Saturday, April 08, 2017
Growing up, our community had a lot of thoughts and opinions about the interactions between men and women. Unmarried people were to be guarded and circumspect when it came to time spent with members of the opposite sex. This was talked about and preached about.... a lot. As a young person trying to remain "pure", my goal of following the right path when it came to women bordered on obsessive. An inordinate amount of my thought life was devoted to "not placing anything before my eyes that would cause me to sin before the Lord".
Looking back, I cringe at how damaging this outlook was. It hobbled me relationally. I viewed half the population of our planet as "an occasion to sin". I considered my own biology and sexuality an enemy. There were times when I actually resented women for... existing.
We may, as a Western culture, look down on some Middle Eastern societies that drape their women in varied levels of physical covering- but many religious cultures in America entertain similar notions. The values that led Mike Pence to his conclusions about how to relate to the opposite sex, objectify and relegate women to a lower tier status as surely as any burka.
Posted by Andrew at 8:02 AM
Sunday, February 19, 2017
Then I remembered Google Translate. I pulled out my phone and downloaded the app. I set it to Chinese.
I pressed the button. "Are you sad?" I said.
A moment later it spoke back in Chinese. His eyes widened. I showed him the button to press on my phone. He spoke into it, and a moment later it said "Yes, I am sad."
"Why are you sad?" I asked. My phone translated.
"I lost my gloves during lunch," my phone said aloud after he spoke to it.
I asked what color they were. He pressed the button and spoke.
I announced to the class that we were missing his gloves. My lunch monitor said that after everyone left the table, she saw gloves and put them in our lunch basket. She ran over to it and held up the gloves. My Chinese student lit up and smiled.
For the next 10 minutes, my student and I talked through my phone. We found out each other's favorite colors, how to say good morning, and what our opinions were on snow.
Posted by Andrew at 10:59 AM