Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 405

a bunch of depressing articles this week

On Fridays I share articles/resources about broad cultural, societal and theological issues. Be sure to see the explanation and disclaimers at the bottom. I welcome your suggestions. If you read something fascinating please pass it my way.

This is volume 405, which is 43 + 53 + 63

Things Glen Found Interesting

  1. That Hello Spirit (Leopold van den Daele & Matteo Perper, The Stanford Daily): “The administration has as its goal the total re-creation of campus social life, a rather muted conception of the Spirit of Stanford, from the top-down. They will throw money at the problem, establish more offices, and more advisory boards. They will change the fine print of the rules and regulations for throwing parties, and they will bombard you with facts that demonstrably prove all is swell. But we believe that a thriving campus social life emerges naturally when everyone feels like they belong to one family; it cannot be bought. It is our responsibility to bring about the change we want to see, from the bottom-up, one interaction at a time: Saying hello is the heart of community.”
  2. How Congress Gets Rich from Insider Trading (YouTube): thirty well-done minutes about a bipartisan problem. I’ve read a lot of the articles referenced before, but this is an excellent compilation with impeccable presentation. Recommended by a student.
  3. No One Is Immune (Brian Mattson, Substack): “We went from Christian public figures warning about the social and legal dangers of LGBTQ ‘civil rights’ to Christian public figures championing LGBTQ ‘civil rights’ in just two decades. And in some cases, they are the exact same person.”
    • A solid essay that makes an important point. Any time your theology leads you to conclude that some of God’s laws in the Old Testament are sinful (as opposed to merely not binding upon us), your theology is wrong. This is a wide-ranging principle which, when consistently followed, will make people annoyed with you. It is nonetheless correct. “The Law of the Lord is perfect” (Psalm 19:7) and “the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good” (Romans 7:12).
  4. How evangelical Christian writer Jemar Tisby became a radioactive symbol of ‘wokeness’ (Bob Smietana, Religion News Service): “Lerone Martin, associate professor of religious studies and director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University, said that evangelicals have long found it easier to label Black leaders as leftists or Marxists rather than to deal with the reality of racism.”
  5. The ‘I’ in BIPOC (Sherman Alexie, Persuasion): “And here I must stress that Indians, whether conservative, centrist, or liberal, have a unique place in the United States that BIPOC doesn’t even begin to address. BIPOC is an acronym that’s too plain to accurately represent Indian people’s complex relationship with our country.”
    • Fascinating.
  6. Chi Alpha ‘Mentor’ Daniel Savala Arrested on Sex Abuse Charges (Josh Shepherd, The Roys Report): “On Friday morning, Savala, 67, was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force at his residence in downtown Houston and booked at the Fort Bend County Jail in Richmond, Texas. He was charged with continuous sexual abuse of a child under age 14.… On May 23, Chris Hundl, former leader of the Chi Alpha chapter at Baylor University and pastor of Mountain Valley Fellowship in Waco, was arrested on identical charges in Waco.… the North Texas District Council of the Assemblies of God (AoG) said its investigation of Hundl and others linked to Savala prompted Hundl’s removal from his pastoral duties and Chi Alpha leadership as of May 4. AoG district officials said they also notified child protective services in Texas and have recommended that Hundl be dismissed as an AoG minister.”
    • Reading this was like getting punched in the gut.
  7. Defining Religion in the Court (Mark Movsesian, First Things): “…a focus on [religion expressed in] community accords with an important goal of religious freedom: the promotion of private associations that encourage cooperative projects and check state power. As Tocqueville explained, the despotic state desires nothing more than for individual citizens to feel isolated from and indifferent to others, so that it can divide and dominate them all. By encouraging people to identify with and look out for one another, private associations militate against self-centeredness and social isolation and help keep the state in check. Religious groups perform this function especially well. No associations have been better, historically, at promoting cooperative social projects and defying state oppression—as dictators down the centuries have learned.”

Less Serious Things Which Also Interested/Amused Glen

Things Glen Found Interesting A While Ago

Every week I’ll highlight an older link still worth your consideration. This week we have We Need a New Media System (Matt Taibbi, Substack): “The flaw in the system is that even the biggest news companies now operate under the assumption that at least half their potential audience isn’t listening. This leads to all sorts of problems, and the fact that the easiest way to keep your own demographic is to feed it negative stories about others is only the most obvious. On all sides, we now lean into inflammatory caricatures, because the financial incentives encourage it.” From volume 284.

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Chi Alpha is not a partisan organization. To paraphrase another minister: we are not about the donkey’s agenda and we are not about the elephant’s agenda — we are about the Lamb’s agenda. Having said that, I read widely (in part because I believe we should aspire to pass the ideological Turing test and in part because I do not believe I can fairly say “I agree” or “I disagree” until I can say “I understand”) and may at times share articles that have a strong partisan bias simply because I find the article stimulating. The upshot: you should not assume I agree with everything an author says in an article I mention, much less things the author has said in other articles (although if I strongly disagree with something in the article I’ll usually mention it). And to the extent you can discern my opinions, please understand that they are my own and not necessarily those of Chi Alpha or any other organization I may be perceived to represent. Also, remember that I’m not reporting news — I’m giving you a selection of things I found interesting. There’s a lot happening in the world that’s not making an appearance here because I haven’t found stimulating articles written about it. If this was forwarded to you and you want to receive future emails, sign up here. You can also view the archives.

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