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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Identity Politics Is Incompatible with the Church

people-in-the-church-song

by John Ellis

Conservative evangelicalism’s penchant for a consumerist approach to church makes for an easy target.[1] And progressive Christians love to point out and shout down the sins of their parents and those not enlightened enough to escape their parents’ “consumerism.” Although, I doubt that progressive Christians would use the word “sin.” Except, progressive Christianity has glaring deficiencies of its own when it comes to ecclesiology. The list of those deficiencies is rather long, too long for one article. In this post, I’m going to focus on how identity politics is incompatible with a Biblically informed anthropology and ecclesiology.

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Tolerance Is Not Debatable

tolerance400by John Ellis

Note: I first published this post on my previous blog.

What’s important isn’t that I love beer; what’s important is that I am a beer drinker. Don’t misunderstand; I’m thankful that I love beer – very thankful. But, and to reiterate, I am a beer drinker. I was born that way; I shall die that way. But the fact that I am a beer drinker is why I love beer, not the other way around.

For the last one hundred years or so, scientists have understood that taste is largely genetic. Much of a person’s taste preference is shaped by pore-forming proteins called ion channels. Over the last century, many studies have confirmed that the activity of these channels in regards to regulating the flow of ions on the taste buds is largely genetic. In other words, the fact that I desire beer is coded into my genetic makeup. It’s part of who I am. This is why I find it disturbing that in 2015 my genetic desire to drink beer is still being discriminated against in certain restaurants.

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