"Seek out the society of your boon companions, drink, play, talk bawdy, and amuse yourself. One must sometimes commit a sin out of hate and contempt for the Devil, so as not to give him the chance to make one scrupulous over mere nothings…" –Luther

I don’t see anything wrong with telling every parent between the Rio Grande and Antarctica that if you are wildly irresponsible enough to send your child hundreds or even thousands of miles away unattended to a foreign country without any plan of survival, don’t worry, the American taxpayer will take care of it. Your bewildering neglect of your children is only exceed by our taxpayers’ duty to take care of them. (The ones that are actual children. An awful lot of them are teenagers.)

That could not possibly create perverse incentives or backfire in any way.

When You Read the Bible and…

Have any of you been reading Peter Enns’ “aha” moments series? He’s posting the personal stories of moments of discovery from scholars and pastors who confronted those moments when they realized something in the Bible didn’t add up the way they were taught.

Some might look at it as a poke in the eye of inerrancy, but I read it as a way for people to save their faith when they discover the holes in certain ways of reading and understanding the Bible. Here’s what he has so far:

Part 0 (introduces what he’s about to do)
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8

That gets you up to today.

I bet Michael would have been a fine candidate for this…

It’s not just you. The world is bat-s**t crazy.

After this long, do we really need a title for a new post?

Well, we’re going on three weeks here, folks. How’s the summer going for everybody?

Our kids are about to wrap up our semi-ecumenical cycle of VBSs – they’ve done two local Bible churches, our EFree, the local Assembly of God, but missed the local LCMS this year; that was just one too many.

Interesting to see how the various curricula reflect the various denominations. The AoG is loud, broad themes with lots of music. The Lutherans are charmingly old-fashioned in their music and puppetry but are very focused on just teaching the kids truths about God. The evangelical curriculum this year has a spy theme and the tagline “Discover, Decide, Defend”. It’s all about evidence, after all, so we can be good little culture warriors and go convince others to believe…

Oh, and what’s up with the thousands of refugee kids in Texas? The pastor of FBC Dallas announced on Fox News the other day that the “most compassionate” thing we could do is to build a border fence to keep ‘em out. He likened it to fencing out a swimming pool – it’s a great place to be but not safe to just let kids in willy-nilly, I guess.

Then Glenn Beck is wanting to take the kids sandwiches and soccer balls and actually be caring for them. But then on FB tonight a friend posted an article suggesting that these refugee kids are “child soldiers” being used as an “insurgency”, and that Beck is allowing himself to be used for propaganda. Is the whole world on crazy pills, or is it just me?

The biggest issue I saw with hashtag activism isn’t that people got to be involved in a half-arsed way. We’ve had ribbons and talk radio and bumper stickers for decades. Rather, it seemed like too many people didn’t want the post down, they wanted scalps — which seems to be the case far too often.

BTW – who’s ready for Joel Osteen 24/7 on your radio?

I suppose at least a couple of folks at the BHT know that when I express doubts about hashtag activism it’s not because I don’t think the internet can be used to bring attention to things.

I mean, yeah, Internet whining got Mozilla to fire its CEO. So I guess, yeah, mass-scale cyber-crying is good for making people who care about others thinking they’re nice wave token gestures in the direction of some social justice crusade or another.

But 90% of the reason for doing it is preening and letting everyone else know how righteous you are.

Oh, a bunch of whiners got someone to take down a blog post? Yeah, that matters.

#Kony2012 #BanBossy #BringBackOurGirls #YesAllSpecialSnowflakes


Hashtag activism is great when you’re the first few to do it. After that, it’s just more noise among the signal. It’s the MLM of online communication. #curmudgeon


Hashtivism is just status signaling.

To a large extent, yes. But, in at least this most recent case, hashtavism appears to have accomplished its stated goal of having CT change position and take down the post. So it wasn’t *just* status signaling, was it?

The bullet points from my perspective look like this:

  1. Hashtavism’s primary immediate effect is “raising awareness” and “status signaling”
  2. The vast majority of hashtavists won’t take any action beyond the hashtagging.
  3. Given 1 and 2, hashtavism frequently produces far more heat than light.
  4. There are also opportunists who will use the hashtag to build their audience through cheap populsim

However, raised awareness may (and in this case eventually did) effect positive change. So it can’t be all bad, right? End doesn’t justify the means, but we haven’t really established that the means are wrong, just that we have a relative unease with them, for the reasons listed above.

I still find myself thinking I shouldn’t/won’t loudly participate in hashtavism, but I’m not gonna tell others that they shouldn’t.