“The deepest effect of Obama’s election upon the Republicans’ psyche has been to make them truly fear, for the first time since before Ronald Reagan, that the future is against them.”—2012 or Never (via nickbaumann)
“Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country.”—Franklin D. Roosevelt (via abaldwin360)
“A very wealthy California couple, L.A. couple, Lynda and Stewart Resnick bought the company in 2004. They own Teleflora. They own POM Wonderful.
And they’re among the largest tree nut farmers in the country. So they’re not small. And they actually have turbocharged the marketing of Fiji Water. It was a glamorous brand when they bought it. It’s now a universal brand. It’s a complicated product. It seems absurd in the stores here in America. It is, frankly, absurd. No one in this country needs water from Fiji.
(Soundbite of laughter)
Mr. FISHMAN: In fact…
RAZ: I always feel a little bit guilty when I buy it, I got to tell you.
Mr. FISHMAN: Well, and the most remarkable thing is, in Fiji itself, 53 percent of the people who live in Fiji don’t have access to clean, safe water. So Americans can easily get clean water from Fiji more simply than Fijians can.”
“Electronics are our talismans that ward off the spiritual vacuum of modernity; gilt in Gorilla Glass and cadmium. And in them we find entertainment in lieu of happiness, and exchanges in lieu of actual connections.”—Fever Dream of a Guilt-Ridden Gadget Reporter (via aisforayla)
Cross-posted at my longer-form blog. Note: This post does not address whether a business owner can enforce his religious ideas on his employees, that’s clearly an unconstitutional horrible awful bad idea. I’m simply trying, as a Christian myself, to understand a rule that other Christians follow and consider important. And I disagree with them.
These verses have been debated for thousands of years, but I can’t help giving my two cents…
Genesis 38:8-10 (KJV)
And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother’s wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother. And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother. And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also.
That’s it. That is the entire passage upon which denial of birth control is based. (and masturbation as well— which actually sounds more relevant)
So what is happening in this scene? Onan is King Judah’s son. Er, the eldest, was struck down by God for being horribly wicked. That’s why it says “slew him also.” The Lord didn’t have a lot of patience with Judah’s boys; He had important business and they weren’t right for it.
Onan, as Judah’s second son, was to take Er’s wife Tamar as his own to provide Er with heirs, and he does, but Onan doesn’t want his kids to be considered Er’s. As Er’s rival he wouldn’t have children of his own, and perhaps he wanted his own tribe to propagate. At any rate, Onan was apparently denying the Jewish people their next king by doing this.
(Ultimately, Judah himself sleeps with Tamar because he mistakes her for a prostitute—she tricks him because she wasn’t given the third son to marry as was required—and she has twin boys.)
So what does all this have to do with birth control?
Nothing. There is literally nothing in these verses that says Tamar couldn’t have told Onan she wanted to have sex but didn’t want kids. There is also nothing that implies “spilling seed” would be a problem if he wasn’t supposed to father the next king. It appears from Tamar’s later actions that she did want to have children and to be the mother of the future king, but that Onan just wasn’t cooperating.
So there is simply no reason why this passage is about God wanting women to have children every time they have sex.
The issue discussed in these verses is clear: God wanted an heir to the king, and Onan didn’t want to provide one. So God took him out. These verses are about men doing what God commands, NOT about women having sex. This is not about birth control or abortion at all.
Why am I not surprised that an all-male hierarchy would shift it around to justify their ideas for female behavior? The all-male hierarchy is in fact the root of the entire problem: Men get stuck on the minor issue of sex and their own desires, instead of on the incredibly huge deal of the creation of the Kingdom of Judah.
Why are Onan and Er even important? There’s a lot of disagreement on that, but some scholars say the two men are an etiological representation, intended to establish the relation of two other extinct tribes to Judah. That makes some sense, especially in regard to Onan not wanting to provide Er with heirs.
There is a bit more in the Bible that gets called out on occasion to oppose birth control (and abortion), namely that children are referred to as a “gift from God” —which they truly are—and that to deny God’s gift is to oppose Him. But it’s worth noting that the Bible also calls a wife a “gift from God” —which mine truly is, others may not be so lucky—yet there is no church requirement against resisting marriage. In fact we have just the opposite with celibate priests.
“Just as nightfall doesn’t come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances there is a twilight. And it is in such twilight that we all must be aware of the change in the air—however slight—lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.”—Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas (via theamericanbear)
“Pride and selfishness, combined with mental power, never want for a theory to justify them—and when men oppress their fellow-men, the oppressor ever finds, in the character of the oppressed, a full justification for his oppression. Ignorance and depravity, and the inability to rise from degradation to civilization and respectability, are the most usual allegations against the oppressed. The evils most fostered by slavery and oppression, are precisely those which slaveholders and oppressors would transfer from their system to the inherent character of their victims. Thus the very crimes of slavery become slavery’s best defence.”—Frederick Douglass (via azspot)
“It is Alinsky’s populism that is most threatening to Gingrich and the right—even if it is a far cry from Obama’s own political agenda. As political scientist Corey Robin has argued, “[c]onservatism is the theoretical voice of this animus against the agency of the subordinate classes. It provides the most consistent and profound argument for why the lower orders should not be allowed to exercise their independent will, to govern themselves or the polity. Submission is their first duty; agency, the prerogative of elites’ hierarchy.””—Saul Alinsky: The activist who terrifies the right - Salon.com (via ronmarks)
“I covered Rick Santorum’s little prayer meeting earlier this week, at a chapel north of Dallas. The place was crammed with pastors and their wives, mostly of the evangelical type. These people, and their congregants, would appear to think that it’s OK for a presidential candidate to impose his own religion on his plans for the rest of us. It is OK to belittle those who support gay rights, or to force women to give birth to rapists’ babies, or to put Jesus in the White House,’ according to the state senator who led the crowd in a final prayer for Mr. Santorum. They have gotten away with this sort of thinking on the hometown front. To prevent blind adherence to religious dictate from bleeding into public policy on a world stage, people who don’t see this every day need to realize that the entanglement exists and it is habitual. Then, they need to remind those who are entangled that yes, you can hang a cross the size of a Volkswagen around your neck, but not on the flagpole.”—Pamela Kripke (via azspot)
The manufactured self and core self are not mutually exclusive; one actually cannot live without the other, but one is visceral and innate and the other highly monitored and selective. It’s sort of like Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. One is in control; the outwardly respected and accepted doctor while the other is all raw emotions (negative ones mind you but still). That’s the same with us and how we share online or how we don’t share.
Lexie Kier and I were chatting over coffee this past weekend when the topic of google and privacy came up. Foursquare’s Radar feature came into the mix and we wondered if people would ever be ok with full disclosure. We both instantly said no.
We are not comfortable with that idea yet; we still need to monitor our manufactured, outward selves and protect our core. So then what about all those social apps? Millions use them so we must be ok with it. Well, not exactly. There’s a spectrum. So lexie and I mapped it out. What apps cater to the manufactured self and which to the core?
This is where we ended up.
I think this would be really cool research to see how each uses different social apps. Some who have Twitter set to private are probably way to the left while others on Twitter are completely to the right. I like where this is headed though.
“All for ourselves and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind. As soon, therefore, as they could find a method of consuming the whole value of their rents themselves, they had no disposition to share them with any other persons.”—Adam Smith (via azspot)