Why Does the Ascension Matter?

This is my annual reminder of why we bother with all this Jesus business.  If you're not in it for this, I'm not sure what you're doing.  First ran at the Wine Dark Sea. *** We think of atheists as the people who actively deny the existence of God, but there’s a much more pernicious and widespread atheism among religious people today: Faithy-ism. We talk about God, and do God-themed activities, but we don’t really mean it.  It’s all just a metaphor.  Our spirituality consists of our deeply felt … [Read more...]

Bleg: Name this Pain

Two interesting things happened this week:(1) I finally met the physician I'd been referred to last October, and now I know why there was a seven-month wait on appointments.  The guy is both competent and humane (like Tod Worner, but a different guy).  I like that in a doctor.(2) I'd been planning to tell him everything's fine now, but actually it's not fine.  I've had a wind-up of fatigue and the same kind of pain I was having last fall -- it was still fairly mild on Thursday, but is get … [Read more...]

When Warfare Doesn’t Work

The excellent guest post at Simcha Fisher's blog about the experience of being a Catholic woman in an abusive marriage provoked a heated discussion among several of my online friends.  What is the good solution to this problem?Sometimes there is not a good solution.I'm as prone to, "If we just did ___" thinking as anyone else.  Because I'm from Gunlandia, when I read about a domestic abuse victim shot at a school, my instant reaction is: What an injustice that women who work in education … [Read more...]

Conservative Healthcare Reform

In reaction to the proposed Republican repeal of the Affordable Care Act, some have asserted that the only way to provide health care coverage to the poor is via an insurance mandate and a single-payer system.I don't believe that's true.  There are no doubt other good solutions, but I'll toss out an idea for a system that conservatives could love. #1 Cut the cord between employment and insurance. Employer-provided health insurance stifles the labor market. It leads to underemployment as … [Read more...]

Child Welfare and State Supervision of Homeschools

In discussion online recently, the topic of child welfare came up.  Question of the day was, "How do we provide adequate state supervision in order to ensure parents aren't using homeschooling to cover up abuse or neglect?"  My answer: State supervision doesn't work.It does not work in foster care.  Here we are speaking of the most extensively state-supervised family population in the nation: Sally Schofield, the foster mother of Logan Marr, was found guilty June 25 of wrapping the 5- … [Read more...]

Why Conservatives Should Support Wetlands Protection Laws

This article from The State newspaper came to my attention this morning.  It concerns a proposed law that would, its opponents say, make it easier for developers to build on wetlands and other protected areas.I haven't researched the law, so I'm not writing on the particulars of it.  Like many conservatives, I'm generally in favor of less bureaucracy rather than more.  Like many conservative conservationists, I don't automatically fall in with every single "green" idea heaped on the en … [Read more...]

10 Minutes to Summarize American Culture

If you want to understand where America stands, pay attention to the Super Bowl half-time show.I mean this from a purely sociological standpoint.My reasoning:The Super Bowl is the single event that unites the entire country.  It transcends race, gender, social class, politics, religion and every other divide. The Super Bowl is considered family viewing. The people who put on the Super Bowl have a vested interest in maintaining this peak spot on the cultural mountain as the one A … [Read more...]