Photo credit: 2009 Jon-Phillip Sheridan/flickr. Use does not represent endorsement by the photographer.
The extramarital affair of former CIA Director General David Petraeus is making headlines across the nation as you already knew. Some reports are examining what the development suggests about our government’s intelligence apparatus, but most of the coverage spends its time zeroing in on the salacious details. Perhaps it has always been true, that public intrigue follows personal stories of drama and decline. What I find unique about this moment in history is our nation’s unquenchable appetite for human weakness coupled with distribution geared to maximize consumption. This is an age of sensationalism on demand, where vice is a commodity and the line between news and entertainment disappears before our eyes. Not unlike pornography and the more mean-spirited forms of reality TV, we can sit down to watch national scandals unfold, and fail to realize the harm that our participation does to the players and the audience. By using stories like the Petraeus affair as an occasion to gawk or denigrate those involved, Christians risk elevating the significance of misdirected sexuality while downplaying other sins closer to home.
“We’ve done nothing wrong. But we’ve done nothing.” -Jimmy Eat World
Photo credit: 2007 Solo/flickr. Use does not represent endorsement by the photographer.
The following is a post written by guest contributor Meg Vallee Munoz:
“Mom, what’s wrong with him.”
I want to say it was a morning like every other, but that would be untrue. I was emotionally exhausted and had been functioning in crisis-mode for weeks. It was the question I’d been waiting to hear, the question I’d been dreading, the question I knew could only be avoided for so long. The possibility of it being asked had been haunting me since everything started.
My wife Lauren and our son Stellan.
Mothers and fathers often feel strongly about how they want to deliver their child into the world. Birthing plans and complications vary from one couple to the next. What follows is personal feelings about our birthing process; it is not a commentary on yours which belongs entirely to you.
This post includes a story about my wife and I on the day she gave birth to our son. I share it with her consent.
It was important to my wife Lauren that she have a natural birth. This meant going through the process with midwives and avoiding an epidural and IV medicine. The day of delivery came in late July. 18 hours later, Lauren reached 10 centimeters of dilation- or the “push phase” in laymen’s terms- without medicine, but there was almost nothing left of her energy and stamina. The marathon (between the final two centimeters in particular) had exhausted her completely, and she was losing control of the pain in a hurry. Seeing her suffer, I was starting to lose it too.
Photo credit: 2010 Arol Viñolas/flickr. Use does not represent endorsement by the photographer.
If I had to tell you my biggest weakness, it would be knowing my limits. I’m all or nothing and I don’t stop. Growing up, “lazy” was worse than any four letter word. But the time has come for me to slow down. It is not easy but fortunately I have gracious friends who are helping me gently step away for a bit.
Photo credit: 2012 Don Relyea/flickr. Use does not represent endorsement by the photographer.
Eugene Cho published a worthwhile article this week titled ‘Thou Shalt Follow These 10 Commandments of the Presidential Election.’ In this piece, Cho raises several issues which are vital for Christians to consider during this and every election cycle. There was however one point Cho made in the post that ground me to a halt, which is the belief that our two most recent Presidential candidates are good men and worthy of respect. I want to examine his idea here.
In full disclosure, I know Cho personally and think very highly of him, his family and his ministry, in fact it is a little awkward referring to him as Cho in this post because I know him as Eugene and have shared laughs, good conversation, and tea with him a few different times, and was blessed to be a part of his church for a couple of years. So think point/counterpoint as you read this rather than a flame war, and know that Cho is a humble guy with a thick skin. I don’t think this will hurt or offend him if I can manage my points in a kind way.
The cross at Ground Zero. Photo credit: 2002 Ernie Bello/flickr. Use does not represent endorsement by the photographer.
I grew up in an Evangelical Christian home where conservative media was considered part of a healthy diet and fear was a key ingredient. I was raised to believe that the walls were coming down on this planet, and that Christians were target number one. The implication was that it was best to stay close to the people and beliefs I knew, to hold tight, and pray hard. Plug into conservative media today and you will see that little has changed when it comes to employing fear. Consumers are greeted with a barrage of alerts and other perceived attacks on Christianity. The internet piles on, with end-times newsletters forecasting yet another development on the path to Armageddon and scary emails warning of the latest threat to religious freedom. Not only are most of these reports fictitious, but corrosive to faith in Christ.
Photo credit: 2006 Nassar Nouri/flickr. Use does not represent endorsement by the photographer.
Thomas Friedman, the well-regarded Op-Ed columnist for the New York Times, wants the Arab world to do some soul searching. His recent article ‘Look in Your Mirror‘ argues that American-grown hate speech like the recent anti-Islam video on Youtube does not justify violence in the Arab world, and that those in the Middle East must examine their own religious hate speech aimed at Christians, Jews, Sufis, and Shiites before they demand an apology from us. I want to examine Friedman’s writings here, because he’s got a point, but it’s a common, disproportionate view which ignores our contribution to the present unrest, and exposes prevalent confusion and numbness about that part of the world.
Photo Credit: Flickr/chicagophotogirl . Usage does not represent endorsement by the photographer.
Well, the time has come to announce that I’m 6 months pregnant. We are expecting a little girl on January 19th of 2013. I’ve waited to write about it. I’ve waited to be excited about it. My past has haunted me this entire pregnancy and it has threatened to steal every ounce of joy out of this miraculous moment. I’ll tell you why.
We’re Giving Away 10 Copies of the New Book ‘Red Letter Revolution’ by Shane Claiborne and Tony Campolo
Click through for a brief synopsis of the book, and to enter!