Posts tagged ‘thoughts’

July 28, 2020


How you proceed must be as noble as the cause you seek.

The turn of phrase is fantastic. It lends itself to meditation, or to ponderous and solemn thoughts. It occurs in the middle of a discussion of people taking upon themselves the role of Satan, accusing others and thereby “causing jarring, contention and strife.” Moreover, the discussion suggests that this role is played even by people “who desire a good thing” and have well-intentioned hearts.

So what does the phrase mean? What is the cause being sought? Is it related to learning to live in peace with each other? What does “proceed” mean here? Is it our actions, particularly those we might think are productive in favor of “the cause [we] seek?” And what is “noble?” Is it intended to contrast with accusing and causing jarring, contention and strife? Is it related to “lov[ing] one another, not begrudgingly, but as brothers and sisters indeed?” Or to “align[ing our] words with [our] hearts?

“Noble” and its derivations appear in a few places in T&C. 138:18: “How much more dignified and noble are the thoughts of God than the vain imagination of the human heart?” 139:7: “[T]he pure in heart, and the wise, and the noble, and the virtuous shall seek counsel, and authority, and blessings constantly from under your hand.” 146:20: “[T]he truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent.” What does the word mean in those places? Is it related to its use in the phrase quoted at the beginning of this post?

March 29, 2019

Unpopular opinions

I hold two unpopular opinions on current events.

First, I think the prosecutor did the right thing in the Jussie Smollett case. I would like to see prosecutors dropping charges more frequently when the accused does not likely pose any future threat. We ought to be slower to accuse and quicker to forgive.

Second, I think Theresa May has done an admirable job. She has had to deal with two intractable beasts: the European Union and the U.K. Parliament, and her efforts to serve the U.K. are commendable. Her failure is more attributable to the foolish pride of self-centered, bickering politicians more interested in being right than in acting in the best interest of their constituency, than to any fault of her own.

I don’t know if I could convince anyone else that my opinions are right. I’m not really interested in pushing them onto others who disagree with me, and I certainly can’t persuade the majority to prefer mercy to condemnation and compromise to partisanship. So, in reality, the fact that I hold these two opinions doesn’t mean much in the world. But here they are, for whatever they’re worth.