Sunday Best, vol. 4

First off: I promise I am going to do more Real Posting soon. I have several drafts brewing. I will not continue to so maddeningly fill your inboxes and feeds with nothing but other people’s collected words.

In the meanwhile, here are other people’s collected words, the best I’ve read this week:

There are two things you should read from Esther Emery this week, from her #31days series. One is Resurrection, and the other is Monkey Skull. Esther so often writes the things I didn’t know I was waiting to hear or say. Esther digs into mud and finds jewels.

If the raspberry cane could take the pulpit, would it speak to us of our inability to believe? Why we suffer these terrible losses, like the loss of childhood, when all we have to do is wipe our tears and see. The beloved rising here again, so close and so beautiful, in dew-dressed green.

I am going to be posting more about this later, but in case that never happens, just read Libby Anne’s piece Then Why Didn’t You Tell Us Mom? If you grew up in a religious homeschooling subculture, it may resonate with you, too.

Christian parents who choose to homeschool their children but do not ascribe to the ideals of the Christian homeschool subculture, especially things like Christian Patriarchy or Quiverfull, need to be on guard against this. It’s not uncommon for homeschool parents who happen to be Christian to find themselves in the same homeschool circles with Christian parents who homeschool out of religious conviction. And it’s also not uncommon for their children to find themselves in those circles whether their parents actively frequent them or not. In this kind of situation, parents may not realize the toxic ideologies their children taking in through osmosis from the Christian homeschooling culture around them.

I appreciate the perspective from Luke T. Harrington in D.A.R.E., True Love Waits, and the Way Forward after Abstinence Programs. I’ve seen a lot of evangelicals say, “The purity movement focused on the wrong things,” and I’ve seen a lot of post-evangelicals say, “Purity culture damaged me,” (I’ve discussed this myself here and here, for instance,) and both of those are important. But I appreciate this article detailing why abstinence programs failed in a broad, historical context. I’ve moved pretty far from the True Love Waits approach to love and dating, so while I don’t actually agree with this whole article theologically or practically, I can support parents teaching abstinence as submission to a moral code, without all the “and if you have sex, you’re a moldy banana peel, doomed and cursed.” I appreciate that Harrington is admitting collective failure and harm without atoning for the movement’s false promises with more false promises.

The antidote, I would think, is to offer a moral system more consistent and objective than one based on simple human happiness — and conveniently, this is what those of us in the Church believe ourselves to have. … We obey the Law, not because we are promised temporal benefits for doing so … but because there is true joy in submission to a Good God and in a life lived in harmony with His Good Creation.

So you think the world doesn’t need feminism anymore? Nah, man. In The Unsafety Net, a long read on the Atlantic, Catherine Buni and Soraya Chemaly reveal the horrifying reach of misogyny in of social media, and companies’ distressingly inadequate willingness or ability to remove graphic, threatening content targeting women and children — though some, including Facebook and Twitter, have made strides in the right direction; the size of the problem is further harmed by the fact that men constitute ninety percent of tech employees. Buni and Chemaly detail disturbing cases of technology increasing harassment against women, and wades into the murky debate of free speech and censorship.

“What these people are doing is reminding women that, no matter who they are, they are still women. They are forever vulnerable.”

Finally, on a lighter note, is a Clickhole send-up of I-Went-A-Month-Without-The-Internet pieces in How I Spent A Week Without Helicopters. (FULL DISCLOSURE: I once wrote a 40-Days-Without-Facebook column in college, so I am the very monster being decried here.)

Helicopters had become the hamster wheel of my existence, giving me the illusion that I was doing something while actually just distancing me from the reality all around me (I can’t tell you how many times I went out to dinner with friends only to spend the whole time mindlessly distracted by my helicopter).

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