Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Why Christians Can Have It All

Hymns about Heaven help me meditate on limits
Last night, my church hosted a panel discussion for the ladies on “Women in the Workplace.” I have a supreme appreciation for our elders’ view on women working. They both exalt masculinity and femininity in marriage while encouraging many women in our congregation to be faithful in the public square day to day. It demonstrates a desire to help the women of our congregation fight idolatry of both family and career. And, as happens with many discussions on this topic, it made me think about limits.

The first passage the pastor moderating the panel, Andy, had us look at was Genesis 3. Why a basic exposition of the Fall to start off a panel on women and working? Because Adam and Eve’s first sin was a direct assault on the concept of humanity as limited. God put Adam and Eve in the Garden with complete freedom to choose what is good, not absolute freedom: they could not eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. These limits were perfect and kept them in communion with God. The first sin, then, was a denial of the limits that kept them in right relationship with their Creator. Adam and Eve noticed their humanity and were ashamed; they covered their nakedness.  In light of Adam’s sin, choices can make us resent our humanity and, as Andy said, “as long as we’re in a world that frustrates our desire for infiniteness” we will be plagued by the desire to “have it all.” The Fall was a denial of the true nature of the children of God.

While God never has to make tradeoffs - the supreme example being the display of both mercy and justice on the Cross - humans are bound to have to choose one thing over another. It is apparent in aspects of our lives as obvious as time and space: I can’t live in San Diego and Washington, DC at the same time no matter how much I might miss my family while simultaneously wanting to live in the same city as Dear Boyfriend. Andy pointed out that without a context for human limits, we tend to blame what is outside ourselves for our “frustrated infiniteness.” He said that we tend to say “there’s something wrong with the world because I can’t have both.” It reminded me of Anne-Marie Slaughter’s article in The Atlantic. While I agree wholeheartedly with her premise - women cannot “have it all” - her solutions were entirely based on the assumption that it is the culture’s fault. It’s the work culture, it’s the family culture; she blames anything but the lie that anyone should have everything he or she desires in this life.

But! the miraculous news for Christians is that we can have it all, albeit in a way that looks foolish to the world. The Christian’s supreme joy is in embracing her limitedness by praising her limitless God. When I say “His grace is sufficient,” I loose this world’s claim on me. If to live is Christ and to die is gain, the “all” of this world is nothing but rubbish. The great irony of the Christian life is, in embracing our limits, we inherit true, eternal and infinite freedom, only a taste of which we can have in this life. This theme has been coming up in my life more frequently and I am continuously struck by how freeing meditating on this has been. While God has given me just one life, I am to use it to glorify his name, no matter what happens to mine, and I can do that in ways that defy all of the expectations of the meritocracy that shaped me. I think of Great Awakening evangelist, George Whitefield’s (ironically) famous phrase: “Let the name of Whitefield perish so long as Christ is exalted.”

So here’s to limits. May we embrace them.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Where have I been?

This is my NYTimes “Recommended for You” section. It gets me, y’know?

Where have I been?

God has blessed me with some writing opportunities that have been pretty great.

Juicy Ecumenism: I am interning for the Institute on Religion & Democracy this summer and it’s been a total blast. I get to write a lot and have been linked on Real Clear Religion (I have an author page!), First Things, Crisis Magazine, and Touchstone, places I would read almost daily in college.
Mind Over Media: Some friends from church started a Patheos blog to discuss Jesus and books and film, three things I love. My first post on Wallace Stegner’s Crossing to Safety is here.
Writing is funny. Now that I have an audience (albeit very small) writer’s block (which, in my life, can sometimes be a euphemism for laziness) is more rampant. It amazes me how, even in things so small as seeing my name in pixels, God has been merciful to me in revealing my sin so I can repent of it. The first time an article I wrote appeared in RCR, I spent a good portion of my lunch hour praying over my temptation to pride and its timid cousin, fear of man. Even just this small taste of “success” is enough to think much of myself.
To fight these temptations, I desire to make a habit of meditating on God’s character. Instead of minimizing these good gifts, I remember the Source. I think I am wise? It is only because Wisdom himself has given himself to me. Beautiful? Because Beauty has created me. I serve a good God from whom every good and perfect gift comes. So I will, relying on his grace, behold his glory – the glory of the one and only – and, because the veil is torn, be transformed from one degree of glory to another.
I hope to blog here again soon. I’ve been carrying a little black notebook around to scribble down ideas. I used to make copious “crazy person” jokes about a friend who adopted this practice. Hanwell resident, heal thyself.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

What's love got to do with it?: Power and Mutuality

Evans and her "year of biblical womanhood"
Blogger Rachel Held Evans recently hosted a "Week of Mutuality" on her blog. In this series, she and others advocate for an egalitarian relationship between the genders in the church and the home, including abolishing separate roles in marriage. She makes a few fine points, especially that, too frequently, complementarians invoke the June Cleavers of the 1950s feminine mystique as the ideal instead of the Ruths or Tamars whose femininity is expressed through complete trust in God; however, I have noticed that the picture of authority given in Evans' posts belies a fundamental philosophical difference between egalitarians and complementarians that goes beyond disagreement about gender roles and feminism's contributions to society.

Throughout the Week of Mutuality, the most common accusation thrown at those who believe men are given special responsibility to lead their families and women are given special responsibility to follow is that they create a power-based hierarchy that cannot help but be oppressive. Evans criticized Russell Moore for embracing the word "patriarchy" because "For patriarchalists, the power struggle between men and women only ends when men win." Patriarchy, she argues, is a result of the Fall. God curses Eve for her disobedience with this: "Your desire will be for your husband, and he shall rule over you." Evans uses this as evidence that all male leadership is a result of the Fall. "It is within the context of judgment, not creation, that hierarchy and subjugation enter the story of man and woman," she writes, dismissing the narrative that, before the Fall, Eve was created as a helper fit for Adam. A power struggle began after the tree and now, in light of the coming restoration of the Kingdom, hierarchy should be abolished because of its perpetuation of sinful power dynamics.

The question I want to explore here is whether the Christian view of authority can allow for equating hierarchy with power-based oppression.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Gifts, Lolo, and Covenant Love

Lolo Jones interviews with Bryant Gumbel
On Thursday, Emily Shire wrote an article on Slate commenting on Olympian "Lolo" Jones' announcement that, at age 29, she is still keeping her virginity for her future husband. It was insufferably condescending ("If it’s what she wants, I hope Jones will give her future husband her virginity. But she should keep the 'medals' for herself." Really??and I don't understand many pop-feminists' double standard of worshipping choice when it comes to women's decisions unless said choice approaches something resembling pre-sexual revolutionary norms.

This part of the article especially perturbed me:
If virginity is commodified into the “perfect gift,” it becomes about a woman pleasing a man rather than herself, and it is difficult to picture the determined and forceful Jones being that submissive in any other aspect of her life.
Shire's comments betray a broader idea that sex is primarily about personal, private pleasure: nothing more.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Post-Grad Life

I graduated from college last Saturday. It's strange, but expected, and probably won't sink in until next Fall when I will not be moving into campus housing, but to Philadelphia for a season. Walking across the stage, shaking President DeGioia's hand, and getting "hooded" were a profound reminder of the grace and faithfulness of my kind and sovereign God in my time here on the Hilltop. I am thankful for the extraordinary work on my soul he has begun the past four years and will finish to the end.

Senior week was full of exhortations to and excitement about choices - we have more choices than earlier generations did because we don't have to get married or find a steady job right out of college, we can choose to go "set the world on fire" instead of going home, we can choose our passion, ambition, which consulting company we want to work for - and my waffling distress over my cynicism for "inspirational" talks. What if instead of living in endless "what ifs" I want to live in certainty? Dear Boyfriend and I were talking over dinner during Senior week about how beautiful the sovereignty of God is: small events that seem meaningless are all ordained for him to delight in them. This truth motivates me more than any other exhortation to do "big" things.

Now I'm home with my family for a bit. My room still has a Pirates of the Caribbean poster hanging on the walls and my softball trophies adorning my young adult lit bookshelves that have been (rightfully) ransacked by my younger sister. I have grand plans of fulfilling the telos of Pinterest by taking advantage of my mom's sewing machine to attempt some projects from my "domesticities" board. I bought Bill Mounce's Basics of Biblical Greek, which has been mercifully simple so far due to the Russian case endings boot camp I got Freshman year. And, lest I make myself seem productive, I've watched a lot of TLC the past few days. I'm trying very hard to understand gypsy culture.

I look forward to figuring out more to blog about this summer. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The telos of Pinterest

My friend sent me this question the other day: What is the telos of Pinterest? When I stopped being offended at his obvious mocking tone, I admitted that I had been thinking about it. 

In his last lecture my professor asserted that if Memory is mother of the Muses - the Arts - then memory must be the basis of culture. In this case, I would argue that the domestic arts, too, must be based on memory. In the past (perhaps a glamorized past, admittedly) mothers would teach their daughters to quilt or knit or, more generally, keep a home; however, the shift from traditional mores and familial culture has fragmented families through individualism (I'm going to keep beating that drum) and the mass consumer culture has made housekeeping less of an art and more of a chore through devaluation of unpaid work and increasing dependence on modern appliances.

So, I come to the question: what is the telos of Pinterest?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

"An affection includes a duty"

 “The conduct and manners of women, in fact, evidently prove that their minds are not in a healthy state; for, like the flowers which are planted in too rich a soil, strength and usefulness are sacrificed to beauty; and the flaunting leaves, after having pleased a fastidious eye, fade, disregarded, on the stalk, long before the season when they ought to have arrived at maturity. One cause of this barren blooming I attribute to a false system of education, gathered from books written on this subject by men who, considering females rather as women than human creatures, have been more anxious to make them alluring mistresses than affectionate wives and rational mothers; and the understanding of the sex has been so bubbled by this specious homage, that the civilized women of the present century, with few exceptions, are only anxious to inspire love, when they ought to cherish a nobler ambition, and, by their abilities and virtues, exact respect.” – Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
I've decided that Mary Wollstonecraft is my kind of feminist. She would probably object to the pink in the Women aisle of the Christian bookstore as well.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Marrying Alone: The New Elopement

Forget bowling solo. The new trend is getting married alone.

Since I read an excerpt from David Brooks' Bobos in Paradise for class, I have greatly enjoyed stalking the New York Times Wedding page in all its Ivy League-educated, matching eyebrow height glory (See: the photos requirement). A month or so ago, the Times ran an article on the "New Elopement." An increasing number of upscale brides and grooms are planning elaborate weddings without any guests. A comment from one such couple:
“I wanted the dress, the vows, the flowers and the pictures,” said Ms. Provost, 36, who took the unconventional step of turning the couple’s elopement into a blowout. “But when you have guests, we felt like it ends up being more for them, not for the bride and groom. We wanted it to be for us.”
This sentiment is common for eloping couples. From a wedding blog's profile of another "wedding for two":
"We felt from the bottom of their [sic] hearts that we had to bring the focus back on us, regardless of what anybody else wanted and to remember what we would want first and foremost from our day and that was to celebrate our love for each other, our love for traveling, and enjoying every moment of our day with each other." [Emphasis mine.]
I find this idea of a "wedding for two" particularly interesting for two reasons. First, the radical detachment from any importance of relational ties in marriage and second, the drastic difference between what the Christian's idea of where the focus should be in marriage and the extremes of what this kind of individualism means spiritually. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

"It All Turns on Affection"

Mr. Berry from the second row(!)
My friends and I went to see Wendell Berry give the 2012 Jefferson Lecture at the Kennedy Center last night. His lecture, "It All Turns on Affection," was quintessentially Wendellian and traced essentially every line of his thought from localism to scale to husbandry to homemaking. You can read more about the lecture here. While I have read many of his essays and some of his fiction, I have not yet read much of his poetry. Last night, Bobbie Ann Mason read a rather moving poem, "VI," from his collection Leavings and now I can say that I intend to read more.

The audience made my friends and I laugh a bit. It was a fantastic mix of Who's Who in this very small subset of conservative thought with grungy agrarian-looking types, a few of whom looked like they had just come from camping out in McPherson Square. It's a big tent.

Last Name Project

My friend (and freshman Bible study leader!) Danielle is hosting a series on her blog "profiling an array of individuals and couples about their last name decisions upon marriage or what they expect to choose if they marry." She graciously gave me the opportunity to submit. You can find my post (and my elusive first name) here.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Recovering the "Mistress of Herself"

Girls (Photo from here)

HBO's new show Girls and its creator/writer/star Lena Dunham have been attracting a lot of buzz recently. The show centers around four friends living life in New York City, but it's more grungy Williamsburg than Sex and the City Upper West Side. The main character, Hannah, is also a writer, but instead of an advice column regarding shoes and sordid nonsense, she is (briefly, in the show) an unpaid intern at a publishing company who, at age 24, has written 4 out of a projected 9 essays of her "memoirs," which she has not yet completed because she has to live them first. 

I watched it (it was free on YouTube) and enjoyed it. It's funny, but in an extraordinarily sad trombone type of way that earns its comparisons to Louie. The main thrust of the pilot is watching the characters suffer consequences of bad decisions. For me, more than the career mishaps or the silly things Hannah says ("I think I may be the voice of my generation...or at least a voice of a generation."), the bleakest part was the women's relationships. Hannah hooks up with a deadbeat "actor" who pursues woodworking because it's "more honest" while living off his grandmother's $800/mo checks. Jessa gallivants across Europe having seemingly free-spirited flings with an endless menagerie of foreign men only to find herself facing some unintended consequences back in America. Marnie stays with her boyfriend even though she recoils every time she touches him. New York Times columnist Frank Bruni's March 31 column entitled "The Bleaker Sex" hits the nail on the head with his question: "Gloria Steinem went to the barricades for this?"

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Katniss Everdeen: Local(ist) Hero

If you are interested in the depths to which my boredom and procrastination will take me, I posted a silly essay entitled "On the Local Economy and The Hunger Games" at Back Porch Republic, a blog to which I contribute occasionally. You can find it here.

UPDATE: The big guns (well, the gun I have class with) on the Front Porch have given it a shout out here.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Baptists and Catholics Together?

Matthew Schmaltz's article on the "On Faith" blog of the Washington Post entitled "Baylor and Notre Dame: Baptist-Catholic competition, cooperation" was about more than simple March Madness mania, but an increasingly visible coalition. He writes of his New England Roman Catholic background and encountering Southern Baptists for the first time in Oklahoma:
During church baseball games in that small Oklahoma town, Catholics and Baptists would eschew discussions about theological differences to speak about their shared concerns over the rights of the unborn, the removal of religion and religious imagery from public life, the spread of pornography, and the sexualization of popular culture. Underlying it all was a feeling of not being taken seriously in and by American society and culture.
GK Chesterton: OG Distributist
Increasingly, conservative Catholics and those on the opposite end of the liturgical spectrum are finding themselves allies in the public square. Schmaltz cites Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President and all-around Reformed Baptist Extraordinaire Al Mohler's defense of religious liberty in response to the HHS mandate on contraception as an example of this seemingly unlikely partnership. Indeed, the Ethics & Culture Conference on secularism at Notre Dame last November showed the increasingly close ties between Baptists and Catholics. Houston Baptist University had a panel all their own and Baylor was a near ubiquitous presence. (Conference dinner conversation - J: "I read in First Things the other day..." St. Thomas student: "Are you sure you're not Catholic?") Questions about social issues have long brought evangelicals and Catholics together, but, especially in the wake of the unseemly greed and crass consumerism that kicked off the recession, I think more Protestants should rally to Catholic Social Teaching that offers a wholesale alternative to rampant free markets. I can call myself a distributist even though Chesterton finds my fondness for the Institutes a dour tragedy. The author of this article from (no friend of the Magisterium) urges Calvinists to "pay attention to, if not embrace altogether as their own" Catholic Social Teaching, "especially the principles of familialism, subsidiarity, and solidarity." 

My own experience among the small remnant of Catholics who occasionally lament Vatican II at Georgetown, a Jesuit school plagued by varying degrees of nominalism depending on who you ask, confirms the importance of this growing coalition. Clearly, we've had many a heated conversation about justification and purgatory, but have come to find that historical Protestantism and conservative Catholicism care about many of the same things: covenantal relationships over contractual, preeminence of natural law in the public square to reflect the created order, and a desire to see the religious voice taken seriously. Concern for "faith, family, and local community" can bridge gaps without denying the important theological distinctions that divide those on one side of the Tiber from the other. One of my favorite Jesuits calls our little band of Calvinists "separated brethren and sistren" (which we answer with teasing questions about the real meaning of "anathema") and while it breaks my heart that we cannot approach the Lord's Table together, I'm thankful we can venture out in the world to speak caritas in veritate on social issues and in the intellectual world, if not in mission.

Naturally, I bristle at the Catholic argument that the Reformation basically caused modernity and made Nietzsche possible (Carl Trueman has a great response to Brad Gregory here), but that's why we Protestants need some of our own Robbie Georges and Alisdair MacIntyres. We can speak a similar language in the Academy and it is encouraging to see places like Baylor begin to develop a similar appreciation for the interaction of faith and reason within the historical Protestant tradition.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

"Coming Apart," Original Sin, and Queen Victoria

This week, I picked up Charles Murray's book Coming Apart due to the flurry of excitement surrounding it in the blogosphere and because sections of it were assigned in one of my classes. I expected it to be a slog, but finished it within two days and very much enjoyed it, even if it did stoke the flames of self-immolation theory.

Subsubtitle: "It gets worse, America"
Like all good books, Murray's is a declinist tale. He pins the downward slope of the American project in the past 50 years on deterioration of four virtues valued preeminently at the founding: marriage, industriousness, honesty, and religiosity. The book progresses from a profile of the new upper-middle meritocratic class, "Belmont," strongly concentrated in wealthy areas called "SuperZips" and isolated from the rougher stuff of life by geography as well as culture, to a bleak picture of the uneducated white lower class, or "Fishtown." While Belmont seems to be going strong in the four areas he identifies as essential - maybe even too strong, evidenced by phenomena like "helicopter parenting" - Fishtown is disintegrating. With the decline of these four virtues in the white lower class, he predicts the government will have to grow to fulfill the roles that are usually natural to communities with strong social cohesion created by healthy marriages, active religious life, industrious workers, and honest neighbors. In his final chapter, "Alternative Futures," Murray looks to Western Europe as an example of what happens when "democratic despotism" lulls citizens into a pleasant, consumerist stupor. He writes:
But the view of life that has taken root in [the advanced welfare states of western Europe] is problematic. It seems to go something like this: The purpose of life is to while away the time between birth and death as pleasantly as possible, and the purpose of government is to make it as easy as possible to while away the time as pleasantly as possible - the Europe Syndrome.
Pass the Soma please. Seeing the Europe Syndrome spread in "real life," British journalist Charles Moore indirectly points to Murray's four virtues in this interview with The European. Most interesting to me was his view of original sin as "comforting" and something that could help Europe out of its doldrums:
The European: You earlier invoked Gramsci. Are you an optimist of the heart?

Moore: Yes, because of a Christian belief in original sin. It is a very comforting doctrine. If you know that you are bad, there is a sense that we are all in this together. The people who think that human nature is intrinsically good have to wonder why the world is so bad. But if you embrace your badness, you can review it and improve as a result. Free societies do that, and it is particularly strong in the Anglo-Saxon world. I have always been bothered by the tendency of contemporary European culture to sweep things under the carpet. One thing that European nations don’t want to do right now is analyze why they are in this economic mess.
Murray does not approach the decline in virtue with an anthropology in mind, Murray retells some field notes from a PhD student at UPenn who wrote her dissertation on the real Fishtown, PA that may require further contemplation about human nature's role in the decline and possible revitalization of American virtue. This student observed that the unemployed white men who would hang out all day on the proverbial "corner" had some perverse pride in their inability to provide for their dependents. She heard a story from a Fishtown resident that at one time, the out-of-work men receiving unemployment named themselves the "Sunshine Club" and printed t-shirts to memorialize their delinquency. Another Fishtown native recounts an incident of a mother who refused to acknowledge her son's misbehavior. On one occasion, she saw her son throw a baseball bat through the window of the car, but kept up her refrain of "Not my son" to 25 eyewitnesses and a police officer. If these anecdotes are reflective of the larger milieu, we are far from "embracing our badness."

And even though Belmont is held up as the functioning - if isolated - segment of the American population, I doubt there is any sense of "badness" among shiny happy Bethesda-dwellers holding hands, sipping lattes, appearing on the New York Times wedding page, and recycling.

Queen Victoria: the picture of industry
To save the American project, Murray invokes both the transition of Regency England to the Victorian Era and the Great Awakenings in the past 200 years of American history. While he dismisses Victorian England as a product of "propagandizing" and tempers a new Great Awakening with the assertion that Belmont-dwellers should not sacrifice their self-interest, I think these two historical examples can give even my fellow skeptics of progress some hope.

Herbert Schlossberg of the Ethics & Public Policy Center published a book in 2000 entitled The Silent Revolution & the Making of Victorian England that traces the intellectual strains leading to the revival of virtue in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Setting the scene with the decadence of Georgian England and following up with the revivalist moment lead by Charles Simeon and the Wesleys, Schlossberg places the locus of improvement as beginning with the church. His discussion of the literature of the pre-Victorian literature brings up a common theme. "Poetry [in the eighteenth century] tended to a sentimentality that was the opposite of the Christian thinking that, as we have seen, lost ground early in the century. It was tied to a non-Christian anthropology that saw man as fundamentally good rather than fundamentally flawed." (Emphasis mine.)

Georgian England, Schlossberg argues, was marked by a decline in orthodox Christianity (Murray's religiosity), an increase in crime (honesty) and drunkenness among men that left them unemployed (industriousness) and uninterested in fidelity to their families (marriage). The following decades, however, saw a revival in the languid Anglican church, more believing ministers, and the rise of public Christians like William Wilberforce who championed virtue. Of course, England's state-church relationship is vastly different than the American situation (thankfully, for both church and state) but the revival happened with a few individual believers troubled by their surroundings, some of whom labored for many years without seeing much fruit. This revival was not primarily a "culture war," but an example of the fruits of individual faithfulness and God's grace.

In his prescriptive sections, Murray advocates reviving American religiosity to mirror the founders' view of religion: useful and necessary for a virtuous democratic citizenry, regardless of content. This obviously makes me uncomfortable and I think it is inconsistent with the nature of past revivals in the West. A knowledge of the "badness" of human nature is not induced by civil religion. We see this failure in our de facto civil religion - moral therapeutic deism - and in the particularly insidious and American brand of prosperity gospel. 

Moreover, perhaps due to my latent meritocratic noblesse oblige, I read Murray's book as a call to the Christian residents of the SuperZips (read: me) to reevaluate where our hope is. Do I truly understand my utter dependence on God for true righteousness in a bubble wherein, as David Brooks writes, the educated class expects to meet God at the pearly gates where He "totes up how many fields of self-expression they have mastered, and then hands them a divine diploma and lets them in"? Even more practically, where do I want to live when I graduate and cannot afford my SuperZip apartment? Would I even consider moving to Fishtown and trust that God makes "beautiful feet"?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

This is how the world ends, not with a bang, but a blog.

(Picture taken in line at SCOTUS. Look at Jupiter!)

Welcome, welcome. I have finally pulled the trigger and started a blog. I hate myself a little bit, but my Thoughts must be shared with the World. It seemed to be the time as I only have two classes and I stopped watching television three weeks ago (Mad Men, I knew ye and coveted ye sartorial splendor well) and now all I do is read, bother my friends and long-suffering boyfriend who still have studying to do, stress about not having a job, eat yogurt, and sometimes openly weep from shame about using Pinterest.

A few things:
  • The title of this blog comes from my favorite section of G.K. Chesterton's What's Wrong with the World; Part Three, Chapter IV, "The Romance of Thrift." I mean, listen to this...
    Thrift is the really romantic thing; economy is more romantic than extravagance. Heaven knows I for one speak disinterestedly in the matter; for I cannot clearly remember saving a half-penny ever since I was born. But the thing is true; economy, properly understood, is the more poetic. Thrift is poetic because it is creative; waste is unpoetic because it is waste. It is prosaic to throw money away, because it is prosaic to throw anything away; it is negative; it is a confession of indifference, that is, it is a confession of failure. The most prosaic thing about the house is the dustbin, and the one great objection to the new fastidious and aesthetic homestead is simply that in such a moral menage the dustbin must be bigger than the house. [...] Now the aim of the good woman is to use the by-products, or, in other words, to rummage in the dustbin.
  • You all hate me already!
  • The first thing about me: I am a Christian. This is my God. This is my church. This how I want to live:
    Now this is our highest reward, that we should fully enjoy Him, and that all who enjoy Him should enjoy one another in Him. (Augustine, On Christian Doctrine)
  • While I'm a schismatic, I probably like Catholicism more than my school does. I majored in Russian History and then rejected the global citizenry track my Senior year. Alas, my diploma still attests to my nascent 18 year-old idealism that had yet to be replaced with conservative pessimism about American self-immolation that started circa 2011.
  • I reserve the right to quit this blog at any time and completely wipe it from the memory of my loved ones a la Eternal Sunshine of the Blogless Mind.
  • I can't wait to rummage in the dustbin.


(The answer is "no.")

Let's do this!