When the Perpetrators Matter More than the Victims

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In March 2002, Jim Bob Duggar found out that his fourteen-year-old son, Josh, was sexually molesting prepubescent girls. Jim Bob did not say anything about this to the authorities until July 2003, even as it continued to happen and the list of victims grew. And in the wake of these revelations, I have been absolutely horrified by the number of people who have said they would not have immediately reported their fourteen-year-old son for molesting prepubescent girls either.I have a … [Read more...]

Why Josh Duggar’s “Teenage Mistakes” Matter

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Last week it was revealed that Josh Duggar sexually assaulted five girls in two families, some as young as five, when he was a teenager. This took place over the course of a year. Josh's father, Jim Bob, did not report the incidents to law enforcement until 16 months after the initial incident, and even then only did so to a family friend who then failed to file a report. The incidents came to the attention of the authorities in 2006, but by then the statute of limitations had passed. Any c … [Read more...]

Motherhood Is Not Inherently Deserving of Praise

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Mother's Day has been a bit weird for me for years now. When I turned 18 and left home for college, things changed between my mother and I. Or rather, they didn't change, and that was the problem. I've often thought that, given that I'm the oldest and my mother was still parenting preschoolers when I left home, she just couldn't figure out how to have a relationship. She could still order my younger siblings around and expect them to obey, but that didn't work on me anymore.Things got so bad … [Read more...]

Any Time I Hear Someone Say “Traditional Marriage”

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Traditional marriage. Traditional marriage. Traditional marriage.This week Fox News published an opinion piece by Cal Thomas titled "Will we erase the boundaries that have guided humanity for generations?" In it he asked this: If human history, tradition, the Bible, the Constitution and biology are to be ignored or re-defined, on what basis do courts say "no" to anything? Of course, these same questions were on the justice's minds during last weeks' Supreme Court hearings.Justice … [Read more...]

Why I Take My Kids to the UU Church

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Earlier this spring I spoke with my kindergarten-age daughter about holidays and stories. I explained that many different religions and cultures have holidays that celebrate spring, and that Easter is our culture's spring holiday. I also talked about the history of Easter, and the religious significance the holiday has for Christians. I explained that we as humans create stories about the world around us, and drew parallels to other religions and other cultures."Can you think of any stories w … [Read more...]

Red Town, Blue Town

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The last time I visited my hometown to see my parents and siblings, I found myself in the gym at my parents' church, juggling kids and donuts. One of the church elders saw me and struck up conversation. He asked where I was living now, and when I told him, he shook his head. "It must be hard to raise a family in such a godless place," he said. I found that comment so bizarre---and yet somehow so insightful---that I haven't been able to shake it.I live in a medium-sized college town that has … [Read more...]

Stop Stressing Out and Give Your Kid a Snuggle

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As a working mother, I often feel guilt about the amount of time I spend---or don't spend---with my children. Partly it's because my own mom was a stay-at-home mom who taught me that working mothers have effectively abandoned their children. Thanks mom! Partly it's because mothering has become ratcheted up to the nth degree these days. You're enrolled in mommy-and-me yoga classes and feed your children organic locally grown carrots and peas, right? Sigh.A recent study suggests that this gui … [Read more...]


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