Five for Friday: Moral Hierarchy for Food, Too Sexy Scientists, and Virtual Retreats

CHICAGO, IL (June 12, 2015) — Many Covenanters routinely share links to social media articles and videos with one another that Covenant News Service believes may be of interest to others. Each Friday we post five of them. Following is a sample of those submissions—their inclusion does not represent an endorsement by the Covenant of any views expressed.

The new religion: How the emphasis on ‘clean eating’ has created a moral hierarchy for food

0619 moral superiority iconAccording to the article, Gillian McCann, a professor of religion and culture, argues that “the rise in food movements has coincided with a decline of religion in society, with many people seeking familiar values such as purity, ethics, goodness. But these movements also tend to encourage behaviours that have steered a generation away from religion: Judgment, self-righteousness, an us-versus-them mentality.”

I guess Abraham Maslow would put the need to feel morally superior in the esteem level of his hierarchy, but it also seems to be a much baser human need. Gathering around the table for meals as way of demonstrating community is a prevalent symbol in the Gospels. And Paul rails against one group of Jesus followers for feeling superior to others at the table where the bread and cup are served.

Why a pool party fight in Texas can help us all consider who we call ‘my people’


Author Deidra Riggs

Author Deidra Riggs

From the article: “What would change if, in our conversations about McKinney, we refused to buy into the ‘Us’ vs. ‘Them’ narrative, and instead acted as though we all belong to one another? What can the church do to help move the conversation forward instead of rehashing the same arguments, watching the same videos, reading the same news stories—all with updated characters and locations—and hoping for different results?”


‘Trouble with girls’? Female scientists mock Nobel laureate with #DistractinglySexy photos

Too sexy with their lab coatsFemale scientists started this hashtag in response to the sexist remark made by Tim Hunt to the World Conference of Science Journalists in South Korea on the “trouble with girls” in laboratories. He said, “Three things happen when they are in the lab: you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticise them they cry.” Hunt has since resigned his honorary position at University College London, saying he was sorry but still meant what he said. Hunt was awarded the Nobel prize in physiology or medicine in 2001 for his groundbreaking work on how cells divide. He obviously understands dividing quite well.

Sir Tim’s opinion echoes a misogynistic view still too entrenched in the church regarding women, the workplace, and sex—that it’s always the woman’s fault.

Food deserts in America’s breadbasket

There’s a common myth that people in rural areas are somehow self-sufficient and that poverty isn’t as prevalent or deep as in urban settings. It’s an issue we still need to do a much better job of acknowledging and addressing in the church. Some Covenant churches have become the primary safety net for their communities and are addressing rural injustices.

0619 guy wearing oculus riftFacebook Officially Unveils Oculus Rift Virtual Reality Headset

One day Christians will be able to go on spiritual retreats anywhere in the world. They will sit beside oceans and atop mountains; they will walk amid the giant redwood forests or across deserts; they will pray and meditate within great cathedrals or bare monastic cells. They will virtually get closer to the real God.





  • I presume the comment about spiritual life in virtual reality is by the editor. If it’s a prediction, maybe. If it’s a suggestion that this will be a good thing, I beg to differ. We are not gnostics. Our bodies and their locations really matter. God made us that way. I don’t want to take Communion in virtual reality. I want to hold the bread in my fingers, chew it with my teeth, all while rubbing actual physical shoulders with my brothers and sisters in Christ. The visible, physical world around us is not just an aid to some sort of spiritual, disembodied communion with God. It’s the very means by which God comes to us and we know Him. That’s why the Incarnation happened. So I won’t be preaching the value of a virtual retreat anytime soon, like never.

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