Five Items of Interest (Vol. 1)

With my personal blog’s relaunch, I’m introducing the return of “Five Items of Interest.” These are things I’ve found trolling the interwebs so you don’t have to.

1. Puritan Moms at work.

A submission in the ongoing to work or not to work debate that is ongoing within the evangelical community, Hannah Nation at Christianity Today says mothers and wives have always worked and discovered that was true even among the Puritans.

Unlike 19th-century norms surrounding womanhood, which maintained that women had no economic role to play within the family, so-called Puritan “goodwives” were responsible for the labor of the household alongside their husbands. Although men and women’s work was divided by gender, nonetheless Puritan women “worked.”

“If we were to draw a line around the housewife’s domain,” writes Ulrich, “it would extend from the kitchen … the cellars, pantries, brewhouses, milkhouses, washhouses, and butteries … to the exterior of the house, where, even in the city, a mélange of animal and vegetable life flourished among the straw, husks, clutter, and muck. … Such a line would surround the garden, the milkyard, the well, the henhouse, and perhaps the orchard itself… [it] would also extend into the houses of neighbors and into the cartways of a village or town.”

In other words, Puritan goodwives grew, manufactured, and created goods of vital importance for a New England household. Their work was not superfluous to the “real” work carried out by the head of the household nor was it relegated to hours leftover from childrearing. They, along with every other member of the household, participated in work that was needed, honored, and challenging. A woman’s work may have been different from a man’s, but in preindustrial life, the household was an economy of its own, and without it a family literally couldn’t survive.

2. The Gospel is monotonous and it is beautiful.

Jared C. Wilson writes:

When we “get” the gospel for what it really is — the power to save, the most thrilling news there could be, the declaration that God’s Son died for us and then came back to life! to be the risen Lord and supreme King of the universe, not just the entry fee for heaven but the currency for all of life — we revel in the new creation it unleashes in its wake at every turn. We never get tired of hearing it. It’s the new song that never gets old. “Play it again, play it again!” we will cry.

Gospel wakened people have been given the strength enough to exult in the beautiful monotony of the gospel. The further good news is that those who are dulled in their senses will not be further dulled by the gospel. In fact, only the gospel can deliver them from their dulled state. No amount of fog and lasers will do it.

3. More teenagers are “trans-curious,” why?

Joe Carter at The Gospel Coalition writes:

An inexplicably high percentage are self-identifying as transgender, and many more are becoming “trans-curious,” that is, not yet identifying as transgender but experimenting with adopting a “gender nonconforming” identity.

How is it possible young people are 329 percent more likely than adults to identify as transgender? How is it possible there are almost exactly as many teenagers who identify as transgender as there are adult men and women who identify as gay and lesbian? The only reasonable answer: the phenomenon is a social contagion driven by peers and pop culture, psychologists and pediatricians.

4. Oklahoma school allows teachers to carry guns to keep students safe.

Kelsey Harkness at The Daily Signal writes:

When Charles McMahan agreed to talk with The Daily Signal about his program enabling trained teachers and other staff to carry guns in school, the Oklahoma school superintendent knew he’d be falling on the politically incorrect end of a sensitive conversation.

But as the educator who oversees more than 500 prekindergarten through 12th-grade students in the rural town of Porter, Oklahoma—40 minutes outside Tulsa—McMahan says he stands by his decision to arm qualified teachers and staff.

“My main job as superintendent is the safety of those kids,” McMahan told The Daily Signal in a phone interview.

On a good day, law enforcement is 20 minutes away from the Porter Consolidated Schools district and its campus with multiple buildings, McMahan said. For that reason, he said, concealed carry permits for highly trained and qualified teachers and staff makes sense.

5. The Boston Massacre happened on this day 248 years ago. 

Patrick Walsh at The Weekly Standard reminds us:

By 1770, soldiers were the only means of maintaining civil order in Boston, yet as Hutchinson—by this point the acting governor—recognized, soldiers spread around a town where they were outnumbered by residents five to one could be disastrous. All the while the Sons of Liberty were busy fanning the flames. There is no definitive evidence that Samuel Adams and his fellow agitators plotted the events of March 5, 1770, but it’s a good bet.

It was a violent mob, harassing and attacking a British sentry, that prompted the British troops to fire their fatal blasts. In the ensuing trial, more than 200 eyewitnesses gave testimony. John Adams, to his good credit, represented the British soldiers as their defense lawyer and defended the reputation of the town from notoriety as a place of lawlessness. He also represented an opinion that violence was getting out of hand. And he may well have ignored evidence that could have pointed to charges of treason against his cousin. John Adams’s successful defense of Captain Thomas Preston and his troops was made possible by laying the blame on a mob of outsiders, led by a half-Indian and black named Crispus Attucks and “Irish teagues.”

Hinderaker calls the Boston Massacre “the sin qua non of the American Revolution as we know it.” But by the end of 1770 things appeared to calm—bringing, as Hutchinson put it, “a surprising change in the temper of the people,” with “the crests of our late incendiaries . . . much fallen.’’