After the jump, two maxims from Jeffrey Weiss.
The first maxim is classic Jeffrey Weiss: "Every religion is crazy, by definition, to a nonbeliever."
The maxim made Weiss a perfect choice to write about religion with an objective, even-handed approach. I see the second maxim as being a generalization of his first. It is, "All human endeavors are imperfect." Weiss was quick to assert that second maxim online. Someone would point out how such and such an effort falls short, how this or that leader has feet of clay, how some such religion or movement is fatally flawed. Weiss would remain positive, celebrating the small victories, believing, as he once tweeted, that the "US is better now than it was. Imperfect, horribly. But better with justification to push harder."That doesn’t mean a Methodist might not admire the piety of a Mormon or that a Muslim might not appreciate the morality of a Catholic. But those aspects of religion that depend on faith would be considered crazy in nearly any other context — except for those who believe them. For me, this insight helped me show respect to all faiths. It’s not that they’re all equal or that some aren’t more at odds with reality than others. But all of them are irrational at their core to everybody else.
Source: Jeffrey Weiss.
It's also what led him into thorny subjects, including one article from which that second lesson is drawn. He didn't write the article. He only shared it on Facebook. As Weiss put it in sharing the article with his own Facebook followers, "All human endeavors are imperfect. So yep, there are anti-Semitic LGBTQ activists." It's exactly the kind of topic that drew Weiss to write about, and what made his writing always fresh and challenging.
I will miss Weiss's ability to find not just the simple good versus evil stories, but strange intersections of good versus good, bad versus bad, and often human behavior that can't be easily characterized as either. I will also miss his ability to respect different opinions and practice civil dialog at all times. Here's to civilogue. Here's to Jeffrey Weiss.