Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Should you settle?

Scott Croft and Candice Watters respond in Boundless to Lori Gottlieb's article "Marry Him: The case for settling for Mr. Good Enough" in the March 2008 Atlantic. Here's a sample, the same one Croft uses:
My advice is this: Settle! That's right. Don't worry about passion or intense connection.... Based on my observations, in fact, settling will probably make you happier in the long run, since many of those who marry with great expectations become more disillusioned with each passing year.

Whenever I make the case for settling, people look at me with creased brows of disapproval or frowns of disappointment.... It's not only politically incorrect to get behind settling, it's downright un-American. Our culture tells us to keep our eyes on the prize ... and the theme of holding out for true love ... permeates our collective mentality.
Croft and Watters both make many good points, but they both insist that what they advocate is not "settling". Croft writes:
What's more, nobody really "settles" in a biblical marriage because God has designed marriage as a wonderful gift that gets better with age. This is what people worried about settling don't seem to get. They think joy in marriage is all about the original choice one makes about whom to marry, rather than how the nurture and build their marriage. Again, this misses the picture of biblical marriage.

Read Song of Songs. Look at the implied deepening of a marriage that has to take place if Ephesians 5:22-33 is to be lived out. Sure, it takes hard work. But if two people are truly faithful as spouses, growing in God's word, studying one another deeply and attentively with an eye toward uniquely ministering to and serving each other, both will find that 10 years in they are known and loved and cared for better and more deeply than when they were newly married. That doesn't hinder passion, people. It builds it. More on this in later articles perhaps.
Candice Watters writes:
Choosing to marry a man — whomever he is — inevitably involves compromise (on his part, and yours). That's why it's not truly settling. It's just making a decision. Something we do every time we pick one thing over another. In most areas, it's called being decisive. For some reason we've made indecision noble when it comes to dating.
Watters article is better about this than Croft's, but I think they give Gottleib too little credit for the insights at which she has arrived. Of course, she has a secular view of marriage, she's secular (at least so far as she describes herself in the article.) But she's right that there's a kind of settling here. Choosing is settling, settling is deciding. "I've considered chocolate; I've considered vanilla and I'm settling on vanilla." I'm not neccesarily taking a position on which is better, I'm just not holding out for butterscotch to come along.

Real Men Marry Rabbis

Or so says this t-shirt. On Sunday, I saw a man wearing one and walking with his wife -- presumably a Rabbi.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Safire on Dirty Words

William Safire pays tribute to George Carlin in his latest "On Words Column". He writes, in part:
In his incessant use of “the seven words you can’t use on television,” he gave us more than a good taste of bad taste. His defense, however, could be in the lessening of offense-taking: Carlin may have reduced the power of odious obscenities and puerile profanity by devaluing their shock value, which was a perverse kind of linguistic service, as far as I’m concerned.
But really is that a linguistic service? Leave aside the question of the morality of the use of profanity and it seems clear that by the dimunation of the shock value of these words the language is impoverished.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Right... 'cause now is the time to join the Anglican Church

Matthew Alderman reminds me of the move by Venezualans allied with—if not directed by—Hugo Chavez to create a Bolivarian church. Apparently its actual name is "Santa Iglesia Católica Reformada de Venezuela Rito Anglicano."

Most disturbing is the combination of these two statements:
"Organized along Anglican principles"
"Anglican, Lutheran and Roman Catholic clergy have consecrated three priests as bishops"
As far as I know, all the Anglican Churches still require Bishops to perform ordinations. Hopefully that doesn't mean there's a Roman Catholic bishop involved. As the Get Religion folks would point out, there's a lot of information lacking there... what exactly are "Anglican principles". The Anglican church proper recognizes the supremacy of the sovereign (and so in it's democratic polity does the Episcopal Church recognize the sovereignty of the people). Is this Church democratic? Subordinate to the state? "Revolutionary" and ruled by a cabal? What about other Anglican principles... do we have the Thirty-nine Articles? Hooker's three-legged stool?

Here's the AP write-up, including comments from a Venezualan Cardinal.

Here's another from El Nuevo Herald.

Some excerpts and comments:
"A former Roman Catholic priest, Jon Jen Siu Garcia, was elected coadjutor, and noted to the Venezuelan press that his mission is to 'liberate people from capitalist values.'

"...among the founders of the church are bishops who have arrived from Miami and several Latin American nations, such as Peru, Mexico and Costa Rica.

"Among other religious organizations, Miami's own Catholic Apostolic Church served as a model for the newly established church in Venezuela.

"Lückert [a Catholic Church spokesman] also denounced the ''scandalous'' pasts of the Venezuelan priests who will be ordained as the new bishops of the reformist Catholic church. One, he said, ''lived scandalously with a woman'' and they have a son. Another had left his ministry to get married a long time ago, Lückert said."
So sexual immorality is part of the history here. Why am I not surprised?
"Lückert warned Chávez that the creation of this movement 'is a terrible political error' that could have an electoral cost.

"'It never occurred to Fidel to make such a blunder,' Lückert said."
The journalist in me recognizes a great quote when I see one... that's a great quote.

Photo of Hugo Chavez from Agência Brasil under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Brazil License.