It should be said that this has material consequences in the real world. Research has consistently found that job applicants with “black-sounding” names are more likely to be rejected, regardless of qualifications. If races are our castes, then this makes sense, since—in a caste system—your status is mostly a function of your position. “Latoya” could be well-qualified for the law firm she applies to, but there’s a fair chance her “black” name marks her as undesirable.
I see conferences as entertainment and mass commodification of the Gospel. Some of them smell like a machine, like a big hairy complex business to me, and so I am suspicious. Probably it’s in my nature to be suspicious, after all I’m a Gen-Xer and a western Canadian. I guess my bullshit detector is set at a bit too high of a setting. I am wary of Group Think and emotional manipulation and spiritual manipulation because I’ve experienced – and committed the sin of – them all. We know how these things work once we’ve been on the inside, it isn’t rocket science. I have seen behind the curtain. What’s the line between hope and hubris?
It’s not that I want Miley to catch the bubonic plague; it’s just that I wish there were a compelling reason for Miley to stop licking everything besides “I’m tired of looking at Miley’s tongue;” “You’re going to catch the black death” is much less petty-sounding. But my unnamed source friend had to come along and rain on my death parade. She wrote, If Miley licks the rat and the rat bites her or one of the rat’s fleas bites her, yes she could get bubonic plague. There is also a small chance that if someone with the pneumonic form of the disease coughs or sneezes it is possible, though not conclusive, that objects could be contaminated for a short time. So, uh, keep your tongue away from the rats, Miley.
Beyond that, however, you might think that ensuring adequate nutrition for children, which is a large part of what SNAP does, actually makes it less, not more likely that those children will be poor and need public assistance when they grow up. And that’s what the evidence shows. The economists Hilary Hoynes and Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach have studied the impact of the food stamp program in the 1960s and 1970s, when it was gradually rolled out across the country. They found that children who received early assistance grew up, on average, to be healthier and more productive adults than those who didn’t — and they were also, it turns out, less likely to turn to the safety net for help.
Until this year, I had never given any serious thought to therapy. It might be different a decade down the road, but growing up in Oklahoma I thought therapy was reserved for neurotic intellectuals on the coasts. Woody Allen types. Needy people. Even as I came around to understanding that therapy is helpful and necessary for many, I still didn’t think it applied to me. Though this summer’s bout of blues wasn’t the first (or even the worst) time I’ve experienced darkness, talk therapy seemed like an expensive indulgence that wouldn’t work.
I didn’t want to adopt a child who was in an orphanage simply because her mother or father could not afford to care for her, what are sometimes called “poverty orphans.” The simple truth is that I felt it would be better for me to go and begin an economic development project or, better yet, support already existing community development works than to participate in a system that makes it seem better for children to be raised in the West than cared for in their home cultures. The complex truth is those are very broad ideas and that each adoption situation is different–there are a variety of reasons why children are relinquished every day–but in general, most Christians I know are much more excited about adoption than they are community development and women’s empowerment and I want to see a major shift in our larger conversation that supports women’s rights and mother’s rights first.
I work hard at thinking primarily about own little life and my own wildly inaccurate perception of my own wealth. I befriended only people who remind me of myself and refused to engage with people who made me question my preconceived notions of reality. I worked hard at an emotionally unfulfilling job so I could afford to move to a neighborhood where I don’t have to look at or think about poor people. I am earnestly interested thinking that the only reason that people might dislike me is the fact that I’m kind of upper middle class-ish.
I was twenty-two years old. I was sitting in my therapist’s office, telling him the stories I’m about to tell you. He called them “abuse”. I didn’t believe him. Abuse is something that happened to other people. In other families. Not in ours. Sure, maybe my parents got a little angry sometimes when they were spanking us, but didn’t everybody’s parents? Sure, sometimes the spankings left bruises and welts, but didn’t we deserve it? Wasn’t it for our own good? Wasn’t this all out of love?
The moral of Breaking Bad . . .