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Friday, January 20, 2017

The Move to Abolish Gender?

The Move to Abolish Gender?
I've followed theologian John Milbank from afar from some years. As with many theologians, there are some pieces I question and others I applaud. Here is one of the latter, as he dissects what is going on in the transgender movement. One key quote would be:
Transgender as promoted today is a deadly earnest attempt to abolish gender altogether. Naturally, this promotion is most of all directed towards adolescents and children (rendering our fears, legitimate and not, over child abuse, somewhat hypocritical) by the commercial music industry.
But as he notes, it's not just the music industry that promotes and benefits from this move, but many aspects of the marketplace. One does not have to agree with everything he says in this long read for it to give one pause and new perspective.
 
Sponsoring Children: On the Other Hand
Last week I noted how attendees of the recent Passion conference sponsored every Compassion child available in four countries—some 7,000 children newly sponsored. This week, we are reminded that another 145,000 Compassion children will likely lose their sponsorship in India. And this after 45 years of remarkable service there. It's another example of national ideology working against the welfare of its people.
 
Camera Tickets and the Degrading of, Well, Democracy
The title— "That Time I Turned a Routine Traffic Ticket into the Constitutional Trial of the Century"—reflects the self-important tone of this piece, but the author does raise good, and sometimes humorous, points about due process. I had some personal interest in this piece on traffic cameras because last year I loaned my car to an acquaintance and then received a ticket for running a red light while he was driving it, with a picture to prove it. Of course, one cannot tell from the picture who was driving the car. The Carol Stream, Illinois, police just assumed I was guilty. The assumption of such a system is that I am legally liable for the behavior of people who drive my car—an odd notion, to say the least.
In short, municipal officials and their private contractors have at their disposal the powers of both criminal and civil law and are excused from the due process duties of both criminal and civil law. It's a neat trick that would have made King George III blush.
The Founding Fathers and Fake News
Here's another piece that reminds us that "fake news" is hardly a new phenomenon. The new twist in here is that the author reminds us that this phenomenon was well known by our nation's founders, who apparently took steps to try to mitigate it.

"[Jesus Christ] could not and would not demand anything other or better for himself than that he should share the sorrow of his people and God's people."

—Karl Barth, Church Dogmatics, IV I page 477.
Grace and peace,
 
Mark Galli
Mark Galli
Mark Galli
Editor, Christianity Today

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