House Passes 15 Year Minimum for Teen Sexters

My children are still small, but I'm already anticipating the conversations I'll need to have with them about sexting. That conversation is simple and goes like this: Don't. Sexting, or sending sexually suggestive or explicit images or videos of yourself, is unwise in part because, in this age of smartphones, it's impossible to know who may gain access to the content. Many cases of horrendous teen bullying involve the spread of images that originated as sexy shots sent to a boyfriend in a … [Read more...]


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What Conservatives Get Wrong about the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

The Home School Legal Defense Association has seized on rumors that Trump may withdraw the U.S. from a number of U.N. treaties. HSLDA argues that the United States should not be party to the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Why? These treaties tend to seek to solve problems by undermining parental authority and granting more po … [Read more...]


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Do Children Have a Right to Medical Care?

It's been a while since I've written about the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). This isn't a fringe organization, and it's never just been about homeschooling. Michael Farris, who founded the organization in 1983, is a well-connected figure in the Christian Right. He ran for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia back in the 1990s. Earlier this month, he took a job as the president of the Alliance Defending Freedom, the country's largest Christian Right legal group.Anyway, check out H … [Read more...]


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Why Can’t DeVos Support the School I Chose?

I was reading through an article on Mother Jones when I came upon this: Education historian Diane Ravitch, who founded the advocacy group Network for Public Education in 2013, described unions as "shocked and worried" by the DeVos selection in an email to Mother Jones. "The previous Republican administrations did not threaten the very existence of public education and teachers unions," she added. "This coming four years is an existential threat to a basic Democratic institution: public schools. … [Read more...]


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Rudolph the Bullied Reindeer

It's mid-December, and that means there's Christmas music everywhere. Some traditional Christmas songs have come under scrutiny lately, and conversations about whether Baby It's Cold Outside is a song about date rape (and the song's relationship to rape culture) have proliferated in recent years. I want to talk about another Christmas song---Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. You know Dasher, and Dancer, and Prancer, and Vixen, Comet, and Cupid, and Donder and Blitzen But do you recall The … [Read more...]


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The Terrible Inconsistency in Ohio’s Abortion Ban

The Ohio legislature just passed a bill banning the abortion of any fetus or embryo with a detectible heartbeat. An embryo typically has a heartbeat at six weeks gestation. Gestational age counts from the first day of their last period; most women are at roughly four weeks gestation when they miss their first period. According to the CDC, 25.3% of abortions performed in Ohio in 2013 occurred at or before six weeks gestation. In other words, Ohio's heartbeat bill would ban well ove … [Read more...]


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What We Can Learn from Mother Teresa’s Defense of a Pedophile Priest

Mother Teresa has finally been proclaimed a saint by the Catholic Church, offering people around the world an opportunity to revisit her life and legacy. I knew that there were many problems with the Mother Teresa myth---that she believed that poverty was beautiful and that she denied her patients anesthetics and had her hospitals reuse needles---but I most certainly did not know about her defense of a pedophile priest. Take a look at this except from a 2012 article about the situation: Yet d … [Read more...]


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