Broken Bones, School Shootings, Divine Intentions, and Why We Suffer

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. This week’s excerpt focuses [Read More...]

“We Have to Consider the Quality of Our Children”: IVF, a Nobel Prize, and Cultural Confusion Around Reproductive Ethics

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. This week, I’m featuring [Read More...]

No Amount of Yoga or Perseverence Will Allow Me to Run

I have a tendency to stare overlong at the many runners who come to my picturesque wooded lakeside neighborhood for their daily exercise. I watch the ones for whom running comes so naturally, with their long effortless strides, their upright posture, the unmistakable light in their eyes. I envy these runners, for their gracefulness and [Read More...]

I Don’t Want to Be an Inspiration, I Just Want to Be Human

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 questions for reflection [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...]

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...]

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...]

What Shane Claiborne (& Mother Teresa!) Got Wrong: On Being the Body of Christ with Imperfect Bodies

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Last spring, I heard a terrific talk from Shane Claiborne at the Festival of Faith & Writing. Claiborne, a prominent voice in progressive Christian circles, lives in Philadelphia’s inner city, where he and the other inhabitants of the Simple Way community practice a “new monasticism.” They value hospitality and communal living, seek to build relationships [Read More...]


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