Saturday, September 26, 2009

I am following Professor Hale's advice...

...and doing a short post.

Do you ever see bumper stickers or emblems on cars that drive you crazy? I do.

This one for example:

Apparently women need to "misbehave" to make a difference. I guess that goes with the "bitches get things done" attitude.

Or this one:

I dislike this one because it kind of smacks of the "I'm in the club and you're not" mentality.

I don't like this one either:

I have God along for the ride to help me out!

Or this one:

As though evolution was a theory that could be tested through experiments like gravity.

On the subject of evolution, here is the latest installment in the "Christian fish" vs "Darwin fish"
emblem battle:

I guess I just don't like things based on mockery. I've never seen the symbol of another religion such as Judaism or Islam treated in this manner.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Why my blog is pathetic

Dear blog readers,

Hello, it's me, Learner. I know I have not been around here much here lately. Life has become rather busy since the semester started and I have not had much extra free time to write here. I have been rather occupied with some increased teaching responsibilities (14 graduate credits, yikes!), professional writing projects, dissertating (yes, it is a verb, as in to work on a dissertation), going to help my dad care for my mom who is home after spending 3 months in a nursing home and daydreaming about a certain wonderful gentleman.

I have had ideas for posts such as:
  • a rant about going through the review and publication process for a journal article (which I am sure most of y'all would find mind numbingly boring)
  • a discussion of a recent conversation I had with co-workers where a family court judge was described as "biased toward fathers" because they tended toward 50/50 custody arrangements more often (er....isn't 50/50 kinda unbiased?)
  • recounting a conversation between several of my female students about why a male neighbor of one of them was a "loser" (made no sense to me)
  • describing a conversation from my single women's Bible study where a sermon one of the women heard was shared which the pastor specifically said was for "single men" though everyone was invited to "listen in". The subject of the sermon? Sexual purity. Yeah, no one but single men need to learn about sexual purity.
  • a list of verses from the Bible about how God wants us to live as men and women outside of marriage, children, and sexuality for Catwoman since she doesn't seem to know where any of them are.
  • a post about why some women don't seem to able to be happy for you when you meet a great guy (to quote one of my friend's after I said I had a wonderful time with the previously mentioned gentleman, "Gag")
Yet, none of these posts has come to fruition. At the moment I don't think any of them will. I also have a few more C.S. Lewis quotes I'd like to share, but that doesn't seem to be happening either.

So, if you'd like to read an interesting post, may I recommend this one over at Imonk about how to talk to Christians of other faith traditions or this one from Terry at Breathing Grace about the difference between falling in love and living in love, because you likely won't find one here! :)


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Love, marriage and politically correct research

More on love and marriage from C.S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis has interesting things to say on love and marriage in the The Screwtape Letters. Senior demon Screwtape writes letters to his junior demon nephew Wormwood on how to take humans from "the Enemy" being God, toward "Our Father" being Satan:

Now comes the joke. The Enemy described a married couple as 'one flesh'. He did not say a 'happily married couple' or 'a couple who married because they were in love', but you can make the humans ignore that. You can also make them forget that the man they call Paul did not confine it to married couples. Mere copulation, for him, makes 'one flesh'. You can thus get the humans to accept as rhetorical eulogies of 'being in love' what were in fact plain descriptions of the real significance of sexual intercourse. The truth is that whenever a man lies with a woman, there, whether they like it or not, a transcendental relation is set up between them which must be eternally enjoyed or eternally endured. From the true statement that this transcendental relation was intended to produce, and, if obediently entered into, too often will produce, affection and the family, humans can be made to infer the false belief that the blend of affection, fear and desire which they call 'being in love' is the only thing that makes marriage either happy or holy. The error is easy to produce because 'being in love' does very often, in Western Europe, precede marriages which are made in obedience to the Enemies designs, that is, with the intention of fidelity, fertility and good will; just as religious emotion very often, but not always, attends conversion. (emphasis mine)

When we come from the place that elevates "being in love", a temporary feeling which should not be confused with love, to the pinnacle of human experience, we create an environment where the loss of the feeling of "being in love" can be used as an excuse for all sorts of behaviors destructive to marriage, including infidelity. After all, God wants us to be "happy", right? Right?


Politically correct research

You never know when you are going to run into examples of political correctness when it comes to the differences between the genders. I attended a dissertation defense on Friday in preparation for my own defense one of these days. The study being defended examined a certain type of knee injury in sports that is more commonly experienced by women than by men, the anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL tear. The researcher outlined the anatomic and kinematic differences between men and women related to this injury. Basically, men tend to land from a jump in more knee flexion than women due to different factors, not the least of which is better balance between the quadriceps and hamstring muscles (ie; women tend to overly rely on their quads resulting in greater knee extension upon landing). And, the ACL is more at risk for injury in extension.

The researcher then went on to describe the study she carried out which involved a way to change landing kinematics such that the women in the study had more knee flexion when landing. After her presentation the audience had the opportunity to as her questions and one of the female anatomy profs asked the following question; "In essence aren't you trying to masculinize these women's movement patterns?" I thought to myself that was true, and that it would make sense to do so to a certain degree if the goal is to prevent ACL injuries among female athletes. But, the researcher answered, "Well, I suppose you could look at it that way, but I prefer not to. It is, in a sense, true, but it isn't appropriate to consider the findings in that manner". The prof who asked the question nodded her approval and from the back of the room I could observe several other profs shaking their heads a bit. Brilliant! Never mind the truth if it makes you uncomfortable to think of it in that way or you find it "inappropriate". We can't imply that men in any way have any inherent superiority to women, now can we?