Intersectionality and Christianity

About a month ago I read a five-part article by apologist Neil Shenvi and found it to be the most relevant analysis regarding the cultural conflict in America that I have read this year. I highly recommend reading A Long Review of Race, Class, and Gender when you have time. Read all five parts as parts 3 through 5 cannot be missed.

Here is a sampling:

Part 3 – the Ugly

Critical theory summarized

Critical theory unifies the essays in this anthology. Since critical theory is an interdisciplinary project that spans decades and dozens of distinct fields, defining it can be challenging. Moreover, since it often functions as a worldview (that is, as a comprehensive, interpretive framework for understanding reality), its tenets are often implicitly adopted rather than being explicitly stated. However, I’ll try to list a few of its fundamental assumptions, providing quotes from the book to illustrate each point (see below; more available on request).RaceClassAndGender

– Premise 1: human relationships should be fundamentally understood in terms of power dynamics, which differentiates groups into ‘oppressors’ and ‘the oppressed’
 Premise 2: Our identity as individuals is inseparable from our group identity, especially our categorization as ‘oppressor’ or ‘oppressed’ with respect to a particular identity marker
– Premise 3: All oppressed groups find their fundamental unity in their common experience of oppression
– Premise 4: The fundamental human project is liberation from all forms of oppression; consequently, the fundamental virtue is standing in solidarity against the oppressor

The four principles outlined above are not a random assortment of disconnected beliefs. Instead, they form a unified, coherent framework for viewing everything about our lives, from our identity, to our fundamental problem (oppression), to our fundamental moral duty (fighting for liberation), to the basis for unity between individuals (common oppression/solidarity). If we adopt them, they will dramatically influence how we think about many important issues, from poverty to abortion to human sexuality.

Part 4 – Critical theory and Christianity

In the last section, I gave several general reasons to reject the tenets of critical theory. In the next few sections, I’ll focus on reasons for Christians in particular to reject critical theory.RaceClassAndGender

Both Christianity and critical theory are worldviews; that is, they are comprehensive, coherent ways of looking at reality. However, I believe that they are mutually incompatible. To the extent that a person adopts a Christian worldview, they will have to abandon the basic tenets of critical theory if they are to remain consistent.

The first conflict between critical theory and Christianity relates to the issue of identity. Identity (that is, how we view ourselves and others) plays a tremendously important role in critical theory and in postmodernism. Critical theory would insist that gender, race, ethnicity, class, age, etc… are fundamental components of our identities. However, from a Christian perspective, there are three far more fundamental categories of identity which critical theory ignores. What is more, this omission is not accidental; it is a consequence of critical theory itself. As a result, we cannot simply tack Christianity on to critical theory, or vice versa. One will have to be rejected.

The three categories I have in mind are: 1) human beings as the imago Dei, 2) human beings as sinners, and 3) human beings as united in Christ. (continued…)

 

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Homogenous: The Political Affiliations of Elite Liberal Arts College Faculty

Article- https://www.nas.org/articles/homogenous_political_affiliations_of_elite_liberal

The data continues to confirm lack of thought diversity among academics. My question is regarding whether this disparity is due mostly to discrimination or not. There are likely various factors contributing to this including “Republicans” lack of interest to become a professor.  We know from Thomas Sowell that discrimination is only one possible explanation for unequal outcomes and that people will naturally order themselves when left alone. See his new book Discrimination and Disparities.

 

The velocity of the moral revolution steadily increasing

Al Mohler’s daily briefing podcast reviews three events this week contributing to the moral revolution.

Web page: https://albertmohler.com/2018/04/20/briefing-4-20-18/

Audio: https://mohler-media-5ox2mshyj.stackpathdns.com/Podcast/20180420_TheBriefing.mp3

Stories:

California set to enact legislation barring sale of any books expressing orthodox Christian beliefs on sexuality

Christians no longer welcome? What’s really behind the line of questioning in a Senate committee hearing

Army chaplain under fire after refusing to facilitate a marriage retreat for same-sex couples

Interesting Perspective on Compromise in the wake of Florida High School Shooting

Peggy Noonan is former presidential speechwriter and current columnist and author wrote a recent article called The Parkland Massacre and the Air We Breathe. Noonan perceptively identifies the degradation of our society starting with the dissolution of the family as well as cultural inputs which are negatively impacting all of us.

Near the end of her article she proposes a compromise in public policy goals between Republicans and Democrats when she says,

The idea: Trade banning assault weapons for banning late-term abortion. Make illegal a killing machine and a killing procedure.

In both cases the lives of children would be saved.

Wouldn’t this clean some of the air? Wouldn’t we all breathe a little easier?

It is a provocative and innovative proposal that is likely meant to call both the Republican’s and Democrat’s bluff rather than be taken seriously as a piece of legislation. However, I can see this type of idea being more popular among voters as the debate on guns moves forward.

Noonan clearly sees that each group wants the opposition’s purported rights eradicated on moral grounds.  However, her case is a bit too simplistic in that the moral analogy of banning a gun versus banning the killing of an unborn child are not, in my opinion, equally weighted. The analogy further slips when comparing the two in light of the Constitution whereas one right is explicit and pervasive since the founding and the other is interpreted as implied and added late. However, I see the merit in offering her argument as an olive branch in hopes of some change.

Point, counter-point in the gun debate

  • point- what does it hurt someone who does not own an AR-15 if we ban others from purchasing them?
  • counter-point- it requires a stretch to say that, “since I am not participating in a particular constitutional right, then I can remove that right from others. Apply this logic to other rights and you see the problem.”
  • point- what does it hurt anyone to remove or ban AR-15s?
  • counter-point- this should not be the question. The question is, how can we stop public mass shootings from happening in schools? this prompts the next question, how would removing this gun from law-abiding, well adjusted, responsible citizens impact the amount of public mass shootings in schools? There are multiple ways to answer this question. Banning the sale or manufacturing of a particular rifle would likely make many feel better but would not stop public mass shootings.
  • Point- gun owners or gun rights supporters shouldn’t be concerned about a ban on AR-15s, there are plenty of other guns to protect their families with.
  • counter-point- this is exactly a good reason to be concerned. If the gun rights proponent is arguing that the AR-15 or any “assault rifle” has the capacity to inflict massive destruction and death and therefore should be banned, then the logic also applies to hand-guns. Hand guns are responsible for the VAST VAST majority of gun violence and murder in the U.S. and around the world. Handguns can also inflict massive damage very quickly as well. Just a couple examples: Fort Hood 2009- 13 dead many more injured, Virginia Tech 2007- 33 dead many more injured, Charleston Church 2015- 9 dead. All committed with hand guns.
    • Would gun control advocates promise that this is their last type of gun they try to ban if gun rights advocates agree to make the compromise and give up their rights? Probably not is my guess.

Any law should not be a band-aid but should really attempt to see what actually happened that day and stop it from occurring again. There is common ground and compromise that can be made. Armed security or teachers, metal detectors, automatic lock-down door systems similar to hospitals, Gun Violence Restraining Orders, better enforcement of current laws, consequences for mistakes by the FBI, better mental health policy, etc… are all areas that contribute to this conversation and all should be on the table. All are effected and all of us suffer when the innocent die.