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Front Page » Authors » Bio for Kate Ott » Archives for Kate Ott

By Kate Ott on May 28, 2010

Banning Silly Bandz is an example of how teachers and parents opt for an easy solution instead of using teachable moments. As a sexuality educator in faith communities and Christian ethicist who thinks a great deal about childrens' developing sense of moral agency and integrity, I'm always looking for opportunities to teach my children, out of my tradition of Christianity, how to treat others fairly, to recognize diversity as part of God's intention for creation, and how to communicate with others to build positive relationships.

It might seem laughable, but Silly Bandz provide us with that opportunity. Unfortunately, most schools have banned the bracelets (including my son's pre-school which prides itself on teaching social skills and how to be part of a community). Teachers and parents should take a step back and use this as a teachable moment.

Read more of this post here ...

By Kate Ott on July 22, 2009

Healthcare reform dominates the newspapers, TV news shows, and President Obama’s daily agenda. Recently, Obama changed his optimistic call for congressional healthcare plans by the August recess to (hopefully) by the end of the year. Interestingly, it also dominates the email alerts coming daily from sexual and reproductive health advocates. What do the two have in common? Healthcare reform is a sexual justice issue.

Healthcare reform has been a topic of national politics since the early 1900’s. The government never took national healthcare under its wing and Unions started forming early iterations of HMOs. While the history is fascinating, it is also strangling current efforts to provide basic, affordable healthcare for all.

Read more of this post here ...

By Kate Ott on February 6, 2009

Questions about assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) have been making major headlines with the California octuplets. Without sifting through the particularities of this woman’s family story, a pressing problem surfaces: the development and use of these technologies has outstripped our ethical and regulatory response. As the Religious Institute’s just-released Open Letter to Religious Leaders on Assisted Reproductive Technologies states, “The use of ARTs is always a serious moral and medical decision.” Ethical deliberation is desperately needed!

Read more of this post here ...

By Kate Ott on January 21, 2009

No doubt you heard Rick Warren and Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, but did you hear Rev. Gene Robinson? Whether it was a mistake on the part of HBO or a slight of hand to silence the Robinson, his prayer was not aired. This fact has left many of my lesbian and gay colleagues in faith communities feeling silenced and dismissed (again). However Robinson, like Lowery was inclusive of our differences - faith traditions, race, gender, and political ideology - unlike Warren. The text of Rev. Robinson's prayer is . . .

Read more of this post here ...

By Kate Ott on January 8, 2009

United States seminaries and rabbinical schools are failing to prepare the next generation of clergy with the training they need to address sexuality issues in ministry. Sex and the Seminary: Preparing Ministers for Sexual Health and Justice report is the labor of two years of our work at the Religious Institute. Together with Union Theological Seminary we are releasing this national study.

What training do you expect your faith leader to have when it comes to marriage counseling, dealing with teenage sexuality, helping couples with family planning or infertility, sexual abuse prevention programs, managing their own attraction and professional boundaries with congregants? People turn to their clergy and faith leaders to deal with these issues and many more. At most institutions, students can graduate without studying sexual ethics or taking a single sexuality-based course. They are graduating unprepared to deal with everyday issues in their congregations and their denominations.

Read more of this post here ...

By Kate Ott on September 11, 2008

I am a feminist who supports women, Palin included, working as hard as they can to get the jobs they want. Now, Palin's policies are a completely different matter . . . but I digress. As I watch the commentators each night, I wonder . . . How do we get caught up in letting the blogs and newspapers wrap us into Mommy wars and arguments about Palin's childcare, parenting, and attire. On a certain level it is a trap that distracts us from the pervasiveness of sexism. We watch TV interlaced with commercials that perpetuate sexism and reinforce gender stereotypes. Commercials like those made by Klondike (to mention nothing of the other commercials) go unnoticed and never make the top five commentary list.

"That man deserves a Klondike" . . . Really, he doesn't deserve to be on primetime teaching our children and reinforcing for men and women across America that men do not have domestic responsibilities. They should "step up" because it is the right thing to do, not for a Klondike.

Read more of this post here ...

By Kate Ott on September 8, 2008

Jordan Sparks defense of Promise Rings at the VMAs last night has sent a 'new' message to MTV viewers. When you click on MTV, MTV2 (is there a MTV3 too) you are likely to see over-sexualized images in every video, not to mention the reality shows. (I admit I'm guilty of watching them all, I confess.) But that was not the case last night. Jordan Sparks stood up for abstinence-only-until-marriage by way of defending the Jonas Brothers against the host's jokes about their promise rings. I'm glad we finally saw something different, but it would be great if teens got a message with more depth than either saturated sex lives OR promise rings.

Read more of this post here ...

By Kate Ott on April 14, 2008

Democratic candidates are finally talking about faith and politics. As a seminary educated, active member of my faith community, I'm excited that "my candidates" have finally gotten around to figuring out that religion in the U.S. is not politically synonymous with the Religious Right. The Compassion Forum took place last night at Messiah College and aired on CNN. The forum was developed as a way to invite all the candidates, McCain was unable to attend, to discuss "moral issues that bridge ideological divides."

I guess I should have recognized from the start that some of the issues I care most deeply about were not ones that bridge the ideological divide. In fact, I'm left wondering how moral issues can bridge a divide. It is really our approach, our response to moral issues that either divide us or unite us. In this case, if the new approach to being a "value voter" means I have to leave behind reproductive rights, education and access and equal rights for LGBT persons, I'm once again not in the "moral values" voter block. Seems my commitment to justice for all, keeps getting me kicked out of the politically defined "value voter" category . . . or is it the "compassionate voter."

Read more of this post here ...

By Kate Ott on March 11, 2008

After reading the list of new mortal sins, I wanted to applaud the Catholic church, of which I am a laywoman and trained academic moral theologian. For the first time in years, there seems to be a focus on the systemic nature of sin. And then, I read the finer details. Archbishop Gianfranco Girotti named a new set of mortal sins at the close of a week long Vatican conference on confession. Why create a new list of mortal sins that recognize the scope of globalization and systemic oppression structurally maintaining social evil, all in an effort to revitalize individual confession?

Read more of this post here ...

By Kate Ott on March 6, 2008

I'm not alone in this recommendation, but many times, I am the catalyst to people actually talking about sexuality. We may have TV shows, songs, and commercials dripping with sexualized images and yet most of us would be tongue tied when confronted by a 6 year old wanting to know how a baby is made. Over the past seven days, I have talked with more than 10 individuals and 5 groups about sexuality, moral decision making, and education -- from high school church youth group leaders to seminary students, from New Haven Connecticut volunteers for the Real Life, Real Talk campaign to my own congregation's Sunday School teachers. It seems many folks in faith communities are starting to recognize the need to talk openly and share their values about sexuality with the children and teens they serve.

But how to start . . .

Read more of this post here ...

More blog posts by Kate Ott:

Want to see more blog posts by Kate Ott? We have more! By default, this page only lists a few of the most recent entries. Most of the entries that our authors post are very timeless and relevant, regardless of when their articles are originally published.

We encourage and welcome you to look back through the blog archives for Kate Ott. All of this author's archives are listed here, on the right side of this page.

To see the rest of this author's entries, just click on any of the months shown in the right sidebar column of this page.

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This is an archive for Kate Ott. To learn more about this author, you can also read a Biography for Kate Ott here.

Just a few of most current posts by Kate Ott are excerpted in the center of this page.

However, we do have links, below, to all of the entries ever published by this author.

To browse archived entries by Kate Ott, just scroll down this same sidebar column. You'll see the links for all of this author's blog entries, grouped by month and year.

Archives: Kate Ott

This list shows all of the entries ever published at this site by Kate Ott:


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