All the interesting values are univeral values

I was baffled by the New York Times's article on vegan weddings that revealed many vegans opted to serve meat at their wedding receptions.  The article dwelt on the question of whether the vegans and vegitarians ought to serve meat despite their own preferences.  Guests who were not placated with meat tended to be quite upset. When Patrick Moore, a salesman from Attleboro, Mass., arrived at an old friend’s wedding in 1999 to discover nothing but vegetarian options, he made an excuse about leav … [Read more...]

“From dreams I proceed to facts”

 Reading Flatland changed my lifeThe novella was published in 1884 by Edwin A. Abbott--an English schoolmaster. The novella is narrated by a square living in a two-dimensional world. One night, he is visited by a Sphere, or, rather, from his point of view, a Circle of varying diameter.The Sphere has come to explain to him that there is a dimension he knows nothing about—a dimension along a hereto unknown direction “Upwards, not Northwards.”  To help the Square understand, the Sp … [Read more...]

A Parable of Talents

 In a very schmaltzy YA book I read in middle school, a whole school bus load of middle schoolers died in a car accident and went straight to Heaven. I’m pretty sure the protagonist and his eventual girlfriend got to come back to life by the end because they had Unfinished Business back on Earth, but before they do, they get a preview look at Heaven as all their friends settle down for the rest of their afterlives.The Heaven of this book most closely resembles a glitzy theme park. … [Read more...]

The anthropomorphization of God

Everyone in the DC area should be booking tickets asap to see New Jerusalem at Theatre J (major hat tip to Eve Tushnet).  David Ives has done a magnificant job dramatizing Baruch de Spinoza's trial for heresy in his own synagogue.  I'll be writing more about it soon, but don't wait on me to get your tickets now.  (I recommend buying seats in the bench section, which puts you onstage for the trial).In the play Spinoza questions assumptions about the nature of God, and accuses the members of hi … [Read more...]

Eye has not seen, ear has not heard

Thanks all for your comments on last week's post on attempts to sanitize the liturgy. As always, if you'd like to respond to a Monday Call to Arms in longer form as a guest blogger, please email me at leah (dot) libresco (at) yale (dot) edu. The highlighted comment from last week comes from David Wagner:So, lectionary-editing authorities: knock off the bowdlerizing. "He's not a tame lion." Bring it on. Those who can't stand it will go get themselves a nice, polite Unitarian god made in … [Read more...]