Super Bowl Halftime Show according to C.S. Lewis

This year’s Super Bowl halftime show with Shakira and JLo created a lot of buzz and commentary. Just another example of how there seems to not be one single issue that Americans can agree on these days. Conversations abounded on the topics of cultural values and modesty in entertainment.  I just reread Mere Christianity around the time of the Super Bowl and this section popped out to me as being potentially relevant yet written nearly 80 years ago! This is perhaps how C.S. Lewis might have framed the topic:

The Christian rule of chastity must not be confused with the social rule of “modesty” (in one sense of that word: i.e. propriety, or decency). The social rule of propriety lays down how much of the human body should be displayed and what subjects can be referred to, and in what words, according to the customs of a given social circle.

Thus, while the rule of chastity is the same for all Christians at all times, the rule of propriety changes. A girl in the Pacific islands wearing hardly any clothes and a Victorian lady completely covered in clothes might both be equally “modest,” proper, and decent, according to the standards of their own societies; and both, for all we can tell by their dress, might be equally chaste (or equally unchaste).”

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…)

 

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

Article: “Dutch may allow assisted suicide for those who feel life is over”

Dutch may allow assisted suicide for those who feel life is over”  (Reuters)

The Dutch government intends to draft a law that would legalize assisted suicide for people who feel they have “completed life,” but are not necessarily terminally ill, it said on Wednesday.

The Netherlands was the first country to legalize euthanasia, in 2002, but only for patients who were considered to be suffering unbearable pain with no hope of a cure.

In a letter to parliament, the health and justice ministers said details remain to be worked out but that people who “have a well-considered opinion that their life is complete, must, under strict and careful criteria, be allowed to finish that life in a manner dignified for them.”

Albert Mohler comments here on how every time a piece of legislation like this is passed, the proponents of the bill will declare that the bill will never lead to further radical misuses in the future.  In this case it is easy to see that opening the door to assisted suicide will lead to a broader cultural acceptance and encouragement of suicide for non-medical reasons. An actual slippery slope.

Article: “Hillary Clinton is a threat to religious liberty”

 

Hillary Clinton is a threat to religious liberty (Washington Post)

In a speech not long before she launched her 2016 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton made a stunning declaration of war on religious Americans. Speaking to the 2015 Women in the World Summit, Clinton declared that “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”…

…They must be attracted to the systematic thought and severely backwards gender relations and must be totally unaware of Christian democracy.”

Palmieri responds that Catholicism “is the most socially acceptable politically conservative religion. Their rich friends wouldn’t understand if they became evangelicals.” “Excellent point,” Halpin responds, adding that “they can throw around ‘Thomistic’ thought and ‘subsidiarity’ and sound sophisticated because no one knows what the hell they’re talking about.” Podesta is included on both emails.

Albert Mohler comments here on how it is apparently the worst of the worst to be considered an “evangelical”.  So much for tolerance!

On a side note: the idea of subsidiarity is an amazing idea and represents of how the framers of the Constitution and many founding fathers viewed the role and responsibilities of the federal government compared to local and state authority.  Very libertarian and limited government oriented.

Article:”The Ridiculous Crusade for Gender-Neutral Toys”

 

The Ridiculous Crusade for Gender-Neutral Toys

We never taught our kids any of this stuff. They just arrived at it on their own. Because—I understand that this is a radical concept—boys and girls are different….

…One of the oddities of modern life is that polite society currently insists that you are “born this way” if you are homosexual or misgendered. But when it comes to boys who like to play with swords and build fighter jets? For some reason, this is viewed as a societal construct that should be eradicated so that they’ll want to play with dolls.

As we’ve discovered at my house, this is a project that’s doomed to fail.