Monday, January 11, 2016

Yes I Am a Christian. I Believe in the Bible. I Do Support Civil Unions.

I've got some serious problems with the message in this picture. How about you? 

For me this started as a repost from @jesus.iscomingsoon on Instagram #JesusLoveWins
at . I commented on her post and I'm going off on a rant now.  We Christians should condemn shacking up (cohabitation), hooking up (Netflix and chill), becoming illegitimate parents (being baby-mamas and baby-daddies rather than getting married  first and raising children together) all fornication, all adultery, sexting (showing your butt, penis, tits, vag-jay-jay in a text message, email or on social media to someone other than your spouse),aborting babies that you aren't even attempting to prevent the conception of, and no-fault divorce among heterosexuals as vigorously as we condemn homosexuality.  I just believe that all sexual sin is equal in the eyes of God. I believe that if being gay is wrong, and I have my questions about that because the Bible speaks about men laying with men in the manner that they lay with women. However the Bible is silent on lesbianism. l believe that people are either born gay like people are born blind (visually impaired) or with mental retardation (sorry that's not politically correct) or that straight adults and teenagers make heterosexual children gay through abuse and other inappropriateness. In either case the Christian biblical answer to that would be "you must be born again" John 3:7.


Lots of conservative blowhards say that homosexuality is the biggest threat to the institutions of marriage and family. Nothing can be further from the truth.

I support civil unions. I don't believe in the government calling it marriage though. Marriage is a sacrament from God.  However I believe that the couples and the people who perform the marriages ceremonies can call it whatever they want but our government should give gay couples all the rights and privileges and impose the same responsibilities that straight married couples have.

#LGBTQ #InAllYourGettingGetSomeUnderstanding #Christianity #BibleSays #HomosexualityIsASin #FornicationIsASin #AdulteryIsASin #AllSexualSinIsEqualInTheEyesOfGod #SinIsSin #SameSexMarriage #CivilUnions #BornThisWay #MustBeBornAgain #John3and7 #FixItJesus #TheLordForgives 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Session 1 The War Revealed by Dr Tony Evans from Victory in Spiritual Warfare: field guide for battle

In the blockbuster film Inception the main characters discovered a way to enter 
another realm—the realm of dreams. Though the dream seemed as vivid and 
authentic as the real world, the dream realm was not their reality
Because the dream felt real to their five senses, each character created an item 
used to let others know if they were in a dream or in reality. Without the item, 
the person in the dream might believe the dream was reality, and they might 
stay there—operating by the laws of reality within the realm of the dream.
The main character’s item was a spinning top. If his top kept spinning endlessly, 
that meant he was in a dream. If it fell, he had woken up. The knowledge that 
he was in a dream enabled him to take more risks and live differently because 
he knew at any time, he could simply wake up in reality.
Is it possible that right now our ultimate reality isn’t happening in the physical 
world as we see it? Could it be that right now there is a spiritual battle waging 
all around us in the unseen realms and that battle has physical effects in this 
world? If that’s true, then most of us walk around in this world with no idea of 
what’s happening in the spiritual one. The top keeps on spinning.
The spiritual world is real. Conversations, decisions, and battles that occur in 
the spiritual realm unilaterally impact what takes place in our physical lives. 
Unless we realize that truth and wake up to the battle, we will continue to 
look for physical solutions to solve spiritual problems manifesting themselves 
in our physical lives. Time to wake up and get in the real fight!!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Get in the fight! by Dr Tony Evans from Victory in Spiritual Warfare: field guide for battle

Whether you recognize it or not, there is currently a war going on all around you.
It’s a cosmic conflict of such ferocity, size, and scope that it makes all other wars
pale in comparison. This is the battle being waged in the heavenlies, and it’s a battle
God is calling you to wake up to.
This wake-up call is being issued to Christian men and women, for the vast majority
of us, though we know Christ and might have a pew reserved in church every
Sunday, are nonetheless living defeated lives. We try and fail, and then try and fail
again. No matter what we do, we can’t seem to live in the way the Bible describes
the life of the Christian.
We are plagued by anxiety, hang-ups,
 compulsions, and addictions.
No more!
God has already given the Christian everything needed to live in victory. Because
of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, victory is not only possible—it’s
already been assured. His victory is our victory. All that’s left is for us to connect the
visible, physical world with the victory already given to us in the invisible, spiritual
world. Amazingly, we aren’t fighting for victory; we are fighting from victory.
That’s what this study is about—understanding and implementing the victory
of Christ through the essential pieces of spiritual armor God has given the believer
to wear.
Over the next eight sessions, we will learn about all God has already secured for
the believer in Christ. We will discover together what each piece of armor is and
how to put it on. We will see that this armor is to be employed every day in real
life situations. And together, we will learn to live in the victory God has won for
us in Christ.

Psalm for the Second Day of the Week from the Jewish Prayer Book (p. 50-51). Vook, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

This is the Second Day of the Week on which the Levites in the Temple used to say:— (Psalms 48:1-14) A Song; a Psalm of the Sons of Korah. Great is the Lord, and highly to be praised, in the city of our God, in his holy mountain. Beautiful in elevation, the joy of the whole earth is mount Zion,— at the sides of the north,— the city of the great king. God hath made himself known in her palaces as a stronghold. For, lo, the kings met each other, they passed on together. They saw it; then were they amazed; they were confounded, they hasted away. Trembling took hold of them there; pangs as of a woman in travail. With an east wind thou didst break the ships of Tarshish. As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our God: God will establish it for ever. (Selah.) We thought of thy loving kindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple. As is thy name, O God, so is thy renown unto the ends of the earth; thy right hand is full of righteousness. Let mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of thy judgments. Compass ye Zion and go round about her: count the towers thereof. Mark ye well her rampart, traverse her palaces; that ye may tell a later generation, that this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Most Powerful Prayer You’ll Ever Pray by Adam Houge from The 7 Most Powerful Prayers That Will Change Your Life Forever! (Kindle Locations 56-146)

It is written, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3: 16-17

When understood in the proper light this scripture has a truly profound impact on our lives. One that will transform our hearts and change our lives forever. But in order to understand it, we need to understand the most powerful and life-changing prayer you could ever pray. This prayer we are about to discuss is so important that it will always be the first in several of my prayer books. I can’t express enough the need for us to pray this. Without seeking and praying for God’s saving grace, there is no grace for us at all. God desires a relationship with us at a personal level. He is a very intimate and relational Person Who loves each and every one of us. He knows everything about us, but treasures us so much that He still wants to know us more. There is a difference between knowing things about someone, and knowing him personally and intimately. I’m sure you could think of a famous actor and say, “oh I know about him!” But then someone who is a personal friend with that actor would brag, “yeah, but I know him personally!” The person who is a good friend of the actor will know the truth about him: whether the rumors the magazines publish are true, or just made up to get readers. They’ll know everything about that person’s life, and enjoy every moment with him. Why? Because they’re friends! God works the same way. There are many things said about God, but there is only one way to know the truth about Him –through an intimate relationship with Him. God desires that friendship with you, and wants to enjoy every minute of it. He loves you! No matter where you’ve been and no matter what you’ve done, God loves you. A few of you reading this may have done something so terrible that it would lead you to think that God can’t possibly love you. But God says He still does. Can you believe Him? Can you believe that God is better than you and can love you even when you wouldn’t love yourself? Can you believe He will forgive you even when you can’t forgive yourself? You already know that a relationship with Him requires faith, and this is one of those times you need faith. Have faith that God is better than you and can love you even when you can’t love yourself. Now God does love us, but He does NOT love our sin. In order for you to be saved, God had to come down as a man and suffer a horrible and gruesome death. We read in the Bible that He was “Pierced for our transgressions.” So because we sinned He needed to be crucified. If He was not mocked, beaten, tortured, whipped, stripped naked, and crucified, neither you nor I could be saved. There would be no hope for us AT ALL! Due to our sins against God, His wrath would still abide upon us. But God is a loving God and doesn’t want to have wrath. He, as a Judge, has perfect justice. So His heart dictated that He needed to have justice on our sins, and our sins require wrath. Because God loved us, He decided to give us a way out of judgment, and yet still have justice on our sin. He chose to have that wrath laid on His own shoulders for our salvation. You need to understand how much He loves you! Even though we deserve Hell for sinning against Him, He can’t stand the thought of sending us there. He’s not a vengeful wrathful God, but perfectly loving. He made you. He formed you in your mother’s womb and sewed all your sinews. He connected all your bones and brought you forth in life. He gave you your life to love you, not to condemn you. We read in the Bible that God knows all things. He knows your heart, your frame (remember He made it), everything you’ll ever need, and everything you’ll ever aspire to be. He hasn’t only known you now that you’re alive, He’s known you since before time. Before He ever created time, He thought of you. You are not an accident! You are a purposeful well-thought, out creation of God. He’s been spending thousands of years thinking of you. How you will look, and act. How you will respond to life, and how life will respond to you. He’s been thinking of these things before the world ever spun on its axis. Before He created anything He’s been cherishing you in His heart and in His thoughts. He planned you and has always had a plan for you. God has spent so much time thinking about you and cherishing you that He treats you like His own child in His heart. If your child does something wrong, don’t you want to turn them around again? If your child committed a crime deserving of death, wouldn’t you
try to save them from it? “Maybe if they’re sorry and change their life, they won’t have to die,” you might think. What would you do if you were told someone had to die, and were given the choice to die for them? What if that person sinned against you or your children? Would you die for them? Would you give your child’s life for them? But God is so loving that even though we sin against Him, He chose to give His Son’s life to save us. He doesn’t want vengeance. He wants to give you life. Your life was His plan to begin with and it’s the reason you were born! But perfect justice must be served. Any sin we commit is deserving of death. It is an act of rebellion against God who gave us life. God knows what we deserve, and must administer perfect justice for our crimes. Even the smallest sin separates us from Him. He’s an all holy and perfect God who knows no sin. He declared from creation that anyone who sins in any way, no matter how small, is worthy of death. But He has loved you so much that He couldn’t stand the thought of living in eternity without you. Nothing would break His heart more than being without you. So He, like any loving parent, chose to stand in your place. He came down and was born as a man, and named Himself Jesus, which means “deliverer” or “savior.” He called Himself this because He wanted to save you from the penalties of your sin. Perfect justice needed to be met, and someone needed to die for your sin, so He like any loving parent chose to stand in your place. Even though we were wicked against Him, He still chose to die out of love for you. He chose to die to save you, in the hope that His death would convict you of your sins. He hopes that you might repent and live for Him as you were created to do. Remember what we said, “Maybe if they’re sorry, they won’t have to die.” This was His mindset when He sacrificed Himself for you. He wants us to be sorry for our sins, and repent. Repent means to do a complete 180 in life –to turn and go the opposite direction from the way we’re going. And this is His heart toward you. God doesn’t want you to go to Hell, He loves you! He cares so much about you! He has shown you by His sacrifice that He would rather be beaten, whipped, tortured, completely humiliated, stripped naked, and murdered on a cross than spend another moment in eternity without you. You’re so precious to Him! Don’t turn Him away, and don’t turn Him down. He has loved you, even when no one else has. How could you pass up this kind of love? No matter what your decision is now, God will always love you. Even if you hate Him, He’ll still love you. He’s perfect and can’t help but be perfectly loving. But He has perfect justice too. He doesn’t want to have wrath on us, but if we can’t be sorry for the things we’ve done and change our lives, He can’t save us. It is our own decision and not His. He gave us that decision and gave us freewill. He gave us a way out, and if we don’t take it, there is no other way to be saved from condemnation. There is no other name by which we must be saved than Jesus Christ. If we don’t take His gift, then in Judgment, God with tears in His eyes, will guide you down the path you wanted. He will love you and guide you all the way to the gates of Hell. It’s never what He wanted, but if you pass Him up today, that’s what you wanted. He wants to give you a way out and chose to die for you so you could have one. Don’t pass up this opportunity. There will never be another one. I want to encourage you to take this opportunity for grace, right now, and ask Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior.

Please Pray With Me, “Lord, I know I’ve sinned and I’m sorry. I’m sorry for every way I’ve ever hurt You or anyone else. God, I repent! I want to change my life! I want to be better for You. Please forgive me. God I can’t do this myself. I failed at this life You gave me the first time I tried. Please help me God. Please help me to do this right. Please give me your Holy Spirit now that I may be alive in You. Give me Your Spirit, Lord, that I can have strength to please You in all things. Create in me a new heart. I devote my life to You now. Please, Jesus, be my Lord and Savior forever. Amen.”

The Lord’s Answer, “Oh Beloved! Oh My precious baby! I’m so happy with you! I’m so proud of you! I’ve never been happier with you than right now! I am telling you the truth, there are tens of thousands of angels rejoicing before Me because of you! You have set a fire in their hearts, and they can’t help but sing and dance that I have my baby back! “This is all I ever wanted –for you to be sorry, and give your life to Me. I created you to have a relationship with you. I made heaven and earth for this reason, that I may have a place to meet with you and connect with you: My new friend. How could you not think that I love you? I’ve done all these things for you, because you mean so much to me! Now let Me mean much to you, and devote yourself wholeheartedly to Me. “Let Me be the center of your life. Let Me live in you and with you. Let Me guide you and take you by the hand. Let Me choose your path in life, because I know what will lead you to perfection. Let Me take care of you. I will take care of you! You are My baby after all! “Surrender to Me, and let Me be your Lord in everything. I will take care of you and I will save you from everything that comes your way. I promise! But be good to follow Me now, and listen to My convictions. I will speak into your heart through My Holy Spirit, so incline your ear to Him. Listen to My convictions and do the right thing. Obey His conviction! I know what is best always. So always follow Me and obey Me. “Grow in Me and grow close to Me. Serve Me and where I am you will be also. You are not serving Me if you don’t listen to Me. Be diligent to obey Me, and not your own heart. If you’re making Me your Lord, then deny your life and let Me rule over you. I have a use for you. I have a plan for you. Let me take you by the hand to fulfill it. Let Me lead you in your walk with Me. Besides, I know the way to where we’re going, not you! “I’m going to give you eternal life so you can be with Me, where I am, forever. I will do this so long as you continue in Me, and obey Me as I have commanded you.”

Sunday, July 5, 2015

15 Things All Dads of Daughters Should Know by Justin Ricklefs

,"I feel SORRY for you when they become teenagers." "Dude, you're surrounded by women." "What did you do to deserve that?"

Being a dad of four daughters (we also have one son), I hear stuff like this almost daily. And honestly, I'm the one who feels sorry for people who think this way.

Having daughters is one of the greatest joys I could imagine. We have a saying at our house that goes like this, "I love you more today than I did yesterday." Raising girls is a privilege, not a burden.

I certainly don't have it all figured out, but I have learned 15 things about raising girls these last 11 years.

1. She wants to be loved. More than she wants the stuff you can buy her or the things you can teach her, she wants you to love her. No one else on Earth can assume YOUR role as daddy. Your daughter will let you down, make huge mistakes, and maybe even turn her back to you for a season, but don't ever let her doubt your love for her. Look her in the eye and tell her you love her. Lots.

2. You have an influence on her future partner. Scary thought, but the kind of man you are to her will have a direct impact on who she chooses to marry some day. For years, our third daughter would beg me to marry her when she grew up. I had to explain that I was ALREADY married to her amazing mother. If you're doing it right, she'll want to marry someone like you one day.

3. Listen to her music. When my girls are in my car, you'll be able to catch us rocking out to the following PANDORA stations: Taylor Swift, One Direction, Cody Simpson, Kidz Bop Radio, Katy Perry, you get the point. Not stations I'd listen to on my own (with one exception -- I love Taylor Swift), but when it lights them up, it lights me up.

4. She's watching how you treat her mom. If you take one thing out of this entire list, make it this. One of the best things you can do for your daughter is to love her mom well. It's easy to be child-centered. Running from one kid ACTIVITY to another. But fight for your marriage and make it a priority. The seasons of life when I lose focus on dating Brooke (my wife) are also the same seasons when our children have more issues. I don't think that's coincidental. Love your wife, make time to date her, take her on trips, and show your kids that she is a bigger priority than they are.

5. Don't shrink back as she grows up. Our oldest is almost 11, so we haven't hit the dreaded teenage years, but I say bring them on. Dads who are further down the road than I am regret not being more emotionally engaged with their teenage daughters. It will be awkward for all of us, but I'm leaning right into it. Periods, boyfriends, shaving armpits, Snapchat, whatever it is. My girls won't know any different than their dad being every bit as engaged when they're 15 as he was when they were 5. Don't DISAPPEAR when their emotions and bodies start changing.

6. Teach her how to do a real push-up. I won't be mistaken for Billy Blanks, but we take health and wellness seriously at our house. My girls aren't wimps. They know how to do real push-ups. They play sports hard. They think "throwing like a girl" is a compliment, not an insult. They bring it. And more than the physical toughness, we're raising mentally tough girls. Like their momma. In a world where femininity gets assigned far too often to princess dresses and fairy tales, my girls are tough as nails.

7. Make memories. A friend once told me that my job is to be the Chief Memory Maker of the house. It's morbid, but I have 50-60 years left on this Earth, tops. That's not a ton of time, so I'm going to go hard and create as many memories with my girls as I possibly can. We celebrate big things like a 10-year-old trip, but we also take the little things seriously. Family movie nights on Friday nights. Big breakfast Saturdays. Hikes after church. It doesn't have to be expensive or elaborate, but it does have to be intentional. Fill up YOUR daughter's emotional journal with memories of being with her dad.

8. Teach her that it's not about her. Something amazing happens when we realize that the universe doesn't SPIN around us. We're not modeling it perfectly for our girls, but we're trying to show them that life is best lived when we give ourselves away. To serve others. To go last. To not always have to be right.

9. Show up to her EVENTS. As dads of young daughters, most of us are building CAREERS at the same time. So it's not possible every single time, but make the effort to get to her stuff. Even if it's not your favorite stuff. I hate the commercial of the dad at the daughter's dance recital who is watching a football game on his phone. I love a good football game as much as the next guy, but clap as hard for your daughter's recital as you would on your couch watching sports.

10. Proximity doesn't equal presence. I'm guilty of forgetting this often. The simple fact that you're there doesn't mean you're really there. Especially in an era of constant information and entertainment. Turn your phone off when you get home from work. Or at least put it in another room. Your daughter couldn't care less about your Twitter feed, YOUR EMAILS, your fantasy football team, or your group texts. She cares about spending time with you. Playing with you. Being with you.

11. Do her hair and nails. Brooke does this 99 times out of 100, but I make it a point to tell all my girls that daddy can make a killer ponytail. And I can paint their nails like a champ. Heck, they've painted mine on many occasions as well. Show her that a man can be gentle.

12. Date her. I wish I could say I do this consistently, but even once every few months is better than not at all. Dating your daughter is critical to showing her how a man should treat a woman. Call me old school, but on my dates with my girls, I OPEN the doors, pay the bills, look them in the eye, and make them feel like a million bucks. This doesn't have to cost a ton of money. A walk around the block. A short bike ride. A trip to the ice cream store. Doesn't have to be fancy, but again, it must be intentional.

13. Her heart is more beautiful than her appearance. Guess what, dad? It's your job to tell your daughter, and then remind her a million times, that what's on the inside of her is what will make her go far in life. The heart is how we talk about it at our house, but it can be her character, her self-worth, her core. Raising girls in this sensual world isn't easy, but they don't have to settle for the belief that to be pretty means you must fit into a size zero or show almost every piece of your skin when you walk into a room.

14. Don't blink. Kenny Chesney was right. She calls you daddy. Enjoy that role -- it flies by.

15. Will you forgive me? I forget 1-14 more than I would like to admit. I'm doing my best. You are too. But when I blow it, when I hurt her feelings, and when my intentions were better than my actions, I'm learning to ask her for forgiveness. Not a simple apology, but a sincere plea for forgiveness. Model being a dad who gets down on her level and admits that you don't have it all together. She'll forgive you for that.

Dads, YOUR role is a precious one. Love your daughters well.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Former Evangelical: The Truth About Christian 'Sexual Purity' The author of "Virgin Nation" talks about her experience with the anti-premarital sex conservative Evangelical Movement y Sara J. Moslener / Religion Dispatches June 30, 2015 (There are so many disturbing things in this article)

What inspired you to write Virgin Nation?

I’ve been familiar with evangelical purity movements since I was an evangelical teenager. When I was young, “Why Wait?” by Josh McDowell was the only national program available—everyone was watching this VHS series in Sunday School or Youth Group.

One girl at my Christian school wore a shirt that said “I’m NOT Doing It” and listed all the bad things that could happen if you had sex. I myself wrote a letter to my local newspaper that had run a story about how teaching sexual abstinence was not realistic. I, the ever-zealous—and completely naïve—young evangelical, argued otherwise and offered myself as an example of teenagers who believed it wasn’t right to have sex.So though there weren’t yet OPPORTUNITIES to take pledges and wear rings, I made a point to publicly declare my commitment to sexual abstinence before marriage.Several years later I was in my senior year of college (also a Christian institution) and was hired to stage-manage a large concert EVENT at a local church. The event was being sponsored by True Love Waits—one of the more prominent purity campaigns developed by the Southern Baptist church.

The main speaker was a young woman named Giana Jessen who promoted the value of sexual purity by describing her mother’s experiences as a pregnant adolescent. Her mother had attempted to abort her child and had failed. A NURSE at the hospital rescued the child who, it turned out, was Jessen herself. By this time I no longer affilliated with the evangelical tradition and harbored deep suspicions about their tactics and theological assumptions. Hearing Jessen’s story and being part of the context in which it was used became a memory that practically etched itself in my skin.

Her story was something I needed to make sense of, and as the years wore on it became a heavy ghost that seemed to follow me everywhere.

It took me a while to formulate the questions I needed to ask about the history of evangelicalism, gender, and adolescent sexuality—and eventually a graduate school course would allow me the resources and OPPORTUNITYto look into them. The project took on different shapes as a course paper, doctoral dissertation, and eventually Virgin Nation. I had to be talked at the dissertation stage by my advisor, whose prodding was instrumental in giving me the courage to move forward given my own past affiliation with the movement.

I’m a big believer that most academics are really writing their own stories. The more authentic we are with those stories, the more people CONNECT TO the histories we are trying to uncover.

Researching this history was a practice in chasing and catching those ghosts that seemed to haunt my life as a young adult. The timing for Virgin Nation is serendipitous to say the least. There are now many people who have passed through the purity culture and are telling their own stories of reclaiming their bodies, their sexuality, their relationships. Virgin Nation is a project in that same vein—though that may only be evident to those who know me well.Researching and writing this book was a way to give flesh to those ghosts, to exorcise the spirit of the over-zealous, evangelical teen. I turned out to be a historian, so that’s the medium I am able to make use of.

What’s the most important take-home message for readers?

Sexual purity movements, past and present, are not ultimately about PROMOTING a biblical view of sexuality. They are about explaining large-scale culture crises (e.g. Anglo-Saxon decline, the Cold War, changing gender roles and sexual mores) and providing a formula for overcoming those crises.

Today’s movement is laden with a therapeutic rhetoric that presents these choices as the best choices for those who seek to conform their behaviors to God’s will. It promises that those who conform will enjoy spiritual, physical, and emotional satisfaction in their MARRIAGE RELATIONSHIPS. Other scholars have parsed these claims in more sophisticated ways than I do and many other writers have demonstrated that these expectations are anything but a path to personal well being. What I’m saying is that sexual purity has never been about personal well-being for evangelical adolescents— or anyone.

Each historical example I analyze demonstrates that purity work and rhetoric has emerged at moments when socially conservative evangelicals seek to assert and maintain their political power. Sexual purity isn’t about what Abby and Brendan do on a Friday night, it’s about CONSTRUCTING a view of the United States as a nation in distress and claiming that evangelical Christianity can not only best explain the crisis, but save us from our demise.

Is there anything you had to leave out?

For a long time I considered writing an addendum about post-purity evangelicals. This is a concept introduced by Abigail Rine who wrote in The Atlantic about the growing NUMBER of evangelicals and former evangelicals who’ve been recounting their experiences with sexual purity. Many of these are women who are writing through their own struggles with sexual shame as a result of learning at a very young age that sex was threatening to their physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

What’s emerged, especially in the work of women like Rachel Evans Held, Sarah Bessey, and Dianna E. Anderson, is a new strain of Christian feminism. And that’s significant. Really significant. It needs a book of its own. In the end, I had to be the academic and recognize this narrative didn’t help me to establish the argument I was making about national SECURITY.

What are some of the biggest misconceptions about YOUR topic?

When I’ve given talks there is always someone who is expecting me to make a prescriptive statement about the movement. That is, they want to know if I support it or revile it. I was even asked this question at my dissertation defense. On the one hand, I’m pleased, because it means readers can’t necessary tell what my own biases are. While I do have an opinion on this, my opinion is not the same thing as my book’s argument—which is supported with evidence and argumentation. My work as an historian is to describe what is, not prescribe what should be. The goal of Virgin Nation is to examine the cultural and political work done in the name of sexual purity. Whether you believe that work is the salvation of America or the root of all sexual tyranny, the book OFFERS an important historical perspective.

Did you have a specific audience in mind when writing?

I’ve always had official and unofficial audiences in my mind. Primarily, I think about other scholars working on questions of religion, sexuality, and adolescence. Being part of a conversation about these topics has always been my goal. And I hope that my colleagues are able to use Virgin Nation to conduct their own conversations with students and readers.My unofficial audience is the group of people I mention above. Those who, like me, have been working to reclaim their adolescence from the fear-based rhetoric of the movement.

(Before I ever started this project I watched Randall Balmer’s interview with Josh McDowell in Balmer’s video series, Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory. In that interview Balmer asks McDowell if it might be problematic to use fear to teach evangelical teenagers about human sexuality. McDowell responds that it’s extremely important to utilize fear because the alternative to heeding the message is so much worse. All this to say, when I use the term “fear-based rhetoric” this is not pejorative, but descriptive of the deliberate strategies used by the contemporary movement.) Though not everyone turns to history to put their mind at ease, I find that when I can articulate the origins of something that has deeply impacted my self-understanding, I am more at home in my own mind and body.

Are you hoping to inform readers? Entertain them? Piss them off?

I leave that up to the reader, because each one will have a response based on the set of questions they bring to Virgin Nation. Some will have questions from their own lives, others will have questions related to their own academic projects. As a scholar-teacher, my goal is always to EDUCATE and inform. That’s not unimportant work, especially when making sense of issues that deeply impact how we feel about our bodies and sexual choices.

What alternative title would you give the book?

I love the title and can’t imagine what else I could call it. How do you feel about the cover?

Oxford UNIVERSITY Press made this decision and I was more than delighted with it. I had initially suggested artwork by Norman Rockwell—a cover of The Saturday Evening Post that showed a young girl in white looking into a mirror with a film magazine on her lap. In the corner was a headline for another article—“The GI’s Who Fell In Love With the Reds.” The juxtapostion of that headline with the image was the perfect illustration of my argument about sexuality and national SECURITY.

OUP was also excited about this image, until they encountered too many obstacles in getting the rights. I’ve always loved Mary Cassatt’s paintings and it’s an honor to have my work associated with one of her pieces. Is there a book out there you wish you had written?

I wish I had written The Courage to Teach by Parker Palmer. More precisely, I wish I could embody the authenticity and kindness in my own teaching that Palmer describes. This book helped me a lot in graduate school when I was overwhelmed and disillusioned by academia. It helped me remember who I was in the midst of feeling like I would never be good enough for this work.

Ironically, I read it before I ever started teaching. That was a rude awakening and I quickly recognized what Palmer meant by courage. Maintaining authenticity, kindness, vulnerability—all things that make a great TEACHER, these are almost impossible to achieve in the classroom. That is, you can’t make the teaching moments Parker describes happen with only rigorous course preparation and by being the expert in the room. But this is what students expect and what we’ve come to expect of ourselves.

I live with the constant tension that what is most expected of me as a TEACHER is not necessarily what makes for good teaching. This is the paradox that Palmer helps his readers to navigate—and I wish I had that ability.

What’s YOUR next book? I’m looking more closely at the racial origins of sexual purity. Right now I’m interested in the debate between the 19th century reformer Frances Willard and the journalist and anti-lynching activist, Ida B. Wells. Wells made it known that lynching in the late 19th/early 20th century was justified by the myth of the black, male rapist. Most lynchings occurred because black men were accused of raping white women. Wells’ investigation into hundreds of lynching cases determined that most of the time when authorities discovered black men and white women having sex, it was consensual.

In SHORT, she exposed that white women not only sought to have sexual relations outside of marriage, they sometimes did so with African-American men.

Wells sought the support of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, but its leader, Frances Willard, would not give it because Wells’ argument was based on the truth—that women were having sex across the color line. Willard believed that white women’s sexual purity was the source of their religious and moral authority. Conceding Wells’ claim would have jeopardized Willard’s own authority and the Victorian gender roles that shaped so much of late 19th century culture and PROMOTED Anglo-Saxon superiority. The public debates between Wells and Willard raise important questions about how sexual purity policed both women’s sexuality and the color line. As I discuss in the first chapter of Virgin Nation, sexual purity was the means by which Anglos achieved and maintained racial purity. My hope is to find other places in US history where race plays a significant role in the PROMOTION of sexual purity and see what else we can learn from them.