The WWJD Stick

Thursday, August 16, 2012 9:43 AM Comments (434)

If I were Cardinal Dolan, I'll tell you what I'd do.  I'd hold an emergency synod and urge all the bishops and pastors and RCIA leaders to go out to their flocks and tell them, "Stop asking, 'What would Jesus do?'"

I'm not kidding, and I'm not making light out of serious matters.  I genuinely wish that someone with some moral authority would tell all the laptop theologians in the world to knock it off.  "What would Jesus do?" is not a question that ever sheds light, ever.  It's a question that's used as a stick to beat someone into the proper kind of behavior.  People never ask that question unless they think they already know the answer -- and the answer is generally, "He'd do the...READ MORE

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It Gets Me Every Time

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 7:05 AM Comments (73)

In my last post, "Children's Books About Love," several readers mentioned books that make them choke up when they're reading them aloud.  Isn't that the worst?  I don't know who suffers more, the teary parent, or the kids writhing in embarrassment:  "Ma-ma, it's just a rabbit!"

I've been thinking lately about the things that get to us, and why.  Like many people, I get indignant when I come across a book or piece of art that's specifically designed to elicit tears.  I resent being manipulated -- all the more so when it works too well.  They press the button; I cry.  Argh.

There is a difference, though, between manipulating emotions and evoking them -- between demanding tears and...READ MORE

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Children's Books About Love

Friday, August 10, 2012 7:00 AM Comments (66)

There are an awful lot of children's books specifically about love.  The titles ask a thousand variations on the questions, "Do you love me?" "Will you love me forever?" "How much do you love me"  I hate to be a spoiler, but the answers turn out to be, respectively:  "Yes," "Yes," and "More than you can possibly imagine with your little pea brain."

These books are cute, but I always suspect they are written for the benefit of the parents, and not so much for the kids.  This is not necessarily a bad thing:  it really can help to say the words " I love you very much, and I will never stop" out loud when perhaps you are shrieking inside your head, "What is the matter with you, and when...READ MORE

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Escape From Babyland

Thursday, August 09, 2012 7:00 AM Comments (74)

What's the one thing frazzled young moms always hear?  "These years go by so quickly -- enjoy it while you can!"  Which is sort of like getting a severe sunburn and hearing, "Summer will be gone before you know it -- enjoy it while you can!"

Oh, settle down.  I'm not really saying that spending time with your nice little baby is a blistering agony.  As the proud owner of a schnoogily, schnoogily little baby girl who has two pearly little teeth and the cutiest, wootiest style of scooty crawling that any baby in the history of ever has ever invented because she is brilliant, believe me when I say that there is nothing nicer than babies. It's true:  Babies do grow up incredibly quickly,...READ MORE

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Emotions Are Not Shameful

Tuesday, August 07, 2012 7:00 AM Comments (49)

From time to time, I use the word "feel" when I'm writing.  Almost always, some reader castigates me for being ruled by my emotions, for making decisions based on squishy, gooshy, lady feelings which have no place in the fine, solid world of reason, justice, and right thinking.

This, I'm happy to have finally figured out, is nonsense.

It's absolutely true that we should not be ruled by our emotions.  We should not make decisions based solely on how we feel; and we should not mistake feelings for an end in themselves, as Mark Shea reminds us in "Love Is Not Feelings."  We all know someone who allows himself to always to be dragged around by a hurricane of emotion, and it's a horrible...READ MORE

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Are You Attached Enough?

Friday, August 03, 2012 7:00 AM Comments (148)

When I was a new mother, I let the pediatric industrial complex push me around like pawn.

My baby, for instance, spent most of her night in a "c" word -- yes, a crib.  I naively thought she was "safe" behind those bars, and it never once occurred to me that, behind her happy squeals and contented gurgles, she sensed that she was imprisoned, caged like a lab rat.

I bought shoes for her feet, if you can imagine such a thing (hello, is this 12th-century China? Unreal).  I used to put her in a bouncy chair when I wanted to do laundry.  I might as well have come right out and told her, "Yes, you little parasite, mother cares more about clean clothes than she does about you.  You see this...READ MORE

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Women Are the Battlefield

Thursday, August 02, 2012 7:00 AM Comments (117)

Reader Elisa Choffel Low writes,

I'd love to see a post on how to get beyond the two sides of finger pointing to address sexual woundedness in our culture. On one side [people say that] it's all the fault of feminism and women dressing immodestly, and on the other side it's that the patriarchy has oppressed women and objectified them.

The closest thing I have seen to anyone getting beyond this back and forth was when a guy in a combox commented that women need to understand that men are visually stimulated and out of compassion should dress more modestly, and a woman responded that the best thing he could do was to recognize that women have a deep need to feel valued and admired...READ MORE

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The Sorrows of Young Sexpot

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 7:00 AM Comments (176)

Were you ever made to read Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther? I tossed out my copy long ago, but I vividly remember the scene where the appalling young hero almost wets himself as he ogles sweet Lotte, a pure and virginal young maiden who has a knack for nurturing children.  For him, she thrillingly combines the best of both worlds:  a pristine and blushing virgin maidenhood and a full-throated, full-blooming, rosy maternity; and he finds her all the more desirable because she's engaged to someone else.

Of course he's a self-absorbed sturm-und-drang Romantic whose head is so firmly lodged up his own grandiose sense of  self-loathing that he can't do anything about any of this,...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.