Economy

No Better Time for Public Theology: An Interview with Kyle A. Roberts

Many would have us believe talk about God is in decline. Hardly. The election of President Trump and his highly visible group of Faith-Based Advisors spurred Pastor Robert Jeffress to consider President Trump the most Faith Friendly President Ever. Read More

Frank Schaeffer, Cycle of Life, and What Matters

“See, I will listen to Dad,” said the pediatrician as she put her stethoscope to my chest. She did not know I am Grandpa, not Dad.

Generally my weekly schedule is flexible. Should Kimberly or Tommie need me to go with them and one of the Grands to their pediatrician appointment, I can get away. Call it a perk.

Wednesday, Cohen began running fever again and the pediatrician suggested they check to see if his ear infection persisted. It had. A new bout of antibiotics were issued. I could not help but remember when his mother faced those irritable ears. We would go to her pediatrician. “Yes, another infection.” We would pay for the office visit and collect another prescription of amoxicillin. Back than the two expenses would take a Benjamin – $100. Rick, my mentor, had been through the same with his children. He decided there may be another way to cure the pain of an ear infection. He suggested we lay a child on the couch and wave a $100 bill over them. It seemed reasonable since it took $100 to address the situation. We would cure the child and keep the bill. No, it did not work. We did not even try. Their ears were too important for us to be so cavalier.

Frank Schaeffer wrote a piece for The Huffington Post on Wednesday. I clipped it to read later. After watering the flower beds this morning I sat down to post a Friday Photo piece. Working through some photos from our July 4th here at the house I thought I would pause to read Schaeffer’s post. The title was enough to catch my attention, “The Real Biological Clock Is Bigger Than Asking ‘When to Have a Child?‘ Here are the first lines, for those who have not clicked over to read. More after you make the jump.

Love is the only path to immortality. And love has a name: Grandchildren. Everything else is just a footnote.

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“Let’s Get This Started” – Copyright 2013, Todd A. Littleton

You guessed it, the photos I planned to post would be of Cohen and Max. I decided to post a bit more than the normal Friday Photo. I thought about how many times I get, “You don’t look old enough to be a grandpa.” Sometimes I am flattered. More than once I reply by saying that we were fourteen when we began having children. Might be true several thousand years ago. Even in the late 1970’s we would have been stigmatized rolling a stroller around.

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“Long Hot Day” – Copyright 2013, Todd A. Littleton

The truth is we were 22, well I would be less than a month after Kimberly was born. Even at that, reading Schaeffer’s article points to the false perception that parents know more later than sooner. The question is, “What more do they know about?”

Frank does not suggest those waiting to have children in order to pursue education and career are dumb. He simply suggests that there may be an underlying impulse of which they are unaware; a cultural influence so intertwined in our lives that we miss it. You may deny the subtle forces of the economy but read through Schaeffer’s piece again and you cannot escape that he attempts to rupture the notion of what we need. In the end he claims we need to create beauty, love, and peace. That, he believes, is found in what we invest in others, especially our grandchildren.

What I like about Schaeffer’s piece is that he does not make the matter a moral choice – children early or late. That would only serve to feed the ego of one or the other. “You should have waited.” Or, “You should have started sooner.” No, the underlying issue is how we promote community and continue to invest in others despite economic forces that lead us to believe what matters is what we make, what we achieve, and how we are perceived. All of us, early age parents or older age parents, need to remember what really matters are people in whom we invest.

We plan to see the Grands today.

Weekly Wrap – Maybe You Missed These Posts

Marty Duren once told me he learned the rhythms of blogging by paying attention to site traffic. I do not always abide that advice. I tend to write when the subject comes to me. Sometimes my personal schedule means posts go live at odd times. In the event you missed one of these, here are some thoughts offered this week at The Edge of the Inside.

I should mention that Marty offered a kind compliment at his site in a recent post. He often provokes me to think about matters not on my radar. He also spurs some of the thinking that goes into posts here. He is a friend and often looks for ways to challenge the left and the right when it comes to politics.

It’s the Economy or, A Piratic Snowclone to Challenge the Church

I love neologisms. Reading up on the origins of the phrase, “It’s the economy, stupid,” I ran across a reference to snowclones. It occurred to me that this phrase could be used to describe how the phrase could function to alert us to the subtle way the economy often influenced and influences the Church more than our stated commitments to the way of Jesus. And, yes I am guilty too.

God-talk In Conflict or, When Retrospect and Prospect Collide

What we need is a good dose of deconstruction. But, too many immediately consider this destruction. Religious pundits spout accusations of relativizing the truth. They spend much more time assessing the cultural implications often associated with postmodernism than the deeper philosophical turn that helps through the maze created when well meaning people face God-talk over the same event requiring a decision as retrospect or prospect.

Friday Photo – Sunset Line

We found a spot on the shoreline and watched the sun disappear into the horizon. I thought of the poetic description in the Psalter. “It [Sun] rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat.” (Ps.19:6)

Coming Monday –

Stephen Keating Undresses Pro-Life Tactics or, Let’s Get Underneath Akin’s Skin

 

 

It’s the Economy or, A Piratic Snowclone to Challenge the Church

I love neologisms. Reading up on the origins of the phrase, “It’s the economy, stupid,” I ran across a reference to snowclones. It occurred to me that this phrase could be used to describe how the phrase could function to alert us to the subtle way the economy often influenced and influences the Church more than our stated commitments to the way of Jesus. And, yes I am guilty too.

Twenty years ago James Carville’s leaked internal memo revealed an angle the Bill Clinton campaign would use to unseat George H.W. Bush. Some of you may remember the phrase that seemed to encapsulate it all, “The economy, stupid.” The leaked phrase morphed into the public vocabulary as, “It is the economy, stupid.” Not much has changed.

Today it appears no one is willing to make the mistake of ignoring the economy. Neither President Obama nor Mitt Romney is willing to go all ostrich on the issue of American life that pervades nearly every conversation. Read More

I Thought We Were Moving Beyond the Politics of Fear

Words do mean something. In a conversation yesterday a friend pointed out how difficult it is for us to really engage politics. Once we make statements critical of one administration in hopes of prompting either change or a different direction by a soon-coming administration we must face up to the double-edge of our critique. Certainly this is overly simplistic. But, appeals for an anti-imperial, post-colonial approach to Iraq cannot be exchanged for the same kind of policy with regard to Afghanistan. If the attempt is to demonstrate we can engage without the prospect of securing a favorable source for oil then the notion of an anti-empire move becomes moot. Consistency would demand our troops come home from both Iraq and Afghanistan. So, there is more to the story. I am aware of that. But, the rhetoric used to describe the kind of change we need seems now to be what Krauthammer refers to as “sleight of hand.”

No, he is not describing the politics of war. He is addressing the politics of economy. Words are carefully chosen. Creating fear is something most modern people decry. However, we seem to find it a great weapon to stretch or agenda. What do you think? And rather than attack the writer (Krauthammer), how about the subject?