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Showing posts from March, 2016

the means is the ends

It is a frequent assertion that "the ends do not justify the means." In our current American political climate, the ends promised by means of straight talk without political correctness will not differ from those means to achieve them. The scare quotes around "political correctness" in our national discourse prevent us from recognizing that it means consideration. To speak politically correct to speak with consideration of those affected by that speech. To conflate all Mexican migrants as rapists and murderers is to not consider the majority of Mexican migrant farm laborers who work for less than our minimum wage for more than eight hours a day to provide us with most of our national produce. To shout down "Black lives matter" is to ignore the absurdly high proportion of police brutality directed to minorities and the devastation that brings to those families. As Malcolm X crudely and said at an inconsiderate time, "the chickens have come home to roo…

forgive us our debts

I do enjoy shrimp cocktail. It turns out I was likely enjoying the product of slaves. That story broke big at the end of 2015. At the end of last month President Obama signed a bill into law banning the import of slave produced seafood. There are so many products I consume that have slave labor as part of the supply chain. I'm reminded of the English abolitionists who denied themselves sugar in their tea as a highly symbolic stance against the Caribbean sugar plantations known for atrocious treatment of enslaved human beings who were literally worked to death.

It's a complex world we live in. Even if I am not aware of the sins of my consumption, I still benefit from those injustices. No matter how delicately I walk through life, I will get mud on my feet. I live on land stolen from it's original inhabitants. I wear clothes that were probably made in sweatshops. Knowing this, I have to acknowledge my debt to these dehumanized workers.

I am a straight white male scientist in…

Not everything biblical is Christian part 19 - parts of Paul's letter to the Romans

I started thinking this week about a section of St. Paul's letter to the Romans and wondering if this might be another candidate for this series. I do not have it all worked out in my head, hence I am here puzzling it out.

First the passage...
Romans 2
You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.
2 Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth.
3 So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment?
4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?
 5 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed…