Janie B. Cheaney

Janie is a senior writer who contributes commentary to WORLD and oversees WORLD's annual Children's Book of the Year awards. She also writes novels for young adults and authored the Wordsmith creative writing curriculum. Janie resides in rural Missouri.

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Valley of delusion

Sexuality | Reality may be starting to push back against the transgender craze
by Janie B. Cheaney
Posted 8/02/19, 01:26 pm

It was bound to happen sooner or later. At the church where I help serve dinner for the downtown community once a month, I meet all kinds: street people, addicts, gays, and the occasional cross-dresser. This individual flaunted the figure and clothing of a teenage girl, with the facial hair and facial structure of a man. It wasn’t just the face, though; no one would have taken this person for anything but male, no matter the accoutrement.  

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Selected specks

Religion | Small doesn’t mean insignificant in this vast universe
by Janie B. Cheaney
Posted 7/22/19, 04:28 pm

July’s 50th-anniversary commemoration of the Apollo moon landing struck a few sour notes about where we were then and what we’ve done since. A great achievement, for sure, but it didn’t open a Star-Trekkian world of possibility for exploring “the Final Frontier.” Going to the moon looked like a great leap, but compared to the inconceivable size of space, a modern cynic might compare it to a puddle jump.

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Dake Kang/AP

Oberlin’s fervor

Activism | When ideals harden into ideology, injustices follow
by Janie B. Cheaney
Posted 7/11/19, 09:43 am

Liberal Arts, released in 2012, is an unassuming film tribute from actor Josh Radnor to his alma mater, Kenyon College. In the film, Radnor’s character is experiencing an early midlife crisis when he receives an invitation to the retirement party of his favorite professor. Returning to campus, he sees from the perspective of a worldly-wise Gen Xer rather than a wide-eyed freshman. The professors are cynical, the students are scary, and the attachment he forms with a quirky freshman girl doesn’t go where they expect—and yet.

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