Dear Simcha

11/26/2015 Comments (2)

Dear Nobody,

Here is my annual Thanksgiving Day “Dear Simcha” advice column! I hope and pray that, according to tradition, you (Nobody) will continue your so-far unbroken record of reading this post with the close attention it deserves.


Dear Simcha,

As you may know, yesterday was Walk-in Warrant Day at court, which means that lots of people who have a warrant out for their arrest turned themselves, hoping the judge would be reluctant to send someone to jail right before Thanksgiving.

I did this myself, and it worked like a charm, and I’m going home, instead of the lock-up. So, rather than spending the holiday trapped in a dim, drafty, funny-smelling building with a bunch of...READ MORE

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No Words Can Describe the Legacy of Harpo Marx

11/24/2015 Comments (8)

Yesterday was the birthday of the great and glorious Harpo Marx. No words can describe his legacy (honk honk!). 

Anyone want to hear my theory about the Marx Brother and the Brothers Karamazov? No? That's fine, just watch this; it'll be good for your soul:

Harpo is, of course, most famous for his miming, letting his insane rubber face and his horn-topped cane speak for him. It turns out he became mute for the movies because, when he was young, he never was able to memorize his lines. Here's the justifiably famous "mirror scene" from Duck Soup. Harpo is on the right, disguised as his real-life brother, Groucho:

When my husband's dad was young, he lived in the house next door to Harpo...READ MORE

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What To Do About Refugees?

11/19/2015 Comments (17)

If your heart has been moved at the plight of the Syrian refugees, whatever else you do, you should pray for them.

If you're frustrated that none of your friends seem to understand that refugees are as human as any American family, and are afraid of the same enemy we're afraid of, then you should pray for your friends.

If you're afraid of infiltrators from Daesh, you should pray for them.

If you're frustrated that none of your friends seem to understand that there is a real danger in exposing ourselves to infiltration by murderous Daesh terrorists, you should pray for your friends.

If you think Obama is putting the country at grave risk, you should pray for him.

If you think Obama is...READ MORE

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Dr. Louise Cowan: A Heart that Sees

11/17/2015 Comments (6)

The liberal arts world is mourning the luminous Dr. Louise Cowan, who died at the age of 98 after a life utterly given over to the love of literature, poetry, and her students. 

She had Homer, Faulkner, Dostoevsky and John Crowe Ransom at her fingertips, and she took the scholarship of Maritain and Cardinal Newman as a mandate. Her influence in the study of the humanities cannot be overstated. She and her husband, the late physicist Dr. Donald Cowan, converted to Catholicism in the 1950's and spent their days converting the heart of the educational world. 

The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture lists some of her accomplishments

Dr. Louise S. Cowan was inaugural holder of the...READ MORE

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The Hardest Part of Being a Woman

11/12/2015 Comments (35)

Caitlyn Jenner, the transgendered celebrity recently named Woman of the Year by Glamour Magazine, told Buzzfeed that "the hardest part about being a woman is figuring out what to wear."

I've been female since I was conceived.  I do spend a frustrating amount of time figuring out what to wear, but I heard Jenner's statement and I despaired.  How is this trivial foolishness so readily accepted as courage and truth? Men and women are created in the image of God, and they are who they are because of who God made them, and not because of how they are perceived.

Because that is what Jenner is talking about: perception. That is what, I'm afraid, most people (liberal, conservative, and everything...READ MORE

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Should We Smile, Smile, Smile?

11/10/2015 Comments (14)

Many Catholics will tell you that we must smile for the sake of the kingdom. We are all evangelists of one kind or another. If we want to sell the Good News to other people, we need to present it in an attractive package -- and so smiling and looking happy is the best way to show that our Faith is something worth having.

Is this so? What if we're not actually happy, because of temperament or circumstance? What if the person we're dealing with is repulsive? Isn't it a form of deception to smile when we don't feel it?

At The Personalist Project, Marie Meaney says

I’ve been re-reading Brian Kolodiejchuk’s book on Mother Teresa and noticed how much this “saint of darkness”, as she called...READ MORE

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Thanks, Mom

11/05/2015 Comments (2)

"Thank you . . . " I unthinkingly prompted the drive-through girl at Wendy's, after she wordlessly shoved a bulging bag of food through the window of my van. I had just plunked down an unreasonable amount of money, money without which her job would not exist, and she didn't even say "Thank you!" I wasn't expecting pheasant under glass, and I don't need to have my bum kissed for buying a Son of Baconator, but I guess a mom is a mom is a mom. Part of my job is teaching people to at least be courteous, even when they can't muster up spontaneous gratitude.

Okay, maybe it's not my job to correct the poor Wendy's gal. But I do want to hear "thank you" from people who are under my authority. I do...READ MORE

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An Ethically-Produced Shingles Vaccine?

11/03/2015 Comments (10)

Pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline may soon be able to offer a more effective shingles vaccine -- and it's produced ethically. Unlike the only other shingles vaccine available for use in the US, the new GSK vaccine, HZ/su, is not produced using cell lines derived from fetal cells. Currently, Merck holds the only license for a shingles vaccine in this country. That vaccine, Zostavax, is produced using cell lines that were grown from cells taken from a male fetus aborted at 14 weeks in the early 1960's.  

The Church teaches that it is permissible to use unethically derived vaccines when no alternative is available, because using them constitutes, at most, "a form of very remote mediate...READ MORE

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About Simcha Fisher

Simcha Fisher
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Simcha Fisher, author of The Sinner's Guide to Natural Family Planning writes for several publications and blogs at I Have to Sit Down. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and nine children. Without supernatural aid, she would hardly be a human being.