burn it down

I’m working on a piece on America’s child marriage problem and it’s taking everything in my power to keep from posting an expletive-laden, ALL CAPS, wall of text screed full of gifs of things burning. For now it suffices to say that if you think Vaughn Ohlman and Let Them Marry is an isolated situation, you’re unfortunately mistaken. Child marriage is legal in all 50 states. Since I’m taking a break for the night before I smash my computer to bits, I want to leave something important to your attention. Ohlman is speaking at the INCH Michigan Home Education Conference that’s being held May 19-21. Please consider contacting them and asking them to disinvite Ohlman and stop Let Them Marry from exhibiting. As long as Ohlman speaks and Let Them Marry has a presence at the convention, young girls are at risk. You can contact INCH at 517.481.5994, through email,[…]

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Three things you should know before writing about Josh Duggar

With the latest round of Josh Duggar scandals, it’s time to address a few things that have been floating around, both in the religious blogosphere and tabloid and mainstream media. If you’re going to write about the Duggars, here are some things you need to know. Before I begin with my list though, I want to say one other thing. If you defended Josh Duggar the child molester I don’t even want to hear your condemnation of Josh Dugger the adulterer. Consensual sex between two adults isn’t in the same universe as child sexual assault. Anyone who thinks otherwise needs to reexamine their life. With that said, here are some things you need to understand if you’re going to write about Josh Duggar. 1. Fundamentalist ≠ Quiverfull It’s tempting to conflate the two concepts, especially since those who were involved in the latter insist that they’re the only true fundamentalists,[…]

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A Recipe for Disaster

Sophie Anna Platt wrote the following piece in response to Jim Bob Duggar’s quote from Wednesday’s interview on The Kelly File. Sophie is a homeschool alumna who grew up in a conservative Christian homeschooling family with many of the same teachings as the Duggars. She’s given me permission to republish her thoughts here. (Also by Sophie: Which one of you have we wronged?) Nooo… Really? And not once did it occur to you that maybe the way you and these other people were raising your children had ANYTHING at all to do with it? Oh, wait, you were too busy becoming the poster family for that cult (so you could get rich off your gazillion kids instead of having to think about being responsible parents who have to plan on feeding the children they pop out) to be bothered to use your brain to think about becoming responsible parents. It[…]

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The Duggar interview and the need for homeschool oversight

Sibling sexual abuse is not some normal thing that happens in families. Not letting your children play hide and seek lest your teenage son molest his sisters again isn’t normal. A teenage boy repeatedly molesting his young sisters, including one still in the preschool years, isn’t just a thing that most families deal with. Unless you’re Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and their friends, that is. Every single one of the Duggar kids, Josh included, deserved better than what they got from their parents and their church and homeschool community. If a teenager starts acting out sexually towards their younger siblings, something is wrong. When the sexual assaults continue after the offending sibling is caught and disciplined, something is seriously wrong. Josh needed help and he never got it. The girls needed to be protected and instead they had to grow up in a home with their abuser, never getting[…]

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Josh Duggar says he’s sorry. So what?

Josh Duggar is doing damage control. He can’t stop the truth that he’s a serial child molester from getting out, the police reports made sure of that. What he can do is change the focus. Josh doesn’t want you talking about his victims, he doesn’t want you focusing on the five prepubescent children he molested. No, he wants you to talk about how sorry he is. Don’t let him change the focus. Josh Duggar’s apology is not the story. Josh can apologize until he’s blue in the face, but that’s never going to undo the trauma that he put his victims through. Josh, and Jim Bob and Michelle alongside him, have shifted the burden onto the victims, painting Josh as a child who made mistakes, apologized and should be forgiven. They’ve tried to shift the narrative so that it’s just a short hop to viewing Josh as the victim. This[…]

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Here Are 7 Surprising Things You Need to Know About Joe and Nicole Naugler

Did you hear about the Kentucky off-the-grid homesteaders who allegedly had their ten children taken away because they were homeschooling? If not, you’ll probably hear about it soon, it’s rapidly going viral. As the outrage machine kicks into high gear, here are seven important things you should know. 1. Homeschooling is legal As with every other state, homeschooling is legal in Kentucky. The only requirements are that parents notify the school board of their intent to homeschool, and that they provide 185 days of instruction in the same subject areas as the local public schools. There are no assessment requirements, no curriculum requirements, no requirements that the children be working near grade level. Parents can meet the subject requirements any way that they see fit—including through unschooling, as Joseph and Nicole Naugler state they were doing. Noncompliance with Kentucky law can result in truancy charges, but CPS doesn’t take children away[…]

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#MakeHomeschoolSafe

How many times over the course of a year do your children come in contact with a doctor, nurse, teacher, clergy member, or other individual who is designated as a mandatory reporter of child abuse? It’s a fairly regular occurrence, right? If you’re homeschooling, your kids are probably seeing your pastor every week or so, even if they aren’t seeing anyone else who’s a mandatory reporter. Responsible homeschool parents, over the course of teaching their kids and living their lives, are going to bring their kids into contact with mandatory reporters on a regular basis. Kids who are in public or private schools are in contact with mandatory reporters five days a week, if not more. It takes a concerted effort to keep your children out of contact with any mandatory reporters.  The kind of concerted effort that Michelle Blair made when she withdrew her children from school to hide[…]

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When HSLDA went to the Kremlin

On September 10th and 11th of 2014, leaders of various right wing family organizations from around the world gathered at the Kremlin for what was to have been the “World Congress of Families VIII – the Moscow Congress.” The conference was a “pro-family” event that blended a mix of quiverfull, homeschooling, anti-abortion, and anti-LGBTQ organizations together. Facing press questions on the wisdom of holding an event in Moscow after the Russian annexation of Crimea, as well as Concerned Women for America’s decision to withdraw lest they, “appear to be giving aid and comfort to Vladimir Putin,” the World Congress of Families canceled the event in March. Or rather, they officially canceled it, as the meeting went forward under the auspices of the local sponsors, with several World Congress of Families leaders acting as organizers in an officially unofficial capacity. The International Forum: Large Family and Future of Humanity opened with[…]

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