Regarding Rob Bell and Evangelical Bible-Worshipping

What's more important, your bible or your brain?

What’s more important, your Bible or your brain?

Rob Bell has been causing a stir for years by saying things that some other people disagree with. He has stated opinions on various subjects, and there are people in the world who don’t like his opinions. He has written books, and they’ve been the focus of outrage from some people who think that what he says is wrong.

In other words, Rob Bell has been doing exactly what every other high-profile pastor does…he says what he thinks about things. Then his detractors make wild claims, such as that he’s being used for “man-exalting evils”, or he’s “willing to trash parts of the Bible.”

I can’t speak for Mr. Bell, and I don’t know a lot about what exactly he teaches, but I have some thoughts on the whole situation. Why should people get so upset at him for calling Paul’s writings exactly what they are…2,000-year-old letters?

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Blaming Victims

Words are dangerous; handle them with care

Words are dangerous; handle them with care

After the last four days, during which my friend Alecia Pennington has gone viral, I’ve been reading more accounts of similar situations. It seems a perfect time to finish this article I’ve been thinking about for a while.

People are very good at blaming victims. Look through the comments on any widely-read story about physical, sexual, emotional, or spiritual abuse, and you can almost inevitably find people who blame the victim.

It’s happening to Alecia, and also to Cynthia Jeub. It’s happening to girls who claimed abuse at the hands of idolized men like Bill Gothard, Doug Phillips, and Bill Cosby. I’ve experienced it myself, though not in the context of national news.

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Update on Alecia Faith Pennington

faithUPDATE, 11/5/2015 – Faith has triggered a new law in Texas, through her testimony and the help of a state representative, and she now has a birth certificate!

A lot has happened in the last couple days, since I posted my friend’s video regarding her difficult situation. She is nearing a million views on that video, her story has been picked up by a lot of news outlets, and a lawyer has agreed to take the case pro bono.

Faith has asked that people not post demeaning comments about her parents. She says, “Even though I do not agree with them on many things, I would like their reputation to be protected as much as possible.”

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Patriarchal Fundamentalism Strikes Again

19-year-old Alecia Faith Pennington is a friend of mine. She left home at age eighteen, with the help of grandparents and other relatives and friends.

As a result, her family has called her a “runaway teenager” and other things, accused her of betraying them, labeled some people who gave her advice as “godless and foolish”, and in general acted in rather manipulative ways. I know some members of her family personally so I have firsthand experience with how they handle people who believe differently from them. They handle it badly.

They seem to be so deep into their fundamentalist cult that they’re totally out of touch with reality…you know, where adults actually leave their parents’ house and get jobs and start their own lives. Their children don’t have birth certificates or social security numbers, which seems to be a strategy for exerting control over the kids even after they become adults.

They claim they have offered to help her, but their help is conditional on her following their rules. They don’t want to help her establish her own adult life, they want to control her by using her civil rights as leverage.

Now she’s kind of stuck, trying to find a way to prove her citizenship so she can get on with her life.

UPDATE, 11/5/2015 – Faith has triggered a new law in Texas, through her testimony and the help of a state representative, and she now has a birth certificate!

Fuel Injected Freedom: Introducing My Addiction

This is my current fleet of transport machines

This is my current fleet of transport machines

I have a problem.

Two weeks ago I bought a car. Six months ago, I bought a car. Seven months ago, I bought a car. Nine months ago, I bought a car. Ten months ago, I bought a car. A year ago, I bought a car…

You can probably see what my problem is. I’ve been acquiring and trading and selling cars for seven years now. My first car is still with me, but I’ve gone through thirteen others, none of which I’ve kept longer than about six months except for a non-running parts car. My father wasn’t very happy with that one sitting on his property for more than a year while I earned large amounts of money from it.

I still have pieces of that car all over the place.

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