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January  2011

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Carla Barnhill, America's Next Advice Columnist?


Jan 31 2011
The 'mommy blogger' and former 'Christian Parenting Today' editor is one of the top four finalists to become 'Good Morning America's new "advice guru."

Two months ago, Carla Barnhill was just a multitasking mom from Minnesota who did freelance writing and editing on the side. After working at several Christianity Today sister publications in suburban Chicago—editing Campus Life for several years before ...

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What Are Wedding Vows For, Anyway?


Jan 31 2011
Not much, if Carol Anne Riddell and John Partilla's wedding announcement in 'The New York Times' "Vows" section means anything.

The "Vows" section of The New York Times typically features romantic, heartfelt, and sweet wedding stories. At first glance, the story of Carol Anne Riddell and John Partilla appears to fit the bill: beautiful bride, handsome groom, lots of hugging. The adorable ...

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The Untold Story of Donor-Conceived Children


Jan 28 2011
The next reproductive-technology issue coming to a church near you.

The featured article on the new website AnonymousUs.org is about a bad breakup. A middle-aged woman discovers that her boyfriend is accused of incest. What does she do? She has herself artificially inseminated by an anonymous sperm donor, but then regrets the ...

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Surprised by Beauty at the March for Life


Jan 27 2011
The people who caught my eye—the ones the mainstream media overlooked—at this year's march.

T. S. Eliot wrote that "April is the cruelest month," alluding to the way life and death are inextricably connected, as when "lilacs" are bred "out of the dead land."

This is the way the March for Life—held every January in Washington since the Supreme Court ...

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Christians Launch Anti-Slavery Efforts for Super Bowl XLV


Jan 25 2011
This year's game is located in one of the nation's seedbeds of human trafficking.

Cowboys stadium. Troy Polamalu. Black Eyed Peas. Ben Roethlisberger. Sex trafficking of minors. Christina Aguilera. Doritos' controversy-tinged "Crash the Super Bowl" contest. Those irritating Go Daddy commercials.

Which of these things is not like the others? ...

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Why I Don't Keep a Mommy Blog


Jan 21 2011
In a world that's as impersonal and voyeuristic as ours, I want the things I do at home to be just for the people I see and touch daily.

Both my husband's grandma and mine were short women named Charlotte who played piano and sang. They lived and died on opposite coasts, mine in New York, his in California. His was plump, old-fashioned, devout, taught toddler Sunday school, and ran a cattle ranch. ...

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'Skins' Prompts Call for Child Porn Investigation


Jan 21 2011
This time, the Parents Television Council is probably right about the British export that spotlights teens (and teen actors) engaging in a sexual free-for-all.

Do you know what your teenagers are watching? If it's 10 on a Monday night, you might want to check that it's not what the Parents Television Council (PTC) has called "the most dangerous program that has ever been foisted on your children." In response to PTC, ...

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Miss America and the Bikini Question


Jan 20 2011
Do modern-day pageants ask young evangelical women to compromise their values an itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny too much?

To one-piece or two-piece? That was the question for many Miss America hopefuls in 1997, when, for the first time in 50 years, the pageant allowed two-piece swimsuits. Pageant organizers say the swimsuit part of the competition, dubbed the feminist-friendlier ...

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A Woman, Not a 'Gestational Carrier'


Jan 18 2011
How the global infertility industry reduces women to profitable body parts.

Editor's Note: This is the second Her.meneutics post responding to Melanie Thernstrom's New York Times Magazine article on twiblings. Ellen Painter Dollar covered it last week.

As millions around the world celebrated the birth of Jesus, Elton John and his partner, ...

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Why I Don't Want to Be a Chinese Mother


Jan 17 2011
I don't want to be an American mother, for that matter.

Amy Chua's essay for The Wall Street Journal, "Why Chinese Mothers are Superior," sprinted across media outlets and the blogosphere, prompting responses at Motherlode, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Slate, among many others.

The essay spawned an interview on ...

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Blessed Are Those with Alzheimer's


Jan 14 2011
Discovering God'ndashs image in a nursing home called "The Beatitudes."

Americans are living longer and longer. For many individuals, this comes as good news, and yet for the larger culture, it brings social change, significant increases in health-care costs, and a higher prevalence of diseases such as Alzheimer's. According to the ...

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Troubled by the Twiblings?


Jan 13 2011
Melanie Thernstrom's 'NYT Magazine' article about her unconventional method of having children left me unsettled—but not for the reasons you think.

What do you call two siblings, with the same genetic parents, gestated by two different women, born five days apart, raised by a father with whom they share genes, and a mother with whom they do not?

Twiblings, who were featured in last week's New York Times Magazine, ...

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The Virgins-Only Dating Website


Jan 12 2011
Is WeWaited.com really a perfect haven for Christians struggling in a sex-obsessed culture?

Fewer and fewer Americans are getting married. Those who do are, on average, waiting longer to wed than have previous generations. But according to Time's "Who Needs Marriage? A Changing Institution," women and men still want to meet and build relationships with ...

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'Passport through Darkness' Gives Victims Voice


Jan 11 2011
Make Way Partners president Kimberly Smith's book is a must-read for today, Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

Stifling heat vapors appear on the horizon. Laughing hyenas cackle too close for comfort in the bush. Take a step closer toward a dusty canvas tent. Meet Kimberly L. Smith and travel into her desert world as she pulls back the flap door of her "tent of meeting" ...

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Is Your Church Open to Autism?


Jan 10 2011
Churches that make space for autistic children on Sunday mornings will be disrupted—by joy.

It's everywhere, bursting from our schools and neighborhoods and playgrounds. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in every 110 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. But with numbers like this, shouldn't ...

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