Monday, June 20, 2005

FDR--A Biography

In spite of the fact that I am a Republican, I have always been fascinated by FDR. The fact that he was able to get elected, and indeed re-elected more often than any other U.S. president in spite of the fact that he was unable to walk at all unassisted, says a lot about the man, as well as about the media of the time.

I am currently reading FDR--A Biography by Ted Morgan. I have read up through the chapter where he and Eleanor marry. The final paragraph in that chapter is telling, especially in light of mental illness.

To the outside world, Eleanor was a model wife and mother. Her husband, however, found her mood swings and self-laceration baffling. His mother had given him the example of a woman who did not surrender to moods or self-doubt, and whose devotion was never in question. Taught by life that nothing is certain, Eleanor picked her way through the wreckage of her sorrows.
What a well-written description of living with mental illness! It is and can be baffling, often to both parties. What has kept me ahead of the insanity monster, so to speak, is the knowledge that help is out there, even when we refuse it, and that God is there, even when we no longer feel His presence.

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Dymphna's favorite quotes

"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

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