Smart people saying smart things

Smart people saying smart things February 25, 2013

Abby Norman: “Why I Stopped Telling”

I stopped telling the stories of my most resilient kids, because I realized that people were getting the impression that because some of the kids were rising above their circumstances, it was okay to blame the rest for not being able to do the same.

I stopped telling the stories of my church donating cases of paper to my school, because I don’t want anyone to get the impression that it is ever okay for a school in America to run out of paper in October. The church should absolutely meet the needs of the poor, but the church shouldn’t have to supply copy paper for an entire school because the system is broken.

I stopped telling the stories of my most brilliant teaching, my most inspired ideas, because I did not want someone to get the impression that if I was just brilliant and inspired all of the time, I could save my kids.

Equally Blessed: “Prayers for Benedict, Hopes for His Successor”

We pray for a pope who is willing to listen to and learn from all of God’s people. We pray for a pope who will realize that in promoting discrimination against LGBT people, the church inflicts pain on marginalized people, alienates the faithful and lends moral credibility to reactionary political movements across the globe. We pray for a pope who will lead the church in looking the sexual abuse scandal squarely in the eye and make a full report on the complicity of the hierarchy in the sexual trauma inflicted on children around the world. We pray for a pope who is willing to make himself vulnerable on behalf of the voiceless, the poor, the marginalized and the oppressed.

Garry Wills: “New Pope? I’ve Given Up Hope”

Jesus, we are reminded, said to Peter, “You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church.” But Peter was addressed as a faithful disciple, not as a priest or a pope. There were no priests in Peter’s time, and no popes. Paul never called himself or any of his co-workers priests. He did not offer sacrifice. Those ideas came in later, through weird arguments contained in the anonymous Epistle to the Hebrews. The claim of priests and popes to be the sole conduits of grace is a remnant of the era of papal monarchy. We are watching that era fade. But some refuse to recognize its senescence. Such people will run peppily up, like Charlie Brown, to the coming of a new pope. But Lucy, as usual, still holds the football.

Paul Krugman: “Raise That Wage”

It’s important to understand how the minimum wage interacts with other policies aimed at helping lower-paid workers, in particular the earned-income tax credit. … The tax credit … is also good policy. But it has a well-known defect: Some of its benefits end up flowing not to workers but to employers, in the form of lower wages. And guess what? An increase in the minimum wage helps correct this defect. It turns out that the tax credit and the minimum wage aren’t competing policies, they’re complementary policies that work best in tandem.

Brenna Clarke Gray: “Stop Apologizing for What You Like to Read”

You should not apologize for what you like to read. The person you are apologizing to can only fit into one of three categories:

1. He or she shares your joy.

2. He or she doesn’t give a good goddamn.

3. He or she thinks less of you for what you read in which case don’t apologize to that person because he or she is clearly a douchebag who doesn’t deserve your obeisance.

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