How To Tell If Your Liberty is Being Threatened Or If You Have the Flu.

I’m hearing that the flu is pretty bad this year in the US–ugh. That stinks. To those who are feeling awful: feel better and get Tamiflu if you can! To those who aren’t sick: please consider getting a flu vaccine. Yes, yes, I know, even people who have had the vaccine have come down with flu, but your risk of dying from flu is probably greater than the risk that the flu vaccine will do you harm. (Remember when I wrote on vaccines before? The comments were almost as fun as getting the flu!)

Not incidentally, at the moment I’m listening to John M. Barry’s The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History. I just love learning more about epidemic diseases! (Listen to this Open Yale course if you feel the same way.)

This week online, I enjoyed Rev. Emily Heath’s HuffPo piece “How to Determine if Your Religious Liberty is Being Threatened in Just Ten Quick Questions.” I’m no constitutional scholar and neither is she, but her quiz is thought-provoking. (On a related note, have I already put in a plug for Jon Meacham’s American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers and the Making of a Nation? Well worth a read (or a listen, as I did, via Audible.com).

Again (not incidental to the topic of religious liberty) I’ve been brushing up on the contraceptive mandate debate. The New York Times “Times Topic” on Health Care Reform and Contraception helpfully organizes reporting and editorials on the debate.

I also enjoyed reading Paul Brandeis Raushenbush’s opinion piece on Obama, Inagural Prayers, and the Evangelicals Who Don’t Love Him.

On a much lighter note, this Slate piece answering the question “when did humans realize sex makes babies” is good fun.

On a writerly note, I liked Katie Roiphe’s piece on “Bad Memoir Writing,” also at Slate. (HT Micha Boyett, aka Mama Monk!)

On a what-it-means-to-be-human-and-whole note, I liked this guest post by Vicki Vila at Amy Julia Becker’s blog on what it means when one twin has Down Syndrome…and the other doesn’t.

Finally and most importantly, I’m thinking and praying this week for the son of some friends whose son was born with serious lung and renal problems. If you’re the sort of person who prays, please join me in praying for Asher.

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About Rachel Marie Stone
  • http://timfall.wordpress.com/ Tim

    That religious liberty link is a hoot, Rachel! Then again, I tend to like my civics lessons served up with a heaping helping of snark. She covered with good humor what I tried to get at a while back.

    The article about where babies come made me think of my Property Law class back in law school. The professor was talking about a law on livestock in an ancient culture, something about how the offspring were counted as belonging to whoever owned the mother animal. She explained that this law might have developed because back then there would be a lack of awareness of how the offspring came about. I piped up that if the culture was sophisticated enough to have a system of property laws, it probably was sophisticated enough to know where babies came from. She thought a moment and then agreed.

    Katie Roiphe’s piece on memoir writing applies to writing in general too, I think. Some really good tips there. I’m not a huge fan of memoirs generally. The ones I’ve read are based on subject matter interest, not an interest in the genre itself. I read both volumes of Margaret Thatcher’s memoirs because the subject was fascinating – the first woman Prime Minister for the United Kingdom, and one who governed at a pivotal time in world history at that – and even though it wasn’t great writing it certainly held my attention. The most recent memoir I read, though, is Karen Swallow Prior’s Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me, and it held me in rapt attention not only because of the subject – great literature as formative in one’s spiritual life – but also because it is beautifully written throughout.

    Thanks for the fun links, Rachel.

    Tim


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