I have now been a father for 11 days! Yet, I have found some time to read! Actually, holding baby Junia in one arm and a book in the other is quickly becoming my favorite thing.
Some of these articles are quite old, I bookmarked them before Junia arrived.
Do Christianity and Capitalism Clash? – In America, like most places, Christians blend our faith with our national story. Thus, we have a hard time seeing what values come from Scripture and which are from culture. Christians on both the liberal and conservative side of the political spectrum do this. Many evangelicals are quick to point out the problems with giving government too much power, but there are also problems when we put our trust in corporations as this great quote states: “White evangelicals, for example, were more likely than other Christians or the general population to think positively about free-markets. 44 percent of them said that businesses unregulated by the government would still behave ethically. (So much for the doctrine of total depravity.) White evangelicals also believe religious leaders should speak out about social issues but not necessarily economic matters.”
I mentioned my own disappointment learning Greg Mortenson, of Three Cups of Tea fame, has embellished his story and questionably allocated his funds. Here is another article on this.
I am pro-life and stories like this one point out the hypocrisy of our laws in regards to the unborn. A man tries to get his girlfriend to get an abortion and he is charged with murder. Yet if the woman had chosen to get the abortion then it would be okay? I think stories like this shed light on this whole issue: most agree abortion is murder, the ending of an innocent life. It is just that one side sees that murder as justifiable and the other does not.
One of my favorite moments in The Simpsons is when Apu goes to the citizenship exam. The examiner asks him to explain the causes for the Civil War. Apu launches into a speech on all kinds of things, before the examiner interrupts him and says, “just say slavery.” With the 150th anniversary of the Civil War this year, I have seen many articles (including the cover story of Time magazine) on how the Civil War has been interpreted through the years. Really, it was about slavery. I found this article on Ulysses Grant an interesting contribution.
We brought Junia home from the hospital on Saturday and the next day we all learned that Osama Bin Laden had been killed. That made me realize something. I was born in 1980 so events that my parents remember, such as Kennedy’s assassination or the moon landing, I know only through history books. Junia will view events like September 11, 2001, the election of the first black US president, and the death of Bin Laden in the same way, only through history books.
Something rubbed me the wrong way, seeing so many Americans taking to the streets to celebrate his death. Actually, it was more the Christians celebrating, or posting on facebook, that caused this discomfort. Of course, Bin Laden was a very bad person, responsible for thousands of deaths, and we can be glad he is gone. As Christians, I believe we celebrate God’s justice. On the other hand, God does not bring justice only to America’s enemies. God brings justice for our (individually and corporately) own sins, and we have many of them. Does it make sense for college students who commit nearly every sin against God in the book to dance and celebrate that another sinner is dead? Also, the center of our faith is Jesus who called us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. At any rate, I have bookmarked many articles on the death of Bin Laden: Jim Wallis, Albert Mohler, a couple links from Benson Hines (focusing on college students’ reaction), and Salon.com.
Related to that, the torture debate is back in the news with the death of Bin Laden. Glenn Greenwald writes on this here. Anyone using the death of Bin Laden to justify torture is using the ultimate ends justify means tact. Take any situation, think of a less emotional one than terrorism. If you say it doesn’t matter what you say, if you lie, who you hurt or anything as long as you get the result you want then you are morally bankrupt. In the same way, even if torturing prisoners helped kill Bin Laden, that does not automatically make torture justifiable.
Anyway, if you read this and have any opinions, think I’m an idiot or want to say hi…leave a comment.