No Victimless Sins?

When I wrote about my dilemma on how to deal with an Orthodox Jewish girl trying to keep the Sabbath in "A Duty to Disclose?" earlier this week, I was trying to use the post to build up to a bigger question that I've been wrestling with.  I felt like I had seriously erred when I behaved spitefully, even though the target of my ire was not aware of my nastiness, and I didn't believe she would come to any real harm as the result of my actions.After I wrote a post about the Christian ideal of r … [Read more...]

In Which I Feel Like a Heel

This Easter season, I made it to two days of the Triduum: Maundy Thursday and Easter Vigil. (Since I couldn’t make it to Friday evening services, I went to Tenebrae with my boyfriend instead). The Easter Vigil was lovely, even if my boyfriend was so tired as a result of exams that his mom and I had to keep a close eye on him whenever he was holding a lit candle.Maundy Thursday was a little less pleasant. I had gone last year and had an awkward moment since I hadn’t checked ahead of time whe … [Read more...]

The Trap of Numbness and Self-Satisfaction

I've still been thinking about some of the questions we've been picking over in the discussion of David Brook's new book and attempts to alter personality/moral character through pharmacology.  I'm sure some of my friends are delighted to find that there are transhumanist ideas I'm uncomfortable with, and I've been trying to nail down why.To refresh your memory, Tristyn asked: What if there was a drug that made you kinder, more charitable, more forgiving? Let's say even that it has some … [Read more...]

The Summons (another approach to humility)

This post is one in a series about Diane Duane's Young Wizards series.  I am using the books as a frame for talking about what kind of religion I might feel comfortable in.  Check out all posts on this topic at the series index.Yesterday, I wrote about one of the major reasons my pride makes me feel uncomfortable with the Christian idea of submission to God.  Several commenters pointed out that Lewis's allegory is not the only way to approach humility, so I thought I would use today to hi … [Read more...]

An exercise in arrogance

This post is one in a series about Diane Duane's Young Wizards series.  I am using the books as a frame for talking about what kind of religion I might feel comfortable in.  Check out all posts on this topic at the series index.The adventures of Nita and Kit in Diane Duane's Young Wizards series have a fierce urgency.  No matter whether they are called on to save a planet or to save a single person, they always have a duty and a purpose they gladly serve.  As is the case in most YA books, e … [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...]


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