Who Am I? What Am I Doing Here?

Monday, October 6, 2008 \PM\.\Mon\.

Well, I’m not the VP running-mate of Perot (whatshisname), but I do feel just as out of place.  I’m not an accomplished blogger or an expert in any field related to politics or religion. I’m a simple layman in the Catholic Church.  I would like to think I’m faithful, but I know I’m in the greatest need of being converted.

So, what the heck am I doing here on this new blog? It’s simple.  As I was standing by the roadside yesterday, holding a sign which read “Abortion Kills Children”, I was once again deeply aware of the importance of this year’s election for President.

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Life and Liberty

Monday, October 6, 2008 \PM\.\Mon\.
A State owned church in France

A State owned church in France

Liberte, Egalite, Fraternitie. Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Often when we look upon these mottos of two of the three great revolutions, the French and the American (the third of course being the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia), we often feel they are comparable and born of the same mother, the so-called Enlightenment. We certainly have been taught this in school, and it is true to an extent. The desire for man to be free is inherent in us. But how and by what means we attain that freedom is often the deciding factor in whether we really become free, or exchange one slave master for another. That is where the mottos of these revolutions show us why one failed, and descended into unspeakable horror and bloodshed, and the other, with all its imperfections, succeeded and became the greatest democracy in world history.

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Overpopulation Note

Monday, October 6, 2008 \PM\.\Mon\.

This may come across as a bit random but I do think it’s appropriate to share the following considering all the “overpopulation” scare in many places, especially in college classrooms.

A lot of people want to paint the picture that 6 billion people on earth is overpopulation…

The world being overpopulated could not be further from the truth. That is absurdity.

We could actually put all the people in the world in Texas and still have more space to move around than there is right now in Brooklyn, NY. Yes, it would be crowded but still livable.

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Pithy Thoughts on Prudence

Monday, October 6, 2008 \AM\.\Mon\.

I used to dream about the great things I would set up someday when I had the money. I had ambitions of expanding Casper College into Wyoming’s second university. I had aspirations of setting up a scholarship fund that would help worthy students attending college. I built businesses in my mind, crafted scenarios where, once I had the money, I could start doing things that would make a difference.

To an extent, those dreams remain, even though reality is slowly draining my hopes that I’ll ever have millions of dollars lying around to fund these projects. Still, in my spare time, I think of smaller ways to make a mark on the world. I think of soup kitchens or adopt a family or something that would help some poor family get back on their feet, or at least endure another day.

It doesn’t take a Catholic conscience to want to help those less fortunate, and it doesn’t take supernatural charity to want to give a hand up to those coming after us. That much decency, I believe, exists in most, if not all of us.

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Catholics and the Intentional State

Monday, October 6, 2008 \AM\.\Mon\.

It is election season in the United States, and so there is even more than the usual amount of fuss in Catholic intellectual circles in this country about the place of Catholics within our republic.

Can a Catholic vote for a politician who is “pro-choice”? Can a Catholic vote for a politician who supports the Iraq War? Can a Catholic support capital punishment? What is a “Catholic response” to the economy? What is a “preferential option for the poor”? Is it true that “universal health care” is a “life issue”?

Some, who claim to be more in touch with that illusive entity “the rest of the world”, inform me that it is uniquely American for people to engage in these sort of knock-down, drag-out fights about how it is that our faith tells us we must vote. This may be, though I must admit that I find it a little hard to accept, since it seems nonsensical to me to claim that people in other countries vote on the basis of something other than what they believe to be right — and that they determine what is right by some means other than consulting their moral and theological/philosophical understanding of the world.

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Reagan in a Skirt

Monday, October 6, 2008 \AM\.\Mon\.

 

Michael Reagan has written how strongly Sarah Palin reminds him of his adoptive father Ronald Reagan.  I fully concur.  Palin is a political talent of the first order.  Here is my take on her performance in her debate with the hapless Joe Biden:

1. Palin brought home the fact that she and her family lead lives much closer to the lives of middle class Americans than any of the other candidates running on the national tickets, and in a year when Congress and the President have shrinkingly small approval ratings that is important.

2. She ignored some of the questions from the moderator and talked about what she wanted to talk about. Great!!! Political debates aren’t academic exercises, they are part of a political struggle and Palin, as opposed to Biden, understood that.

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Uncle Ralph and the Rosary

Monday, October 6, 2008 \AM\.\Mon\.

I love praying the rosary.  It always has given me peace whenever I have recited it, and my family prays the Sorrowful Mysteries together each Lent.  However, the person who has the greatest devotion to the Rosary in my family is my Protestant Uncle Ralph.

When I was growing up my family lived next door to Uncle Ralph and his family.  Uncle Ralph was my favorite uncle.  He always had a sense of fun, loved to shoot the breeze with kids and did a hilarious Donald Duck imitation.  My Dad’s family were all Protestant;   my brother and I were Catholic because my Dad had married my Catholic Mom, so I was surprised one day during my teen years when Uncle Ralph pulled out his rosary and told me how he came to always carry it.

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