Compare 10/012013

Tom's picture

It's impossible to be loyal to your family, your friends, your country, and your principles, all at the same time.
  --Mignon McLaughlin, journalist and author (1913-1983)

(127:2.1) At about this time there was considerable agitation, especially at Jerusalem and in Judea, in favor of rebellion against the payment of taxes to Rome. There was coming into existence a strong nationalist party, presently to be called the Zealots. The Zealots, unlike the Pharisees, were not willing to await the coming of the Messiah. They proposed to bring things to a head through political revolt.
    A group of organizers from Jerusalem arrived in Galilee and were making good headway until they reached Nazareth. When they came to see Jesus, he listened carefully to them and asked many questions but refused to join the party. He declined fully to disclose his reasons for not enlisting, and his refusal had the effect of keeping out many of his youthful fellows in Nazareth.
    Mary did her best to induce him to enlist, but she could not budge him. She went so far as to intimate that his refusal to espouse the nationalist cause at her behest was insubordination, a violation of his pledge made upon their return from Jerusalem that he would be subject to his parents; but in answer to this insinuation he only laid a kindly hand on her shoulder and, looking into her face, said: "My mother, how could you?" And Mary withdrew her statement.
    One of Jesus' uncles (Mary's brother Simon) had already joined this group, subsequently becoming an officer in the Galilean division. And for several years there was something of an estrangement between Jesus and his uncle.
    But trouble began to brew in Nazareth. Jesus' attitude in these matters had resulted in creating a division among the Jewish youths of the city. About half had joined the nationalist organization, and the other half began the formation of an opposing group of more moderate patriots, expecting Jesus to assume the leadership. They were amazed when he refused the honor offered him, pleading as an excuse his heavy family responsibilities, which they all allowed. But the situation was still further complicated when, presently, a wealthy Jew, Isaac, a moneylender to the gentiles, came forward agreeing to support Jesus' family if he would lay down his tools and assume leadership of these Nazareth patriots.
    Jesus, then scarcely seventeen years of age, was confronted with one of the most delicate and difficult situations of his early life. Patriotic issues, especially when complicated by tax-gathering foreign oppressors, are always difficult for spiritual leaders to relate themselves to, and it was doubly so in this case since the Jewish religion was involved in all this agitation against Rome.
    Jesus' position was made more difficult because his mother and uncle, and even his younger brother James, all urged him to join the nationalist cause. All the better Jews of Nazareth had enlisted, and those young men who had not joined the movement would all enlist the moment Jesus changed his mind. He had but one wise counselor in all Nazareth, his old teacher, the chazan, who counseled him about his reply to the citizens' committee of Nazareth when they came to ask for his answer to the public appeal which had been made. In all Jesus' young life this was the very first time he had consciously resorted to public strategy. Theretofore, always had he depended upon a frank statement of truth to clarify the situation, but now he could not declare the full truth. He could not intimate that he was more than a man; he could not disclose his idea of the mission which awaited his attainment of a riper manhood. Despite these limitations his religious fealty and national loyalty were directly challenged. His family was in a turmoil, his youthful friends in division, and the entire Jewish contingent of the town in a hubbub. And to think that he was to blame for it all! And how innocent he had been of all intention to make trouble of any kind, much less a disturbance of this sort.

Mignon McLaughlin (June 6, 1913 – December 20, 1983) was an American journalist and author. She wrote two volumes entitled Neurotic's Notebook. She is known for a number of quotes, among them:
    "A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person."
    "Anything you lose automatically doubles in value."
    "Every society honors its live conformists and its dead troublemakers."
Mignon McLaughlin was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and grew up in New York City, where her mother, Joyce Neuhaus, was a prominent lawyer. She graduated from Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts, in 1933 and returned to New York, where she embarked on a career as a journalist and a writer of short stories for Redbook, Cosmopolitan, and other women's magazines.
She worked for Vogue magazine in the 1940s, and was Copy Editor and Managing Editor of Glamour magazine in the 1960s and early 1970s. She retired to Florida in 1973. She died in Coral Gables, Florida on December 20, 1983.
    With her husband Robert McLaughlin—an editor at TIME Magazine—she wrote the play Gayden, which had a limited run on Broadway during the 1949 season.