"Wrestling with God" book with Barbara Falconer Newhall

Wrestling with God: Stories of Doubt and Faith

"Any seeker of any faith will be blessed to read the words of this fine author and observer."

Publishers Weekly, starred review

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No to Bride Barbie — Yes to a Real-Life Wedding

At age 7, Christina preferred a tug of war to playing with her Bride Barbie. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Christina left her Bride Barbie at home to join a tug of war. Photo by Barbara Newhall

MY DAUGHTER CHRISTINA will be marrying in May. She’s a grown-up woman now, making plans to spend her days with a truly good man. People who knew Christina as a little kid might be surprised to hear that there will be an actual wedding, complete with the traditional white wedding gown, champagne, music, flowers, moonlight and a multi-tiered wedding cake.

As a girl Christina wasn’t much for dressing up — neither herself nor her Barbie Doll. Girly stuff bored my daughter. She preferred playing Nintendo with her big brother and his guy friends. Nonetheless, when May rolls around Christina will be letting loose with her inner romantic: friends, family and groom will be treated to a sweet, old-fashioned wedding and a — beautiful — bride.

Some things  haven’t changed, however. Christina still likes computer games. And so does her husband-to-be.

Here’s a story I once wrote about the seven-year-old Christina and [Read more…]

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Superbowl: My Guys Are Talking Sports — And All Is Right With the World

nfl 2015 superbowl playoffs, seattle-greenbay, TV screen shot of game. Photo by Barbara Newhall

On our TV: Last Sunday’s Superbowl play-off, Seattle and Greenbay. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

It’s January, 2015, and another Superbowl is coming up. Son Peter is 34 now and  he lives in the faraway Midwest. But as always, whenever he and Jon get together, father and son, in person, on the phone or on Skype, sure enough, the subject turns to sports — football, baseball, basketball.

I like listening to the two of them talk. I can’t keep up with the intricacies of a [Read more…]

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For China’s Young Fashionistas the Cultural Revolution Is So Over

Two teenaged Chinese girls gettingt their picture taken in Beijing. One has dyed her hair orange.

These two girls outside Beijing’s Forbidden City wanted us to take their picture . . . Is that a real tattoo? And how did she achieve the orange hair — peroxide? Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Until very recently, when I thought of modern-day China, I didn’t think of fun. I thought of the Cultural Revolution of the ’60s and ’70s, when traditional Chinese men were forced to cut off their queues, and intellectuals were banished to the countryside to till the soil and be reeducated into the proletariat. [Read more…]

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A Case of the Human Condition: Banning Barbie in West Virginia

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Ban Barbie? Seriously?

Yes, says Jeff Eldridge, a second-term Democratic delegate to the West Virginia legislature. Eldridge asserts that the Barbie doll encourages little girls to develop their physical beauty over their intellectual and emotional development, so he’s introduced a bill banning the sale of Barbie dolls in the state of West Virginia.

“I just hate the image that we give to our kids that if you’re beautiful, you’re beautiful and you don’t have to be smart,” Eldridge told West Virginia media on Tuesday.

For details, check out the Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette report.

What do you think? Does the buxom, skinny-hipped Barbie have the right to a spot on the shelves of America’s toy stores?

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