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YLCF--er, Kindred Grace--writer judges, chastises judgers


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I don't pay all that much attention to the retooled YLCF-turned-Kindred Grace these days, especially since not much seems to have changed. A post that appeared this morning, though, raised my hackles: kindredgrace.com/words-that-wound. "Everly Pleasant," which I think is some kind of pseudo-Victorian pen name, writes about the power of words, and most of it is the usual cliches: words have the power to hurt, stop using words as weapons, yadda yadda yadda, with a sprinkle of "women are the weaker vessel" for good measure.

But then there's this, right at the beginning: "I had never been called 'judgmental' until we were sitting in that car, tears streaming down my face and I said that I loved our friendship, but that obeying scripture was more important to me."

I'm not a Christian, but from an outsider's point of view, this woman is doing a terrible job of emulating Jesus. I get that Everly might have a different "scriptural conviction" than her friend, but using that as grounds to terminate the friendship? Seriously? (And why do I get the spidey-sense Everly's friend is probably gay and she forsook her because of her 'sinful lifestyle'?) With that action alone, Everly did exactly what she's instructing her readers not to do in this piece. She used words as weapons, essentially declaring her "friend" an untouchable because this person's actions don't meet some half-baked moral standard Everly thinks she perceives in a poorly translated religious text thousands of years old. Most decent people are willing to love and support someone they consider a friend, even if they don't agree with that friend's every decision.

Instructing others not to judge while simultaneously patting herself on the back for her own judginess. Nice. Then again, since hypocrisy is practically stock-in-trade for most fundamentalists, why am I not surprised?

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Yea...pretty much along the lines of what you said.

The writer doesn't have the self-awareness to point out that sometimes words hurt because they are *true*. I'm not saying that is the case in the examples the writer uses (cuz I have no idea duh), but if I felt that I was being labeled a "judgy know-it-all" I would minimally use that feedback as an opportunity for some introspection on my part :)

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If her friend was asking her to help rob a bank, become a drug dealer, murder kittens, yeah, I can see having that reaction, but with fundies this sort of thing can be caused by not using the right version of the Bible, so I doubt her friend was doing anything horrible.

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If her friend was asking her to help rob a bank, become a drug dealer, murder kittens, yeah, I can see having that reaction, but with fundies this sort of thing can be caused by not using the right version of the Bible, so I doubt her friend was doing anything horrible.

In the former cases, Everly would hardly have been sniveling about how she loves her friend but she loves Scripture more. Since she doesn't mention getting the cops or other authorities involved, I think we can safely assume that the sin to which she alludes doesn't involve significant law-breaking.

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Perhaps her friend was telling her *not* to be a concubine, *not* to be an unwed mother, *not* to be someone's 25th wife, *not* to have an affair with that hunky, modern-day King David from her brother's homeschool basketball team?

Reading the Bible, though, one comes to the conclusion in several places that most all those things happened and not all were seen as bad by God at the time.

So perhaps Everly felt moved to tell her now ex-friend that if her friend didn't like her being an unwed mother like the Virgin Mary, that was just tough, sister, and peace out!

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#1) everly is not her real name.

#2) she is about seventeen and much like Gretchen was at seveteen. Unfortunately the women at KG who have grown out of fundamentalism don't seem willing to guide Everly out.

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#1) everly is not her real name.

#2) she is about seventeen and much like Gretchen was at seveteen. Unfortunately the women at KG who have grown out of fundamentalism don't seem willing to guide Everly out.

Interesting... Do you really think the KG women have outgrown fundamentalism? I mean, sure, they've made some superficial concessions -- changing the name of the "Courtship Stories" section on the site to "Love Stories," posting more flowery-yet-hip pieces about pain and redemption (Ann Voskamp for the younger set). But as far as I can tell (and correct me if I'm wrong), their core beliefs about things like men needing to lead women, women remaining under their father's authority until marriage, and the Bible being the literal and inerrant word of God have remained the same. Extremism is harder to recognize when it's dressed in contemporary, stylish attire.

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Because I can't quit YLCF, I read the article. My first thought about the article's author: has she tried NOT being a dick? Seriously. Some orphans in Haiti called her a traitor (reason unspecified) and she got all upset over it? Rather than explaining the circumstances which would make this anecdote make sense, or thinking maybe there was a reason this happened which had to do with her own actions, and which she should reflect upon, she's just upset that haitian orphans were mean to her? Haitian orphans. Could she pick a more unlikely group of bullies?

Her friends called her a know-it-all behind her back, and she is again upset they hurt her feelings, instead of reflecting on how her deportment could be improved so she doesn't come off like a know-it-all? She doesn't appreciate the friend who took her aside and informed her of this? It's never fun to be criticized, but at least her friend did it privately instead of embarrassing her in front of a group of people. I know it's hard, but I doubt the friend had any motivation other than helping her become more self-aware. Unless your friend is a big old meanie, it's quite difficult to tell a friend something they don't want to hear, and little reason for a friend to do so unless she wants to help you change.

And finally, when dumping her friend, she is called judgmental, and instead of owning up to it, she is upset that her friend HURT HER FEELINGS. The friend she was dumping. This woman sounds like a real piece of work. I don't care if she's 16 or 26, if you're capable of writing a piece like this you ought to develop some self-awareness. She sounds like someone who expects others to treat her with kid gloves even when she's being a total dick to them.

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I agree, and I think that the point of the article was "any time someone says something less than kind to you, it couldn't possible have anything to do with your behavior, and they should just shut up or say nicer things so you can feel better about your small-minded, smarty-pants self."

editing to add that my heathen ass just cant quit ylcf either

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I agree, and I think that the point of the article was "any time someone says something less than kind to you, it couldn't possible have anything to do with your behavior, and they should just shut up or say nicer things so you can feel better about your small-minded, smarty-pants self."

editing to add that my heathen ass just cant quit ylcf either

Srsly. It seemed like those anecdotes were missing some crucial details--why did you get called a know-it-all, Everly? And children don't just call others "traitors" unprovoked. Some of this seems like typical young adult solipsism. For someone in her early 20s, she seems remarkably un-self-aware.

[edited to correct Everly's age]

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everlypleasant.com

Everly is in her early 20s according to her own blog info. (ETA: her blog says "growing up into her twenties," whatever the heck that means). I suppose my tank of sympathy for young, earnest, ostensibly intelligent fundies prone to arriving at the most hateful conclusions has run empty. I find her blog really appalling. Perhaps it's because she often teeters close to the ledge of rational, well-thought out opinion and then takes a jump off the diving board into religious crazytown.

Lowlights so far: 1. whining about not being published yet and not being married yet. "Does this mean I'm a failure?" True, she spins it into a story of how we're prone to making life plans and we should let go of these specific goals (for Jesus of course)! Which I guess is good. But anyone who publicly whines about these things at early-twenty-whatever, even if they're going to recant the whining, deserves at least a couple of eye-rolls.

2. Everly goes to a worship service wearing some brown Amish-style dress, feels out of place amidst the skinny jeans and exposed flesh of her sluttier sisters-in-Christ, and then, when the service is about sexual sin, feels smugly happy that she's not one of the girls crying with shame. "I began to thank God that I wasn’t one of those sniffing. It wasn’t the Pharisee’s prayer of “thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like these†but a prayer of true gratitude, for I am not “pure†solely because of my own self-control." OK, BUT YOU STILL SOUND APPALLINGLY SMUG ABOUT IT, YOUNG LADY.

3. A fence-sitting article about Feminism and Christianity in which she is good about highlighting some of the ways in which Jesus could be considered feminist, and acknowledges the diversity of feminist discourse (though she does mention straw feminists who supposedly want to annihilate all men). I suppose it's good she's not a ladies-against-feminism type, but seriously, she cannot extrapolate her claims beyond "women are made in God's image and Jesus treated women well?" She doesn't take on biblical gender roles or woman teaching in the church within the scope of the article which I find disappointing. Most likely I'd be disappointed anyway, though, if she did extrapolate.

4. A completely horrible article in which she conflates the Newtown massacre with an anti-abortion argument. "Did America truly mourn the life that was lost that day, or the relationships?" OMG. Last time I checked, it was not possible to have relationships without life, so the distinction is more than bizzarre. Her argument is that if we value life, we should also be anti-abortion, and that women aborting a fetus incapable of independent life is far worse than a gunman killing already-existing (and wanted and loved) children. I don't think I need to say anything more about this piece.

And this is only her blog main page. I will now try to tear myself away from reading all her screeds in one sitting.

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everlypleasant.com

Everly is in her early 20s according to her own blog info. (ETA: her blog says "growing up into her twenties," whatever the heck that means). I suppose my tank of sympathy for young, earnest, ostensibly intelligent fundies prone to arriving at the most hateful conclusions has run empty. I find her blog really appalling. Perhaps it's because she often teeters close to the ledge of rational, well-thought out opinion and then takes a jump off the diving board into religious crazytown.

Lowlights so far: 1. whining about not being published yet and not being married yet. "Does this mean I'm a failure?" True, she spins it into a story of how we're prone to making life plans and we should let go of these specific goals (for Jesus of course)! Which I guess is good. But anyone who publicly whines about these things at early-twenty-whatever, even if they're going to recant the whining, deserves at least a couple of eye-rolls.

2. Everly goes to a worship service wearing some brown Amish-style dress, feels out of place amidst the skinny jeans and exposed flesh of her sluttier sisters-in-Christ, and then, when the service is about sexual sin, feels smugly happy that she's not one of the girls crying with shame. "I began to thank God that I wasn’t one of those sniffing. It wasn’t the Pharisee’s prayer of “thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like these†but a prayer of true gratitude, for I am not “pure†solely because of my own self-control." OK, BUT YOU STILL SOUND APPALLINGLY SMUG ABOUT IT, YOUNG LADY.

3. A fence-sitting article about Feminism and Christianity in which she is good about highlighting some of the ways in which Jesus could be considered feminist, and acknowledges the diversity of feminist discourse (though she does mention straw feminists who supposedly want to annihilate all men). I suppose it's good she's not a ladies-against-feminism type, but seriously, she cannot extrapolate her claims beyond "women are made in God's image and Jesus treated women well?" She doesn't take on biblical gender roles or woman teaching in the church within the scope of the article which I find disappointing. Most likely I'd be disappointed anyway, though, if she did extrapolate.

4. A completely horrible article in which she conflates the Newtown massacre with an anti-abortion argument. "Did America truly mourn the life that was lost that day, or the relationships?" OMG. Last time I checked, it was not possible to have relationships without life, so the distinction is more than bizzarre. Her argument is that if we value life, we should also be anti-abortion, and that women aborting a fetus incapable of independent life is far worse than a gunman killing already-existing (and wanted and loved) children. I don't think I need to say anything more about this piece.

And this is only her blog main page. I will now try to tear myself away from reading all her screeds in one sitting.

Thanks for summarizing all that so I didn't have to slog through it! I really think the parents of these teens/ young adults are doing them a disservice by sanctioning their public posting about whatever legalistic nonsense has been pounded into their brains recently; they're bound to be embarrassed about such posts later in life, and the Internet never forgets. (Of course, the parents are more than likely among the ones doing the pounding, so...) I agree with whoever said Everly comes across like Gretchen's younger self. She does--but not in a good way.

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2. Everly goes to a worship service wearing some brown Amish-style dress, feels out of place amidst the skinny jeans and exposed flesh of her sluttier sisters-in-Christ, and then, when the service is about sexual sin, feels smugly happy that she's not one of the girls crying with shame. "I began to thank God that I wasn’t one of those sniffing. It wasn’t the Pharisee’s prayer of “thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like these†but a prayer of true gratitude, for I am not “pure†solely because of my own self-control." OK, BUT YOU STILL SOUND APPALLINGLY SMUG ABOUT IT, YOUNG LADY.

Oh my. Oh, oh my.

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I had never been called a “know-it-all†until that day at the coffee shop when one friend confided in me that that’s what the other girls were saying and they just didn’t want me around because of it.

Um, sweetie, if 'the other girls' are all describing you in a particular way, maybe you ought to think carefully about your own behavior and ask why they see you this way. Perhaps there are extenuating circumstances - maybe you feel insecure in groups and bolster yourself by trying to seem knowledgeable and with-it - but even then, a gentle comment from a friend that you're acting unpleasantly (not-so-everly pleasant, even!) is something to take on board.

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4. A completely horrible article in which she conflates the Newtown massacre with an anti-abortion argument. "Did America truly mourn the life that was lost that day, or the relationships?" OMG. Last time I checked, it was not possible to have relationships without life, so the distinction is more than bizzarre. Her argument is that if we value life, we should also be anti-abortion, and that women aborting a fetus incapable of independent life is far worse than a gunman killing already-existing (and wanted and loved) children. I don't think I need to say anything more about this piece.

Forgive me if I sound insensitive, but isn't what is mourned the loss of relationship? I have been known to regret that a life was shorter in years than another but everyone gets the same - one lifetime - to live. Some are shorter than others but it isn't like there is a guarantee of 92.67 years and anything shorter is a rip off.

I mean no disrespect to people who have lost friends, family members, and children "too soon". This is how I understand grief.

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Forgive me if I sound insensitive, but isn't what is mourned the loss of relationship? I have been known to regret that a life was shorter in years than another but everyone gets the same - one lifetime - to live. Some are shorter than others but it isn't like there is a guarantee of 92.67 years and anything shorter is a rip off.

I mean no disrespect to people who have lost friends, family members, and children "too soon". This is how I understand grief.

I don't think you sound insensitive in your interpretation, I think Ms. Pleasant does. Yes, I think we do mourn relationships, while Everly thinks we should mourn "life" in the abstract sense, as in a fertilized egg OR an actual human being; to her they are equivalent in value. She tries to argue that if a gunman killed a room of orphans who were unloved, why should we care if we don't value "life" apart from relationships? As I recall she doesn't mention this unique human capacity we have called "empathy" whereby we can put ourselves in the shoes of the orphans, or the loved ones of the slain, and feel sad about the loss of THEIR relationships, or the orphan's lack of relationships.

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everlypleasant.com

Everly is in her early 20s according to her own blog info. (ETA: her blog says "growing up into her twenties," whatever the heck that means). I suppose my tank of sympathy for young, earnest, ostensibly intelligent fundies prone to arriving at the most hateful conclusions has run empty. I find her blog really appalling. Perhaps it's because she often teeters close to the ledge of rational, well-thought out opinion and then takes a jump off the diving board into religious crazytown.

I think that's actually why I have some sympathy for Everly. This bolded part reads an awful lot like what it looks like to start questioning fundie-ism. If you look at her blogroll, there's some fundie/fundie-lite stuff there, but she also is into some more mainstream sites like (in)courage. One doesn't wake up one day and decide she's just not fundie anymore. Getting away from years of those ingrained thought patterns takes time and lots of (sometimes appalling to read- thank God blogging wasn't as big when I started to question reformed fundie-dom 10-12 years ago) self-examination.

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I think that's actually why I have some sympathy for Everly. This bolded part reads an awful lot like what it looks like to start questioning fundie-ism. If you look at her blogroll, there's some fundie/fundie-lite stuff there, but she also is into some more mainstream sites like (in)courage. One doesn't wake up one day and decide she's just not fundie anymore. Getting away from years of those ingrained thought patterns takes time and lots of (sometimes appalling to read- thank God blogging wasn't as big when I started to question reformed fundie-dom 10-12 years ago) self-examination.

She certainly seems intelligent enough, and I hope she does start questioning, as you said. Some of the most tragic cases are the people who obviously have the mental wherewithal to derive their own unique, well-considered perspective on life, but who adamantly refuse to use it in favor of buying into a prepackaged fundamentalist thought system hook, line, and sinker (ahem Zsu, Dougie).

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2. Everly goes to a worship service wearing some brown Amish-style dress, feels out of place amidst the skinny jeans and exposed flesh of her sluttier sisters-in-Christ, and then, when the service is about sexual sin, feels smugly happy that she's not one of the girls crying with shame. "I began to thank God that I wasn’t one of those sniffing. It wasn’t the Pharisee’s prayer of “thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like these†but a prayer of true gratitude, for I am not “pure†solely because of my own self-control." OK, BUT YOU STILL SOUND APPALLINGLY SMUG ABOUT IT, YOUNG LADY.

I can't imagine why the other girls don't like you, Everly.

And you are a sinner like these. There is no modesty in dressing like a loon*, that's just shoving your "modesty" in everyone's faces, and frankly, I'd rather have boobs shoved in my face than faux modesty.

*Wearing Amish dress while Amish is totally normal. Wearing Amish dress otherwise is just drawing attention whoring.

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I think that's actually why I have some sympathy for Everly. This bolded part reads an awful lot like what it looks like to start questioning fundie-ism. If you look at her blogroll, there's some fundie/fundie-lite stuff there, but she also is into some more mainstream sites like (in)courage. One doesn't wake up one day and decide she's just not fundie anymore. Getting away from years of those ingrained thought patterns takes time and lots of (sometimes appalling to read- thank God blogging wasn't as big when I started to question reformed fundie-dom 10-12 years ago) self-examination.

I earnestly hope you're right and that perhaps the parts of her writing that are not hateful and are rational and well-thought-out indicate the capacity for self-questioning and intellectual curiosity that would enable one to leave fundamentalism. The fact that she is not straight-out disavowing feminism definitely gives me hope. I think in my case, I reacted so strongly to her writings because the comparison between Newtown and abortion, after the not-disavowal of feminism, was like a punch in the gut. It's a dizzying feeling to almost-agree with someone on one issue, and then find that they hold an opinion I find totally reprehensible.

I do realize she's 20 years old (born in 92 according to her blog), is really close to her fundie-light family and really entrenched in fundie-light culture. I'm also grateful I wasn't publicly blogging at 20, because I believed in a lot of things that I now find offensive and it is SO EMBARRASSING to read my private blog from "before."

It ticks me off a bit that she tries to have her cake and eat it too when it comes to semi-narcissistic or self-aggrandizing statements. She mentions, for example, that she's happy to be wearing that amish-y dress, even though she was a little self-conscious about it earlier, because her modesty is related to her sexual purity. She is totally feeling better than others (which she admits), then tries to negate this bragging with the statement (I paraphrase), "but of course I wasn't being like a Pharisee and feeling superior to other sinners." Stating that does not cancel out the previous sentiment, in which she was grateful to be pure when others were feeling bad about their lack of purity. Sure, her purity is credited to her overprotective parents as well and blah blah blah, but I really think there's a less offensive way of expressing this sentiment that doesn't come across as slut-shaming-lite that is also more empathetical.

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2. Everly goes to a worship service wearing some brown Amish-style dress, feels out of place amidst the skinny jeans and exposed flesh of her sluttier sisters-in-Christ, and then, when the service is about sexual sin, feels smugly happy that she's not one of the girls crying with shame. "I began to thank God that I wasn’t one of those sniffing. It wasn’t the Pharisee’s prayer of “thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like these†but a prayer of true gratitude, for I am not “pure†solely because of my own self-control." OK, BUT YOU STILL SOUND APPALLINGLY SMUG ABOUT IT, YOUNG LADY.

Actually, Everly's prayer sounds EXACTLY like the Pharisee's prayer. Ha! I like how she seems to know, at least on some level, that she is acting like a Pharisee, but then immediately disavows that knowledge. The "true gratitude" stuff, of course, is all BS.

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This is something I don't understand in the entire Kindred Grace circle. I'm disgruntled with them all. I try to point out the biblical errors they make or ask a simple question and my comment won't get approved. Strange, since there's this new "grace" push throughout the entire blog world.

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This is something I don't understand in the entire Kindred Grace circle. I'm disgruntled with them all. I try to point out the biblical errors they make or ask a simple question and my comment won't get approved. Strange, since there's this new "grace" push throughout the entire blog world.

Hon, grace is only extended to them, not to you. Get it?

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I guess it goes without saying they have mental issues. But apparently when you're black and poor and live in Haiti you're the subject of their grace. I don't get it.

And that's why I'm here. :whistle:

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