The Cruel and Caring Parent

07/19/2012 Comments (76)

"I Don't Own My Child's Body" is the weirdly melodramatic title of a recent parenting piece from CNN Living.  You can see from the URL that the original title was probably something more like, "Give Grandma a Hug" -- and that's really all the piece is about.  The author's kid sometimes doesn't feel like hugging or kissing somebody, so her mom doesn't make her:

She doesn't have to hug or kiss anyone just because I say so, not even me. I will not override my own child's currently strong instincts to back off from touching someone who she chooses not to touch.

Okay, lady.  Big deal.  I don't make my kid take off her favorite outfit, which happens to be a heavily upholstered puppy...READ MORE

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Err on the Side of Joy

07/17/2012 Comments (47)

Last week, the Catholic blogosphere was all alight with the great good news that actress Katie Holmes is escaping Scientology and rejoining the Catholic Church.  This meme

was passed around faster than an amusing but accurate commentary on the nature of Mondays by Maxine.  The typical comment from my Catholic friends was, "Praise God!"  "How wonderful - prayers for Katie!"

Okay, but you see the little curved line at the bottom of the picture?  That's from the original, uncropped version (origin here; don't bother clicking.  A more dismal stew of blasphemy and foolishness you'll never find).  The original Katie Holmes photo from that page looks like this:

And I can't find the...READ MORE

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Abducted by Art

07/13/2012 Comments (39)

Take a look at this piece, "Wrong Century" by one Tomas Kucerovsky

Me gusta!  Simple, elegant, eloquent, and finely balanced with a little unexpected punch, just like an (admittedly minor) work of art should be.

Of course, the inevitable cadre of incorrigible point missers are saying, "Yes, but don't you realize that the picture she's looking at shows the rape of the Sabine women? Are you saying that you wish you lived in a century when rape was okay?"

To them I say, "Le sigh."   First of all, the title "Wrong Century" clearly refers to the century in which the museum painting was made, not the century it depicts. The girl in red is pining for a day when a beautiful and desirable...READ MORE

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Over and Over Again

07/12/2012 Comments (70)

Pro-lifers routinely refer to "the miracle of life," a phrase which isn't really theologically accurate.  A miracle is, technically and strictly speaking, an event which wouldn't happen ordinarily in nature.  It's something which only happens because of the special intervention of God.

If you're going to look at sheer numbers, it's hard to imagine anything less miraculous, or more ordinary and natural than the conception of a child.  It's something that's happened billions of times, often without anyone meaning or wanting it to happen -- often without anyone even realizing that it's happened.  I've seen pro-choice people roll their eyes and patiently explain, "Yes, babies are cute, but...READ MORE

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Standing Out Or Blending In?

07/10/2012 Comments (107)

In the long,  protracted, and altogether hideous debate over whether or not a Catholic woman can ethically wear pants (yeah, that happened, and it will happen again), a few people tried to make their voices heard above the crowd shouting, "Harlot!  How dare you let me know you have legs!" and "Pig!  How dare you notice my bottom when I'm wearing a skin-tight latex micro skirt"

In response to these foolish extremes, a more nuanced and difficult debate sprang up:  These are difficult times.  Things have gotten so stupid, so wretched, that the question of skirts vs. pants is important because it's about more than clothing:  it's about whether nor not we're willing to stand out.  If wearing...READ MORE

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Guy Movies that Aren't

07/06/2012 Comments (121)

One of the things that makes me such a magnificent wife is that I never make my husband watch chick movies; and yet I am usually willing to watch guy movies.

Never mind that this is because I am an almost complete failure as a chick (the last time I wore high heels, I was processing up the aisle.  By the time I was recessing back down, I was barefoot again.  I also think cosmopolitans are disgusting -- I'm sorry, am I a hummingbird? --  and consider Toenail to be the best color for toenails) -- and never mind that, when I'm busy in the evening, my husband pulls out the real guy movies, which start off with exploding zombies and tanks that shoot blood, and then take an abrupt plunge...READ MORE

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Beware the Habit of Irony

07/05/2012 Comments (50)

Our college chaplain used to preach often against sarcasm.  This always baffled me, and made me assume that the poor fellow, though clearly holy, was a little bit clueless.  After all, a stroll through the nearby woods would show him that the students in his care were engaging in much worse sins than a little snarkiness!

Now I think two things:  (a) of course he knew what was going on in the woods; and (b) he was onto something.  Sarcasm is the younger, rather juvenile sister of irony.  Irony is wonderful as a literary vehicle -- but as a lifestyle, it's deadly.  A habitually ironic point of view trains us to see the world at a distance, to never approach our consciences directly.


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Memento Mori

07/03/2012 Comments (56)

The last few weeks of school almost killed us.  Our schedule was just unbelievable:  we woke up so early, had so many events to get to, had to make special treats and arrangements for so many wonderful, unavoidable activities, and had to stay up so late preparing for it all to start again the next day.  When, oh when would vacation begin so we could have some free time instead of being jerked around like a pull toy from one activity to the next?

Well, it finally did.  Sweet, sweet, summertime, with nothing to do but whatever we wanted.  How we enjoyed ourselves!

For about eighteen hours.  And then the kids started to go insane with -- not boredom, exactly, but confusion.  They were...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 daily at Aleteia. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and ten children. Without supernatural aid, she would hardly be a human being.