Six weeks ago, when I sat down with my Rabbi in anticipation of my upcoming Bat Mitzvah, I was most nervous to tell him that I was in love with a WASP—who happens to be the kind, caring person I’m marrying.
Before I could be officially accepted into the religious education program—which would consist of six sessions with Torah discussions, guest speakers, lots of falafel, one community service project, one full, 24-hour Shabbos, and the option for a (very reform) Bat Mitzvah (something I, while Jewish, had never had)—I had to get the Rabbi’s approval. Keep reading »
It is with a heavy heart that I inform you that some people who run “Christian” schools are actually enormous dicks.
Eight-year-old Sunnie Kahle is no longer a student at Timberlake Christian School in Lynchburg, Virginia, after administrators sent a letter home to her guardians complaining she doesn’t dress or behave “feminine” enough, like wearing pants with her school uniform. Her grandparents, who are her guardians, pulled Sunnie out of Timberlake and enrolled her in public school instead of forcing her to be someone she is not.
Sunnie is a tomboy with a big, infectious smile who wears short hair (she donated her longer hair to kids with cancer!) and comfy clothes like jeans and T-shirts to run around outside. But elementary principal Becky Bowman from Timberlake Christian School wrote in a letter to Sunnie’s grandparents that perhaps it’s “not the best place for her future education” if Sunnie can’t conform to the Biblically-based gender identity they dictate:
“You’re probably aware that Timberlake Christian School is a religious, Bible believing institution providing education in a distinctly Christian environment … We believe that unless Sunnie as well as her family clearly understand that God has made her female and her dress and behavior need to follow suit with her God-ordained identity, that TCS is not the best place for her future education.” Keep reading »
Today the Supreme Court heard challenges to the Affordable Care Act’s mandate to cover preventative care, which was filed by Christian owners of secular businesses who object to covering certain forms of birth control for their employees. Hobby Lobby claims their religious freedom is being violated and they should be exempt, like explicitly religious employers. There’s a whole lot to read about the subject and I’d like to thank commenter LR52185 for pointing us to a few of them:
“Divergent,” which opens today, has been hailed as either the next “Hunger Games” or as a massive “Hunger Games” ripoff. It is both, but where it leaves its source material (“Harry Potter” included) is in the religious proselytizing throughout. Teenagers are born again in all YA fiction, in a sense. But in the Divergent books it is a specifically Christian moral imposition and major reason the series fails. Keep reading »
“How do women decide to begin a sexual relationship? Pricing!”
The above video showed up in my Facebook feed the other night. It’s from a purported think tank, the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture, which is actually a Christian think tank/advocacy group. The video claims to be a scientific look at the “Economics of Sex” based on the concept that men want sex for its own sake but women want sex for intimacy, security and, ultimately, marriage. Therefore sex is a “resource,” subject to supply and demand, which women control. “Men know that sex is cheap these days if they know where to look!” we are told. The video then implores women to dole out the supply of their resource to men (the “demand”) in exchange for other stuff. Essentially: ‘All sex is prostitution and women are prostitutes.’ Hello, Christian Right! Thought you were in there somewhere.
There’s so much in this video that makes me mad, I almost don’t know where to start: the fact that it’s a call to female solidarity drawn and directed entirely by men; the fact that they talk about women ‘policing women’s relationship interests’ when they mean slut shaming; the comparison of the birth control pill to chemical pesticides; the blazing heteronormativity. Smart women have already chimed in on this stuff, though, so I’ll focus on the completely bullshit notion that “men want sex more than women do.” I’m not saying this statement is untrue — I’m saying it’s utter nonsense to which no truth value can be assigned.
Keep reading »
Bob Jones University, an uber-Christian fundamentalist college in South Carolina, has drawn attention for commissioning and then covering up a study on how well the institution handled sexual abuse.
According to The New York Times, the university solicited a consulting group, Godly Response To Abuse In The Christian Environment (Grace) to serve as an ombudsman and investigate how the school handles sexual assaults. Bob Jones hired Grace in the first place after seeing numerous other colleges around the country attract federal investigation for mishandling sexual abuse on campus. According to a blog post for Bob Jones’ public relations, the school wanted “ to evaluate its processes and procedures for responding to reports of sexual abuse and specifically to ensure the University maintained best practices for a legally compliant and loving, scripturally based response to such reports.” Keep reading »