If only Twitter were only about birds.
I was going to do books for Thursday, but I haven’t finished any, and we all know that tweeting is more “where it’s at” as they say, so why swim against the current. Here are two bad tweets for your Thursday.
The First Tweet
You can’t screen for Down syndrome before about 10 weeks, and something like 80% of Down syndrome fetuses are aborted. If red states ban abortion, we could see a world where they have five times as many children with Down syndrome, and similar numbers for other disabilities.
— Richard Hanania (@RichardHanania) September 2, 2021
Mmm, yes. As Science TM says, when you kill a lot of people, you don’t have to deal with them anymore. My memory is super hazy but I feel like this sort of thing has been tried before some time, perhaps even in the very bad recent past. I feel like it starts with an ‘Eu’ and ends with ‘olocost’. What was that called? I guess it doesn’t matter because it was whole decades ago, and the past is really only there for us to reinterpret according to our own thoughts and feelings, and not on its own terms. That also is Science TM.
What I love best about this very stupid moment is that we apparently are Very Anxious About The Children, especially getting Covid, but, oh never mind. I’m too tired to rehearse all the hypocrisy this early in the morning. Let’s see, what other bad Tweets do we have.
The Second Tweet
I’ll also suggest that this centrality is often more easily visible to historians who are not straight white evangelical men and/or to those who don’t categorize patriarchy and anti-LGBT as simply “biblical” and thus not a topic of historical inquiry.
— Kristin Du Mez (@kkdumez) November 5, 2019
This one, as you can see, is pretty old. I’m not sure why I’m only seeing it now, but it might as well have been written this very morning. Some ideas, it seems, take rather too long to be cast away into outer darkness.
In case you haven’t been paying attention, what she’s saying is that your “standpoint” or “lived experience” in certain intersecting identities are a sort of immutable truth grid that will allow you to know what is real. So even though Christians have said certain things about themselves and the Bible since, oh well, since Jesus disappeared in that very disappointing cloud, all those things that they have said can be sifted with buckets of intersectional salt. Though Du Mez is straight and white, at least she isn’t male, and she doesn’t believe in the patriarchy. In this way, she is uniquely positioned to better understand what evangelical Christians think and feel and believe than they are themselves. If you are so foolish as to think, for example, ‘Gosh, I don’t accept the LGBTQ view of the person because the Bible has a completely contrary anthropology to that one. I’m not a homophobe, I’m a Christian. I love people, but I love them in the way that Jesus commanded,’ you should stop and repent of all your privilege immediately. You don’t know how wrong you are. Fortunately, Du Mez will continue to point it out to you on Twitter.
A Bible Verse
I found this section of I Timothy leap out at me this morning, even before I hobbled over to Twitter. It’s almost like God and St. Paul knew things would get bad and had a remedy for it:
Teach and urge these things. IF anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness means gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. (1 Tim 6:3-7)
I would just point out that the chief way that people right this moment are attempting to “quarrel over words” is by changing the meanings of those words without admitting that they’re doing that, which is a kind of gaslighting. Back in the bad old TEC days, people in the church started to use the word “Love” not in its theological sense, as a self-giving act for the good of another, but in its current modern English way, which is, ‘I have so many nice feelings but am not obligated to do a single thing about them.’ “God is love” then doesn’t mean, “God is Agape,” God pours himself out eternally in love in the Godhead which overflows into creation and we are caught up in it, but rather “God’s nice feelings towards me mean I can do whatever I happen to feel like in the moment.” This, one might say, is a radical shift. And the people who made it are the ones “quarreling over words.” The people who say, “You can’t do that” are doing what Paul commands Timothy to do–say No, no no no no no no no.
I also find it so interesting that Paul brings in the question of envy and gain. Because that’s what it’s really all about, isn’t it. Who gets to have what? And that is not the Christian question. The Christian life is not a zero-sum game whereby if babies with down syndrome get to live, everyone else has to suffer. On the contrary, everyone is invited to “die,” as in pour out themselves for the good of others, because the Lord of Life has overturned death and doesn’t lose anything at all that we put in his hands.
And now, if you will excuse me, I have other things to do. Have a nice day.