Posts

Showing posts from January, 2015

I've Killed More People Than You

Image
Murder is more than taking a person's life; it's taking their value.
"You scare me," my wife said.
Usually, this is what follows some flamboyant or otherwise innocuous silliness I'm known for. This time she was serious.
Like most days, I had come home from work ready to unload all of the idiocy I had encountered during the day. But unlike most days, I didn't feel calmer when I was done venting. I felt angrier. In fact, I couldn't stop venting. My wife picked up on this and in her gentle yet firm way, she warned me about letting my frustrations turn into hatred. I paused. And that's when I said it.
"Sometimes I get so angry with people I wish they weren't alive anymore."
You'll never feel like more of a failure as a husband than making your wife afraid of you. But even in the midst of her fear, she told me exactly what I needed to hear: "You have an anger problem. And you need help."
Hatred is one of the easiest evils to ove…

1 Woman Christian Men Should Not Marry (and 9 other biblically-unsound examples)

Image
If you've seen the "10 Women Christian Men Should Not Marry" post floating around on social media, consider this a companion read--one that systematically examines the ideologies and hermeneutics that contribute to what the list purports to be definitive and universal for true believers (note: the article was originally published by Dr. Stephen Kim on 12/29/2014; however, it is no longer available on nycpastor.com).

First, let's start with ideologies. This author is clearly a complementarian. This means that while he affirms the equality of men and women, he believes that God gave each of them different roles and the role of the man is leader. I may not personally subscribe to this belief, but he's certainly entitled to it along with the many others who would agree with him.

What I have a problem with is his implication that people who take the Bible seriously will arrive at his conclusions. We all do this from time to time, but good scholars and theologians are c…

Don't Understand Societal Privilege? Get a Doll

Image
Equality in society won't happen until we learn how to share.
It all started with Dolly. My daughter has become so attached to this little, pink doll that we bought two more as backups. Which means she now has three Dollies--not similar, exactly the same. You'd think, then, that she would be satisfied with only one of them if some kids wanted to play with the others (like during her first birthday party this past weekend). Instead, she trolls those kids for having her dollies and whines that they had what she wanted: more of what she already had.
That's the problem with sharing. We like to think that so long as everyone has one of whatever it is, everyone will be happy. But watching just two kids playing will show you that sharing can't cure selfishness. And the sad part is we never grow out of that.
Take male privilege, for instance. Income inequality is a well-documented phenomenon in America, but for many men, they think the solution is for women to work harder. Lik…

We Don't Have Freedom of Speech

Image
Americans' favorite freedom may be freedom of speech, but they don't understand freedom or speech.
Last week, a group of violent extremists slaughtered twelve people at the headquarters of a satirical Parisian magazine (Charlie Hebdo) for printing offensive cartoons of Muhammad. In response, many folks around the world showed solidarity on social media with the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie or "I am Charlie." But Americans, in particular, weren't showing support for the victims of terrorism; they were identifying with the magazine's position on free speech.
Some news agencies like Buzzfeed and the Huffington Post have gone so far as to reprint the cartoons of Islam's prophet. The goal was to show that the pen is mightier than the sword and terrorism can never defeat free speech. To a large extent, that's true: control is an illusion. No one can force anyone else to do anything, and coercion only works if it can convince others that the illusion of control is…

There's a Solution to Cops vs Protesters

Image
The only thing that can make two opposing camps listen to each other is tribalism.
Ferguson was the biggest story of 2014. Not because public opinion is still chewing on the evidence of that case, but because it incited public outrage over subsequent events--particularly the death of Eric Garner in New York.
Marches ensued, roads were blocked, signs were carried reading "hands up, don't shoot," and Twitter quickly followed with the hashtag, #BlackLivesMatter. You might expect the tone of these protests to be very bitter and indignant. But by and large, what I've heard most from black folks is, "How am I supposed to raise my kids in a world where cops can kill them without question?"
Instead of engaging that discussion, cops and conservatives have largely responded with their own protests. On Twitter, they've made hashtags like #BlueLivesMatter with the more moderate among them preferring #AllLivesMatter. On Facebook, you'll find memes picturing cops…