31 May 2008

Moore Saying More on Transracial Adoptions

Russell Moore adds comments to the recent debate about transracial adoption here. A provocative tidbit to whet your appetite:

Right now, there are untold numbers of children, many of them racial minorities, languishing in the foster care system in the United States. Would the social workers really have us believe that it is better for an African-American child to grow up bounced from home to home in this bureaucratic limbo than to be a child to parents whose skin is paler than his? Do they really believe that a white Russian child would do better to live in an orphanage until she is dismissed at eighteen to a life of suicide or homelessness than to grow up with loving African-American parents?

This approach loves the abstract notion of humanity more than actual humans. It neatly categorizes persons according to their racial lineages rather than according to their need for love, for acceptance, for families. Our love for neighbor means we ought to prioritize the need for families for the fatherless -- regardless of how they're skin colors or languages line up with one another.

But there's an even bigger issue here: the gospel of Jesus Christ.

29 May 2008

Dorothy Bode on NPR

Dorothy Bode, mom to a transracial family in Minneapolis, whose blog I follow, was interviewed yesterday by NPR. The main impetus for the interview seems to have been the release of an Adoption Institute study this week regarding the potential problems with race-blind adoptive processes in place since 1994. Just under 8 minutes, the interview is definitely worth a listen.

28 May 2008

Just Curb It

My giddiness over the curbside recycling program about to begin in Shreveport is slightly ridiculous, but I ain't proud. I can hardly wait to get our blue cart: it may arrive as early as next Monday. I can hardly wait to figure out a new use for our current in-house recycling bins. I can hardly wait to not separate our recyclables.

I can hardly wait for Micah to have more time to get my Saturday beignets, though I am slightly concerned that without the coincidental function of taking the recycling out, he won't have as much reason to go get said beignets.

And when I read this morning that one of the recyclable items one can place in one's blue bins is . . . glass bottles. Well, I about fell out of my chair. The local recycling joint won't take those (last I checked, anyway).

So let's all get ready to smile the first day we have a multicolored trash day, the brown and blue together at the curb. My oh my.

19 May 2008

An abstract

In case anyone is curious, here's the abstract I submitted last week for hopeful presentation at the southwest regional Christianity and Literature conference this October. The paper is already drafted (written originally for possible presentation at an earlier conference) but I'll revise it if the abstract is selected for this. Here goes.

Tell Me a Story: Redemptive History as the Overwhelming Narrative of Self and Sexuality

Human beings create community with narrative, and we do so because we were created in the image of a storyteller. We seek inspiration and self-exploration in various ecologies, but we finally resort to story for our own self definitions and group delineations, and those stories either resonate or conflict with the infinitely renewed nonlinear narrative of redemptive history God has been writing since before the foundations of the world. All our smallest narratives thus point us either toward or away from our creation and toward the communion we were designed to have with God himself. So we continually tell the story of how and why we came to be, especially regarding human sexuality.

In this paper, I suggest that we can only understand human sexuality when we order it according to God's overwhelming redemption story. Alice McDermott's Child of My Heart provides a good case study: the sexual fate of the novel's protagonist seems inevitable due to the wrong self-story she has adopted. Without any governing narrative of identity and purpose, without the order that God's redemptive narrative should provide her, Theresa loses herself in a false story of bodily autonomy that she, her parents, her neighbors, and her culture write easily and often about human sexuality. Theresa's wrong self-story, rooted in a wrong God-story, makes McDermott's novel a perfect example of the great stakes in the human narrative.

Indeed, we do violence to ourselves and to all human beings when we avoid or ignore our most essential story, the one that the sovereign God wrote us into and for, when we get the story about human sexuality wrong. Thus, writers of fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and sermons must continue investigating deliberately and complexly the story of human sexuality, which is only ordered rightly by God's all-consuming redemptive narrative. After all, we humans will tell stories, so we might as well tell the right one: human sexuality and indeed human beings themselves depend on it.

12 May 2008

To do

50 ways