Father Brown’s thought of the day

“There is,” said Father Brown dryly; “and that is the real difference between human charity and Christian charity. You must forgive me if I was not altogether crushed by your contempt for my uncharitableness today; or by the lectures you read me about pardon for every sinner. For it seems to me that you only pardon the sins that you don’t really think sinful. You only forgive criminals when they commit what you don’t regard as crimes, but rather as conventions. So you tolerate a conventional duel, just as you tolerate a conventional divorce. You forgive because there isn’t anything to be forgiven . . . Go on your own primrose path pardoning all your favorite vices and being generous to your fashionable crimes; and leave us in the darkness, vampires of the night, to console those who really need consolation”
–THE CHIEF MOURNER OF MARNE, G.K. Chesterton

Mayim Bialik on modesty and lack of faith in Hollywood

This interview may be of interest to M* readers.

Actress Mayim Bialik.

Actress Mayim Bialik.

One aspect of Judaism the mom-of-two values is modesty.

“Being a modest dresser, that for me is a certain amount of my religious faith — privacy and chastity. Just because I have a body, doesn’t mean it means to be on display.”

Bialiak dislikes being labeled as “prude” just because she “doesn’t dress the way everyone else dresses.”

“It’s important, especially for children and men and my sons to hear I’m not ashamed of my body, I just don’t feel the need to display it with two tiny pieces of fabric when I want to go swimming.”

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Their Iniquities shall be Spoken upon the Housetops: Ashley Madison and Living True to the Gospel

This week the news was filled with accounts of the hack of Ashley Madison, a website helping married individuals cheat on their spouses. It was disclosed that several prominent individuals had accounts on the site. Most notably, Josh Duggar, a staunch religious conservative who has garnered attention for his strong positions on moral issues, admitted that he had an affair on his wife using the site. Sam Rader, a vblogger who became a viral sensation for surprising his wife with a positive pregnancy test and who is known for daily devotional videos, also admitted to having a paid account (but said that he did not have an affair from it).

It’s been disappointing although not at all unexpected to see friends of mine on Facebook reacting to the news. Continue reading

When the Temple Helps: Beyond My Ignorant Self

Walking into and participating in the Temple for the first time can be for anyone a disorienting experience. I was no exception, although there have been a few rare individuals who went in with prior understanding. Most of the LDS prophets are not among them. During a 1956 Mesa, Arizona Temple expansion dedicatory address, Pres. David O. Mckay said with candor:

Do you remember when you first went through the House of the Lord? I do. And I went out disappointed. Just a young man, out of college, anticipating great things when I went to the Temple. I was disappointed and grieved, and I have met hundreds of young men and young women since who had that experience . . . I saw only the mechanics when I first went through the Temple. I did not see the spiritual. I did not see the symbolism of spirituality. Speaking plainly, I saw men, physical state, which offended me . . . We thought we were big enough and with intelligence sufficient to criticize the mechanics of it and we were blind to the symbolism, the message of the spirit. And then that great ordinance, the endowment. The whole thing is simple in the mechanical part of it, but sublime and eternal in its significance.

Those are some powerful words coming from someone who is considered a towering spiritual figure. He obviously got over it and so did I after my first time. It was not without struggle.

Difficulties with Dissonance

First off I had to get over my own expectations of not only what I was used to going to regular Sunday services, but my own self definition. Like many I went to the Temple in preparation for going on a Mission. My parents accompanied me on the trip. Each detail was absorbed and analyzed in the hopes of forming some kind of spiritual impression. The reality was that my intellectual curiosity overshadowed any religious enlightenment. In other words, all I ended up noticing was the mechanics. At the end of the endowment stood me and my parents in strange clothes having no everyday parallel. Thoughts about the accusation of “cult” ran through my confused brain. Even my Baptism for the dead excursions in recent teenage years didn’t compare. The people and place seemed completely out of the ordinary for both my secular and religious life. Continue reading