Five for Friday: Dove Ad Response, Keep Wallowing, Swedish Death Cleaning

CHICAGO, IL (October 13, 2017) — Covenanters routinely share links to social media articles and videos 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.

Model’s Response to Dove Ad Criticism Masterful

Dove pulled an advertisement that was widely decried as racist because it seemed to suggest that white skin was an ideal skin color. The three-second GIF shows a black woman taking off her brown t-shirt and revealing a white woman. The company said it intended to show diversity of real beauty. The black woman in the advertisement wrote a column in response to the controversy. In this article, the writer describes why the model’s response was a masterful lesson in emotional intelligence, something that he says is much needed these days.

From the article: “Ogunyemi describes her recent experience as waking up one morning to find that she ‘had become the unwitting poster child for racist advertising.’ Having originally felt the advertising campaign was a way to promote the beauty of dark skin, she found it upsetting that so many were looking down on the ad. ‘If you Google “racist ad” right now, a picture of my face is the first result,’ she explains. ‘Calls were being made to boycott Dove products, and friends from all over the world were checking on me to see if I was OK. I was overwhelmed by just how controversial the ad had become.’”

Wallowing Is Great for ‘Getting Over It’

According to researchers, it’s much healthier in the long run to wallow in your misery for a while. It is part of healing an emotional injury. So don’t let anyone tell you, “Stop wallowing!”

From the article: “It’s quite cathartic, isn’t it?” says DJ Cliff Gloom, aka Carl Hill, founder of Feeling Gloomy, a club night that’s been cornering the market in despondent dance parties in New York, London, and other cities across the world for the past decade. “There’s the element of ‘Oh, someone else has been through this, someone else knows.’ You get it all out, have a howl along to ‘Without You’ and you feel better.”

‘Swedish Death Cleaning’ Is the New Decluttering Trend

Cleaning out your clutter is a life-affirming act.

From the article: “The first time I heard the term, I thought it meant some kind of hardcore Scandinavian house-cleaning routine (they take a lot of things seriously there), where you scour your home from top to bottom to the point of physical collapse, as in ‘working yourself to the bone.’ Well, I was wrong.”

African ‘Reverse Missionaries’ Bring Christianity Back to United Kingdom 

Reverse missionaries—evangelists from former mission fields in Africa, Asia, and Latin America—seek to revitalize religion in countries that first brought Christianity to them. It is emblematic of the worldwide shift in the cultural center of Christianity to the global South. Al Tizon, executive minister of the Covenant’s Serve Globally mission priority highlighted the change as part of an article published this year in the Covenant Companion.

From the article: “‘The fire that we read about in books about this very great country that sent out missions, that same fire was missing,’ says Reuben Ekeme Inwe. After his wife’s dream, he visited York, touring churches and speaking to local pastors, and was dismayed at the rising tide of secularism. Today, half of all British adults describe themselves as having no religious affiliation, the highest proportion since the late 1980s. ‘I knew that if there was anything I could contribute to bringing that fire back I was up for it.’”

Won’t Make Mental Bargain Using Word ‘Evil’

The author of this article refuses to say that Stephen Paddock, the gunman behind the Las Vegas massacre, was “evil.” She writes that ascribing that word to individuals or a particular act can be a way to avoid accepting some responsibility for what happened.

From the article: “Evil literally means ‘profoundly immoral and malevolent.’ In our current moment, it seems to carry a sort of metaphysical seriousness. When someone does something that we find truly inexplicable and horrible and that, importantly, we want to absolve ourselves of any responsibility for, we jump to call it evil. ‘Wrong-headed’ is for a case where we might have been able to intercede and make a good argument for a different action. Even ‘mentally ill’ suggests that a person is treatable, or at least that the harm his mental illness might inflict on others could have been contained. But evil—well, it’s irreconcilable with humanity and unpredictable beyond any decent reason. It’s unpreventable.”

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About the Author

Stan Friedman is the news and online editor for the Covenant Companion and is grateful for the opportunity to serve in a job that combines his newspaper and pastoral ministry experience. He has been to 15 Bruce Springsteen concerts in four cities and listened to “Thunder Road” an average of at least once a day for 41 years.

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