Why I am Grateful to Be an Episcopalian: Part 1 – A Detour into Evangelicalism

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Patheos has invited bloggers to reflect this month on what we are grateful for in our spiritual lives. As I was considering that focus, I was also contemplating a question I received from a reader via email about what denominations I might recommend for a committed Christian who tends to lean left on political and [Read More...]

Which Story Do You Live By?

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As the one-year anniversary of my book publication approaches in January, I’m devoting Fridays from now until the end of the year to revisiting the book’s major themes. Each Friday, I’ll post an excerpt from No Easy Choice: A Story of Disability, Parenthood, and Suffering in an Age of Advanced Reproduction, with a question for [Read More...]

Jewish Views on Reproductive Technology: Part 2

This is the second of two posts on Jewish perspectives on reproductive technology. I posted Part 1 yesterday. Central Role of Procreation in Jewish Theology Judaism emphasizes the procreative purpose of marriage—its role in fulfilling God’s command to be fruitful and multiply—to a greater extent than many Christian denominations do. Having children is one of [Read More...]

Jewish Views on Reproductive Technology: Part 1

Frequently, when discussing reproductive issues (abortion, repro tech, etc.) among Christians, Old Testament scriptures come up. Psalm 139, for example, is frequently cited for its beautiful notion that God knows us intimately from our earliest days in the womb: For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise [Read More...]

When Parents Hope for Their Children to be Cured, Are We Really Wishing That They “Cease to Be”?

Messages about Andrew Solomon’s new book, Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity have been coming steadily into my inbox over the past few days. The author interviewed hundreds of families in which a child has some identifiable difference—autism, Down syndrome, violent criminal tendencies, being the child of rape. His resulting [Read More...]

What Hobbits Have Taught Me About God’s Providence

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My husband and I are Lord of the Rings movie junkies. I believe I could re-enact the entire Helm’s Deep battle sequence in The Two Towers, if only I had the muscle strength and dexterity to, say, mimic Legolas’s tossing of his dwarf pal Gimli across a chasm at a signal moment in the story. We have [Read More...]

Freedom Looks Like a Little Boy in Sparkly Leggings

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My son’s Halloween costume—a rock star in the Freddy Mercury/Kiss/Steven Tyler over-the-top mode—was absolutely perfect for him. Not because he loves to sing and dreams of being on American Idol, although he does. But because this costume offered him freedom. Freedom to wear the sparkly, colorful clothes he would like to wear every day, but [Read More...]

What We Can Learn from Johnny Appleseed

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One of my family’s cherished, non-negotiable traditions, ranking right up there with summer camping trips and New Year’s Eve fondue, is an October drive to western Connecticut, where we pick apples, sip hot cider, and eat fresh-from-the-oven cider donuts on a hilltop farm that has been in the same family since the 1780s. Apples are [Read More...]

I Don’t Always Cherish Time with My Kids, But I Do Pay Attention

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Last week, my oldest daughter had some oral surgery, and my sister sent us a new game to help her pass the time while recovering. The game was “Catchphrase”—an electronic, timed version of “Password,” in which an electronic module provides words, and one player tries to get the other players to guess the word with [Read More...]

Why We Take Our Kids to Church…Even When It’s a Hassle

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Several years ago, I wrote a blog post titled “Confessions of a Church-Skipping Mom.” At my wits’ end after several years of wrangling reluctant, whining, restless children to church, I admitted that some Sundays, we stayed home just so I wouldn’t have to deal with the hassle. Too often, my own need for worship and [Read More...]

The Slippery Nature of Suffering: How Do We Decide What Makes Suffering Unbearable?

In Lois Lowry’s novel The Giver, young Jonas knows nothing—absolutely nothing—about pain and suffering until after his twelfth birthday. Jonas’s community (which exists in a post-apocalyptic future) is safe and efficient. Not only do the community’s residents not experience pain and suffering due to warfare, illness or disability, unemployment, family discord, or any other cause, [Read More...]

On Going Viral

Well, this has been interesting. As of right now, my post on “Why I am a Christian Democrat” has nearly 30,000 Facebook “likes” and almost 350 comments. This has never happened to me before. It’s exciting, gratifying, and a little exhausting. The gratifying part: I’ve heard (on the blog and privately) from many people who [Read More...]


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