Listening to One's Enemies
It is certainly an uphill battle for anyone trying to help us all listen more to one another. The New York Times took a big hit from the left for running a profile of a suburban neo-Nazi, and The Federalist got slammed by conservative readers for publishing "Why Alabamians Should Vote for Roy Moore" even if the accusations of sexual abuse are true. These two pieces represent significant voices in America today, whether we like it or not. One does not have to agree with their ideology or reasoning to appreciate the need to grasp why people believe and act the way they do. Calling them a scurrilous name is not enough. One way to love a political enemy is by showing him or her that you have genuinely listened to what they have to say before you offer your point of view.
If you don't have time for both of these pieces, at least read Ben Domenech, the publisher of The Federalist, explain his reasoning behind publishing pieces he doesn't necessarily agree with.
The Long-Term Pro-Life Cause
Speaking of Roy Moore, here to me is the best analysis from a Christian, pro-life perspective on that senatorial election. Gracy Olmstead argues at The American Conservative that pro-life Christians should think twice about a pro-life candidate who is generally viewed as immoral. We may enjoy a short-term electoral victory—the appointment of a conservative justice and even the reversal of Roe v. Wade—but these victories will likely be short-lived:
Voting for loathsome politicians will distance swing voters from the GOP—and, more importantly, from the pro-life cause most often associated with it. … Roy Moore may win Alabama, but his unpopularity (as well as the widespread disapproval of Donald Trump) could result in a momentous swing to the left in future months and years, thus erasing any possibility of congressional victory for the pro-life cause.
I, for one, want a genuine and long-lasting shift in American culture on this issue, like the shifts we've seen on racism and sexual aggression against women. Short-term victories at any cost might be a cost too high.
The End of Social Media?
One can hope, at least. "Is the Economy Suffering from the Crisis of Attention?" suggests that checking our phones 150 times a day (as one study showed) may be sabotaging our thoughtfulness and efficiency in the workplace. The article references a number of studies that suggest we have a serious problem.
Another article argues "our society will one day view our infatuation with Twitter, Facebook, and the like as a passing, often destructive fad." It also notes how some of the creators of these platforms now deeply regret their part in creating them.
Separating Rumor from Truth
"Ravi Zacharias Responds to Sexting Allegations" is our report on the buzz surrounding the online chatter about the famous apologist. No, this doesn't answer every question nor reveal everything we would like to know, but it moves the conversation away from gossip and allegation.
A Christian Alexa
Video from comedian John Crist, on a Christmas gift for those who want to be pure in heart, mind, soul, and strength.
Grace and peace,
Friday, December 8, 2017
Listening to One's Enemies