Smart people saying smart things (1.2)

“George Bailey” (Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, Frank Capra and Jo Swerling), in It’s a Wonderful Life

Now, hold on, Mr. Potter. You’re right when you say my father was no business man. I know that. Why he ever started this cheap, penny-ante Building and Loan, I’ll never know. But neither you nor anybody else can say anything against his character, because his whole life was. … Why, in the 25 years since he and Uncle Billy started this thing, he never once thought of himself. Isn’t that right, Uncle Billy? He didn’t save enough money to send Harry to school, let alone me. But he did help a few people get out of your slums, Mr. Potter. And what’s wrong with that? Why … Here, you’re all businessmen here. Doesn’t it make them better citizens? Doesn’t it make them better customers? You, you said … what’d you say just a minute ago? … They had to wait and save their money before they even ought to think of a decent home. Wait! Wait for what? Until their children grow up and leave them? Until they’re so old and broken- down that they? … Do you know how long it takes a working man to save $5,000? Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this “rabble” you’re talking about … they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath? Anyway, my father didn’t think so. People were human beings to him, but to you, a warped, frustrated old man, they’re cattle. Well, in my book he died a much richer man than you’ll ever be!

John Cleese on the Dunning-Kruger Effect

Alan Bean, “Jesus on the Water Board”

If you don’t see Jesus on the water boarding table; if you don’t get that it’s Jesus standing for hours in a dark room on a broken leg; if you don’t realize that it’s Jesus dying of hypothermia on a cold, urine-soaked floor, and if you don’t understand the ultimate target of the anal probe, you don’t grasp what happened on Good Friday and, just as significantly, you haven’t reckoned with our complicity in the extra judicial crucifixions outlined in the Senate Committee’s report.

James Baldwin, in The Last Interview and Other Conversations

I’m not worried about the Negroes in the country even, so much as I am about the country. The country doesn’t know what it has done to Negroes. And the country has no notion whatever — and this is disastrous — of what it has done to itself. North and South have yet to asses the price they pay for keeping the Negro in his place; and, to my point of view, it shows in every single level of our lives, from the most public to the most private.

Bethany Suckrow, “Leelah Alcorn and What It Means to Be Pro-Life”

Christians, we need to do better. If you claim to be “pro-life,” then be consistent. Care enough to change these statistics. Care about offering LGBTQ people hope through compassion, grace and unconditional love. Stop wielding your faith as a weapon against the LGBTQ community. Stop blaming Jesus for your bigotry. And please, for the love, if you cannot embrace the LGBTQ people in your midst, then stop claiming to be “pro-life” and start calling yourselves what you really are: “anti-abortion.” If compassion and unconditional grace are not a part of your “pro-life” ethic, then you are not pro-life.

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