Matthew 16:6

It was the second Sunday after the baptismal service out at the lake and she was finding it impossible to concentrate on the sermon.

It wasn’t getting better. Gallons of unsweetened Ocean Spray and a week’s worth of the over-the-counter stuff weren’t helping any. “If symptoms persist,” it said on the tube, “see your doctor.”

She thought about what it must be like to have a doctor who was “yours,” as though they were a member of the household staff, like your gardener or your nanny or your cook. Must be nice to have a doctor instead of the doctors having you — to have a doctor be someone whose help you could summon when needed, instead of someone you had to approach as a supplicant, like Esther in the court of the king.

She shifted uncomfortably in the pew. Symptoms were definitely persisting. She would have to make an appointment.

She flipped through the bulletin to find the church calendar for the week. The Prayer Warriors sidewalk vigil was scheduled for Wednesday, so she could call first thing tomorrow and schedule an appointment for Tuesday. Inconvenient to make the same trip two days in a row, but safer than risking running into anyone the day of her visit.

The rustle of pages brought her back to attention and she looked up at the screen behind the pastor to follow the reading. It was from the Gospel of Matthew:

“Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

She covered her mouth with her hand to hide the smile.

"Cleric for me, thanks."

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  • Fear, Slash–it’s mostly fear. Fear of disobeying a god that you’ve been raised to believe will punish you if you put one toe over the line; fear that your pastor will use you as a sermon illustration (at best), or throw you out of the church if he should find out; fear that you would lose all your friends (since they’re all in the church anyway); fear that you’ll go to hell, no matter how good the rest of your life might be. It’s not stupidity or cowardice, it’s being raised in the Fundy bubble and not knowing there’s anything better.

  • AnonaMiss

    I think ideally the comments should be in imageboard format: flat-chronological, with links to any posts the author wants to reference, and auto-linking to any posts which later reference it.

  • Persia

    Apparently the amount of sugar in cranberry juice means your yeast infection will likely get worse. At least that’s what my midwife told me and it seems consistent with my experience.

  • Ross Thompson

    At least it’s not Gawker’s “there are threads, but you have to click through to read each individual reply” solution.

    Seriously, the person who came up with that can pour a bunch of bees in their underwear and just sit there.

  • Erik Kort

    Beware associating being trapped in this kind of situation and labeling them as not “too terribly bright”. One doesn’t prove or require the other.

  • Chloe Lewis

    My doctor, last time I had a relevant problem, told me that

    (a) it’s only the unsweetened juice they recommend;
    (b) it seemed to work on some microbes but not all; and
    (c) drinking too much of it would irritate the UT counterproductively.

  • Guest99

    Actually, eating live culture yogurt helps. I will eat one serving every day for about a week, and the symptoms clear up. I also told a gynecologist that I did that once, and she thought that was a good way to handle it..

  • And see, I’ve always, always, always preferred threads. If there’s a line of conversation that makes me super-annoyed, or an argument I’m not going to participate in, or an off-topic digression (like this one), I can just skip it. :D

  • Yeah, if “newest” sorted the comments by comment rather than thread, that would be nice.

  • The_L1985

    No, but in this particular situation, I know that the relatives in question are about as intelligent as a celery stalk.

    I also pointed out that since con artists routinely hoodwink people of average or above-average intelligence all the time, the gullible, mentally-disabled, or otherwise Not Street-Smart are even more likely to be conned than the average person.

  • banancat

    Threads are only good if you like to check in once and then never come back, or if you care only about one specific conversation within the comments section.

    It’s perfectly easy to follow a topic in the non-threaded view. Where it said “in reply to ZZZZ”, you just click on it and that comment would pop up without taking you away from your current place. How hard is that to manage?

    But in this ridiculous system, it’s pretty much impossible to just see what new comments have been posted. The only way I can do it is to scroll through all of the replies, searching for “X hours ago”. That’s sort of almost tolerable when I only check once or twice a day (although with the ridiculous threading, nobody ever comments 2 days later anymore), but if I want to check back every hour on (previously) active threads, it’s pretty much impossible and useless. New comments not replying to an existing comment get pushed to the end and are hardly seen at all by anyone.

    Threads die much, much faster now. There are fewer comments and fewer page hits. You’d think that an industry based on ad hits would care a little more about increasing traffic, but instead Disqus prefers to dramatically cut traffic.

    I would almost accuse you of being a shill for Disqus except that you aren’t familiar with their basic features.

  • EllieMurasaki

    To be fair, threading the way Dreamwidth does it works.

    Disqus is not Dreamwidth in many many ways. Disqus does not have a ‘show thread starting from this comment’ link or a ‘show parent comment’ link or a ‘show thread from top’ link. Disqus does not give a fuck about usability or accessibility. And Disqus does not have a ‘flat comments’ link.

  • With my mother, it’s ignorance. And tribalism. She’s gotten such a sense of comfort and community from the Catholic church, that she doesn’t dare criticize it, even to herself.

  • Trixie_Belden

    Yes, I’m kind of puzzled by the pro-thread argument that “it makes it easier to follow conversations on a particular topic!”

    As you pointed out, formerly a comment might say “in reply to ZZZ”, and all you had to do was roll the cursor over and click and ZZZ’s comment would appear in a pop-up.

    I actually found it easier to follow everything that’s going on in comments that way. A line of conversation that makes me annoyed or an off-topic digression can suddenly take a turn and have comments I find insightful.

    And don’t get me started on the miserable small font size! What possible rationale could justify that?

  • It’s perfectly easy to follow a topic in the non-threaded view. Where it said “in reply to ZZZZ”, you just click on it and that comment would pop up without taking you away from your current place. How hard is that to manage?

    I’m not getting involved in the “yay threads, boo threads” discussion, but with respect to this claim of perfect ease under the old system: I often found in the old disqus that the “in reply to ZZZZ” link never appeared (sometimes even for comments that the notifications list would take me to as a response to a comment of mine), or that the popup window would not be large enough to show the entire parent comment, both of which were annoying.

    This could, of course, have been fixed while keeping the comments flat.

  • And, inarguably, Disqus has introduced a new bug that’s ten times worse: now sometimes it attributes the wrong name to a post!

  • P J Evans

    Probably easier if everyone in the group is the same gender. Things get much more down-to-earth then.

  • Rae

    That, too – in the middle of red-state nowhere that my parents live, even the most “liberal” Christian congregation I found within driving distance wouldn’t take well to one of its members being seen at Planned Parenthood even if it was just for antibiotics.

    Plus, there’s the problem that if you live in a place like that and are both unemployed and car-less, you get stuck in a nasty circle of needing a car to drive to any available jobs, but not being able to afford a car because you don’t have a job.

  • Wow, I never knew that button (to see what comment people were referring to) was there. Might have made the old system easier. I still prefer this one, though.

  • Hexep

    On the plus side, she’s better off than she would be had she not drank the cranberry juice, albeit probably in ways that have nothing to do with whatever she got in that pond.

  • banancat

    I doubt you’ll ever read this comment since you’d have to filter through a bunch of stuff to realize it’s even here, but I’ll give you some helpful advice. If you hold down your ctrl key and scroll up with the wheelie thing on your mouse, it will magnify everything. That will affect your entire computer though so you’d have to change it back (by ctrl and scrolling down) on other sites.