Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

“The chaplain had sinned, and it was good. Common sense told him that telling lies and defecting from duty were sins. On the other hand, everyone knew that sin was evil and that no good could come from evil. But he did feel good; he felt positively marvelous. Consequently, it followed logically that telling lies and defecting from duty could not be sins. The chaplain had mastered, in a moment of divine intuition, the handy technique of protective rationalization, and he was exhilarated by his discovery. It was miraculous.”

March 14, 2018

Heller, Joseph. Catch-22: 50th Anniversary Edition (p. 417). Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition.

“Any effort that has self-glorification as its final endpoint is bound to end in disaster.”

February 6, 2018

Pirsig, Robert M.. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values (p. 189). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

“All I know is that my life is better when I assume that people are doing their best. It keeps me out of judgment and lets me focus on what is, and not what should or could be.”

December 17, 2017

Brown, Brené . Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead (pp. 113-114). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (the author is quoting her husband)

“THIS is a disturbing book. Many readers will find parts of it hard to stomach. But anyone who wants to understand the so-called Islamic State (IS) should read it.”

December 7, 2017

I’m  not sure I will actually read this book.  Even the review in The Economist was tough to read.  But if the author has to live with actually having experienced the things about which she writes . . .


The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity, and My Fight against the Islamic State. By Nadia Murad and Jenna Krajeski. Tim Duggan Books; 306 pages; $27. Virago; £18.99.

THIS is a disturbing book. Many readers will find parts of it hard to stomach. But anyone who wants to understand the so-called Islamic State (IS) should read it. The jihadists who until recently controlled much of Iraq and Syria hit on a recruiting technique that was as crude as it was ingenious. They urged their fighters to capture and keep sex slaves—and convinced them to feel virtuous about it.

“Thank the Lord, Christmas is over!”

December 2, 2017

This may be my all time favorite statement from a conversation I overheard.  It was made at least ten or fifteen years ago.  I was in my home town of Littleton, Colorado to celebrate Christmas with my parents and other family members.  A day or two after Christmas we went for lunch to Mission Trujillo, a memorable Mexican restaurant and veritable community gathering place at Broadway and Ridge, a place frequented by the my family for many years (which, to our great disappointment, closed its doors some time ago, at a time when its business was still thriving).  As we sat at our table, on somewhat of a slow day with not many diners, two middle aged women at a nearby table were conversing over their lunch.  In the course of their conversation, one of the women made the statement which is the title of this blogpost, doing so without a hint of irony, sighing with what I perceived to be genuine relief.