Science and Other Drugs

….maybe a little less wrong….

Category Archives: Family

learning the words: wisdom

Guest post over on Defeating the Dragons about the meaning of “wisdom”.

Knowledge of good and evil

I’m going to try my best not to make this post a rant about what horrible parents I had and how I’m going to do so much better. My parents weren’t horrible. Not only would that be trite and presumptuous, but it wouldn’t be fair either. All parents make mistakes, and while mine certainly weren’t perfect, I know they did the best they could with what they believed was right.

This photo, snapped by the Cassini spacecraft in 2011, shows the moon Dione orbiting its parent planet, Saturn. The gas giants have moons orbiting much closer than Earth’s moon. Image courtesy NASA.

But as I look down at my three-month-old son sleeping peacefully in my arm (yes, I’m typing this with one hand), I can’t help wanting certain things to be different for him. I don’t want him to grow up believing it’s impossible to do something that’s genuinely good without any hidden motivations or agendas. I don’t want him to feel like his mother and I have a set of expectations he can’t ever deviate from. I don’t want him to see the world through a single, unyielding lens of good and evil that casts every person as either saint or villain. Most of all, I don’t want him to feel like he isn’t allowed to disagree with us or explain why he feels a certain way. Read more of this post

What a poignant, hauntingly beautiful reflection on the challenges every parent faces.

The Belle Jar

You.

Sometimes I wonder about you.

I wonder, for instance, where you came from. I understand the dry facts, of course, the complex mechanics of ovulation and ejaculation. I understand how cells divide, and then divide again, their numbers growing exponentially as seconds tick by. I know a thing or two about gametes and zygotes and embryos.

What I don’t understand is how all of that made you.

The facts of your existence seem like they would be better explained by alchemy rather than biology. We made you out of nothing, or rather, we made you out of two randomly-selected bits of genetic code that we unintentionally sent slamming into each other deep in the darkest recesses of my body. And out of those tangled strands of DNA grew you, incredible, beautiful you, with your father’s blue eyes and my heart-shaped mouth.

It feels more like magic than…

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Marriage equality, as seen on Facebook

EqualitySeen on Facebook:

“Marriage laws are already equal. Any unmarried man is free to marry any unmarried woman, pretty much without exception, as long as they mutually agree. God forbid that the leaders of our nation pervert the sacred institution of marriage by attempting to grant individuals the freedom to marry whoever (or whatever?) they please.”

Dear Facebook-friend-of-my-inlaws-who-will-not-be-named:

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Rubbed-off patriarchy

Patriarchy.

“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.”

Let’s suppose, for a moment, that Paul’s statement here is universally applicable, straight from the Holy Spirit, and unaffected by any culturally-dependent standards or sensibilities. Let’s suppose, just for the sake of argument, that this passage prescribes the literal, underlying relationship dynamic divinely ordained for all marriages in all societies for all time.

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Porneia – Part 2: Providential Prurience

Earlier, I wrote about the hypocrisy of treating an unmarried couple differently in order to signify disapproval for premarital sex. Here’s the Facebook quote that spawned it all:

“Shacking up and having a baby is not ‘cute’. Speak plainly and biblically about the soul-damning seriousness of fornication.”

I pointed out before that stigmatizing a family or relationship based on its origins is a hypocritical justification of prejudice, not some elevated level of holiness and biblical virtue. But I’d also like to focus on the second sentence, referencing the “soul-damning seriousness” of “fornication”.

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Porneia – Part 1: Pedantic premarital prejudice

This artist’s conception shows what it might be like to live on a planet inside a stellar nursery in galaxy NGC 604, nearly three million light years from Earth. Image courtesy NASA.

Seen on Facebook:

“Shacking up and having a baby is not ‘cute’. Speak plainly and biblically about the soul-damning seriousness of fornication.”

“Fornication.” Ewwww. What a horrible, dirty, terrible word.

But wait: let’s start by focusing on the initial portion of this particular individual’s statement. “Shacking up and having a baby is not ‘cute’.” Ostensibly it ought to properly be described by some other adjectives, like “regrettable” or “ugly” or “stigmatizeable”.

Hold on. Shacking up and having a baby is exactly what my wife and I did, and I’m pretty darn sure he’s quite cute.

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Wait, I’m actually a parent?

Parents are other people who have multiple children of at least preschool age. Parenting is the practice of dealing with difficult questions asked by inquisitive six-year-olds.

There is no way I’m a parent. Other people are parents, not me.

At least, that’s been the subconscious train of thought running through my head ever since I found out we were expecting last year. So much so that when I created this blog a few days ago, it didn’t even remotely occur to me that I might be writing about parenting issues in the near future. But apparently (no pun intended), I am.

With parenthood comes a new and novel set of decisions that have to be made. Suddenly, I am completely responsible for another human being, and my decisions will directly determine his fate. Making good decisions becomes even more important….which begs the question: how do we know what constitutes a good decision? What’s the proper process for decision-making?

Online:

Don’t take vaccines! I believe that God created everything we would ever need for every illness out there because He is all knowing and knew what diseases would be a result from sin entering the world. For instance, using Elderberry prevents the flu. Also there are so many remedies if you do get sick with various diseases. Media paints horror stories about diseases and how they kill people! Those stories are taken from 3rd world countries that people are left untreated. Don’t ever believe the media and their majorly twisted stories!

I’m sure this kind of malformed rambling is what every pediatrician thinks of when a parent expresses misgivings about vaccination schedules. It’s uncomfortable, to say the least. Nonetheless, we won’t be giving our kid the CDC recommended schedule of vaccinations, regardless of our pediatrician’s protests.

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