Yarn Ends

Yarn Ends are small bits of yarn, often from a bigger project (or in this case, a big subject). I don’t have the time today to make full blog posts about each of these bits, but wanted to share some interesting stories and links regarding them.

Rocket Raccoon: I had suspected a couple times in the past a nocturnal visitor was visiting my cat food bowl. The other night, Husbeast and I literally came face to face with the perpetrator. We heard the food bowl clattering to the ground, and I went out to the garage to investigate. One rather smug raccoon was staring me in the face, less than ten feet away. Rocket was not a full grown adult, just slightly bigger than the cats. I called for Husbeast to come see. Rocket retreated into the darkness a few feet away, then came back. While staring us in the face, it scooted over to a piece of kibble on the ground and munched it. Okabe the tuxedo kitty was sitting in an old car seat/cat perch, watching with an air of disinterest. Husbeast remarked how adorable the raccoon was and how much he wanted on as a pet. The stare-down of us vs. Rocket continued for a few minutes, us occasionally gushing with the cuteness. Then Husbeast accidentally shifted his foot loudly, and Rocket took off like a bolt into the darkness. So now, I am going to bring the food bowls in at night. I only feed the cats once a day, in the morning, but depending on how much they hunt, they don’t always finish their food.

Encouraging article discussing bringing awareness and methods to boost mental health in school environments.

Great news for gay and transgender youth in Oregon! Kate Brown Signs Bill Banning Conversion Therapy.

Regarding Parenting: Why You Should Stop Giving Your Kid a Bath Every Night. Confession: we have four children. Ours get bathed about twice weekly. I’m so glad what worked for sheer practicality is also healthy for their immune systems. Obedience: Why Do You Have To Tell Them Five Times? I want to look more into this. From the article, this bit is what stood out to me. :

 Their frontal cortex is still developing the ability to switch gears from what they want to what you want. Every time you set a limit that requires your child to give up what she wants in order to do what you want, she has to make a choice. When she decides that her relationship with you is more important than what she wants at this moment, she follows your request. Every time she does that, she’s strengthening her brain’s ability to rein herself in. That’s how kids develop self-discipline. But this only works if your child switches gears somewhat willingly. If you drag her kicking and screaming, she’s resisting, rather than choosing. She’s not building those self-discipline neural pathways. (That’s why there’s a “self” in “self-discipline. It’s chosen from inside.)

Regarding my last post, I found many more useful tidbits from fellow bloggers:

From Godless in Dixie:

The Church Doesn’t Get to Make the Rules about Sex Anymore.

From How Evangelicalism Taught Me Self Loathing:

Some people aren’t that bad, though.  Some are quite kind, generous, empathetic, and diligent by nature.  For those people, you have to raise the bar even higher.  For example, since they’ve probably never killed anyone, you have to convince them that being merely angry at someone is just as bad.  Wow, that’s a stretch, right?  Or say someone is both careful and ethical in how they navigate sexual relationships, perhaps even avoiding sex altogether outside a lifelong contractual commitment.  For those people, you have to convince them that even fantasizing about others is bad.  You have to create a category of “thought crimes” and convince them that thinking it is just as bad as doing it.  And then for the incredibly self-controlled people who can both keep from being angry at anyone and keep from fantasizing about anyone, you have to get really creative and invent new kinds of shortcomings, like failing to let people take advantage of you, or mistreat you, or even physically harm you.  But wait a second.  I don’t think those are shortcomings at all, do you?  Who would have the nerve to say otherwise?  If you’ve never read Jesus’ take on these things, perhaps you should reread the first chapter of the Sermon on the Mount sometime.  Jesus took self-criticism to another level, and he paved the way for the Christian faith to become a framework for teaching self-hatred, self-neglect, and self-denial.

Not too long ago, a contributor for Christianity Today wrote a post exhorting women to resist the urge to masturbate.  This probably won’t strike you as odd if you grew up in a Christian subculture.  But anyone who wasn’t raised in a body-shaming tradition will laugh at this proposal, asking where this woman gets off (sorry, I couldn’t resist) saying such things.  Outside of the religious reality bubble, this practice is seen as a healthy and helpful practice.  But inside that world, it’s bad.  You shouldn’t do it.  Even though it’s a natural part of being human.  See, Christianity teaches that what’s “natural” can be a bad thing because, according to its own narrative, people are broken.  We have a “nature” that’s warped and distorted now, so that we’re not as we should be.  Consequently for this worldview, even if something’s natural it may still be “wrong.”  So better keep those hands to yourselves, folks!  Or as the contributor instructs us, maybe you should take John Piper‘s advice and just think more about Jesus and how he’s really what you want.  Yeah, I’m sure that’ll take care of it.

From Christianity Has a Major Boundary Problem:

I have a student in one of my classes who came up to me while I was grading papers and stood over me and said, “I know why I’m taking this class this year.” I looked up at her and responded that it probably had something to do with her needing credit for Geometry but she disagreed and said that God put her in my class.  I asked what for and she said, “To save you.”  I asked from what and in a very patronizing tone she said “Yourself.”  I very politely explained to her that her comments were rude and presumptuous, and I would be upset if I learned my own children were speaking to their teacher in that kind of condescending parental tone.  But do you see what I mean?  She was one of the good students. She’s not one of my students who misbehaves in class. In most areas she behaves appropriately but when it comes to recognizing personal boundaries she cannot even see them because her religion blinds her to them.  Even explaining them makes no difference because they do not recognize them.

From Love, Joy, and Feminism:

This entire collection of articles discusses the purity culture I addressed in my last post.


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