Tag Archives: parenting

10-Year-Old Daughter At the Home-School Co-Op Embarrasses Dad

A couple of weeks ago, I’m told, my 10-year-old daughter was drinking some Coca-Cola—maybe guzzling is the right word—at the Christian home-school co-op she attends once a week. One of the Moms commented on my daughter’s ability to drink Coke so quickly. My daughter said she likes a strong lemon soda at Starbucks, suggesting she’s used to having her throat stung by carbonation and intense flavors. Then my kid added, “I’ll be great at taking shots when I’m older.”

 

That Moment When Biden Quotes Kierkegaard on Colbert

Stephen Colbert conducted an outstanding interview with Veep Joe Biden last night — moving, heartbreaking, deep, and even theological. Some of the Twitter reactions:
 

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Persistent mom scores one against the FLDS polygamist sect — scores four, actually

Imagine: a court awards you custody of your four children.

You go to get them, only to be met by the security force of a closed religious community.

That’s exactly what Sabrina Broadbent experienced.

Broadbent is a former Fundamentalist Latter Day Saint — yep, the cultic community of “Prophet” Warren Jeffs fame — and her kids were still living in the FLDS community she had left 8 years ago.

Her story was told on this evening’s World News Tonight on ABC, and she was featured on Friday’s 20/20.

Tonight’s news anchor called Broadbent’s story a “struggle by one mother waging her own battle against a powerful polygamist religious sect.”

Broadbent was “speaking out for the first time about the fight to  be reunited with her children and to teach them about life on the outside,” the anchor said.

After she was met by the security force, Broadbent returned the next day.

A crowd of FLDS members, appearing on television to be mostly women and children, surround Broadbent’s vehicle and began to weep, sing, and pray in what become “a 22-hour standoff, a mom surrounded by a sea of polygamists,” the reporter said.

Eventually, a sheriff’s deputy intervened, and Broadbent was allowed to leave with her kids.

The kids didn’t want to go, but “within weeks” they have adjusted to living outside the polygamist community “with the help of TV, video games, a new puppy and a huge amount of maternal love and patience,” the reporter said.

Television and video games are the new deprogramming tools? Considering where those kids came from, sounds good to me.

I was struck by the religious and social power of surrounding a single person with crying, praying, and singing. I imagine many people would have caved.

Broadbent must have grown and strengthened during those 8 years, to be able to withstand that level of emotional and spiritual persuasion, especially considering she used to be part of the community and probably still recognized some of the members.

But that’s the power of “maternal love and patience” — not a bad thing to remember on Mothers Day Weekend.

‘Priest arrested for exorcism on anorexic girl’ – The Local

Some people still believe the body is like a puppet for an immaterial soul. Some people believe the physical body is subject to invisible forces. But in some well-documented cases, the culprits in real-world problems can be found in the real-world body and more specifically in the brain.

I know next to nothing about anorexia, but the following story seems outrageous. From The Local: Spain’s News in English:

“A judge in Burgos has called for the arrest of exorcist, Jesús Hernández Sahagún, along with the girl’s priest after she went through 13 exorcisms while still a minor.

“Sahagún, the official exorcist of Valladolid, is facing charges of gender violence, causing injury and mistreatment according to local newspaper, Diario de Burgos, and has been asked to make a statement on the events.

“The events date back to 2012, when the girl began to suffer from anorexia. According to El País, her religious parents became convinced she was possessed by the devil and decided to have their child exorcised.

“She was tied up and had crucifixes positioned over her head, according to El País.

“The girl subsequently attempted suicide and an investigation was launched after her aunts and uncles filed a complaint.”

via Priest arrested for exorcism on anorexic girl – The Local

I’m in the newspaper today; here’s a subtle clarification

I’ve known Steve Jones for years, and I admire him. He’s a top-notch reporter.

When he was interviewing me with two other members of Church of the Messiah for today’s article in The Sun News (my former employer), I think either I didn’t make my point clearly enough or maybe a subtle distinction was lost in the shuffle.

Jones reports:

Messiah church member Colin Burch chose to stay with the traditional church while his wife and three daughters continue to worship at Trinity Church.

The bishop of The Episcopal Church in S.C. conducted the service where one of his daughters joined the traditional church.

He said his children see the situation much like they might a divorce.

“They just don’t know which (parent) to go with,” he said.

The divorce analogy, which originated with my wife Kristi, was intended to describe Kristi and my three daughters — they see the split between Bishop Mark Lawrence’s diocese and The Episcopal Church USA like a divorce, and they aren’t sure which “parent” to go with.

My wife and my daughters, in varying combinations, join me at Church of the Messiah from time to time.

As far as my family is concerned, I listen to Kristi and I listen to my daughters, especially my 14 year old, and even as dense as men can be, I’m fairly certain we [my wife and daughters] all share certain values. I can certainly claim Kristi, the 14-year-old, and I have rich conversations about many things related to church, Bible, tradition, and theology.

Now, if I can just get the 14-year-old to teach me Latin. She’s way ahead of me.

Furthermore, more than a year ago now, the 14-year-old opted to be confirmed by the Episcopal Church USA bishop while continuing in a Bishop Lawrence parish.

Of course, I continue to love and admire many members of Trinity Church.

Update, 4:10 p.m.: On my Facebook page, I referred to a tradition started by my great-grandparents. As an exhibit of that heritage, please see “An Important Church in My Family,” which includes a few photos from All Saints Episcopal Church in Oakley, Maryland.

Update, 8:50 p.m., Dec. 8: My distinguished friend (though not distinguished because of our friendship) Charlie Jordan alerted me that RealClearReligion.org, in its list of today’s articles, included a link to Steve Jones’s article in The Sun News.

Update, 7:55 p.m., Dec. 12: I added a bracketed phrase to clarify “we” in the paragraph beginning, “As far as my family is concerned…”

The assault on motherhood in Sandy Hook, Newtown, Connecticut

The shooter in Sandy Hook, Newtown, Connecticut, might have killed his own mother before allegedly killing 20 children and 6 adults at an elementary school.

The killings were an assault on the very essence of motherhood.

A psychologist interviewed by NBC News anchor Brian Williams suggested that the shooter might have been trying to kill another part of his own mother — not just her body, but the children she cared for, too.

The shooter did further damage to motherhood at the elementary school. The female principal, already a type of mother figure for her school, was Mom to two children of her own and three step-children. She likely was one of the first to be killed during the assault, based on CNN reports about the structure of the building. Presumably after that, 20 mothers lost children.

What creates in a young man such a vicious hatred of motherhood?

Then, the shooter apparently killed himself, throwing the gift of life — the life his mother had given him — back into her lifeless face.

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Flash fiction Friday: ‘Appearance’

While my six-year-old son screamed, Christ appeared to my eyes. The Lord was behind my son, bare feet on the asphalt beside the jackknifed bicycle, staring down at the boy. God’s punctured skin pulsed like tidal rivulets. Now on my son’s broken forehead, little snakes of red slithered downward. My hand moved in small degrees, as if through heavy petroleum, to my son’s face. Christ vanished. The bicycle tire still spun at a racer’s pace.

© 2012 Colin Foote Burch