A Different Take on Why Bad Things Happen to Good People

Questions around suffering and pain are stock in trade for me as a writer. I know that I can’t stand most Christian justifications (i.e., bullshit) for why terrible things happen. I know that even well-thought-out theological arguments around how God can be all-powerful, all-loving, and yet allow great suffering still fall far short for me. I [Read More...]

[Me & My Naturopath] On Being Unfixable in a World Obsessed with Fixing

Even this standard yoga position? Ouch. I manage with blankets and blocks to get into something resembling this position. Sometimes.

A few weeks ago, I took a detour from my naturopathy focus to go see my orthopedist. My right knee (which I still thought of as my “good” knee, because unlike the other knee, it has never needed surgery) had become very painful, and I wanted to see if there was an acute injury that [Read More...]

Meet David, as He Blogs His Way Through Alzheimer’s

David - Nikki Kahn 3

At the Potter’s House Church in Washington, D.C. (part of the former Church of the Saviour, founded by the late Gordon Cosby and his wife Mary), I worshipped with a physician named David Hilfiker. David and I were not particularly close. I was intimidated by his intellect. He once gave a sermon series parsing Rene [Read More...]

Last Night at Yoga

My teacher was showing us some really wild things she has learned to do with her abdominal muscles. She blows out all her breath, pulls her abs back toward her spine, then is able to release and contract individual muscles so that a wave ripples back and forth across her belly. It’s wild to watch. [Read More...]

No, the Crucifixion is Not About Bloody Child Sacrifice Being Necessary for Forgiveness

In my post Message to the Nones, which countered some popular but wrong-headed notions of what Christians believe about suffering, one commenter said that his major beef with Christianity is the penal substitution theory of the atonement. The good news for that commenter, and many people who have struggled with that notion (including me) is [Read More...]

Taboo Stories About Disability: What We’re Not Allowed to Say

Last week’s New York Times featured a story about Joshua Miele, who at the age of four in 1973, answered the door of his Brooklyn home to a man he recognized as a neighbor. The man, for no reason other than his disordered thinking due to mental illness, threw acid into the boy’s face. A [Read More...]

When Conflicting Stories Are Both True: Illness, Identity, and the Tales We Tell of Living with Disability

tree

In his vast and gripping book, Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity, journalist Andrew Solomon discusses the two narratives that we use when we talk about life with disability in general, and/or with particular conditions, such as dwarfism, deafness, Down syndrome, autism, or my own genetic disorder, osteogenesis imperfecta (OI). [Read More...]

The Dangers of “Solutionism” Applied to Our Always Less-than-Perfect Children

In the New York Times Sunday Review yesterday, Evgeny Morosov defines “solutionism” as “an intellectual pathology that recognizes problems as problems based on just one criterion: whether they are ‘solvable’ with a nice and clean technological solution at our disposal.” Observing that “Silicon Valley’s technophilic gurus and futurists have embarked on a quest to develop [Read More...]


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