Jul 29, 2013

A good article about SCCL

Seeing as almost no one has visited my blog so far and I have only had one comment I am pretty much assuming that the few views I have gotten are from close friends who feel some sort of obligation.

Most of the close friends I have that would feel that obligation probably found the link to my blog on Facebook and therefore probably also know that I spend a decent amount of time on a Facebook group called Stuff Christian Culture Likes (SCCL).

This is a blog post written by one of the other group members who has been there longer than I have. I want to post this because I feel like it gives a fair and balanced look at what SCCL is and why people are there and why I am there. I don’t agree with everything the author says, but I still think it is a fair assessment and a good summary.

Before I post the link I want to post the "about" section from SCCL’s Facebook page. This will help give some context for those who have stumbled upon SCCL but don’t really know what it is.

“This blog is devoted to the stuff American evangelical culture likes.

This forum is for people who have been harmed by Christian culture. This page is a safe space for people who have never had a place where they can speak their true feelings that don't look pretty. After we get this out (and it often takes awhile to recover from because it was drilled into us for so long) we can emerge with true positivity and hope. It is such a beautiful thing when abuse survivors can offer the world something more than their sneer. Until then, they can vent here. I completely understand if it's not your scene.”

Now if I was good at the internet I would be able to reblog this article, (that is a thing right? Reblogging?) but I’m not so here is a link.

Oh and cause this is kinda serious I thought I would post a picture of a cat eating pizza.

Jul 15, 2013

What the hell is up with bacon?

Before everyone starts hating on me let me say, I enjoy bacon a great deal. It is very tasty and there are quite a few things that are improved by adding bacon. I had some bacon wrapped pork chops the other night that were simply incredible. I am not discouraging anyone from eating bacon or loving bacon, well maybe I am just a little.

People have gone seriously nuts with the bacon. In under 2 minutes of Google searching I came across more than one online store entirely centered on bacon, a blog entirely about bacon, a bra made of bacon, condoms made of bacon, a coffee mug made of bacon, and so much more. This is just stupid and weird. Bacon is very tasty, no doubt, but it has got to make a rather unsupportive bra, a pretty ineffective condom, and it baffles me that the economy can support multiple business entirely centered around selling people bacon related products. Why are we blogging about bacon? Why are we making socks with bacon prints? (If I was good at interneting I would provide links to these things, but I am not good at the internets so you’ll have to Google bacon on your own.)

Via Pinterest you can find ways to add bacon to just about any other food. Why? Is bacon that good? Well yes, yes it is. But that is not my point.

My real point is that a bacon culture has sprung up. People at almost every age are now being told from the internet, television and even radio that bacon is amazing. That bacon is the best food ever and we should all eat more of it and think about it and own as many bacon related things as possible because bacon makes you happy and will lead to a better more fulfilled life.

Why am I bothered by this? Bacon is really bad for you. It seems like we have just made a very profitable fad out of advocating a food that directly aids the leading cause of death in the US: heart disease.

A consistent bacon habit is really not very good for you. And with heart disease being the leading cause of death in this country, shouldn’t we be a bit more concerned at bacon’s current popularity and social status.

Am I the only crazy person that sees advertising, toys, books, clothes, etc. related to bacon and think “this reminds me of cigarette ads aimed at kids”. Is that too far? Camel Joe eating bacon and looking really cool in his sunglasses? OK maybe I’m the only one. Obviously bacon is not as bad as smoking. But we have made a very unhealthy food extremely cool.

That said, I smoke and eat bacon. I’m just wondering if we should be a little more conscientious about the things we make cool. Do we have a social responsibility not to make kids think that unhealthy things are cool and the best? Not sure, but really interested to see if anyone else has thought about this.

Jul 12, 2013

Biblical Immigration?

I was recently presented with this article http://evangelicalsforbiblicalimmigration.com/read-the-letter/.

Because I saw it on Facebook, I immediately wrote a long but hurried response. Then deciding that I would rather not argue on Facebook today I decided to post my response to the article here. It is rather unpolished but I figure that I need to start actually posting things.

I firmly believe that this article’s conclusions are a misreading of the Bible. I would probably argue that the Bible has almost nothing to offer on the topic of modern immigration. These verses were never ever intended to be a frame work for immigration policy or foreign policy for a country with 300+ million people in it. Using the Bible to justify political ideologies isn’t Biblical. In fact, I consider it to be a gross misuse and misinterpretation of the Bible and far closer to heresy than Christian doctrine. I think if you ask 50 Bible scholars from 50 different denominations and traditions you will get a pretty clear message that the Bible is not a very good text to build modern immigration or foreign policy on.

Nations and cultures in the time of the writing of the Bible were extremely different politically and culturally than our current situation in this country. How can we compare the policies of a small nation built primarily on race, ethnicity, and one religion to our multi-lingual, multi-cultural, multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-religion country, based on the principles of freedom and equality, with a huge population consisting entirely of immigrants. The idea that a few ancient stories about a few people in a very different setting should be the entire framework for global policies in the 21st century is rather ridiculous.

The principles of love and charity that come from the Bible aren't a bad place to start, but those are general principles. Those general principles aren't a good foundation to argue for either side of this issue. In my mind, neither side is doing enough to love and care for the people they could be helping.

The ideas presented much closer resemble western, white, Christian privilege than they resemble Biblical charity. Several statements in this piece can really be boiled down to: if they don’t want to assimilate our culture and act like us then they are trouble makers and shouldn't be here. That is in absolutely no way Christian.

“we are called to discern among  “sojourners” (like Ruth and Rahab who intend to assimilate and bless) and “foreigners” (who do not intend to assimilate and bless) and to welcome the former with hospitality.”

How in the world does anyone expect to figure out if potential immigrants intend to assimilate and bless? This is no different than saying “why can’t they just learn English”. Which doesn't take into consideration all of the factors of immigration, culture displacement, and loss of social capital that occurs when people come to this country.

I’m not suggesting that we just give green cards to terrorists. By all means keep the country safe. But we can do that and not pretend that keeping Mexicans out of this country is in the Bible.

What is being advocated here is judging people not based on their intention to do HARM but on the their culture and religion. I’m sure the author would disagree with me on this, but to me it really appears that this is not based on the premise of loving and helping at all. It rather appears to be based on Republican ideologies, conservative economic theory, American Exclusivity, American Exceptionalism, and American Supremacy.

I resent the fact that this group is claiming Biblical immigration. I think the Bible says very very few things about immigration and I do not think the Bible says what this group claims it does. I can’t find a single thing in the Bible that would indicate that we should keep Mexicans out so that Americans can have more jobs. None of this makes either of our opinions Biblical. It just means that people are once again invoking the Bible to justify their political beliefs, which I’m pretty sure Jesus would consider an inappropriate use of scripture.