Archives For culture

A few weeks ago, for the first time in several years, I took a new job.images

No, I didn’t quit teaching. It’s just on the side. Moonlighting, if you will.

I became an Uber driver, and it’s been a pretty fun way to spend a night or two each week and make a little extra money.

I have to say that driving has put me in greater touch with my community and exposed me to a wider variety of people than anything else I can remember doing. It’s been fascinating, fulfilling, and sometimes a little annoying as strangers pile into my car for a few minutes while I drive them around town. You meet a whole lot more people driving for Uber than pastoring a church or teaching at a school, that’s for sure.

And so, after a few weeks of cruising with strangers, here is what I think I’ve learned from my fresh exposure to the theater of humanity.

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Would a girl like Scout fit in on the school playground, even today?

As my son turns eight months old, I’m learning a lot about him.

Over the summer, he and I spent many days together. We took field trips to parks or museums. He would ride in the carrier, strapped to my chest, while I pointed to things for him to look at. He learned to ride in the shopping cart at the grocery store, and to turn on the charm when strangers look at him or speak to him.

I’m learning a lot about my son.

I’ve learned that he loves to laugh. He loves to look out the window at passing cars. He jumps up and down on the couch whenever a car passes by our house. He loves to be swayed back and forth, to pretend “rough house,” to chase his mother and I around on the floor.

I’ve learned a lot of things about my son.

But I still don’t really know what kind of boy he is going to turn out to be.

And in our culture that is asking more and more questions about what it means to be “male” or “female,” I want my son to know that there are many kinds of boys, and whatever kind he turns out to be, I’ll be proud of him.

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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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