Poolside Provokings…

I spent the morning at the pool with the boys and in between laps and laughing, read two articles, which I’ll excerpt below. In case you wonder where I stand politically, I have to agree with both of these writers (although #2 is glazing over the heart of the matter a bit). Perhaps this is the positive, well-done side of critical writing. If one is not inventing their own biblical theology that is…  Thought they were worth passing on. Now off to make spaghetti, again. And Larsen is making an apple pie. Delightful combination! Cooking and eating and such are so necessary but so inconvenient… Go ahead, read now:

1.  “Evangelicals (my note: Merriam-Webster defines evangelical as “emphasizing salvation by faith in the atoning death of Jesus Christ through personal conversion, the authority of Scripture, and the importance of preaching as contrasted with ritual.” ) shouldn’t be embarrassed to say boldly and clearly: Abortion and same-sex marriage are uniquely heinous sins. They rattle the foundations of a civilized society. They take a culture in a dreadful direction. We haven’t been wrong to say so. We aren’t fanatics. And I’m not referring here so much to the young women caught in the anguish of an unexpected pregnancy or folks bewildered by their sexual identity. I’m talking mostly about a society that goes all out to tell such people that what they’re doing is just fine. There’s forgiveness for individual sinners. There’s judgment for societies that lead them astray. It’s true that we evangelicals sometimes haven’t been as zealous as we ought in fighting racism, abuse of the environment, and poverty. But on all those fronts and more, we’re at least facing the right direction. We’re sometimes slow. But here’s the difference: What evangelical do you know who says insensitivity to the poor should be promoted? What evangelical leader is calling for moreracism? Who advocates the uncontrolled plundering of the environment? That is exactly the kind of cheerleading that is going on for abortion and same-sex marriage. Whole movements and organizations devote themselves to telling us how good abortion and same-sex marriage are for society. It now is expected that Barack Obama feature on his speaking schedule, as he did on June 26, a New York fundraising dinner for the Democratic Gay and Lesbian Leadership Council—where the news account reports casually that Obama helped the homosexual lobby raise $1 million in just one evening. But here’s the core of the matter. To be robustly and consistently anti-abortion is at the very same time to cast your vote for environmental sensitivity, against racism, and for economic justice. These are not independent, isolated packages. It’s hard to see how anyone can claim to be a protector of the environment and not put a high priority on the preservation of human babies. To defend a focus on the future of polar bears and whales, while asking evangelicals to get less noisy about infant humans, is an embarrassing contradiction…”  -Joel Beltz, World Mag.

2.  Sara Sarasohn, discussing in The Washington Post her upcoming marriage in California to her lesbian partner, explains how the institution of marriage is, literally, coming apart. Today, she argues, couples can have sex without being married. They can have children without being married. They can live together, buy a house together, and partner together in a myriad of ways without marriage being necessary.  “I can’t pretend to speak for the people who are against gay marriage,” writes Sarasohn, “but I think this is part of what they mean when they say that gay marriage will unravel the whole institution. Our national conversation about gay marriage has already shown how the different elements of marriage—legal, religious, romantic, economic, civil, procreative—have become independent. . . . Now, adults have the prerogative to mix and match the various things that make a marriage in whatever way they choose. It’s just that when gay people do it, it’s more obvious that ‘marriage’ has already been deconstructed.” If Sarasohn is right, this means that the institution of marriage has become functionally and culturally obsolete. People still want to get married. But because marriage has no particular purpose, people can define and practice their marriages in any way they choose. ..The dissolution of the family as the basic unit of society means that all of its authority, powers, and responsibilities go, instead, to the government…we must put the family together again…”         -Ed Veith, World Mag.

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