A brief list of what I’ve been reading this week, mostly about religion, politics, sex, and hate groups, but with a little bit of celebrity parody thrown in.
Goshen College doesn’t play the national anthem, and it’s just fine.
Stories matter, and we need to give more attention to the ones we tell our children. Little House on the Prairie fostered modern conservatism, argues Christine Woodward in Politico.
Over at HarvSpot, Harvey Yoder is chronicling a Trump PAC’s efforts to woo Amish voters. It’s not going well.
KimKierkegaardashian’s Twitter feed is my favorite current internet silliness. Almost inspired me to revisit Either/Or.
A Muslim woman in NYC was set afire this week. She was not injured, thankfully. Investigators have ruled that this attack was not inspired by her religion as three other women had been threatened with similar attacks by the same man. So it’s a crime aimed at women, not Muslims. Somehow, I don’t feel any better about this.
It’s not universally true that conservative religion hurts women, but Hasidic women in NYC are being denied a right to an education.
Bob Zellner tells of his work as a white man working as a Civil Rights activists and notes the things that can pull rural people together—including pulling Klansmen out of the Klan. Part of his success was in recognizing that people want to live with integrity, so that their words and actions match. The trick was in figuring out how to work this so that people moved away from racism and toward justice. A highlight:
“[W]e knew that people’s rhetoric can be the last thing that’ll change. We told them we don’t care what you believe as long as you act in an equal way, knowing that people don’t want a disconnect between what they’re doing and what they’re thinking, and their thinking begins to change. “
Science Friday explores what we can learn when we share data. (Thanks to my pal Jamie for sharing this with me. I can see a fun assignment for my research methods students coming out of it.) But sometimes data does not serve our vision of a just world well, as Cathy O’Neil argues in Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy.
“Grit” is b.s. Nicolas Tampio explains why “Teaching ‘Grit’ is Bad for Children, and Bad for Democracy” in Aeon.
Helaine Olen is the smartest financial writer we have in the U.S., in part because of her ability to connect personal finance and larger structural forces. She takes a narrow question—why the liberal arts keep getting kicked around in public discourse, though they are one of the best ways to foster critically-engaged citizenship—and uses it to ask us to question our ideas about democracy, the nation, and the future.
If you aren’t following Olen on Twitter, then you missed a great analysis of the Wells Fargo meltdown. Find it and follow her.
Women working in the White House strategically support each other in meetings to insure that their voices are heard. Learn what they did and other feminist strategies for respecting women’s contributions at work.