Monday, 7/18/16

  1. Respect and authority
  2. Increase your word power
  3. Playing for all the Marbles
  4. Troparion to St. Bob the Dad
  5. Naked Emperor


A Facebook même:

“Sometimes people use ‘respect’ to mean ‘treating someone like a person’ and sometimes they use ‘respect’ to mean ‘treating someone like an authority.’

and sometimes people who are used to being treated like an authority say ‘if you won’t respect me I won’t respect you’ and they mean ‘if you won’t treat me like an authority I won’t treat you like a person’

and they think they’re being fair but they aren’t, and it’s not okay.”

This is so well put I am stunned

I was quite smitten by that spotting of equivocation in the use of “respect.”

But then it dawned on me that “authority” is equivocal, too — which makes this observation two-edged if the original intent was what I think.

For instance, “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” (Justice Anthony Kennedy in Planned Parenthood v. Casey) Ergo (muses one of the Justices who can’t retire too soon for my taste), everyone is his own ultimate authority on just about everything.

That’s very American. Hi-Yo, Silver!

But suppose I insist that there is such a thing as “human nature,” and that humans are not infinitely malleable. I treat you as a human being — a possessor of our shared human nature — but deny that your self-definition is coherent or true and vehemently deny that you (or anyone) has the “right” to bind me with your self-definition.

For instance, I may refuse to treat you as a woman, having made your acquaintance as an awkward boy. You may try to persuade me that you’re right about yourself, and I may care about you enough to suggest that your self-definition is contrary to human nature. I may call you the guy name your parents gave you instead of the girl name you’re affecting now.

Am I refusing to treat you as a person? Or am I merely refusing to treat you as an authority?

Will you still treat me as a person if I care enough to try to talk you out of what I see as delusion? Will you shriek that I’m “denying your existence”?



chiefly British
obviously disorganized or confused

(Merriam-Webster) I just had to look it up because David Brooks used it twice of the Trump campaign on All Things Considered Friday.


Vacationing Sunday, I went to Matins and Liturgy at the Orthodox Church there. The Priest (visiting from Champaign-Urbana) minced no words in his homily: The terrorist attacks and mass murders are Demonic. Satan’s playing for all the marbles and if Christians aren’t light of the world as Christ called us, he’ll win them.


The Troparion (Hymn) in Tone 1 to St. Bob the Daddy, a real light-of-the-world kinda guy:

By not cursing in rush hour traffic,
thou hast found the way to divine contemplation.
And by working 9-5 at a mind numbing desk job for 20 years to feed thy family
thou hast broken the snares of the enemy,
By not judging the people of Walmart
thou hast shown thyself an enlightener of all O pure one,
Thou hast kept the faith even through the raising of teenaged daughters,
O holy husband and Daddy Bob,
entreat Christ God to save our souls.

(Steve the Builder, Mediocrity)


Naked Emperors

    • Bruce R. Ough, president of the United Methodist Church’s Council of Bishops, after the Western Division defied the rest of the denomination by electing an openly lesbian Bishop: “[W]e find ourselves in a place where we have never been … There are those in the church who will view this election as a violation of church law and a significant step toward a split, while there are others who will celebrate the election as a milestone toward being a more inclusive church … Our differences are real and cannot be glossed over, but they are also reconcilable.” (Emphasis added)

* * * * *

“In learning as in traveling and, of course, in lovemaking, all the charm lies in not coming too quickly to the point, but in meandering around for a while.” (Eva Brann)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.