Homeschooling / Podcast Episodes

Episode 19: Interview with Bradley Onishi from Straight White American Jesus Podcast

This week, Kelley Richey and Julia Avery have the pleasure of speaking with Bradley Onishi, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Skidmore College and Host to one of their new favorite podcasts, “Straight White American Jesus.” They get more insight into the Quiverfull and homeschooling movements thanks to Brad’s extensive background and experience.


The Straight White American Jesus podcast was recently recommended to Kelley through an old homeschool friend and ever since Kelley has been binging their episodes. The podcast provides an educated, fair, and thoughtful picture of the Evangelical movement in America while discussing the past, present, and future implications of this small subset of the population on the greater whole of the United States.

Kelley and Julia were thrilled when Brad Onishi accepted their invitation to be a guest on The Family Ties podcast to talk about the Quiverfull movement and the Evangelical movement’s affect upon homeschooling and women in particular.

According to Wikipedia’s definition, “Quiverfull is a theological position which is held by some conservative Christian couples who belong to various Christian denominations, which see children as blessings from God. It thus encourages procreation, abstaining from all forms of birth control (including natural family planning) and sterilization”.

To listen to Straight White American Jesus and to view what Brad and Dan are up to, be sure to visit their site, rate, and subscribe.

The Interview Transcript

Julia Avery 0:01
Welcome back to The Family Ties podcast. My name is Julia Avery. And this is my sister and co host. Hi, guys, Kelly here.

Kelley Richey 0:10
I’m excited to announce that I woke up this morning and left the house and it was 50 degrees outside and I was able to put on the first letter of the season. So that was that was exciting. And I haven’t stopped grinning ever since. So we’re in my favorite season, we’re good to go. So I would like to go ahead and welcome our guest this week, which is Brad ohnishi. He is the Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Skidmore College, as well as one of the CO hosts on my new favorite podcast, straight white American Jesus. Thank you, Brad for being here. Oh, thank you. Thank you. He that’s really kind for the invitation. It’s really kind that you’re listening to the show. So thank you for that too. Absolutely. I’ve been kind of bouncing around a lot. Since a few weeks ago. A previous like homeschool person that we grew up with recommended your show. He went to school with you, I believe, Lucas McLaughlin. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Yeah, I was like, you guys. You guys totally need to be listening to this. And I was like, I wrote him a big thank you note. I was like, that was the best suggestion ever. Thank you so much. That’s great. So yeah, yeah, very good. He’s all the way over in the UK still. Yeah, I haven’t really kept up with them a ton. But um, yeah, like we grew up sledding on the hill in their backyard, his kids, so we grew up with them, and they’re fantastic. So I think the last time I really saw them, I was probably like, around seven, seven to 10 years old. But I remember like, the best memories with them and their family. I remember New Year’s spending New Year’s Eve with them. Watching the figure skating on TV, the figure skating competition, and oh, yeah, pottery and I was like, I really wish I was in this family.

No offense, Mom and Dad.

Anyway. So the premise to this is that we we grew up homeschooled in very rural Kentucky. And it took me until I left for college to kind of start questioning anything that I grew up being taught, we were very

tucked away from society, our parents, like fully mistrusted the government. We were a part of this quiver, full movement, and kind of

I was fully entrenched in trying to be everything that I was taught. I mean, we went to boot camp, just constantly seeking approval. Yeah, boot camps, that precept ministry, where you’re learning inductive Bible study, like, I constantly felt like a fraud, because in my heart, I just had all these questions. And I just felt like, it doesn’t matter how many times I tried to be what they want me to be, I’m always questioning. Am I truly saved? All of these questions like, my mom would always tell me, are you really saved? Are you sure? And I think I kind of had that.

You know, I was saved so many times. And each time I was like, well, this time do the trick. I was the same way. And I felt like for the longest time that it was done, I was definitely a fraud because I was bisexual without understanding what that was. and Kate Winslet when we were watching what our parents thought was a safe movie Sense and Sensibility.

Julia Avery 3:42
I fell in love with Kate Winslet, not Willoughby. And I knew to be quiet about that, but I didn’t understand. So I’ve been a fraud my entire life

Kelley Richey 3:55
to my past. So I was very encouraged to listen to your podcast, Brad and hear about

you guys in your journey of being in this community as well. And you know, that there is light at the other other side. I don’t know about where I stand with with my particular faith. I respect people who have it, but I am increasingly becoming questioning of of absolutely everything. And this is where you come in Brad, with your your, your educational background, and the fact that you’ve studied this so in depth. What is what is your view of the like, homeschool community? Have you had a lot of experience with that back in your evangelical days?

Bradley Onishi 4:41
You know, I, I did, I was, so for folks who don’t know I I grew up in Orange County, California, county, so kind of right on the border of LA County. A lot of folks envision California as this leftist place, you know, very radical politics and this is where all the like sort of things come from, you know, politically and culturally, it’s actually not true. California is very heterogeneous. And there’s incredibly large swaths of conservative communities and regions. And so Orange County at the time when I was growing up was real country. You know, Bush country, it had been Goldwater country. So the marriage of the religious right, and conservative politics really took off in County, California in ways that I explore on our series, the orange wave, and along with that went, homeschooling movements, and Christian Day School moves. So one of the first big fights IE Christian schooling, movement, time, California in 1968. And during that time, there was some of the first comprehensive sex education curricula being implemented in schools. And that had happened about early 60s. But for some reason, in 1968, some parents got really upset and controversy and started spreading the rumors along with the john birch society and others that the curriculum included teachers in their clothes off to show students the feet, the human anatomy, teaching children that it was totally fine to have sex with animals. And the conspiracies just, you know, went from there, right? And so I grew up, um, there was a lot of right in Orange County, I mean, I’m talking 30 miles from LA, there’s, you know, we live 20 minutes from the beach, a lot of people in Hawaiian shirts and, and La lifestyles. And yet, where I grew up, there was a lot of Christian schooling going on. There were homes, and there were a lot of just Christian academies, in general. So anyway, that’s my personal experience. There’s a lot of the government in Orange County, there’s a lot of sort of paying the government as the enemy. And that, as you all know, plays right into this whole movement, the quiver, full movement, as well as the homeschooling movement. So all of those elements were there, in my own experience, because I was a convert, because my family was not part of evangelicalism. I went to public school my whole life. So I had kind of a different you know, I was the kid at school, walking around with tracks asking people if they knew Jesus and leading a Bible study and that kid rather than rather than sit in a, an experience like yours, where I was homeschooled or in a Christian school, so

Kelley Richey 7:28
well, what you said is very interesting about the 1960s. in Orange County. When we spoke with Rachel Coleman last week, She’s the founder of the Coalition for Responsible home education. And she was talking about her thesis study being about the history of how we get went to from being Christians, who sat in queues being totally fine with public schools, to the point at which they were no longer okay with it. And it being about, you know, how public schools it used to be, they used to be seen as like tools for educating all of the immigrants. But when that kind of clamped down, then it became, when they were trying to desegregate schools, that’s when she noticed that these private schools, these Christian Schools, and these homeschools really took off. And then the zenith in the 80s was kind of when I, you know, kind of was introduced to it and in our family kind of yanked my two older sisters out of school. And we were homeschooled from then on out. So I feel like this progression you can kind of this timeline is becoming more and more interesting for me to kind of pick apart.

Bradley Onishi 8:43
I tried and I got it is this in the 1960s? Have you have a couple of elements coming together. So in one is the one you mentioned is desegregation. So, one of the things we’ve tried to do on our show is to spend hours explaining how the rise of the religious right in this country did not happen as a result of opposition to abortion. It just is just historically not true. It the 1960s from concerns over segregation and concerns over church churches and schools, tax exempt status because they had official segregation policies. So the fear of segregation, excuse me the fear of desegregate schools, the fear of losing tax exempt status if you’re a segregation, it’s an institution. This is really what gets going the religious right so racism is is front and center. I mean, I always say the the white and white evangelical is the most important part. Um, what what’s also happening is people are teaching the theory of evolution schools is actually a weird fallout from the Cold War. So we’re trying to get to the moon. We got an army of scientists, how do we do that? We bulk our science programs that includes evolution. There you go. As I mentioned, there was sex ed, and the sex ed curriculum that go in in the 60s, led a lot of folks out of public schools. And again, all those rumors about ridiculous conspiracies regarding what was being taught, you know, too many people wanting to public schools. And then finally, there was the, the court cases. So there’s there’s two court cases in the 60s, angle, angle, versus retail, etc. And this is when prayer is no longer happening in school, right, it’s no longer allowed to be part of the Bible reading as well. So that’s just a nice, that’s the easiest thing to have. If you’re, you know, trying to politic public schools, look at this, we took that out of schools, it’s a godless nation, it’s a godless institution, get your kids out of there, because they’re gonna be, you know, brainwashed, etc. What happens from the 60s to the 80s, is just this consistent lobby, to get oversight of homeschooling, taken away, right. So there’s so much lobbying to to make it so that anyone can homeschool. There’s no regulations, no laws and very little oversight. And that lobby is very powerful. And it really leads to where we are now, today, where, if you’re homeschooling, you don’t have to turn it in test scores. You don’t, there’s not very many standards to follow, you don’t have to really report, it’s you don’t really have to have cert, you know, as a parent, you don’t have certification. That’s a very strange place to be in, if you ask me in terms of having 10s of thousands or hundreds of thousands of kids being schooled in our country along those lines, but they’re all a direct result of these things that started in the 60s, and then the 80s. And here we are today.

Kelley Richey 11:43
Well, and it’s super interesting to me, because the way we were taught to mistrust the government, the government is going to come after us, you know, that there’s a war against the family. I think what strikes me the most is how much people like the home, like groups, like the home school legal defense Association, is able to whip up their base into a froth to where no common sense laws can be passed. And to me, the thing is, is that if you are teaching your children, if you are doing what you should be doing, why are you afraid of submitting these things, and it’s just this fear based mentality that we were taught to run inside, if we saw someone coming down the driveway, no one needed to know that we were not in school, school wasn’t taking place. And the fact that social services were called on our family several times, you know, hslda, made it to where they could never investigate anything. And I, you know, I don’t know about Julia, but I was self taught. In high school, it is a miracle that I was able to

Julia Avery 12:52
self taught from sixth grade up

Kelley Richey 12:54
to take the AC T, the reason I was able to take it and go to college was because not just determination. But my oldest sister, I think there was some kind of fire burning in her that I I’m still amazed to this day, she knew that that’s not where she wanted to be. And she went ahead, even without any of the tools, she figured it out. She took the test, she went to college, and she is the only reason that I passed that test to get into Western Kentucky. And so I find it really interesting that I’m learning all of these stories from like, the invisible of this being super common place because I told someone very close to me recently, my story and they’re like,

well, that’s just not typical. And then not just that person, like people that I’ve told in the past, because they’re like, wait, so you said you were homeschooled? What was that? Like, you know, and I’ll start to tell them and they’re like, wait, what, I’ve never heard of that before. And I’m like, yeah, and then. So so many people think that that’s this is like we’re an anomaly anomaly and we are not. And then looking deeper into this and finding more stories that have just been, you know, harassed under the rug. They’re more commonplace than any of us thought before. It’s crazy.

Bradley Onishi 14:10
I yeah. I think a couple things there. I think one generally what I have found in just being, you know, my own deconstruction from evangelicalism and being part of work with folks, you know, in the x men jellicle kind of broad, you know, category. There’s just so much shame that you feel and so much such a sense of like being different, right. So, you know, for me, I did not have your experience, but I certainly was all in I was administered by the time I was 20. I married my high school sweetheart, when I was 20. Whole Life was dedicated to the movement. When I emerged from that it’s really hard to like be 20 years old and exist in what you consider mainstream society and everyone’s talking about their experience when they were 17 or the movies they watched or the things they did and You’re sitting here thinking they’re all smoking cigarettes, you’re like, I’ve never smoked it. I have no idea how to do that what’s gonna happen if they offer me one, but you don’t mean and that’s a really stupid example. Like, who cares. But those things pile up to the point where you’re like, I don’t, I feel like I’m weird. I feel like I’m different. I feel like I have to cover up the fact that my experiences as an adolescent and a young adult, so drastically different from other people, and you convince yourself you’re the only one you can convince yourself that you kind of just have to maneuver around it. Like it’s, it’s a part of you that you want to try to not let out of the bag too quickly. If you meet a new friend, or, you know, dating someone or whatever it is,

Julia Avery 15:35
and hide those issues you like, I’m not crazy.

Bradley Onishi 15:38
Yeah, exactly. No. And that’s exactly it. I mean, you know, you’re

like trying to ask yourself, when is the right time to tell us about who likes date number three, hey, guess what? No, I this is here’s my life. And so it’s a thing. And so if you add that layer for for both of you, homeschooling element, that’s just one more layer of this where you feel like you’re you’re very, as you said, anomalous. But factors, there’s so many people out there with with these experiences. And the last thing I’ll say here, and just it is we need to find ways to form those communities, I think what happens is not only do you have shame and confusion when you leave, but you feel a sense of like, you’re now in the desert. Right? Like your life used to be full of community, family, and just saturated with relationships. And now you’re on the outside, and all those people that are shunning you, and you don’t know where to go, you don’t know how to build your sense of who you are with folks. And so it just sort of like snowballs, right. And I just think that’s why these, you know, your show, and everyone like, this is so important, because we’re trying to we’re trying to find each other and help each other and, and really sort of help anyone else who needs it to to make their way?

Kelley Richey 16:53
Well, I’m not sure i’ll go ahead Julia, be first. Um,

okay, this might be really loaded. We could discuss this at a later time, whatever. But I’ve been watching the vow on HBO, and it’s about next seems cold. And just just to seeing how hard it is to get out of a cold and just how the community that they develop when everybody’s of the like mindset, and it starts out feeling like everybody’s doing this for a good reason. And they, they have good intentions, and then it just starts to get in really deep and they’re very controlling on, you know, what ideas or concepts people have.

Julia Avery 17:35
I have a very unpopular opinion, that

Kelley Richey 17:39
just organized religion period, including especially Christianity, it has a very cult like, mentality, and it makes it very difficult for people to get out and find a sense of community again, I feel like a lot of people feel lost even within their communities, because they’re afraid to say something that’s unpopular, or whatever. So watching that his like, really brought a lot of those thoughts.

Bradley Onishi 18:10
Yeah, you know, what, what I was thinking of, as you were explaining that is that a community like Nexium, but also a community like yours, a quiverfull community and many other evangelical communities. They’re really what I, you know, what, there’s a lot of words we can use, but they’re, they’re saturating communities. So what do I mean by that? What I mean by that is they demand that every relationship you have be within the group, right? So your schooling, your family, your friends, your courting, or dating or whatever it’s called in that group, your ideas, your hopes for the future, your job prospects, your ideas of what the good life is, and that the right life, your politics, your cultural references, media. So what happened? What happens then? Okay, so they demand this full attention, this absolute saturation of your life. That’s different than somebody who like my co host, Dan, Miko is Dan is an evangelical but he continues to identify as a Christian, he goes to church on Sundays. It’s a very liberal, you know, Protestant church, LGBT affirming that Black Lives Matter flag kind of church, right? Everyone there has a different politics, they argue over issues, important issues, right, related to everything from climate change to, to local local issues, right. That community doesn’t demand uniformity, and it doesn’t demand saturation. That’s enough. I asked Dan, you know, he’s like, Hey, I have my church, but my church knows that I’m part of this queer families coalition because we have a queer family. So that’s a huge part of my life, too. Like I go camping, queer families, and we go on picnics and we do stuff with them. And I have no he if he what he does on our shows, he talks about all the different communities And groups that that sort of he participates in.

Julia Avery 20:03
And that’s healthy. I love that.

Bradley Onishi 20:06
It’s so different than our experience, right? Where everything you do and everything you are is consumed. And so the flip side of this is why is deconstruction so hard? It’s because look, from the time I’m a, you know, an adolescent, I’m told the government’s have to get me if I have sex before marriage, my life will be irrevocably harmed, and you know, nothing will ever be the same. My life, my life is up to the Lord’s will. And so I need to sort of figure out my profession according to those lines. In terms of quiverfull, if we want to talk about cortisol, it’s like, well, however many children God wants me to have I’ll have, so that could be six or 10. Well, you see what happens. They’re

Kelley Richey 20:47
raising Christian armies. That’s what it was always referred to growing up, like, we’re we this is our Christian army. These are our Christian soldiers, our kids, our Christian soldiers, and it was like, That’s scary.

Bradley Onishi 20:58
Yeah. I mean, you don’t, you don’t have the tool, the world and just be someone you have to fully reinvent who you are. And that just, it’s scary. It’s hard, it’s excruciating. And it’s often loan is the worst part.

Kelley Richey 21:13
Well, and for people who, for listeners who may not know exactly what the quiver full movement is, I’m a little late to the game in giving you a Wikipedia is description. But it’s a theological position, which is held by some conservative Christian couples who belong to various Christian denominations, which see children as blessings from God. And it encourages procreation, abstaining from all forms of birth control, including natural family planning and sterilization. So it’s, it’s very widespread in the US, but it has some places in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, in the United Kingdom, and elsewhere. But um, I mean, it’s not like it’s a huge subset of people. I don’t think that that’s what I’m trying to say at all. But I think what I really wanted to get your opinion on, Brad is the question of, Okay, so we have these groups, and they, a lot of the normal people out there listening, don’t know about these groups don’t know they exist, really. But most importantly, they don’t know how much power that they hold in our political system, and in their communities, which cause there to be this chain reaction of no common sense laws being able to be passed. They are strong, and they are powerful. And I don’t want that to be something that we miss here.

Julia Avery 22:29
Yeah, that’s a good point.

Bradley Onishi 22:31
I think that’s exactly right. So a couple couple comments along those lines, you mentioned the HSL da and, and all the work that you’ve done to sort of explore that already. That can’t be overstated. Right. So the HSL da is a unified lobbying group that has a radical stance on homeschooling as a unregulated space in our educational ecosystem. So if you hint as a local politician, right at common sense, reform, if you hint as a state legislator, if you hint, as a representative to Congress, whoever you are, if you even broach the topic, there’s no debate, no dialogue, no good faith argument. No, let’s sit down and really see where each other coming from the hslda has an army, they’re going to come for you. And they’re going to do everything in to ruin your political career. If you even hint at trying to regulate homeschooling in any way. One of the things I want to get across is that’s not unique in this religion, cosmos. So if you read a book by Ed Nelson called shadow network, we have a whole episode, orange wave series orange wave episode titled it’s not democracy, it’s war. What we learned from from that kind of exploration is that there are dozens of of the religious rights I’m organizations in American politics and they are organized from the local the most local level eboard all the way to the mayor all the way to the state legislator all the way to the representative all the way to the Ted Cruz’s and the Marco Rubio’s. And whoever else is running at the national level. They have completely outwitted and out strategized their, their political opponents on those levels, and they see it as a lesson. Y’all know this from the homeschooling movement in the quiver, full movement. They don’t see it as as a short term thing. It’s not a Hey, we need to fix this thing in two years. It’s, we’re building an army, it’s going to take generations, but we’re going to take this country back for God. And we’re going to do it in a militant way that is uncompromising, and without any debate or dialogue about how to do it. That in essence, is is the context for the HSL da and the homeschooling movements. quiverfull which is which is usually the quiver full movement usually includes homeschooling. And so it’s all part of that, that Huge sort of, you know, network, what Nelson calls the shadow network of the religious right. And it’s when you start looking into it. It’s it’s pretty overwhelming and somewhat discouraging.

Kelley Richey 25:12
So yeah, I see that having a huge impact when it comes to LGBTQ rights. And, and when interactive rights, women’s productive rights, yeah. And then and then issues relating to like how we respond to rape or assault. And those issues as well, like even like legally as well as the stigma around, and women that come forward with that kind of stuff just because of the way they’ve treated.

Folks. Julia, I think is referring to this in relation to the Duggar family and what happened with their oldest son and how we grew up with a similar type of story. Um, for what that’s worth. And so the the way we were raised as women that it is our responsibility to not be temptations of any kind, and that if any kind of attention was get sent our way it was our fault, because we had a allowed it to happen, be encouraged it and somehow it had to do with what we were wearing, how we were walking, and how those thoughts are still prevalent.

Like, I even if you’re a child, and you don’t even know what’s going on, you’re still responsible,

that it’s our, our responsibility as women to control the urges of men. And I, I’ve heard you guys talk about that as well. On the show,

Bradley Onishi 26:40
oh, yeah. No, that I mean, to me that, you know, the political stuff we just talked about, this is where it is it touches. It’s all interwoven with two things, one, a thoroughly patriarchal understanding of sex and authority, right. So are just by nature, they’re supposed to be the leaders, right? But here’s, here’s the weird paradox of all this is that the ideology and the way of life that you all just outlined, paints men as these weaklings who are unable to resist their sexual urges, right. So in one in one breath, you’re like men are in charge. That’s, that’s how God did it. Sorry. On the other hand, right. Um, we have this admission that Oh, men are just weak, they they’re so sexual, they can never resist. So they’re, they’re kind of a liability, all Sorry about that. And guess what that means, ladies, you’ll never be in charge or have any authority or be in a place of leadership, but you might be 11 years old. And you need to be aware that you’re the one who’s the gatekeeper, dirty. So the patriarchal stuff means the dirty stuff. And the purity culture says, you know, if you, if you give temptation in any way, your life will be marked and marked. And, you know, ladies, you’re the ones who are responsible for being the gatekeepers there. So men are not naturally the type to marry or to be monogamous, and they’re just the sexual savages running the earth who be controlled, and you know what you need to do, woo them into a marriage that is blessed by God, ensure that you’re not tempting anyone else in any way at any time, by the way you dress or walk, or Tom or do your hair, blah, blah, blah. And then that’s how we’re going to do it. So you know, it’s a great spot in life, your goal is to have all the children to be policing all the time. Everyone says sexual urges, be the gatekeeper of all that all the while knowing you’ll never be in leadership or recognized as an authority in the community. So sounds amazing.

Kelley Richey 28:42
And then men get away even with sex being viewed is so heinous. Men somehow still in that, in that realm of beliefs, they still get away with being with many people. But you have you as a woman are with someone before marriage one person before marriage, you may marry them, and you’re still considered like, there’s still that stigma attached to you because you’re female.

Bradley Onishi 29:12

I was gonna say my students asked me about they asked him the Duggar case, specifically four years ago. And you know, these are students who are coming mainly from secular backgrounds, and they’re just like, Hey, I don’t get it. Like you just told me that evangelicals and conservative Christians are really against sex before marriage. So the Duggar brother assaults one of his sister, and he’s immediately forgiven and brought back into the fold. How does that work? And the way that works is, look, we already told you men are sexual savages. So they’re going to mess up. And as long as they say, Sorry, we’ll forgive them because that’s who they are. Boys will be boys. Women are not sexual. So if you’re a woman and you have an assertive sexuality, if you’re a woman and you are a sexual being independent way, you might be mentally ill. I mean, you’re certain Not right with the Lord. And so if you’re the one messing up, you’re the one with someone before marriage or you’re the one with multiple partners or whatever it is, you’re you don’t have a heteronormative sexuality. It’s really hard to look at you as a virtuous person that we can trust. By nature, women aren’t supposed to be those folks. So if you’re a woman and you fall into that category, you’re immediately Eve the temptress, you’re a me, Mary Magdalene. And you’re, you’re sort of painted with this, you know, Scarlet Letter, whereas men and even in the face, right, even in the Duggar case, where it says assault against sibling, you can difference? Yeah, it’s I mean, it’s painted. It’s heinous, right? And my students are asking me like, ohnishi, I don’t get it. You’re telling me to gay men, or lesbian women or whoever it is, can have consensual, loving relationship. And that’s shunned by God and terrible. And yet, this this assault is sick. And within months, he’s given and totally back in the fold, and we’re all good. Let’s go forward, right? And my answer is, like, categorically, within the system, yes. within them. The Duggar guy can be because it makes sense within the system, the gay person, the lesbian person, the BI person, the queer person, in general, has no place in the system, there’s no category for them. So and that includes the sexual woman, the independent sexual woman, right, there’s no category for them. So they’re not there. They’re sort of either Unforgiven, or banished, or, or shamed to the point of surrender. So it’s not, it’s not a healthy place to be.

Kelley Richey 31:38
No. And one thing I wanted to share is that this is kind of the way that we grew up is then my, my best friend. And I would have sleep overs at her house. And anytime we woke up into in the morning, we would seriously have to take the newspaper that came in, and we would have to cut out any images that were in the advertising sections that should women and underwear, in sleeping where or anything that involved a woman who wasn’t fully dressed head to toe, before her dad could look at it. And I found that baffling, because unlike so where where does he come into play where he has absolutely no power over over his mind in his body? Like I just it’s, that is when I first started to question I was like, this is really insane.

Julia Avery 32:34
I didn’t handle the internet now.

Bradley Onishi 32:40
Well, I mean, it’s Yeah, like, like I if we analyze what happened there to eight year old girls are tasked with the sexual policing of the community. middle aged men can’t handle you know, somebody in an ad wearing a, you know, whatever, tank top or something, right. I mean, you know, we had those in my youth group, you know, the, the youth pastor would ask boys, okay, what, what are the things that girls were that lead to temptation? And then he would go tell the girls, all right, the boy said these things lead to and then we would have these awkward talks about it. In, in sometimes in separated groups, sometimes in all together. And it was it was cringy, it was super cringy. Look, you know, you look back on it, and you just feel gross, you feel like kind of sexual f developing here that men are just as you’re saying, Kelly, just that weak and unable to even sort of defend themselves from their urges are whatever we were temptations, or whatever we’re calling them, that you that to eight year old girls have to go cut the newspaper up before you can look at it.

Kelley Richey 33:43
I feel like that kind of conditioning is also the opposite what as opposite than it’s actually intended. Because you’re focusing even more attention on sex, and temptations, then, perhaps normal society. And this is just me assuming. But with that, like my mom, our mom was always pressing these things, like, always talking about the clothes, and it’s like, sex was constantly, constantly on the floor. We knew what it

even was right? And that’s anything like we would have the opposite effect. Are we supposed to be like trying to remain pure, you know, and then we’re talking about, really, when you’re talking about what are these temptations? Honestly, it’s a room full of people in the church talking about what turns them on. It’s so weird to like, well, in the whole movement of I kissed dating Goodbye, which you I also heard on on one of your early podcasts. I think it was the first episode I listened to and I was like, everything these people these guys say is stuff that I grew up with and I know very deeply, but we had that book on our bookshelf and you know the whole concept of, you know, courting, not dating my old The sister was never allowed to date. And I think she was in her mid 30s, before she ever went out on her first date ever. And, you know, sorry to, you know, she is upset that we say that. But it was just that so ingrained in us that a man would show up on our doorstep and just simply request our father’s permission. And that is how it would be. So you just go about like praying like, Well, I hope he’s nice. And hopefully, he’s somebody I

would like. And then that’s another level right there bringing up asking your father for you. And then having like, the fathers and the daughters have this weird relationship, where, you know, they’re they’re your data gatekeepers that have purity rings, or purity vows with their fathers. And I’m like, That’s none other mother business. They don’t you guys shouldn’t be, I don’t know.

Bradley Onishi 35:58
Well, there’s even there’s purity balls. So there’s a ball you go to with your dad. And there’s a there’s a, in many ways, there’s like a reenactment of a wedding vows. So like the dad takes a vow to protect and, you know, Shepherd that his daughter at the at the event, and it’s, it is very strange. And, you know, we we could we could talk for hours about the incoherencies of purity culture, as you were saying, Julia, you know, you’re, you’re doing everything you can to get 16 year olds not to have sex. So what do you do just talk about sex every time you get together, right? Like a youth group, and a family and a church. And like, Hey, we don’t want you guys to even be thinking about, you know, what normal 16 year olds do in terms of like it flirting or kissing, or I don’t know, whatever it is. But we’re just going to talk about this constantly. So that, you know, everyone can, as you said, talk about what turns them on, and then do everything they can to suppress them just in the most unhealthy of ways, though,

Kelley Richey 36:59
and then I feel like that’s depression also makes them act out more likely in the home or in their close environment that they’re sheltered in.

And no, like, I’m not typically speaking Julia, you remember, in in the groups that we grew up in, it was always the boys that rebelled that they, they had these, they were allowed to completely go off the rails, and they had the most freedoms. Whereas the girls were so tightly controlled, there was I never saw any of the girls, you know, cut loose. That was like, they were always striving to be good enough. But the boys it’s like, even though they were given the car, they were given, you know, they were allowed to get their licenses and given freedom to do things. It was always them that they were acting out. And it was so weird to see that dichotomy. I don’t know.

Bradley Onishi 37:53
It again, it goes back, I think to just if we if we build this system, where men are both the unquestioned of the, and also sexually unable to resist temptation. We build into it like that, like one of the interviews I just did was with a colleague named Leslie Durrell Smith, and she wrote a book on sex scandals in American Christianity. And what she argues there is when a male white heterosexual politician has an affair, almost sometimes take it as a sign that he’s a healthy, he’s a healthy man. And you know what, He’s the kind of man who takes charge. He takes what he wants. And he’s maybe the kind of guy we want leaving our nation because we know that he’s he has a good virility and vitality about him, right. And so there’s ways that system that demonizes sex, and yet the gender norms and the conceptions of masculinity and femininity, generate a situation where you almost expect men to be transgressive, to be violent, to be assaulting, to be inappropriate to be illicit, you know, cheating on theirs, or whatever it is. And so it I mean, exactly, as you say, tell you, the boys are out, they have their licenses, and they might be doing things that aren’t allowed in the community, the boys will be boys. And and then as you’re saying, The girls are at home, praying and which man is gonna show up at the doorstep? And maybe, maybe your dad will approve, and maybe he won’t. I mean, it’s such a different experience and such a different set of expectations.

Kelley Richey 39:29
Can I then pivot that into asking you what you are know of Bill gothard and his teachings because that was a huge, huge thing for the groups that we were in. And his own history with sexual abuse and surrounding himself with like a harem of young girls. What I forgot what the his Institute was called. Yes, typically.

Bradley Onishi 39:58
So one of the I’ll just I’ll just say this what to start is one of the most powerful interviews I’ve ever done was with a woman named Derek yasukichi. And Derek, was brought up in a home that was highly influenced by both Dr. Phil Goddard’s curriculum and ideas about you know, schooling and about, you know, families sexuality, the whole thing. And dare to story exemplifies the damage that can be done in those settings right, like being sent to a Christian Academy where sexual and physical abuse was rife. Having it all covered up having there be no oversight, having there be very little regulation, very little certification, very little spotlight shined on the dark corners of these places. And Bill Gardner has been at the forefront of this right? The curricula the teachings, this is somebody who’s really working to create environments, of schooling and academies, right, that are supposed to be part of these kind of very conservative, very pure purity inspired very anti government kinds of spaces. And what’s the flip side is that there’s no oversight, there’s no regulation, it’s very hard to get a grasp on on what’s really going on there. And as you said, you know, God Himself seems to fall into the categories I just talked about, right? The leader, the man who’s up there and can’t shut up about sexual purity. And, you know, me, and yet seems to run so bear the marks of a man who is transgressing those norms. And that’s highly, it seems contradictory. But it’s not necessarily problematic within the community. And to me, that’s one of the biggest incoherencies of this whole of the nexus of homeschooling and purity movements, and anti government kind of curricula, dominionist theology, we should, we should throw in there, you know, reconstructionist theology is another part of this. And so that’s all, that’s all sort of baked into this culture. And it’s distressing. But in some senses, if you investigate the logic of how this culture works, it makes why the male leader like Goddard, can’t be quiet about people being sexually inactive or pure, or whatever it is, and yet seems to have histories and sees that belie that teaching at every turn.

Kelley Richey 42:24
Well, you see that cult, like, it is a very typical cultish thing to have this charismatic leader who, you know, tells everybody that they, you know, have to be pure, they, they can’t look at someone else, but then they’ll end up surrounding themselves with, you know, whether it be the wives of other people within their, their control, or the rules never apply to them. And it’s so interesting how people fall I feel like the the mindset of people who fall for these codes. That’s a whole other topic of interest to me, but, um, I think what I ultimately kind of want your opinion on in regard to these groups and and how I started watching this a documentary series on or maybe it’s just one show on Netflix called the family about how we’ve infiltrated government through like, with these leaders who have started like the National Prayer Breakfast and things like that, and and what they’re trying to accomplish, and how kind of insidious it is. I’m wondering, even though you have the Coalition for Responsible homeschooling, the we have these big limitations on what we’re able to pass because we just don’t have a the money, the clout, or, or see, like the the number of people to push energy into fighting with equal tenacity. Because what like you talk about in regard to politics. Democrats, we, we want to play it so nice. We want to be so fair when the other side is cheating at every single turn, and we act surprised every single time, what is it going to take for us to match that power and match that kind of intensity? Like, we have to get as aggressive? So what does that mean? How do we do that?

Bradley Onishi 44:26
That’s a great question. And really important and massive. If I can just go back so Goddard’s just so we know we have it on the record, so guarded the Institute for basic life principles, right in the 80s. And

they’ll started pretty quickly so his brother Steve, had to resign as part of the organization because he had multiple affairs with secretaries and then God Himself resigned in 2014. There was so many allegations of sexual harassment and molestation against them. Now that didn’t stop you know, the the idea VlP from really helping to form this culture surrounding homeschooling, you know, 30 movement that y’all talked about in terms of gender roles for women, and sort of seeing the government as the enemy, right, those those, those three things really come together in the, the Goddard universe. And it’s really hard to overstate how influential they’ve been, I mean, you all talk, feeling like you’re an anomaly, but hundreds of thousands of kids in our generation. And still today, we’re brought up on this sort of set of principles and these ideologies. I mean, I have, I have a colleague, who has a very similar history as yours, he was raised in San Diego, you know, you think San Diego, California liberal place or something, almost the exact same sort of experiences, you as you all, in terms of homeschooling, what he was taught about the government, what he was taught about, you know, to be a Christian to not have any debt to not be involved in the government in certain ways to, you know, to understand authority as the most important thing, blah, blah, blah, blah, right. So the next question is, well, what do you do to combat that? Right? How do you how do you sort of find ways to make inroads? And I think there’s a, there’s a couple of things. One, I think the first realization to combat despair is that there are so many more of us than them. At if you look, if you if you read, or listen to our episode with Robert Jones or rainberge, it’s very clear that the groups were talking about the religious right, white evangelicals, conservative Catholics are like 15 to 20% of the country, right. And there’s, and they’re getting older, and they’re getting smaller, because so many folks like us up in it are like, No, I’m good. I’m done now. So it’s not growing demographic. It’s not like they’re getting bigger. This is one reason that the quiver full movement came about. It’s like, how are we going to have an army that takes over America? We’re gonna have to give birth to it, because it’s not working in terms of evangelism and other things. Right. So number one is, there’s so many more of us than them. That’s number one. Number two is the organization has to happen at every level. Right? So what did happen under, for example, President Obama was this understanding of we have the first black president, look at all the progress that’s being made, and then he gets elected, and immediately into the house and in Congress, really? Everything Everything goes Republican, why complacency and a lack of attention to every level of political organizing? Right? Well, that includes the homes, that includes homeschooling policies, that includes education reform, that includes all of this. So number one is there’s more of us. Number two is I think organization is huge. And number three is just, we have to find the rallying principle. Okay, so one of the and this is the hardest point for me is it’s it’s one thing to have a negative organizing force, we are all coming. What do we all share, we all share emerging from this evangelical or whatever, however, you want to talk about it movement. That’s our shared commonality, right on this on this interview, all on this podcast and writ large when we talk about folks like us, okay, that’s great. And it’s a really good way for us all to connect and talk about our experiences and help each other that’s really, really important. But if we’re going to just have generational movements, to combat all of these sinister things that we see in, for example, the homeschooling movement, the HSL, da, and so on, and so forth, to be a long term vision and a long term, unifying principle, like what’s our what’s, what we’re trying to tear down, but what are we trying to build up? Yeah, and I don’t have the answer. I’m not going to sit here and give you my 45 point plan for that. But I think that is a next step. I think, you know, when I think about x men jello goals, in the in the wake of Trump being elected more and more of us sort of thinking like we need to, we need to talk about this because this is a problem. People need to know like, we need to start podcasts, we need to write books, right? I think that’s what we’re all doing here. That’s great. What we need to go from is a negative unifying force, a positive identification of we’re not just tearing down, we’re not just fighting to stop. We’re trying to build something. And I think that’s really important,

Kelley Richey 49:28
right? Because that brings up a point. And we’re, really if when we focus on just the negative unifying force, we have the same conversations over and over and over again, we don’t learn anything new. And we’re just repeating something that everybody already knows. And we’re not like you’re saying where we need to have that plan, or an idea for the future and in something that we want to build. So I love that that’s a that’s a that’s exactly right. And

I think Like with people like Rachel Coleman last week, it was really nice to talk to her because we were sharing, like, our experience with homeschool. But I mean, like she says, When homeschooling is done, right, it works well. But for the majority of the cases I’ve seen, it’s not working. And that is because of the fact that we don’t have rights for children that like until you’re 18, you are pretty much someone your parents property to do with what they see fit. And more importantly, than that, I think the importance of places like the coalition is to, you know, meet in the middle and be like, you know, we’re not trying to stop homeschooling, we’re not against this, you know, you guys, on the other side, who, with hslda, you guys are looking at us, like we’re enemies. And we have this conversation about how it’s like, we’re like shepherds trying to get the sheep away from the cliff. And it’s not that we’re trying to push them off the cliff, we’re trying to kind of protect it a little bit better. And if we could find a way to as energetically as they do, talk about why it’s important and why, you know, we’re not against homeschooling, and we don’t want to take your children away. That is not where we’re coming from. There has to be a point at which we come to the table and come to some kind of constructive conversation. Because it’s always an us versus them kind of conversation. I don’t feel like it needs to be. And that’s what places like hslda things. Yeah, go ahead.

Bradley Onishi 51:34
No, no, please. Sorry.

Kelley Richey 51:36
No, I was gonna say that’s what places like hslda they thrive off of is the fear. It’s the fear of otherness when you know, that’s not that’s not what’s a threat. That’s not what’s going on here. I think

Bradley Onishi 51:50
one of the things that’s baked into this equation is one side is using fear as an instinct. The other is using hope, okay. So if you use fear, you have a pretty direct path to getting people behind you. I’m going to show up, I’m not going to give you a nuanced message, I’m not going to give you a complex message. I’m not going to give you a huge plan with a lot of detail. Here’s what I’m going to say, you need to homeschool your kids because the government is evil. It’s trying to destroy children. It’s trying to indoctrinate them. They’re teaching sex ed, we’re beasts reality and everything. pedophilia is encouraged. And if you don’t do something about it, your family will be ruined, our country will be ruined, and God will not be happy. So you, you decide, go ahead. So that’s one message and it’s like, oh, my God, that’s scary. Okay, I got to do this. And then if that’s buttress by my pastor said it, and all these people I respect said it and my friend said it. Okay, I guess that’s what we got to do. Right? Um, here’s the, you know, what’s the other side saying? The other side’s like, hey, or not against homeschooling parents, you have you have the rights to school your children on a be in charge of their education. We recognize it. Here’s some regulations, we love to see and implemented a plan that I think we think make and spa and and all of a sudden, you have the you have the moral high ground when it comes to like coherency and rationality and thought, you don’t have the direct access to that instinct, right? And so how do you craft a messaging and a mission that that says that is as powerful as we need to save the children? If we don’t do this, the children will be in the nation will be in danger. So you decide, right that that plays on an instinct that is so visceral, okay, yeah, how do you honor your principles, and yet, find a messaging that can tap into what you know, tap into community sensibility in the same way. It’s really hard. I mean, when you when these are just very broad examples, so please forgive me. But if you look at the election of Donald Trump, it was about feeding. The nation is going to hell. There’s American carnage. So I’m the one who can stop it. I’ll protect you. I’m the viral savage man who’s an adulterer and an actual abuser. But you know what that says about me, I’ll do anything it takes to protect you because I just take what I want. That was one way to do it. Obama was elected on hope, hey, let’s imagine a different country in a different future. Let’s imagine a different way of living. You all imagine that with me. All right, so we’re going to do what everybody hope takes imagination, hope to coalesce, coalescing, it’s harder, it’s more, it’s more difficult. And yet, it’s so much more suited for human thriving and human flourishing. Right. Sorry, long answer. I’m just trying to say, What’s baked into this equation, whether it’s homeschooling, whether it’s abortion, whether it’s, you know, national security, whatever you want to talk about, if one was just going to appeal to brute fear, and, and unapologetically peddle that they’re, they’re going to have an upper hand to start and that’s difficult. That’s true.

Kelley Richey 54:59
Yeah. I agree. And to close this out, I kind of want to circle it around and to politics, which is so near and dear to my heart. Just a little FYI, to you I, to me, the person I want leading our country, well, he’s not on the ballot any longer. And when I look at someone like Bernie Sanders, I look at somebody like him. And I think, Well, according to the Christian values I was raised upon this is the the clear choice. And this man has everyone’s best interests at heart, he is doing nothing but striving to protect the the least among us. And isn’t that what we’re supposed to care about. And of course, I’m not going to get my way for the second time in a row. And it’s, it’s harder this time than it was last time, which I didn’t think was possible. But even with a breaking heart, I realized the importance of us voting out someone that does nothing but pray more upon these fears. Because our our relationship to religious upbringing is based upon fear, guilt, and questioning of yourself constantly. And that has pushed, you know, that puts most of us into a very docile position to fall even further prey to the fear mongering that is taking place today. And I’m just wondering what it is about the religious right, that can’t see someone like Bernie as as Christ like, I mean, if you want to get down to it, so it’s, uh,

Bradley Onishi 56:42

I can see the exacerbation on your face here. I, you know, I I wondered this exact same thing. I’ve wondered it for a long. When I did the orange wave series, I wanted to figure that out in a way that, that that later to my own in my home region and stuff. And what I discovered was a couple of really important things. One is that the religious right in the 1960s was constructed and designed by three. I mean, there’s a bunch of folks but there’s three men. One is Paul wyrick. Okay, Paul wyrick is a conservative Catholic, he’s not an event. But in his mind, the most important thing is to take America back for God. And to do so in a way that fulfill in we’re white, patriarchal men are in control. They have families that are constructed along heterosexual lines with as you just said, submissive or docile wives, and children. The government has very little say in who they in who and what they do, or in what they do, not who they do, excuse me. And the the other part of this then is libertarian politics, right, that we need no regulation on our economics, we need to get the government out of our business because that that is an infringement. Right. So that vision is there. you couple that with all the racism, I mean, all the racism, it’s all there from the beginning, okay. All of the fear of the other immigrant, the, the black American, the brown American, the person who they deem not a real American, right, the person they dangerous or threatening to this order, the society based on patriarchal white, that they want to build. Okay, so we race, we got libertarian politics, we got a patriarchal vision, we need to keep women in line so that they understand their role. If you’re Amy Coney Barrett, we can nominated to the Supreme Court. Why because you’re a patriarchal woman, like you totally are willing to play by the system’s rules. Okay. So that’s all there. And then what’s the genius of this coalition? All right, so we know it’s race. It’s live, we want to libertarian politics. We want a certain vision of the family, how do we get that going? We get it going through fear, by way of children. So we’re going to tell you that abortion is the Holocaust studies. And so when it comes down to it, a lot of folks are gonna wonder what you say, Kelly, like, how did we get to a place where you’re voting for Donald Trump over, you know, Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren or people to judge or whoever to Cory Booker, all people have faith. You know, even Bernie says, I’m an atheist, but I’m a Jewish person, right? In some ways, people have faith. And we get to a place where Well, look, that faith isn’t real. There’s no way you could be a person of faith if you’re willing to take place in the Holocaust of unborn babies. So that’s, that’s the way we’re going to spend that. And then we’re going to sort of talk about how you also want to destroy the family, oh, and gay people to get married and trans people to have rights. And we’re just gonna build on these layers of fear when it comes to the most fundamental issues when it comes to families and children. Right, and that’s how we’re an army and then we’re going to Do that. And this is another part of quiverfull that’s that we haven’t really got to is that there is no neutrality, that everybody has a religion. And you may say, Well, I’m not religious, and I’m going to say, well, that’s your religion. You want to put humans in the place of God. You want to destroy Christians, you want to destroy God, you want to destroy faith in this country. So that’s why someone like Donald Trump or Marco Rubio are telling you the kratts to destroy faith and religion, even though I watched the Democratic National Convention. They couldn’t shut up about God. I mean, Senator Coons is up there. Cory Booker’s up there. You know, Joe Biden’s up there talking about his son. I mean, Joe Biden, when he goes to mass every Sunday, Elizabeth Warren’s out here quoting Matthew 25, all the time people to judge his person have to won’t be quiet about his It was almost too Christian. Right? And yet the the mess, socialism, Mark lovelessness. That’s what they are folks, Joe Biden guy in his 70s, walking around with gray hair, who’s by all accounts, he’s supposed to be a radical leftist Marxist, who’s going to tear down the country and not allow you to pray in your own home. Okay, here it

Kelley Richey 1:01:09
is. I see. So, I see a lot of people like talking about the end times. And, you know, for so long, like, our mom thought Obama was the Antichrist. But like, I feel like that’s also put into play, you know, with the fear mongering that you’re talking about. It’s almost like they also tie that into revelations. And they’re like, so you guys, this is even more serious. Now. You’re now dealing with the end of times, you’re dealing with these people that are wolves in sheep’s clothing, saying the Bible saying that they believe in God and all this to get you reeled in. So that’s another attack on Democrats, because, because they’re also like, they’re already prepped to think that all these democrats are only saying this because, you know, that’s how they’re gonna reel us in. And then, you know, when it comes down to the gays to pro life, or, or pro choice or you know, those other issues, it’s like, everything’s compounded on to climate change, even the End Times. And, and this is where we really have to power up and do whatever it takes to keep those people from doing the Antichrist ish, the whatever I mean, like, it’s just I feel like that’s, that’s all part of it too.

Bradley Onishi 1:02:34
Well, and it’s To me, it’s a place where there’s a fundamental incoherency. But but it nobody seems to care, right? So the incoherency, to me, is this, okay, God’s in control. Jesus could return it anytime. And so for that, okay, hey, let’s do it. Who needs to go to college? I mean, this is how, if you met 1617 year old me, I was like, Who needs to go to college? Who needs to spend money on extraneous things? Let’s spend all our money on tracks and gospel resources and tell everyone from Nepal to to, you know, to Colombia to the United States about Jesus, let’s do that. Right. And then the response is, well, you know, that’s important. But you know, what we really need to do we need to take over the PTA. We need to make sure that Congress is for us. We need to completely dominate state level and national politics and make sure that these folks have no say in their government. And if you see enough, down I’ll just say, you realize it’s about power. Hmm. It’s it’s not about the times it’s not about like if Jesus comes back any moment then why is Mike Pompeo Secretary of State get out there and tell people about get out there and like everyone you’re looking at going to hell? So you know what do something about that, but you don’t really believe that Mike Pompeo, you want power, you want influence you want to dominate? And if we come back to patriarchy, we come back to purity culture, we come back to to all of that, what’s the impulse the impulses control? its power,

Kelley Richey 1:03:54
you are so right. Well, and I listening to your past podcasts. One thing that you’ve said that is really stuck out to me is that like, if, if you are raised upon these values, and this is what you believe that time is of the essence, then why are we all out there acting as if it could all end tomorrow? That is, that is, I didn’t even get to quote all of the little quotes I pulled that I wanted to mention, uh, surrounding the pro life movement in regard to the homeschooling community. But I mean that this is just such a packed topic. And we appreciate you taking even this amount of time to talk about it with us. Yes. And I find it so important. And it’s hard for me to separate the issues that I grew up as a homeschooler with politics and how they’re trying to make it to where we are in this position of power to make these decisions and that everything that our country was founded upon this religious freedom. We’re trying to just repeat what we came from like how they’re The reason that we had intended to have the separation, and now that’s just what we’re trying to return to. History repeats itself on in a vicious cycle. And I don’t understand how we haven’t smartened up to that. It’s just incredible.

Bradley Onishi 1:05:17
Yeah, I think for me, the it’s a dark time, it’s a very scary time, there’s a crisis every day, I think for me, I come back to this, there’s more of us than them. It’s not an insurmountable opposition. And ultimately, hope has more long term potential for flourishing than fear. So if you live through Donald Trump’s America, or you live through anything like it in terms of your, your, your local, or church or community experiences like y’all had, and like I had, there comes a point when you think to yourself, there’s got to be something more than being afraid? And how can we construct a society or community or a church or anything else based on something else? And this election, I think, coming up here in a month, is really a referendum on that, you know, how much are we willing to sacrifice to instill that kind of vision rather than to give in to the fear mongering, and the blatant desire for control and domination. That’s it. And it’s, don’t get me wrong, nothing’s guaranteed. I’m not one of these people, the arc of the universe bends towards justice. And that just automatically happens. If it does do that. It’s a very windy path. That arc is taking a very windy route to get to justice. And it only happens because people are willing to make it happen. It’s not it’s not destined. And so anyway, for me, that’s what’s getting me through right now. And it’s what’s getting me to the place of being able to sleep at least a little bit every night.

Kelley Richey 1:06:47
Yeah, I love that. Well, and in conclusion, so we don’t take up all of your Sunday. I like this message of hope. And I think that, in my opinion, what’s most important is that we all realize the power that we have, as individuals, and we don’t act out of fear, we act out of hope for better things. And we have to be as active as I mean, just like, we know that the right turns out in record numbers, like every elderly person that, you know, on the right, they vote every, like they do not miss a vote, and we have to get this mentality that they have, we have to have this drive, we have to have people who are willing to do uncomfortable things and tell their truth and, and really get out there and take responsibility for making that positive change. And I think that’s, we’re glad that you exist. And I, I’m still listening through the, you know, I usually start at the beginning of a podcast and go all the way back, but I’ve kind of been going back bouncing back and forth. But um, the last thing I want to ask you, is you I saw on your Twitter, which I am I’ve kind of gone on a hiatus up until like a couple months ago where I was like, off social media, like because I couldn’t handle it. But I saw that you had mentioned something about Ben Shapiro. What, please, Ben Shapiro is one of my number one like people to hate. And I just want to know, where could you tell the story if there is Oh,

Bradley Onishi 1:08:22
so I i one of the things I’ve worked on in the past is a book on the history of the soulmate myth. Excuse me. Where did we get the idea of the soulmate? Well, the soulmate myth, if you think about it, is is monotheism is monogamy and monogamy conceived as monotheism. So your soulmate complete to your soulmate is who your soulmate gives you yourself for the first time, and your soul mate protects you from all invulnerability. Well, that sounds like you’re talking to Abraham. It sounds like yeah, we talking to Moses, it sounds like a monotheistic universe, right. Okay, so why am I talking about that? So in the course of writing this whole book about the history, the soulmate myth, I come across folks who are talking about being their own soulmate, right. So that’s like lizzo. And, you know, Emma Watson gave an interview where she said, She’s, you know, self coupled, right, I

Kelley Richey 1:09:17
saw me she wrote on that and loved it.

Bradley Onishi 1:09:19
Yeah. And so I write this whole thing for the New York Times about being your own soulmate. And I wasn’t, I wasn’t saying that’s what you should do. We’re saying hey, here’s how some folks are thinking about that. It’s kind of interesting to think about, especially for women to claim your identity and your independence as I my own soulmate. I don’t what else Okay, that’s, that’s a that’s a nice way to combat the patriarchal stuff we’ve been talking about today. And Ben Shapiro picked it up, got on the show and just talked about how I’m just one more crazy liberal who wants to destroy the family and this religion professors is an honor it’s great like my students found it in there, you know, they it’s they had a field day with this. It was really fun.

Julia Avery 1:09:55
You know, you’re doing the right yeah.

Kelley Richey 1:10:00
Like, oh, that’s what he said. I’m on track. I don’t try and find this clip. But I can tell you that I have about a 10. Second, yeah, like ability to listen to His voice before I lose it completely.

Bradley Onishi 1:10:14
Don’t don’t just take my word for it,

Kelley Richey 1:10:16
don’t do it. Well, you’re our hero. So thank you.

Bradley Onishi 1:10:22
No, no, no.

Thank you so much for the invitation. And thank you so much for the work y’all are doing. I know, for me, doing our show has been very healing, it’s given to me a chance to kind of work through a lot of stuff from my own experiences and, and in my own journey in ways that have been really helpful. And I and it’s always nice to hear that they’re helping others. And I know that I Well, at least I hope that the two of you are having the same experience, you know, feeling like it’s a positive thing for you, and you get to help other people in the meantime. So

Kelley Richey 1:10:55
that’s what we hope and thank you so much. And hopefully we can speak again sometime. All right, thank you so much. Hi, Brad. Thank you. Bye. Alright, guys, thank you for joining us today for our wonderful interview with Bradley ohnishi. We were super excited to have him on the show. And we’re extremely honored to speak with him on the topic of homeschooling the quiver, full movement and politics. And we would love to hear your comments, your your ideas about these topics that we cover. please go to our website, www dot the family ties Leave comments on our summary for this episode. And more importantly, we would really love it if you would hit subscribe. And then also Julie, what else can they do? And go to that iTunes,

and I don’t know what the icon looks like. Get but make sure to give us five star review. Five stars. Five, five stars. Hold on. What are you doing? Yes, please give us five stars. If you don’t want to give us five stars. I respectfully request that you just don’t put a review at all. Oh, Kelly saying no. But like, honestly, the slightest, like change in stars ruin stuff. Oh, yeah, I’ve heard nothing. And I’ve heard nothing.

Julia. One thing I wanted to read out loud was a comment that was made on our religion episode. And we talked about how we were going to read them out negative positive. And that’s what I’m going to do to close this.

Okay, well, let me get to it.

Julie. Yes, you’re so excited. You really should because it’s great. It’s challenging, and it’s definitely not short, but I was super excited to get it and I want to read it to you all. Okay. This says from Japanese pumpkin. They say Hi, I’m from Japan and I started to listen to the family ties podcast for English study. I came across your podcast while searching for john oliver on podcasts. Your podcasts are interesting. Besides I love your pronunciation very much I want to pronounce like you so I listened to you every day again and again, which is like super great. I love that, by the way can’t mean me because I fuck up all the words G’s got to be talking about just you know, by the way, Episode 17 was very interesting. I am a religious person and I found my own way to reconcile religion and science. I think both are different in purpose and methodology. If she is if he or she is trying to learn English, this is written beautifully, beautifully. Um, Lily and she he or she is referring to our episode 17 which is faith versus science. Anyways, so you know that there are different religious denominations in Christianity. Some believe in the Bible literally in some interpret the Bible metaphorical way. Jesus said in the Bible Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees Matthew 16, the disciples said, it is because we didn’t bring any bread. Jesus replied, how is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread, but be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Then they understand understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast he used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. In another place. Jesus said, Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, john six. Then many of his disciples said, this is a hard teaching who can accept it, and many of them no longer follow Jesus? Of course, Jesus didn’t mean literally he said the words I’ve spoken to you they are full of the Spirit and life. He also said I am the bread of life. The Bible is full of difficult metaphors. The meaning will be revealed. To you only when you read it with write purpose, I believe. So the purpose of science is to find the facts of the world. And the purpose of religion is to live to be a good person. I do believe in the virginity of Mary sorry, but it is not the center of my faith, I can do without it very well. I mean, the most important part is love one another as I have loved you. Anyone who does not love does not know God because God is love the Bible said, I believe that most scientific people are those who don’t deny something which has not been proven, the methodology of science is to prove the methodology of religion is to select to select how you want to live, what kind of person you want to be. And that’s to select the religion which matches best your wish. I was born in a Christian family, which gave me a lot of conflicts, I had a fear of the hell, and I didn’t want to be a good person just because I want to go to the heaven. I also didn’t want to look down on non Christian friends who were much better than me. I once discarded my belief to be free than I thought and thought and finally have chosen to be a Christian. I have no fear now, I don’t tell my children to go to church, they should choose for their own. I’m looking forward to listening to your new episode.

That is the perfect amount of challenging I, I really respect. I really respect that. And it’s okay, it is perfectly okay for us to have different religious beliefs. And, you know, what is the Japanese pumpkin? What was their username? Yes, you Japanese pumpkin? You’re correct. You know, it’s so important to not

dismiss other beliefs or other things just because it’s not been proven yet. Because you’re right. Science is about. It’s about proving and it’s about, um, studying and questioning, questioning. Mm hmm. So you’re right. Um, so I guess a lot of our Kelly’s in my discussions really stemmed from our personal experiences. So it is important that we’re mindful of being more open being 100% open. That doesn’t mean that we agree with the religions, but I respect I respect where you’re coming from. And I really appreciate your openness to listening to where we’re coming from. This dialogue is really important. And we’re so grateful that you know, you’re able to be honest in such an eloquent and graceful way. Yes, and I love when you were extremely eloquent Your English is phenomenal. So I think you’re actually superseding, Julia and I both you’ve surpassed us and how we speak language, our own language. So thank you once again, and we hope to get more comments so that we can keep reading them and discussing them. So please, please visit our site and rate review. And subscribe. Thank you guys so much. Have a wonderful, wonderful week. Or rest of the week.

Julia Avery 1:18:14
We really filled with hope and not fear, hope and

Kelley Richey 1:18:18

Oh, wait. And not just just hope, hope, no fear, just hope.

Sorry. Can you tell I’m a little fearful about things right now. Hope I need hope. We all need hope. Hope. Yes. All right. Thank you guys so much. We love each and every one of you join the family and the Family. Bye

About Author

Kelley grew up as the fourth of six children in small town Hodgenville, Kentucky where she and her siblings were all homeschooled until graduation when she escaped off to college. Ever since she has been on a quest for learning and enlightenment. She is deeply passionate about politics, animals (particularly dogs and horses), art, film, fashion, and global issues.

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