Slavery, Class Privilege, and the Denial of Moral Absolutes

atlantic-cover-photo-my-family-slave

by John Ellis

This past week, The Atlantic published a fascinating story titled, “My Family’s Slave.” In his piece, Filipino-American writer Alex Tizon recounts the tale of Eudocia Tomas Pulido (called “Lola”), his family’s live-in “maid” who was never paid, wasn’t allowed to see her family, worked from before sun-up to past sun-down, and who didn’t have her own bedroom most of the time. In the article, Tizon remembers seeing Lola sleeping against piles of laundry.

I had already planned on sharing The Atlantic cover-story in my next “Weekend Reading” article, and I encourage you to take the time the read “My Family’s Slave.” Alex Tizon, who died this past spring, writing what amounts to a horrific confession, of sorts, managed to be interesting, appalling, amusing, frustrating, heartwarming, and chilling all in the same story. On the strength of his writing skills and the nature of the story, “My Family’s Slave” has gone viral, and has prompted much outrage. It’s some of that outrage that I’m currently interested in commenting on, though.

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Christians and GMO’s

gmo

by John Ellis

As a whole, the crunchy Christian movement amuses me. That being said, there are aspects of it that irritate me. At points, I find some aspects self-righteous in ways that threaten to erode the unity that is supposed to characterize followers of King Jesus. However, if we’re being honest (if I’m being honest, especially), all Christians hang onto pockets of self-righteousness; that’s why we need Jesus.

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Ranking Six Flag America’s Roller Coasters

roller coasterby John Ellis

I rode my first roller coaster the summer after 6th grade. My family was vacationing at Disney World, and my dad was eager to ride Space Mountain. I don’t remember if he had to cajole me or bribe me into riding, or if I entered the line with great eagerness under my own, unmanipulated will-power. However, I do remember that after we had finally made it to the front of the line, with a serious look on his face and in his tone, my dad pointed to the empty, returning cars and said, “Look. The cars leave with people in them, but return empty. Do you think that’s what all the screaming is about?”

Before I could answer, he ushered me into the car, and we were off.

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President George W. Bush and the First Pitch After 9/11

bushpitch

by John Ellis

I love baseball. Always have. As a kid, I love watching, playing, and dreaming about baseball. As an adult, I love being able to take my daughter and son to Nationals Park to watch our hometown team play. Even though I’m a Cubs fan, I do what I can to help foster my children’s love of the Nationals. My wife and I sport Nats gear at the games and we cheer loudly along with our children (let me tell you, it’s hard to beat the excitement of a watching a grand slam in an MLB game). Very few things that we do together as a family are as much fun as watching the Washington Nationals play baseball.

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The Most Popular Posts on A Day In His Courts

blog-writing

by John Ellis

When I was a kid, I loved baseball cards. Specifically, I loved looking at the stats on the back of the baseball cards. I still know Andre Dawson’s stat line from 1987: 49 homers and 137 RBI’s, leading the league in both, while batting .287. I also used to love to construct imaginary stat lines for, well, myself for when I would inevitably play for my beloved Chicago Cubs. I would usually give myself a twenty-one or twenty-two year career. Of course, by the time my career was ended, I had set MLB records for hits, runs, doubles, triples, home runs, RBI’s, batting average, on base percentage, and, obviously, golden gloves won (I would also create stats for my lengthy career as a pitcher). That love of looking at numbers and playing with numbers has never left me.

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How NOT to Argue Online

arguing online

by John Ellis

Earlier this week, while watching two “famous” people argue on Twitter (famous in reformed evangelical and Orthodox circles, at least), it was reinforced for me that within identity politics, white males are not allowed to disagree with certain identity groups. The accusation of “racist” was tossed out so quickly and without any substantiation as to almost void the word of any meaning. Identity politics has almost completely undermined our ability to have any sort of meaningful conversation with people who don’t look like us or who come from different backgrounds. With increasing frequency, accusations like “racist” and “patriarch” are being used as the adult version of the childish playground taunt, “I’m better than you/na-na, na-na boo-boo/stick your head in doo-doo.”

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Taxes and the Rude Thievery of Liberals

taxesby John Ellis

It’s rude to talk about money. Or, so I’ve been told. The thing is, when I was an actor, many people, including strangers, felt comfortable asking me how much money I made. Eventually, I became accustomed to talking about how much money was listed above the dotted line on my theatre contracts. Likewise, working in the service industry (I was an actor, remember) frequently brought the question, “How much money do you make in tips?” Throughout much of my adult life, how much money I make has been a frequent conversation topic among friends, family, and strangers alike. In other words, I’ve been conditioned to be rude; what follows is not my fault.

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