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Saturday Selections – July 6, 2024

How social media keeps you poor (10 min)

Though the two commentators here aren’t Christian, the warning they offer may help us better resist social media’s siren call.

Spider silk might be ideal for nerve repairs

Spider silk may be a great medium to regrow severed nerves in people, and that’s just one of its amazing properties. If Man could make it, he would, but despite all our genius and equipment, we can’t duplicate what a spider, with a brain the size of a pin, can make all on its own.

Motherhood myth busting

Feminists have women fearful of having children, with fertility treated more as a problem to be solved than as a gift (or if they deny God, an ability) specific to women. They look to children from a cost/benefit perspective and don’t see how the pleasure derived from children can outweigh the bother. And from that self-absorbed perspective, it will be hard to enjoy any kids you might have.

But, “if life has meaning beyond comfort and pleasure, then something can be difficult and worth pursuing at the same time. ”

Parents’ guide to smartphones (10-minute read)

The folks at Axis cover the highs and lows. It’s a longer read but there is so much helpful material in here that this is a must-read for parents with teens.

Communicating about sex in the first years of marriage

“How can you have meaningful conversations about sex with your spouse? You should be sure to address wants, worries, ways, and why’s…”

When the government bets your house

Like previous installments in this “Unintended Consequences” series, these are well-intentioned plans going wildly awry. While this is a secular presentation, the lesson being pitched is one Christians can get behind: there is an overall need for humility, because even (especially?) experts can get things really, really wrong.

This humility wouldn’t simply mean leaders, and the experts they follow, need to double-check their work. What it means is that our leaders and these experts need to admit to not being able to do many of the things they are currently trying to do now…. and they need to stop meddling in them.

Just consider if, in the Sri Lankan case presented below, only some of the farmers had tried organic pesticides. Maybe they would have tried it as a marketing effort – get your organic rice from us! It would have been an experiment, but the farmers would have been gambling with their own land, money, and work. That’s high stakes for them, but they are betting on themselves, their own smarts, and their efforts. And because it is only some farmers, win or lose, it isn’t a high-stakes gamble for the whole country. If they had succeeded, they would have gotten the benefit and they would have been an example for others to learn from and copy. And if they’d failed, then others could also learn and avoid their mistake.

However, when the government made the decision to ban inorganic pesticides for everyone, they were gambling with land, money, and work that wasn’t theirs. And they were forcing everyone into just the one experiment. If it succeeded, wonderful, but the problem is, were it to fail, they were taking everyone down with them. That makes it a much, much higher stakes gamble. And anyone who has any humility shouldn’t even think to bet someone else’s house on their best guess.

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Saturday Selections – June 29, 2024

Click on the titles below for the linked articles... Presidential debate was between a pro-choice candidate and a pro-abortion one Two US presidents debated each other this past week, both competing for a second term. It was a debate like no other, without a studio audience or even the White House press corp in attendance, and both presidents' mikes were muted when it wasn't their turn to speak. Commerical breaks – not normally a feature of these debates – were also inserted, giving both participants breaks to regroup. It might have been the most managed of all presidential debates. The Christian kids' news site World Watch explains it for kids below. And for a deeper dive, click on the article link above for Jonathon Van Maren's take. Why can't men give birth to puppies? (10-min read) Some folks in India really believe that if they are bitten by a rabid dog, that will impregnate them with little puppies. The only cure? Talk to your local witch doctor who has a 100% success rate. Why are we talking about something so ridiculous? Because our culture needs some clarity about how believing something doesn't make it so. We've fallen for "Man, I feel like a woman" being somehow a transformative belief. But why does that belief transform reality, and not the sincerely held belief that some men have that they are in danger of giving birth to dogs? CRC calls its LGBT-affirming congregations to repent Welcome news from a denomination many readers are familiar with. Its call to repentance was passed by a vote of 134-50. Are we more anxious, or is this term usage being expanded? Or might it be both? There is a general trend in the world to empty words of their meaning. Think of terms like "marriage" and "gender" that have been expanded to mean whatever each individual wants them to mean. The definition of "woman" has become so uncertain that even a US Supreme Court Justice has trouble defining it. This article charts how the terms "anxiety" and "depression" are also undergoing a change, expanding who they each cover. So are new technologies like smartphones really making us more anxious, or have these terms simply been expanded to include people they didn't include before? Or might it be a case of both happening at once? Doctor Who and how bad TV can get When the BBC show Doctor Who first premiered in 1963, it was a cheesy but slightly educational show, as the time-traveling alien could visit all sorts of historical figures. But in recent years the show has gotten almost comically bad, the normalizaiton of the LGBT agenda now its primary raison d'être. And they are not the only ones – a recent Star Wars Tales of the Empire episode had two inquisitors murder a Jedi, but both were careful to call him by his desired "they/them" pronouns. More and more often, "this is the way." Super awkward abortion conversation at Walgreens... (4 min) Pro-life groups are getting more creative about not just who unborn babies are, but what it means to be be an adult male. ...