Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Weekly Smorgasbord

This week's list may look a little different- no so many faith and family posts and (many) more "issue" posts. I think part of it is the timing, part of it is new blogs and new interests, and part of it is just how some lists come out. These posts aren't without controversy and as you'll note, I don't agree with every word of every post. However, that's not my point with these weekly lists. The reason I find these so interesting is not always because they provide confirmation or validation for my own thoughts and feelings. Sometimes they fascinate me because they show me a new way of thinking. Even if I don't agree they broaden my worldview. I hope you'll give them a chance!




On Faith: 
Posted: 27 Jan 2013 10:30 PM PST
"Learning to be a healthy and mature single person is much closer to becoming a healthy and mature human-being in general than endlessly obsessing over becoming a wife or husband (of any degree of health or maturity). When pastors equally obsess over this on behalf of their flock, I'm starting to think it actually stunts the growth and flourishing of the humanity and lives of their people."
Posted: 27 Jan 2013 10:24 PM PST
"I'm prone to forget promised prayers if I don't somehow incarnate the intention. If I want to be true, I must make my prayers tangible. Moving mysterious prayers into time and space with objects I can see, touch, even smell help me remember to pray. My good intentions gain some gravity, my prayers some levity."

I do similar things and find using tangibles really helps me remember to pray. For example, I pray for Peyton as I put on my wedding ring each morning.
Posted: 19 Jan 2013 10:43 PM PST
There are definitely there are big chunks of this I disagree with, but it's an interesting framework he's got going here.
 
On Family:
Posted: 22 Jan 2013 09:48 PM PST
"So I'll thank you to stand back and let me do my job, here, which consists mostly of resisting the very same impulses you are indulging, and biting my tongue when I want to yell, "BE CAREFUL," and choosing, deliberately, painfully, repeatedly, to stand back instead of rush forward...Because, as they grow up, the ladders will only get taller, and scarier, and much more difficult to climb. And I don't know about you, but I'd rather help them learn the skills they'll need to navigate them now, while a misstep means a bumped head or scraped knee that can be healed with a kiss, while the most difficult of hills can be conquered by chanting, "I think I can, I think I can", and while those 15 whole feet between us still feels, to them, like I'm much too far away."

On the Sanctity of Life: 
Posted: 19 Jan 2013 10:43 PM PST
There are certain parts I don't agree with-- for example, I do find it disconcerting to advocate for "a swift and not-particularly-painless execution" for abortion providers were abortion to become illegal. Personally, capital punishment generally does not find a place in my pro-life ethic (I realize that can be debated), but beyond that it's inconceivable to me how a person of faith would encourage a "not particularly painless" execution even for offenders of the most heinous atrocities. Overall, though, a really good, thorough resource.
Posted: 23 Jan 2013 07:40 PM PST
I love the UMC, I love being a part of United Methodist Women, I love social justice, and I love women. But this has me deeply disturbed:
- "We cannot afford to allow the heated politics of this issue to veil the fact that women are dying." And, um, babies.
- "“We cannot afford to allow the heated politics of this issue to veil the fact that women are dying and that childbirth remains one of the most dangerous endeavors a woman faces,” they declare." In the United States? Nope.
- "They acknowledge that denomination members are divided on abortion, and cite the United Methodist Social Principles: “We recognize tragic conflicts of life with life that may justify abortion, and in such cases we support the legal option of abortion under proper medical procedures by certified medical providers." This is wholly different from the what the rest of the article is talking about.
- "Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control reports that almost half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended." As were half of all pregnancies in this family.
- "Conduct careful analysis of the church’s support for crisis pregnancy centers that may not offer all options of counseling." No. As a Methodist, as a Christian, as a person of integrity I could not spend my volunteer hours attempting to go against my conscience, which says abortion is one of the greatest atrocities of our time.
-“In the wilderness of political posturing and divisive blaming and shaming, we seek to be a voice crying out to prepare the way for the Lord to bring about a new era of reproductive justice for our families and communities,” they state." This is a truly beautiful sentiment and my literary inclined mind and heart want to love it. Sadly, I'm going to have to call bullshit on it instead."

Yesterday was, in some ways, a hard day to be an American. Today is a hard day to be a Methodist. 
Posted: 22 Jan 2013 09:50 PM PST
"But it is not enough to say that the child in the womb is precious. Key in the abortion battle is not simply to affirm how precious the baby is to God, but to declare how precious is the mother (another child of God), whom God made and knows and touches...And the man who may be urging an abortion because of his own fear of shame or disadvantage or retribution may also find new incentive to protect the unborn when he discovers the embrace of grace.  That embrace will mean nothing, of course, if it is not accompanied by meaningful love."
Posted: 22 Jan 2013 09:49 PM PST
"We must be politically active. We must serve moms in crisis. We must speak prophetically to both the world and the church, remembering that one in six abortions is procured by an evangelical. First, however, we must weep. First, our hearts have to be broken, lest our pro-life activities lead us to forget... Last we must remember that there is only one thing that can wash the blood from our hands, the blood from His."
Posted: 26 Jan 2013 09:01 PM PST
"We shall not weary, we shall not rest, until every unborn child is protected in law and welcomed in life. We shall not weary, we shall not rest, until all the elderly who have run life's course are protected against despair and abandonment, protected by the rule of law and the bonds of love. We shall not weary, we shall not rest, until every young woman is given the help she needs to recognize the problem of pregnancy as the gift of life. We shall not weary, we shall not rest, as we stand guard at the entrance gates and the exit gates of life, and at every step along way of life, bearing witness in word and deed to the dignity of the human person—of every human person."

AMEN. 
Posted: 26 Jan 2013 08:53 PM PST
"And I would put the life of a mother over the life of a fetus every single time — even if I still need to acknowledge my conviction that the fetus is indeed a life. A life worth sacrificing."

Honestly, I have a much harder time (and I've had this actual conversation with a friend who is pro-choice) understanding a person who supports abortion while still acknowledging that the fetus is alive. Because at that point, (regardless of the "condition" of the child), that is putting your lifestyle above another's life. I could never imagine doing that.
Posted: 25 Jan 2013 09:29 PM PST
"I imagine that as those Greek parents handed over their infants for someone to take away, they remarked on how very unlike their other children these little creatures were: They can't talk, they can't sit up. Surely those little yawns and smiles are just involuntary spasms. I bet you anything they justified their choices by referring to these babies with words that stripped them of their human dignity. Maybe they called them something like "fetuses," and walked away confident that the lives that had been taken were not really human at all."

On Gun Control:
Posted: 27 Jan 2013 10:10 PM PST
"There is just no reason civilians need to own assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Gun enthusiasts can still have their venison chili, shoot for sport and competition, and make a home invader flee for his life without pretending they are a part of the SEAL team that took out Osama bin Laden."

Agreed.

On Issues of Race:
Posted: 27 Jan 2013 10:05 PM PST
"Whatever great strides we might have made in our country, as long as State-mandated racism was occurring less than a lifetime ago, we simply cannot talk about a "post-racial" society. And we can be confident that the effects of that bigotry are still reverberating through our country and will continue for some time."

 Interesting article about racism in America today.
Posted: 27 Jan 2013 09:29 PM PST
"Diversity, be it racial or ethnic or cultural or denominational, is neither the reality nor the priority for the American church goer. When did this become acceptable?"

On Privilege
Posted: 25 Jan 2013 10:12 PM PST
"Confronting this distress is tricky, because neither acceptance nor rejection is quite right. The distress is usually very real, so rejecting it outright just marks you as closed-minded and unsympathetic. It never works to ask others for empathy without offering it back to them. At the same time, my straight-white-male sunburn can't be allowed to compete on equal terms with your heart attack. To me, it may seem fair to flip a coin for the first available ambulance, but it really isn't. Don't try to tell me my burn doesn't hurt, but don't consent to the coin-flip. The Owldolatrous approach — acknowledging the distress while continuing to point out the difference in scale — is as good as I've seen."

Here's a personal (my most personal example)-- as American society changes my chosen vocation seems to be more and more on the margins and in some cases, is even devalued and dismissed. And that stings. But it's nothing compared to the women who have been fighting in combat zones, but have been unrecognized for it thus far-- several of whom I recently saw in a television  interview. One should have been a candidate for a Congressional Medal of Honor, but "technically" she wasn't in the front lines. Another was asked her about her role in a recent war and she answered with a smile and with an incredible amount of humor and humility- "Well, I didn't loose my legs in a bar fight". My privileged sunburn of feeling disrespected when someone questions the legitimate work Ann Romney does as a stay at home mom does not, CANNOT, compare to the very real emotional scars heaped atop these women's physical ones. But it can't be dismissed, either. 

On Important Safety Measures:

Putting Your Child in a Booster Seat Too Soon Could Have Tragic Consequences | The Stir
Posted: 19 Jan 2013 10:40 PM PST
Important info here.

On Topics of Great Hilarity: 
Posted: 26 Jan 2013 08:34 PM PST
"Check the volume. If the song starts off so quiet you can barely hear it and then ends up breaking your speakers, you're listening to Mumford."

Haha.
Posted: 27 Jan 2013 10:34 PM PST
Yes.

On Writing and On Wisdom:
Posted: 27 Jan 2013 08:53 PM PST
"Are these the images my mind will conjure when I look back from a greater distance? I'm not sure, one can never have a true perspective of these things when you're in it. But I know enough about life now to know that when you look back on seasons, there is a tone. There is a vibe, there are colors, there is a prevailing sense of what it was, and I think that on some level you can control it. From this blog to my daily life, I want to create the colors of my life. I want to set the tone for our family memories. Sometimes this might mean I gotta fake it 'til I make it. But I don't think it's inauthentic to set up an atmosphere for my kids to have the healthiest recollection possible. I don't think it's inauthentic to decide my grumpy mood will not dictate this family vacation. As a mom, I set the tone for my family. As a writer, I set the tone for my stories. "
Posted: 26 Jan 2013 09:17 PM PST
So interesting!

On Things That Make Me Smile:
Posted: 27 Jan 2013 10:19 PM PST
"These have been the many phases of Kirsten Larson, an American Girl doll who sat on a shelf in the Ottendorfer branch of the New York Public Library, in the East Village, until a resourceful children's librarian began lending her to girls, many of whose parents, because of financial or feminist reasons, resist buying the dolls."

Oh gosh. This made me cry.
Posted: 27 Jan 2013 10:36 PM PST
"Three Tennessee homecoming king nominees made a unanimous and touching decision that no matter who won, they would give the crown to a beloved student with a genetic condition."

What a great story!

On Doing Better at What You're Already Doing:
Posted: 27 Jan 2013 10:47 PM PST
Great tips!
 
 


















Hope you enjoyed. Let me know if something stuck out to you!



2 comments:

ashley said...

Sarah, I love reading your blog! I am pro-choice and love all the articles related to abortion. I am afraid that so many christians feel "resigned" to the fact that abortion will remain legal. As a former Methodist, I am truly appalled at their stance on this issue!! I was never a member of UMW, but I know so many that are. If feel sure that they have no clue that their organization issued this statement. So, thank you for keeping us informed! Ugh, this just breaks my heart. Many will say that their particular Methodist church is more conservative ( We are in the south, you know) , but this is one of those "hinge" issues for me. Truly revealing...thanks, I suppose, although I feel a little sick to my stomach now!

ashley said...

Sarah, I love reading your blog! I am pro-choice and love all the articles related to abortion. I am afraid that so many christians feel "resigned" to the fact that abortion will remain legal. As a former Methodist, I am truly appalled at their stance on this issue!! I was never a member of UMW, but I know so many that are. If feel sure that they have no clue that their organization issued this statement. So, thank you for keeping us informed! Ugh, this just breaks my heart. Many will say that their particular Methodist church is more conservative ( We are in the south, you know) , but this is one of those "hinge" issues for me. Truly revealing...thanks, I suppose, although I feel a little sick to my stomach now!