Quick Takes with Libby Anne: All the News You Missed

Quick Takes with Libby Anne: All the News You Missed May 13, 2019

I’m feeling scattered this morning, so I’m going to do a series of quick-take responses to articles I’ve bookmarked in the past week or two, rather than writing a full blog post. These are articles I’ve considered responding to, but haven’t felt would generate a full post.

So here you go! Some quick takes!

Young Life at the Border: How youth ministries are reaching teens torn between Mexico and the US

Look, I don’t know about you, but if my high school student were walking across the U.S. boarder each morning to go to school, I sure as heck wouldn’t want a someone swooping in to evangelize them—especially someone in a ministry that looks down on doing things like, oh, say, lying about where you live so you can go to a good school. These are kids who are just trying to go to school, they don’t need one more obstacle.

But oh hey! Apparently that’s what Young Life is doing! Apparently these teens are a mission field!

Young Life leaders across the country and the globe are used to dealing with risky teenage behavior. In that regard, communities along the border are no different.

I’m thinking crossing the border to go to school should be in a different category from something like doing drugs—or underage drinking or premarital sex, which is probably what Young Life usually means by “risky teenage behavior”—but maybe that’s just me.

Students who tackle shooters die as heroes. Some experts worry ‘we’re setting our kids up to be martyrs.’

Twenty bucks says the author of this one missed the whole Cassie Bernall phenomenon, because guess what? Evangelicals are all about setting their kids up to be martyrs! Of course, this author is actually talking about kids who storm shooters, which actually makes a heck of a lot more sense, if you’re going to be a martyr, than passively saying “yes” when asked if you believe in God.

What is a martyr, anyway? Do you have to be killed for your faith, or does dying to save other people count? I think we’re operating on different definitions here. According to the evangelical definition, you need to die for your faith. It’s interesting to learn that at least some people—see the author of the above article—include dying to save other’s lives in their definition of martyrdom. I hadn’t realized that.

“Am I a bad person?” Why one mom didn’t take her kid to the ER — even after poison control said to.

After this woman’s two-year-old got into some meds, she called poison control. They told her to take the kid to the ER. They also told her that the ER would probably give her kid some activated charcoal and then observe her. So she gave her kid activated charcoal from the local pharmacy, drove to the ER, parked in front, and sat in her car observing her kid. See, she was uninsured and didn’t have the money for an ER bill.

I’ve taken a kid to the ER on two different occasions. Each time happened when I was still in school, so my kid was on Medicaid, and that meant I didn’t get a bill. However, I am prone to overanalyzing everything, and I still remember my thought processes.

The first time I took a kid to the ER, it was because she had eaten some suspicious berries. I remember thinking that if we didn’t have Medicaid, I probably would have risked it and stayed home with her due to the cost. Everything turned out fine, and I felt kind of dumb for taking her in. But you know what? At least I was able to put her health front and center.

The second time, there was no question that we had to go to the ER. We had to go. My kid on Medicaid again, but only because we’d recently lost a stream of income. Under our former insurance, we would have been on the hook for hundreds of dollars for an ER visit. I remember being grateful that I didn’t have to grapple with that decision.

So, yeah! As long as healthcare costs an arm and a leg, cost—and not just what is best for their and their kids’ health—is going to factor into people’s medical decisions. Surprise!

Poet stumped by standardized test questions about her own poem

This may just be a pet peeve on my side, but I always always always hated these sorts of questions. Reading comprehension questions I could answer, no problem! But when the test wants to know why the little girl put her hand on the bird? Seriously? At least two of the possible multiple choice options—if not three—always felt like perfectly valid answers!

What, was I in the writer’s head? No! So how the blazes was I supposed to know what the writer meant to convey by using that word? (This may be how I always got higher math marks on standardized tests, even though I’m very much a humanities person. Also, see above about being prone to overthinking everything.)

When Our Ultrasound Revealed a Birth Defect, My Doctor Offered an Abortion

This author is upset that that her doctor told her that abortion was an option after she learned that her fetus had a likely fatal heart defect. No, really—that’s what she’s upset about. He didn’t tell her she had to have an abortion. He didn’t tell her he should. He just told her that it was an option. His telling her that, she says, has haunted her for years.

Doctors bring their own values to the table and parents can be put into a vulnerable position when given slanted advice. While it was jarring to be given our legal rights by our first doctor in such a detached and non-empathetic manner, it would have been truly devastating to be shamed for wanting to save our child’s life through the use of words such as “cruel.”

My god, the chutzpah of this woman. She can only imagine this one way. What about all of the women who are told that they’re cruel for choosing abortion? What about all the laws requiring abortion doctors to say things that are literally lies to their patients before they can perform an abortion? What about all the doctors who shame their patients for having abortions in their medical history? What about people like her, who typically do the same?

Look, I’m deeply, terribly sorry for the news this woman received, and for the loss of her child (who died two months after birth). But she’s not looking at the full picture here.

She’s right in one respect—doctors do have values they bring to the table. Perhaps doctors should start writing “pro-choice” or “anti-abortion” on the shingles they hang out, so that patients can choose accordingly. If nothing else, this could help women who want access to all of the options avoid doctors who refuse to write abortion referrals. Imagine that!

Russian Evangelicals Penalized Most Under Anti-Evangelism Law

I got nothing, except to say that maybe—just maybe—evangelicals shouldn’t have gotten in bed with the Russians. I’m thinking especially of far-right individuals like Michael Farris, and others who have seen Russia, with its creeping authoritarianism, as some sort of potential bastion of religious faith. They banned gay people from talking about being gay! They talk about the importance of the traditional family! That makes the Russians good guys! Uh huh. Right. The Russians also just banned evangelizing, so what does that make them now?

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