Judaism 101: Born Jewish?

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My Judaism 101 series will return in a couple of weeks, moving on to topics like the nature of God and the meaning of sin, but for the moment I want to post another rabbit trail that resulted from a previous Judaism 101 email thread. This time the panelists went off topic and discussed the issue of descent. We'll get back to the topic of what makes someone Jewish later, of course, but for the moment I found this discussion interesting because of how foreign it sounded.In my family and church … [Read more...]

Rochester University Professor Trivializes Rape of Unconscious People

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***Trigger Warning for Rape Apology*** I just read a rather horrifying post. Every time someone claims there is no such thing as rape apologia, I read a post like this. This one is by Steven Landsburg, a professor of economics at the University of Rochester. Say what? Say yes. Here are three dilemmas about public policy:Question 1:Farnsworth McCrankypants just hates the idea that someone, somewhere might be looking at pornography. It’s not that he thinks porn causes bad behavior; it’s just t … [Read more...]

On Getting Sucked In: A Homeschool Mom Speaks

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A recent post by blogger Julie Anne Smith appeared on Homeschoolers Anonymous, and it reminded me of what I wrote in my essay "Homeschooling Under the Influence." In Julie Anne's case, she's coming from the homeschool parent's perspective, speaking personally as one of those who was sucked in. My husband and I have been married 27 years and have 7 children from 25 yrs down to our 6-yr old “caboose”.  We have always homeschooled.  We have always believed that this was the best choice for our fami … [Read more...]

Dominance and Submission or a Cooperative Partnership?

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Supporters of patriarchal gender roles and hierarchical marriage relationships often argue that feminists want to pit men and women against each other, but what they don't realize is that by turning marriage into a relationship based on dominance and submission, they are the ones pitting men and women against each other. In seeking equality, feminism envisions relationships built not on dominance and submission but rather on communication and cooperation, companionship founded on mutual respect, … [Read more...]

Narnia and Tolkien, Yes. Harry Potter, No.

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Reader Alexandra McKay recently posed a question. You say that your upbringing contained both Narnia and Tolkien, but that Harry Potter was not just considered Satanic, the books themselves were even believed to harbour demons. Why is it that fundamentalists hate Harry Potter so much, but not Tolkien? Both present magic as morally neutral, usable for good or evil, and only by certain people. Is it because the wizards in Harry Potter are mortal humans, while magic in Tolkien is used only by … [Read more...]

Does Homeschooling Really Give Children Freedom?

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After writing a post exploring (or failing to explore) the potential positives of homeschooling, I had an additional thought. Over and over again when I look at lists of the good things about homeschooling, I see "freedom" rise to the top. Freedom from the constricting schedule of a formal school, freedom to go at your own pace, freedom to choose what to study and when to study it, freedom to go on educational trips or randomly leave formal homework unfinished and head outside to a more … [Read more...]

Forward Thinking: What is the purpose of marriage?

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It's that time of the month again! Head on over to Camels with Hammers to see Dan’s roundup of the posts written in response to his prompt on the ethical relevance of pride two weeks ago, and with that said, it’s time to turn to our next Forward Thinking prompt.The Christian Right is constantly talking about the importance of "traditional marriage" while the recent focus of the LGBTQ rights movement has been on marriage equality. Every few months there is yet another article in a mainstream n … [Read more...]


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