Wednesday, December 1, 2010

From The Left: Neither a Borrower ...

... nor a lender be (damned)!  Anyone with a letterbox of any sort hanging from their house has more familiarity with letters seeking to pull wads of cash from their pocket than they care to count.  I was recently on the receiving end of such a plea for, of all things, funds to finish a local house of worship.  It seems said congregation had fallen on hard times and, while committed to a substantial capital outlay, found itself unable to pay the hired contractors - who sensibly put down their tools until fully compensated.  And thus I was being asked to help with a godly bailout!  It brought to mind a reply to just such a plea from the English art critic and social theorist John Ruskin.  "I am scornfully amused at your appeal to me, of all people in the world precisely the least likely to give you a farthing!" was his answer, noting that "... of all manner of debtors pious people building churches they can't pay for are the most detestable nonsense to me."  Still not done, Ruskin continued "... and of all the sects and believers in any ruling spirit - Hindoos, Turks, Feather Idolaters, and Mumbo Jumbo, Log and Fire Worshippers - who want churches, your modern English Evangelical sect is the most absurd, and entirely objectionable and unendurable to me!"  To which I can only add "Amen."