I’ve come up with this little quiz. I call it “How to Determine if Your Religious Liberty Is Being Threatened in Just 10 Quick Questions.” Just pick “A” or “B” for each question.
1. My religious liberty is at risk because:
A) I am not allowed to go to a religious service of my own choosing.
B) Others are allowed to go to religious services of their own choosing.
2. My religious liberty is at risk because:
A) I am not allowed to marry the person I love legally, even though my religious community blesses my marriage.
B) Some states refuse to enforce my own particular religious beliefs on marriage on those two guys in line down at the courthouse.
3. My religious liberty is at risk because:
A) I am being forced to use birth control.
B) I am unable to force others to not use birth control. …
Joshua D. Ambrosius: “Do We Have a Responsibility to Shut Our Siblings Up?”
Why do we as believers feel this overwhelming need to disrupt the world around us whenever we feel our faith is challenged?
Is it because we are trained by parents, youth groups, and campus crusaders that it is the only appropriate response when under attack? … Is it so we get some high-fives from fellow Christians when leaving the classroom? (As we brag to ourselves about our secret knowledge of the world that our professor and classmates reject or just don’t know about.) Is it because we feel condemned if we don’t “speak up” and defend the truth? Is it because we genuinely think this tactic will pay dividends in souls for heaven? Maybe we just don’t think — particularly about the fact that we might be wrong. I was raised in a practice that certainly praised spiritual revelation and condemned any philosophy or intellectualism as “traditions of man” (and Satan) and thus anti-scriptural.
I’m not sure what motivates each of us to act this way — I would think it is combinations of these forces molding our young minds to only accept select information that doesn’t threaten our “worldview” (or Weltanschauung, to avoid this horrible cliché that we have embraced to set apart our own ideas from our rivals’). Ordinarily this is called “indoctrination” — but only cults do that. We are just training our children in the way that they should go, right?
I think it also has something to do with politics. … The blending of Evangelical Christianity with the political right wing and the Republican Party has created a cosmic battle of “us vs. them.”
Maureen Tkacik: “The student loan crisis that can’t be gotten rid of”
The finances of Sallie Mae, the former government sponsored enterprise formally called SLM Corp, are a bit difficult to divine, but the operating profit margin is over 50 percent. It will surely surge higher if CEO Albert Lord executes on his current strategy of turning the $700 million “sweet spot” that is its “fee income” division into a billion-dollar business. “Fee income” means collections, but student loan collectors “do things that no other industry could get away with,” a veteran debt collector named Joseph Leal told Student Loan Justice. They stalk, threaten family members, and jack up loan balances by thousands of dollars at whim, and they do it all with impunity, because they are legally entitled to garnish your wages.