Lots of interesting things in the latest Christianity Today. They include this statistic: 85% of Campus Crusade at Yale is Asian. The Buddhist meditation group is almost exclusively white. I dunno, kinda ironic.
It also had this fascinating discussion about “rights” and religion that made me think a lot. This one guy was saying how a big problem in American society today is that the perceived rights of the individual is exalted and upheld above everything else. Which is a problem as it relates to religion, because a religious movement is inherently communal, and in light of that, it makes no sense for the individual’s rights to trump everything. He refers to a case where a church excommunicated an individual, and the individual sued the church. It makes no sense.
I dunno, he points out some other things that I think are true, where we’re kind of been influenced by the idea of the primacy of individual rights. Like he mentions how the abortion debate has been shaped in terms of rights. Woman’s right to privacy vs. fetus’s right to life. And rights is perhaps not the best way to think about things. I dunno, interesting.
There was another section that kind of reminded me how we (I) have been influenced by the idea of the primacy of the individual. It just had these quotes about singing, and they reminded me how singing is a communal activity. That in large part, we sing to identify ourselves as part of a group. I dunno, I think for myself, I too often think about myself when singing. Do I mean it. Am I sincere. Stuff like that. Not about the community. I dunno, it’s the influence of this age, I think.
Speaking of right to privacy, Clarence Thomas said something interesting in his dissenting opinion on that anti-sodomy law case. He says that he personally thinks said laws are ridiculous. As a legislator, he would work to repeal them. But as a judge, he cannot vote against them because he does not feel that the right to privacy is in the Constitution. I found that stance fascinating. Is it true? Is it defensible? Because a lot of Court decisions, most notably Roe v Wade, have hinged on the right to privacy. So to say that this principle is not in the Constitution… that’s fascinating. And bold.