Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Not the ex-congressman. I'm talking about being just done with my Juris Doctorate!

The ceremony was memorable; I got to wear an overpriced maroon moo-moo. Governor Napolitano, giver of the commencement address, told us how her law school graduation got rained on causing the graduates' purple gowns to bleed. In good lawyer fashion, the violet-tinged graduates filed a class action lawsuit against the manufacturer and won. My ceremony was not that colorful. Instead, we were lectured on the morality of "diversity" by a fellow graduate.

Still, I was able to visit with many of my law school compadres, and hear a heart-warming speech by my friend Rusty. Plus, every time a speaker mentioned the great sacrifices made by the loved ones who survived us through law school, I was able to applaud my parents and sisters--a pitiful show of gratitude for their endless patience, encouragement sessions, and warm, free meals. Special thanks to my sister Evie: roommate and carpool buddy, who dropped me off right in front of the law school each morning of my 1L year so I could protect my high heel-clad feet.

After the ceremony, many photos were taken (not pictured but in attendance was my brother-in-law, Rich). Then we returned to my parent's home where Aunt Vickie and Uncle David joined us for a victory dinner and rousing game of hearts. I lost, the lesson being that a J.D. doesn't change everything.

Bye Bye Brooklyn!

Dragging overstuffed bags, we departed Brooklyn two weeks ago. We left behind our neighborhood of brownstones and cramped grocery stores, and our apartment—the treasured space of our new marriage.

We also left behind many wonderful friends. Shortly before we left, the women of our church, led by Kathy and Lulu, threw a post-wedding shower jointly for me and Kim, who was married to one of Keith’s groomsmen a week after our wedding.

The spread of food was a feast of delicacies, and the gifts were a panoply of kitchen gizmos (including green things!). But the food and gifts paled in comparison to the depth of wisdom offered by the women, who represent the many stages of married life.

The Ladies of City Church

We were also blessed when Claudio and Lulu, Kathy and Jeff, and Paul organized a small farewell gathering for Paul (who was leaving for adventures in Europe) and us. After filling ourselves with Lulu’s guacamole and Kathy’s enchiladas, we played tennis and bowled on a Wii console, a video game for the non-skilled with sometimes-painful results. As you can see, the men’s tennis match stayed relatively calm.

We miss Brooklyn. Happily, we will be back in the fall.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The Philadelphia Society

Mrs. Miller and I went to the national meeting of the Philadelphia Society (the grown up version of ISI) last week.

The theme of the conference was The Future of Conservatism, but an unofficial theme emerged: ripping on Evangelicals. Adrian Wooldridge (who with John Micklethwaite wrote The Right Nation, summed up here, which understood Conservatism very well, but warned of the GOP becoming too “Southern”), pinned the blame for all the GOP’s troubles squarely on the backs of religious conservatives. Ryan Sager, called for a “new fusionism” which would mean libertarians getting their policy preferences promoted and religious conservative shutting up.

There was an interesting debate over Evolution and its usefulness for conservatives. Larry Arnhart and John West starred on a panel similar to the one at AEI the next week (sans Gilder and Derb).

Saw D.G. Hart speak on the future of Evangelical (EV) politics. He believes that the triumvurate of Wallis-Sider-Warren are replacing Dobson-Falwell-Robertson as the voice of Evangelicals.

This is convenient for Hart because he triangulates himself away from the Evangelical label. Speaking to Evangelicals from the outside (in a book review in Touchstone Magazine), he says EVs should stop “bludgeoning” non-believers with proof texts. He asks if Evs are “people of the book because they have little sense of the legitimate authority that resides outside the divinely sanctioned truths of Scripture.” His calls on EVs to stop being “political junkies” and to recognize with Augustinian “two cities,” Lutheran “two kingdoms,” or Reformed “spirituality of the church” that they should recognize:

that religion and politics operate in two different spheres of human existence, the former eternal, the latter temporal, and so have two different norms, with Scripture governing the spiritual (at least for Protestants) and general revelation guiding the political.

In saying the Bible doesn’t speak to the temporal sphere, he is directly contravening the fundamental tenant of my political worldview.

Hart, who was raised in a fundamentalist Christian home by parents who attended Bob Jones University, is intellectually embarrassed by Evangelicals and defines himself in his opposition to them. In his scholarship, he divides American Protestantism into three camps: the liberal mainline, the Evangelicals, and the confessing Churches (Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, anti-Episcopal Anglicans, Orthodox Presbyterians, and others) of which he falls in the last group.

On one hand, I think this three group classification is helpful–”higher” churches who adhere to the fundamentals of the faith have always worn the title “Evangelical” slightly awkwardly–but I worry about the apparent motives at work. Hart says that confessing Churches (CCs) are already bifurcating their realities like he wishes EVs would do. Basically, this is the conceit of academics: worship at a CC church, play the intellectual game and don’t worry about making your worldview holistic by splitting the world into the temporal and the eternal. I recognize that this strategy will earn you more respect in the academy, but even if aren’t you being “ashamed of the Gospel,” you're being ashamed of many of its adherents.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Finals and Food

Today Mr. Miller takes his last final and I polish and send in my research papers. Summer is so close! In spite of our intense work over the past weeks, I still experimented in my kitchen because I find cooking to be a pleasant distraction for the overworked brain. Plus Mr. Miller is such a receptive audience. Two examples of my work product:

Sour Cream Apple Pie

A London Broil

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Bethany Likes Baseball

It's true. It happened last night at Yankee Stadium.

Here's the story. Consistent with his nature, Mr. Miller was very honest about his passion for the Seattle Mariners early in our relationship. Within a month of meeting me, he sent me an e-mail commenting on Arizona's weather, explaining, "It may surprise you that I am abreast of Arizona weather. That is because my Seattle Mariners are playing their Spring Training games in Peoria, AZ." (emphasis added). Noting his use of the possessive, I (hitherto a sports ignoramus) promptly added the Mariners' homepage to my list of favorites and checked it regularly.

That summer, while pursuing me in Arizona, Mr. Miller tutored me in baseball. Together, we attended a number of games at Chase Field, including a game pitting the Diamondbacks against the Mariners. Between my questions and Mr. Miller's patient answers, I learned a little bit about baseball.

To be honest, however, I was worried because I still did not enjoy baseball. When I say "enjoy," I mean liking it as much as shopping, movies, or plays. But then, the season ended and we began focusing on other important things like planning a wedding, classes, and . . . football.

Spring training came, and except for catching a Mariners' game with our wedding party the day before the ceremony, all was quiet on the baseball front. Then the season started. Mr. Miller subscribed to online baseball radio and we began listening to every game. Through aural osmosis, watching his excitement over players and his fantasy team, and reading Mariners-themed blogs with him, I came to have some affection for the Mariners' starters, and, especially, King Felix.

But mild affection became love last night. After Mr. Miller turned in his third (of four) finals, he whisked me away for a special evening he had planned. First, we retraced the walk he used to make from Columbia Law School to Harlem, which begins by walking down a flight of very steep steps along a wall separating Columbia/Manhattan from Harlem.
On the Brink of Harlem
Next, we visited his old apartment in Harlem. It wasn't too scary by daylight, but I was glad to see that he had traded his old apartment with this view:

for our new apartment with this view:

Afterwards, we walked around the corner to have burgers and trans-fat enriched fries at Mama's Fried Chicken, where my husband and his former-roommate and brother, Paul, would eat "only 3-4 times a week," according to Mr. Miller.

Munching on fries, we walked across the Harlem River . . .

and saw this:

Together we entered the stadium. Together we formed the Mariners' Fan Club of Yankee Stadium. We were good because they won!

Almost as important as that victory was the fact that I watched the entire game, agonizing when we were down, wringing my husband's arm during the tense comeback, and even expressing annoyance with the umpires at times. What a miracle! And, I suspect this baseball-thing will only get better from here. I'll let you know after Monday's game.

PS - My husband concluded the night by surprising me with a midnight trip to the Fifth Avenue Apple store where he bought me this.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Wedding Photos 4

The professional photos are finally here! You can view them online.

Go to: www.chrisloomisweddings.tcpic.com

1.) then "view your photos"

2.) then "Bethany and Keith"