I gave the woman a Dunkin Donuts gift card and told her to get something hot. She didn't thank me. She said, "Those mittens look warm."
As I mentioned before, I’ve been reading this strange book called The Spiritual Meadow, written by sixth-century wandering monk John Moschos. One of the last stories in the book was as relevant to my daily existence as any story I have read in a long time. I have only the vaguest idea what it means, but I do know it’s another weird monk joke. And this one was aimed directly at me. The story goes like this: In the ancient city of Antioch, the church had various kinds of social services. “A man who was a friend of Christ” used to gather supplies and give them out to people in need.
On Sunday night I went to hear Dan Savage speak about the It Gets Better Project. The last time I saw him was 2003, if memory serves, in front of a crowd of perhaps a hundred. At one point Savage took a break from promoting his new book Skipping Toward Gomorrah to refer his audience to the now-famous New Republic cover story "The Liberal Case for War" (against Iraq). It was a good talk, funny and engaging, and it made a striking contrast with his Sunday appearance.
Yes, political advocacy is more effective than Band-Aid-style charity. But are those the only options?