On public mourning when Evangelical culture kept you in the dark

My Twitter feed is full of remembrances from queer people tweeting about how much George Michael meant to them as kids, watching his videos and recognizing something of themselves in him. They all have these memories of his music as the soundtrack of their youth, while meanwhile the soundtrack of my teen years was Steve Taylor singing about how much God hates me. 

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Christian artist Steve Taylor called out Bill Gothard…30 years ago

The music hasn’t worn well with time (so very ‘80s), and this isn’t one of Taylor’s better songs, but it’s all there. The chain of command, the seminar notebooks, the umbrella of authority, all of it. So next time people try to play dumb about how Bill Gothard was just some fringe figure that nobody in mainstream evangelical Christianity had ever really heard of, here we have one of the most important figures in Christian music calling the whole thing out. In 1985.  No wonder Steve Taylor was one of my favorite artists when I was a teenager. He’s one of the only people in American evangelicalism who have consistently called out the problems within American evangelical Christianity. We need more of that. I’ve posted the lyrics after the jump. I Manipulate Does your soul crave center stage?Have you heard about the latest rage?Read your Bible by lightning flashGet ordained at the thunder crash Build a kingdom with a cattle prodTell the masses it’s a message from GodWhere the innocent congregateI manipulate Take your notebooks, turn with meTo the chapter on authorityDo you top the chain of commandRule your family with an iron hand I dispense little pills of powerFrom my hideaway ivory towerFrom the cover of heaven’s gateI manipulate Now it’s time to fill in the spaceWhere we talk about a woman’s placeDo you want to build a happy home?Have you sacrificed a mind of your own? ‘Cause a good wife learns to cowerUnderneath the umbrella of powerFrom the cover of heaven’s gateI manipulate Yes, I know that parableThat’s the story of the prodigalIf you question what I’m teaching youYou rebel against the Father too If he loved him why’d he let him go?Well, I guess I don’t really knowBut I see it’s getting late

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13 Again

I feel like I just found a time machine and was transported two decades back in time. You may have seen that American Prospect came out with an article, “The Homeschool Apostates,” that chronicles some of the people who were hurt by the fundamentalist homeschooling world, and how homeschool graduates are pushing back. It’s a pretty long and important article and discusses Homeschoolers Anonymous, which I’m involved with. The article has gotten a lot of press and buzz on Twitter, including from Richard Dawkins (who I really don’t like for lots of reasons, but hey, he’s super famous) and Dan Savage (who I like much better than Dawkins). Plight of homeschooled children with religious wingnut parents: http://t.co/9FxSwfokuJ. Support group here: http://t.co/56Hp3X4v6B — Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) December 6, 2013 Terrific—and depressing—longread: children escaping from homeschooling families. Read: http://t.co/eXKMiiCcGs — Dan Savage (@fakedansavage) December 6, 2013 ICYMI: Compelling piece about kids abused and miseducated by “homeschooling” parents—and how they’re fighting back: http://t.co/XGyt5MizYT — Dan Savage (@fakedansavage) December 7, 2013 That was cool and all, famous people tweeting about something I’m involved with, but what really meant something was seeing that Phil Vischer, creator of Veggie Tales (and voice of Larry the Cucumber), the videos that every evangelical kid of a certain age watched, tweeted the article.  This story about extremes in Christian parenting/homeschooling is frightening, but worth reading. http://t.co/9ryKpAljdk — Phil Vischer (@philvischer) December 7, 2013 And then Lisa “Junior Asparagus” Vischer tweeted about it too. Good homeschooling rocks! But this disturbing article/data is good motivation to avoid unhealthy extremes… http://t.co/40ZqyIfwvx — Lisa Vischer (@LisaVischer) December 7, 2013 It’s silly, but for all of the press and the attention from famous people like Dawkins and Savage, what feels like it really matters is that the Veggie Tales people read the article and[…]

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