Thursday, October 23, 2014
  Breastfeeding  
Would You Nurse a Stranger’s Baby?
Giving birth for the first time was like discovering a superpower. I was over the moon. I looked down at our baby and said, “Oh, he’s perfect.”

But thirty minutes later our perfect baby’s heart stopped beating. He lay on my chest limp and unresponsive. The nurse listened for a pulse and when she couldn’t find one threw him down hard on the examining table. He didn’t startle or cry. She pressed a button and a team of nurses rushed into the delivery room. They did chest compressions, inserted tubes, and restarted his heart. ()



Latest in Society & Politics

  Back to School Jitters  
Tea and Tissues
My world is about to be rocked, and the funny thing is, I didn’t even see it coming. I knew things would change when Lila started preschool this fall, but I’m only just starting to realize how much.

One recent evening, I found myself sitting in the tastefully decorated living room of two current preschool parents. We were there to meet-and-greet the preschool director and other incoming preschoolers’ parents.

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  Liberty  
Rockets Red Glare
Today concludes the second Fortnight for Freedom convened by the Bishops Conference. Its purpose has been to raise awareness among the laity of the threat posed by the abortion-pill mandate being forced on employers by the current administration. Here Kim Daniels, the new spokeswoman for Cardinal Dolan, interviews Sister Deirdre "DeDe" Byrne, a nun of the Little Workers of the Sacred Hearts and a surgeon working with the poor and refugees in countries like Haiti. Sister DeDe talk about what religious freedom means to her in the medical field. Enjoy this Fourth of July by listening to a conversation about liberty between two rogues. Listen here. ()

  Religion and Society  
Come Holy Spirit
In the spirit of Pentecost, the editors are reprinting the text of a fiery speech given by Dr. Helen Alvaré at the 2013 National Catholic Prayer Breakfast. Video of the speech as broadcast on EWTN can be seen here, and begins at minute 17:45.

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  Modesty  
A Modest Proposal
Readers may have become weary of that Catholic blogosphere cliche: the concern over male modesty and the oversexualization of male fashion in the world today. However, I don't think it can be stressed enough how much of a temptation it is for women—how much of a pitfall—to see men in attractive clothes or, indeed, skimpy outfits. Now that spring is upon us, it will not be long before the young men of the world actually take their shirts off and run around soccer fields topless, as if there were no married women over thirty around to look at them. ()

  Contraception   
Conrad Blah
So Conrad Black wants me to take birth control pills. Because I’m so un-modern for refusing to take a daily dose of cancer-linked, fertility-killing hormones that Conrad Black would, like the men who ensured birth control pills for men never happened, never consider taking himself. A pill that has resulted only in an uptick in unplanned pregnancies and catalyzed the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, especially among women. ()

  The Pope and the Media  
How God Will Always Confound the Human Mind
They said he’d be one of several media-friendly papabili. He wasn’t. They said he’d be young. He’s almost as old as Cardinal Ratzinger was when he became Benedict XVI. They said he would be African. He isn’t.

They said if he wasn’t African, there was a good chance he’d be from North America. He’s from South America.

They said he’d give the Church another chance to re-evaluate its stance on matters such as gay marriage and women priests. He won’t. ()

  From the Archives  
Catholic Girls in Combat Boots?
The following article originally appeared in Altcatholicah on July 19, 2011. My co-worker had just finished training me in the new office software and was about to let me test it out on my own. “If you have any problems using it, just give me a call,” she said as she scrawled her phone number on a Post-it note. ()

  Abortion  
Why We March II
Hundreds of thousands braved the weather for Friday’s March for Life, commemorating the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Some observers will no doubt dismiss the enthusiastic young marchers as products of privileged, religious homes and educations, who don’t know anything about the problems real women face, and whose parents have brainwashed them into going on the March. But the reality is quite different. Pro-life activists are not by any means all cut from the same cloth. ()

  Abortion  
Why We March
This January, people will ask us why we march. We all have our own reasons. I’ve marched before for all children called home too soon. But this year I’ll carry one in particular in my heart.

“I wish we’d never met.” Plenty of relationships end with those words. The drama. The heartbreak. The desire to pull an Eternal Sunshine. I’ve thought those words during break-ups. ()

  Violence  
Violence and The Gospel
Last semester, I taught my seventh grade students about narrative structure. They wrote original short stories, which I was reading right around the time of the Newtown shooting. I couldn’t help but see some connections between our class discussions, talk about guns and violence in the media, and their finished work. “Drama,” I had told them, “comes from conflict, and conflict comes from having two opposing forces: a protagonist and an antagonist.” I had explained to them the four parts of a plot—exposition, rising action, climax, and resolution. ()

  Women's Ordination  
How to Ordain Yourself
Last week I had the misfortune to stumble across the Women’s Ordination Conference’s hot new music video “Ordain a Lady.” Watch it at your own peril . . . I’m not really concerned for the peril of your soul in watching it, but rather of your artistic sensibilities. Yes, that was a cheap shot, but when you’re trying to emulate pop music it’s a good idea to not have someone who sounds like my grandmother as your vocalist. But I guess, given the fact that the Womyn Priest movement was started by people my grandmother’s age, I shouldn’t be surprised. Another cheap shot? Well, the whole video was full of them so I didn’t think anyone would mind. ()

  Advent  
Some Homesick Ponderings
With the holiday season there always comes a twinge of homesickness. I don’t just miss my family, I miss that old, taken-for-granted, cozy sense of belonging to a place and to the people there. After four years of college and four more years of moving from one house and set of roommates to the next, I’m used to belonging nowhere, regardless of where I hang my clothes and arrange my books. I just don’t think about it much. Thanksgiving and Christmas remind me that I belong nowhere–not always the most comfortable thing to be reminded of. ()

  Abortion  
Exploitation
Irish pro-life groups are dismayed by the deluge of pressure pouring on Ireland to change its abortion laws following the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar from a complicated miscarriage on October 28th at University College Hospital Galway.

Despite the paucity of information surrounding Savita's death, media outlets and abortion activists have blamed laws prohibiting abortion and even the Catholic Church for her death, relying on emotional accounts of Savita’s husband, Praveen.

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  Motherhood  
Excavating Mother-Child Photos
Either Mom is the one behind the camera taking the photo or she’s having an all-too-common bad-hair day and avoids the photo op. Whatever the case, it appears photographs of the kids with their mother are a rare find. ()

  Election 2012  
Thy Kingdom Come


We are part of God’s kingdom, and though it may sting us that this world chooses not to acknowledge that fact, it nonetheless remains true. We are in this world, but as followers of Christ, we are not of this world. Nor can we afford to place our hope in the movement of temporal persons and events.


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  Halloween  
Halloween is Not the Devil’s Holiday
"Can I have this?" my seven-year-old son asked me while I was shopping recently. I looked over and saw that he was holding up a bloody ax.

A fake bloody ax, of course. One of those plastic gory Halloween props you wish you hadn't seen. Especially when held by your seven-year-old son. ()

  Election 2012  
Sex, Voting, and Brains
I remember my first time. I had just turned 18. It was my freshman year of college. It was time for me to be an adult. There were two options before me, a smooth talker and a war hero; I chose the war hero. As it turned out the guy was kind of a loser, but he was pro-life and the other guy was an ardent proponent of abortion. I have no regrets about voting for Bob Dole, except for the whole voting for someone who always referred to himself in the third person part. Also the losing thing was pretty disappointing, since Clinton went on to veto the Partial Birth Abortion ban twice and coin the now infamous phrase, “that depends on what the definition of ‘is’ is.” ()

  Religion in Public Life  
The Year of the Faith that “Defines” Joe Biden
Last night was a busy one for me, I went straight from a holy hour celebrating the beginning of the Year of Faith to watch the Vice Presidential debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan. It was one of the first times I witnessed a political debate between two practicing Catholics. Most of the debate was wonky, but when the moderator asked both men how their Catholic faith informed their position on abortion, the room was instantly hushed and all eyes were glued to the television screen. ()

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