What Are the Limits of ‘Religious Liberty’? – The New York Times

What Are the Limits of ‘Religious Liberty’? – The New York Times.

Quick read on new questions of religious liberty that have developed in response to the gay rights movement. It seems to me that a shift is underway from citing religious liberty as a protection for action’s that affect one’s self (declining to attend public schools; claiming conscientious objector status) to name it as your reason to limit the rights of others (to purchase contraceptives). That shifts seems to move us away from the very intent of these laws to ensure freedom and protection for individuals.

This topic has always been an interesting talking point with students–I find that teenagers are highly preoccupied with infringements on their rights! I would be interested to hear their thoughts on what private companies can or cannot do.

Hello there, Pittsburgh!

You may have noticed some silence on the blog…in the past few weeks I’ve moved to a new/old city of mine, Pittsburgh, PA, and that has taken up much of the time since the school year ended. Turns out it is a lot of work to pack up all of your belongings, move them across state lines, while selling one house and buying another.

A first craft project in the new house--1950s postcards of Pittsburgh.

But, we made it! Along with the move comes a change in occupation, of course, and mine is a little free-form at the moment. After ten years of teaching, I am taking break from the classroom for a few reasons. The first is that it is frighteningly difficult to get a good Social Studies position in the Pittsburgh area (this is what higher pay gets you, NC State Legislature, if you’re listening: almost zero teacher turnover). The other, more exciting reason is that my fiancee and I are expecting a baby in November, and I wasn’t feeling confident about starting at a new school only to take several months off beginning late fall. As a result, I’m piecing together work that I find interesting and challenging. I hope to devote more time to this blog (several post ideas in the works!), will be working as a Program Assistant at the Frick Art and Historical Center, working on developing Library of Congress resources for an AP US History timebook, mentoring newer AP US History teachers online with the College Board, and continuing to write content for TE21, an assessment company based out of Durham. I can only imagine that adding a baby into the mix will make this all even more interesting and challenging!

So wish me luck on my new adventures (and feel free to check out my new professional website here) and I hope to be writing more as the days go by. Thanks for sticking with me!