April 29, 2007

In Memorium: Dr. Lee Roberson

The Chattanoogan has the full story. For those who don't know him, Dr. Roberson was a giant among fundamentalism. He founded Tennessee Temple University, and was a guiding force to many preachers in fundamental circles.

He started off Southern Baptist, but ran afoul of denominational politics leading up to the conservative resurgence. His church refused to participate in the Cooperative Program because of liberal professors and influence in the state Baptist colleges, and they were expelled from their local association. Roberson was one of the first fundamentalists to leave the SBC because of theological liberalism.

I had the opportunity to hear him speak when I was in high school, and still count it a privilege. His influence in conservative Christian circles will be missed, as will his leadership and pastor's heart.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 08:50 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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April 10, 2007

Don Imus

There's something we're missing in the whole Don Imus controversy. My wife and I have both noticed that while everyone is mad (and rightly so, let me be clear) about the "nappy-headed" remark, nobody seems to be very upset that he called these young women "hos." Haven't heard anything from any women's organization. Haven't read anything about the sexism in the comment. All I've heard are the charges of racism, and the outrage from the black community. Don't get me wrong -- they should be upset about it. They should be up in arms about it. But we're missing part of the picture here.

Part of the reason is that the term 'ho' and the term 'pimpin' have become part of our vernacular. When I was teaching, I heard it all the time. There's a lack of respect for people that seems to be running through society right now, and it's going to create problems in the long run. It's a lack of respect for people.

Used to be that people deserved your respect until they proved that they didn't -- innocent until proven guilty, in a way. Now, if you don't know someone, they're not worth spit. And when you DO meet someone, it's perfectly acceptable to call them ho, or a host of other derogatory and insulting names.

I'm not going to talk about Imus' suspension, or whether it's long enough or too long. What I WANT to do is direct the discussion toward the bigger insult -- the fact that he called a group of college students 'hos'. I don't care what side of the aisle you're on -- that kind of disrespect is a big problem, and it's a shame that we're not talking about it.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 05:42 AM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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April 09, 2007

A Little TV Criticism

I've been watching more network TV lately than I ever used to. Of course, I only get FOX and ABC right now (don't ask), so my choices are rather limited. And that's how I discovered House.

For those who don't know, House is a new show on FOX, and it has nothing to do with home improvement. From the official FOX description:

DR. GREGORY HOUSE (Hugh Laurie) is devoid of anything resembling bedside manner and wouldn’t even talk to his patients if he could get away with it. Dealing with his own constant physical pain, he uses a cane that seems to punctuate his acerbic, brutally honest demeanor. While his behavior can border on antisocial, House is a brilliant diagnostician whose unconventional thinking and flawless instincts afford him widespread respect.
House is heartily non-theistic. It seems that he takes special joy in throwing a patient's faith up in their faith. But that's just his nature -- as the site says, he genuinely dislikes people in general, and sick people in particular. From a theistic perspective, though, it really seems like House takes special pride in insulting people of faith.

This is particularly clear in House's treatment of patients who are pro-life. Which brings me to the latest episode, "Fetal Position." Long story short, patient comes in, critically ill. Turns out that her unborn child has turned on her, and is slowly killing her. House is insistent on terminating the pregnancy.

House's boss is also pro-life, and goes to extremes to avoid aborting the baby. House agrees to perform surgery on the fetus. THIS is where the show got really good. During the surgery, the fetus reaches out and holds onto House's finger. Time for the closeup, Mr. DeMille. Unfortunately, FOX hasn't put a picture up on the site, and probably won't.

The part of the story I totally enjoyed is the crisis that one event has caused in House. The closing scene shows us House sitting on his couch, staring at his finger, contemplating what exactly happened in the OR. A decidedly pro-life moment.

House has one great strength -- it's ability to take a character who questions even the idea of belief itself, and making him confront the possibility that his assumptions are wrong. Throughout the season, House has confronted patients who have been examples of faith, and he doesn't emerge unscathed, philosophically speaking. He is still far from a theist, much less any form of Christian, but he's asking questions that he never thought he'd ask. At a time when so much of TV mocks and attacks people of faith, it's refreshing to watch a prime-time program that takes us seriously. I never thought I'd enjoy network TV this much ever again.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 08:52 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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