e-mail me at billdeg@umich.edu

12/03/2009

three things

Beyond the everyday tasks like walking the dogs, driving to campus, marking student papers, and teaching, three things this morning are noteworthy.

THE GOOD. I received a "revise and resubmit" for an article about affective dimensions of community service learning. For those outside the biz, an r&r means that peer reviewers like the article and recommend publication with revisions. First post-tenure article. Cool.

THE BAD. This fool. At the risk of drawing undue attention to a hate-monger, let's call him by name: Cardinal Javier Barragan, a semi-retired Catholic church leader who has suggested that gay people can't get into heaven. My students may read this and recognize my use ("fool," "twisted") of the ad hominem fallacy. Damn right. Sometimes the affective response is the best response. Maybe Barragan is sitting in his fancy house, googling himself, and reading this. (Fat chance, but I can humor myself.) If so, here is my message: With these statements you have added nothing to public discourse and you have added nothing to the spiritual life of anybody. You have said things counter to the spirit and the tenets of your own stated faith. You have hurt people. Why, according to both canonical and non-canonical accounts of Jesus's life, did he say not a word about gay people, all the while saying lots of things about loving and not judging our neighbors?

THE LIGHTER NOTE. A student in class today used the phrase "I shit you not" during discussion. What's the etymology of that phrase? Probably inappropriate, but at least the comment indicated a certain amount of community and comfort in the classroom. Cool, part deux. Barragan, you won't ruin my day.