Smart people saying smart things (6.9)

Smart people saying smart things (6.9) June 9, 2015

Dianna E. Anderson, “The God of the Lesser Things: Denny Burk Is Wrong About ‘The Least of These'”

Burk’s world, laid bare in this particular post, is one of simplicity. It is one in which Christ’s body protects its own, and Christ’s body does not contain those kicked out of their homes because they came out, those calling suicide hotlines desperate for help, those risking death every time they want to use the toilet in a public area. Instead, “the least of these” are those throwing the punches, those demanding the change, those contributing to homelessness. …

The God of the Universe is not a closed fist, passing judgment on all who are different and outcast.

The God of the Universe is an open hand, begging for sustenance from those who turn up their noses and pass by.

Charles C. Mann, “The State of the Species”

To avoid destroying itself, the human race would have to do something deeply unnatural, something no other species has ever done or could ever do: constrain its own growth (at least in some ways). Brown tree snakes in Guam, water hyacinth in African rivers, gypsy moths in the U.S. northeast, rabbits in Australia, Burmese pythons in Florida — all these successful species have overrun their environments, heedlessly wiping out other creatures. Like Gause’s protozoans, they are racing to the limits of their Petri dish. Not one has voluntarily turned back. When the zebra mussels in the Hudson River began to run out of food, they did not stop reproducing. When fire ants relentlessly expand their range, no inner voices warn them to consider the future. Why should we expect Homo sapiens to fence itself in?

David Roberts, “The awful truth about climate change”

Yet here we are. The fact is, on our current trajectory, in the absence of substantial new climate policy, we are heading for up to 4°C and maybe higher by the end of the century. That will be, on any clear reading of the available evidence, catastrophic. We are headed for disaster — slowly, yes, but surely.

Alana Massey, “The White Protestant Roots of American Racism”

When the Protestant work ethic was being developed here, many people who were in the country weren’t even considered people and that continues to inform how we think about work,” said Jennifer Harvey, a professor of religion at Drake University whose research includes the intersection of morality in the context of white supremacy. “It cannot see certain kinds of work and labor as real and therefore virtuous,” she continued.

Redditt Hudson, “I’m a black ex-cop, and this is the real truth about race and policing”

On any given day, in any police department in the nation, 15 percent of officers will do the right thing no matter what is happening. Fifteen percent of officers will abuse their authority at every opportunity. The remaining 70 percent could go either way depending on whom they are working with.

That’s a theory from my friend K.L. Williams, who has trained thousands of officers around the country in use of force. Based on what I experienced as a black man serving in the St. Louis Police Department for five years, I agree with him.


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