Last Week, Today

Highlights: Christian sexuality debate at #QIdeas, David Brooks on character,  giving drug dealers a second chance, and what to do with child support. 

1. Sexuality & Christianity:

Jonathan Merritt reviews the conversation and debate on Christian sexuality in QIdeas at Boston.

By committing to this sort of dialogue, the Q conference appeared like a microcosm of the larger debate on same-sex issues happening among many Christians across the country. These conversations have moved beyond outmoded questions such as “Is homosexuality a choice?” and “Can gay people be made straight through prayer and counseling?” and instead wrestle with biblical interpretation and questions of how LGBT people of faith should live.

Merritt highlights Julie Rodgers, chaplain at Wheaton College and frequent blogger on sexuality and faith. This post of hers, "Can the Gay be a Good?" is worth reading; it takes a traditional position on sexuality, but argues that to be gay is much more than to desire gay sex, and thus there are parts of being gay that are, quite simply, good.

2. Character & the good life:

David Brooks spoke at the Trinity Forum on his newly released book, The Road to Character. The hour-and-half video is available here. See live-tweets from the event at the @TrinityForum's twitter page (e.g. "How do you save yourself from desiring fame and falling into narcissism? Where is the road to character?"). 

3. Update from the war on drugs:

In South Carolina, seven drug dealers were caught, but instead of being sent to jail, they were offered an alternative: enroll in a program to pursue a GED and get a job. This is part of U.S. Attorney Bill Nestle's campaign to create alternatives to incarceration for drug offenses in South Carolina. For context, 50% of federal inmates are in jail for drug offenses, compared to 16% in the 1970s. Since the 1990s, drug usage in North America has decreased (see page 131 in report), except for a slight uptick in usage of ATS (e.g. ecstasy, speed) by around 10%.  

4. Child Support & Walter Scott:

In light of Walter Scott's problems with child support, Megan McArdle asks the crucial questions: What happens when law takes over the role of community norms? Is it possible to get law out of this business? Read more at Bloomberg View.