Christ defers to the Father. Christ and the Father are one. Christ obeys the Father. Yet I can’t think of a single instance in scripture where the Father commands the Son. No doubt I’ve overlooked one or two. Even so, it’s thin on ground. I think we could say that the Father presides and the Son is an equal partner. (more…)
I recently watched an episode of “The Jim Gaffigan Show” with a bit of dialogue that perfectly encapsulated a thought that’s been bouncing around my head for a while. For those who aren’t familiar with Jim Gaffigan, he’s a “clean” but still very famous comedian who is basically a stereotypical Irish-American Catholic dad from the post-War era; his wife is more devout than he is, but he still is fully supportive of raising his kids as Catholics, with all that entails. He plays himself on the show, which is based on his real life.
In this episode, Jim’s wife invites their local parish priest, a gregarious young man from Africa named Father Nicholas, to go to Jim’s next stand-up, without asking Jim first. Jim hates the idea because he’s convinced that having a priest in the audience will kill the mood, but he gives in and takes Father Nicholas anyway. Right before they walk into the comedy club, they have the following exchange: (more…)
This piece is cross-posted at Difficult Run.
One of the most famous phrases in Mormon scriptures comes from Lehi’s farewell message to his son Jacob in the Second Book of Nephi: “For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things.” The entire verse reads:
For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my firstborn in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.
Yes, well. When your daughter is the one who’s lying barely conscious on the front yard of some frat house, my sons will be the ones who will know enough to charge in, swinging sticks to chase the brutes away. They’ll know because we let them have sticks, we let them find out what sticks can do, and we told them what sticks are for.
Violence doesn’t take over when boys are allowed to have sticks. Violence takes over when no one tells boys what sticks are for.
Thus Simcha Fisher
The most powerful image of covenant in the scriptures for me is the image of marriage. Israel, we are told, is like the (often faithless) spouse of God.
A marriage is a relationship that is defined by reciprocal promises, but it isn’t just defined by reciprocal promises. It is also defined by love, passion, and what I think of as habits of affection. We often think of love as a kind of Dionysian force that assaults us, but married love is more than simply Dionysian. It is also agricultural, something that one treasures, cultivates, and seeks to protect. I think it suggestive that in English “husband” can denote both a spouse and a farmer.
-thus Nate Oman.
Coincidentally, or perhaps not coincidentally, my poppets, I was thinking on the same subject this morning. (more…)
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I must obey my master.
Manhood is impossible in our society. You become a man when you accept responsibility. But today our society won’t even let a guy accept responsibility for himself.
This morning the pool was closed at the YMCA so I wandered up to the gym instead, where I was promptly kicked out. Why? Because you have swim flipflops on. If you dropped free weights on your feet, you might get hurt. [Which is dumb, because that’s my problem, and tennis shoes won’t help much anyway]. Out loud: as you can see, I’m not using free weights and I wasn’t planning on using the free weights. No, you still have to leave. Why? Because. For your own good.
“If Men were Angels, No Government would be Necessary”
-thus James Madison
-thus John Finnis
John Finnis is right. Even angels, he says, would need to pick which side of the road to drive on. (more…)
I think that, in the age of hyper-partisanship and preemptive balkanization, it is especially important to try to understand eachother, even those who chose very wrongly.
So why do so many hold to tightly to abortion, even in the face of gruesome scandals? For a great many, if not most, women, it is because their self-image is single and corporate. And to have a child, is a kind of death of self. And if they give birth and give it up for adoption, then they have died AND they are bad mothers. So abortion is a kind of self-defense, in their minds.
In other words, what might be the single most important thing, is to get our daughters to see themselves as mothers, and to not resent it.
You give your wife a big squeeze on the way out the door this morning.
You break into a song you are making up as you sing:
It’s a pleasure in life
to gives hugs to your wife–
provided your wife is
She: I wish you didn’t like it when I roll my eyes.
As quoted by Martin Gilbert, Churchill: A Life, from Churchill’s own correspondence as a brand-new Army cavalryman visiting America for the first time, ca. 1895: