From “The Secret Auden,” by Edward Mendelson:

At times, [Auden] went out of his way to seem selfish while doing something selfless. When NBC Television was producing a broadcast of The Magic Flute for which Auden, together with Chester Kallman, had translated the libretto, he stormed into the producer’s office demanding to be paid immediately, instead of on the date specified in his contract. He waited there, making himself unpleasant, until a check finally arrived. A few weeks later, when the canceled check came back to NBC, someone noticed that he had endorsed it, “Pay to the order of Dorothy Day.”

From Sam Wells, “Wholly Holy: What Does the Identity of Being LGBT Add to the Identity of Being Christian?”:

LGBT persons by their very nature break the assumption that human existence is indelibly tied to reproduction. Having children is a longing for many people, a foiled or delayed hope for some, a joy to others, and a grief to yet more. But it’s not a necessity, for either biological or missiological reasons. Instead it’s a vocation, for some to carry and all to support. Some LGBT persons themselves sense a call to carry this vocation. But for the most part, LGBT persons are a witness that God reproduces the church by baptism and the kingdom by grace, and this is a proclamation of inestimable significance for Christian witness in the world.

What needs to happen now is repentance for the church’s ignorance and cruelty, a renewal of the church’s mission, and a reappraisal of the resources at the church’s disposal. And to lead the church as it discovers what it means to be a minority, to be misunderstood, mistrusted, and seen with contempt, who better to be its leaders and teachers than those who have been in that place all along. I wonder who those people might be.

And for something completely different, from “The Mammoth Cometh,” by Nathaniel Rich:

The earth is about to become a lot less “natural.” Biologists have already created new forms of bacteria in the lab, modified the genetic code of countless living species and cloned dogs, cats, wolves and water buffalo, but the engineering of novel vertebrates — of breathing, flying, defecating pigeons — will represent a milestone for synthetic biology. This is the fact that will overwhelm all arguments against de-extinction. Thanks, perhaps, to “Jurassic Park,” popular sentiment already is behind it.