On Race, Gender, and Being “Unbiased”

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Rachel Held Evans recently posted this on her facebook page: Observation: It seems like a lot of young theologians assume that being male makes them unbiased about gender, that being straight makes them unbiased about sexuality, that being privileged makes them unbiased about oppression, that being white makes them unbiased about race, that that being relatively wealthy makes them unbiased about poverty/economic issues, and that being highly educated makes them unbiased (and uniquely qualified) … [Read more...]

Yes I Take My Poor Children Trick-or-Treating in Your Rich Neighborhood

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I know I'm late to the party, but I only just came upon that viral Dear Prudence letter about poor kids trick-or-treating in rich neighborhoods.Dear Prudence, I live in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the country, but on one of the more “modest” streets—mostly doctors and lawyers and family business owners. (A few blocks away are billionaires, families with famous last names, media moguls, etc.) I have noticed that on Halloween, what seems like 75 percent of the trick-or-treaters a … [Read more...]

Ebola, Diseases, and the Undesirables

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Am I the only one who noticed that Americans didn't care about ebola until there was actually the threat of people here in the U.S. catching it? For most of the summer there was little focus or interest in it at all, and I suspect most Americans processed it in the way they might another drought in the Sudan. I followed it because when I first heard of ebola some years ago it made a huge impression on me, and became my go-to bogey disease. But everyone else didn't seem to pay much at … [Read more...]

On Transgender Men and “Living Life As a Woman”

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In my post earlier today, I wrote the following: If you are a non-transgender man, please understand that you have no experience living life as a woman. An exchange took place in the comments that is worth highlighting.First, reader Isaac had this to say:Re: Trans men having lived experience "as women"---I think this can be somewhat true, but it's an idea to apply carefully and lightly. Each trans man has a different experience in which he may experience more or less misogyny directed … [Read more...]

When Your Atheism Is Really about Attacking Minorities

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Minneapolis, Minnesota, is home to at tens of thousands of Somali immigrants, the largest concentration of Somali immigrants in the country. The community was largely formed by the result of refugees from Somalia's civil wars. Relatively new immigrants with few preexisting networks, some 82% of Somalis in Minnesota live near or below the poverty level. They frequently have low levels of education, and have faced challenges integrating into American society made worse by the surge of Islamophobia … [Read more...]

John Crawford III Denied Justice

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I have to admit to feeling a bit sick. I just saw two things in very close proximity. The first was a headline announcing that Beavercreek, Ohio, police were cleared of wrongdoing in the shooting death of John Crawford III. The second was the surveillance video of that shooting, which occurred in a Walmart.Crawford had picked up an unloaded BB gun off a shelf and was swinging it gently, point down, while standing in an aisle talking on the phone. The autopsy report found that Crawford was … [Read more...]

The Hijabi on the Bus

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Yesterday morning I posted about atheism and Islam, and then went in to work for a few hours. After I finished I read the comments on that post, some of them critical. Then I got on the bus to head home---and in a moment that serendipitous, I found myself sitting next to an olive-skinned woman wearing hijab. I live in a university town, so this is a common sight. Coming right after reading comments arguing that Islam inherently oppresses women, it felt refreshing, somehow. She had a stroller w … [Read more...]


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