07/26/2011 Comments (85)

A reader asks,

Have any of you heard of the Pandamania VBS [vacation Bible school] that many parishes are adapting this year for summer VBS? My wife received an email from a home school group she subscribed to and so now we have some reservations ...
We’re not trying to be a family of misanthropes, but we don’t want to infuse our kids with stupid ideas either.

My own family’s summer religious training thus far consisted of me ordering yet another catechism at 4:00 this morning, in yet another night of panic-ridden insomnia (and yes, I tried eating cheese to clear my head). We’re not joiners, so I don’t even know if our parish is offering PandaMania, which is a protestant program for...READ MORE

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Safe Playgrounds and Safe Sex

07/22/2011 Comments (43)

The hairdresser at Supercuts always gasps when she gives my son his summer buzz cut, revealing a horrible maze of scars. He looks like a vet who’s encountered one too many IEDs—but in fact, his scars were won through nine years of terrifying encounters with such perilous items as dining room chairs, upholstered couches, wooden nightstands—and, one memorable Halloween, a treacherous sidewalk that leaped up without warning and attacked him for no reason at all.

I have to admit, though, he rarely gets hurt at playgrounds. This is because most of the local playgrounds are utterly pathetic. They look like the physical therapy unit at The Psychoneurotic Institute for the Very, VERY Nervous.


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Mary In Her Helicopter

07/21/2011 Comments (15)

There was a lively and fascinating discussion about portrayals of Mary a few weeks ago after Steven Graydanus’ post The Many Faces of Mary and after my response, Even More Faces of Mary.  It’s been a wonderful revelation to see how Mary is depicted in different cultures at different times—both in miraculous visions and as she appears through the lens of different cultural sensibilities.  This variation is, of course, a feature and not a bug:  the mother of us all is going to look different to different people, because we need her in different ways.

One image that stays with me was not actually intended as an image of Mary at all—but if it were, it would be my favorite.  Rather than post...READ MORE

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This Is Why My Children Play with Sticks, Rocks and Dirt.

07/19/2011 Comments (39)

Now available to induce hysteria in United States parents:  it’s the Breast Milk Baby Doll.  It’s made by Berjuan, a Spanish company which appears to specialize in creepy playthings, and is called “BEBÉ GLOTÓN” in its native country (I only took one year of Spanish, but that’s weird, right?).  It’s designed to teach girls about breastfeeding.

It comes with a special halter top that has two flowers where nipples would be. When a little girl puts on the top and holds the baby doll up the flowers, it makes suckling sounds.

Oh, me oh my.  As a mother of eight who breastfed them all, here are my thoughts:

—If we had this doll, we’d lose the shirt part within 24 hours, and Baby Glutton would...READ MORE

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Behold, My Suffering

07/15/2011 Comments (70)

Every time I leave the house, I have to fight my way through hordes of adoring fans waving their laptops at me. They do this because there’s nothing paper to autograph, because, as several of my sisters in Christ have recently pointed out in an effort to promote more charitable discourse, I haven’t written a book yet. All’s I do is blog, blog, blog, which is no more difficult than taking a seat on the keyboard and bouncing a few times. Blog, blog, blog! Here I go again.

Some people (coughmarksheacough) make this look easy. He can blog with his left hand while writing a book with his right. Heck, sometimes he writes one book with each hand and just lets his beard do the blogging. I may be...READ MORE

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High Ideals and Grunt Work

07/14/2011 Comments (52)

How many times have you heard this argument: “Oh, so you don’t like abortion, huh? Well, are you going to take care of all those children? Who’s going to take care of all those unwanted children, huh? It’s all very well and good to have high principles and ideals, but it comes down to logistics. Who’s going to take care of all those children?

We all know the answer to that. The Catholic Church is going to take care of all those children. Or it’s going to try, anyway, if the state will let them.

Catholic Charities will not send children to live in foster or adoptive homes of unmarried cohabiting couples, including gay couples—so in May, the state of Illinois decided to end its contract...READ MORE

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Free Will and Banana Peels

07/12/2011 Comments (7)

When my oldest daughter was very young, she was recounting the story of Eden and the Fall. When she came to God’s instructions, she told it this way: “... Then God said to Adam and Eve, ‘Stay here, be good, and I’ll be RIGHT BACK.’”

Okay, so it was more involved than that. But she had clearly picked up on the parent-child relationship between God and His creatures—and had noticed that, after all, what he was asking from them was really pretty simple.

It’s nice when kids soak up their catechism and translate it into their own language. But sometimes you have to do the simplifying for them. For instance, when we first start talking about being made in God’s image, the subject of free will...READ MORE

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The Vatican Says . . .

07/08/2011 Comments (63)

No such thing.

In this topsy turvy world in which we live, there are so few things of which we can be sure.  But there is one truth which endures:  if someone tells you, “The Vatican says,” then it probably doesn’t.  And what do they mean, “The Vatican,” anyway?  And what do they mean, “says?”

The phrase “the Vatican says” doesn’t really mean anything, but it’s used all the time, in two main ways.

First is when the mainstream media latches onto a headline that’s too juicy to verify.  The typical secular reporter knows as much about the teaching of the Catholic Church as I know about the inner workings of the Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator, and generally their intention is to...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.