Posts migrated over from the old platform

Bringing up God’s sovereignty is the ultimate cop out

God was sovereign in Nazi Germany. God was sovereign in Khmer Rouge Cambodia. God was sovereign in Mao’s China and Stalin’s Russia. God’s sovereignty does not absolve the Evangelical church of electing a man as president who promised to deport our Mexican brothers and sisters, who promised to lock up our Muslim neighbors, who chose as a vice president a man who wants to subject me and my LGBT friends to electroshock to electrocute the queer out of us. It’s crying peace, peace, when there is no peace. I finally understand why the German church stayed silent. Because of a theology of complicity with tyranny.

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Election Thoughts

I haven’t blogged lately because I’ve been too busy trying to win the election to write about it, but I wanted to share a few thoughts in advance of election day. I’ve been becoming increasingly frustrated with single issue anti-abortion voters who are either voting Trump or refusing to vote for Clinton because of abortion. When you declare that is the one and only issue you consider, you’re telling me that my life doesn’t matter to you. I’m not talking about my life in some sort of existential, quality of life sense, I’m talking about me not being dead. The rise of Donald Trump has unleashed violence against every marginalized group in this country. This didn’t make the news because the victim didn’t want to go public, but last Friday a man was gaybashed by Trump supporters in downtown Sarasota. They told him in a gay slur-laden rant that when Trump is president, people like him will be illegal and have to go away. I’m scared of what will happen if Trump becomes president and the people who are resorting to violence now believe that they have the support of the nation. I’m afraid for my own life, I’m afraid for my friends’ lives, and in the moments when I’m not busy distracting myself by doing everything I can to make sure the unthinkable doesn’t come true, it starts becoming overwhelming. When you refuse to vote for Hillary because of her position on abortion, even knowing that abortion rates fall under pro-choice Democrats and increase under “pro-life” Republicans, you’re telling me that you care more about maintaining ideological purity than people’s lives. You make me feel like my actual life right here in front of you is meaningless to you and that I’m disposable. But hey, the evangelical world wants[…]

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Coming Soon: Popped Culture – Breaking the Homeschool Bubble

I’ve decided to start a periodic blog series on pop culture for sheltered homeschoolers and other people who grew up under a fundamentalist rock. It’s going to be an ongoing feature where I cover parts of pop culture that a lot of people who grew up in American fundamentalism missed out on. I’ll put up my first installment in a day or so, but until then, I’d like to hear from you about what areas of pop culture you would like to see me write about. Reblog or inbox me to give your ideas or suggestions. I’m looking for guest bloggers too, so if there’s an area of pop culture that you’d love to break down for readers who missed out completely, let me know. I could definitely use some guest posts about cartoons from the ‘90s and ‘00s because that was past my time. One of the things I’m wanting to do with this feature is to contextualize modern pop culture with its earlier pop culture roots. I’m also planning to put earlier stuff into the historical context to give an idea of how people at the time would have experienced it. I’m super excited about this project and I hope you will be too.

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Violence begets violence

Violence begets violence. We are a nation founded in blood, Nearly torn apart and held together in blood, Where every step towards equality is steeped in blood, And our founders believed the tree of liberty is watered in blood. Violence and death are not a bug, They’re a feature woven into the very fibers of the American experiment. We’ve sown into the wind and we’re reaping the whirlwind.

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Killing Us Slowly

In the wee hours of Sunday morning, while listening to the slow motion horror unfolding on the Orlando fire rescue scanner, I sent out a tweet saying that I didn’t want conservative tears because they want us dead, this guy just followed through. I don’t want to see conservative tears over what happened in Orlando. You want us dead, this guy just followed through. — Kathryn Brightbill (@kebrightbill) June 12, 2016 I could wrap this piece in flowery language, beat around the bush and put things gently to carefully convey my emotions about what happened at Pulse, but instead I want to take the façade off and focus on that single concentrated expression of pain that came from my heart as my heart was breaking. You’re killing us. Just as surely as the shooter whose name I will not utter, you’re taking our lives. You haven’t loaded up an AR-15 and started mowing people down, you didn’t have to. The hatred in your hearts—and make no mistake. Jesus said that if you hate someone it is as if you murdered them in your heart—that hatred is killing us slowly. To the PCA pastor who told me that he was still going to keep preaching that our lives and our loves are a sin, even knowing that it was a message that drove kids to suicide, because to do otherwise would compromise the gospel, you’re killing us. To the PCA elder and now retired county attorney for a Florida county that shall remain unnamed, when you declared that it would be more merciful if God would just call gay people home because then they couldn’t keep sinning, you’re killing us. Under the logic of that brand of theology, the shooter at Pulse was an agent of God’s mercy, snuffing out lives[…]

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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, their website, or their Facebook page.   Note: INCH seems to be deleting all posts to their Facebook page about this. The post I left earlier tonight is now gone. My feelings right now:

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It was never about bathrooms, Exhibit A

I’m going to take a temporary hiatus from my personal rule of ignoring bigots in blog comments so they don’t get the attention they crave because there’s a comment on my “Get your own house in order” post that proves my point. No matter how much they may claim that it’s really about a fear of cis straight male predators, that’s pretty clearly not true. See, mamazee, my erstwhile commenter, left the following comment, completely ignoring my entire argument and insisting that yes, it is fear of predators taking advantage of non-discrimination laws to sneak in. And well, you can read it for yourself. All the trigger warnings after the cut, because your brain just might boil.   I am completely with you on the church having a problem with sexual abuse and how to deal with it – Boz Tchividian is doing God’s work on this issue, and i think people need to realize that some people are drawn to churches not because they love God but because they know guards are down among “brothers and sisters”. On the other hand, transgender people are not the issue about the bathroom issue. Like you’ve said, a lot of transgender people have probably already used the bathrooms with us. We are not concerned about transgendered [sic] per se. We are concerned about perverts, using the lowered guards (now that any objection is being hammered into the ground) and the hesitation of anyone to *say anything* when they see a grown man follow a child into a bathroom. Not a transgendered [sic] man, just any grown man. I am worried that it will be politically incorrect to be alarmed – that people will let abuse happen for basically the same reasons that our parents overlooked dangerous offender behaviour in grown men in our[…]

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Housekeeping

You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t been blogging much lately. It turns out that having someone threaten to murder you and your whole family because you wrote about the world’s worst homesteaders tends to put a damper on your creativity. When I started this blog I wasn’t doing it for readership. I’ve never been much for journaling because it felt like screaming into the void, but blogging, even a blog that you don’t think anybody’s going to read, feels more concrete somehow. This was supposed to be my way of floating ideas and working through my thoughts out loud, something that a few friends might read but that was about it. I never thought about blogging anonymously because I’m a nobody and I didn’t think anybody was paying attention. When the avenue that you use to process your thoughts is the source of death threats against you, where are you supposed to go to write your way through it? My blog is where I go to work through something like that, but if someone says they’re coming to kill you, you don’t want to give them power by talking about it. And it was rough, really rough, though I didn’t know just how much it had affected me until the Planned Parenthood shooting. I posted this on my personal Facebook shortly after the Planned Parenthood attack: Having had right wing domestic terrorists (and they are classed as such by the FBI) threaten to murder me and my entire family certainly makes me touchy when I see right wing domestic terrorists going on shooting sprees. It makes me especially touchy when I see conservatives trying to explain away, or make excuses for a terrorist, or do the “both sides are bad” routine to get in digs at Planned Parenthood. What you’re doing[…]

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Get your own house in order

When I was in high school, my sister and I once invented, on the spot, a rule against riding in cars with men we weren’t related to, in order to avoid being driven home from babysitting by a Growing Kids God’s Way dad who creeped us out. That was the last time we babysat for that family, we made up an excuse about being too busy with school work but the truth was that we didn’t feel safe. When we ran into the family years later as adults, he remembered how old we were during that short time we sat for them, something neither of us could recall, but that made me uncomfortable for my teenage self all over again. I tell this story because while everyone is running around screaming about how we need to ban trans people from bathrooms because a few predatory cis straight men might take advantage, I can’t stop thinking of all the times my creep-dar kicked into high gear. None of them were in bathrooms. None of them were around trans people. No, all the times I felt unsafe or uncomfortable growing up, the times when every fiber of my being were screaming, “run away, stay away, keep your distance and don’t ever be alone with this man,” were all around “good Christian family men.” I remember the man at my church who I felt strangely sexualized around, although I was too young to understand it, just that I felt very much aware that I had a body. He moved his family away, became quiverfull homeschoolers, his wife and daughters started wearing long dresses and head coverings. Some time later we got word that his wife was leaving him because she’d discovered he’d been molesting her oldest daughter, his stepdaughter, for years. Nobody reported the[…]

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The moment Bernie Sanders lost the chance of my support. Or, how I learned to stop worrying and embrace Hillary Clinton

Going into Thursday’s Democratic debate I was undecided on who I was planning to vote for. I know a lot of people on both sides think it’s pretty cut and dried, but I’ve never seen it as a particularly simple decision. There are things I like about both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, and there are things I dislike about both of them, and the decision about who to support involves weighing all the factors. I’ll support whoever ends up with the nomination in the end because either one of them is a better option than any of the Republican field, but for now I’m backing Hillary. I’m glad Bernie is in the race. I thought all along that he should run because we needed somebody in the race who was running to the left of Clinton. I like the idea of Bernie Sanders, socialist. This first head to head debate made it clear though to me that he’s not the best option this go round.  Foreign policy is important to me. The world is a complicated place and I want somebody who’s president who knows what they’re talking about. There’s much I can say about how Bernie’s brand of socialism in domestic policy reminds me of a college freshman in a 100 level class who hasn’t yet learned enough to know how complicated everything is, but that’s nothing compared to his lack of basic global political knowledge. There’s a lot more to foreign policy than voting against the Iraq war, or opposing the Trans Pacific Partnership, and Bernie just doesn’t know what he’s talking about. The following exchange is where he lost me. TODD: Alright, as Commander in Chief, Senator Sanders, you’ve got to prioritize potential threats to the United States. Three countries, North Korea, Iran, Russia. How would you[…]

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