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Aug 20, 2009
This week's theme
Words that exercise all your fingers

This week's words
diastrophism
micropsia
supplicatory
adiaphorism
simpatico

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

adiaphorism

PRONUNCIATION:
(ad-ee-AF-uh-riz-uhm)

MEANING:
noun: Tolerance or indifference, especially in the matters of religion.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Greek adiaphoros (indifferent), from a- (not) + diaphoros (different), from dia- (across) + -phoros (bearing). Ultimately from the Indo-European root bher- (to carry, to bear children) that gave birth to words such as basket, suffer, fertile, burden, bring, bear, offer, prefer, birth, and phosphorus (literally, bringing light).

NOTES:
Adiaphorism is the idea that things not specifically prohibited by the Scriptures may be treated with indifference (i.e. they are permissible). Also known as latitudinarianism (but not platitudinarianism).

USAGE:
"Adiaphorism is probably the fastest growing theological position in the country. A cheerful adiaphorist can take whatever pleases them from the collection of customs and rituals of Christmas without a moment's worry."
Sara Maitland; Do We Do Christmas Right?; Independent (London, UK); Dec 24, 1996.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
I used to think that people who regarded everyone benignly were a mite simple or oblivious or just plain lax -- until I tried it myself. Then I realized that they made it only look easy. Even the Berditchever Rebbe, revered as a man who could strike a rock and bring forth a stream, was continually honing his intentions. "Until I remove the thread of hatred from my heart," he said of his daily meditations, "I am, in my own eyes, as if I did not exist." -Marc Barasch, author, editor, and activist (b. 1949)

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