A Brutal Chapter in North Carolina’s Eugenics Past – NPR has an article on forced sterilization in North Carolina.
“A lot of people were wrestling with this question back then. Some powerful elites, including heirs to Procter & Gamble, Hanes Hosiery and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, formed a group called the Human Betterment League. They published glossy brochures that said things like this:
“North Carolina offers its citizens protection in the form of selective sterilization.”
“The job of parenthood is too much to expect of feebleminded men and women.”
“Morons,” the league called them. The Human Betterment League made social workers and doctors and public officials feel like humanitarian heroes for sterilizing people. The message spread to many states after World War II, but Mecklenburg County’s eugenics effort had something even more.”
It’s easy for us to believe this about sins like pride, dishonesty, or selfishness – sins that destroy marriages every day. Christ makes us new, and can wash us of these sins. But a sexual past? Can Christ clean that deep? Books on sexual purity can sometimes make us feel that only virgins who never even kissed before marriage can have awesome sex in marriage. They call to our fears to prevent us from falling into these sins. The truth is, even virgin-at-the-wedding people have [lousy] sex sometimes. Even couples who came into the marriage “pure” sometimes use sex to make a power-play or withhold sex to get something. We all have our issues to work through in the bedroom – whether we are virgins when we marry or not.
Driscoll, “Real Marriage,” and Why Being a Pastor Doesn’t Automatically Make You a Sex Therapist – Rachel Held Evans writes an insightful article on Mark Driscoll’s new book, where she shares what she perceived to be “the good, the bad, and the ugly” about the book. She closes her post with these thoughts:
“Just because someone is a pastor does not mean that he or she is an expert on sex…or money or relationships or marriage. Christian couples struggling in their marriage should seek professional counseling, and not rely exclusively on a single pastor (or his or her interpretation of Scripture) for help.
Meanwhile, evangelicals in particular need to do something about our celebrity-pastor culture. Mark Driscoll is simply not qualified to serve as a sex therapist—most pastors aren’t!
True maturity is marked not by how much a person knows but by the wisdom he or she shows in discerning when to speak with authority and when to hold back. And when it comes to maturity, I’m afraid that Pastor Mark still has a long way to go.”
Somewhat unsurprisingly, Evans and other non-evangelicals aren’t the only one concerned with Driscoll’s new book. Evangelicals, conservative and broad alike have problems. (Other input by The Friendly Atheist, Denny Burk, Tim Challies and Mark and Grace Driscoll, explaining why they wrote book.)
Might As Well Face It, You’re Addicted to Law – Tullian Tchividjian writes on the Gospel Coalition blog:
“The law offends us because it tells us what to do–and we hate anyone telling us what to do, most of the time. But, ironically, grace offends us even more because it tells us that there’s nothingwe can do, that everything has already been done. And if there’s something we hate more than being told what to do, it’s being told that we can’t do anything, that we can’t earn anything–that we’re helpless, weak, and needy.”
“We like it because we maintain control–the outcome of our life remains in our hands. Give me three steps to a happy marriage and I can guarantee myself a happy marriage if I follow the three steps. If we can do certain things, meet certain standards (whether God’s, my own, my parents, my spouse’s, society’s, whatever) and become a certain way, we’ll make it. Law seems safe because “it breeds a sense of manageability.” It keeps life formulaic and predictable. It keeps earning-power in our camp.”
The Snowy Day,’ first picture book with black child as hero, marks 50 years – In time for the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, the Washington Post has an article on the significance of Ezra Jack Keats book, The Snowy Day.
“Although the 50th anniversary has been cause for celebration, when “The Snowy Day” was first published some critics questioned whether a Jewish man had the right to tell a story about an African American child.”