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Friday, August 11, 2017

What to Make of Hiroshima?

Time for Google to Learn Something from the Church
The conservative internet went abuzz with the news: "Google Fires Engineer for Noticing Men and Women Are Different." This was one of many articles that imbibed the luxurious liquid of internet outrage. Liberals of course came to Google's defense, saying "Google Was Right to Fire the Memo Writer" (one James Danmore). As these things go, reporting on the left and right was heavily skewed.

The left assumed that Danmore argued that "women are inferior." Not quite. He only said that men and women have different strengths and interests, and even admitted that gender discrimination is a real problem. He just argued that, while an individual's abilities should be judged without reference to gender, in the end it should not surprise us if some jobs end up being more attractive to men and others to women, and thus more populated by men or women, depending on the job.

On the right, conservatives said that Americans need "real safe places" where they can work "and discuss opposing ideas without risking their livelihoods." Well, except if a company or non-profit has a particular ideology to which it is committed, by which it wants to define itself, it shouldn't have to retain employees who try to undermine that ideology.

The point is that orthodoxy and heresy are alive and well, albeit in secular form. People of all sorts are deeply committed to what they believe is truth and repulsed by what they believe is error. Secularists don't have much experience in adjudicating such matters, so they often do it very badly, as did Google by summarily firing Danmore.

The church actually has some hard-earned wisdom here. We've made egregious mistakes over the centuries in adjudicating truth and error, to be sure. But today, denominations have systems to review charges, to hear appeals, and to slow down before a decision is made. Decisions are made after a very lengthy process. We don't always do it perfectly, and sometimes parties selfishly manipulate the system, but when we're at our best, every side is heard and there is no rush to judgment.

It may be time for some execs at Google to go to church and learn a thing or two.
What to Make of Hiroshima?
This past week was the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, August 6, 1945. The further we are from the bombing, the more critics come to the fore, especially as more and more records become declassified. I admit to being a long defender of it, but two pieces this week have given me pause. The title of each reveals their respective theses. From the American Conservative comes: "Don't Whitewash the Hiroshima Bombing: It reveals a dangerous strain of vengeance in U.S. Foreign Policy" and from the blog "The Curious Wavefunction" we read "The Bomb Ended World War 2: And Other Myths about Nuclear Weapons."
But There Is Hope!!
Let me end on something a little lighter. Enjoy this video by We Are Tomasse, "Make Poverty History," whose humorous story line is, in fact, the exact opposite of reality (which is that we're making huge strides in defeating poverty). Do this on your way to listening to a hopeful Quick to Listen podcast featuring Richard Stearns, president of World Vision—an organization that is doing some incredible work on poverty!
Grace and peace,
Mark Galli
Mark Galli
Mark Galli
Editor in Chief, Christianity Today

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