
You Tell 'Em, Carrie...

Just last week, Carrie Underwood released her new single “Something In The Water,” but unlike most of her newly-released tunes, it wasn’t exactly met with open arms. Carrie’s song, which affirms her belief in God, conversion and baptism, focuses on the strength she found from Christianity, which has left some of her atheist fans less than thrilled. But despite the criticism, Carrie told Glamour that she’s not sorry for singing about her personal faith, and she’s certainly not planning on changing her tune.

“Country music is different. You have that Bible Belt-ness about it. I’m not the first person to sing about God, Jesus, faith [or] any of that, and I won’t be the last. And it won’t be the last for me, either. If you don’t like it, change the channel.”

Keep reading »

Megachurch To Close After Pastor Calls Women “Penis Homes”

“The first thing to know about your penis is, that despite the way it may see, it is not your penis. Ultimately, God created you and it is his penis. You are simply borrowing it for a while.

While His penis is on loan you must admit that it is sort of just hanging out there very lonely as if it needed a home, sort of like a man wondering the streets looking for a house to live in. Knowing that His penis would need a home, God created a woman to be your wife and when you marry her and look down you will notice that your wife is shaped differently than you and makes a very nice home. …

Therefore, if you are single you must remember that your penis is homeless and needs a home. But, though you may believe your hand is shaped like a home, it is not. And, though women other than your wife may look like a home, to rest there would be breaking into another man’s home. And, if you look at a man it is quite obvious that what a homeless man does not need is another man without a home.”

This brilliant chunk of wisdom comes from the mouth of Pastor Mark Driscoll (never trust a man wearing a beaded choker, I always say) of the Washington-based evangelical church Mars Hill, which recently announced it was shuttering several of its Pacific Northwest locations because of “financial difficulties” related to bad press. Bad press, huh? You mean people take issue with a religious leader referring to roughly 51 percent of the world’s population, specifically their vaginas, as “penis homes”? Personally, I would be offended if I didn’t find the whole thing so hilarious. Anyway, if a vagina is a penis home, what’s an asshole? A ski retreat in Aspen? Is my mouth a house upstate? DISCUSS. [Death & Taxes]

Girl Talk: What Losing My Virginity Taught Me About Faith

GT praying woman

I was 25 when I kissed someone for the first time.

I’d met him at a local book club, and we hit it off almost instantly. Our first date started at eight p.m. and ended shortly after one a.m. Though we’d planned a second official date for the following Tuesday, we ended up hanging out every evening for the next few days. I was smitten, he was smitten, and it wasn’t long before we were A Thing.

Two months later, I moved to Chicago and we broke up. But before all that happened, before this relationship went down in the flaming ball of pain that plagues so many long distance relationships, we had several wonderful evenings together. We watched movies, went out to eat, walked through parks, and, yes, fooled around on his small loveseat in his apartment.

In the technical sense, I never actually “lost” my virginity (at least not with him). But I no longer felt like a virgin because I was now sexually experienced. And this was a problem for the culture I came from, because I had committed the greatest of all sins: I had engaged in premarital fooling around with someone. Keep reading »

The Christian Country Song “God Made Girls” By RaeLynn Is A Hot Feminist Mess

god made girls
God Also Made Cheesy Country Music

Hoo boy. Have you heard that song “God Made Girls” by the country singer RaeLynn? She appeared as Racheal Lynn Woodward on season two of “The Voice” on Blake Shelton’s team. It’s a cheesy feel-good song like “Butterfly Kisses” for the millennial generation with just a pinch of Taylor Swift.

To be completely fair, on a baseline level I’m never going to see eye-to-eye with a Christian song that presumes there exists a God who made men/boys first and then got around to making women/girls (as it is told in the Bible, the first woman, Eve, is made from a rib of the first man, Adam). But hey, it’s a country song. Country songs are all about stories. That’s the premise here.

Even that concession, though, doesn’t improve the message of “God Made Girls,” which appears to be: GEE, IT’S A GOOD THING BOYS HAVE GIRLS AROUND TO MAKE THEM FUNCTIONAL HUMAN BEINGS. Keep reading »

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