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Teaching Religion in Public Schools: A Bad Idea

I have taught religion for many years. I taught at both the high school (a Catholic high school) and the college and university level. My educational background is in world religions, and I hold a B.A. and an M.A. in this field.

I am wholeheartedly against teaching religion in public schools.

Why? Because there isn't anyone who can teach it well  at most public schools. Public schools do not hire people with degrees such as mine. So, who is going to teach religion? The history teacher? The sociology teacher? The lit. teacher?

Now, all of those teachers may have some inkling of religion, as it intersects with their field of study. However, I can pretty much guarantee that none of those folks have done the work I've done.

When one of my kids was in high school, she did a "unit" on world religions in a history (I believe) class. She came home and told me what her teacher had told them about Hinduism. And I said, "That's wrong." I went and got one of my bo…
Recent posts

My Spinal Cysts (Upon Learning More Than I Wanted To Know)

My dad served as a U.S. Marine at the tail-end of WWII. He was an MP, serving in Occupied China, Hawaii and Washington, D.C.

When the Korean "Police Action" broke out, he was called up. However, after a physical, he was told that he had spinal cysts, and could not serve. (He wasn't too broken up about that.)

I have inherited many things from Dad. I love military shows and movies (although, I confess, I do not share his love of Tora, Tora, Tora.) I love to read. I have bunions and hideous seasonal allergies.

I also have spinal cysts.

To be precise, I have Tarlov cysts. These are rare. Some people who have them are asymptomatic (like my dad) and others suffer a great deal. I seem to fall somewhere in the middle.

I spent most of last year trying to get relief from the incessant nerve pain. To that end, I had a spinal cord stimulator implanted, which seems to have done the trick.

Except, it does nothing for muscle pain. Which I have a lot of.

It's disheartening to reali…

"A Personal Relationship With Jesus"

When I was in college, there was a woman who worked in our food service. Since it was a small college, and we all ate in the same cafeteria, we got to know the workers, at least by face.

Whenever this lady was working, if she caught your eye, she'd ask, "Do you know Jesus?" Of course, we were all smart-alecky about it.

As Catholics, we often get asked that perplexing question: "Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus?" And our answer is usually, "Uh......"

Catholics don't use that phrase. It's not Biblical for one thing. (Then Jesus commanded His disciples to go out and make personal relationships in His name...) For another, it is sort of ... obvious. We are baptized in the name of Christ, we receive His Body and Blood at every Mass, we are devoted to His Sacred Heart and His Divine Mercy .... That's about as personal as you can get.

Pope Benedict XVI was great at reminding us of this:
For us, the Holy Father concluded, Christianit…

Thinking about Mother's Day: please don't buy anything

It's hard to miss Mother's Day. The commercials are hammering it home. I saw a billboard yesterday along the expressway from an asphalt company: "Wishing you a pot hole free Mother's Day." That sure was warm and fuzzy. Thanks, guys.

Sometimes, I am the most unsentimental mother in the world. I didn't keep every precious card my kids made me, those sticky construction paper and glue creations. If you ask me how much my kids weighed at birth, I'll have no idea (I wasn't there remember: adoption.) Even still, my blase' attitude about that last fact has shocked some moms.

Other times, I tear up just thinking about a kid. That time my youngest came home from school adamant that we needed to go to the funeral home that night. A 4th grade classmate's mother has died, and my boy said he needed to be there for his friend.

Waiting for my Curly-haired daughter to get here! She's coming home, since the big move to South Carolina in January. I can'…

Musings on meds, scapulars, PTSD and dogs

I haven't written much here lately (my work blog keeps me busy!), and I keep thinking, "Oh, I don't have anything to write about.

Which is a lazy writer's cop-out.

I've been telling people I have a 3-ring circus going on in my head right now, but I heard a line on TV last night that also seems accurate: "He's crazy! He's got squirrels juggling chainsaws in his brain!" Work is crazy-busy, but in a good way. Hubby is in the midst of (a rather depressing) soccer season and our calendar keeps shifting and filling and moving.

I have slowly been weaning myself of the meds I've been on the past two years. So far, I've cut two of them in half, dosage-wise. I've also been making a concerted effort to eat better - and I'm doing fairly well, surprisingly.

I found a brown scapular laying on the ground Monday, outside the doctor's office. It's got lovely embroidery, with Our Lady of Guadalupe. I feel bad for the person who lost it, bu…

Why being Catholic is like being a panda

Jesus at McDonald's

Some of  you may remember that Dark-haired Daughter experienced a great deal of trauma about 5 years ago. She still suffers from PTSD occasionally, and is reluctant to go just about anywhere by herself.

We moved in January, from a very rural area to an urban/suburban area. We also moved from a house to an apartment. It's taken her awhile to get used to all this, and frankly, she's still pretty skittish. However, about a month ago, on a spring day that  Mother Nature teases us with every once in awhile here in Michigan, she decided to walk to McDonald's by herself. It's less than a block away.

"I'll call you when I get there, and then call you when I'm leaving, okay?" she said. (She was going to go, get a soda, and come home.)

"OK," I said, in my best nonchalant mom voice, quaking inside. This was a HUGE step for her.

Twenty minutes later, the apartment door opened, and she walked in, drink in hand. "I didn't even need to call you; …