The Kiddy Pool: Over-Sharing and STFU, Parents

I write this column in a genre called "creative nonfiction," which means that most of my material at least in some way references my personal life. Since this is a parenting column and the majority of my days are spent with my children, that also means my writing relies on my family for inspiration. While my husband reads most of what I write before I publish it, I can’t say the same for my children; and where my husband can grant consent and trust my judgment about our privacy, my children d … [Read more...]

Rebuking the Romance Prosperity Gospel

If you are a Biblical Christian, and particularly a single Christian, then you have enough struggles concerning purity, cultural marriage-redefinition, and relationships. The last thing you need is impure teaching, bad marriage definitions, and worse relationship counsel from evangelicals. Yet for years, and often without knowing it, we’ve experienced exactly these things from segments of the well-meaning Evangelical-Industrial Complex.Recently I termed this the “Romance Prosperity Gospel” (R … [Read more...]

How Royal Baby Fever Points to a Royal Longing (Or: Yes, This is a #JesusJuke)

So, in case you weren't on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or seen every tabloid from here to kingdom come, Prince William and Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, had a healthy little baby boy (name unannounced at the time of this writing) yesterday--and people have completely lost it. Royal Wedding fever was one thing. Royal baby fever is quite another.Now, there are a lot of different social factors at work. For one thing, babies are adorable. I see them and I instinctively start making r … [Read more...]

Can You Know Too Much About Your Body?

 Every day, as you go through your normal patterns and routines, you're generating massive amounts of data about your body and its habits, performance, and abilities. These metrics can range from caloric intake or the number of hours you slept the previous night to the number of miles you ran or steps you took going to the office. And those are some of the more obvious ones. At first blush, these metrics might seem trivial. However, thanks to devices like Fitbit and fitness apps for … [Read more...]

Transfiguration Avenue: Michael Chabon and Relearning to See the World

The first reason and last reason for reading Michael Chabon is his prose style. We can start on page one: A white boy rode flatfoot on a skateboard, towed along, hand to shoulder, by a black boy pedaling a brakeless fixed-gear bike. Dark August morning, deep in the Flatlands. Hiss of tires. Granular unraveling of skateboard wheels against asphalt. Summer-time Berkeley giving off her old-lady smell, nine different styles of jasmine and a squirt of he-cat. This opening paragraph models Chabon’s o … [Read more...]

Stop Hate-Watching the Church

In the past, I’ve done something called hate-watching, which involved watching the musical TV drama Smash on Hulu every week and tweeting hilariously bad dialogue and plot twists as they happened. The show was such a perfect combination of technically well-crafted accomplishment and bumbling misguided creative direction that it was a genuine joy to watch it slowly fall into itself like a carefully constructed bonfire. Although it was just a TV show, sometimes I found myself feeling sorry for t … [Read more...]

‘Popular Science’ vs. Jenny McCarthy, or, How Not To Engage In Cultural Dialogue

It was recently announced that television personality and former model Jenny McCarthy would become one of the hosts of the daytime talkshow The View. Most of the time, this sort of announcement would probably fly under most people's radars, but McCarthy's hiring has prompted a not insignificant amount of criticism and backlash. And not, as you might expect, because of McCarthy's past experience as a Playboy model. Rather, it's because she is a well-known and popular critic of child vacci … [Read more...]

Rachael Slick’s Deconversion and the Two Paths of Life: Dead Logic or Living Joy

It’s risky to start saying, “This person’s rejection of faith could have been avoided If Only …”Still, if someone says her father was a relatively well-known apologetics group founder, and she memorized all the debate points but now rejects Christ, let’s take heed.Faith rejections have many causes. One may be sincere appraisal of other religions. Another may be an opposition to Christian sexual ethics (as Tim Keller suggested). But in her Monday column for Friendly Atheist, Rachael Slick … [Read more...]

Wise As Serpents, Even On The Daily Show, Especially On The Daily Show

Did you hear about that Evangelical pastor who got skewered on the Daily Show for claiming that Christians are bullied and gays beat up straights? Well, if you haven't already, you should. In fact, you know what, just take a few to watch it:So, there you have it. Dumb Evangelical pastor Matt Slick gets shown up as a silly, bigoted fool for thinking that Christians are persecuted in our country. We're the majority religion with hundreds of thousands of churches, presidents claiming our … [Read more...]

Where are all the Protests over Black-on-Black Violence?

The following post was originally published April 6th, 2012, but given the verdict in the Zimmerman trial and the protests in response, it bears republishing. During all the recent public discussions about the Trayvon Martin case, I’ve been hesitant to speak too quickly or confidently; new “witnesses” and “evidence” seems to appear every day, and now that the DOJ has been pressured to immediately and carefully investigate, I’m less interested in speculating on the details of the case, until t … [Read more...]