“So What Do You Do?”

mother and kids

Several weeks ago I introduced myself to the mother of one of the children at Sally’s preschool. “So what do you do?” I asked her after we exchanged names. We went on to talk about our respective careers, but this exchange brought my mind back to an exchange I had years ago when my mother tried to explain why retirement was being so hard for my grandfather.“The first question men ask after they meet each other is ‘what do you do?’” she told me. “And once they’ve retired, that’s gone.” For women … [Read more...]

Judaism 101: Born Jewish?

image credit

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...]

Narnia and Tolkien, Yes. Harry Potter, No.

gandalf

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...]

I Was Grace Evans; Or, Using Children as Political Props

Grace Evans

When I first heard about an eleven year old girl speaking against marriage equality before a Minnesota hearing, I immediately wondered if she was someone I knew. Why? Because it was so, so familiar. The truth is, I've been there. I never spoke before a house committee, sure, but when I was that age my father was quick to push me forward to speak to reporters in support of "traditional marriage," or against abortion, or in favor of gun rights, or what have you. And I saw this pattern repeated … [Read more...]

“That Just Means He Likes You”

bully

This image cropped up in my facebook feed today. The issues it discusses are things I've thought about quite a bit, and I think this little story brings together the threads in a fairly powerful way. First the image, and then some discussion.I was reminded of a viral blog post I ran across a year ago, posted on a mommy blog and provocatively called "You Didn't Thank Me for Punching You in the Face." I am sure every girl can recall, at least once as a child,  coming home and telling their … [Read more...]

“Boys Are Wonderful and Wild and Dirty”—And So Is Sally

11 girl in field

I just came upon this sentence in a comment on a blog post on some other blog out in the blogosphere: Boys are wonderful and wild and dirty and tender and love their mamas and want to be like their daddies. Here's the thing: Sally is wonderful and wild and dirty and tender and loves her mama and wants to be like her daddy.A couple months ago I was at a wedding, and an older woman stopped by me to admire my small son Bobby, who had just started furniture creeping. He had a bruise on his … [Read more...]

Your Children Are Not Programmable Robots!

blog-raising-kids-the-world-will-hate

It's not often I come upon an article that just makes me want to tear out my hair. Actually, that's not true. I come upon articles that make me want to tear out my hair all the time. But for some reason, this one felt different. In this article, the author, a Christian pastor, wrote about all the dreams he has for his toddler son, and about how he realized that, because the Bible says that if you are a Christian the world will hate you, he has to raise his son not to be loved or admired, but to … [Read more...]


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