Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 445

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 445, which feels like it ought to have many factors. But it’s just 89 * 5.

Things Glen Found Interesting

  1. Harvard, M.I.T. and Systemic Antisemitism (David French, New York Times): “…what’s happening to Jewish students and faculty at several elite campuses is so comprehensive and all-consuming that it can only be described as systemic antisemitism.”
    • Recommended by a student. Worth reading. Unlocked.
  2. How To Save a Democracy (Quico Toro, Substack): “Watching videos of the protest now, what strikes you is that Bernardo Arévalo is seldom mentioned. K’iche’ leaders were at pains to emphasize they were not there to favor one politician or another. They were there to defend their votes. If Arévalo’s name was seldom uttered, the name of Jesus Christ was constantly invoked.”
    • A remarkable story. 
  3. Piety and Profanity: The Raunchy Christians Are Here (Ruth Graham, New York Times): “The partial embrace of vulgarity, Dr. Kobes Du Mez pointed out, is happening in a moment of deep conservative outrage, an often visceral disgust, at rising rates of nontraditional gender and sexual identities, particularly among young people. In that context, an indulgence in heterosexual lust, even if in poor taste, is becoming seen as not just benign, but maybe even healthy and noble. Part of the reason transgender identities are considered a threat is that they blur gender difference, Dr. Kobes Du Mez said. ‘Against that backdrop, it’s a wholesome thing for a boy to be lusting after a very sexy woman.’”
    • Unlocked.
  4. Steven D. Levitt (Freakonomics co-author and University of Chicago Economics Professor) on His Career And Decision To Retire From Academic Economics (Jon Hartley, Capitalism and Freedom): “I had always been the smartest kid or close to the smartest kid, but then I got to MIT and I realized my God these people are incredible. Not just what they know but how they think. So, I knew from day one I was the odd man out. I mean I’m not even exaggerating when I say that there was a group of people in the in-crowd. Austan Goolsbee, my good friend Austan Goolsbee was one of the in-crowds. And Austan told me that maybe a month into our first year at MIT, the in-crowd sat down and they made a list of the five people most likely to fail out. And I was on that list of five.”
    • An absolutely delightful interview. The above link is to the transcript, but I recommend the audio version.
  5. The Policy Stakes in this Election Are High (Josh Barro, Substack): “This presidential election is not very interesting, but it is important. And some of the reasons it’s important are the banal reasons that every presidential election is important: You get different policy outcomes depending on who gets elected.”
    • Written from a center-left perspective. Even if you disagree with Barro on your preferred policy outcomes, I think he does a nice job of summarizing some of the most important differences (although he leaves off a few big ones about which the two administrations have different track records such as religious freedom, DEI issues, etc).
  6. Are Drunk People in New Orleans More Sensible Than Congress? (Ben Meets America, YouTube): four minutes. If the quality continues, I will probably be sharing most installments of this series.
  7. Which Cities are the Least Religious? (Ryan Burge, Substack): “The least religious cities are at the top and there are two clear winners here: San Francisco and Seattle. In both cases, about seven in ten adults are attending religious services less than once a year. But I think that San Francisco make take the crown for most secular — just 12% of folks in that city are attending church at least once a month.”
    • Emphasis removed for readability

Less Serious Things Which Also Interested/Amused Glen

Why Do You Send This Email?

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. I pray this email gives you greater insight, so that you may continue the tradition of Issachar.


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.

Leave a Reply