Here’s your week’s list of reads. Discuss in the comments if something rubs you wrong or you’re curious about why I chose to feature a piece.
Some politician named Mourdock made a statement that, out of context, was highly offensive to feminists/rape victims. Basically he believes that Babies = Gift From God, so he assumes that while Rape = Bad, Babies (from rape) = still Gift From God. But what it sounded like was that he was suggesting that rape victims be thankful they got raped, because Babies, you guys! Here’s one of many posts on this from the perspective of the offended party. I posted it on Facebook yesterday, with this commentary, and we had a lively discussion:
I am consistently bothered by WASP men who jump on the comments about rape and pregnancy (like Akin and Mourdock) with their comments about no exceptions for abortion bans, because babies! Life! Imago Dei!
Yes. Technically these men are correct. Morally, they have the high ethical ground.
But there is a hollow lack of compassion in these over-eager attempts to comment on the correct moral choice for a rape victim, and it seems to me that their privilege in our society as straight white Protestant men has blinded them to the pain and anguish of such a situation and led them into turning these women into abstractions, useful for political gesturing. This is wrong. These women are real people, loved by God.
Can we give rape victims the respect of not making them abstractions for our political discussions? It’s not sweeping the issue of life as a gift from God under the rug to respect these women and let them grieve privately. It’s not endorsing abortion to respect their experience (and your lack thereof) to hold your tongue and not paint in broad strokes how you think they should act or feel.
Life is a gift from God. Your ethical patronizing is not.
I highlighted this wonderful, wonderful post on relationship and obedience in parenting by my mom in the comments on my last post (which, oh my. Got so much traffic. Really blown away by you all. Thank you.) and everyone should go read it.
A NY Times blog addresses the horrific agricultural situation in America, and suggests a simple fix (which may or may not be the best option, but it’s worth reading).
My good friend Eric writes an essay against legalism as part of a series he’s doing. He suggests that labeling people (he jokingly calls those who habitually do this to organize their world “Labelists”) is contrary to God’s law of love, and undermines the gospel, and promotes legalism. Loving it so far.
The Diocese of South Carolina has broken off from the Episcopal church over longstanding differences of opinion on issues of orthodoxy. Our rector used to be part of this diocese. Pray for the Church.
A beautiful, beautiful essay on the Book of Common Prayer in the New Yorker. I love this so much, as I attended several evensong services at Salisbury, and it’s still my favorite cathedral I’ve ever visited.
For those of us who have been hurt by fundamentalist Christianity, here’s a reminder from Peter Enns on why we need to still love these brothers and sisters in Christ.
A funny way to teach yourself to detect the passive voice in your writing.
Random House and Putnam Penguin are considering a merger. This would be horrific for the book selling industry, and is largely the natural reaction to Amazon and da gubbamit. Support your local independent booksellers, kids!
There is a style guide for web typography. I’m in love.
I spell my name with an umlaut (keyboard shortcut alt+0228, fyi) and so of course I loved this little essay on umlauts and Volapük.
My 6,128 Favorite Books: an essay on reading in the WSJ. Lovely. Those who know, know. And if you know, you will love this piece.
A fascinating article on memes in political journalism and what they do to the political discourse.
The State of the Short Story, by the editor of The Paris Review, Lorin Stein. I’m a sucker for short stories. Stein explores how we read and why we read short stories.