fidesquaerens (marta_bee) wrote,

weekly round-up

Originally published at Faith Seeking Understanding. You can comment here or there.

I know I’ve shared this video before, but somehow it never, never gets old.

And now, once more, into the breach (of LOLs…)

Things I’ve Read:

1. “Who is Pope Francis to Judge?” by Brad Hirschfield [Washington Post]

Pope Francis did more than answer a question though. He articulated an ethic of judging, one which recognizes that while making judgments is a necessary part of life – in this case, determining who is acting in good will, what it means to seek the Lord, and the insistence that some people forego sexual expression — not all judgment-making is within human purview, even of the human in question is the pope. […]

Imagine that, a stalwart institutional leader who recognizes that while the institution he leads is sacred – ordained by God, for those who follow the faith – there are times when all of us must be willing to say “who am I to judge?” Some things, the pope’s comments suggest, simply belong to God.

2. “Divided Third Circuit Panel: Corporations Do Not Have First Amendment Free Exercise Rights,” by Ruthann Robson

[on why a corporation could be forced to participate in ACA contraception insurance without violating the owners’ religious beliefs]

For the majority, it is a “fundamental principle” that “incorporation‘s basic purpose is to create a distinct legal entity, with legal rights, obligations, powers, and privileges different from those of the natural individuals who created the corporation.” Rather, “by incorporating their business, the Hahns themselves created a distinct legal entity that has legally distinct rights and responsibilities from the Hahns, as the owners of the corporation.” Moreover, because “Conestoga is distinct from the Hahns, the Mandate does not actually require the Hahns to do anything. All responsibility for complying with the Mandate falls on Conestoga.”

3. “To Stop Being the Party of Stupid You Must Stop Being Stupid,” by Ta-Nehisi Coates [Atlantic]

I’ve said this before but conservatives often perceive liberal attachment to diversity as a kind of “everyone’s a winner” cuddle party, where we sit around exchanging rice-cakes and hating on the military. But the great strength of diversity is it forces you into a room with people who have experiences very different from your own. It’s all fine and good to laugh at Sherrod Brown dancing to Jay-Z. But dude is outside his lane and he’s learning something. M.C. Rove should be so lucky.


Things I’ve Said

… here …

on being correct vs. being one of us

I don’t think substance is all that matters. Language matters. Posture matters. There are very few values so wrong you can’t play them out in a loving way. This doesn’t make those values *right*, but given a wrong value people are acting on in hate and one they’re trying to act on in love, I’ll take the former. I disagree with the RCC that homosexual people have a disordered sexuality, but if you give me a pope who tries to love them, tries to recognize their value within the constraints of his beliefs about LGBT people and their sexual attraction… that’s a much better starting place for love and community than someone who just says God hates fags, or who just think there’s something about them that’s deeply sick and must be changed as proof that God is working in their lives.

… and at FB …

1. July 31, 10:31 PM:

Today was good. I talked about Aristotle’s Politics Bk I, about the telos of different institutions and how this affects whether we think (e.g.) homosexuals should be allowed to marry or whether universities should use affirmative action. Also about fanfic – about whether a story can be good fiction and still fail at the telos of fan fiction. Good question, IMO. Then in the second half we dug into a bit of MacIntyre and talked about the moral relevance community. I talked about being a Tarheel and how even though I haven’t lived there in yers, I still feel a deep connection to the community I came of age in, and whether those emotional ties impacted right and wrong. And of course other people talked about their experiences that related to this kind of experience as well.

Basically it was a very human class where I was able to sit down and talk about different philosophical issues about morality and community and the way they play out here. We covered some good ground, but it had a very relaxed, open vibe to it, where people were really putting themselves out there to discuss what this really means and whether they agree with it or not. So proud of my “kids” this semester.

Also: *so* exhausted. Honestly. But there’s just the one more day, and half of that is givne over to review.

2. July 30, 2:42 PM:

I’ve been turning something over in my head the last few weeks, ever since someone (I forget whom) mentioned it in a blog post. Specifically, there’s a line of thinking among some atheists, secularists, and other people skeptical about religion, that Christians should never have to name themselves as Christians if they just lived out their religion properly. The blogger asked what that would mean – what behavior would be so obviously Christian that it would be unique to Christians, or even theists.

And I think the point is a fair one. You can live morally without believing in God, I think, much less accepting my unique beliefs about God. Religious folks might point out that living morally isn’t the same as being good, that only God can make us truly good, or even that being good isn’t really the point here. Those are questions for another day. And I suppose most of us have heard the statistics about how Christians, even evangelicals, divorce and have premarital sex and a whole other host of sins at the same rates you see in society at large. But I still think people become and stay Christians because they think it helps them live the best kind of life. “They’ll know we are Christians by our love,” as the old song goes.

So I’m curious. Are there certain kinds of behaviors you’d expect a good Christian to carry out, that you wouldn’t expect of an atheist? I get that individual, actual Christians may fall short – but do you think there is some kind of action or behavior that should prove to people you’re a Christian? Do you expect the ideal Christian (or theist, or some other specific religion, if you prefer) to act differently from the ideal non-Christian, and if so in what way? I’m mainly interested in what my fellow theists think about this – and please, no religion-bashing; this is a sincere question. Also, I have my own opinion but I’ll keep it to myself just now because I want to hear what other people think first.

So: do you expect religious people or folks who believe in some kind of God to behave differently from people in general, or from atheists? And in what way? I’d like to know what you guys think on this topic.

[NB: I made a similar post to this over here as well. Thanks so much for all the wonderful replies. I have a few more I want to reply to, but I want to say how much some of your words touched me.]

3. July 29, 5:37 PM, in reply to this meme.

To be fair, so have large parts of the RCC, and most other denominations. And at my UMC church it’s not something snazzy like LGBT ministry; they’re called parishioners…

4. July 29, 12:28 AM

Why do programmers always confuse Halloween and Christmas? Because Dec(25) = Oct(31).

Apparently this is a very old joke that only makes sense to programmers and mathematicians, and that somehow I just tonight discovered. How exactly did that happen? It’s not like we have that many jokes to begin with. Explaining it would probably ruin it, but if you must know…

5. July 26, 4:33 PM

Over at Christianity Today, the Her.meneutics blog carried a post on modesty, using St. Paul’s statements about the person who eats meat, not doing it in front of the person who had decided the meat was unholy because it tempts him.

The obvious problem –other than the latent sexism in the piece– is I’m not a piece of meat. I can dress modestly for a lot of reasons (indeed, I typically do), but it can’t be because I am trying to shield my neighbors from lust. When I act on that basis, I assume that I am an object of lust, or at least so much a potential one that it’s not a risk worth taking. The fact that doing this helps the guy (or girl!) not look at me lustfully doesn’t change the fact that I am now treating myself as something that may be displayed or taken away, a thing rather than a she.

(This line of thinking is inherently offensive to men, too, I’d think, but that’s a topic for another day.)

6. July 26, 3:30 AM

I’ve been mulling a blog post on abortion, particularly how the recent crop of state laws seems structured in a truly odd way so if you either thought abortion was murder from the moment of conception or it got progressively more wrong as the pregnancy progressed, the law would only make things worse under either framework. I may tease a bit more of that out if I find the time tomorrow and pull a blog post together.

But my point: I went poking around Google images to find a meme or protest sign worth including. I don’t recommend it if you have a weak stomach; I’ve seen war photography that didn’t turn my stomach so thoroughly. But I was left feeling manipulated rather than outraged and frustrated at that level. Kind of like truly profane language that leaves you almost pitying the person for not being able to carry on a rational conversation. This doesn’t make any comment on whether abortion is permissible or not, should be illegal or not – it’s a totally different issue for me. I guess I just get frustrated by how this topic seems to reduce so many people on both sides to yelling rather than talking.

And this is what I do when I’m headachey and should be relaxing, or even sleeping. Some folks watch Doctor Who to unwind…

7. July 25, 1:39 PM, in response to this meme:

I like how much this reminds me of Pope Francis’s “even the atheists” comment. We need more religious leaders (and more secular, too) that emphasize this.


LOLs I’ve Spread

Fannish Funnies (board)

1. Bilbo had a bad Wednesday, Arthur Dent never could get the hang of Thursdays… I’d say Martin will have earned his weekend.

2. Probably one of the best takes on Boromir’s deaths that I’ve ever read. It also, unfortunately, uses more adult language than I like to include in these round-ups –I mean, my grandmum reads this blog!– so you’ll have to check it out:


3. You’ve heard of pet-shaming? This is Sherlock-shaming.

4. (Catching Fire memeage – spoilers)



7. Best. Weekend. Ever.







Academic + Teacherly Funnies (board)



3. Yes, this is really a thing. Text clearer at Pinterest.

4. Works for philosophy, too. Again, text clearer at Pinterest.


6. Kantian ethics in practice.



Political Funnies (board)



Religious Funnies (board)

1. ColBeef on atheism.



Random Funnies (board)

1. Yes, but scratch the past tense.

2. The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.


4. Smooth moves, Einstein.

5. One of the memes going around FB is saying that our guardian angels are watching, won’t you please post this to show you appreciate them, etc. Personally, if there is such a thing as specific guardian angels, I have to believe I’m keeping them plenty busy. No FB breaks for you!



8. Also good for life in general.


Because I’m a Closet Foodie (board)

1. Recipe. I used a premade crust and it worked well enough.


Cuteness (board)

1. They can’t has cheezburger.


Nothing New to Share

1. Gender-based Funnies
2. Somebody’s $1m Idea
3. Groovitudes
4. Deep Thoughts

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