In the World
Steve Thorngate on public life and culture
So much religious talk is about naming, about describing a general reality in particular terms. This is important. But in our increasingly secular culture, it’s always striking when someone gets at deep religious truth without bothering with religious language. For instance, Jay Smooth offers a pretty crisp explication here of the nature of sin and virtue.
Alyssa Rosenberg makes a smart point about the FX show The Americans, a drama about a married pair of KGB agents working undercover in early-80s metro D.C. Their two teenage children are unaware of what their parents do, and the older one, Paige, becomes a devoted churchgoer.
Some small good news for American low-wage workers: Walmart is increasing its wages at the low end. By April, no Walmart employee will make less than $9 an hour; a year from now it’ll be $10. The retailer is also moving to improve its scheduling practices, a source of worker complaints. Walmart’s decision is a voluntary one, made for business reasons.
It’s pretty clear that vaccination views don’t break down on partisan lines. Elizabeth Stoker Breunig is no doubt right that good old American individualism motivates many people’s refusal to take major risks to other people as seriously as minor risks to themselves. But not all of them. (It’s hard to generalize about anti-vaxxers.) And individualism itself of course exists across much of the political spectrum. Nor is support for specifically mandatory vaccines found mostly just among us liberals, with our comparative comfort with statism. And some of the best things I’ve read on this have been by right-leaning commentators.