Broken Windows and Depersonalization

12/04/2014 Comments (64)

At the funeral of Eric Garner, Al Sharpton said,

“Let’s not play games with this one. You don’t need no training to stop choking a man saying ‘I can’t breathe’ You don’t need no cultural orientation to stop choking a man saying ‘I can’t breathe.’ You need to be prosecuted.”

Sharpton may be an ignorant, self-aggrandizing, rabble-rousing charlatan, but that doesn't mean he's wrong every time. This time, he's right on. Why was the policeman not prosecuted? Garner said eleven times that he could not breathe, but the police officer kept the pressure on Garner's neck, and Garner died. The medical examiner ruled it was homicide. Why did the officer do it? How was he trained, that his actions...READ MORE

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For the Child Crying

12/02/2014 Comments (12)

In the neighborhood where I grew up, there were Friday evening band concerts underneath the cherry trees down the hill. Half a block away was the library, where sweet Bethany sat behind the desk in the children's room, listening patiently without blinking her wide, blue eyes. There was the park with its swings and see saws, the sumac trees, the little stream with frogs. In our yard was an enormous maple tree, spreading and gracious, with a tire swing and a perfect circle of dirt where we played marbles.

And there was the house across the street, where David, with his evil panther face, threw his wife through the window. Someone called the police, again, and his wife was furious. Any...READ MORE

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Dear Simcha, Vol. 2

11/27/2014 Comments (2)

My last Thanksgiving advice column was such a success* that I’ve decided to resurrect it this year. Of your kindness, please keep in mind that our power went out last night around 8:30, and we just now got it back – and it keeps flickering, threatening to go out again.

Is this life in a refugee camp, the streets of Calcutta, or the end of the world? No, not quite. But a situation like this, when there is a half-defrosted turkey that was supposed to go into the oven three hours ago, and when the toilets won’t flush and the coffee won’t brew and the milk’s going bad and the pipes are fixing to freeze and the dog simply can’t understand what his happening, but he thinks maybe he will help...READ MORE

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This Post Is Not About Bill Cosby

11/25/2014 Comments (68)

If you want to talk about Bill Cosby (or Bill Clinton, or Woody Allen, or Roman Polanski) please find a conversation somewhere else. This post is about what you are supposed to do if you've been raped. What's the next step?

Reading comments by self-identified Catholic conservatives in the last few days, this is what I have learned:

  • If you tell the police you've been raped, it's because you're looking for attention. You should file a civil suit, instead.
  • If you file a civil suit, it's because you're looking for money, and are not telling the truth.
  • If you don't file a civil suit, that shows you don't have a case, and are not telling the truth.
  • If you tell someone right away, that...READ MORE

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What's Wrong with Message Art?

11/20/2014 Comments (41)

We all know someone who wears his heart on his sleeve. Here's a picture of what it looks like to take that attitude one step further:

The tattoo appears to be a real, not Photoshopped, and the artist is keeping busy after a photo of his work went viral, winning something like a million "likes" on Facebook. It certainly is a provocative work, although maybe not in the way the artist intended.

Maybe the message of the work is something like Teresa of Avila's reminder that "Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours." So act accordingly when you use that hand! Maybe it would make you think twice before flipping off someone in traffic, or punching that snotty...READ MORE

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Francis to Meet with Catholics on the Autism Spectrum

11/18/2014 Comments (38)

Early in his papacy, Francis embraced a visibly disfigured man, demonstrating how eager Christ is to embrace all the children of God -- and how all Catholics should work to be equally welcoming. The man says that his own father is ashamed to touch him, and that people shun him in public; but after the Pope's embrace, he said, "I feel stronger and happier. I feel I can move ahead because the Lord is protecting me."

People whose physical differences isolate them from the rest of the world should, at very least, always be welcomed at Mass. When they are not, it's sometimes because of fear or discomfort, but also often out of ignorance or confusion or even embarassment. 

Now Pope Francis is...READ MORE

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The Splat Life

11/13/2014 Comments (27)

Who remembers that wonderful scene from The Wrong Trousers, where poor Gromit finds himself chasing an evil penguin atop a runaway model train? The train is whizzing out of control, and he can't get off, slow down, or change course. In desperation, Gromit snatches a box of spare tracks and frantically lays them on the floor ahead, just split seconds before the train he's on thunders over them. (If you can't see the video, click here.)

This is more or less what it's like to raise a child. Yes, you have to work frantically to stay ahead of that train; but no, you're not exactly in control.

It's terrifying, and distressing, and agonizing -- and also somewhat liberating, if liberation is...READ MORE

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Have You Heard the Latest About Cardinal Burke?

11/11/2014 Comments (323)

I haven't. I also haven't heard the next-to-latest, or the thing before that, or the rumors that were circulating about the possible repercussions of what might happen if the rumors that had been previously circulating turned out to be true-ish.

I don't know, and I don't care.

And it's been a deliberate decision not to care, and a deliberate decision not to know what's going on. I've seen the headlines saying that this is proof that Francis the Freethinker is finally cracking down on the moldy old trads eagerly fomenting schism. I've also seen the headlines saying that this is proof that Francis the Slaughterer is squelching the one true voice that still dares to sing out its hymn...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.