Gift-Giving Is So Catholic!

12/18/2014 Comments (17)

Many Christian parents spend Advent agonizing over how to preserve the true spiritual meaning of Christmas. They want to give their kids a happy day without turning them into materialistic little monsters, but it's not always easy to strike that balance.  In a recent conversation online, Jaclyn Ruli put her finger on one of the wrong ways to do it. Noticing a disturbing theme in many Christmas videos designed for kids, she said:

Why are Christian videos for children condescending? "Christmas isn't about gifts, it's about Jesus!" There's almost a chastising tone in so many of these shows. They start out with a scene by a Christmas tree, passively showing how this scene is flawed, and then...READ MORE

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Loving the Adult Jesus

12/16/2014 Comments (10)

When kids are very young, their needs are intense, but very simple. In the best moments, it's easy for us parents to love our babies and little ones, because what they need is what you want to give them, and what you want is to be needed by them. In the good moments, at least, there isn't much of a gulf between what you enjoyed doing and what you needed to do. In the best moments, it's extremely easy to love a baby.

But when kids get older, there are more steps to love. It's not that we love them less. In many ways, learning to raise older kids teaches us how to deepen and diversify the way we understand love. But it's just a fact of life that older kids are sometimes unreasonable,...READ MORE

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If It Saves Even One American Life . . .

12/11/2014 Comments (105)

After reading the CIA's report on interrogation techniques, here is what many Americans are saying:

"If it saves even one American life, then I can live with it."

Here is what the Catechism of the Catholic Church says in Chapter One: The Dignity of the Human Person:

II. GOOD ACTS AND EVIL ACTS

1755 ... There are some concrete acts ... that it is always wrong to choose, because choosing them entails a disorder of the will, that is, a moral evil.

1756 It is therefore an error to judge the morality of human acts by considering only the intention that inspires them or the circumstances (environment, social pressure, duress or emergency, etc.) which supply their context. There are acts...READ MORE

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It Was a Beautiful Confession

12/09/2014 Comments (11)

On Saturday, we went to confession. Mine was a pretty standard operation: "Bless me, father, for I have sinned. It has been two months since my last confession. I did that thing I always do, and that other thing I always do. I also did that other thing I always do, except more so than usual. And I stopped doing that thing I usually do, but then I started again.  And I was mean on the internet. For these and all my sins, I am truly sorry."

And the priest said what this particular priest always says: "Thank you for that beautiful confession." He says this when I have a long and sordid list, or a short and sordid list, or when he can barely understand me because my nose is running from the...READ MORE

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Broken Windows and Depersonalization

12/04/2014 Comments (64)

At the funeral of Eric Garner, Al Sharpton said,

“Let’s not play games with this one. You don’t need no training to stop choking a man saying ‘I can’t breathe’ You don’t need no cultural orientation to stop choking a man saying ‘I can’t breathe.’ You need to be prosecuted.”

Sharpton may be an ignorant, self-aggrandizing, rabble-rousing charlatan, but that doesn't mean he's wrong every time. This time, he's right on. Why was the policeman not prosecuted? Garner said eleven times that he could not breathe, but the police officer kept the pressure on Garner's neck, and Garner died. The medical examiner ruled it was homicide. Why did the officer do it? How was he trained, that his actions...READ MORE

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For the Child Crying

12/02/2014 Comments (12)

In the neighborhood where I grew up, there were Friday evening band concerts underneath the cherry trees down the hill. Half a block away was the library, where sweet Bethany sat behind the desk in the children's room, listening patiently without blinking her wide, blue eyes. There was the park with its swings and see saws, the sumac trees, the little stream with frogs. In our yard was an enormous maple tree, spreading and gracious, with a tire swing and a perfect circle of dirt where we played marbles.

And there was the house across the street, where David, with his evil panther face, threw his wife through the window. Someone called the police, again, and his wife was furious. Any...READ MORE

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Dear Simcha, Vol. 2

11/27/2014 Comments (2)

My last Thanksgiving advice column was such a success* that I’ve decided to resurrect it this year. Of your kindness, please keep in mind that our power went out last night around 8:30, and we just now got it back – and it keeps flickering, threatening to go out again.

Is this life in a refugee camp, the streets of Calcutta, or the end of the world? No, not quite. But a situation like this, when there is a half-defrosted turkey that was supposed to go into the oven three hours ago, and when the toilets won’t flush and the coffee won’t brew and the milk’s going bad and the pipes are fixing to freeze and the dog simply can’t understand what his happening, but he thinks maybe he will help...READ MORE

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This Post Is Not About Bill Cosby

11/25/2014 Comments (68)

If you want to talk about Bill Cosby (or Bill Clinton, or Woody Allen, or Roman Polanski) please find a conversation somewhere else. This post is about what you are supposed to do if you've been raped. What's the next step?

Reading comments by self-identified Catholic conservatives in the last few days, this is what I have learned:

  • If you tell the police you've been raped, it's because you're looking for attention. You should file a civil suit, instead.
  • If you file a civil suit, it's because you're looking for money, and are not telling the truth.
  • If you don't file a civil suit, that shows you don't have a case, and are not telling the truth.
  • If you tell someone right away, that...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.