About Ellen Painter Dollar

Ellen Painter Dollar is a writer focusing on faith, parenting, family, disability, and ethics. She is the author of No Easy Choice: A Story of Disability, Faith, and Parenthood in an Age of Advanced Reproduction (Westminster John Knox, 2012). Visit her web site at http://ellenpainterdollar.com for more on her writing and speaking, and to sign up for a (very) occasional email newsletter.

A Christian Response to Brittany Maynard’s Decision to Die

The face on this week’s People magazine cover is Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old, recently married woman who went public with her plan to take a fatal prescription on November 1, rather than live with her terminal brain cancer until its deadly end. Her reasons include not merely avoiding the suffering she expects to experience, but also protecting her loved ones [Read More...]

Does the Bible Leave You Disquieted? Read This Book (Even Better, Win a Free Copy!)

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The Bible is an invitation. An invitation to contemplate who we are, as individuals, communities, and as a species. An invitation to contemplate and encounter what is holy and sacred, which is found smack in the middle of the mundane, the ordinary, and the difficult as often (even more often, I think) as it is found in the strange, the extraordinary, and the transcendent. [Read more...]

Rethinking Prayer

I have struggled to pray for most of my life. Prayer has rarely made sense to me, not in an intellectual sense, but as a practical matter. I don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing when I pray, especially when I’m praying by myself. I feel restless and off-kilter, my efforts awkward and superficial. [Read More...]

Four Important Things to Understand About Volunteers (from a Mom Who Volunteers Too Much)

Lately I’m being eaten alive by everything on my to-do list. It’s hard to communicate just how crazed my schedule is without 1) boring you to pieces, and 2) sounding like a first-class whiner. So I’ll just say there is an awful lot going on. © 2010 Dave Dugdale, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio [Read More...]

No Easy Choices When It Comes to Genetics, Disability, and Reproductive Decisions

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TIME Magazine online picked up my post from earlier this week on whether a parent might regret bearing a child who inherits a difficult, painful genetic disorder. (TIME.com has a cooperative agreement with Patheos that allows them to select several Patheos posts every week for publication on their site.) The post is being shared widely, by [Read More...]

Can You Regret Having a Child Who Inherits Your Genetic Baggage?

Photo courtesy of Speak Up/Gerry Green

But while I sometimes wish I could have spared my daughter her genetic fate, I’m also profoundly grateful that it was not in my power to decide what kind of kid I would get. [Read more...]

The Good and Bad of the Ice Bucket Challenge

There’s a lot that’s troubling about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. But I’m more convinced than I used to be that it did some short-term good, and even (slightly) hopeful that it could bring about lasting change. [Read more...]

These Are My Favorite Memoirs. What Are Yours?

After reading my post on 3 Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Memoir, a colleague asked me to name some of my favorites memoirs/memoirists. Here’s my list. It’s worth noting that few of these writers’ memoirs are about freaky, strange life events. Rather, most of these memoirs are about growing up, having children, being married, working, and [Read More...]


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