marriage, kids, and religion

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From: Kragen Sitaker (
Date: Tue Sep 12 2000 - 20:19:17 PDT

Here are my comments on these threads. The paragraphs are not in
sequence, but some of them are related to others.

Reality and experience can't be explained or understood perfectly.
Explaining reality imperfectly is the task of science; explaining
experience imperfectly is the task of art and religion.

People who think their understandings are reality are confused.
Reality is bigger and more self-contradictory than understandings.

People who call others selfish bastards are generally hypocritical and
bitter and not worth listening to. Likewise people who call others
hypocritical and bitter. Be careful who you listen to.

The Christian churches I've been to that embraced non-Christian members
--- Quaker and Unitarian churches --- tended to have the best
Christians. The Mennonites also seemed pretty good, though.

It's easier to talk about your ideals than to fight for them, and it's
easier to fight for your ideals than to live up to them.

Baha'i ideals are stricter than any ideals most Christians can imagine,
and their church is more organized than that of any other religion I
know of, with the possible exceptions of Mormons and Scientologists.
They are just very focused on living up to their ideals rather than
fighting for them or talking about them. (Although they'll be happy to
talk, if you ask.)

I think I'd be happier in a world of Baha'is than in a world of
libertarians or Christians or Unitarians or Scientologists or Moslems
or Hindus. But there are things about their belief system that scare

Kids are not subhuman or monsters. Neither are dumb people, ignorant
people, mentally ill people, or immature people. But if you can't love
ignorant or immature people, you won't be able to deal with kids. Your
loss, I guess.

The "holiday season" is an invention of retailers. If you plan to
boycott it, make sure you tell people in advance so they won't be
pissed off when they get you presents and you don't get them any.

Quakers and Unitarians definitely do not believe people suck. Baha'is
believe people are great compared to anything in the material world,
but suck compared to God.

Parents give kids guilt trips and manipulate them sometimes. Kids do
the same to parents sometimes. People who know each other well are
able to do the shittiest things to each other; being imperfect, they
sometimes do. I think it's worth it to know people anyway.

Crayons on the wall matter if you care about the wall. But what the
hell, it'll be rubble in a few decades anyway, and it's nothing a good
coat of paint can't cover up. Anger and kindness don't fade into
nothingness quite so easily.

<>       Kragen Sitaker     <>
Perilous to all of us are the devices of an art deeper than we ourselves
                -- Gandalf the Grey [J.R.R. Tolkien, "Lord of the Rings"]

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