In the time of King David, the tribe of Issachar produced shrewd warriors “who understood the times and knew what Israel should do” (1 Chron 12:32). In a similar way, we need to become wise people whose faith interacts with the world.
To that end, on Fridays I’ve been sharing articles/resources I have found helpful recently in thinking about broader cultural and societal issues (be sure to see the disclaimer at the bottom). May these give you greater insight, so that you may continue the tradition of Issachar. Past emails are archived at http://glenandpaula.com/wordpress/category/links
There’s a lot of heavy content in this one. Buckle your seatbelt. Without further ado, I give you the interesting things:
- Alcohol, Blackouts, and Campus Sexual Assault (Texas Monthly, Sarah Hepola): I think this is the most thoughtful secular piece I’ve read on the issue. “Consent and alcohol make tricky bedfellows. The reason I liked getting drunk was because it altered my consent: it changed what I would say yes to. Not just in the bedroom but in every room and corridor that led into the squinting light. Say yes to adventure, say yes to risk, say yes to karaoke and pool parties and arguments with men, say yes to a life without fear, even though such a life is never possible… We drink because it feels good. We drink because it makes us feel happy, safe, powerful. That it often makes us the opposite is one of alcohol’s dastardly tricks.”
- Fatal Flaws In That Religion And Generosity Study (The Stream, George Yancey). Yancey is a sociology prof. Related: Are Religious Kids Really Meaner Than Their Counterparts? by a social psychologist.
- Now for a ton of links related to the racial incidents and responses at Yale and Mizzou (which seem different to me but which happened in such close proximity that they are linked in the national dialog).
- Tyler Cowen, an economist at George Mason University and one of my favorite public intellectuals (with whom I frequently disagree), has a thoughtful post up: My Thoughts On Recent Campus Fracases.
- This speech at Harvard by former ACLU president Nadine Strossan was given just before these two cases erupted into national news, and so has the advantage of not being reactionary: Free Expression: An Endangered Species on Campus? Money quote: “In short, when it comes to safety, our students are being doubly disserved. Too often, denied safety from physical violence, which is critical for their education, but too often granted safety from ideas, which is antithetical to their education.”
- MU Professor Shares Stories of Racism (Missourian, Cynthia Frisby): a thoughtful perspective from a Christian close to the scene. Related (and recommended by a student): Why I’m Absolutely An Angry Black Woman. This is a window into the level of frustration and pain the protestors are speaking out of. Not specifically linked to the recent events (written a few weeks before them).
- Supporting My Mizzou Students (Thom Lambert). Thoughts from a law prof at Mizzou.
- The New Intolerance of Student Activism (The Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf): I could easily imagine this Yale scenario happening at Stanford. If you only read one link this week, pick this one. (Dan Drezner from Tufts is slightly more sympathetic, but only slightly). It got some pushback from U Conn professor Jelani Cobb in the New Yorker Race and the Free Speech Diversion, to which Conor responded: Free Speech Is No Diversion. A semi‐response piece that does not address Conor directly but engages some of his positions is Yale’s Unsafe Spaces by Meghan O’Rourke as does When Minorities Demand Equal Respect by Sally Kohn.
- Campus Activists Weaponize Safe Spaces (The Atlantic, Conor Friederersdorf): the story he describes here boggles the mind. Wow.
- In global news: On The Brink: Christianity Facing Middle East Purge Within Decade, Group Says (Fox News). Stories like this have led one lawmaker to introduce a bill to Prioritize Refugee Status For Christians Fleeing ISIS (The Hill). See also Islam Is A Religion Of Violence by Joel Miller, wherein he argues that the lack of Trinitarian doctrine corrupts the Muslim conception of God.
- Christian Belief Cost This Man His Job: (Wall Street Journal, Jason Riley): apparently the fire chief of Atlanta was fired because of something he said in a book he wrote. Note that this is an op‐ed, not a news story.
- Hating Queerness Without Hating The Queer (The Atlantic, Emma Green): basically an article‐length interaction with Albert Mohler’s book We Cannot Be Silent.
- Quick Links:
- If Richard Dawkins Is Right Hilarious. (recommended by a recent alumnus)
- The Starbucks cup brouhaha summed up in one tweet. A slightly longer take: Most Christians Don’t Actually Care About Starbucks Cups. Here’s What We Do Know (Washington Post, Jonathan Merritt).
- Why Science Fiction Has So Many Catholics (The Atlantic, Grayson Clary): I liked the whole thing, but I particularly liked the last paragraph. (for the record, I am sympathetic to the viewpoint about Pluto which Stephen Colbert expressed to Neil deGrasse Tyson)
- The Convert Series: Leah Libresco. An interesting interview with an atheist turned Catholic.