On June 11, [Peter] Wehner authored a guest post at Patheos entitled, “An Evangelical Christian Looks at Homosexuality.” The context for the piece was a recent exchange Wehner had with a Christian acquaintance on the matter of homosexuality. This unnamed interlocutor was advocating that Christians “speak out more boldly and forcefully” and “vehemently oppose homosexuality and same sex marriage.” Not knowing the details of the exchange, it’s possible I would disagree with Wehner’s Christian acquaintance just as Wehner did. I certainly agreed with Wehner’s contention that applying the laws of ancient Israel to the United States is tricky business and that determining “how the Scriptural injunctions against homosexual behavior should manifest themselves in modern American law and society are not self-evident.” That is to say, our political and legislative positions cannot be determined simply by noting that the Bible calls something a sin and therefore that sin should be illegal.… My reason for noting Wehner’s article is because he is a thoughtful Christian who—despite some good points—has, in my estimation, repeated many of the worst arguments Christians often use when equivocating on homosexuality in general and gay marriage in particular. Let me mention four of these arguments.
There are few things more difficult than giving our best labors daily in an environment where we feel unappreciated. You know the feeling, and it’s not a good one. No matter how good our work environment might be, from time to time we have all felt the sting of our contributions taken for granted and our mistakes magnified.
The sad reality is that this condition is almost inevitable in this broken world. So how do we sustain joyful work in such a situation?
The truth was that I hadn’t the slightest clue about the effect child-sponsorship programs had on children.
Dissatisfaction with my pat answer began to inform conversations with my graduate students. “Have you considered researching the impact of child sponsorship?” I would ask. One student was interested, and she followed the topic long enough to find out that no one had ever investigated the topic, despite 9 million children sponsored worldwide, and the more than $5 billion per year being channeled into sponsorship programs from ordinary people wanting to help. But we were having trouble finding a sponsorship organization willing to work with us. What if the research discovered that sponsorship didn’t work? This was the risk that some organization out there had to take.
Sometimes I hear voices. Voices talking to me. Voices in my head. Do you? (Cue the creepy music.)
No, I don’t have a Gollum-like split personality, and no, I don’t need to be locked in a padded room with basket-weaving supplies. But I do hear voices, or at least a voice, and I bet you do too. I’m talking about the incessant internal dialogue going on in our heads, the voice that sounds like your voice but comes up with all kinds of suggestions, ideas, evaluations, critiques, or judgments. I don’t care what kind of chatterboxes you live with, no one talks to you as much as you do.
A woman was accusing me of lying about her prescription copay (the internet was new back then, and people didn’t understand that we were just passing on the insurance claim, not coming up with the prices ourselves). She was mid-tirade when she realized that my husband and I were clients of her business, and that if I decided to take my business elsewhere, she was going to lose a lot more than the five dollars she was screaming at me about. Watching her try to backpeddle and soften her words was interesting. But what was especially interesting was her apology when she realized she couldn’t gloss over what she’d already said. “And here I was thinking that it was my turn, only to be yelling at one of my own customers.”