Don’t Heap Contempt On the Poor, Ever. Even if you think they ‘deserve’ it.

So, some colleagues (whom I also count as friends) and I came across this ridiculous list of "20 Things the Rich Do Every Day" on Dave Ramsey's blog. While I hear that Ramsey's work has been helpful to many, we were taken aback by the context-free presentation of these (unverified) statistics, all of which paint the rich as enlightened, healthy, intelligent, benevolent, disciplined and the poor as...well, the opposite of all that.Some things on the list were patently ridiculous, such as … [Read more...]

“Open Thy Hand Wide”: Moses, Calvin & the Origins of American Liberalism

This morning I saw that Al Mohler--a prominent spokesperson for what is called conservative evangelical and, most interestingly for the purposes of this discussion, Reformed, Christianity had shared a short piece in the National Review with the alarming subtitle:"Schools see it as their job to make kids reject their parents’ conservative values."The author, Dennis Prager, is perhaps not known for moderation in his opinions, but I found the piece a fascinating example of exactly the kind of p … [Read more...]

Please Stop Calling Your Relatively Privileged Life “Crazy” and “Messy.”

A few weeks ago, I asked folks on Twitter--and specifically, my colleague Amy Simpson, who has recently published a book on mental illness and the mission of the church:What do you think about the way people use words like “bipolar,” “crazy,” and “manic” when they really mean “moody,” “energetic,” “quirky” and even “fun”?It’s part of a pattern I’ve noticed lately--and maybe you’ve noticed it too.People with beautiful headshots, flawlessly designed websites, and enviable accomplishment … [Read more...]

The ‘Best’ Healthcare In The World (Or, “At Those Prices, It Should Be!”)

A number of folks have pointed me to this article in the New York Times: "American Way of Birth, Costliest in the World."If you're the kind of person who scrolls through the comments section--not an activity I recommend!--you'll see that I commented twice in response to the clever little embedded questions in the article. Having given birth once in the US and once in the UK, I had some things to say. In the case of this article, the comments are really telling. For example:I suppose … [Read more...]

Health = Morality = Nothing New

I LOVE this article by the Princeton University Classics Professor Brooke Holmes, which appeared in yesterday's Huffington Post--"The moralization of obesity is all too familiar these days. As America has gotten heavier, blame has become something of a national sport. Yet the ancient roots of Warren's Plan are a reminder that the association between health and morality is nothing new...""...ancient authors are clear-eyed about the relationship between health and wealth. The author of … [Read more...]

Cucumbers, Pickles, & Immigrants

Our little garden has produced plenty of cucumbers this year, though they're drawing to an end now. We've been eating lots of them just like this:Because a truck crashed through our yard a few weeks ago, there have been plenty of work 'guys' (as my kids refer to them) in and around the garden recently. Most recently, a crew of landscapers came to plant new hedges in place of the ones that were uprooted in the accident. And while they were there, I caught sight of them eating some of my … [Read more...]