No more immigration laws (We’ve got all we can handle, thanks)

On September 4, 2008, in Denver, Colorado, a man driving over 80mph in a 40mph zone ran a red light and broadsided a truck turning left in front of him. The collision knocked the truck into a nearby Baskin Robbins, killing a 3-year-old boy inside and the two women in the truck. The driver fled the scene.

The man, named Francis Hernandez, was apprehended, convicted of vehicular homicide, and sentenced to 60 years in prison. He is a citizen of Guatemala and was in the U.S. illegally. He had been in police custody over 12 times before the crash, including for driving an unregistered vehicle without a driver’s license 6 months before. Police detained Hernandez at that time and contacted the Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The department issued no detainer, so police let Hernandez go—multiple times.

Since Hernandez’s conviction in 2010, ICE has come under heavy criticism for the lax enforcement of immigration laws that led to this debacle. This is not to say that all illegal immigrants are murderers, or that the death of two women and a 3-year-old boy by vehicular homicide would have been less horrible if the driver had been a legal resident of the United States. The simple fact is, if “criminal” is defined as someone who breaks the law, Francis Hernandez was a criminal before he even got in his car that day. It is against the law to come into the United States without documentation and reside here for any length of time. The incident that cost 3 lives and led to an illegal immigrant spending life in an American jail on the taxpayer’s dollar could have been prevented if ICE had simply indicted a known criminal for the first crime he committed: crossing the border.

I often hear peers say they are “for illegal immigration.” Until I came to college, I didn’t know you could be “for” something that is illegal. You never hear someone say they are “for” drunk drivers or “for” sellers of illegal narcotics or “for” vandals of traffic signs. What people mean, of course, is they are in favor of immigration reform, of laws that would make it easier for immigrants who have entered this country illegally to get legal residency.

Don’t make it a feather in your cap, however; there are only 2 reasons why politicians—Democrats and Republicans alike—push for immigration reforms. And if you think they’re just being nice people, think again.

1) Business lobbyists want access to cheap labor

2) Politicians believe if they can make illegals legal, the newly legitimated population of voters will vote for them.

Beliefs that America can use the low-cost labor force illegal immigrants provide and that politicians can use this new core of willing voters to push unpopular legislation through over the heads of voters are equally disgusting. Both are in direct violation of the principles on which America was built. In the first case, America has a long history of being a country where honest people who are willing to work hard can achieve anything (that kind of immigrant does not need to sneak past border guards in the dead of night), not a country where shysters exploit grunt laborers to make an extra buck. In the second place, American politicians are elected by the people, to fight for the good of the people, not to press under-handed political agendas to win more votes.

Exit polls at the close of the recent midterm election showed that over 60% of Americans want to see stricter enforcement of immigration laws, proof that most of America shares my disgust. In spite of this, Obama and members of Congress continue to push unpopular immigration reform acts such as the long-disputed DREAM Act—which would give legal status to thousands of children of illegal aliens if they were willing to pursue college or military service in the U.S. The Justice Department even brought suit against Arizona in July 2010 for its new immigration law “requiring police to ask for ID from anyone they suspect of being undocumented” (Christian Science Monitor), arguing that federal laws in such matters trump the laws of individual states.

In Arizona’s defense, laws already exist at the federal level that govern the status of illegal immigrants. Arizona is simply requiring its police officers to enforce them.

There is bad news for the politicians, though. New studies show that the numbers of illegal immigrants entering the U.S. each year actually appear to be falling. The Pew Hispanic Center reports that there were about 200,000 fewer illegal immigrants per year from 2007-2009 than from 2005-2007. The total number of illegal immigrants estimated to be living in the U.S. fell by up to 1 million from 2008-2009. Interestingly enough, these numbers coincide with greater economic stability in Mexico and with increasing economic decline in the U.S. When America is no longer the shining “city on a hill,” it is only about as attractive as any other country in which you might live. Given a few more years of economic slump, much of the debate about immigration reforms may be moot.

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Originally published at Phronemophobia


A Question of Seeing

Evolution vs. Creation: Most of you know where I stand on this. There is no middle for me. There is no gray area. You can't straddle the line. This issue is life or death for me. This is whether black people are human or another species of ape. This is whether the Aryan race by similar evidence can be shown to stand a little higher on the evolutionary scale than animals. This is whether man's status can be voted the same as that of a baboon--or a step below angels--like Pluto was voted to be a lackluster frozen rock.

For I am a rhetorician, and I'm concerned only with human concepts, not science. It doesn't matter what what the world is, but only what you see in it. Do we choose to see the world without luster? Is the only true measure of philosophy the cranial capacity of the thinker? Wonder can't be measured or analyzed; does it still exist? In the past we have only allowed what we see to be "true" beliefs. I believe that our beliefs force what we see. Our observations are not science, because your expectations of the world create your perception of it. Everything comes down to human perception. My biggest problem with Darwinism is not that I simply refuse to believe I am an animal, but that I refuse to believe you are. This debate is not about what is or is not. It's about what we allow ourselves to see.

If you believe there is no God, who will never observe him. If you believe there is no magic in the world, you will never do miracles. This is not a question of objective science. In fact, I don't believe there is such a thing. This is a question of extremes of passion, the one determined to see something even if it isn't empirically there, the other determined not to see even if there might be something. It is a question of whether you will find something or come away empty-haned. It is a question of whether you will allow another person to walk away with something when your hands are empty. Or when you insist their hands are empty too, even though they see something there.

Being or not being is not the question; it is to see or not to see. Do we allow ourselves to see man only as the spawn of the mud, or could there be in him a spark of something we can't collect or measure? Is there a light in the darkness, or does the light in my eye simply never go out? Which, in the end, is more real?

Originally published at Phronemophobia.

Every time I talk to you it turns into an episode of You think YOUVE got problems!? Sorry, but theyre tired old reruns. Stop comparing what you dont have to what I do have, because when I point out my dos to your donts, you're offended. If I cant set my dont haves against your dont haves, youre right: we will never be equal. And that may be true, you know; show me the problems I dont have, and Ill show you what I have because of what I do. Were not the same, and the difference is to do or not to do. That is the question, isnt it?

Originally published at Phronemophobia.

Living it?
I've been going through my Bible looking at verses I outlined in past readings. I thought these were interesting; evidence that everything you do and say in a day is really important to your Christian life.

Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

1 Corinthians 4:20 The kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.

1 Cor. 6:12 Everything is permissible for mebut not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for mebut I will not be mastered by anything.

1 Cor. 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble.

Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs.

Eph. 5:3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for Gods holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place.

Eph. 5:12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.

2 Timothy 2:16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.

2 Tim. 3:1-4 There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselveslovers of pleasure rather than lovers of Godhaving a form of godliness but denying its power.

Titus 1:15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

James 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

James 2:14-25 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

James 3:17 Anyone who knows the good he ought to do and doesnt do it, sins.

Matthew 23:27 - (I hope not) "You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones."

Originally published at Phronemophobia.

Day of Silence Pt2: The right not to know
A while back, I wrote about the LGBT Day of Silence. I know its been a while; Ive been busy with school. But I want to address some of the criticism I got. I dont think I made my position quite clear, and I would like to reopen the topic. (Plus the last one got me over 300 page views total, so hey, its worth another shot).

Let me state my biases up front. I dont believe homosexual behavior is healthy. I dont like the behavior. But I dont have a problem with homosexual people. They are still people, and they will have my respect as such whatever they choose to do in their private lives. That said, I would like a certain common courtesy: the right not to know. I dont need to know youre homosexual, bisexual, or what have you, to have a good, friendly, working relationship with you. I promise, I dont care. I dont need to know any more than you need to know whether or not Im a virgin.

But sometimes, with homosexuals, thats all I know. I never get the chance to get to know them as people because thats all I ever hear about. Its like a fire alarm; I cant ignore it, but that doesnt mean I like the noise it makes.

When I was a freshman in high school, I took a drama class with a black girl. All her monologues were about being black. All the scripts she chose were about racism toward blacks. All her conversations revolved around the fact that she was black, and she had been made fun of in her life because of it.

It was irritating, because before she brought it up, I honestly hadnt noticed that she was black. I mean, I saw it with my eyes, but it didnt register in my mind as important. The thought did not consciously cross my mind: Look, that girl is black. I didnt have a single thought one way or the other because she happened to be black.

Unfortunately, since Ive known her, that has changed. I now often find myself categorizing people as black, Hispanic, homosexual, Goth, jock, etc. I try not to let it influence how I interact with them, but I think Ive learned to do it sort of as a self-defense mechanism. I have to be aware of these things because at any moment something I say might offend someone. I may get a label like racist or homophobe attached to my name, and my worth as a person may be called into question by someone else because of it.

Im afraid the truth is that the white, heterosexual majority arent the only ones who tack on labels. The truth is, no one is really normal. Everyone labels in their own way, and it is the nature of human beings to attack those who are different from them. We all propagate this destructive trend by separating ourselves into categories. I get really tired of hearing about the black community, or the LGBT community. Those are separations, and they are symbolic. Rather than being simply part of a grander, kinder human community, you belong to something from which I am divided. With every layer of separation you add to yourself, you are also labeling and separating me from you. Whoever you are, whatever community you are part of, I get the funny feeling that it's not MY community. I am at once alienated and forced to see you as alien. The more levels of separation I have to sift through, the harder it gets for me to look at you without prior judgement.

I was a shy, funny-looking kid in high school. There is no place in the cliques for a girl fresh out of homeschool who still winces at the f-word. I wore glasses, I refused to wear make-up. I got really good grades, teachers loved me, and outside of the classroom I sat by myself on the end of the lunch table in the farthest corner of the room and never spoke.

You are not the only outcast in the world. You are not the only one who knows how it feels to be made fun of. You are not the only one who has ever been bullied. You are not the only one who has ever struggled with depression, self-mutilation, and suicidal thoughts. Your group is not the only one that has ever suffered persecution. There are many kinds of beatings. There are many kinds of sexual abuse. There are many kinds of persecution beyond those that scream out loudly I am here. Your suffering is not more acute because you cry out the loudest. Your plight is not worse than that of millions, and if you try to raise your particular kind of hurt above all the rest, crying, See, look what I have been through! you set yourself apart from all the people who may also need to be lifted up.

What Im saying is this: maybe we cant hear you because our ears are ringing. Maybe we are not so different as we seem. Maybe these separations we create are all just in our minds. Maybe, when all is said and done, we are all just human. Maybe if we all stop shouting about our differences, the echoes will fade, and the people we think are judging us will be able to forget about those differences too. Call yourself the name you want to be known by, and maybe others will call you the same. Who knows but when you stop trying to categorize more or lesser kinds of pain, when you stop separating yourself from the struggling masses of the human condition, you may find more acceptance in humanity than you thought.

I am not straight. I am not white. I am not conservative. I am not leftist. I am not religious. I am not feminist. I am myself, and I dont want to hear you telling me how different you are from me than you want to hear me telling you how different you are. You are no more and no less than human in my eyes, and I do my darndest to make sure that will never change. The world hands our labels to us. Dont label yourself.

Originally published at Phronemophobia.

The New Gentile
Now that the Sermon Contest at HC is over for the year, I want to post my entry. It won an honorable mention, but I wasn't able to compete for the top prize due to scheduling conflicts. Maybe next year! In the meantime, I thought some of you might be interested in reading this.

Matthew 9:35-38
Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into the harvest.

His name is Daniel Ajayi-Adeniran. He is Nigerian. Contrary to certain stereotypes that may come to mind, he is not a drug addict or dealer, a pimp, or an email scam artist trying to convince you youve won 10 million dollars in the Nigerian lottery, and all you have to do is send a $2,000 check to claim it.

Neither is he a poor African refugee waiting for an American missionary to bring him a water bottle and a Swahili Bible (the official language of Nigeria is English). Daniel is a missionary. He is one of thousands of African Christians who are leaving Africa, coming to minister to the country that brought them their faith: ours. Daniel is one of many pastors from the Redeemed Christian Church of God. They are planting new Pentecostal churches all across the United States.

What is that all about? There are plenty of Christians in the U.S., roughly 76% of Americans, according to the American Religious Identification Survey in 2008. Which doesnt explain why our country is at war, diving into debt, and why crime rates, divorce rates, depression, drug abuse, abortion, alcoholism, child abuse, and more, are rising. If 76% of us believe in God, you would think our culture would be a little more compassionate, our TV shows would be a little less obscene, and our families would be a little more stable. Right?

The church in Africa is on fire, while the church in America is, for the most part, losing its zeal, says Ivey Williams, another Redeemed Christian pastor who planted a church in Florida. A New York Times article about Daniel Ajayi-Adeniran says Christianity is erupting in the global south, what we would call the Third World: Africa, South America, and Asia. Meanwhile it is dwindling quickly in Europe, and more gradually in the United States, particularly among the younger generation.

When I first read the verse for this Sermon Contest, I dismissed it as a boring subject. Ive heard it before. God wants to send out his workers, Christians, to preach the Gospel to all the world. Of course he does, but I dont want to go to Africa, so hes just going to have to make a Plan B for me. Yes, I believe in God. Yes, I want the peace and prosperity that having him in my life is supposed to bring. But I never wanted to be a missionary.

Then I thought that maybe a lot of Christians think like me. We want Gods blessings, but we dont want to change our lifestyles. We want Gods blessing so long as we can do whatever we want, watch whatever we want, listen to whatever music we want, say whatever we want, et cetera.

Back to what Jesus said. The text says, When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless. Think about all the people you come in contact with in an average day. Friends. Co-workers. Your boyfriend or girlfriend. The dork above you who plays Rock music full-blast at 3:00am. The cashier lady at Runza. Do some of them seem harassed? Do they seem helpless?

If you look around, you will see many people who need God, or need him more abundantly. Thats what I think God meant by the harvest is plentifulthere is lots of work to do, but with few people willing to step out of their comfort zone to help, the harvest is moldering in the field. That may be why men and women feel called to leave Africa and become missionaries to us. There is work to be done wherever Christians are. There are people you and I can minister to all around us. The people you meet on the sidewalk every day may feel harassed and helpless, cut off from God. They need Gods workers, Gods living, breathing presence on earth, to have compassion on them. We are surrounded by people who need to see God. The thing I worry about is whether or not they will see God in me. Am I going to be a worker, someone whose life shows God transparently, or am I going to be someone who reads Matthew 9:35-38 and doesnt think its speaking to me?

Ive never brought in a grain harvest, but Ive heard its hard work, really hard. But God not only calls us to believe in him. He calls us to be his workers, his living presence on earth, the mouthpiece of his Spirit. He longs to send out workers, but they will have to get dirty, break a sweat, and it may not be much fun. We may have to change ourselves, believing that what God will make us better in the end, and that there are people around us who desperately need our compassion.

There is no need to leave for Africa. The call to missions is your call. The country is your country. The place is your place. The people are your friends, roommates, family, co-workers. As for me, I cant help but think of that old hymn we used to sing in Sunday school:

Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.

Originally published at Phronemophobia.

21 Birthday Pearls of Wisdom
Today is my 21st birthday. I am now a legal adult in every way. I can vote, drink, get my grown-up drivers license, and next year I will finally get out of school. And while I dont expect many people to take advice from a 21-year-old, this occasion is momentous enough that I feel I should come up with something to say. So here you go, 21 truths to live by that I have garnered in my short life. Even if you dont take them to heart, I hope theyre at least entertaining.

1. Bumper-stickers are forever.
2. Anyone can complain. It takes understanding to persuade, and not just understanding of the beliefs you defend. You must also understand your opponent.
3. You cant solve anything by arguing. You will never be able to argue anyone into believing they are wrong. You can merely present what you believe and let it ride.
4. If you know what you believe is the truth, you should feel no need to belittle anyone else for believing differently. Anger cannot come from a wholesome desire that everyone should believe rightly. It comes from inner instability.
5. Dont let doing something hard stand in the way of what you want. Something worthwhile is always a challenge; it takes work to get anything worthwhile. Complacency, not challenge, is what kills.
6. Ill tell you a secret: normal is a figment of our societys collective imagination. No one is normal. Were all just acting.
7. Someone will always be better than you at everything, but you will always be better than almost everyone at something.
8. No ones as bad as they seem, or as good as they think they are (Gypsy Rizka, Lloyd Alexander). Conversely, no one is as good as they seem, nor as bad as they might think they are.
9. Judge Judy says, If you tell the truth, you dont have to have a good memory. So dont lie, because youre a grown-up now, and your memory can only go downhill from here.
10. You have the potential to do great good. You also have the potential to do evil in equal measure.
11. In life, you will be wrong. You will be wrong often and with regularity. The sooner you get used to it, the less it will happen.
12. You always know when youre doing something wrong or stupid. The hard part is doing the right thing instead.
13. Fight the urge to blame other people. As my pastor says, even if youre only 10% of the problem, youre still wrong. Take care of your 10% first.
14. You cant change another person by fighting, arguing, or being angry. You can only change yourself.
15. In life, you will meet people who are out to get you. But just because someone throws down a gauntlet doesnt mean you have to rise to the bait. There is no shame in walking away quietly from a conflict.
16. Forgiveness is not about what someone has done to you. Its a measure of what you are still letting them to do to you.
17. Anger is a choice. No one can make you angry unless you let them.
18. Who you are when no one can see you is who you actually are. Your public face does not change your private self. Who you are in private will bleed through one day. Make sure thats a good day for you.
19. Fairy tales are as real as you believe they are.
20. Love is worth waiting for. If you end up waiting a lifetime for it, its better than making a lifetime of regrets.
21. Love is the beginning and end of all meaning (Abarat, Clive Barker). God is love. God is the beginning and the end of all meaning.

I give the world best wishes on my birthday.


Originally published at Phronemophobia.

Day of Silence
The following may offend you. Fair warning.

Tomorrow Hastings College is celebrating the annual Day of Silence to support LGBT. Rather than writing some well-meaning fluff about what a great event it is and why we should support those who have no voice in our society, I'm going to take the opposite tack. I think a Day of Silence for LGBT is a great idea, because I can't seem to get them to stop talking to me. It seems like every other day I get a ribbon shoved at me and a speech about how much straight people hate gay people. I've been researching all day for an essay about safe and unsafe sexual practices, and believe me, gay and lesbians are getting plenty of representation.

I believe gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals are people, and God loves them. I care for and accept them and support their rights--as people. That doesn't mean I want to hear about their alternative sexual practices, their justifications for their lifestyles, and why I should accept those lifestyles as equal to my own. I want to tell you, I have heard you. I respect your right to speak. I don't agree with you, but you have been heard, and I will not infringe on your rights unless you infringe on mine. From me, at least, LGBT individuals have gotten the hearing they have demanded. Lack of vocalization is not the issue. Lack of agreement? Maybe, but that isn't something you can change by a getting the last word.

Perhaps silence is the way to go, then. I know the goal of the Day of Silence is to make people more aware of those in that group who feel abused, discriminated against, and unable to speak out. Still, when I get so many ribbons shoved at me, its refreshing to see people quietly and peacefully asserting their rights. I want to thank everyone who participates tomorrow for being silent. It's a welcome respite from the arguing.

As for me, I'd like to start an annual Healthy, Monogamous Heterosexual Couples Awareness Day. I don't seem to hear much about that kind of thing anymore. But if we monogamous heterosexual people were silent for a day, I don't think anyone would notice.

Originally published at Phronemophobia.

National Anthem
Whether you're progressive or conservative, it's clear we live in troubling times. In the past few months many politicians across the board have acted foolishly. It has left me very disappointed with our government and our country as a whole. I happened across the "Star-Spangled Banner" the other day, and rather than filling me with pride, it depressed me. I see little of the spirit of freedom and bravery in the state-by-state bribery, closed-door talks, and under-the-table scheming that have been used as simple means to an end by both sides in recent issues. For me, freedom and bravery in America have become just empty words.

But then I realized our National Anthem has more verses than we sing. I've only ever heard the first verse sung, but there is more. The rest of the song is a challenge to the spirit of our country, a spirit it says will endure forever even if it seems dead. The message that America can overcome the odds, put down any enemy, and survive, is one I think we need to hear again. America is not its politics. America is an idea. It is justice, equality, and freedom, and those are things we must not sacrifice to partisanship and ideology. I have copied the REST of the "Star-Spangled Banner" below. I hope it encourages you as it did me. copy

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?

Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream:
Tis the star-spangled banner: O, long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause. it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust"
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Originally published at Phronemophobia.

Show me a man who knew everything...and I'll show you Alcuin of York
My Medieval Europe class discussed Alcuin of York today. Alcuin was head librarian in the monastery at York circa 800. He was hired by Charlemagne (ruled 768-814) to create a standard of education for all monks in the Frankish empire. He promoted literacy among the clergy across western Europe, and created Carolingian Miniscule, a standard of handwriting that forms the base of our alphabet letters today.

Not too interesting, I know, but among what remains of Alcuins writings there is a dialogue between Alcuin and Pepin, Charlemagnes son. Alcuin used word-sparring like this to teach the prince logic and rhetoric. I think this is the origin of Show meand Ill show you Their definitions about the world are fascinating, proof that good things did come out of the Dark Ages. Here are some excerpts from the dialogue for your enjoyment.

Pepin: What is a letter?
Alcuin: The guardian of history.
Pepin: What is a word?
Alcuin: The betrayer of the mind
Pepin: What is life?
Alcuin: The joy of the blessed, the sorrow of the wretched, the expectation of death
Pepin: What is freedom for a man?
Alcuin: Innocence
Pepin: What is the belly?
Alcuin: The guardian of the weak
Pepin: What is the sea?
Alcuin: The way of the bold
Pepin: What is snow?
Alcuin: Dry water
Pepin: Master, I fear to go higher.
Alcuin: What led you this high?
Pepin: Curiosity

Pepin: What is it that makes bitter things taste better?
Alcuin: Hunger.
Pepin: What is it that people never grow tired of?
Alcuin: Money.
Pepin: What is sleep for those who are wide awake?
Alcuin: A hope.
Pepin: What is hope?
Alcuin: A cooling off after work, uncertain success.
Pepin: What is friendship?
Alcuin: A similarity of minds.
Pepin: What is faith?
Alcuin: Certainty in what is unknown and wonderful.
Pepin: What is a wonder?
Alcuin: I recently saw a person standing, working, and walking, who never was.
Pepin: How can it be? Explain.
Alcuin: A reflection on the water

Alcuin: What is that which is and is not?
Pepin: Nothing.
Alcuin: How can it both be and not be?
Pepin: It exists in name, but not in fact.
Alcuin: What is a quiet messenger?
Pepin: The one I hold in my hand.
Alcuin: What do you hold in your hand?
Pepin: Your letter, master.
Alcuin: Read it with profit, my boy.

Copied in Carolingian Civilization: A Reader. Ed. Paul Edward Dutton. 1996. Letters of Alcuin, pg. 123-128.

Originally published at Phronemophobia.


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