Things That Have No Right To Exist

09/06/2011 Comments (179)

This weekend, as a way of rewarding myself for schlepping two weeks’ of trash and recylables to the dump, I visited the swap shop, where stuff that’s not quite garbage can be had for free.  I found a much-needed chair (we go through chairs like Kleenex at our house - -and yes, I do mean that some of us wipe our noses on chairs), a couple of wine glasses, and a jackpot:  two complete sets of Phillip Pulman audio books.  Score!

Philip Pullman is the guy who said,“The Lord of the Rings’ is essentially trivial. . . If I was [arguing] at all, I was arguing with Narnia. Tolkien is not worth arguing with.”  And so my bibliophagous kids harbor a deep, glowering resentment of Philip Pullman.  They...READ MORE

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The Grandmultipara Pushes Back

09/02/2011 Comments (99)

I may have mentioned two or three thousand times that I am pregnant. For my readers who have not achieved the magnificent title of Grandmultipara (and “advanced maternal age,” damn your eyes), let me tell you that along with all the horrible things that happen to your body with each successive baby, there are also some benefits. Besides the baby, I mean. (Babies are all right, if you’re into that whole “boneless with love in the presence of a gift straight from the arms of God” thing.)

For your first several pregnancies, people think you’re either cute, or comical, or an idiot, and they’ll treat you accordingly. But once you’re visibly pregnant with your seventh child or beyond, the tide...READ MORE

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The Christian Critic

09/01/2011 Comments (63)

I’m a big meany.  I’m a mean, mean, meany-pants, and I carry a cane with me at all times, in case I see some pretty flowers that need whacking.  But, as Evelyn Waugh said, “You have no idea how much nastier I would be if I was not a Catholic. Without supernatural aid, I would hardly be a human being.”  So, you may not like what you see, but don’t think I’m not trying.

That being said, I am regularly rebuked for being un-Christian, cruel, or judgmental (oh lord, oh lord, can we please retire that world already?) when all I’m doing is being a critic.

Here are some things that Christians can legitimately do without sinning:

Criticize someone’s work in the bluntest terms.  Once you put...READ MORE

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How Women Objectify Men

08/30/2011 Comments (80)

The old saw that porn “makes men treat women like objects” is utterly true.  Using people is easy; loving them is hard.  If you can summon up a panting beauty just by touching your iPod screen, then why go to the trouble of getting to know an actual woman—learning who she really is, winning her love, and dedicating your life to serving her as Christ serves the Church?

Porn is a marriage wrecker, a life stealer, a stinking smog that lies over the city of man and makes it hard to breathe.

Here’s something to consider:  Just as men are prone to treating women as objects, it’s also possible—although much less talked-about—for women to treat men as objects.  Are the effects of this sin as...READ MORE

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Ten Things I Wish I Had Known as a New Wife

08/26/2011 Comments (89)

1.  You’re just an amateur, and that’s why your marriage isn’t perfect.  The first meal I cooked was disgusting, indigestible—but I learned over time, and now I have the hang of it (with the occasional mealtime disaster). It’s the same with marriage, which is a much more complicated recipe to follow. Be patient with yourself and your husband, and be patient with the relationship. You’re in it for the long haul. Things that are worth doing take time to learn.

2.  Do not mention divorce. Do not even allow words beginning with the letter “d” to cross your brain. If you’re hurt and angry with your husband, but it was a valid marriage and he isn’t doing any of the things listed in those abuse...READ MORE

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What's So Bad About Thomas Kinkade?

08/25/2011 Comments (224)

It’s my duty, every so often, to make fun of Thomas Kinkade, the self-styled “Painter of Light.” 


One reader of a past post commented,  “I like to think of Kinkade as ‘Painter of outdoor mood lighting emanating from no intelligible source and obeying no discernible laws of physics or common sense.’”

A Kinkade fan responded: “I’m biting my tongue right now, thinking of Christian iconography…”

He thought he had made a telling point—and actually he had, by reminding us to talk about light.  Here’s some of that Christian iconography:


And another:


Is there “no intelligible source” of light in these pictures?  Of course not.  The source is quite explicitly God Himself.

The first...READ MORE

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Making Children Pray

08/23/2011 Comments (43)

In the “Making Poor People Pray” post, several readers wondered whether parents risk making their children feel resentful and humiliated by making them join in family prayers.

Assuming that the parents aren’t pitted against each other, and assuming the family is reasonably emotionally healthy (neither “God told me to whup you black and blue to teach you his love” nor “God wants you to be happy, so here’s a co-ed sleepover for your sweet 16”), then most children will not perceive that they are being “forced” to pray, even when it is mandatory: As one reader said, “praying was just something my family did. It was expected, but didn’t feel more forced than anything else we ‘just did.’”


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Making Poor People Pray

08/19/2011 Comments (122)

Many years ago, despite hard work, thrift, and a small family, we were poor.  As in no-heat-no-car-no-food poor.  And so I started travelling to a church which hosted weekly grocery nights, when needy people could browse over tables of expired dry goods, wilted produce, and drippy ice cream at cut-rate prices.  I remember the thrill of putting a true luxury, a box of crackers, into my bag, and feverishly calculating how many meals I could squeeze out of a single chicken breast.

That part of it was great.  But the part I didn’t like was in the beginning:  Before they opened the auditorium, they made us pray.

I hated that part.

Let me explain.  I pray.  I did pray at the time, I will...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.