A Morning Peacock of Links (3/27)

Two Atheists’ Strategic Self-Trivialization

On Richard Dawkins, the Reason Rally held by the new atheists, and talking donkeys.

Humility & Certainty

In short, it’s humility when we’re sure in the right things and pride when we’re sure in the wrong things.

Should Christians Boycott Starbucks

Dr. Russell Moore takes a look at the call by a respected pro-family organization for customers to boycott Starbucks in light of a recent “national board meeting in which the Seattle-based coffee company mentioned support for same-sex marriage as a core value of the company. Some Christians are wondering whether we ought to join in the boycott. I say no.”

To be sure, as Christians, I believe blindly boycotting anything would actually work against our witnessing in the world, and that SHOULD we choose to boycott, the issue of the heart is an important one. That said, I do think that Moore may be setting up a false dichotomy (albeit without any real ill-intent). Indeed, in considering boycotting, one reader commented on Moore’s post, I think we have another option: a loving response that says, “I would be a customer, but I can’t in good conscience support something against my religious convictions.” Do we not run the risk of hypocrisy? Drinking a lattes that in some way helps fund something to which we are opposed? As for myself, I’m not sure which way I lean, but, at the very least, Moore proposes that we consider a different perspective:

The argument behind a boycott assumes that the “rightness” of a marriage definition is constituted by a majority with power. Isn’t that precisely what we’re arguing against? Our beliefs about marriage aren’t the way they are because we are in a majority. As a matter of fact, we must concede that we are in a tiny minority in contemporary American society, if we define marriage the way the Bible does, as a sexually-exclusive, permanent one-flesh union.

But we don’t persuade our neighbors by mimicking their angry power-protests. We persuade them by holding fast to the gospel, by explaining our increasingly odd view of marriage, and by serving the world and our neighbors around us, as our Lord does, with a towel and a foot-bucket.

We won’t win this argument by bringing corporations to the ground in surrender. We’ll engage this argument, first of all, by prompting our friends and neighbors to wonder why we don’t divorce each other, and why we don’t split up when a spouse loses his job or loses her health. We’ll engage this argument when we have a more exalted, and more mysterious, view of sexuality than those who see human persons as animals or machines. And, most of all, we’ll engage this argument when we proclaim the meaning behind marriage: the covenant union of Christ and his church.

When Parents Ask the Wrong Questions

As a Sunday school/Youth teacher at church, this is something I often think about and something my friends have actually dealt with at their churches. On one level, it’s like, why do parents expect church to do their jobs and “fix” their kids? Furthermore, when they do come to “confront” those who serve the youth at church, the questions they ask are often unproductive. The questions are rarely, “how are my kids doing spiritually and what can I do?” and more often, “what is wrong with them and what have YOU been doing?”. Admittedly, the example cited by the author that I’m quoting has never happened to me, but it illustrates the point I just raised:

“I can’t believe she disappointed us like this. She’s only fifteen! What was she thinking? What are we going to do now?”

I may not be the most intuitive person around, but even I could tell that he was angry—body tense, jaw clenched, voice shaking. But it was a special kind of anger, the kind driven by love and fear, lashing out from a frustrated desire to protect. The anger of a parent.

The enraged father I mentioned above was upset because his daughter had gotten a tattoo. A tattoo. He’d never once approached me to talk about his daughter’s spiritual well-being. Apparently that wasn’t worth an office visit. But a tattoo? That’s something else entirely.

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