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Pure: Inside the Evangelical Movement That Shamed a Generation of Young Women and How I Broke Free Kindle Edition
|Length: 370 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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"Linda Kay Klein’s PURE is an important book for this moment in history, as women come to the collective understanding that the institutions we spend our lives serving are not created to serve us. Women are canaries in religious coal mines—and PURE emboldens us to escape toxic misogyny and experience a fresh breath of freedom."
—Glennon Doyle, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of LOVE WARRIOR and founder of Together Rising
"Klein’s book will get God up doing a standing ovation in creation for revealing that God’s message is to love all of ourselves—mind, body, and spirit. This is to embrace the gift of life and to live in freedom with integrity and joy. Any form of purity that does not celebrate this, does not celebrate God working in our lives."
—Emilie M. Townes, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of Womanist Ethics and Society, Vanderbilt University Divinity School
"More and more young adults are speaking openly about the harm done to them by churches that treated sex as if it were an illicit drug. When 'Just say no' was their only message, and when the language of purity was their main ethical category, deep and lasting personal damage were inevitable. That's why Linda Kay Klein's new book is so important. It pulls back the covers on 'purity culture' and the harm it has done to a whole generation. An important book from an important new voice."
—Brian D. McLaren, author of The Great Spiritual Migration
"Linda Kay Klein’s book about the devastating effects of Christianity’s obsession with purity culture is a revelation... Part memoir and part journalism, Pure is a horrendous, granular, relentless, emotionally true account.", The Cut
“A potent account of purity culture that deserves our attention.”, Library Journal, starred review
“A young woman raised as a conservative Evangelical Christian reflects on her community's sexual shaming and the psychological scars that it left… Klein's personal story is fascinating, but it is the larger context that makes the book important… Timely and relevant, particularly in the age of Trump and #MeToo.”, Kirkus Reviews
“Klein explores how purity culture within evangelical Christianity causes girls and young women to feel shame about sex and sexuality… will surely cause debate within evangelical circles.”, Publishers Weekly
"Eye-opening....compelling....For those who seek spiritual community without gender bias, Klein offers empathy and new choices." , BookPage
"Pure is above all for those who came out of the purity movement ---a guidebook for survivors...its final message is healing through the movements that have arisen to combat purity culture."
, Women's Review of Books --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
About the Author
Linda Kay Klein has spent her career working at the cross section of faith, gender, and social change. A Midwesterner at heart, she now lives in New York City with her family.--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B075RLVVXW
- Publisher : Atria Books; Reprint edition (4 September 2018)
- Language : English
- File size : 1860 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 370 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 223,598 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
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Yet, despite her grandiose charge in the book’s title, she does make some valid points. For example, in the abstinence classes taught in public schools there is an analogy made with chewing gum saying that having sex with multiple partners is like chewing a piece of gum and giving it to someone else and someone else and someone else—the point being: “You wouldn’t want to chew that used piece of gum, would you? It’s the same way with sex.” Unfortunately, the underlying message communicated by this is: If you have had sex of any kind you are worthless and unworthy of a godly wife or husband even if you repent. I never liked this analogy, or those like it, because it does not take into account the forgiving nature of God and His redemptive abilities. The point, however, that Klein misses is: when couples do wait to share their physical intimacy with each other it is a precious gift they are bringing to the marriage relationship—the message being: I don’t want to do this with just anyone but only with the one I am committed to for life in the confines of a marriage covenant.
Another point the author brought up is the double standard within some evangelical churches between men and women. She gives the example of being told to change her shirt when it got wet at a fundraising car wash while the boys involved were free to go shirtless. Good point. Why were boys allowed to go half nude and girls were not allowed to have wet shirts? They weren’t at a beach. She also wrote that she felt there was much more emphasis on women in her church on not being “stumbling stones” than for men not to lust after women.
A third point, which could be controversial in some religious circles, was the restriction of women from leadership roles other than in Sunday school and children’s programs without the possibility of being recognized as valid ministers in other areas. She gives the testimony of an interviewee who had to be satisfied with being a Sunday school director when she felt called to minister to adults as well.
Although I found Ms. Klein makes a few good points, after reading more than 50% of her book, it became apparent to me that she was not really interested in what the Bible teaches about sexuality, but only in expressing her own sexuality without feeling guilty about it. When she finally does lose her virginity in a Japanese hotel room at 26 with her boyfriend she writes: “I prayed the whole while. Thanking God for the moment, the man, and most of all, that I might finally be free. And a holy presence filled the room. My boyfriend startled. ‘Is someone in here?’ he asked. ‘Yes,’ I answered him.” According to the Bible, however, “fornication” (or having sexual intercourse without being married) or sexual immorality, is prohibited so if God’s presence did come into the room, you would think she would have refrained from it rather than going through with it. Yet, she takes that experience as a free pass to indulge the flesh and declares herself free from the shackles of shame. Although there are many verses in the New Testament regarding sexual immorality, here is one from 1 Thessalonians 4:3: “For this is the will of God, our sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality.”
In the final analysis, Klein, who describes herself as “spiritual” as opposed to “Christian” and someone who cannot call God with a masculine pronoun, has created a god in her own image who conveniently shares her values regarding sexuality, and finds people and secular studies to justify her beliefs. Although she blames the “pure” movement and evangelicals with her sex/shame problem, she would have been more honest to say she simply does not agree with what the Bible plainly teaches about sexuality and leave it at that.
As a “spiritual person,” I guess, as opposed to being a Christian, she is not bound to the Bible and its values. As a Christian, however, or Christ follower, whether young or old, the basis for faith and values is not how strongly one feels about something, or what other people say or do, it’s simply this: what does God’s Word say?
2 Timothy 3:16 & 17: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (NIV).”
To specifically address one of the 1 star reviews, she is definitely "tolerant" of the idea that abstinence can be healthy, and includes several accounts of interviewees who have chosen to be abstinent at most (or even all) time points in their lives. She has no issue with the concept of abstinence. Her issue is with the messages that have been used (especially in the uber-conservative branches of the evangelical church) in order to encourage abstinence. There is a huge difference. She doesn't shame anyone for making that choice. She calls out religious leaders for using remarkably unhealthy tactics for getting people to arrive at that choice.