Dispatches: Deconstructing Santa Claus

This exvangelical deconstruction of Santa Claus comes courtesy of Baptist Accountabilty co-founder Megan South Benninger (read her story here). This fascinating exploration reminds me of the "deconstruction" essays I wrote for grad school in which I searched for the historical roots of Dracula and Frankenstein. Really fascinating stuff, to find the kernel of truth in …

Continue reading Dispatches: Deconstructing Santa Claus

Exvangelical Meditation: A Path Forward

I wanted to give my readers an update: Writing has slowed down here at Surviving the Spirit, but it isn't because I'm taking a break. It's because I've been busy writing an exvangelical memoir, in which I rework much of what I've written here while both expanding existing content and writing entirely new material. With …

Continue reading Exvangelical Meditation: A Path Forward

Dispatches: Making the Safe Place by Royce Snyder

I met Royce when I was a college student at the University of Alaska, during the waning days of my evangelical journey. We had a few classes together, and his perceptive and uncouth contributions to our class discussions impressed me and made me chuckle in about equal proportion. For my undergrad thesis in 2006, I …

Continue reading Dispatches: Making the Safe Place by Royce Snyder

Straight Deconstruction: My Escape from Evangelical Homophobia. Part 5 – “The Church of Denunciation”

Read Part Four -- "An Exiled Christian and a Genderqueer Walk Into a Bar" here. It is 2010. I am 29 years old and living in Mount Vernon, Washington where, for the last eighteen months or so, I've been working through my shit with gloriously backbreaking manual labor on a farm.And I think I'm falling …

Continue reading Straight Deconstruction: My Escape from Evangelical Homophobia. Part 5 – “The Church of Denunciation”

Exvangelical Meditation: The Courage to Question

Growing up as Christians, we were taught from childhood that our theology was the "Absolute Truth," and that it would never change not collapse under scrutiny. When doubts arose as they inevitably do, it was explained to us as God "testing us" or Satan "tempting us." This is framed in a way that suggests that …

Continue reading Exvangelical Meditation: The Courage to Question

Dispatches: “Religious Trauma is Trauma” by Andrew Pledger

It is my pleasure to present a new voice in our Dispatches column.  Self-proclaimed "ex-fundie" Andrew Pledger reached out to me this week to see if I was interested in sharing his story at Surviving the Spirit; after reading his "testimony" (maybe it's time for exvangelicals to take that term back), I was deeply moved and knew …

Continue reading Dispatches: “Religious Trauma is Trauma” by Andrew Pledger

Straight Deconstruction: My Escape from Evangelical Homophobia. Part 4 – “An Exiled Christian and a Genderqueer Walk Into a Bar”

Read Part 3 — “Qualm of Conscience” here. It is a chilly night in Auke Bay, Alaska – December of 2007. Chance and I are staying toasty by the electric fire stove, the shadows of which dance all about this wide space around us filled with rows of books, exotic plants I'm responsible for watering, …

Continue reading Straight Deconstruction: My Escape from Evangelical Homophobia. Part 4 – “An Exiled Christian and a Genderqueer Walk Into a Bar”

Straight Deconstruction: My Escape from Evangelical Homophobia. Part 3 – “Qualm of Conscience”

Read Part 2 -- "Only Humans" here. It is February of 2006. I'm living in Juneau, Alaska – and I sit in anxious anticipation of the conversation that I'm about to have with Earl, my friend and pastor of the last few years. He's currently on the phone in the other room, and our chat …

Continue reading Straight Deconstruction: My Escape from Evangelical Homophobia. Part 3 – “Qualm of Conscience”

Straight Deconstruction: My Escape from Evangelical Homophobia. Part 2 – “Only Humans”

Read Part 1 -- "Sea of Sin" here. It is fall of 1998. We've moved again – we do that quite a bit in my family, due to Dad's music minister job. I'm not sure if it is the nature of all ministers to move their family around so much, or if it is just …

Continue reading Straight Deconstruction: My Escape from Evangelical Homophobia. Part 2 – “Only Humans”

Straight Deconstruction: My Escape from Evangelical Homophobia. Part 1 – “Sea of Sin”

It is 1994, and I am thirteen years old. My family is living in Mill Valley, California, where my father is attending Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. It's an island of conservative evangelicalism surrounded by a sea of sin. San Francisco is just across the bridge, and we are very careful when we venture out …

Continue reading Straight Deconstruction: My Escape from Evangelical Homophobia. Part 1 – “Sea of Sin”