No small part of that was a function of time and place. I grew up in San Francisco in the seventies, the cradle of the Jesus Movement. The Bay Area was full of orphaned flower children—hippies disillusioned by the drug and free-love scene that had failed them, but still seeking the ideals of community that the sixties had promised.
Some of these seekers found faith in Jesus and infused it with their nonconformist approach to living, and soon Christian coffee houses, street evangelism, folk-inspired worship songs, and the rejection of confining church tradition all added up to a bona fide social phenomenon: the California Jesus Freak.
And I was one of them, or at least, among them.
Our little Bible church was a mix of these born-again hippies, neighborhood natives, a few church ladies, and a handful of families that, like mine, had landed in San Francisco from other parts of the country. We had moved there in , taking up residence in a roomy one-bedroom flat that a family like ours would never be able to afford today. San Francisco was as far west as a pioneering spirit could go—literally and philosophically.
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Somewhere on that journey my mother became a born-again Christian; my father did not. Whatever it was—sanctuary, exile, or a little of both—it was genuine, and the center of our lives. Our little slice of Acts 2, the home fellowship evenings, did not exclude children.
My sister and I sat cross-legged on shag carpet or reclined against beanbag chairs many an evening and listened to adult stories of drug abuse, sexual debauchery, broken families, and failed attempts at right living. Everyone had testimony—a story about how hopeless, empty, and appalling their lives were before they found God, or God found them, and lifted them out of their sin. The sharing and the testimonies and the prayers were my family stories.
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What I heard, over and over, was this: Jesus lives. Jesus saves. Jesus loves, and loves me. I heard that even the most depraved, screwed-up lives were not beyond his saving grace and love. This knowledge, those testimonies, created one of the fundamental tensions of my childhood. The possibility of his salvation, remote as it felt, hovered over every story and testimony that I heard.
Maybe next time, I would think, it will be him. An obsession with end times theology was a hallmark of the seventies Jesus Movement. Lindsey explored biblical prophesies about the end of the world and drew the conclusion that the apocalypse was mere moments away. We heard constantly in sermons, small groups, and conversation about the rapture, the anti-Christ, the mark of the beast, the tribulation, the millennium, the second coming of Jesus.
The horsemen and trumpets and Christ himself would be glorious, if I could remain faithful. If, in my own Peter-esque moments, I was strong enough to claim Christ and not deny him. When all my unbelieving friends were lining up to receive the mark of the beast, would I have the courage to say no? Only those who actually do the will of my father in heaven will enter. If the terms are in some way immoral — exploitative, say — there might be a moral case for ignoring them. But the sort of restriction you mention seems perfectly reasonable: Your letter implies that, in making the loan to you, your lender intended that the money be used to pay expenses you incur while in medical school.
Even acknowledging that promise-keeping and honesty are virtues, you could object that kindness and generosity are virtues, too.
Here you have the choice of fulfilling the second set of virtues at a — small? Whatever the right interpretation of their teachings, cases like this suggest that such tensions are, in fact, quite real. There might be an indirect way of achieving the effect you want here that is in keeping with the rules. Your parents are not currently charging you for your housing. This arrangement might, in some sense, be violating the spirit of the loan, but your moral obligation is to comply with the letter.
Kwame Anthony Appiah teaches philosophy at N.
Missing My Dad for My Sister | Hello Grief
To submit a query: Send an email to ethicist nytimes. Include a daytime phone number. Log In. T ypically experts say this means that one of them - likely to be the one who makes the least emotional demands or reflects best on them - becomes the favourite.
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They will be elevated at the expense of other children in the family, and often collude with the mother against them, in order to stay safe. T hough she is now a happily married mother herself, Emma says she is still living with the emotional aftermath. I still worry no one will like me.
F or Kate Longman, 30, from York, her mother Kay, who raised her alone, was never less than explicit about the fact she was the less favoured child in the family. Girls are so sly and manipulative.
Missing My Dad, For My Sister
When I got into trouble at school, I was the trouble-maker. Why did she do it? I think she was raised like that, as one of sevearl girls herself, and this kind of toxicity can be passed on through the generations. I never knew my father so there was no one to tell her how wrong it was.