Growing up on a farm taught me a reverence for all forms of life. We were a large and poor farm family, so that meant that we had to kill and eat our animal friends. When you do that you are aware of the sacrifice that someone is making so that you may live. My mother always made sure we were thankful for those precious gifts.
As always, many of our troops are far from home this [Christmas] time of year, and their families are serving and sacrificing right along with them. Their courage and dedication allow the rest of us to enjoy this season. That's why we've tried to serve them as well as they've served this country.
Using the language of heroism, calling Daniel Ellsberg a hero, and calling the other people who made great sacrifices heroes - even though what they have done is heroic - is to distinguish them from the civic duty they performed, and excuses the rest of us from the same civic duty to speak out when we see something wrong, when we witness our government engaging in serious crimes, abusing power, engaging in massive historic violations of the Constitution of the United States. We have to speak out or we are party to that bad action.
It's really a trade-off: you're always having to decide whether you're going to say the more ambitious thing, and lose a little clarity - or are you going to say something really clearly, and sacrifice a little nuance? Get too obscure, and you sound like a pretentious asshole; go overboard with the clarity, and you sound like you're talking down to your audience, or like you yourself are a reductive simpleton.
Imagine that you had discovered gold or oil on a certain property, and no one else knew about it. Can you see yourself being sad and feeling deprived for having to gather all your resources and sacrifice them in order to buy that property? Hardly. Now you know what it is like to deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Jesus.
It's odd how a person always arouses admiration for his moral qualities among the relatives of another with whom he has sexual relations. Physical love, so unjustifiably decried, makes everyone show, down to the least detail, all he has of goodness and self-sacrifice, so that he shines even in the eyes of those nearest to him.
Highly unequal societies are morally defective because they get to be that way through the exploitation by the clever and well-positioned ones of the vulnerabilities and weaknesses of others. The well-off then use their acquired political power to refuse to make sacrifices for others. This system brings us a wonderful range of products and experiences for consumers at the top of the privilege scale, but it also degrades and benumbs the workers at the lower end, as Adam Smith and Marx both said.
Here was the rub: one must be more zealous to please God than to avoid sin. One must sacrifice oneself utterly to God's purposes, even to the point of possibly making moral mistakes. One's obedience to God must be forward-oriented and zealous and free, and to be a mere moralist or pietist would make such a life impossible.
I love seeing my characters big up there and I would have liked to have reached a different public in movies from my television public. There's still a part of me that wishes that my character range could be seen on the big screen. Rather, as Rod Steiger was, because he was a big influence on me - about becoming other people and not worrying about your own glory or self esteem but sacrificing yourself to become somebody else.