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Chapter 5 of Stephanie Coontz's The Way We Never Were discusses how the turn toward "family values" in the U.S. resulted in a turn away from community values and encourged consumerism and selfishness. The turn toward family values in the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2014 at Natalie Burris
White conservative evangelicals in the U.S. are very quick to distance themselves from any individual, organization, or company that is willing to break from the "traditional" U.S. evangelical belief that being gay is a sin. A couple of months ago,... Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2014 at Natalie Burris
From May 2011: Timothy Beal, in The Rise and Fall of the Bible, points out the story of Phineas, found in Numbers 25. Israel is suffering from a plague, and Moses' explanation is that God is punishing them for their... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2014 at Natalie Burris
The next part of Chapter 4 of Stephanie Coontz's The Way We Never Were shows the policies behind the creation of suburbia. The suburbs were a product of government policy and federal spending, especially in two areas: 1) constructing the... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2014 at Natalie Burris
The next section in Chapter 4 of The Way We Never Were shows how U.S. Americans tend to overestimate what we have accomplished on our own. From the very beginnings as a nation, we've bought into the myth that the... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2014 at Natalie Burris
From May 2005: Sorry about the semi-long usually gives me lots to blog about, so since it’s out and finals pretty much drained my brain, I’m gonna be a little light on the blogging. But I wanted to mention... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2014 at Natalie Burris
From February 2012: The Gospel Coalition blog recently rounded up some evangelical leaders' calls for civil disobedience. Requiring religious employers to provide health insurance that covers contraception (regardless of who actually pays for it), is effectively forcing pro-life Christians to... Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2014 at Natalie Burris
Chapter 4 of The Way We Never Were explores the myth of self-reliance in the U.S. and the fact that the family is seen as the perfect self-reliant unit. In a conversation between Coontz and her grandfather, her grandfather demonstrates... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2014 at Natalie Burris
In Chapter 3 of The Way We Never Were, Coontz discusses how the foundation of the "traditional" family is the division of gender roles. The family should consist of a heterosexual married couple, where the deferential, nurturing wife is limited... Continue reading
Posted Feb 21, 2014 at Natalie Burris
From February 2008: Last week I went with a friend to a twenty-something’s church service. Aside from some fun little tidbits of idolatry (one of those posters of “In God We Trust” superimposed over an American flag), the message that... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2014 at Natalie Burris
I learned more about environmentalism from Barbara Kingsolver's novels, and about misogyny and the ethics of scientific developments from Margaret Atwood, than I did from any textbook or lecture. I can add Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's latest novel, Americanah, as another... Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2014 at Natalie Burris
It's always interesting how laws that are "neutral on its face" end up with racist effects!
1 reply
The next section of Chapter 2 of The Way We Never Were is titled, "A Complex Reality: 1950's Poverty, Diversity, and Social Change." Coontz's point during this section is that only white, middle-class U.S. Americans had the privilege of participating... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2014 at Natalie Burris
From February 2005: Walking down the hall during my night class’ break last week, a poster caught my eye. It was advertising a lecture about religion and law that a professor from another school is going to give. I thought,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2014 at Natalie Burris
I wanted to share a few quotes from James McBride's recent novel, The Good Lord Bird, which won the National Book Award last year. This was a long book and the language is crude, but McBride brilliantly shows how many... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2014 at Natalie Burris
No, not the Miley Cyrus song. :) From January 30, 2005: Had the privilege of visiting LaSalle Street Church today...came home with some great thoughts: The Beatitudes. Do we ever see an inscription like “blessed are the poor, the meek,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2014 at Natalie Burris
A couple of years ago, I wrote here about how many watertight, insular beliefs in evangelicalism actually serve as identity markers. Last night, Bill Nye and Ken Ham debated about evolutionary theory and creationism, which was a great example of... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2014 at Natalie Burris
Historical amnesia/revisionism indeed, much like how white evangelicals today try to act like they've always been opposed to contraception--and even abortion.
1 reply
Chapter 2 of Stephanie Coontz's The Way We Never Were looks at the U.S. American family in the 1950's - both the actual families during that time and our nostalgic, skewed version of them. The concept of the 1950's family... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2014 at Natalie Burris
Excellent post, Daniel. Thank you for sharing. I'm sorry that you and your classmates went through that. It's amazing how I graduated almost 10 years ago and the atmosphere there seems the same.
1 reply
A favorite concept among theological and political conservatives in the U.S. is the "traditional family." Anything from women's access to affordable health care to gay marriage is considered an attack on the traditional family. Moreover, many of us Christian women... Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2013 at Natalie Burris
From November 2011: Southern Baptist Archbishop Al Mohler (thanks to Slacktivist for that term) uses dramatic rhetoric when arguing against evolution. He stated Christians "now face the undeniable truth that the most basic and fundamental questions of biblical authority and... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2013 at Natalie Burris
I guest posted over at Zach Hoag's blog as part of his series on the missional church. I critique the whiteness of the North American missional movement, as well as its historical amnesia. Black churches were missional long before Lesslie... Continue reading
Posted Nov 18, 2013 at Natalie Burris
From November 2009: Once again school has taken over my life, but I wanted to share a great Sightings email from early October, "Evangelicaldom," by Martin Marty. The topic was evangelicals' involvement in politics, and it made me realize why... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2013 at Natalie Burris
Suzannah - love your point that once the injustice is pointed out to the well-meaning person, she/he has no excuse after that! Todd - I never thought about they way in which this sort of critique cuts across ideological lines. The emergent church might be a good example. It's considered more progressive and supposed to be generally more inclusive of women, but too often we still see the good-ol' boy networks still in play. Just because an org is more liberal doesn't automatically mean that it won't have issues with inclusion - there's still inertia.
1 reply