The Catechesis of the Snow Shovel

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 1:06 PM Comments (31)

So.  Maybe now you all know what I'm talking about when I say "snow."  Now you all have wakened from your charmed sleep of winter weather innocence.  You've seen your world transformed, your priorities have suddenly shifted, and you've faced the fact that if you want to leave your house, you're going to have to do something -- yes, you personally -- about all that ridiculous white stuff that's come between you and the life you used to know.  Certain truths about yourself, and about life in general, become unavoidable.

This is why I think that all candidates for confirmation should spend at least one winter month in the Northeast, or at a similar latitude.  No kidding! Spend just a few...READ MORE

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What Planned Parenthood Needs

Thursday, February 13, 2014 12:23 PM Comments (106)

As if Valentine's Day weren't upsetting enough, Planned Parenthood's president, Cecile Richards, has launched a Twitter campaign to let the world know "What Women Need."  You're supposed to take a picture or video of yourself holding a placard with a heart, and fill in the heart to explain "What Women Need."  Here is a screenshot of the vine (super-short video) that Richards is circulating on social media:

Wow, who would've thunk it?  "What Women Need" happens to be the very thing that keeps Planned Parenthood in business. 

Oh, no, Simcha!  Abortion only accounts for 3% of Planned Parenthood's services! 

Yuh-huh.  That is an adorable game with numbers that any two bit accountant...READ MORE

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Death of a Giraffe

Tuesday, February 11, 2014 1:24 PM Comments (49)

I tried hard to be annoyed at the people who protested when a zoo in Copenhagen announced plans to kill one of their giraffes.  The giraffe was healthy, but superfluous, and the zoo wanted to avoid inbreeding.  So they announced their plans: shoot the animal in the head, dissect it in a display open to the public, and feed its meat to their lions.

Inevitably, protesters signed petitions and massed outside the walls, rending their garments over the "cruel" decision to shoot the young giraffe and feed its body to the lions.  You have to laugh a little bit at these crowds of mourners (who can't all have been vegans).  What do they suppose happens in the wild?  Do the predators there...READ MORE

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Speaking of Empty Promises

Thursday, February 06, 2014 3:13 PM Comments (34)

In a frenzy of disgust over his dissolute father, Ivan Karamazov cries out, "Why is such a man alive?"  Poor Ivan wrestled and sweated over the problem of evil in the world.  It's hard not to get a little Ivan-ish when we read the headlines lately.  Sometimes it's not even human evil that makes us writhe in mental anguish.  Sometimes it's human stupidity. 

Take, for instance, this story from Illinois:  School officials are no fan of gun ban signs.  It explains that schools and other buildings statewide will begin displaying signs that designate an area where no guns are allowed.  The sign shows a silhouette of a gun inside the standard "prohibition sign" -- a red circle, with a diagonal...READ MORE

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Should You Get a Dog?  A Quiz

Tuesday, February 04, 2014 11:31 PM Comments (24)

Since we are on our second dog, many people* seek my advice in dog-related matters.  The number one question that I get** is, "Should we get a dog?"***

My first impulse is always to say, "Yes, you should. But only a 14-month-old brindle English Mastiff with a New England accent and an unquenchable appetite for cookies, ham, and plastic dinosaur heads.  Okay? And by the strangest of coincidences, I KNOW WHERE YOU CAN FIND ONE.

Ha ha! I jest. Never would I part with our beloved pet, who has been with us lo these many years.  I mean, two months.  We've had him for two months, and he's profoundly scarred become an integral part of our family even in that short time.  I can't even imagine...READ MORE

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You Want Ethical Stem Cells?

Thursday, January 30, 2014 11:22 AM Comments (9)

We got ethical stem cells.  Or at least we might.  According to New Scientist,

In the plant kingdom ... drastic environmental stress can change an ordinary cell into an immature one from which a whole new plant can arise. For example, the presence of a specific hormone has been shown to transform a single adult carrot cell into a new plant. Some adult cells in reptiles and birds are also known to have the ability to do this.

Researchers in Japan wondered if the same thing would happen with mammals, so they tried it with mice.  These mice had been specially bred to carry a gene that glows in the presence of pluripotent cells -- the cells which can develop into all different types...READ MORE

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Are You Raising Your Kids?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014 1:29 PM Comments (18)

It's Catholic Schools Week.  On Sunday, our pastor gave a nice homily reminding us that parents have the primary responsibility of raising their kids in the Faith -- and that this is true whether we send our kids to Catholic school or not, and whether we take advantage of the parish's religious education program or not.

At our house, we're in the middle of frenzy of catechetical activity that comes at the end of January, when I suddenly realize that it's almost time for someone's first confession and first Communion again; so when the words "religious education" come into my head at night, I can think, "Check!" and go back to sleep, rather than lying there in a guilty agony as I recall...READ MORE

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Benedict's Peculiar Record on Pedophile Priests

Thursday, January 23, 2014 1:44 PM Comments (50)

. . . Peculiar only if you believe (like so many combox warriors) that Benedict XVI spent most of his time as cardinal and pope covering for pedophile priests, and doing everything he could to prevent them from being brought to justice.  I know this is old news, but old news has a way of persisting, and the older it gets, the more people believe it, whether it's true or not. Just the other day, some hit and run commenter here made the standard comment:

[T]he practice of protecting pedophiles was a formal written policy of the church. It came directly from then-Cardinal Ratzinger and was backed by a threat of excommunication.

and he linked to a piece from The Guardian from 2005,...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.