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Posted inCritical thinking, Sex & Sexuality

Bringing in the sheaths

Reading Time: 4 minutes On March 17, while on the way to Africa, Joseph Ratzinger (a.k.a. Pope Benedict XVI) said that HIV/AIDS was “a tragedy that cannot be overcome by money alone, that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which can even increase the problem.” The first two clauses are sensible. The third was a dumb and […]

Posted inCritical thinking, General, Parenting & Family

Glass houses

Reading Time: 3 minutes I’ve had several parents ask how best to deal with arrogance — especially in pre-teens, it seems — toward religious folks, especially extended family. “How do I keep my 13-year-old from sneering at other people for their beliefs when I frankly think they’re pretty darn sneerable myself?” That sort of thing. It’s become such a […]

Posted inCritical thinking, General, Myth & Folklore, Parenting & Family, Raising Freethinkers

Best Practices 5: Encourage religious literacy

Reading Time: 5 minutes hortly after the release of Parenting Beyond Belief, I mentioned on the PBB Discussion Forum that I think religious literacy is an important thing for our kids (and ourselves) to have. Many agreed, as did most of the contributors to the book, but I received an email from one parent who asked, Why should I […]

Posted inCritical thinking, Myth & Folklore, Science

Our show of shows

Reading Time: 2 minutes Six months ago, our family got cable TV for the first time. In addition to learning that it actually wasn’t always snowing on every channel, my kids quickly discovered a favorite show. The show is Mythbusters on the Discovery Channel. Just in case you aren’t familiar, in each episode, two former special effects guys named […]

Posted inCritical thinking, Science

Blue me away

Reading Time: < 1 minute Just an embedded video today — three years old and no doubt known to everyone else already, but new to me yesterday. I’m a sucker for this kind of combination of wit, originality, and message: Share with the kids. Mine loved it.

Posted inCritical thinking, Parenting & Family, Science

Evolution for breakfast

Reading Time: 2 minutes One of the tropes in my seminars is the suggestion that big ideas are best consumed in little bites over many years. The old “how-do-you-eat-an-elephant” joke is right on the money. Religious education works best this way. No big lectures, no Bible marathons required. A toe-dip a day for 18 years will get you wetter […]

Posted inCritical thinking

This Is Only a Test

Reading Time: < 1 minute ERIN (10): Dad, I’ve been thinking. DAD: I’m telling Mom. ERIN: Dad, seriously. Okay — If God is real, I think I figured out why he would mix really bad things in with good things in the Bible. DAD: And why is that? ERIN: It’s to see if we can use our brains and figure […]

Posted inCritical thinking, Parenting & Family

Pants-on-fire parenting

Reading Time: 3 minutes Give me the fruitful error any time, full of seeds, bursting with its own corrections. You can keep your sterile truth for yourself. Economist VILFREDO PARETO, referring to the errors of Kepler _______________________________ In 1847, around the time Pareto was conceived, an obstetrician by the name of Ignaz Semmelweis noticed that pregnant women in his […]

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