Fighting Human Trafficking

This week, President Obama issued an executive order meant to work toward the end of human trafficking. The order came in response to a petition with more than 73,000 signatures delivered to the President back in June of this year. (I had the chance and the honor of signing the petition.)In his speech announcing the executive order, the President said this about modern-day slavery: Now, I do not use that word, "slavery" lightly.  It evokes obviously one of the most painful chapters in our … [Read more...]

Play: Good for Children and Other Living Things

I must admit, I read the article "Is CrossFit Training Good for Kids?" with significant skepticism. It's not that I'm a stranger to difficult workouts; I ran DI cross country and track, I have 18 marathons to my credit, and yes, I can do cleans. To me, these CrossFit workouts sound fun except for the fact that they're taking place indoors.My primary concern is not that the workouts are too hard for kids (though I think that's possible if the staff is not appropriately trained or the workouts … [Read more...]

Be Creative and Live Longer

Exercise and diet are the quintessential factors contributing to good health and prolonged life. They may have some company, after a study found that creativity is another factor that does the body good.Fast Company’s Co.Exist channel reports that: In a study of 1,349 older male veterans, creativity—serving as an indication of openness, the willingness to try new things and accept new ideas—seems to have predicted a longer lifespan. The Journal of Aging and Health study, which followed the m … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: MoMA’s “Century of the Child” Exhibit

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.In their book of literary criticism Utopian and Dystopian Writing for Children and Young Adults, Carrie Hintz and Elaine Ostry describe Romantic perceptions of childhood in which childhood is viewed as “utopian, a space and time apart from the corruption of everyday adult life” (5). The editors further state, “To the Romantics and their heirs, children were innocent and … [Read more...]

Citizenship Confusion: My Prodigal Grandmother

Every Monday in Citizenship Confusion, Alan Noble discusses how we confuse our heavenly citizenship with citizenship to the state, culture, and the world. It was if not the worst Christmas present I had ever received, easily the tackiest and most senseless. Sticking out of my stocking was the little, crocheted head of a snowman wearing a top-hat, scarf, and an unnerving red smile. When I pulled it out I discovered that the artfully handcrafted snowman's head was actually just a craftsy wrapper … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Another Look at “Disappearing Mothers”

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.Earlier this week, a colleague sent me a link to Katie Roiphe’s essay "Disappearing Mothers". I’ve found myself grappling with it ever since, trying to reconcile my appreciation for Roiphe’s premise with my intense dislike of her tone. She begins with the foundation of “the trend of women using photographs of their children instead of themselves as the main pictur … [Read more...]

Sacred Space: The Church vs. Naturalism

Every Friday in Sacred Space, Brad Williams explores the place of popular culture in the local church.One of the present challenges to the church is compelling narrative of naturalism. By naturalism, I mean the idea that everything always has and always will be governed by "natural" laws.  In this worldview, science is naturally king because  its business is to study that which is observable. So if one never observes a miracle, why should it ever be taken into account in a naturalistic wo … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Parenting in the Big Picture

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.My elder daughter received The Big Picture Story Bible as a gift from her godparents (fellow CAPC writer Carissa Turner Smith and her husband). The book, written by David Helm and illustrated by Gail Schoonmaker, is beautiful, complete with vibrant images and simple, poetic text. As the title suggests, the book is filled with bright, big pictures, and it also follows … [Read more...]

Mixed Signals: Pole Dancing for Kids?

Mixed Signals is Erin Straza’s weekly musing about marketing miscellany in advertising, branding, and messaging.Remember how the word association game works? I say a word, and you say the first thing that comes to mind. It’s what Family Feud was all about.That's why I was caught off guard by an article on The Huffington Post that had "pole dancing" and "children" in the same report. These two words certainly do not go together in my brain. The article says that pole-dancing enthusiasts want … [Read more...]

The Female Gaze: Fifty Shades of Bondage

Each week in The Female Gaze, Faith Newport engages the trends, events, and issues that affect women—and the men who care about them.It started out as Twilight fan-fiction, with a darker edge and a whole lot of x-rated pseudo-BDSM sexuality—and somehow skyrocketed from Internet obscurity to international infamy. Today, the Fifty Shades of Grey series has sold over thirty million copies worldwide. It's been on bestseller lists for months and even beat out Harry Potter for the title of fas … [Read more...]