it’s time to be civil (29)


# 19. Be a considerate guest. In the age of e-mail and the cellular phone, there is no excuse for arriving unannounced at a friend’s home. When invited to a dinner or a party, respect both times of arrival and of departure. Don;t overstay your welcome, but don’t leave too soon. Rely on common sense and on your host’s cues. …

It is your host’s prerogative to open the party to children. If their invitation does not mention children, it’s likely they are not included. Don’t lobby for special permission. If you do that, you put undue pressure on your hosts. At that point they can say a reluctant “yes,” thus being unfair to all other guests who followed the rules (by either declining the invitation or enlisting baby-sitters), or they can tell you no to your face. Either way, they are facing an unpleasant task. This is not what they should receive in return for the kind gesture of inviting you.

Never assume that Fido or Boots are welcome. One thought: allergies. Another: incompatibility with other animals. One more: the damage your animal can do to someone else’s home. …

Your guiding principle is that you want to leave somebody else’s space as undisturbed as possible.

Choosing Civility: The Twenty-Five Rules of Considerate Conduct by P.M. Forni (St. Martin’s Press, 2002); pp. 126-127

this went thru my mind


Equality & freedom: A Black Intellectual Writes to Thomas Jefferson by Bobby Valentine

On July 4, 1776 explosive words from Thomas Jefferson captured the hearts of men and women, white and black, in the British Colonies in America.  Those words read, ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among them are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’ … The letter of Benjamin Banneker to Thomas Jefferson on August 19, 1791 was laden with potential to renew the promise of the American Revolution. … Perhaps Banneker should be in the Canon of American Saints as much – perhaps more – than Thomas Jefferson.”

Faith & politics: The Real ‘Evangelical Disaster’ by Rachel Held Evans

“The great evangelical disaster is that evangelicalism has become synonymous with Republicanism rather than the gospel of Jesus Christ. This happened long before the 2012 presidential election. It happened when we turned the Bible into a conservative position paper and Jesus into a flag pin. “

Generosity: Family Christian Stores Buys Itself, Pledges to Give 100% of Profits to Widows and Orphans

“Under the new ownership, Family Christian’s pledge is to contribute 100% of its profits to Christian causes and, specifically, ministries serving widows and orphans both in the USA and abroad.”

Thanksgiving: * An American Thanksgiving from a Global Perspective by Dan Bouchelle; * Tips for Teaching Your Children Thanksgiving! by Mark Woodward

* “I have traveled to all six populated continents and preached for churches in each place. I spend a lot of time listening to church leaders and disciple-makers describe the realities they face in their countries with all the joys and struggles that entails. I also have gotten to witness first hand the living conditions, social realities, political climates, and spiritual environments of many different parts of the globe. With that as the backdrop to my current life, I enter into this Thanksgiving season differently than I once did.”

* “If you want your children to be thankful—grateful—adults, you have a great opportunity to work on them during Thanksgiving.  This holiday can be so much more than Indians and pilgrims or eating and football!  We Christians have a great opportunity to re-capture the holiday from the secularists and materialists and instill in our children a grateful spirit rather than an entitled one!”