It Happened On xoJane: IHTMs of 2012 About Religion

For good or ill, faith can leave an impression on people's lives; here are some of our best “It Happened To Me” pieces on the subject of religion.
Publish date:
December 25, 2012

Looking back on 2012, we aren't surprised that so many of our favorite IHTMs are about religion, especially religious fanaticism, as they give us a first-person peek into worlds and experiences we might never hear about -- or at least, we might never hear about from someone who's actually been on the inside.

It Happened to Me: Fleeing Hasidism, And Living to Tell The Tale

Deborah Feldman as told to Tom Blunt

I regret that in the process of trying to raise awareness for how women and children are treated inside the community, I have to hurt some people. I'm sorry they're hurt, I really am. But on the other hand I'm getting mail from men and women who are desperate to get out, who are completely trapped, and I have so much empathy for them, and I'm not going to back down just because there are people who hate me. These people already have everyone standing up for them, but the people like me don't have anyone standing up for them.


I Attended One Of Those Weird, Secretive Opus Dei Schools

By Eronn Strickland

Opus Dei is weird and often secretive. They have centers all over the country, but their members are instructed not to tell the neighbors with whom they are affiliated. Numeraries practice self-mortification, where they intentionally hurt or deny themselves.

They are incredibly sexist -- men in Opus Dei centers do not cook or clean for themselves but have female “numerary assistants” (often from low-income families or foreign countries) take care of domestic issues. Married women are encouraged to emulate June Cleaver and always be dressed up for their husbands in the evening.


It Happened To Me: I Lost My Best Friend To Jesus

By Megan Segura

The truth is I never had that brutally honest conversation with Lindsey where I told her that her newfound passion for Jesus made me uncomfortable and was changing the girl I knew. How could I? While I believe her reliance on God may be just as unhealthy as her other addictive behaviors, it’s not exactly something that’s endangering her life.


What Women's Media Needs To Know About Chasidic Women

Judaism is the original sex-positive culture. What? You heard me right. Y'all need "sex-positive Third wave feminism" to help you feel like having sex is OK. Jews bypassed the whole Christian idea that all sex, even in marriage, is a sin. And Protestant asceticism just never happened for us.