It’s much easier to read if you prop some flowers on it.
A clever online friend pointed out this week that it is totally fine to take a break from podcasting—and by implication blogging, I imagine—but the main thing is to let the loyal reader know, preferably in advance, that the break is forthcoming. ‘I’ll be offline next week,’ one might say, ‘but will be back with articles on the following subjects. See you then!’ This tried-and-true method has sometimes even been employed by me, like last summer, when I did say I would be on vacation and away from the blog.
So anyway, I neglected to tell you about this year’s blogging break, and that’s because I didn’t think I would be having it. What happened was that I got so overwhelmed near the end of the scholastic year that when I collapsed onto the airplane to go to Portugal for three weeks I didn’t even then have the wherewithal to explain why I’d been gone and where I was going. I was tired, is what I’m trying to say, and still am. But I do like to blog, so I’m going to keep at it, and hope that interesting subjects emerge about which to write.
Like one person explaining to another person about what kind of person might “have the capacity for pregnancy.” Srsly, watch the whole fascinating clip:
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) tries to mock Berkley law professor Khiara Bridges for using the phrase "people with the capacity for pregnancy" during a Senate hearing on abortion.
She was having none of it. pic.twitter.com/9tiGFhU07L
— Alanna Vagianos (@AlannaVagianos) July 12, 2022
Many people on Twitter, as you can tell by that particular tweet, felt that the professor obviously “owned” the senator. Boy (that’s a little joke) did she “school” him, they explained. And certainly, her manner of speaking gave the impression that she believes herself to stand on sure and solid ground, that her arguments are unassailable. Men and women and non-binary people all have “the capacity for pregnancy” and to even raise the question is, she asserts, literally inviting violence. Eyebrows raised, the senator mouths his thanks for such an illuminating and instructive moment.
What is so charming about the exchange, I think, is that both the professor and senator make their points entirely. Each is able to draw out the other. It is a win on both counts. She rallies her troops and so does he.
Which brings me back to why I’ve been perhaps more than usually tired, and that is that there is no winning the current war. When Roe was astonishingly overturned last month (my mouth is still wide open in wonder) Christian Intellectuals (I’m done with Thought Leaders and Influencers—stick a fork in it, if we can overturn Roe, we can stop Thought Leading and Influencing and start thinking normally again) rightly pointed out that we need to celebrate the moment before putting our heads down and picking up our various weapons once more. The celebration isn’t an exercise in triumphalism, it is the right and necessary breath of spiritual oxygen, the life-giving acknowledgment that God has done a good and gracious thing.
There is no winning, not in the near term, but because this life isn’t all there is, because eternity is so very long, there does have to be fighting. The person who insists that men “have the capacity for pregnancy” and that to say otherwise literally incites violence is a person consciously engaging in a battle. The very phrase “capacity for pregnancy” is a show of force, a shot across the bow–I’m sure you can probably assemble a lot of other more interesting martial metaphors here if you are so inclined. Whereas, the person who says “No” in various and sundry ways is, unhappily, fighting a rearguard action. The person on defense did not even wake up in the morning knowing such a war was hotting up in the rosy dawn. Searching about for his boots and his weapons he is already at a disadvantage. He was to get his wits together and do whatever he can to try to hold the little ground he has. However discouraged, however foolish and dumb he feels, he has to strengthen himself and do his best.
Perhaps the very first weapon one could pick up, for example–besides the truth that the biological realities of women, or must I be forced to say “birthing people,” matter, and the Bible and prayer and so on–would be a mumbled apology to all the people who, however inelegantly and unwinsomely pointed out that men and women, created as they are in the image of God, are meant to live in accordance with that creation. This is an embarrassing and unwinnable conversation. Still, all the people who said we should worry about it, should think about it, should talk to our children about it, were…what’s that called?…prophetic. Which is to say, to all the culture warriors of the 80s and 90s, I’m so sorry. You were right. The apocalypse was coming. This present darkness was nearer than any of us wanted. I mean, look at this poor person melting down and being on the wrong side of everything:
Not gonna sugar coat this. It’s evil. If I knew nothing about Elizabeth Warren but the lies she tells about pregnancy centers I’d know enough. https://t.co/vvX5reruQh
— Casey Mattox (@CaseyMattox_) July 12, 2022
Dear heart, pregnancy is not “torture.” Using the word “woman” is not inciting violence. Organizations that care for women and their babies are doing eternally valuable work that God sees. In the final reckoning, it won’t be the people who told the truth and sacrificed themselves to save the lives and souls of others who lose.
So anyway, I’m going to blog my way through the summer. I’m not sure how, exactly, because I’m tired and I need to shake things up. I think I am going to start that substack to work through books and ideas off the beaten path. But I’m going to still post here. And my Sunday blog post will be on Stand Firm. And the podcast will continue on. But just this minute I have to go celebrate the fact that my oldest child—ohmyword—is 20 years old today.