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 402, which is the unusual HTTP status code for “payment required.” I don’t believe I’ve ever encountered that status code in the wild.
Things Glen Found Interesting
- Martin Luther King, Christian Radical (Jonathan Eig, Wall Street Journal): “King’s Christianity presents a challenge to liberals, who are often uncomfortable with religion in the public square, as well as to conservatives, who are more likely to embrace religion in politics but don’t align themselves with the implications of many of King’s core beliefs.”
- Recommended by a student.
- Why Americans Feel More Pain (Nicholas Kristof, New York Times): “Another big factor in pain differences is class. One study found that poor Americans are more than three times as likely to report pain as wealthy Americans. Another found that just 2 percent of those with graduate degrees report severe pain, while almost 10 percent of high school dropouts do. ‘Basically, if you’ve got a B.A., you’re vaccinated against all of this crap,’ said Deaton, the economist. Deaton, Case and Stone found that each successive generation among less-educated Americans has reported more pain at any given age.”
- Recommended by a student. It’s longer than you might expect, but quite interesting.
- The Deadly Things We Do Not See (Anonymous, World Beyond War): “This was war, in any case. In war people die. But, as my friends emphasize to me, the people of Mariupol would have liked not to die. They would have liked to avoid the ordeal altogether.”
- Recommended by a student. Very sobering.
- Registered Sex Offender Continued to Minister to Chi Alpha Students (Kate Shellnutt, Christianity Today): “Over the past 30 years, well over a hundred men involved in Texas chapters of the campus ministry Chi Alpha have seen Daniel Savala naked. At Savala’s house in Houston, he invited them to strip down and talk about spiritual issues in his sauna. He offered his bed to overnight guests while sleeping in the buff. And at least 13 men reported that Savala molested or raped them while they sought his spiritual advice as college students, according to a new online forum collecting victims’ stories.”
- The Rise of Right-Wing Wokeism (Kevin deYoung, The Gospel Coalition): “The appeal of something like Christian Nationalism is that it presents a muscular alternative to surrender and defeat. Few conservative Christians have anything like a sophisticated political philosophy. But they know gay so-called marriage is wrong and drag queen story hour is bad. So if the two choices in political philosophy are (1) supporting gay ‘marriage’ because that’s what pluralism demands and defending drag queen story hour as a blessing of liberty or (2) Christian Nationalism, millions of Christians in this country are going to choose the latter. I imagine the same basic equation explains the newfound interest in Catholic integralism as well.”
- It’s my responsibility as a crone (Abby Farson Pratt, Substack): “Nearly 13 years married, I feel like it’s my responsibility, as a crone, to tutor the youth and encourage them to stop waiting around and get married already. Please, just do it. What are you waiting for? To move in together? To get your ‘career established,’ whatever the hell that means? To see if you’re really a ‘good fit’? To get ‘more financially stable’? That’s all bluster. We had about $300 to our names when we got married. We mostly ate rice and beans for years, subsisting on my tiny salary, while Guion wrote poems all day, and we were incandescently happy. I’m so thankful we didn’t wait 10 years, till we were in our early 30s, set in our ways and comfortable with our wealth. Marriage would have been a lot harder then.”
- Why Journalists Have More Freedom Than Professors (Ross Douthat, New York Times): “First, the media is, by definition, an outward-facing, audience-driven enterprise, dependent on some kind of mass market for its viability.… it still creates market-based checks on certain internal mechanisms of ideological enforcement. To take a television example, it’s not just up to internal opinion at Netflix or HBO whether to air a Dave Chappelle special or keep running Bill Maher’s show; the mass audience gets a pretty important vote as well.”
- I find his argument compelling. Unlocked.
- This seems to me to be somewhat related (describing how institutional cultures shape behavior): Assimilating Women into Male Institutions (Arnold Kling, Substack): “When women became accepted into leading universities, in the professions, and into managerial and executive positions in the work place, both men and women held some harmful cultural attitudes. Many of us have come to understand how men need to change. The need for women to change is less well appreciated.”
Less Serious Things Which Also Interested/Amused Glen
- Disciples Casually Ask Kid With Fish And Loaves If His Mom Could Pack Wings And Nachos Next Time (Babylon Bee)
Things Glen Found Interesting A While Ago
Every week I’ll highlight an older link still worth your consideration. This week we have Why Did So Many Doctors Become Nazis? (Ashley K. Fernades, Tablet Magazine): “It is worthy of emphasis that although many professions (including law) were ‘taken in’ by Nazi philosophy, doctors and nurses had a peculiarly strong attraction to it. Robert N. Proctor (1988) notes that physicians joined the Nazi party in droves (nearly 50% by 1945), much higher than any other profession. Physicians were seven times more likely to join the SS than other employed German males.” The author is a physician and a bioethicist at The Ohio State University. From volume 281.
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.