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Culture Matters Roundup 12.2.16

Author: The Village Church Category: Culture

1. Buzz Around Fixer Upper

Season four of Chip and Joanna Gaines’ hit HGTV show Fixer Upper premiered on Tuesday, and that morning, BuzzFeed published this article by Kate Arthur, speculating about the couple’s opinions on same-sex marriage. Yesterday on The Washington Post, Brandon Ambrosino called Arthur’s piece a “non-story,” because her speculations are based entirely on the beliefs of the church the Gaines are part of, not on any statement from either the couple’s representatives or HGTV. Ambrosino, who opens his article by saying that he’s currently in the midst of preparations for his own same-sex wedding, says Arthur’s piece is “dangerous” because it makes so many assumptions and feeds a negative view of journalism.

Besides the fact that the entire case is made by speculation and suggestion, there are many other problems at play.

2. How the Dallas Cowboys Prop Up the NFL

In this article for The Atlantic, Robert O’Connell writes about the NFL’s declining viewership and reliance on younger, more affordable players. The Dallas Cowboys, he writes, are a reminder of what the league once was, even as they deal with their own struggles.

If football can still be beautiful, at least when certain teams are playing it, its ugliness waits just outside the lines.

3. Controversial Funerals

Fidel Castro, former prime minister of Cuba, died last week, and his funeral is proving to be unsurprisingly controversial. Reporting for The Guardian, Homa Khaleeli lists other world statesmen who had complicated funerals, including Israeli president Shimon Peres and Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos.

All in all, the list of western leaders who won’t be attending Fidel Castro’s funeral is looking more notable than those who will.

4. Word of the Year

Every year, Oxford Dictionaries picks something to be their “Word of the Year,” and in 2016, the winner is “post-truth.” They define post-truth as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief,” which speaks to the world we’re living in. Learn more about the Word of the Year at Oxford’s website.

Post-truth has gone from being a peripheral term to being a mainstay in political commentary, now often being used by major publications without the need for clarification or definition in their headlines.

5. A Case for Christian Magnanimity

Over at The Gospel Coalition, Kevin DeYoung writes about the idea of magnanimity: “loftiness of spirit enabling one to bear trouble calmly, to disdain meanness and pettiness, and to display a noble generosity.” In a world saturated with debate, argument and insults, this is an important concept for us to grasp.

While we certainly want to stand up to real physical violence and insist on all the rights accorded us by God and by the laws of the land, when it comes to insults, rudeness, and social media scrappiness, killing them with kindness is usually the way to go.

6. Zika Virus in Texas

The Zika virus we heard so much about this summer hasn’t gone away, and this Washington Post article covers a case in south Texas that may indicate mosquitoes carrying the virus are in the area. Texas Health Commissioner John Hellerstedt encourages people to “protect themselves from mosquito bites, especially in parts of the state that stay relatively warm in the fall and winter,” as a precaution against the virus.

The CDC has been working with Texas and local health departments to conduct drills on the kinds of testing and investigation that need to be done in response to local transmission.