Why Todd Akin's apology is not enough

On Sunday, Senate candidate Todd Akin made headlines when he voiced his archaic and entirely non-scientific beliefs concerning rape and pregnancy. He has since made attempts to retract his statements amid pressure from his own party to leave the Senate race. Yet there is nothing he can say to excuse or apologize his comments, his underlying beliefs or the fresh harm he has caused rape survivors who suffer from PTSD as a result of their assault.

In the Wake of Tragedy

When I read the news yesterday morning, I was shocked and horrified by the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado. My heart aches for the victims, their families and their friends, and I can't begin to imagine how James Holmes' parents are coming to terms with what their son has done.

The Emperor's Stone Soup

When I was a little girl, two stories I read over and over were The Emperor's New Clothes and Stone Soup. Both of these stories struck a chord with me and I spent a lot of time thinking about them. But these stories did more than spark my imagination. Both of these tales agitated me on an emotional level. They tickled something deep in my conscience which left me feeling slightly off-balance and more aware of a separation between my point of view and the world around me.

Finding Common Ground in Morality

Spend any time reading Internet message boards or online article comments and you may start wondering if religious believers and nonbelievers will ever find common ground. As depressed as I sometimes feel when watching flame wars erupt online, I am also heartened when coming across more moderate, open-minded discussions.

Lessons Learned From Picky Eaters

Picky kids have no problem with extreme reactions like spitting chewed food back on their plates and wildly scraping their offended tongues clean. It's up to their parents to stop the staged retching and gagging long enough to teach them that there are more appropriate ways to express their opinions.

What Religious Membership Means

When I was growing up and attending church with my family, part of every mass was reciting the Nicene Creed, a list of the Catholic church's basic beliefs. Everyone would stand and together recite these somewhat poetic words in a rhythm which I initially found soothing. Yet as I grew older, and understood that this was a weekly declaration of our beliefs, I began to analyze the prayer. Did I actually believe every line of the Nicene Creed? And could I call myself a Catholic if I didn't?

Happy Winter Solstice

The Winter Solstice is upon us again, which means we've reached our longest nights of the year and will now begin our path toward sunnier days. Or, as was said in last year's Doctor Who, A Christmas Carol:
"On every world, wherever people are, in the deepest part of the winter, at the exact midpoint, everybody stops, and turns, and hugs, as if to say 'Well done. Well done, everyone! We're halfway out of the dark.' Back on Earth, we called this Christmas, or the Winter Solstice."