Monday, November 21, 2022

Elizebeth The Code Smasher – A Review

 



The Woman Who Smashed Codes

   A True Story of Love, Spies, 
   and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America's Enemies

By

   Jason Fagone

 

Reviewed by

   Geoffrey W. Sutton

Elizebeth Smith (1892-1980) is the woman who smashed the codes of Nazis in World War II. Her story, told by Jason Fagone, reads like one of the best mystery novels. I recommend The Woman Who Smashed Codes to anyone interested in the contribution of women to science and democracy. And to anyone interested in the intriguing world of spies, the foundations of Western intelligence agencies, or World War II.

 Elizebeth (spelt with an “e” not an “a”) was often overshadowed by her high profile husband, William Friedman, the dean of American Cryptology. Elizebeth is an American Hero--this book tells her story.

Elizebeth Smith of Huntington Indiana began her professional career as a Quaker schoolteacher. She, and her husband to be, were hired by the wealthy supporter of scientific investigations, George Fabyan to work at Riverbank Laboratories on suspected hidden messages by Francis Bacon in the works of William Shakespeare. Elizebeth and William worked together, married, and moved on from the Shakespeare project to establish a Department of Codes and Ciphers, which contracted with the US government to crack World War I messages.

After the couple left Riverbank, Elizebeth cracked smuggler’s codes during the prohibition era. She headed the unit at the Coast Guard, which became part of the US Navy. Her unit was responsible for breaking the codes of the expanding Nazi network in South America. Her department later coordinated work with the British efforts at Bletchley Park.

The couple raised two children. After the war, Elizebeth spent many years caring for her husband who struggled with depression and a series of heart attacks. He died in 1969 and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. She lived to age 88 and died in New Jersey. Her ashes were taken to her husband’s grave.

Cite this review

Sutton, G. W. (2022, November 21). Elizebeth the code smasher. Interdisciplinary Journal of Book Reviews. Retrieved from https://suttonreviews.suttong.com/2022/11/elizebeth-code-smasher-review.html


 Reference

Fagone, J. (2018). The woman who smashed codes. San Francisco: Dey St. 

    Available on AMAZON.

Related Posts

Women and World War II

A Woman of No Importance

The Light of Days

 Please check out my website   www.suttong.com

   and see my books on   AMAZON       or  GOOGLE STORE

Also, consider connecting with me on    FACEBOOK   Geoff W. Sutton    

   TWITTER  @Geoff.W.Sutton    

You can read many published articles at no charge:

  Academia   Geoff W Sutton     ResearchGate   Geoffrey W Sutton 

 

 

 

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Gender Identity & Faith—A Review

 



Gender Identity & Faith

Clinical Postures, Tools, and Case Studies

For Client-Centered Care

 

By

  Mark A. Yarhouse &

  Julia A.  Sadusky

Reviewed by

  Geoffrey W. Sutton

Gender Identity & Faith is not for everyone. Yarhouse and Sadusky have written a guidebook for mental health professionals who need a resource to help patients and their families who are seeking assistance with two identity issues—gender identity and religious identity. The authors are not focused on changing gender identity. Instead, they provide readers with specific ideas to help their patients explore their perceived conflicts between gender and religious identity.

Although the authors use the words religious and conventionally religious, the book is focused on Christian patients who perceive a conflict between two salient components of their self-identity. Most Americans are religious and most Americans identify as Christian. It is generally known that some Christians are morally opposed to people seeking medical interventions to change their physical appearance to match their gender identity. This societal conflict is not likely to end soon. Thus, clinicians may expect to see patients seeking assistance in navigating these potential sources of conflict for years to come. Of course, it is not just the patients who require assistance. Fortunately, the authors offer suggestions to help clinicians work with family members.

Research note.  "Three-quarters of U.S. Protestants believe

 gender is determined by sex at birth."

Early on, the authors present a three-part framework (three lenses) for understanding perceptions of gender identities: Integrity, Disability, and Diversity. Integrity refers to a religious perspective which includes the traditional teaching of distinctive male and female differences with sex-linked gender roles. The disability or departure lens views people experiencing a disconnect between their birth sex and their gender identity as a disability or departure from cultural norms. A diversity perspective accepts gender differences and rejects attempts to impose limits on people who identify their gender in nontraditional ways.

Gender Identity & Faith is divided into four parts. First, the authors provide an overview with examples of the two identity issues and make recommendations for assessment. Their approach is called GRIT—an initialism for Gender and Religious Identity Therapy. Part 2 focuses on children. Readers learn of the importance of patience and considerations approaching puberty, which include thinking about puberty blockers. The authors note the importance of providing the child patient and parents with a supportive structure (scaffolding).

Notable quote

It has been said that when young people

“come out of the closet: as LGBTQ+,

their parents “go in the closet.” (p. 29)

 

In Part 3, the authors focus on the treatment of adolescents and adults. This is a substantial section consisting of chapters 6-14. I think their elaboration on how to use narrative therapy has the potential to be helpful for many patients. Clinicians will find examples of scripts and storylines along with coping strategies. There are helpful questions and worksheets designed to foster exploration.

Notable quote

Late-onset cases can be particularly challenging because parents often have no point of reference for the gender-identity questions their teen is raising. This can lead to tremendous skepticism on the part of some parents about any claims of gender dysphoria. (p. 37)

The final part includes three case studies, which will enable readers to get a sense of how their approach may be helpful with different patients.

Comments

As a psychologist, I appreciate the authors reminder that a broad-based patient assessment should include such common conditions as depression and anxiety. And remember that a transgender person my experience depression or anxiety for reasons other than their gender identity. The authors also remind clinicians to be careful with the diagnosis of gender dysphoria. I also appreciate their kind and compassionate stance. Their empathy for their patients comes through—it really is a client-centered approach.

When reading any book, other ideas come to mind. One thought I had was the powerful struggles some Christians experience over various matters—including their gender identity or the gender identity of a child or relative. These spiritual struggles can be overwhelming at times and may be a primary treatment concern. Anxiety, anger, and depression may be associated with spiritual struggles. Clinicians may consider the value of narrative therapy in treating spiritual struggles as a separate but intersecting path in their life journey. Spiritual struggles may include inner conflicts as well as conflicts with clergy and congregants and such struggles may be associated with a variety of issues that do not include gender identity. Spiritual struggles may lead to a separation from their church or support network. Inner conflicts can lead to a loss of faith and a concomitant loss of an important component of self-identity. Similar to the advice of Yarhouse and Sadusky regarding patient exploration of gender identity, clinicians should also be alert to spiritual abuse, spiritual harassment, and microaggressions as they seek to create a safe place to explore their spiritual identity.

I recommend Gender Identity & Faith and consider it an important addition to a clinician’s reference shelf. I would expect it to be useful in programs preparing mental health providers.

 

References

Yarhouse, M.A. & Sadusky, J. A. (2022). Gender identity & faith: Clinical postures, tools, and case studies for client-centered care. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity  On  AMAZON

     Cite this review

Sutton, G. W. (2022, November 17). Gender Identity & Faith—A Review. Interdisciplinary Journal of Book Reviews. Retrieved from Retrieved from https://suttonreviews.suttong.com/2022/11/gender-identity-faitha-review.html

 

  

A Related Resource for Thinking about Sexuality, Morality, and Christian Cultures

A House Divided

Available on Amazon

 


Please check out my website   www.suttong.com

   and see my books on   AMAZON       or  GOOGLE STORE

Also, consider connecting with me on    FACEBOOK   Geoff W. Sutton   

   TWITTER  @Geoff.W.Sutton    

You can read many published articles at no charge:

  Academia   Geoff W Sutton     ResearchGate   Geoffrey W Sutton


 Transgender Identity and Faith- Related Links

Clinicians, church leaders, and potential Christian psychotherapy patients may find it useful to understand the position of their Christian group, denomination, or their particular church regarding Transgender Identity and the treatment of Gender Dysphoria.


These links worked on the day of this post but there is no guarantee that they will be work. Also, please consider that people and organizations change their statements from time to time.


Assemblies of God  2017 Transgenderism, Transsexuality, and Gender Identity

Catholic - 2017 The Pope's Address

Episcopal Church 2022  Church Endorses Transitions for Transgender Children 'at all Ages'

Focus on the Family 2018  Transgenderism - Our Position

Presbyterian USA  Standing with and celebrating Transgender and Nonbinary Youth

Southern Baptist 2014 Transgender Stance

United Methodist Church  LGBTQ Rights


Also

Quiet – The Power of Introverts - A Book Review

 


Quiet

The Power of Introverts in a World

That Can’t Stop Talking

 

By

  Susan Cain

Reviewed by

  Geoffrey W. Sutton

As the subtitle explains, Quiet is about introverts in an extroverted culture. As a psychologist, I appreciate Cain’s exploration of personality psychology, which included interviews with experts and an awareness of the differences between her broader view of introversion and extroversion compared to the less encompassing features that comprise the personality construct in psychology.

As a person favoring many features linked to introversion, I can identify with her stories and affirm the effort required to adapt to the demands of an extrovert-driven culture. In fact, American culture was a bit of a shock to us when we first came to the United States from England where the norm seems to be a polite reserve punctuated with copious amounts of saying “sorry” when we perceive we may have offended someone. What I did not realize as a child is that entire cultures could be viewed along a continuum between introversion and extroversion. Although Cain does not address contrasting cultures, she does a fine job of portraying the extrovert ideal in American culture along with the difficulties introverts have of fitting in to the incessant demands to be outgoing and “come out of your shell.”.

 

Although Cain refers to personality types, she is aware that people vary in the features that are critical to defining the trait of introversion. Unlike dense psychological manuscripts, she fills her chapters with interesting stories of people from various walks of life who present key features of introversion or extroversion. We have met these people, worked with them, voted for them, and shared with them throughout our lives. What we may not have realized is the contrast between the way introverts would organize and structure their lives if they were not continually pulled into the extroverts’ arena in a culture that values the extrovert ideal.

 

Cain introduces readers to numerous examples and interesting studies of introversion and extroversion, which gives readers a feel for how people think and act when their personality fits best with one type or the other. Then Cain addresses the age-old question of how to view the blend of biologically based temperaments and life experiences in shaping our tendencies toward introversion or extroversion.

************

 

Read more about Introversion and Extroversion

The Psychology of Introversion

The Psychology of Extroversion (extraversion)

Learn about the Big Five Personality Traits

 

Take an online test that includes measures of introversion and extraversion

   A Big Five test, which includes Extroversion-Introversion

 

  The HEXACO test, which includes the “X” trait for Extroversion- introversion

************

 Readers are not left without some suggestions, which strike a balance for introverts between being true to oneself while adapting to the demands of a culture where extroverts often take center stage in the classroom, the office, and even in relationships. Her examples suggest we introverts can learn to interact with the public for brief periods of time and give ourselves that soul-restoring break by retreating to a safe place.

Cain includes tips on communication and suggestions for teachers and parents. Rather than worry about a reticent child, we can help them gradually learn to interact in small groups. And we can be sensitive to sensitive children.

************

 

Reference

Cain, S. (2012). Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking. New York: Crown  Available on AMAZON

Sutton, G. W. (2022 November 17).Quiet-The Power of Introverts- A Book Review. The Interdisciplinary Journal of Book Reviews.  Retrieved from https://suttonreviews.suttong.com/2022/11/quiet-power-of-introverts-book-review.html


Quiet Technical notes: Introduction + 11 Chapters + Conclusion pages 1-266. Hardback edition USD $26.00     Quiet is available on AMAZON  

************

 

Please check out my website   www.suttong.com

   and see my books on   AMAZON       or  GOOGLE STORE

Also, consider connecting with me on    FACEBOOK   Geoff W. Sutton    

   TWITTER  @Geoff.W.Sutton    

You can read many published articles at no charge:

  Academia   Geoff W Sutton     ResearchGate   Geoffrey W Sutton


Got a few minutes?

Watch Susan Cain's TED talk on YouTube: "The Power of Introverts."





Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Sins of Scripture – Book Review

 


The Sins of Scripture:

Exposing the Bible’s Texts of Hate to Reveal the God of Love

  By

     John Shelby Spong

 

  Reviewed by

     Geoffrey W. Sutton

The Sins of Scripture continues to be relevant to topics that divide American Christians into two major war camps over such subjects as biblical authority, the equality of women, same-sex relationships, and doctrinal distinctions that mark boundaries of exclusivity.

Spong divides his 32 short chapters into eight sections within 298 pages of a highly readable work. Section 1 is crucial to his discussion of other topics because he challenges the view of some Christians that the Bible is the Word of God although they retain the right to interpret God’s Word in their own way. Like other writers (e.g., Borg, 2001; Enns, 2014), Spong argues against biblical literalism when reading the sacred text of Christianity. He offers problematic examples like ancient perspectives on mental illness and improbable stories like the one about a floating axe-head.

In section 2, Spong attacks the problem of global overpopulation encouraged by Christians who use biblical texts to object to birth control. The title of chapter 6 serves as a conclusion, “Bad Theology Creates Bad Ecology.”

Women are the focus of section 3. Spong traces the history of sexism in the Bible and Christian history. He comments on the texts that point to women as the source of evil and verses concerning women’s blood and purity.

Section 4 addresses homophobia, which continues to divide Christians into affirming and rejecting camps. Spong reviews the familiar Leviticus and Romans texts as well as the misused Sodom story.

Child abuse is the subject of Section 5. Building on a discussion of the trite “Spare the Rod” advice, Spong discusses domestic violence and perceptions of God as a harsh judge who lacks compassion.

Perhaps ironically—since Jesus and his apostles were Jews—Spong examines the Christian roots of antisemitism in the New Testament texts. A fresh look at Judas Iscariot concludes this analysis in section 6.

In Section 7, Spong takes on the notion of exclusivity and argues for a vibrant Christian spirituality that is beyond creeds and demonstrates respect for people of other faiths.

Finally, in section 8, Spong presents an overview of the Bible as a developing epic, which expanded over the centuries as the Jewish tribes became a nation, went into exile, and reshaped their story as they heard from one prophet after another. Christians continue and expand the epic as they begin to see Jesus in this evolving historic context. Spong concludes with his vision of what comes next in this epic story.

Comments

Several writers have covered similar topics in an effort to help people better understand the ancient texts in context. The Sins of Scripture will help progressive Christians better understand how their approach to the Bible and the Christian life differs from evangelicals and those who read many sections of the Bible as if God wrote laws to govern today’s society. It’s not the kind of book to gain favor with evangelicals unless they are disenchanted with some of the strident rhetoric.

I think Spong has accurately focused on the battleground issue of how to view the collection of works called the Bible. There is a sharp difference between those who view the Bible as a sacred anthology to be taken seriously but not necessarily literally and those who claim the Bible to be the Word of God as if to discount human authors.

One factor often overlooked by Spong and other authors addressing biblical scholarship is the role of human memory and cognitive biases in creating historical works—especially those written years or decades after people experienced the referenced events. Fortunately, this might be about to change as evangelical scholar Craig Keener recently gave a nod to the work of Elizabeth Loftus in his 2019 commentary on the gospels.

I found the Spong’s book supportive of my efforts in A House Divided. Although I read The Sins of Scripture years after writing A House Divided, Spong’s work generally supports my presentation of progressive perspectives on women and people who identify as LGBTQ+. I would add that the psychology of disgust is an important factor in the difficulties some have with blood and same-sex sex.

 

Reference

Spong, J. S. (2005). The sins of scripture: Exposing the Bible’s texts of hate to reveal the God of love. San Francisco: Harper.  Available on AMAZON   and   GOOGLE

 

The author

John Shelby “Jack” Spong (1931-1921) was an American bishop in the Episcopal Church. He was the Bishop of Newark, NJ from 1979-2000. Highlights of his life can be found at https://www.episcopalnewsservice.org/2021/09/13/rip-rt-rev-john-shelby-spong-newark-bishop-who-pushed-for-lgbtq-inclusion-dies-at-90/

 

About my publications-

I am a psychologist who studies and writes about psychology and religion. You can find more of my works, including free articles below.

Please check out my website   www.suttong.com

   and see my books on   AMAZON       or  GOOGLE STORE

Also, consider connecting with me on    FACEBOOK   Geoff W. Sutton   

   TWITTER  @Geoff.W.Sutton    

You can read many published articles at no charge:

  Academia   Geoff W Sutton     ResearchGate   Geoffrey W Sutton