And here I thought I was just Catholic (but if I snap out of my “current” feminism anytime soon, I’ll be sure to let you know).
In the meantime, allow me to give you a brief summary of the pushback to my virginity posts:
1. Juicy Ecumenism–a website affiliated with The Institute of Religion and Democracy (The IRD)– –posted a piece mocking post-evangelical bloggers. The official Twitter feed for The IRD mentioned me and so, I figured the mocking post was roasting me.
2. However, the pseudonymous author later left a comment saying he wasn’t writing about me. He was writing about…Ann Voskamp. Which was even more confusing because I’m pretty sure Ann is not post-evangelical. She is evangelical. Also? She doesn’t wear hipster glasses. BUT I DIGRESS.
3. And then, yesterday, The Gospel Coalition critiqued me (and the other brave, Christian women who wrote similar posts) for our flawed ‘underlying complaint.’ According to The Gospel Coalition, our underlying complaint “seems to demand that we accept different decisions without critique or even regret.”
So, I have some feelings about all this. (Oops. I said the “f” word. Feeeeeelings. Excuse me for a moment while I lay aside my irrational, lady-emotions and put on my lady-brain. Don’t worry, this change of clothing will be ENTIRELY MODEST, ba ha ha)
- Regarding the satirical post mocking post-evangelical bloggers: writing a mocking post under a pseudonym is cowardly. Even though the author later clarified the post wasn’t about me (so why was my name tagged in the tweet?), that didn’t make it OK. Ann Voskamp is a friend of mine. If you’re going to roast real people then have the guts to do it under your real name.
- Regarding The Gospel Coalition: the underlying complaint of my virginity posts was NOT a demand that Christians accept “different decisions without critique or regret.” Dear Gospel Coalition, if you’re gonna critique my position, at least be honest about my position (pun! pun!). In fact, NONE of the virginity posts I’ve read in the last week (Preston offers a nice round-up list here) have called for “accepting different decisions w/o critique or regret.” The very title of The Gospel Coalition post is misleading! NONE of us are advocating ‘commitment-free’ sex. Good grief.
- What we ARE rejecting is a culture of mass shaming, making a public example of God’s precious children and scaring them with fearful rhetoric.
- What we ARE calling to light are the harmful practices and behaviors of evangelical purity culture. We are doing this by sharing our personal stories about how we’ve been affected by the guilting, shaming and public spectacle-making of purity culture. As we share our stories, we experience freedom. As we share our stories, we release shame. Freedom in Christ IS freedom from shame and THAT was the message of our virginity posts.
- Furthermore, the women who began this conversation are all Christian women. I, for one, am a married mother of five. I am a Catholic Christian. I believe All The Things. But somehow I apparently approve of ‘commitment-free’ sex? Um, NO. If my kids tried to use that logic on me I’d be all: go get your little lying butt to Confession right this minute!
- What this means is that The Gospel Coalition is intentionally attempting to change the conversation AWAY from harmful methods and practices and is inventing an entirely different conversation. Straw man, anyone? Er, straw-lady?
- It is such a bizarre conclusion that I can only wonder at the motivation. Was The Gospel Coalition post really about defending traditional Biblical beliefs or was it about publicly shaming, silencing and dismissing the women who were brave enough to speak up about their abusive, personal experiences? SUMFIN SMELLS ROTTEN IS ALL I’M SAYIN’.
- No, seriously:
- By accusing us of trying to change traditional Christian beliefs, The Gospel Coalition proves it’s not interested in hearing about harmful behaviors within the Christian community but instead, has invented a conversation of its own wherein they–the Gospel Coalition–bring all the women into line by accusing them of aberrant theology.
- Now, where have I seen such dismissive/silencing tactics before? Hm. Oh my frail little lady-brain must be failing me again. Maybe I should just go home and ask my husband….
- Quoth the husband: “Elizabeth, I’m proud of you.”
- WHAT UP.
- Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must needs go put on my Red Rahab lipstick and have lots of
- (Hipster glasses not included).
- And all the people said……..