When I got pregnant, I swore up and down that I would not become one of the many women I knew, both personally and as a reader, whose release from the maternity ward came with what felt like a requirement to shelve their previous interests and write about motherhood. Not me, I said: babies be damned, I’ll write instead about religion, ideology, and sometimes war. But once I became a mother, I quickly learned that motherhood in America is religion and ideology. And it is war.

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