Must Read Monday 3-11-2019 Is capitalism irredeemable, culture of death, identity issues, immigration and religious libertyMarch 11, 2019
Disturbing trend: Half of Millennials and Gen Z Prefer Living in Socialist Country
Again, let’s take a deep breath and note that people who actually understand Socialism and it’s very real impacts do not prefer those outcomes to capitalism – the benefits of which they take for granted every day. The conversations necessary today require patience and sometimes examples. What might an experiment in socialism look like for a teenager? Have them use only public transportation to get to and from places they want to go. If they have a job, require them to turn it over to you and re-distribute it equally to all members of the household. If they attend private school, begin the conversation with them about going to public school starting next semester. If they have in mind going somewhere or doing something fun over spring break, ask them how they intend to pay for that? If it’s by the benefits of capitalism, tell them those are no longer available under the socialist system. Then have them watch videos of what’s happening in Venezuela… and read Gulag Archipelago.
The Chicago Tribune recently reported that in the assessment of Congresswoman Alexandria Ostacio-Cortez “capitalism is irredeemable”. Is that true? I don’t think so. To be fully equipped for this conversation, check out my conversation with Dr. Kenneth Barnes, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary about Redeeming Capitalism
Death with dignity, assisted suicide legislation under consideration across the country
Lawmakers in Minnesota, Oregon, Nevada, New Jersey and Arkansas are considering the legalization and therefore the normalization of assisted suicide. We talked last week about the process by which a culture normalizes that which it once anathametized. So how do Christians contend for life in a culture of death in the conversation about legalizing physician assisted suicide? It is euphemistically called death with dignity or good death, but we know otherwise. Questions to ask yourself and others:
- what is life and what lives are worth living? (how do answers compare with what scripture teaches?)
- what are our expectations related to suffering? (how do answers compare with what scripture teaches?)
- what has the result of legalization and normalization of assisted death been in other countries? (what lies ahead is active euthanasia and coercive death. See Princeton ethics’ professor Peter Singer’s grim view of humanity and how he thinks we should pragmatically get rid of everyone who is not actively contributing efficiently to progress as defined by cultural elites.)
- Reconnect with Carmen resource book on the topic
- Spotlight interview with Joni Eareckson Tada: When is it right to die?
- Life expectancy from a Christian worldview
The New York Times has an article about a Catholic school in Kansas under fire for denying to serve a same-sex couple seeking to enroll their child. But the pressure isn’t coming from the culture, its coming from people within the parish and it’s affiliated school. The controversy is not likely to remain confined to Kansas nor to Catholicism. We have arrived at the cultural reality of the spirit of the age (to pro LGBTQ+ spirit) being fully alive in the church.
Here’s the gist: St. Ann Catholic School in Prairie Village, Kansas, denied admittance to the child with married same-sex parents. The school is a wholly owned and operated mission of the Roman Catholic Church which does not recognize same-sex marriage as marriage. But apparently LOTS of Catholics in the diocese do not submit to the church’s teaching on the matter.
More than 1200 people signed a petition which reads in part:
“We ask you to consider the many ways that other modern marriages may be inconsistent with the Church’s teaching on Sacramental marriage (i.e. vasectomy, IVF, divorce, and remarriage without approved annulment),” the letter said. “Further, St. Ann does accept non-Catholic children and families into our school. Presumably, these families are not in marriages that are conformant to the teachings of the Church.”
They are not wrong.
Petitioners raise other concerns as well. They view the church’s prohibition as contrary to the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling guaranteeing a right to same-sex marriage, and they note state and local laws which bar discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. And while churches are exempt from such non-discrimination laws, petitioners want to see the church abandon the convictions formed by Scripture and tradition and yield to the culture tide of the sexual liberty. They also point out the open hypocrisy of a religious hierarchy which has failed to protect children from homosexual child predator priests and they ask the important question about whether or not a child should be punished for the sins of his or her parents.
These are each and all important worldview conversations and if your church has a school, this is a critical conversation.
Iowa Supreme Court rules Medicaid must cover transgender care
The Iowa Supreme Court ruled late last week that the state Medicaid program has to cover sex reassignment surgery, upholding a June 2018 ruling by a lower court. The original case was brought by Carol Ann Beal and Eerie Anna Good, both of whom identify as female and sought coverage for the surgery, which their medical providers said was medically necessary to treat their gender dysphoria. Their request was denied twice by the state Medicaid program before they sued in 2017. The state’s Supreme Court rejected the Iowa Department of Human Services policy that gender-affirming surgery is “cosmetic, reconstructive, or plastic surgery” that is “performed primarily for psychological purposes.”
The issue of hate and race and nationalism and immigration continue to be a complicated – and often toxic – mix in the conversations of the culture today. Here’s an article that illuminates the truth that these are issues are not true, nor are they going away. The headline in the Washington Post reads: “Her ancestors were enslaved in the U.S. Now a Trump decision could lead to her deportation to Africa“. The subhead adds: “Former American slaves were moved to Liberia in the 1800s to solve the problem of black and white people living alongside each other. Their descendants are facing the same journey.”
Did you even know this part of America’s history? I did not. Do you read this story as yet more evidence that our immigration system need to be thoroughly overhauled? I do.
I intend to raise this as a topic of conversation on Tuesday with Dr. Katharine Gerbner and on Thursday with Justin Giboney from The And Campaign. If we’re going to move forward into positive action we have to talk about the things we really don’t want to talk about.
And finally, the United Nations and Religious Liberty splainer from the ERLC.