When Brain Lets Mouth Take the Wheel

brain let mouth take the wheel

I had a conversation with my mom recently about times when our mouths take control from our brains.


Transcript of an Actual Conversation

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Don’t Just Blurt Stuff Out on Facebook

Something that makes me cringe is when people make overbearing blanket generalizations on the internet. Guys, once you’ve typed it, everyone can read it, and you’re officially married to it. It’s all well and good to be firm in your convictions, but can you really never imagine someone else being able to answer your argument? Do people honestly think their opinions are so solid they don’t think they could ever eat their words? Is it really unthinkable that they could ever have to reword their comments?

I just don’t know how people can do that so much.


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Feminism and The Blessing/Curse of Printed Words


Ah, Facebook, ye noble bastion of free speech… So I got into a conversation with some guy I don’t know because he said something misogynystic. I have to say, while the printed nature of internet discussions has the benefit that you can evaluate everything before you say it, there is the danger that once it’s in print it is eternal. I marvel at people who are careless on social network sites- you know that’s never going away, don’t you? I normally avoid engaging in such discussions for this very reason; I still don’t really know why I got into this one.

Two things occurred to me during and after that conversation that I thought worthy of rehashing in a little more detail (rather than wisely dropping the subject, as the previous paragraph suggests I should). The first is that, as a conservative Christian woman, I occasionally encounter a militantly shallow view of feminism: this hazy idea that feminists are an ignorant rogue army of godless hateful women acting out of spite.


I also have friends who dislike the current trend of feminism but are more thoughtful in their views (click here to read my sister in law’s discussion of gender distinction and practical symbolism). To me though, feminism isn’t about anger or throwing down gender distinctions. I have no interest in immitating manliness. As a feminist today, I’m interested in normalizing the reality that women weren’t given equality, they already had it. The feminist movement didn’t take something that was not previously ours, it demanded that what was rightfully ours no longer be denied us. I like how Darrell worded it a few days ago: “Of course I thought that women should have the right to vote, the right to work and, a place at the table in our national dialog but it took having two little girls of my own to teach me that there’s a huge difference between tolerating an idea and celebrating it.”

fem poster

That quote brings me to the second issue. I mentioned above how it surprises me when people blurt stuff out on Facebook- this conversation… It’s always nice to share opinions, really, but reread what you type before you click “post.” When I ask a person about what they say, and am met with “what I meant was…” and “I never said…” that’s not a sign of someone who spoke clearly to begin with. Think first, then speak, because honestly folks WHAT YOU MEANT ISN’T HALF AS IMPORTANT AS WHAT ACTUALLY CAME OUT OF YOUR MOUTH.






I’m actually interested in hearing other people’s opinions on this, so I’d love for you to share your thoughts below, if my dire reminder about the permanency of written words hasn’t scared you away… if you disagree, I promise not to bite your head off, but I don’t promise not to create a thinly-veiled satirical comic strip poking fun at you.

what you meant

That Tragic Moment When You Realize…

She’s a Disney Princess now.

How long do you think it’ll take before Sparkle Fun Holiday Leia starts showing up on toy store shelves next to Jasmine and Ariel? Because we all know it’s coming.

Mudpuppy Paper School Playset

I found this cute little set of paper dolls on a clearance shelf somewhere and bought it for my kids. I made some extra pieces to give it a little ethnic diversity, and I added a few others- a mom bringing in some cupcakes and a giraffe (don’t ask why, I just thought he was cute).

You can download the little people I made, if you’d like, by clicking here. I didn’t make a downloadable school, but I’m thinking about it.

As a little aside, I’ll tell you that I reeeally want to make a little garden set for our Ladybug book, because we are building up promotional stuff to push the paper copies for Christmas. Yaaaay! I don’t want to labor this too much here and now, but the process is pretty much done, and we’re both excited to be able to present this, after all the work we put into it.

She’s asking nicely.

That Awkward In-Between Stage

Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

My buddy asked me to talk on her blog about the recent news of Jack Schaap getting into trouble, and it has got me wanting to talk a little bit about the Church. If you didn’t know, Jack Schaap was pastor of a big church in Indiana and he was caught fooling around with a teenaged girl. Bad news though it may be, I wasn’t particularly surprised to hear it. He has had quite a track record of inappropriate remarks and misogyny over the years that he has been in charge of that church. I am truly saddened for the people who are going through this, but I am especially saddened by the way things like this reflect on Christianity.

I’ve read many news sources and internet conversations in which people have pointed to the faith as a distinct source of corruption, and although the term “Christian” gets used a lot by groups and individuals, I think it’s important to distinguish real Christianity from people who just use it as a social category. That label “Christian” is an adjectival name for a person who acts like “Christ.” Someone who follows Christ is a Christian. That’s it. We don’t say that every piece of psychology is Freudian, only statements or beliefs that follow the teachings of Sigmund Freud. We don’t call every person from South America Uruguayan, only the ones who are actually from Uruguay. Similarly, we should not call every sort of religious person with a Christian-like background in the USA a “Christian.”

You’re a Christian if you follow Christ. By definition, this can’t be an incidental part of your life or an inheritance; it’s a conscious choice. You can’t just claim the label and go around living a life that is completely unlike Christ. This type of thing is rampant in the USA right now, and it’s no wonder so many people pretending to be Christian are making the faith look toxic.

Now, I know that it’s also possible to vacilate in your opinions and be still genuine in your beliefs, and I am NOT trying to say that a person isn’t a Christian if they slip up once in a while. (That kinda thing is a whole different problem in itself.) What I AM saying is that just getting a job in a church does not a make person automatically a follower of Christ. Just because a man says he is a Christian is not enough to actually make him a follower of the teachings and life of Jesus. It’s just not.

When you base your communication with people on critism and name calling, you’re not acting like Christ. Biblically speaking we have no record of him using harsh language with people (unless they were the crooked religious leaders), and I think it’s safe to take that and say it is Christ-like to use respectful, kind language when we speak to people. If you can’t talk to someone about their behaviour without being nasty or hurtful, you’re not being a Christian. Westborough can call themselves whatever they want, but they’re not acting like Christ, and they’re not talking like Christ. That’s not Christian. They’re not a Christian church.

Similarly, just because Jesus was compassionate is no reason to claim that his life exuded tolerance. Jesus was honest about practical behaviors that were not Godly. If you’re going around telling people that the message of Christianity is love and tolerance, I’m not trying to be rude, but that isn’t what Jesus taught. You’re not emulating Christ, you’re emulating one facet of his behavior. It’s not Christian. It’s nice to be nice, but Christ taught that “sin” was a real thing. If you don’t believe that, okay, but you’re not a Christian.

I am a firm believer in moderation, and I dislike taking a dogmatic approach to spiritual issues, but, I love being a Christian. I enjoy learning about God and knowing him, and I find it very troubling that people like me are told that tolerance is the same thing as kindness and exclusivitiy of any sort is equated with hate speech. This faith is a relationship with God, not a psychological cancer, or a tool for cruelty and social power. All the richness of living peacably with others and enjoying spiritual completeness is shouldered to the side when people like Jack Schaap come out publicly spewing evil in the name Christendom.

A long post demonstrating why I shouldn’t blog about politics (and probably not sheep and giraffes) but I did it anyway

Since the president announced endorsing gay marriage, I’ve done a lot of thinking about the Christian response to the American gay community and while I don’t typically use this blog as a platform for my beliefs, I have two loosely related thoughts to discuss about this issue.

The first of these is the president’s decision making process and the subsequent resurgence of obamaluv that occurred because of it. Ignoring that this may be an important year for him, he had a moment of personal epiphany during a conversation with his daughter when he realized that could no longer justify denying support to the gay community in their efforts to legalize same-sex marriages. Does anyone seriously believe his little girl prompted this?

I know all presidents pull these stunts, but I find it especially manipulative when they use their children (“our little girl Tricia, the six year old, named it ‘Checkers.’ And you know, the kids, like all kids, love the dog, and I just want to say this, right now, that regardless of what they say about it, we’re gonna keep it.).
Let’s not pretend some deep, personal conviction drove this. If he really cared for the well-being of the gay community, why couldn’t he speak out when the PR payoff was lower? I feel like he’s jerking people around because he knew that he would score big if he played that card in an election year.

My second and more substantive concern with this issue is the position of the Christian right wing. We make a show of defending the divinely designed institution, but surely the gay community is not entirely to blame for the disrespect society seems to have for it. If we were so excited about protecting marriage, I can think of a few other good candidates for picket signs…

Some people couldn’t be more obvious about their utter disregard for the values of those around them if they wore a sandwich sign declaring it.

Furthermore, America is not the Church, nor is it a branch of the Kingdom of Heaven (I guess that one depends on your theology), but we have gotten so comfortable calling ourselves a “Christian nation” that we’ve started to believe there really is such a thing. Of course there isn’t. A country is no more “Christian” than a shelf or a box. But then, there was such universal acceptance of Christianity in previous decades that it was socially unacceptable not to pretend like you were Christian.

Today it is unacceptable not to be clear that you don’t take your religion too seriously. Celebrities and politicians may boldly proclaim Christianity of any stripe, as long as they demonstrate to the public that tolerance is king. This is what has the right wing all worked up. I hear often that America is no longer the “Christian nation” that it used to be. Well, wanting the nation of which we are citizens to support Biblical righteousness isn’t a bad thing, but it’s not the top priority, and when we act like people should behave as though they are Christians, it doesn’t encourage the cause of Christ, it just usually ends up looking really weird.

I actually made this a long time ago about a dress-code related policy at my church, but I think it translates.


I gotta beat this insomnia. I think I accidentally took a nap this afternoon for a few minutes, and now I can’t sleep.

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