Note regarding comments

I love comments. I enjoy debate. I welcome both praise and thoughtful criticism. However, I've had to change comments-permissions to require self-identification. No more anonymous messages, please!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

White Rose Holy Wars

     Come November, the faithful gather in Provo or Salt Lake City. They have studiously prepared for this moment. Much learning and nightly vigils undergird the assembly. This battle consumes the waking (and often dream-filled) nights of many passionate Latter-Day Saints.
     I am, of course, speaking about the annual BYU-Utes football game, a holy war to end all holy wars.
     Despite its comical nickname, religion hardly plays a role in the festivities. Rather, students paint themselves red or blue, and wrap one another's campuses in graffiti'd taunts. Sure, there's plenty of teasing about who is more Mormon than the other. The coaches and players milk the holy-rolling imagery for all it's worth. And usually the game lives up to its hype, with last-minute finishes and gloating good enough to last a year. A good time is had by all.
     Less funny, with no hint of a good time, are the holy wars that have afflicted White Rose "scholarship" in recent years. What used to be simple and annoying misuse of their story has turned into full-fledged abuse. Previously, we dealt with laymen who distorted the heroism of students and

Monday, December 21, 2009

No Peace on Earth, Much Less Goodwill...

     Coming out of the post office today, I got cut off by a Metro bus. No good reason for his lack of courtesy. Traffic wasn't especially heavy. There was no way he could beat the light one block up the street. Plain, simple rudeness, nothing fancy or especially malicious about it.
     I'm reminded that all too often at this time of year, the qualities we all say we strive for are pushed to the curb. No matter whether we live in Texas or New York, Left Coast or New England, Munich or Tel Aviv, the jolly holiday spirit gets crushed in the rush to have the best tree and most expensive presents, the most extravagant Chanukah. Even Kwanzaa has joined the great tradition of commercialization over meaning.
     And instead of spending time contemplating our common interest in light, our common pursuit of peace, we wind up with the common heartache of heartburn, of distress under stress, of trying to live up to impossible expectations. Often imposed on us by ourselves.
     If you know our family at all, you are aware that Janet committed suicide in mid-December over