Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 453

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.

Things Glen Found Interesting

  1. Reconciling Christianity with intellectual curiosity (Nadia Jo, Stanford Daily): “One of the values Jesus emphasized most is humility, and I strive to implement that value in my intellectual life in addition to my personal life. My ethos of intellectual curiosity involves curiosity, challenging and wrestling with claims and lines of reasoning, flexible thinking and respect for people who put in the same effort. I hope that my nonreligious peers can come to understand and appreciate Christianity’s deep intellectual tradition, even if they don’t agree with its conclusions. And, I encourage more Christians to live up to that tradition and examine their own belief. You’ll probably find it more rewarding than you expect.”
    • Nadia is a student in Chi Alpha.
  2. Homeless man is brought to church and starts CURSING right in the middle of the sermon while the pastor is preaching on the parable of the lost sheep. (Twitter): the link title is clickbaity, but the video is really good. 17 minutes but 100% worth your time.
  3. The Single Christian (Alexandra DeSanctis Marr, Religion & Liberty Online): “Rather than offering sympathy to those who are single for reasons outside their control, Broadway argues, Christians often send the message that singleness is an affliction endured by those who simply aren’t trying hard enough to find a spouse. But, as she explains, there isn’t an easy answer to what is ultimately a problem of numbers: ‘When women outnumber men in the church, that leaves three options: polygamy, marrying a non-Christian or staying single. Which would you like us to choose?’”
    • That’s a great line by Broadway.
  4. The Scholar of Comedy (David Remnick interviewing Jerry Seinfeld, The New Yorker): “Every artist is only showing you his best. When you watch a movie, every scene—they only show you the one take that worked. Seventeen times, they missed it. You’re only seeing the peak of it. But in standup you gotta make it happen every night. That’s the difference. That’s why actors, I think, like to do the theatre. They want to be honest. They want to be held to account. And only a live audience holds you to account.”
  5. Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker says Pride Month is example of ‘deadly sin’ during commencement speech (Lukas Weese, New York Times): “Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker, speaking during a commencement speech at Benedictine College, referred to Pride Month, the events in June demonstrating inclusivity and support for the LGBTQ+ community, as an example of the ‘deadly sins’ as he advocated for a more conservative brand of Catholicism.”
    • I am always surprised when people seem surprised when religious people say religious things.
    • Related: Harrison Butker jersey sales increase in aftermath of Benedictine College address (Greg Dailey and Ryan Hennessy, KCTV 5): “Amid reaction to Harrison Butker’s now-viral commencement speech at Benedictine College on Saturday, the placekicker seems to have gained several new fans in the process. According to, Butker’s jersey sales are among the most popular online. Only Travis Kelce rated higher than Butker, with Mahomes coming in right behind the star from Georgia Tech.”
    • This is common enough that there is probably a term for it: high-status people denounce something and or pretend it doesn’t exist, whereas many lower-status people really like it. This is a good example of this, as is the New York Times bestseller list compared to actual sales numbers.
  6. Campus protest-related:
    • Seeing the University More Clearly (David Pozen, blog): “To simplify somewhat, we might say that professors are granted a number of basic rights within the university, including rights to free speech and due process and quasi-property rights in the job itself. Students and staff are granted a partially overlapping, though weaker, bundle of rights. What none of us have are governance rights against the trustees who really run the place. We enjoy various individual privileges and protections, but not the franchise. Legal scholars and political scientists have a term for this sort of arrangement, too: liberal autocracy.”
      • The author is a law prof at Columbia and has some insightful thoughts about how shifts in university governance in recent years have provided the context for how campuses are responding to protests.
    • Modern Protest Culture is Crippled by Internet-Brain (Samuel D. James, Substack): “A transformational protest is one that bears the brunt of reality and, in so doing, convinces others to join in changing it. The inability to bear this reality is not just fragility, it is precisely the way computer systems work; when the autonomous system fails to yield a pleasant or smooth solution, it must be fixed, not endured. Contemporary student activism reflects the assumptions and habits of the digital era.”
      • Emphasis in original.
  7. Belgian Government Will Intervene In Cases Where Prostitutes Refuse Sexual Acts Too Often (Amy Hamm, ProPublica): “Prostitutes are to be granted ‘rights’ to refuse sexual acts, stop sexual acts, perform sexual acts in the manner they prefer, and refuse to sit behind Amsterdam-style windows (public facing windows where prostitutes are on display). However, should a prostitute use these ‘rights’ 10 times within six months, their pimp can then call on a government mediator to intervene.”
    • Pimps used to have to beat their prostitutes. Now they can have the government use force on their behalf. #progress
    • This is the logic of “bake the cake, bigot” taken to its ultimate conclusion — conscience is nothing and the market is everything and personal convictions are inconveniences to be trampled upon.
    • If, as some feminists tell us, sex work is real work then you can’t be shocked at stuff like this. If, on the other hand, prostitution is both a tragedy and a vice you can get outraged.

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.

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