Nov 27

The Circularity of “Separate but Equal”: A Dialogue in Socratic Form.

Socrates and his pal Piggly-Wiggly are out for a post-Thanksgiving pre-Advent walk down by the river.

Piggly-wiggly: . . . and you know what else? Short people. Short people just need to learn to accept their divinely-appointed height role. It’s not a lesser role, just because they’re not allowed to hold public office or propose legislation. They have a lot of important responsbilities. Their role is just as important as tall people’s role.

Socrates: An interesting perspective, my friend. But, if I may query, why do short people need a separate role? Continue reading

Nov 26

Gratitude and Grace

A couple of years ago, I wrote a Thanksgiving post about my ambivalence about gratitude, and why, while I see the value of it, I think it’s a problem to dictate it, or to use injunctions like “be grateful” as a weapon against those who dare to express unhappiness about anything. I’ve been thinking about the subject again this year, but perhaps from a somewhat less psychological and more theological angle. I’ve been wondering—why, religiously speaking, is gratitude important?

Continue reading

Nov 07

The Fine Art of Spiritual Vaccines

I was recently called as my ward’s early-morning seminary teacher. I’ll pause to let you all wince.

There are many challenges to this calling, but, to my surprise, waking up at 5:15 AM is not the greatest challenge. (This isn’t to say it’s the smallest challenge, either; I’m not a morning person, at all, and I freely admit to having some very un-Christian feelings in my heart–and words in my mouth–when that alarm goes off.) Continue reading

Nov 03

Quantity vs. Quality: If you could only have one on a spiritual desert island…

I have this weird relationship with visiting teaching.

I really like it, actually.  I like it for its ultimate point: to make sure everyone has, if not a couple of friends in the community, at least someone who is making sure you’re okay.  I’m all about making dinners, babysitting kids for bedridden sisters, or sending off a “how ya doin'” kind of card if I notice someone seems down.  I really like getting visited and getting to know people I’m generally too shy to get to know on my own. Continue reading