Wednesday, September 15, 2021

On going to college

Dear H,

The way to spot a man of genuine intelligence isn't to look at his brains, but to look at his stomach.  I don't care if you have a degree.  What do you devour?  Can you stop reading?  Can you stop talking about and chewing on tough ideas?  Does new information scare you or do you take it as a challenge?  

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Sex at Dawn: a counterpoint

Dear T,

I read Christopher Ryan's Sex at Dawn because I'm a horndog, and like all horndogs I need an excuse.  His short and brutal work, an evolutionary survey of human sexuality, a work which Mr. Ryan says provides no solutions and levels us with the apes, is great at describing the problem of sex; and if it doesn't provide any solid guidance, at least it helps you to not feel like a freak. 

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Two weeks (a short history of your smug *sshole neighbor)

Afternoon there, neighbor!  
There's a new disease in town and I wanted you to know about it.  
It gives the chills and sweats and headaches 
and fevers and diarrhea and a cough and it can kill you.
Not a cold or a flu, but a new thing.  
It can kill most of us it turns out.  
Very dangerous.  

We're going to have to lock you down, in fact.
For your well-being.  
Two weeks is all we ask to flatten this curve.
What's a curve?  Funny you ask.  
It's when too many people get put into the hospital.  
We just want to slow the numbers.  
Whittle them down a bit.  
Lock you out of work and church and play for two weeks.  
Totally worth it, we promise.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

On humility

Dear H,

Remember that essay I wrote about the four virtues? From the sound of it, you might be led to believe I'm an impressive person.  The secret to my success is I know that I'm not.  I get better every day at mastering the Big Four, of course, but what I'm best at is the unmentioned virtue that doesn't win you any statues, and that virtue is humility.  I should have gotten a trophy for it by now, but people think this defeats the purpose -- and they're wrong.  

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

On getting women

Dear M-,

A whole bunch of things pop into your head when you're about to save a woman's life.  If you can't see her, but you can hear her screaming, you wonder (as a man) if she's beautiful.  This one is automatic and irresistible, as the picture we have of woman "in general" is always sexual in nature, and we're always sizing up women against it*.  Second, you wonder if you'll get a great story out of it, and the other women will think of you as a hero, and a protector.  Third, the fear kicks in and you wonder if you should go at all -- and if you decide to not go, whether you can live with the fact that you let a woman get killed, or raped.  You have a picture of her in your head, but what about what she's up against?  Is there one man or more?  Is he just a man or a monster?  Are you even good at fighting?

Monday, April 19, 2021

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Where's Mohammed when you need him?

Dear M,

I love this country for many reasons, but at some point you have to admit that we're the most disgusting people of all time.  Nowhere in the world, at any point in history, has anybody not only tolerated, not only promoted, but actually defended whatever's ugliest, most backward, and perverted.  

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Thank God for Columbus

Dear T,

At the time Columbus discovered the New World, the great difference between the main Mexica god and the European God was that the European God would kill you for not being good, and the Mexica god would kill you for not being bad.  

Sunday, January 31, 2021

The day we were both born

Dear H,

On the day you were born I was born too, in a sense.  It was my first day being a father.  Before that I had seen people parent, both well and badly, but I had never done it myself.  It was like the first day I trained you to ride your bike or had you trace your first letter.  We pretend that parents are experienced and children have to be taught; but the truth is that every step we take in parenting for a long time -- from the first diaper to the first "conversation" -- is our first.  And most of the time nobody is around to help us do it.  And even if they were, I doubt we would listen.  In many ways I'm just as much a child as you are.  

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Diversity

Dear H,

The common complaint of great pastors here is that Christianity has become too Americanized, and perhaps it has.  But wasn't "original" Christianity too Romanized, too Hellenized -- in the complaints of Paul, too Judaized?  The seed of Christ needed some soil to sprout in, and all soil means a compromise.  The germ will never be what it wants to be entirely.  It has to grow into what the soil permits it to, or doesn't permit, as Christ said Himself in the parable of the sower.  As Moses said when delivering The Law, I would have given you better laws, but you would never have put up with them*.  When pushing His ideas, even God knows His limits.