I didn’t mean to read and listen and think about a series of controversial topics this week, but I’m passing along some of my favorite writers and podcasters who have helped expand or challenge my thinking on things within our culture wars this past week:
I was really grateful for Anne Applebaum’s essay in the Atlantic about The New Puritans and the way social shaming can silence free speech and lead to injustices. She’s looking at men and women who have been fired from colleges and universities, newspapers and magazines, and shunned in their social settings. As much as I want to advocate for victims of longstanding abuse, I also want to uphold the principles of our democracy when it comes to freedom of speech and due process. Even more, as a human, I want to be reminded of the courage it takes to love people who are outcast by society for whatever reason.
I’ve really appreciated the podcast Scene on Radio for all its seasons (especially the one called Seeing White). They’ve just started season five, about the environmental/climate change crisis, and they start with an exploration of the role Christianity has played in our current situation. This was a challenging one for me. I really don’t want it to be true that Christians have played a decisive and negative role in harming so much of what we have been given on this earth. And it is really good for me to have to wrestle with that reality and ask how I can and will respond.
I also appreciated Gideon Lewis-Krause’s article for the New Yorker about whether genetics matter in how we think about inequality and social programs. I tend to fall on the “nurture” side of the nature/nurture debate, and this article profiles a young female scientist who is convinced that genes determine a lot when it comes to behavior and outcomes for humans. So again, it’s really good for me to expand my thinking and engage with some ideas that challenge my own assumptions.
What are you reading or listening to that challenges what you think you know?
Learn more with Amy Julia:
- More Favorites and AJB Recommends
- S4 E11 | Making Art in a Broken World with Makoto Fujimura
- AJB Recommends: Resources About Critical Race Theory
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