Ok, two fun things for today. First, a columnist from the NY Times that I wrote a letter to (different writer from the letter on Job that I put in my blog) put my letter in his blog! Very exciting. You may need a membership to www.nytimes.com to see it, but they are free to obtain. If you go to the opinion article section, and then go to the "Kristof Responds", you can see it. Here is what it shows on his website.

Ben, who identifies himself as a conservative who disagrees with me but generally enjoys my column, writes with a general comment about this blog:
I am troubled, though, by the way you manage the reader response page. Once in a while you post letters written by thoughtful conservatives who raise concerns or arguments with your positions. More often, you post rants written by extremists. I certainly apologize for how frustrating it must be to deal with these nut jobs, but I don't think you advance intelligent debate and discussion by posting them on your site to show how stupid they are and then dismissing them with a clever comment... The conservative movement has its fair share of wild ones, but these aren't the driving force behind the average conservative's worldview any more than insane members of the left are of yours. Were you to use your reader response page for intelligent debate, I imagine you would obtain far more credibility with the many thoughtful and open-minded members of the conservative right.

Actually, Ben, I am on the lookout for intelligent, thoughtful responses, and I try to post them. The problem is that those whacko emails I post — those really are representative. Now, it is true that I tend to focus on the blog on criticisms rather than praise. The email coming in tends to be of two types: “You’re a hero” and “You’re an idiot.” I don’t tend to share the compliments, both because it would be immodest and because they would be of little interest to anyone but my mother. I also think that one of the press’s problems is a perception that we’re arrogant and unresponsive and aloof, and I think one way to counter that is to engage critical readers. So I look for tough criticisms but also intelligent, well-informed ones. The reality is that a large number of emails coming in, from both left and right, are not noted for their thoughtfulness, coherency or printability. Frequently they advise me to perform impossible acts.

Also, today I wrote a "test" for Beth Martin's fiance... and yes, I sent it to him! I'm excited for them, I think he sounds like a terrific guy and a strong Christain. Still, I felt it was necessary to tease him a bit, so I sent this letter.

Dear Sir,
It has come to our attention that you intend upon marrying one of the noblest and most upright women God has seen fit to place upon this earth. This is an area of severe concern for us, as perfection can easily be ruined by… well, by your average guy.
Therefore, we require you to pass, with flying colors and impeccable credentials, the following exam. Some questions will seem straightforward and serious to you. Rest assured; they are. Some questions will seem goofy and/or humorous. They are not. This is a reflection of the fact that you are still quite young, and it would be in your best interests to take them seriously. If at any time you feel the questions are unfair, it would be best not to let us know, as it is grounds for initiating KHF (Kill Her Fiancé) operations. KHF operation commencement is our prerogative, to be initiated at any time for any reason we feel is pertinent. We suggest you tread lightly.

1) State your name, your testimony, and your reason for desiring marriage.

2) Please proceed to http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes1.htm and take the test you find there. Report the four-letter result.

3) List your three main reasons for wanting to marry Beth.

4) List three reasons she should even consider marrying you.

5) List three important people you identify with and why. These should be people famous enough that their biographies can be found on the Internet.

6) List three influential people in your life, including how they influenced you.

7) List your three most preferred methods of death should you answer a question wrongly.

8) Please discuss what your response will be the first time "Uncle Dan" talks your children into streaking through the streets of Little Lake, Michigan without clothing.

9) Please list three things you will do within one year of marriage to honor Beth’s mother. (Hint: At least one of these should be nomination for sainthood. Just a suggestion)

10) Name all the sports that are more fun, challenging, and competitive than Ultimate Frisbee. (if you desire to live, this list should be VERY short)

11) If your life's work could be anything you want, what would it be?

12) How long are you planning on being married? Circle one.
"Permanently" "Forever" "Till death do us part" "None of the above…Initiate KHF Operations!"

13) Explain your views on men and women’s roles in the church.

14) List three or more favorite books.

15) List three or more favorite authors.

16) Give your favorite passage of Scripture with brief explanation.

17) What is the best kind of sermon?

18) How many children do you want in your family?

19) Briefly explain your major, why it interests you, and what you hope to use it for.

20) True or True (circle one). Monty Python: Search for the Holy Grail is a work of great genius.

21) Explain your views on predestination.

22) When finished, return the completed exam to bbartlett@mha.org Read Proverbs 31, Isaiah 58, and Ephesians 1:15-23. Close the Bible, thank God for your good fortune, and have a wonderful day!

p.s. KHF operatives work closely with KHH (Kill Her Husband) operatives, so please proceed with caution for at least the next 70-80 years.

Heh, actually this is a sorta cool quiz for ANYONE to take... if you want to, feel free to take it yourself (if a question doesn't pertain to you, ignore it) and send me the results! bbartlett@mha.org

Have a great day!

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