Not So Carrie’d Away

Guest bloggerette Kim responds to yesterday’s post with the following.

I’m not sure I’ve ever been able to say this to you before, but maybe (just maybe) you are actually taking something too literally. Stating that “Jesus Take the Wheel”, could mean someone completely gives up and does nothing on their own is taking it a bit too far. Taking the wheel of the car doesn’t give the person full control… there are still gas and break pedals that need working. You can’t drive using one and not the other, can you?

So… for those that believe in the real meaning of the song… Jesus taking the wheel simply means they are asking for Him to guide them and show them the way. Almost anyone that gives credence to that in their life, knows they still have a lot of work to do on their own, but are clearly just looking for guidance. And yes… there are extremists in everything, but I don’t think she (or whomever wrote the song for her) were going for that particular audience.

I do agree with your assessment of her though… I can hear and see her type of music any time I turn on a radio or TV station. But… I like the song. It doesn’t disgust me. Then again, I’m hoping Jesus has a firm hand on my “wheel”. He’s not such a bad one to give up SOME control to.

We may need to agree to disagree on this one. Although I will admit that perhaps I’m being too literal. However, in an icy spin, the gas and brake are pretty useless, and most usually dangerous. The wheel is 95% of the control. So to my mind, she gave up completely. But the beauty of art is that it’s subject to interpretation. Your mileage may vary.

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

At first blush my reaction to this article was that trying to stop an elective course covering intelligent design, creationism, and evolution as a philosophy course was ill-advised. After all, it gets it out of science class and into a philosophy class. That makes good sense. We shouldn’t be trying to stop that sort of thing.

However, on closer examination, the course is hardly structured to be an objective a-religious survey of the cultural impact of creation mythologies. The course is centered on 24 videos, 23 of which were produced by religious organizations. There are 2 advertised evolution experts who will speak. Unfortunately, one has refused to come and the other has been dead for years.

In theory, having courses surveying religion and its impact on culture should be mandatory. In practice, they are impossibly hard to implement. The people who tend to feel these courses are important tend to slant them hard toward their own theology. The people who could deliver them objectively, largely don’t care to. And if they did, they would invoke the wrath of the religious right anyway.

Carrie’d Away

American Idol heartthrob Carrie Underwood is inexplicably burning up the Country Music charts despite being almost indistinguishable from a bevy of blonde white-bread Faith wannabees currently recording. None of which has anything to do with my point.

Her current hit is “Jesus Take the Wheel”, and many are saying what a great message it contains. Personally, the song disgusts me, or maybe I just don’t get it. The song starts with her driving, going into an icy spin, and then throwing her hands up and letting Jesus take the wheel. At the literal level, I’m inclined to note that it’s this sort of behavior that gives women drivers a bad reputation. However, I grant that the song is really an allegory for her life. But that really doesn’t make me feel better.

The message is still to just give up and let Jesus do what he will to you. I’m unaware of any incarnation of Christianity, or any other religion, which advocates capitulation. God helps those who help themselves, right? This theme is pervasive. As I understand it, God is looking for a few good men, not a bunch of incapable dependents. What would Jesus do? Probably not just throw his hands up and quit when the going gets tough.

A Woman’s Place

There has been an almost unbelievable amount of press lately covering the debate over a woman’s place. Does she belong at work or does she belong at home? And I can’t help but think that the very question is stupid. The debate seems to center on whether being a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) is a valid and fulfilling life’s mission. But if we get down to it, the real question is how to determine if any function is a valid reason to get up in the morning. In looking at the debate, there’s really nothing mom-unique about it.

Some say that being a SAHM is a cake-walk and that these women are really living a life of leisure. People say the same thing about teachers who work 7 hours per day for 180 days per year. Is that true? In some cases it is. It all depends on how you approach the job. I know an awful lot of people in corporate life who pretty much cruise through the day as well. In reality, getting fulfillment and satisfaction from any job has mostly to do with your suitability and motivation related to that job. Some people are fulfilled picking up trash every day (and I’m glad those people exist), others are unfulfilled as brain surgeons. Should women be SAHMs? Some of them, and some guys too. Should all of them? Hell no.

And is there job security risk that women take when they opt for being a SAHM? Some of the arguments seem to be that otherwise successful SAHMs sometimes find themselves divorced with no means to support themselves. This is effectively the same as them being unemployed. In a world where it is no longer reasonable to expect that a company will employ you for life, why is it any worse to risk being unexpectedly “fired” by a spouse? The severance pay is called alimony, but the model is similar. Anyone and everyone (including SAHMs) need to assure that they are employable should their current gig come to an end. That’s just prudent planning. So I hardly see this as more risky than having a job outside the home.

So I’ll end where I started. This is a stupid question. People who have the opportunity and desire to stay home and focus on their families deserve our respect as long as they are adding value to the people they are supporting and are finding a level of fulfillment in the task. This is the same criteria I would use for deciding if I respected the job anyone was doing at anything.

Ghandi – Part Deux

Refreshed after bonding with the homeless last year, Number 1 Son is off next weekend to empathize with the hungry. His church youth group is going on a group hunger strike where they will need to get by from after dinner on Friday all the way to dinnertime on Saturday fueled by only high-fructose juice. I really hope the bathrooms will be open.

I’m sure this venture will involve lots of Euchre playing, ping pong, and DVD watching. You know, the stuff all hungry kids do to pass the time between Red Cross rice shipments. I’m sure he’ll come home a new boy. Which reminds me, I need to stock the kitchen.