Archives For culture

Can it even be true?abort3

You and I and everyone else has surely been watching the news, the videos, the protests surrounding Planned Parenthood. Some of us may have suspected that more atrocities were happening than the public was aware of. Others deny that anything is happening at all, that the videos have been doctored to look particularly damning.

Here’s what I know.

I know I have never been inside a Planned Parenthood.

Therefore, I can’t say for certain what goes on.

But this I do know this…

Evil is everywhere. And if the allegations are true, it would not surprise me. It would not surprise me at all if there were doctors who were harvesting babies for profit.

It would not surprise me at all, because one time, several years ago, I had a brush with a doctor who did just this very thing. He ran an illegal, black-market, fetal organ harvesting operation…

…And he was a part of my church.

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Way to "engage" with the culture.

Way to “engage” with the culture.

Over the last few weeks, my social media feeds have been filled with plenty of Christians trying to discern how the church will “respond” to the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage.

Most of the responses are based on fear.

Most of the responses belie an “attack and defend” concept of the church.

There are plenty of Christians who think the American church is on the ropes, that we are very close to becoming a persecuted minority. Soon, pastors will be forced to perform weddings they do not agree with, churches will lose their tax exemptions, and perhaps even worse consequences will occur. Cultural influencers publicly cry that there are thousands of pastors willing to “die” for this cause.

And you know what I can now conclusively say?

All of these responses, based on fear, defensively postured, conceptualized as “attack and defend” are kind of pathetic.

And if your church is responding this way, it’s kind of pathetic too.

Here’s why.

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Over the last few years, I’ve taken a minor interest as the debate over women nursing in public periodically resurfaces.enhanced-32750-1391391832-2

However, as my wife has been nursing our infant son over the last six months, the issue has taken a new dimension for us. More than once, we have found ourselves without a comfortable place for her to feed him. Several meals have taken place in the car (he is an American after all, and Americans eat in their cars.) We have even been unable to find a proper nursing room in a hospital, a children’s hospital. (It was suggested by a female security guard that we use a bathroom. More on that later.)

What has interested me most, however, has been the feelings we are torn between as we search for suitable feeding spots. Part of me wants her to just plop down on a bench any place we please and let ‘er rip. The other part of me is more sensible and knows that our son doesn’t feed well with distractions.

We also know that we are a microcosm of a cultural debate about the place of female bodies in general. And in general, I think we are getting it wrong.

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Supreme CourtOf course, there has been but one thing that we have all been talking about over the last several days.

There are the people who support the Supreme Court decision. There are people who celebrate it…

And then there are the people, apparently about 40% of us, who do not celebrate, do not support the new law of the land in regards to marriage.

Over the last couple of years, I have heard it said over and over that state and now federal government is “redefining” marriage; the premise being that marriage has some transcendent and immutable qualities that the court just overturned.

I always found this argument to be somewhat odd, and now that the inevitable has happened, I finally figured out why. If you think the Supreme Court redefined marriage last Friday, my gut instinct is that you should probably take it up with King Henry the Eighth.

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What is it about masculinity that seems so…fragile?

If this guy works to be a good enough dad, he’ll reach a level of parenting called “Mr. Mom,.” In other words, be a good enough parent, and you must not be a man anymore.

Our culture gives a lot of talk to what makes a “real man.” We produce thousands of male-centric products. We have lots of ideas about what men do and enjoy.

And yet, for all of this, we seem more confused than ever. Men seem less secure in themselves, less confident in their own masculinity. It seems harder to understand what it means to raise boys into men.

I thought about this over the weekend, as we celebrated men and masculinity. And the problem it seems, is not in spite of all the male-centric discussions and advertising.

I don’t want my son to inherit a fragile masculinity. I don’t want him to have to pursue manhood, the way our culture defines it. So I had to figure out where our confusion comes from.

It turns out that our confusion about masculinity is precisely because of our obsession with it.

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My first reaction, like many of you I am sure, was…

"You mean I'm going to stay this color???"

“You mean I’m going to stay this color???”

“What?”

A white woman has been “living as a black woman.”

My first question, in all seriousness was “What does it mean to live as a black woman?” But soon enough, things were cleared up.

Rachel Dolezal was lying about her identity.

Not that lying about your identity is what it means to “live as a black woman.” She was just trying very hard to be a black woman. She was dishonest with people. She implied that she had an African-American father. Bruce / Caitlyn Jenner didn’t have the luxury of lying about his / her gender.

Rachel Dolezal told Matt Lauer that she has been this way since she was five, drawing self-portraits with the brown crayons instead of the peach colored crayons.

On the one hand, Rachel appears to have had a challenging and unusual childhood, so maybe that’s true. On the other hand, she has been proven to be a very unreliable narrator for her own life, so who knows what we should believe.

But here’s the thing. Rachel may be unusual. She may be unreliable. She may even be unethical. She might even be crazy…

…But I’ll claim her.

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