Yes, all right now:
Bookmark this: buff.ly/YFJOAh the idiots at Newsweek are in for a merciless beating next week.
— Frank Turk (@Frank_Turk) February 20, 2013
Have you read the link? Good heavens: don't read the criticism without reading the source. What are you - Baptist?
OK, first of all: "so what?" if Newsweek somehow makes money publishing trash like that link when there is literally a gem every day (that DJP posts) here and we can't even maintain 2 Kindle subscribers who aren't members of the Johnson family. It may be, to say the least, unjust in the "problem of evil" sense. It is utterly evil that people will pay Newsweek money to publish paragraphs like this one:
Sitting around a table at a hookah bar in New York’s East Village with three women and a gay man, all of them in their 20s and 30s and all resolved to remain childless, a few things quickly became clear: First, for many younger Americans and especially those in cities, having children is no longer an obvious or inevitable choice. Second, many of those opting for childlessness have legitimate, if perhaps selfish, reasons for their decision.In a feature piece which also says this (avert your eyes if you cannot abide the world being itself):
Crudely put, the lack of productive *****ing could further be *****ing the *****ed generation.
But then Newsweek has the real audacity to let this be said:
While postfamilialism isn’t nearly as far along in the U.S., American marriage is faltering—and the baby is being thrown out with the bath water. Forty-four percent of millennials agree that marriage is becoming “obsolete.” And even among those who support tying the knot (including many of those who say it’s obsolete), just 41 percent say children are important for a marriage—down from 65 percent in 1990. It was the only factor to show a significant decline. ... On the flip side of the coin, the percentage of adults who disagreed with the contention that people without children “lead empty lives” has shot up, to 59 percent in 2002 from 39 percent in 1988.Now, look: some of you are just so-whatting already, because frankly this is post-christian America, this is in the post-Christian West, and how surprising is it that this is where we are in 2013. In some sense, I agree with you: this is who we are in the West now, simply glad to be over the idea of families and children even if it means our death as a race or (in less hyperbolic terms) as a society.
But what is excruciatingly-galling about this piece in Newsweek is that one of the major contributors to this cultural achievement is ... Newsweek! Seriously: how on Earth did anyone in their offices have anything but a glowing face of red hot humiliation as they either read or composed this:
In his provocative 2012 book Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone, Eric Klinenberg writes that for the hip urban professionals who make up the so-called creative class, living alone represents a “more desirable state,” even “a sign of success and a mark of distinction, a way to gain freedom and experience the anonymity that can make city life so exhilarating.” Certainly, the number of singletons has skyrocketed: more than half of all adults today are single (a group that includes divorcées and widows and widowers), up from about one in five in 1950.After they were so proud to offer this back in 2008:
More basic than theology, though, is human need. We want, as Abraham did, to grow old surrounded by friends and family and to be buried at last peacefully among them. We want, as Jesus taught, to love one another for our own good—and, not to be too grandiose about it, for the good of the world. We want our children to grow up in stable homes. What happens in the bedroom, really, has nothing to do with any of this. My friend the priest James Martin says his favorite Scripture relating to the question of homosexuality is Psalm 139, a song that praises the beauty and imperfection in all of us and that glorifies God's knowledge of our most secret selves: "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made." And then he adds that in his heart he believes that if Jesus were alive today, he would reach out especially to the gays and lesbians among us, for "Jesus does not want people to be lonely and sad." Let the priest's prayer be our own.As the counterpoint to this, which is their rendition of what the Bible "really" says about marriage:
Let's try for a minute to take the religious conservatives at their word and define marriage as the Bible does. Shall we look to Abraham, the great patriarch, who slept with his servant when he discovered his beloved wife Sarah was infertile? Or to Jacob, who fathered children with four different women (two sisters and their servants)? Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon and the kings of Judah and Israel—all these fathers and heroes were polygamists. The New Testament model of marriage is hardly better. Jesus himself was single and preached an indifference to earthly attachments—especially family. The apostle Paul (also single) regarded marriage as an act of last resort for those unable to contain their animal lust. "It is better to marry than to burn with passion," says the apostle, in one of the most lukewarm endorsements of a treasured institution ever uttered. Would any contemporary heterosexual married couple—who likely woke up on their wedding day harboring some optimistic and newfangled ideas about gender equality and romantic love—turn to the Bible as a how-to script?
Of course not, yet the religious opponents of gay marriage would have it be so.What a tawdry little lie. What an enormous act of self-deception. Doesn't it turn out that what "of course" no one really wants is what, for millennia, kept the West in the people business at least -- and in the family business in spite of the project being full of (in Newsweek's view) the morally-callow and those looking for a last resort?
Maybe what bothers me most about this story is the actual humility of it -- the humble omission to represent Newsweek's own role in the situation. Go ahead and search the Daily Beast (hey look: it's not my fault they asked Jerry Jenkins to name their endeavor) for "birth control" (1333 stories) or "gay marriage" (1607 stories), and you'll find that after molesting and man-handling the child-rearing social unit with both hands for years -- for decades, if you can find the old print Newsweek archives -- suddenly they have discovered that "in the coming decades, success will accrue to those cultures that preserve the family’s place, not as the exclusive social unit but as one that is truly indispensable."
It's a good thing the rest of us who were already laughing at you behind your backs and praying for you through tears didn't listen to you in the first place. It's a good thing we raised our kids to love families and love each other. It's a good thing we didn't take your word for it about Abraham, David, Paul and Jesus -- because otherwise, in your own words, well, we also raised our kids not to speak like that because it demeans something which is utterly holy and utterly indispensable for society. Let's just say that we forgive you for doing what seemed right in your own eyes -- but we has to remind you: admitting that your math was bad isn't enough. That wasn't your worst fault by any means.
If you've discovered that what you have actually done is condemned a civilization to death by your cavalier and banal view of what makes people possible, and teaching others to do the same, you should repent. That is: you should admit that people are made for something other than what you made up in your own minds, and then turn to the One who made them and repent. Some actual Penance -- in spite of my staunch Protestant theology -- on your part might do you some good.
We'll be here if you have any questions.