Christian Piatt 10-25-2012
The Piatt kiddos

The Piatt kiddos

#5. Delivery complications: Amy was a real trooper when Mattias was born, but nothing about it was easy. Actually he and I had eerily similar experiences making our way into the world. We both were exactly the same length and weight, we both were faced the wrong way, and both of us were finally delivered by caesarian section, after putting our moms through hours of hardcore labor.

The story I’ve heard is that my delivery was a big part of why my folks decided not to have any more children. Before that, they planned on having more but it was too much to deal with. And let me tell you that I can sympathize. I was in the room both when Amy tried to deliver naturally, and when they cut her wide open and yanked the little peanut out. His face was blue from a lack of oxygen, and his umbilical cord wrapped twice around his neck. Though I’ve never experienced such awe and joy in my life, I also have no desire to relive that sort of terrifying vulnerability.

#4. Postpartum: We didn’t recognize it as such for almost a year, but Amy suffered from pretty severe postpartum depression after Mattias was born. In a phrase, it sucked. I also happened to be running for local political office at the time, which added stress to the situation, but I didn’t know what the hell was going on. It was our first time, after all, and no one really warned us about what to do if your wife has quasi-psychotic images of herself pushing your baby down the stairs. She was so worried she was going crazy that she didn’t tell anyone for fear that they might take Mattias away from her. So instead, she tried to manage it, quite unsuccessfully, on her own for nearly 12 months.

The breaking point finally came one night when we were lying in bed and I laid it all out. I knew something was really wrong, but I had no idea what it was. I could feel her withdrawing farther away from me every day, and I felt like I couldn’t do anything about it.

Nadia Bolz-Weber 09-25-2012
Toddler photo, paulaphoto /

Toddler photo, paulaphoto /

A couple days ago I called my friend Kae so we could talk about this Gospel reading where Jesus takes a child in his arms and teaches the disciples that if they welcome a child in his name they welcome God.  And we started talking about the actual reality of children and how difficult small ones can be to manage. Kae told me of this brilliant technique she employs when dealing with toddlers.

She said it really helps her to be patient and compassionate with defiant, emotional, snot-faced toddlers when she just thinks of them like little versions of really drunk friends. Then when they keep falling down and bumping into things and bursting into tears she just treats them like she would a friend who is too drunk to know what they are doing, and who you just try and make sure doesn’t hurt themselves, and who you clean up bodily fluids from, and make sure they drink some water, and then just lovingly change them into their pajamas and tuck them into bed.

Children are really a mess.

Christian Piatt 09-24-2012

It’s amazing what a difference six words can make in our understanding of a figure as central as Jesus to the lives and faith of so many. Even historians and others who don’t claim Christianity personally are intrigued by the scrap of text recently discovered to contain, in Coptic, the sentence fragment: “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife…’”

Was this Jesus of Nazareth? is it authentic? Did the author have an original source to pull from, or simply word-of-mouth legend? After all, this writing seems to be several hundred years newer than the synoptic gospels. Perhaps Jesus was speaking in parable, as he often did, or maybe the “wife” was the Church, which often is referred to as “the bride of Christ.” Who knows? It’s likely we never will, but the buzz that this find creates is more interesting to me than the source of the scripture itself.

Why do we care so much if Jesus had a wife and kids or not? Why does it seem to matter if he died without ever having sex?

Joshua Witchger 06-13-2012

The girl with the mobile garden dress -- cover songs by Iron & Wine -- kid reacts to first sip of root beer -- art from wine stains -- and Conan teaches first-graders how to sing the Chicago blues. See these in today's Links of Awesomeness...

James Colten 10-05-2011


Let’s face it — while lawmakers are picking their own battles in Washington, they aren’t fighting on the ground in Afghanistan. Winning elections has become more important than implementing winning foreign policy strategies that would end the war and bring our service men and women safely home.

And it’s my generation that’s being sacrificed.

Joshua Witchger 09-26-2011
Evangelical author nears the end of her "biblical year" [caption id="attachment_34082" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Rachel Held Evans"][/caption]
Timothy King 07-28-2011

"God is Watching," reads the headline for a full page ad Sojourners ran in this morning's Politico. It is the latest in a series of radio, print, and online ads we have put out on the budget debate and default crisis. On Tuesday, we launched radio ads in Kentucky, Nevada, and Ohio that were recorded by local pastors who lifted up the moral issues at stake in the debate.

Furthermore, our work in the past few weeks and the Circle of Protection meeting with the president has been covered by the Washington Post (and here), CNN (and here), MSNBC, Politico, Roll Call, and many local outlets from across the country. Behind all the ads and the press is the muscle -- and that muscle is you.

Jarrod McKenna 12-21-2010
Many of us are asking how we can "un-co-opt Christmas" from consumer culture. Asking questions like:
Tracey Bianchi 12-14-2010
Well, here we go. Like it or not, tis the season. For me the holidays are a mixed blur of emotions, hopes, and unfulfilled, unrealistic dreams and desires.
Jim Wallis 10-15-2010
Got an e-mail the other day from a friend who is a young Christian leader. He told me he was getting married. Wow, I thought. Married!
Ernesto Tinajero 09-22-2010
I think about the gospel as being a new way of seeing the world. Jesus would empower people that usually did not have power in their normal day to day life.
Debra Dean Murphy 06-30-2010

It's been awhile since Woody, Buzz, Jessie, and the gang have been on the big screen, but they've lost none of their charm in the interim.

Julie Clawson 06-21-2010
One of the joys of vacation Bible school (VBS) is watching what the kids take away from the week.
Jim Wallis 05-24-2010
With middle-class families mostly worrying about how they are surviving this Great Recession, and with the political leaders who want their votes aiming spins at them, there hasn't been much attent
Cesar Baldelomar 05-17-2010
Arizona's lawmakers just keep finding ways to transform their xenophobia into law. First, they questioned whether Martin Luther King Jr. Day was a legitimate holiday.
Tracey Bianchi 04-28-2010
Yikes. It has been a long month, and it is technically not over yet. Green jargon and advertising every place your eyes dare to settle.
Ian Danley 04-26-2010
Why do you always forget us? Why do you forsake us so long?
Kathy Khang 04-20-2010
Over the years my understanding of the creation account has changed.
Jennifer Wheeler 04-12-2010
The legal definition of Child Support is "periodic monetary payments by the non-custodial parent for the care of his or her minor child." In our country, non-custodial parents are usually obligat