We have to free ourselves of childish expectations; we must not pray like children whining to our parents. We must also reject any latent feudalism in our hearts: we still call our gods “lords” and act like serfs begging for consideration. Neither infantile wailing nor medieval supplication is the prayer we need.
— Deng Ming-Dao, The Lunar Tao
From Pope Francis’s homily for a mass for new cardinals:
I urge you to serve Jesus crucified in every person who is marginalized, for whatever reason; to see the Lord in every excluded person who is hungry, thirsty, naked; to see the Lord present even in those who have lost their faith, or turned away from the practice of their faith; to see the Lord who is imprisoned, sick, unemployed, persecuted; to see the Lord in the leper — whether in body or soul — who encounters discrimination. We will not find the Lord unless we truly accept the marginalized.
Andrew Sullivan this morning:
I suspect I will never go to as many memorial services in my seventies, if I last that long, as I did in my early thirties.
(Terrific essay, by the way.)
By ethical argument
And moral principle
The greatest crimes are eventually shown
To have been necessary, and, in fact
A signal benefit
— Zhuangzi [Chuang Tzu], translated by Thomas Merton
(I hope it’s clear even out of context that Zhuangzi was disdaining ethical arguments and moral principles, and not defending great crimes.)
From President Obama’s speech yesterday in Jerusalem:
Speaking as a politician, I can promise you this: political leaders will not take risks if the people do not demand that they do.
Charlie Webster, state chairman of the GOP in Maine, on how voter fraud helped Obama win:
In some parts of rural Maine, there were dozens, dozens of black people who came in and voted on Election Day. Everybody has a right to vote, but nobody in town knows anyone who’s black. How did that happen? I don’t know.
Tucker Carlson on FOX:
There’s something what went basically unnoticed by the press and that was the Obama campaign making a push of social issues, particularly abortion, and that seems to have worked. … If you were a voter in a white, working-class state, you had no idea that they were running a campaign based on abortion!
First, since when is a president not supposed to be campaigning on social issues? And second, what the fuck is a “white, working-class state”? Michigan in 1880?
Two good quotes about editing from the Chicago Manual of Style‘s monthly Q&A column for October:
The decision, like so many others in writing and editing, should not be made according to some idea of what is “correct”. Rather, it must be made according to what is logical and helpful.
It’s good to remember that even nonsense can be grammatically correct.
Both old truths, but easy to lose sight of.