Dance Partners

I recently overheard a conversation about the nature of heaven. What will it be like? Will there be any sadness? Will it be possible to be lonely in heaven? Is heaven a place or state of being that is free from any kind of negative experience?

This conversation led me to ask myself the question, “How would we ever know something is “good” if “evil” didn’t exist?” How do we know that darkness is dark without the experience of light? It seems to be that joy and pain aren’t adversaries. Rather, they need each other to exist. Instead of bitter enemies, maybe in reality, they’re two cosmic dance partners, dependent on each other to give life to the party.

Christians seem to generally believe that the world was “good” but then evil made its way in with the help of our little friend the snake and the curiosity of Eve. Maybe that’s true, but how does one know what is good without the experience of something less than good? How can heaven be worth experiencing if all we experience is the endless monotony of a pain-free existence? My point isn’t to presume what heaven will or won’t be like or what happens to a being when it is physically dead. I’m just wondering why it’s at all intriguing to go to a place where pain has no place to truly illuminate all that is peaceful and joyful. Endless joy and peace seems not joyful or peaceful at all. It all seems rather boring.

If I’m missing something, please enlighten me!

Gay Rights and Adoption

“Anyone who stands between a hungry kid and home with food is doing something immoral. Anyone who stands between a child who is not safe and safe home is wrong. And if you think that heterosexual parents make better adoptive homes, and want to make a big deal about it, you had better have at least one adopted, high need kid if you want me to give a hoot what you think. I realize that’s a much more visceral than rational response, and probably a little unfair. But as I’m sitting in my Moms’ living room, cooking for tomorrow, when 28 of our family – my sisters and their husbands and kids, my aunt and her adopted daughter and her elderly mother, two former foster kids and their kids, my aunt and uncle (on step-Mom’s side) and their kids are coming together, I find I simply can’t come up with anything else to say.”

– Sharon Astyk, a commenter at Rod Dreher’s blog, Crunchy Con, who was raised by two moms. Read her entire comment here.

There is a great deal of grandstanding by conservatives on issues such as gay equality and the rights of the unborn yet there are so many unwanted kids left to fend for themselves in a nation of staggering over-abundance. In the abstract, these arguments succeed at unifying the true believers but all the while the day-to-day lives of the forgotten trudge on. The reason conservatives are slowly but surely losing in these kinds of debates is evident in stories like the one above. These stories expose in plain site that the only value that keeps the conservative flame flickering is their own dogmatism, their own greedy hunger to be “right.” If their concern was for the children themselves, they’d most likely be too busy raising them to give a shit what others think.

(HT: Andrew Sullivan)