I decided that I couldn’t resist sharing some articles that I have found thought provoking recently. I was going to attempt to restrict myself to bookish articles, but I just don’t have that kind of focus, so there may be more news articles than anything.
The first article is Andrew Sullivan’s thoughts on The Nature of Sex. He describes two strange partners in the fight against transgender recognition and the proposed equality act. I think that this is an interesting concession to the idea that in acknowledging transgenderism as normal, the LGBTQ movement is painting themselves into a corner where logically transgenderism can be said to both end homosexuality and reinforce traditional gender stereotyping. Sullivan has an interesting take and argument, and I kind appreciate gaining his perspective.
This isn’t a new article, but I was just alerted to the fact that many millennials don’t eat cereal because it’s too much work for breakfast. Whether that is because millennials are too busy or on the go or because millennials are just lazy has yet to be determined. I haven’t decided where I land on this, other than the fact that sometimes I don’t eat as well as I would like because I’m busy or tired/lazy. Any thoughts?
Sometimes I struggle with conversations because of my distaste for small talk. I admit it. And I want to make deeper connections, but I have never truly learned how. I really liked this tip for having better conversations from Modern Mrs. Darcy. I think I want to learn how to ask my friends and acquaintances better questions.
Sometimes because of a preacher’s personality or drive his congregants are willing to overlook some pretty nasty character flaws. I think churches should look to things such as the firing of James MacDonald as a wake-up call to go back to a more biblical description of leaders. Some of us who would be lead leaders go from climbing the secular/corporate ladder of success to merely attempting to climb a different ladder. The results are not good. We, as a church culture need to stop equating effectiveness in building a platform and reaching an audience with faithfulness to God and his calling.
Then, on the opposite end of the spectrum, this is what grace and forgiveness and good character looks like. Reading Matisha’s Throne of Grace was a beautiful experience.
I found this article Don’t Put Your Hope in Date Night to be truly interesting because the authors are trying to take the pressure off. There’s not always the time or the money for a night out every week, and our daydreams of date night are a cultural construct. However, as someone who has a date night every week, it is the one night a week I can count on being able to talk to my husband without my children feeling the need to interrupt with their input on our conversation. We need that times of kid-free connection, so I also enjoyed this article on Maybe Go Ahead and Put Some Hope in Date Night. And, like the author, I do agree that it is sometimes easier to actually sit and have a good conversation when you relax over a dinner out or something like that. . . Even if it might burst the budget occasionally.
Lately, I have done a lot of thinking about racism, immigration and gender in our society. I think some of it has to do with my children getting older and me thinking about the world I would have them grow up in. I think some of it has to do with the headlines I see on the news, and maybe some of it has to do with the last election cycle, but I have been doing some difficult thinking lately. I had always believed that, since I was not raised in a racist home, and because I was mostly “color-blind” that was okay. I have never really seen or thought of people in terms of their color. I thought it sanctified me as not being part of the “problem” with race. However, I think now that I have been more of the problem than I perhaps realized because I have never engaged and challenged and defended the okay ness of the black experience. I have never validated the racism and casual prejudice that most black people experience. I was wrong, and the truth is that I don’t know how to be helpful. I can only educate myself and hope to get there.
One of the things that has bothered me often of late is how white our church is. There are no people of color at our church, and there were very few at the church that we attended prior to this one. I have many times heard that oft-quoted phrase that the most segregated hour of the week is the Sunday worship hour, and I think this article from the NY Times this year explains why black worshippers do not feel welcome in white evangelical churches. How do we make our churches friendly to those of all colors? Is that even a possibility? I would like to think so.
I also found myself thinking this week of Barack Obama, a man that many hold up to be a shining star of black achievement. (Oh how I miss the idea of a president who reads instead of one addicted to Twitter. . .) Anyway, I have been reading Ta-Nehisi Coates’s article My President was Black as I was thinking these thoughts. I’m still working my way through it, but the way Coates characterizes Obama as weak on race and how often Obama operated “like a white person” makes me feel like perhaps I am not far off the norm in the way that I think about race.
That’s about it for this crop of articles. See you next time!