I’ve never read anything by Rob Bell, but I guess he’s popular. Astrid Storm thinks his new book God Sex [?] is “kind of fun,” but, as hip as Bell is, he just can’t shake free of that ol’ time relijun. (This review is eerily similar to another one Storm wrote for the same SoMA Review on Lauren Winner–another book I have not read. I should not prolong this parenthesis any longer, but I can’t help one quote from Storm’s Lauren Winner review: “Short-lived beliefs and lack of credentials can be excused as just part of being young. But that’s why youth calls for some judicious withholding of opinion until one’s views are tested over time.” How long, you might ask, has Storm been a priest? 10 years? 20 years? How about 4. Maybe Storm should have her opinion judiciously withheld. By the way, anyone else foresee an upcoming review of Dawn Eden‘s The Thrill of the Chaste?)
Bell makes a further retreat into the puritanical arms of his evangelical forebears with some truly preachy commentary. For instance, there’s his annoying observation about some teenagers he saw groping each other in a London subway. “What if subway girl demanded that before she gave herself to subway boy, he had to prove that he was the kind of man who would lay down his life for her?” Bell stodgily wonders. I mean, lighten up and let the poor girl have some fun! …
Fortunately, some evangelicals—the pro-gays and those who support birth control, especially in developing countries where unprotected sex leads to serious health risks—are making significant strides on these issues and redressing the harm done by generations before them by facing them head-on. And they’re saving lives while they’re at it.
When I picked up “Sex God,” I had hoped Rob Bell might be attempting to do the same. But edit out the glitz, and I’m afraid you get just another rehash of that fusty, old-time religion.
Heeyyy, why can’t the Church just lighten up, man? Who’s sounding like her (hippie) parents now? Yeah, that would solve all our problems…
That last line reminds me of a conversation I had with Robert Gagnon about the promo of his book by his publisher that said it had some good stuff to say “but is ultimately conservative.”
The Rockville Pregnancy Center in Maryland has been kicked out of Montgomery County schools after a parent complained that the group was using a “gum game” to illustrate its talks on sexually transmitted diseases and abstinence. While the Washington Post article doesn’t actually say, I believe this game involves passing a piece of gum around to show, in a minor way, what it’s like to pass STDs.
Maybe the parent should be more concerned about his or her kids sharing their genitals with other kids. I think the “sticker game” is also good. That’s where you pass a sticker around and everyone sticks it to his or her shirt until it doesn’t stick anymore. There are all sorts of useful illustrations in that.
David Klinghoffer writes about the “happy” consequences of evolutionary theory.
As of 2007, it is exactly a century since the key turning point in the Darwin-inspired American eugenic movement. In 1907, the state of Indiana achieved the distinction of becoming the world’s first government entity to enforce sterilization of institutionalized “idiots,” “imbeciles,” and other individuals deemed genetically “unfit.” The idea caught on. …
Even for those unwilling to endorse such killing, there is still the alternative of the soft eugenics of reproductive “choice.” Thus last month, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists announced a new policy of encouraging all pregnant women–not only those over 35, as in the past–to be screened for Down syndrome, with a view to killing the unborn child if the chromosomal abnormality is discovered.
While we don’t compel sterilization anymore, we have our own methods of eliminating those we deem unfit for life.
There was lots of talk in Missouri last year about Constitutional Amendment 2, which amended the state constitution so that embryonic stem cell research could never be outlawed in the state. (If you remember, it takes a simple majority to amend the constitution, but a 2/3 majority to un-amend it.) There’s always lots of shrill talk and name-calling over embryonic stem cells even though nothing has come of the research–whereas many treatments have come from adult stem cell research. (See more here and here.) Can anyone tell me why the people who are supposedly so concerned about cures never bring up that fact?
Or why no one is at all excited that stem cells that are virtually the same as embryonic stem cells can be extracted from the placenta or amniotic fluid? Michael Fumento takes them to task here. I’m inclined to be cynical about their motives, but Planned ——hood, NARAL, and their unlimited abortion-rights ilk will do that to you.
Just do it already! Quit the half-hearted measures and go all the way. Why doesn’t the ELCA just do what we all know is inevitable and go the way of the oldline denominational dinosaurs? Does it really mean anything at all to defrock a pastor for having an openly homosexual relationship, while at the same time hoping that they won’t have to follow through?
In its 14-page opinion, the committee said a narrow majority of its members felt “compelled” to remove Schmeling under the church’s current standards for clergy. But it said it was “nearly unanimous” that the rules “are at least bad policy, and may very well violate the constitution and bylaws of this church.”
If you’re in the ELCA and opposed to non-chaste homosexual pastors, I’d be interested to know whether you really think you’re going to be able to turn this tide? To say the least, I’m not optimistic.
According to the story,
“I feel hopeful that things aren’t over,” [“Pastor” Bradley] Schmeling said yesterday after the verdict was announced. “All I can do is keep doing what I’ve been doing, which is be the best pastor I can be and tell my own story with honesty and integrity.”
Maybe that’s part of the problem. You’re so interested in telling your story, you forgot Whose story you were supposed to be telling. Unfortunately it’s necessary to say, that story does not sanction homogenital relationships. There is no Scriptural room for it; all that’s left is some vague “gospel” that has nothing to do with Jesus and everything to do with You.
I have nothing against the faithful pastors and people of the ELCA. They’ve been fighting against the secularist, pagan, politically correct agenda for a long time. After all, the Titanic can only stay afloat for so long. “Taking on water, going down fast…”