Week on the Web – 13 September 2019

There is no shortage of stuff to read online, in fact there is too much and it can be tough to navigate how to find good content. I am the personal beneficiary of some others who collate some of the helpful content they have seen, and so I try to occasionally collate some of the articles that I have found interesting. As I haven’t done this in a while, this one clears a bit of a backlog and so has some new and older content. I will try limit it to five links.

Life in the Exhausted Majority of American Political Discourse

I have been reading a lot of Mark Sayers recently and listening a lot to the This Cultural Moment podcast, which is excellent and highly recommended. In one recent podcast interview, Sayers referenced a study (the which is summarized in the Atlantic article above) about the actual political tribes in American life. It highlighted what I have long suspected. The views that are most prominently profiled as extreme right or extreme left are only held by a small minority of Americans, who happen to be elites usually and are therefore able to make a lot of noise. Most people live with a more reasonable and accommodating view and don’t enjoy being caricatured as the most extreme possible version of their views, and don’t want to caricature others that way either. The full study is here, and it is fascinating.

Who are the Most Politically Partisan People?

Related to, but distinct from the study above, this study shows the most politically prejudiced people by county in the US. I have quoted this study in sermons a few times as the results are a little surprising. “The most politically intolerant Americans, according to the analysis, tend to be whiter, more highly educated, older, more urban, and more partisan themselves.” Urban, educated, seemingly liberal white folk are the least politically tolerant of all. The county I live in ranks in the 99th percentile. Open minded Austin is actually remarkably intolerant of an opposing view. Fascinating.

A Loneliness Epidemic?

22% of millennials surveyed said that they had no friends. None. It turns that the world’s most connected generation is also the world’s loneliest. What an opportunity for us to be a people of genuine friendship and companionship in a generation that is yearning for that. The results in a rapidly growing city like Austin are even worse. This survey showed alarming stats of chronic loneliness in Austin.

Belief is Back

This is not seen as a particularly positive thing by the writer but does fly in the face of the narrative of the inevitable onslaught of secularism.

Belief is back. Around the world, religion is once again politically centre stage. It is a development that seems to surprise and bewilder, indeed often to anger, the agnostic, prosperous west. Yet if we do not understand why religion can mobilise communities in this way, we have little chance of successfully managing the consequences.

Holy Ambition

A quick read with some simple tests to test whether or not the ambition that you have is godly or ungodly. I am realizing that I am an ambitious person. Some of that is good in my journey with Christ and some of it really isn’t. Geiger is super succinct and helpful as he is so often is.

That’s it for this week. Let me know what you have read that you found interesting and/or helpful.


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