Thursday, February 18, 2016

Tom Sheepandgoats returns

This is me in my best harness.
My wife has her arm around me.
She is looking at me with admiration.
Who wouldn’t? As for that grinning dope
on my right, I’ve no idea who that is.
Long time no see

By Tom Sheepandgoats

Three weeks ago I received an email from the editor of Moristotle & Co.:
Hey, Tom, you still there? I’m still here. I remember you with affection and respect.
    Yes, I am still here, but not with the stamina of the editor of Moristotle & Co. Whereas Moristotle is still going strong, I wrapped my blog years ago. I loved every minute of it, but it was extremely time-consuming, and other duties and things called.
    After he and I parted (or seem to have parted) company, I referred to him once or twice, always with fondness and respect. For instance:

Oh, how I miss Moristotle! What glorious, spectacular rows we used to have! What creative posts came of it, both on his blog and mine! Moristotle was well-read. And thoughtful. And he had many interests in life. Atheist though he was, he didn’t fly the scarlet Atheist letter A on his blog, probably because he knew Nathaniel Hawthorne wouldn’t like it. These are the type of atheist you want to talk to, but alas, they don’t hang around for too long. They inevitably reflect that this life is short, that it’s all there is, that there’s many things they yet want to do in it, and do they really want to spend those brief remaining years arguing with an intransigent “theist”? So they exit the stage, and leave only the ideological cranks in their wake, snarlpits of condescension and rudeness, who positively live to argue, who imagine they have a lock on “reason,” and who are so persistently unpleasant that it’s hard to endure them for long.
    Moristotle, different in every respect, was my house atheist for a time, and he never even applied for the position; he just naturally assumed it with his trademark flair and wit. Though even he, if another Witness blogger would chime in on the discussion, would hand him his head on a platter. Alas, he has moved on. They all do. Only the snarlpits remain. –from my blog, Sheep and Goats, October 29, 2011
I hope, and am assured, that all remains well with Moristotle. Not only is he still going strong, but I see that he has greatly extended the scope, content, authors, and format of the blog Moristotle & Co.! He has taken it up many notches. Good on him!
    If curiosity piques, readers might look at Jehovah’s Witness Broadcasting. It’s new since the time of our mutual posts. Search Video on Demand / Programs and Events / Morning Worship. Moristotle probably won’t like it, but it will at least erase the stereotypical notion of the hyped-up Bible-waving fanatic. Jehovah’s Witness people are dignified and good teachers. (The experience is better on the JW Roku station, but somehow I suspect Moristotle may not have that. <smile>)

Copyright © 2016 by Tom Sheepandgoats
Tom Sheepandgoats has written of Jehovah’s Witnesses with humor and empathy. He is also interested in current events, religion generally, humor, and creative writing.


  1. Tom, I used your blog/Twitter photo, with a caption cadged from your "about," and a "blurb" also cadged from your blog/Twitter info. At some point, like to have a more recent photo of the actual you (whom you don't know who that is). The photo is marginal - in the sense of having very few pixels. I'm displaying it as "small" (rather that the usual 90% of "medium"), but even "small" is bigger than the original photo.

    1. Well....I am awfully camera shy. And I'd have to take a selfie, which I've never done before.  And assuming I could figure out how to forward it to you, (all my blogging knowledge has grown rusty) doubtless upon publication, some Russian hacker would somehow extract from it my social security number, my toothpaste preferences, and my colonoscopy photos. I tell you, the internet's a dangerous place. One can't be too careful.

    2. Tom, perhaps your paragraph is mostly humorous exaggeration...but perhaps not. Do you feel like expanding it into an article on protecting oneself - either a humorous article or a serious, or a poetically ambiguous mix of the two? An opportunity for some "creative writing"?
          And maybe learn to take a selfie and send it to me just for my private information (not for publication)?

    3. Yes and no, but no on the picture. I have some idiosyncrasies. (You've guessed that, I'm sure) This is one of them. Nothing personal, mind you. It's my hangup, not yours.

    4. Very well, Tom. With respect, I acknowledge, and accept, your "picture phobia." Thanks again for keeping in touch and allowing me to present you on Moristotle & Co. under your distinguished byline. I appreciate it!

  2. Tom, I visited the "Morning Worship" section of the Jehovah's Witness Broadcasting site and looked at the thumbnail photos of the speakers, actually expecting to come upon one of YOU. But I didn't see any named "Sheepandgoats," and I realize now (after our conversation above about your picture phobia) that you would never appear there if it involved the display of your photograph.
        But where are the women? All of the speakers appear to be men. I thought you said that "Jehovah’s Witness PEOPLE are dignified and good teachers."

    1. Nah, I'd love to be there. And I might have been, but that they wouldn't let llamas in. It didn't help when one of them dumped on the floor.

      Our women are used in responsible positions – a friend who went there to serve as an attorney comes to mind – but teaching in the congregation is not among them. It's a Biblical injunction, and we don't feel free to change it. <sigh> I suppose that means that some people would view us the Antonin Scalia "original intent" religion. Ah, be it. In view of today's evolving roles of women, perhaps an outsider such as yourself might imagine our women grumbling about "oppression." All I can say is that they don't.

      Jehovah's Witnesses don't view men and women as identical save for the sex organs. The sexes were made to complement each other. Both our men and our women have no problem with that.

    2. "Our women are used...," you (a man— er, a llama, a male llama) say. I suppose your women would say, "Our men are used...," or is that not the sort of thing that your women's roles permit, or prepare, them to say? I phrased my question "your women's roles" because, outside the Jehovah's Witnesses world where I reside, women are quite prepared to speak so of men. Can you account for the difference between "your women" and "outsider women," and for the quiescence of your women? Does some of that good teaching you referred to happen to include indoctrination of women in just the roles the men expect them to inhabit?

    3. "I suppose your women would say 'Our men are used...'" Yes. They would, if the subject came up as it has here. You seem to not be able to free yourself from the ridiculous notion that different roles mean one group is oppressing the other.

      The difference between "our women" and "outsider women"? Same as the difference between "our men" and "outsider men." Both our men and our women look to the Bible for principles to live by, feeling they far outstrip those of "the world." Outsider men and women look to different sources.

    4. Tom, thank you, thank you! Thank you for returning and engaging Moristotle again. You continue to write of Jehovah's Witnesses with humor and empathy, and we respect you for it and appreciate you. You are always welcome here among us. It feels less "outside" when you're here.

  3. Hey, Tom, the other day, when I was trying to make sure that past posts pertaining to you were appropriately labeled "Tom Sheepandgoats," I overlooked this one: "Moristotle and Sheepandgoats: A friendly set-to" (February 26, 2008). A thorny amble down memory lane.