January 20, 2013
MarkBernstein.org
 
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After Aaron

Quinn Norton’s eulogy.

This is the written version of my eulogy for Aaron. I would like to not write any more eulogies for a while.

A brave speech. "He was scared and self conscious, funny, greedy, and petty, loving, curious, hopeful, and strange. He was irreducible, difficult."

Also, a blast from a voice I haven’t heard in too long. AKMA writes:

I wonder why I haven’t heard any theological, ecclesiastical, synagogal leaders speaking about Aaron’s struggle against injustice, and the overwhelming stress that seems to have eclipsed his determination.

Of course, in my circles we mostly expect to hear from theological and ecclesiastical leaders when they have an opportunity to oppose science or sex, or maybe to support a Republican war. To say this is to be tough on AKMA and Ayjay, I guess, and on one or two of my friends who would like to believe. And it’s reading the Friends and the Unitarians out of meeting, though I’d argue that train has already left the station. (Notice that the NRA expected everyone to believe that Sidwell Friends School employs armed guards, and until yesterday everyone pretty much did. What parts of “Friends” did people overlook?) The “unwavering, unflinching commitment to encourage practices of critical deliberation and exploratory reasoning” always seems to vanish about the time that the church can be used to elect someone who will cut taxes and support Republican values.

I hope that you too are wondering why the churches are silent. I hope that perhaps this was just a respectful interval of restraint, allowing a beautiful life of integrity and brilliance and sorrow to hold centre stage for a while — and that soon we hear the churches speaking out thunderously on behalf of the commons, of justice, of human well-being rather than corporate profits.