Church and Spanking: A Guest Post from the Husband

Sage is the most awesome girl in the world. I don’t deserve her and it is a miracle we are together. We are within a few years of a decade and I am proud of our marriage.
I have written my own story elsewhere. I would link to it except that Sage is trying to remain anonymous. Sage has already told much of my story.
To one who has grown up outside of fundamentalism or conservative evangelicalism, much of this seems strange. Yet our stories with their unique details are the result of deliberate efforts on the part of “spiritual leaders” to consolidate power by creating schisms in the body of Christ. Scripture informs us very clearly that this is the modus operandi of the heretic. The will to power continues to feature prominently in the social economy of the new schism and the scourge of Gentile leadership so completely condemned by Christ becomes an indelible marker of that body. It is then no wonder that American conservative Christianity bites and devours one another and kills so that it may obtain! While their great ones love to have the preeminence and lord it over those who in turn love to proclaim that they are of this or that leader or “man of God.” They are become fast and firm friends with the world as they indulge in the worst kinds of worldliness.
Our so-called churches are focused on butts, bucks, and buildings as they seek to define God’s blessing in terms the world will readily understand. Our churches are built not by Christ but through the charisma and leadership skills of professional CEO-pastors who build the work on the backs of those once welcomed with love but now regarded only insomuch as they are become cogs in the machine. It’s Orwell’s “Animal Farm”.
Christ did not die for this. We will not live for this. Sage and I are thoroughly convinced that life on earth means something, that it was meant to be lived and not sacrificed on the altar of some concept of the eternal that does nothing but destroy lives and condemn the world to destruction. If Christ wants to meet with us here he is free to do so. But our fundamentalist parents and “spiritual leaders” have already sequestered too many of our adolescent and early adult years and forced them into their freakish version of Christian utopia for us to submit another second to their teachings and lifestyle.
I’d like to conclude by examining the one thing that finally pushed my wife and I out of fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism for good: their take on child discipline. What seems like a minor side topic actually touches on core issues with the Bible and with Christianity. When you accept the fundamentalist approach to Scripture you eliminate textual problems while creating some very large moral ones. That it is easier for the fundamentalist to rationalize God being okay with the Israelites hacksawing their enemies live than to part with their approach to Scripture says quite a lot.
The book of Proverbs says quite clearly to “train up a child” in the way he should go, and when “he is old, he will not depart from it.” This is the core text for advocates of Biblical corporal punishment. The next text, again from Proverbs, is “foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.”
Truthfully, many fundamentalists leave the matter here, allowing for a variety of spanking methods from hands to belts to sticks and a variety of intensities all to be determined by the parent. Some have even claimed that the “rod” meant is not really a big stick but something more along the lines of a switch. But when it comes to hitting children the matter must be taken farther so we can begin to understand how dangerous and harmful any Biblically-based system of corporal discipline is.
First we will deal with the phrase “foolishness is bound in the heart of a child.” We are also told in Scripture that the “heart” is “desperately wicked” and that “in sin” our mothers “conceived” us. The Christian doctrine that explains this is called “original sin” and explains that by virtue of Adam’s sin we are all sinners from birth. This necessitates the death of Christ, the second Adam, to take away the curse of the first.
It is important to recognize this implication because it naturally leads to the concept of breaking a child’s will. According to Proverbs, the will to sin is thoroughly buried in the heart of a child and the way to end this is through corporal discipline. And, according to the doctrine of original sin, every child has this will, which then needs to be broken. Although fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals do not believe that breaking the will equals salvation, they strongly believe that breaking the child’s will makes them receptive to the gospel when they are old enough to submit to it. So then breaking a child’s will becomes a matter of heaven or hell.
Secondly, we must deal with the phrase “the rod of correction will drive it far from him.” I will be a good fundamentalist and let scripture interpret scripture here. Proverbs also says, “(t)he blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil: so do stripes the inward parts of the belly.” So wounds in the flesh and welts on the skin cleanse away evil, even to the inward parts like the heart. The rod of Proverbs is one that, in its character and application, will wound and leave welts on the child, and so drive away the foolishness (or sin) bound up in their heart. It makes sense considering that the next step up in the time that Proverbs was written was public stoning of the child.
Even in fundamentalist churches that do not develop the doctrine of corporal punishment as far as it’s connection with original sin and it’s call for breaking the child’s will, the attitude and results end up being the same. I quote Jack Hyles, a legendary fundamentalist leader, from his book, “How to Rear Children”:

“Sometimes spanking should leave stripes on the child. Proverbs 20:30 says, ‘The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil; so do stripes the inward parts of the belly.'”

Hyles won’t even admit the Biblical imperative for leaving stripes as a condition of inward cleansing of evil, and softens it down to say “sometimes”. It’s ironic when fundamentalists don’t take Scripture literally.

We have no plans to use “Biblical discipline” on our children. Quite frankly, it’s barbaric, and what we know today about children’s developmental processes, psychologically and otherwise, makes it false and unhelpful, along with any other Biblically-derived system of child rearing, coming from people like Gothard, Pearl, Ezzo, SM Davis, Dobson, or anyone else.

Abuse at home

My husband and I have been talking a lotabout our past since we started this blog and he asked me why I didn’t talk more about the bad choices my parents made and he also asked me why I left out certain details in my life? Partly, it was because I do still love my family and I don’t want to hurt them mainly my sister Olivia and partly because part it I felt like wasn’t my story to tell. But Jack is right. If I am going to talk about this stuff I need to talk about it ALL. So I am going back once again to when we started going to the cult church.
I have to admit I feel sick to my stomach right now thinking about it. I don’t think abuse should ever be covered up and brushed over. So ok I’m going to say it. The man I talked about in my post (click here to read post) He was actually related to us and lived with us were we lived for a very long time. No, It wasn’t my dad. One of my sisters was one of his victims. I knew he was a pervert but I was a child. I didn’t know what to do about it. My parents suspected he was into children too by the way he acted. But they didn’t know how bad it was until many years later. My sister stayed away from him as much as she could to avoid his encounters and he backed off eventually but tried to make her feel guilty about “not being fun anymore”. Taunted her. After my parents found out my sister moved out. My parents didn’t do anything about it. They thought because it had been awhile we’d just keep it quiet and pretend it didn’t happen. They also seemed upset with my sister for not wanting to live in the same house as him anymore. I once heard my mom say, ” You lived with him this long I don’t see why its a problem since he hasn’t done anything in a long time.” I think what hurts the most about it is that my dad is still there for him. When he says anything to my dad, my dad drops everything to go help him. He feels sorry for him because he has no one. Whose fault is that? He treats my dad horrible. Like my dad owes him something just because they are related. My aunt is not a christian but is living in complete denial. She thinks it was a one time thing. She defends him. But it he has so many victims and doesn’t feel like he did anything wrong.Why do people want to protect such evil monsters?
When I was young I had a lot of health problems. To be honest I still do. Mostly lung related. Before everything came out about this man, Charles, my parents would leave me home with him while I was sick. For people in our religion, the church always came first. You didn’t miss it for anything. You didn’t call in you crawled in. Though my mom and dad did take me to the dr and I do feel like my mom and dad did love me I often felt like church came first. One time particularly I almost died for an asthma/lung infection, when I came home, my parents left me in Charles care. Of course they didn’t know the how evil of a man he was but I also think they didn’t want to know. We were a good christian home. This would bring shame upon our name. As I told you before Charles asked if he could touch me but I said no. But I am sickened to think what he could have done to me while I slept and we were alone. I was on some pretty strong medication and I slept the whole time I was in his care. I want to vomit just thinking about it. He is now a registered sex offender for later offenses because of statutes of limitation were up by the time he got caught. One of my biggest regrets was not saying anything to police after I found out but I was a child. My whole world was “church” and school (they were the same thing). I should also add in a small defense of my parents, they did ask my sister what she wanted done. If she wanted him reported. But she was afraid and wanted it to be over with so she said, “nothing” but again she was a child.
I can’t express enough GROWN UPS, PLEASE, I beg you. Handle this stuff. If your children/ child or someone you know is being sexually assaulted call the police. Child predators don’t just have one victim and they don’t just stop. They may move on but they don’t stop.
Like I said before our whole lives were the ‘church.” I spend more time at church then I did my own house. I resented it. I was bored and tired. We often missed meals because we were at church. I once was fed a jumbo bag of m &ms for dinner because my mom was busy redecorating the church until late. I was hungry and my stomach ached. I complained about it and my mom was so embarrassed by it because the “leader” was there. I got an ear full the whole drive home about God’s service and not complaining. She did get me a burger on the way home which I ended up throwing up because I ate too fast, That on top of the m & ms, it just made me sick. It was dark by the time I got to eat real food and I didn’t have much lunch that day. Candy seems like a dream dinner for most kids but I didn’t have a huge sweet tooth. The rest of the week several adults in the “church” took their turns in lecturing me for complaining and not always putting God first. I even got a Sunday school lesson. I was so ashamed of myself. But the thing is I was a preteen. I was a growing kid. We never had dinner on Sundays. My mom had a lot on her plate. I understand that. But I wish my parents cared more about our family then others. She wanted to feel appreciated. The church praised her when she dropped everything for it.
If I had it and the pastor’s daughter wanted it, I had to give it up, joyfully. Needless to say we did not get along. I hated it. She never asked me for anything. She went straight to my mom because my mom would give it to her. We were poor. We didn’t have much. I hated it.
My parents often preferred to sacrifice for the church and pretend uncomfortable things went away. I love them dearly. Mom did often go to bat for me against the leader. But she was bad handling serious things until there was a gaping wound.
I remember when I was young she was so happy and awesome. I often wonder if she didn’t get postpartum depression after having my youngest sibling. That was right around the time we started going to the “church” and she really changed then. She was taking care of our house and Charles and home schooling me and my sisters while caring for a new baby. We all ended up moving into the same house. That is also when we stopped home school. My mother just had too much to juggle. Depression isn’t something Christians are supposed to have. I wonder what would have happened if that was acceptable?

My mom has expressed a lot of regret about how she handle a lot of things and I do forgive her. It’s too late to change anything but I did learn somethings. I will always put my families needs first. I know God is supposed to be first in one’s life but isn’t your family supposed to be your first ministry? Don’t their needs come first? Something to think about

Until next time, Sage

Happiness- Things for which I am truly thankful

I wanna run, I wanna play, I wanna smile, I wanna be,

I wanna dance, I wanna sing, I wanna learn, I wanna see,

I wanna laugh, I wanna love, I wanna grow, I wanna fly,

I wanna explore, I wanna soar, I wanna feel, I wanna, heal.

Since we explored all the dark places in my life I decided now would be an excellent time to talk about the happy things I really enjoy in my life. One of the favorite things about my life is my family – my husband and my two boys. We have a tradition where we regularly go out and  do something fun together. We go to the zoo, museums, parks, ocean, other places in nature. We’ve googled “free places to visit in  *insert towns name here or nearby towns*”  or “Fun free places to go in *insert town name in here*”. It’s a really fun and we learn things. It’s such a great way to spend time with the kids and try new experiences.

The library is also a special place for us. Both my husband and I love books and its something we have in common with our children. We could probably spend an entire day just browsing for books.

Music – Its one thing I love so much. There is a song I love for every mood. When I don’t know how to express my feelings I just grab a CD that draws me and BAM! Music has gotten me through some tough times and helped me celebrate many important things in my life. I really love music!

Writing is another a safe haven for me. It’s easier for me to type my thoughts than it is for me to say them sometimes. Its freeing! It’s also somewhat odd but I find it comforting to know that I am sharing my thoughts with strangers rather than people I know (Other then my husband who reads my blog). This has also lead to a lot of late night discussions between Jack and I which has really cause us to become closer.

These are things I thank God for. These are the lights in my crazy world.

Trauma and life long hang ups

Unfortunately, child abuse isn’t something that goes away. It sticks with you like shadow. I found myself saying all the time I really hope people/ children I read about who suffer from abuse get the help they need. But what happens when they don’t? What happens when a child has a drug attack step dad who threatens to cut off his hand because the child flushed a dime bag of weed? What happened when a mother instead of leaving or calling the police protecting her son, she just send him to the pastor’s house to borrow $20. True Story! What happens when parents use starvation to punish a child? Or when parents yell and scream and dig their nails into a child when they are angry over something petty? What happens when a daughter is taught to hold in her feelings until she is ready to explode? What happens when she has to smile through her pain/illness or face humiliation or criticism.Well, I can tell you from experience.

My husband and I often talk about going to therapy but we are barely making it financially and could never afford the co-pay. He was once on anti-depressant but had to go cold turkey because he lost his job. If you have ever gone off anti-depressant you know how badly that screws with your mind. My husband suffered from depression for many years before and some time after we met. He is an amazing man. He endured some serious abuse. Mostly mentally but a lot of physical too. Though the depression no longer plagues him the way it used too when he lived with his mother but he still has has a lot of underlying issues. The man doesn’t have a violent bone in his body. But a lot of things tend to affect him. After our many years together I can pick up on it before he even says anything. This past weekend he struggled a lot. Sometimes he has nightmares. Other times the slightest noise make him jump. He gets anxiety a lot. It makes me sad before there is nothing I can do to help him. I hold him and rub his back. I remind him everything is ok. Stress tends to make things worse. THings have been very stressful lately. My children have been sick. Plus, we have been worrying about our kid’s schooling. Also his mother is planning on moving back into town. She plans on being homeless when she arrives. This is really stressful for us all. Another stressful issues we are worrying about is financial. All these things don’t help him with his anxiety. It’s frustrating because he has always been the guys to give and give and work his butt off for everyone but he never feels like he is on top.  He isn’t unhappy with his life. Neither of us really are. Just sometimes life pulls you down, you know?As a result he get what *I guess* is some sort of tick or trigger and he gets anxiety and becomes very jumpy. Noise even laughter can make him flinch.

My hang ups are different. I internalize everything. I have a very hard time expressing how I feel. It almost killed me a few time. When I am unwell I tend to push through it like everything is ok. It landed me in the hospital more than once. I don’t mean too. Really I don’t. It has become second nature to me.  My husband learned to pay attention to the little things and he has helped me learn to my find my voice and admit that I can’t do everything. I had a doctor suggest therapy to me before but it doesn’t come cheap? This blog however, is my way learning to express myself. To say hey? This was abuse. This wasn’t right! I’m not wonder woman! I am human! I don’t really have to hold things in. Easier said than  done. I’m a work in progress

Another hang up I find hard to admit is my defensiveness. I don’t take criticism well at all. Mainly because I took it so long stuff boils up. I usually find myself angry. Something happens I got home and fuel over stuff. I have many trust issues as well. Jack is the first person I have trusted in a long time. He is my rock. I think we found each other out of survival. I used to tell him I don’t need anyone but the truth is I did need him. He has saved my life numerous times. He brought my happiness back. He brought me hope. Together we are trying to work though our issues and we are better for it.

We have both come a long way since we ran away to Vegas together. While therapy would probably be most helpful we are making the most of what we have and actively trying to give our kids a better life then what we had. I would move mountains for my little family. we made together. While is started from two dysfunctional lives it’s now full of love and hope. Its happy ( though not perfect and we have our many hang ups). Its becoming something new and full of love. God has blessed us with these children. They are such smart, beautiful children.  They are my world!

I’m not discontent at all with my life. Our bills are paid and we have food. Sometimes we have to get creative but we make it. I have learned to be resourceful and frugal. I am learning there is hope in life. God can always make something beautiful out of rubble. Life can be a rough road  but it’s not over yet.

Until Next time, Sage

Abuse and the Church

My husband asked me once, “Does the church create the abuser or is the abuser drawn to the church? I put a lot of thought into this.

Mind you before I go into this further I feel the need to state that while there are a lot of bad people in ultra conservative churches, there also are some really good people too. People who mean well like my sister Olivia. She goes to a pretty conservative church. She and her daughters all follow the dress code, although she is not as strict in her other practices.  She is a very good and sweet person. She  has always loved accepted me no matter what my choice. I would never look down on her or anyone like her who are following their truth and are sincere and don’t use religion to hurt others.

Ok now that I got that out of  the way. There are many different types of abusive churches. It seems to me that most religions have some sort of extreme group. Some have more them one. For example you have the IFB ( Independent fundamental Baptist) for which I attended ( my former cult “church”). They were strict in so many ways it was hard to breathe. Another extreme is Westboro Baptist. They are all about the hate in a very extreme way. It’s mentally damaging. The funny thing is if my IFB cult church looked at westboro Baptist they would see worldly people. They wear pants. Use the NIV Bible which is considered very liberal. They aren’t close enough to God in their standards. They are both Baptist and both extreme. See what I mean by different extremes?

Even the Mormons have their on extremes. Have you seen the children dressed as little house on the prairie clothes and being married off as children? catholics have their own extremes. Muslims do as well. I could go on and on but you get where I am going with this.

So why do you see so much abuse in religion?

There was a man at our old “church” who had a fetish for little girls.  He was a wicked, disgusting man. He got a slap on the wrist. And eventually went to another church where he was thrown out. Then he went on to another church. He went to jail because the FBI caught him sending naked pictures to a minor over the internet.  When he got out the newest church he attended covered for him and welcomed him in. They were warned he was a bad man. They eventually realized it was truth and he was quietly kicked out. 4 Churches altogether he attended and abused in and he was never reported to the police. No wonder perverts like church! They can do what they want with no real consequences. Do you think Jesus would have allowed child after child be hurt in his church? Let the big bad wolf prey on our daughters in the name of forgiveness?  I don’t think so. forgiveness is a very good thing. However, forgiving doesn’t mean let people get away with crimes. Especially when they ARN’T sorry. They keep doing it and don’t see it as anything wrong!

Another reason abuser gravitate to conservative church is because children are broken and taught to obey the elders/adults/authorities over them NO MATTER what! I’m in charge of you, your are now my slave. This is not healthy! Yes, children should listen and obey but they have to be taught to think. Parents everywhere regardless of their religion or (lack there of) need to talk to their children about inappropriate touching.

Let me side tract for a min because what I am about to say is extremely important. Children are amazingly intuitive when it comes to people and they are very honest. They usually can pick up on a creeper. If our children don’t want to shake hands, hug, kiss and adult don’t make them. Making children show affection for someone who makes them uncomfortable shows them that they have no control over what happens to them. It may not be a matter of being polite. Children can often sense something is not right without being told. We need to teach out children not to do/ allow anything that makes them uncomfortable unless it’s a dr helping them.  Say it often!  It could save them form abuse later. I was asked once by the man I was talking about before. He tried to touch me. He even offered me stuff to trade/ I told him no and shoved him down. It spared me. My friends weren’t so lucky.

I got slightly off tract there, So lets move on. Another reason perverts/ abuser turn to religion is because of the word “God”.  This one was often used to manipulate my husband as a child. “God” – it’s like a magic word. If people think “God” said it they will pretty much do anything.  My husband was always told by his mother “God” put me in charge of you and you’ll do what I say or you’ll angry Him. Even as an adult she pulled the “God” card on him. Every time she moved or did anything impulsive it was always “God” telling her to do stuff.  Every time her house needed cleaned  and she didn’t want to do it (which was always) “God” told her to help him build character. Don’t get me wrong kids should have chores just not all of them. Especially not cool making a teenage boy walk to the laundry mat to wash your underware because so you can sit around and read magazines. Often times abusers use God to intimate people into doing what they’d like. Warren Jeff for example told the little boy that he abused that “God” wanted him to rape him and to keep it a secret. God would never want anything so evil to happen to a child.

The name “God” is often thrown around when really it’s just man/woman abusing thier authority. God would never want a child’s life ruins by sexual abuse.   Nor do I believe God wanted my husband to have a lonely, miserable slave-like childhood.  I certainly didn’t feel God’s presence at my old “church” when the pastor told us to support him or we were going against “God”.

So after much thought I think that a lot of time the abusers ARE drawn to the church but the sad thing is the church also creates abuser. Unfortunately, many children who are abused until being abuser themselves.

How do we fix this?

  1. Do background check on all people who are working church ministries. ESPECIALLY children’s ministries. If a church doesn’t do background checks do not leave your children there!
  2. Listen to your kids. If “that man” give them the creeps or makes them uncomfortable listen to them. I don’t care who he is or how old he is, or even if its a woman and not a man. We as adults were trained not to judge and how to be polite. Children are still leaving that and they are pretty good at picking out a creeper.
  3. Teach our children that no matter what tell if someone makes them uncomfortable EVEN if they said God says not to tell. We have to teach them that God will never tell them to keep secrets like that from mommy and daddy.
  4.  Remember abusers are often people close and often people you trust. Be careful who you leave your kids with.
  5. Be aware that power-hungry people often use ‘God” as a tool to control his people. Remember that a Pastor maybe a man of God but he is also human. Who makes mistakes and has pride. Man worshiping is against God. Respect your pastor but don’t worship him.
  6. Do not hide sexual abuse EVER. Forgiveness is a good thing and takes time but sexual abuse is a CRIME and the proper authorities (THE POLICE) need to be called immediately.
  7. Know the Bible and ask question. If you are going to be part of a church. It’s good to know what is actually in the Bible or what rules are more gray areas. Ask yourself is this really of God?  Questions are healthy. They help us learn and grow. If a pastor doesn’t like questions he might have something to hide.

Think about it, Sage

Double standard for girls/women

I was talking with a friend of mine today. I found in a fashion magazine that culottes were “in”. I joked , ” Oh no! Now they weren’t going to be permitted by the “powers that be!” But truth is, that is the way they did things when I was a teenager. Any thing popular was worldly. Any thing worldly was the devil.  Though the new type of popular culottes would have been considered far too close to boy shorts for us to wear.

For those of you who don’t know what culottes are it’s somewhat like a skort or a pair of big shorts. We were only allowed to wear the ones that looked like a skirt. (see photo)culottes_fullpleat_denim_2

All this got us onto the topic of the double standard for woman.

( My friend has not read my blog) But she did get me thinking.

Before I start I must say please don’t take it personally if you like it that way. I am not here to condemn anyones way of life or religious beliefs. I am a wife and mother – a home maker. I wouldn’t have it any other way. But that is the path I CHOSE. While my back ground probably had a bunch of influence on that some of the double standards were over the top and bizarre.

Double standards for females that I grew up with:

  1. Running. Girls who hit puberty and older were no longer allow to run, lest their breasts bounce and catch the attention of a male. So in other words were allow to sit and walk. No exercise, sports at school, or any such thing as that. The girls tried to tease me that I was the exception to the rule since I was flat chested. I was pretty tough girl though and didn’t let them pick on me.
  2. No fast walking. If you were in a hurry too bad, because walking fast gives the appearance of a man’s stride. ( I got called out for doing this a LOT).
  3. No wearing shoes with tread on the soles. It appears manly. We were allowed shoes from the 50s, nurse shoes, and dress shoes.
  4. Nylons are a must when it came to church or school for the teenagers. The exception to that rule was 50s type tennis shoes. Those we could wear socks. Though I did mostly get away with wearing a flat pair of sandals to church with no sock or nylons but never at school. This rule followed me to my unaccredited Christian college. Unless I was  working, it was nylons and hosiery all the time. Sadly nylon 24/7 leads to a lot of crotch rot…I dispise anything like leggings or nylons and refuse to wear them to this day.
  5. No swimming in public. No swim suits period! It wasn’t uncommon to spend a lot of my summer traveling with the teenager to this conference or that. Summer camps and week-long meetings. 2 or 3 a year and it was required. We stayed at many hotels. The boys always got to swim in the pool but we never did. We had to stay in our hotel with the curtains close until they were done. Somebody might see us in our wet t-shirts and culottes and get impure thoughts. Camp was the only place we got to swim because there was a huge privacy fence and the boys werent allow within 10 feet during girls swim time.
  6. This one kind of goes a long with number 1 and 5 – no swimming and running. The girls often got left out of fun activities. We once went to a conference where they had this AWESOME inflatable obstacle course. Other girls were going in the jean skirts or culottes but we were left out (per our “leaders” decision) because those girls weren’t ladies and we were. Another time it was rock climbing. And the list goes on…
  7. Clothing size. The boys always got to wear clothes that fit. Girls had to wear things too big because you don’t show your shape.
  8. Girls stayed at home until they were married. Enough said there.
  9. Laughing. Girls had to laugh like ladies. We often all got in trouble for laughing to hard about things, It was most un lady like. We were often refered to as cows. But we had nothing else to do but talk and laugh.
  10. The biggest one for me I think were the stares we got.  I didn’t like all the attention and questions I got from outsiders. When we all went out in public people always started at us. But the boys always blended right in. I was often mistaken for mormon. We must have looked like funny with our over sized jumpers and long hair with puffy bangs. (I never actually had puffy bangs. I didn’t get on that bang wagon)

There are probably more I don’t remember at the moment. But it kind of sad that in the religion I left the woman often got left out of the fun and had to bear most of the *standing* apart from the world.

I must say it felt so good to throw on a pair of jeans and climb on rope bridge with my son a few years ago. As well as to throw on a swim suit and a pair of shorts and jump in the ocean with both my boys. To be able to climb trees with them without showing the world my underwear. It nice not to have to worry about it. To be able to be modest with out missing out on the fun.

My husband treats me like a person not his property. I am precious to him. He is precious to me as well. He respect me as much as I respect him. I do consider myself a feminist in many ways. Woman are people and they have rights! But I don’t feel the need to trash a man to get there. Respect is an important part of our marriage. And that is how I’d like to raise my boys. You are responsible for you and for your thoughts. You can’t blame a the waay a girl dresses on your bad choices. Have self control. I don’t think girls should go outside naked. Respect yourself too. But boys/men have to be be held accountable for their actions, their thoughts, their body. So do girls. There, I said it- my two cents for what it is worth.

Sage