What Is Real—and What Is Not

Fairy-fairies-18369095-1024-768 (1)

Now five years old, Sally has been working overtime trying to differentiate between "real" and "pretend." She has finally determined that fairies and magic are not real. I'm not completely sure how she determined this, but it matters a lot to her right now. This is a natural stage of development for children her age, this desire to distinguish between "real" and "pretend." Still, part of me is a bit nostalgic. I liked her fantasy world in which fairies were as real as kittens. I mean, at one … [Read more...]

I’m Sorry

These children remind me of me ten years ago.

I recently had occasion to visit my state's capital building. As I walked through those halls, with their pillars and arches, two thoughts burned themselves into my brain. First, the capital building seems smaller than it did the last time I was here, ten years ago. Second, I am sorry, so very sorry. Ten years ago I was a teenager, still in high school. Did I know what I was doing? We got up early that morning, that day ten years ago, and piled into our fifteen passenger van. My dad, five or … [Read more...]

The Valentine’s Day Disaster

disaster

I started this post several months ago, but never finished it. Given the conversation here on the blog lately about setting limits for children and saying "no," I thought I'd finish it and post it, because it seems relevant. The events in this post happened last February, right before Valentine's Day. I'm not going to finish with a lesson or moral, I'm just going to tell the story of one evening.It all started when I took four-year-old Sally and one-year-old Bobby to the dollar store after I … [Read more...]

Self-Motivation and External Consequences

Children

Unlike most of my parenting posts, this one is going to be high on theory and low on anecdotes. This discussion---which focuses on what it means that an adult or child "has to" do this or that---was prompted by reader Rebecca Horne in the comments section of my post on how I teach my daughter that "sometimes you have to do things you don't want to do." I want to start by saying that I don't have all of the answers, and that this is more of a thinking post than something that is fully settled in … [Read more...]

Unhelpful Things (Some) Atheists Say

American-Atheists

Yesterday, Ed Brayton wrote a post titled Atheists, Please Stop Saying These Things. I thoroughly enjoyed it and agreed with what he had to say. Below are summaries of his points (in his post he offers lengthy explanation under each). 1. Please stop saying that “we’re all born atheists.”2. Please stop trotting out simplistic reasons why people believe. 3. Please stop explaining the creation of religion in equally simplistic ways.4. Please stop conflating fundamentalism or Biblical li … [Read more...]

Sorry, You Don’t Get a Pass

o-LGBTQ-YOUTH-SUICIDE-facebook

I've noticed that there are an increasing number of evangelical Christians who argue that homosexuality is sin but that gay people should have equal rights. In other words, they make a distinction between their religious belief on the one hand and ensuring equal legal rights for all on the other hand. While standing up for LGBTQ rights is an excellent step, it is not enough.I've had readers question me on this. Why do I want them to change their belief that homosexuality is sin, they ask? … [Read more...]

What World Vision Says about Evangelical Priorities

Crying for Their Country - Rich Stearns Viusits With Letter  Writers, Irbid

World Vision is a Christian organization that serves children in the third world. It is perhaps well known for its sponsorship program, through which Americans may sponsor needy children in the third world through monthly donations that go to pay for things like school tuition and medical care. This week World Vision demoted the debate over marriage equality to the status of doctrinal dispute on par with that over infant baptism when it changed its policies to allow for the hiring of legally … [Read more...]


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