Category Archives: Society

Jeff Houghton’s “20 Things You Want to Hear a Christian Say”

Since middle school or high school or so, I’ve had rather a negative, knee-jerk reaction to words like “Christian,” “Catholic,” and “religious.” It always brought to mind the super-conservative, “you’re going to hell” sort of fundamentalism. I know that not all Christian, Catholic, and/or religious people are like that — I have many religious family members and friends who aren’t like that — but it’s still what first came to mind. That began to change for me when I learned about Unitarian Universalism during the end of my junior year at Bryn Mawr. Jeff Houghton’s list reminds me that “Christian” does not actually mean “conservative fundamentalism” (or “Christian fundamentalist”), even for people I don’t personally know. Continue reading

Why It’s A Very Good Thing That Mississippi’s “Personhood” Ballot Initiative Failed

The Mississippi initiative that would have legally defined life as starting at fertilization has failed! I don’t care what your positions on abortion are: that it failed should be considered good news. “Personhood” amendments go so far beyond banning abortion that, frankly, I think they’re absurd. Keep in mind, please, that there is an immense difference between believing that life begins at fertilization and believing that life should legally be defined as beginning at the moment of fertilization (essentially that a human zygote is legally a person, the same as any person on the planet).  Continue reading

Katie Burgess: My New Hero for “Calling Out a Corporate Sponsor at a Pro-LGBT Event”

Katie Burgess, if you didn’t know, is the Executive Director of TYSN (the Trans Youth Support Network*). She also wrote a really fierce post today for The Bilerico Project titled “Solidarity: Calling Out a Corporate Sponsor at a Pro-LGBT Event,” which included her speech at the 18th Annual National Coming Out Day Luncheon last week. I am so incredibly impressed with her, her words, and her speech. Continue reading

Rachel Maddow Explains Birth Control (Mitt Romney Doesn’t Get It)

First of all, either Mitt Romney just doesn’t understand how birth control works, or he actually thinks that the pill should be potentially be considered homicide. Secondly, Rachel Maddow is so much fun. Also, major props to the courageous Beth Schopis of Iowa, who actually called Romney out on the incoherence of his ‘I would absolutely support a personhood amendment, but I’m not against birth control’ position.  Continue reading

House Republicans Approved $1.5 Million to Defend DOMA

“It is absolutely unconscionable that Speaker Boehner is tripling the cost for his legal boondoggle to defend the indefensible Defense of Marriage Act,” said Drew Hammill, spokesman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). “At a time when Americans are hurting and job creation should be the top priority, it just shows how out of touch House Republicans have become that they would spend up to $1.5 million dollars to defend discrimination in our country.”
–Amanda Terkel, The Huffington Post

This is ridiculous. No, wait, this is beyond ridiculous. I may need to check a thesaurus for a new word because, well, really? Are they serious? I know that the majority of Republicans in the House of Representatives are . . . shall we say, not people with whom I have many political views in common, but wanting to spend $1.5 million on a lawyer to defend the “Defense of Marriage” Act is just absurd.  Continue reading

Helping Students Living with Autism Speak with DonorsChoose.org

Imagine having to navigate through life completely silenced; never being able to tell someone your opinion or communicate your needs. Many of my students living with Autism face this experience every day of their lives.

Mr. Cunningham, a teacher at Hearst Elementary School in Chicago, IL, created a classroom project at DonorsChoose.org called “Helping Students Living with Autism Speak.” He has a class of thirteen students, all of them living with Autism, ranging from second through fifth grade. His project involves using the text-to-speech capabilities of iPod Touches with his students; he writes, “This technology will provide my students with the power of a voice; something many of us take for granted.” Unfortunately, this project will not affect these students’ lives unless the money is raised for the iPods.  Continue reading

Alternatives to Columbus Day

Growing up, Columbus Day never really meant anything to me. After all, we still had to go to school, and don’t all real holidays grant us a day off from school? (Halloween doesn’t, I suppose, but it involves massive amounts of candy, and that’s pretty close.) I didn’t realize that today was Columbus Day until I noticed a bunch of posts on Facebook protesting Columbus Day with pictures like these:

Continue reading