WeeklyTech #154

Why do Christians address sexuality and gender issues all the time?

A common refrain among many outside the church is that Christians seem obsessed with talking about sexuality and gender issues. Often, this is mocked or simply dismissed as Christians just seeking to enforce their personal views on other people or to impose our beliefs through government action. Many argue that society would be better off if Christians just kept to themselves and let people have their personal, private fun since it doesn’t hurt anyone. It is thought that the Christian sexual ethic is not only retrograde and backward, but also deeply harmful and inherently hateful since it limits moral autonomy, the golden calf that rules our day. The idea goes that we all must respect one another’s private decisions and honor the autonomy of the individual to decide what is right and good for themselves.

The infamous moral philosopher Peter Singer highlights this idea in the introduction to his work, Practical Ethics, by highlighting how most people assume that Christians are obsessed with sexuality to the neglect of other aspects of ethics. He states that there was a time in our history when if someone saw a newspaper headline reading “RELIGIOUS LEADER ATTACKS DECLINING MORAL STANDARDS,” they would naturally understand this was simply decrying (yet again) promiscuity, homosexuality, pornography, and more. Singer rightfully decries this simplistic understand of ethics, but then goes to on lambast religious-based sexual ethics as simply “nasty puritanical prohibitions” designed to keep people from having fun.

Yet, this focus on sexuality isn’t simply limited to Christians; these ideas are at the forefront of cultural debate today and have been for several decades with the meteroric rise of the sexual revolution. This monumental shift in society is rooted in modern conceptions of the individual that reject our created nature and believe that one’s sexual desires and proclivities are to be seen as absolutely central to one’s personal identity. Not only that, but they should be freely expressed and affirmed by all, regardless of one’s personal beliefs. 

The Rundown

How One Native American Pastor Celebrated Indigenous Peoples’ Day by Mike Keahbone | TGC

My celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day began months ago. On June 14, 2022, for the first time in its long history, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) acknowledged the many atrocities committed against Native American peoples. It was a momentous moment.

Meta’s new VR headset doesn’t solve old problems by Ina Fried | Axios

A year after rebranding itself as Meta, Facebook’s parent company on Tuesday released a new VR headset that it hopes will show concrete results from its already-massive investments.

What Does It Mean To Be Winsomely Reformed? by Michael J. Kruger | Canon Fodder

There’s been a lot of discussion in the last year (and the last week) of what it means to be winsomely reformed. And, sadly, the loudest voices have been undeniably against the idea of being winsome. It has been critiqued as wishy-washy, a failed cultural strategy, or as an expression of weakness rather than strength.

Disagreement Isn’t Bigotry by David French | The Dispatch

To understand what it means to live peacefully despite great differences, let’s talk about the miracle of Franklin Road. For those who aren’t familiar with Middle Tennessee, Franklin Road is the north-south artery that runs through the heart of Franklin, Brentwood, and Nashville. Drive down it and you’ll pass beautiful homes, high-end shopping centers, and churches—lots and lots of churches, from virtually every significant strand of historic Christianity: evangelical, mainline, Catholic, and Orthodox. 

As more transgender children seek medical care, families confront many unknowns by Chad Terhune, Robin Respaut, and MIichelle Conlin | Reuters

On the two-hour drive back from the hospital, Danielle Boyer kept replaying the doctor’s questions in her mind. Was her then-12-year-old child, Ryace, hearing voices? Was she using illegal drugs? Had she ever been hospitalized for psychiatric treatment? Had she ever harmed herself?

Seek Wisdom in the Age of Algorithms by Steve Bateman | TGC

Ours is an age of algorithmic flattery. Internet algorithms tell us pleasant lies we want to hear because clever people want what we have. They want our money, our attention, our vote. Whether for profit, praise, or power, some of the most brilliant minds on earth are employed to flatter us.