Ethics as WorshipTweet
Posted 12/18/13 at 11:35 PM | Evan Lenow
“God, Family, Ducks…in that order.” So reads the Twitter profile of Jase Robertson, one of the star’s of A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” reality show. It looks like that saying is about to be tested. A&E has suspended Phil Robertson, father of Jase, Willie, and Jep Robertson and founder of Duck Commander, for his recent comments about homosexuality in an interview published in GQ.
A&E released the following statement:
We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson’s comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series Duck Dynasty. His personal views in no way reflect those of A+E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community. The network has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely.
Apart from the irony that Phil Robertson was doing an interview with GQ, the substance of his comments was not really surprising. In the interview Phil calls himself a “Bible-thumper,” and the author describes this commitment to the Bible by saying that Phil “thumps that Bible hard enough to ring the bell at a county-fair test of strength.” FULL POST
Posted 9/19/13 at 1:41 PM | Evan Lenow
The 2013 edition of the Official Baseball Rules produced by Major League Baseball defines a wild pitch as “one so high, so low, or so wide of the plate that it cannot be handled with ordinary effort by the catcher.”
Robbie Ross, a left-handed relief pitcher for the Texas Rangers and outspoken Christian on the team, threw a wild pitch the other day, but not from the mound at Rangers Ballpark. Ross’ pitch came on behalf of the NOH8 campaign. An article on the sports news site SB Nation suggested the idea that Ross’ involvement was wide of orthodox Christianity as it reported, “While it may seem an oxymoron to some for two devout Christians to showcase their religion on a campaign in support of gay equality, it made perfect sense to the Rosses.”
NOH8 is “a charitable organization whose mission is to promote marriage, gender and human equality through education, advocacy, social media, and visual protest.” The campaign uses photography to promote its message, often showing supporters with duct tape over their mouths to symbolize stopping negative speech toward homosexuality. FULL POST
Posted 9/12/13 at 3:05 PM | Evan Lenow
Women have been giving birth to children since the beginning of the world. Men, however, have apparently figured out how to accomplish this feat only recently. In fact, it seems quite popular these days for media outlets to plaster across their pages a headline that includes some version of “Man Gives Birth.”
The latest account of this comes out of Germany via UK’s The Telegraph. The headline reads, “Transgender man gives birth in Germany.” Below the headline, the paper adds this description: “A transgender man has given birth to his first child in Germany and wants to be registered as the baby’s father.”
To the typical reader, such a headline and description sounds ludicrous. How can a man—even one who is described as a transgender man—give birth to a child? Isn’t childbirth a biological impossibility for a man?
Here is the rest of the story. The Telegraph reports:
Although the birth took place on March 18 of this year the news has only just come to light. The baby was born at home, in the Neukoellin district of Berlin, attended only by a midwife. FULL POST
Posted 6/26/13 at 4:26 PM | Evan Lenow
June 26, 2013. Mark this day down in history.
I haven’t lived long enough to remember too many historic moments. I remember where I was when the Challenger space shuttle exploded. I have an image burned in my mind of watching the Berlin Wall collapse. I can even recall the visceral pain of watching the World Trade Center crumble in ruins.
I will also remember June 26, 2013, as the day that marriage changed forever in American society.
What exactly happened today? Let me offer a quick summary.
Hollingsworth v. Perry (California’s Proposition 8)
The Supreme Court essentially held that those defending California’s Proposition 8 do not have standing to file their appeal. The State of California has refused to defend Prop 8 in court; therefore, other citizens of the state took it up. As part of the ruling, the majority opinion reads, “Neither the California Supreme Court nor the Ninth Circuit ever described the proponents as agents of the State, and they plainly do not qualify as such.” In conclusion, the majority declared: FULL POST
Posted 5/17/13 at 2:17 PM | Evan Lenow
CNN reported on a tragic story about a woman whose boyfriend tricked her into taking an abortion-inducing drug after she told him she was pregnant. The boyfriend, John Andrew Welden, is now facing first-degree murder charges for killing the unborn child. Welden told his girlfriend that his father, a doctor, had prescribed her an antibiotic for an infection. In reality, Welden gave her an abortion-inducing drug, and the pregnancy was terminated.
This story is undoubtedly tragic, and Welden deserves to face punishment for first-degree murder. However, the undercurrent of this story is working against the tide of abortion-rights advocates. Note with me the inconsistency of the logic of our laws and of abortion advocates.
The pregnancy of Remee Lee was terminated by her boyfriend, the supposed father of the child. Since it was against the will of the mother, Welden is being charged with first-degree murder. However, if Lee had terminated the pregnancy herself, it would have been perfectly legal and perhaps even applauded by abortion advocates. Even if the abortion had been against the will of the father, the mother would have been within her legal rights to have an abortion. FULL POST
Posted 4/30/13 at 4:00 PM | Evan Lenow
The biggest news in professional basketball this week has nothing to do with the NBA playoffs. Instead, the basketball world is talking about Jason Collins’ first-person essay for Sports Illustrated in which announces he is gay. Within a sports-saturated culture, this is big news. Collins opens his article with the following declaration:
I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay.
I didn’t set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I’m happy to start the conversation.
Collins has played in the NBA for six different teams over twelve seasons. He is certainly not well-known like LeBron James, Shaquille O’Neal, or Michael Jordan. However, to last for twelve years in professional basketball is still an accomplishment. FULL POST
Posted 4/18/13 at 10:57 AM | Evan Lenow
While the battle over same-sex marriage still rages, it is hard to imagine what the next battle might be. However, astute observers of the marriage debate have already seen the newest challenge to the definition of marriage—polygamy. In an article this week on Slate, Jillian Keenan proposes that the legalization of polygamous marriage is a desired result of the current marriage debate. She argues:
While the Supreme Court and the rest of us are all focused on the human right of marriage equality, let’s not forget that the fight doesn’t end with same-sex marriage. We need to legalize polygamy, too. Legalized polygamy in the United States is the constitutional, feminist, and sex-positive choice. More importantly, it would actually help protect, empower, and strengthen women, children, and families.
Keenan is not playing the “same-sex marriage is a slippery slope” card to argue against same-sex marriage. In fact, she ridicules that argument as a “tired refrain.” Instead, she brands herself as a feminist who believes polygamy is in the best interest of women and society and perfectly in keeping with the arguments for same-sex marriage. FULL POST
Posted 4/9/13 at 5:16 PM | Evan Lenow
A recent editorial in The New York Times made the case that interfaith marriages are a mixed blessing. On one hand, such marriages often lead to less satisfaction in marriage, higher divorce rates, and diminished commitment to faith traditions. On the other hand, the author claims that these marriages promote religious tolerance.
Before addressing the biblical evidence regarding interfaith marriage, let’s look at some of the facts. According to a 2010 survey, interfaith marriages have increased from 20% of married couples prior to 1960 to 45% of married couples in 2010. These marriages include what many historically consider interfaith (Jew and Gentile, Christian and Non-Christian, Muslim and Non-Muslim, etc.) and more contemporary versions of interfaith partnerships, including Catholic and Protestant, Mainline Protestant and Evangelical, and religious and non-religious. FULL POST
Posted 4/8/13 at 1:41 PM | Evan Lenow
It has been said that all of philosophy is a series of footnotes to Plato. Could we say the same about the homosexuality and same-sex marriage debate? You may ask, “What in the world does Plato have to do with homosexuality?” The answer may surprise you.
In his work Symposium, Plato explores an alternative explanation for the origin of mankind and gender. Rather than the normal assessment that mankind was created with two genders—male and female—Plato suggests a three-gender origin (male-male, female-female, and male-female) that explains both heterosexual and homosexual orientations. He writes:
In the first place, let me treat of the nature of man and what has happened to it; for the original human nature was not like the present, but different. The sexes were not two as they are now, but originally three in number; there was man, woman, and the union of the two, having a name corresponding to this double nature, which had once a real existence, but is now lost, and the word “Androgynous” is only preserved as a term of reproach. FULL POST
Posted 4/5/13 at 12:25 PM | Evan Lenow
U.S. District Judge Edward Korman (Eastern District of New York) has ruled that the FDA must make the multiple versions of the morning-after pill available over-the-counter without a prescription and without age restrictions within one month. The FDA had previously decided to make the morning-after pill available to girls younger that 17, but Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebellius overruled the FDA in 2011, setting the age restriction of 17 or older.
The court decision comes as a result of a lawsuit filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights. According to CNN, Nancy Northrup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, responded to the decision by saying, “Today science has finally prevailed over politics. This landmark court decision has struck a huge blow to the deep-seated discrimination that has for too long denied women access to a full range of safe and effective birth control methods.” FULL POST