The Charitable-Industrial Complex - NYTimes.com

Early on in our philanthropic journey, my wife and I became aware of something I started to call Philanthropic Colonialism. I noticed that a donor had the urge to “save the day” in some fashion. People (including me) who had very little knowledge of a particular place would think that they could solve a local problem. Whether it involved farming methods, education practices, job training or business development, over and over I would hear people discuss transplanting what worked in one setting directly into another with little regard for culture, geography or societal norms.

Often the results of our decisions had unintended consequences; distributing condoms to stop the spread of AIDS in a brothel area ended up creating a higher price for unprotected sex.

But now I think something even more damaging is going on.

Advent - Week 4

K. Hall begins with a blessing to those who are “visionaries” and who can keep company to the “yet…

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Ducks, Quacks, & Changing Culture

A summary below, but be sure to click the link above.

American Cultural Moralism is Dead.

"America’s on the backside of an age of cultural Christianity."

Moralism will be exposed for what it’s always been: a false Gospel.

"…the American moralist counterfeit in a nutshell:

  • Creator: Founding Fathers (even pagan ones)
  • Heaven: A conservative, culturally Christian America
  • Hell: A liberal America
  • Savior: Moral, politically-active, conservative people”

The Church will be purified to its essence: a gathering of true disciples.

"Things change a bit when your the one being boycotted." (money)

The Church will be forced into action: to the ends of the earth.

"If [a] anti-Christian cultural landscape is what it takes to move God’s people en masse to truly missional living around the world, then for the glory of His name, let it be so."

motherjones:

What Would Happen If We Really Went to War Against Christmas?

Special ops: ”I cannot think of too many worse environments to infiltrate and then exfiltrate from than the North Pole,” says Andrew Exum, a former special adviser for Middle East policy at the Department of Defense who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. “I have no idea how many elves would remain loyal to Santa Claus, but given the open terrain, you would probably want to surround Santa’s workshop with at least a company of Army Rangers before sending in a team from one of our special missions units to capture or kill Santa himself. That’s 150 to 200 men right there that would have to make their way to one of the most remote locations on Earth, carry out a very difficult mission in low visibility and freezing temperatures, and then march back out. As much as I love and admire our special operations forces, that’s a huge ask.”

Read the whole thing

Advent - Week 3

God’s voice is a torrent of life that seeks to flow into us. K. Hall’s images are vivid and…

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Advent - Week 2

K. Hall describes a journey that is made through the terrain of our souls. These journeys leave…

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Syboxification

The Harvard philosopher Michael Sandel calls it the “skyboxification of American life”—the way in which the wealthy and not-so-wealthy are living further and further apart. In the past, American neighborhoods were more mixed, housing people of very different backgrounds and incomes. Nowadays, many places are becoming homogenized.

-read more: Mapping The Wealth Of U.S. ZIP Codes Shows The Haves Hiding From The Have-Nots

Here is a visualiztion of where I live. The area outlined in orange is my neighborhood. It ranks a 4 compared to a 90 for the areas in green. A Zip’s ranking is a number between 0 and 99 representing the average of its percentile ranks in college education and in income.

How do we promote more diversity over a homogenized life? 

image

nprmusic:

The African-American religious folk songs known as spirituals grew out of the slavery experience and the introduction of Christianity into slaves’ lives. Though rooted in African musical tradition, they reflected life in a strange and terribly oppressive new world. Often improvisations upon older hymns, they became entirely new songs — songs like “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child,” “Joshua Fit De Battle of Jericho” and “Steal Away.” In some ways, spirituals foreshadow the birth of American jazz.

Photo: Chris Ware/Getty Images