Incoming Florida State Senate Leader Mike Haridopolos needs to step it up when it comes to explaining and educating the public on why Abortion is such a huge issue, and should be made a top priority in Florida and the rest of America.
In Florida Today Newspaper today 10-31-10, my short version explanation for why I left the Democratic Party for No Party Affiliation (NPA), is currently on view online. Please feel free to read the letter entitled “Democratic Party Has No Space For Pro-Lifer”, and add commentary if you wish. Follow this link (click on page 2): http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20101031/OPINION/101029024/1004/Your+views++Heading+into+the+homestretch+(Oct.+31)
It looks like the leadership of our Church has scored once again in providing just the right balance of truth with enough political sensitivity, in laying out the parameters for a just peace between Israelis and Palestinians. (hattip to Headline Bistro). May God bless the peacemakers, His children.
http://headlinebistro.typepad.com/ and http://www.vatican.va/news_services/press/sinodo/documents/bollettino_24_speciale-medio-oriente-2010/02_inglese/b25_02.html and http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101024/ap_on_re_eu/eu_vatican_mideast
I think that I am caught between a rock and a hard place in trying to find somewhere to rest my weary head in the combative American political landscape. There are those who believe that Government is pretty much inherently incompetent in dealing with economic interventions of any sort. There are those who see multinational corporations as ruling the world and hiding behind “free market” rhetoric, and politicians serving their interests primarily over and above the interests of the common good. There are those who see Trade Unions as parasitic entities siphoning money away from innovation and investment in more work and workers in the future. Others see Environmental groups as part of the Leftist Movement away from Christian theology and ethics. Still others see the Church as just another large Institution, trying to impose a brand of morality on all people- or speaking out on areas it has no business advising- like business-, while not doing very well at cleaning up their own messes. Read the rest of this entry »
One of the perks of having a newborn at home is that I can sometimes multitask rocking the little man and watching big boys play football on tv. On the downside- even with a DVR set up- I have to see some of the mass media advertisements.
The part of it that really stinks is how sports programming has totally sold out the young. The NCAA should ban alcohol and sexually-suggestive ads on all collegiate sporting event coverage. Sports is about play, play is about kids, but we live in a society that has most things completely backwards when it comes to moral values promotion. Sports- even collegiate sports is about MONEY- and even though many guys complain about the salaries of professional athletes or college coaches- they still fork out big money to go see the games- and apparently they buy the cheap beer and “Go Daddy” soft porn. So- sports is NOT about the kids because their dads and moms have made it so- the last pro football game I attended was back in the 1970’s. If I had to watch games without a DVR, I don’t think I’d watch much other than Ohio State football games. I am not a purist/protester, I have some inconsistencies to be sure. But I am not going to be happy when my boys are older and we are watching a game and a bunch of sex/alcohol message ads begin their unholy parade in my living room- am I going to have more teachable moments than ‘enjoy the game’ moments to share with my kids, just because we want to watch some game on TV?
“Only the Good Die Young” is my vote for “Pop Songs Belonging in Hell”. As a kid growing up I must have heard this little ditty a few thousand times, and it ticks me off every time it pops up as a catch-phrase or oldies background music in restaurants or elevators. I know that there are all kinds of music that go deeper into the depths of hell by way of their lyrical content- but this is one of those little reminders of how commonplace it was to grow up with bad or just annoying influences- putting little ugly mantras into your psyche with some kind of riff or beat to make the poison go down like cyanide-laced Kool-Aid.
I pray that Billy Joel converts some day and orders all reminders of this song to be destroyed. Anyone else have any classic pop songs that just won’t go away- leaving behind some permanent trace of immoral brainwash?
Before the Charlie Weiss era I used to root for Notre Dame as my Number 2 selection after my childhood religion The Ohio State University. After discovering that Weiss was seemingly proud of being an excessive abuser of profanity ( an entire 60 Minutes piece seemed to revolve around how cute everyone thought it was that Notre Dame’s coach loved to heap profanity out in liberal portions- including the school’s priest-president), I decided to drop cheering for Notre Dame football- for what would it be for Our Lady University to succeed on the field but lose her soul in the locker-room.
I just lost a young friend to cancer, I watched my own stepfather die of the type of cancer that is now afflicting Christopher Hitchens, I am only concerned here with two things- his conversion and his bodily healing.
I never “hated” Hitchens, I didn’t always disagree with his politics, but his extreme views against Faith/Belief in God were indicative of something missing on the inside for him. In this interview he speaks a little about the trauma of suicide in his family- particularly his mother. It seems to me that the little child within all of us eventually wins out- if that child longs for love and innocence then faith will come more easily. If that little child is damaged by traumatic events very much outside of his control- well he may well give over to a sort of hopelessness and despair.
(from anarkismo.net) (photo)
I was watching the documentary “Shake Hands With The Devil: The Journey of Romeo Dallaire” tonight, and there were disturbing charges made against the Catholic Church concerning the role of Catholics and the local and Vatican Hierarchies in doing little or nothing to reduce the factional tensions. Here is an article that makes a more direct case against our fellow Catholics http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2010/mar/29/pope-catholics-rwanda-genocide-church.
I am one who believes that the official teachings and the Sacraments of the Catholic Church are the places of security for us as Christian believers, but the administrative decisions and the actions of individual Catholic laity/clergy are not protected from error or sin by the Holy Spirit. So, I would like to know more about the role of my brother and sister Catholics in the lead-up to (and direct actions), during the genocide of 1994. Was the Catholic Hierarchy in Rwanda (as well the representatives of the Vatican) teaching a vigorous message of non-violence, anti-tribalism, and informing the global community of the scope of the man-made horrors in the attempt to bring in the international community to halt the spread of violence? I want to know because I often feel that we Catholics are our own worst enemies in what we do and what we fail to do as ambassadors for Christ and His Church. But I don’t want to jump to hasty conclusions that unfairly charge fellow Catholics with horrible accusations. So, does anyone know more about all of this? Is there a need to acknowledge some more self-inflicted Catholic damage to the mission of promoting the Good News? Or should we be defending the overall Catholic effect before, during, and after the genocide?
Last night around 2am, in my sleep-deprived state (having a newborn, 2 year-old, 6 and 10 year-olds as well), I was watching C-Span and an interview with Ralph Nader. I believe I heard him say that he has been attempting to get Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, or Rush Limbaugh to debate him in a neutral setting. He called them out as “Cowards” for refusing him to this point. He also called their format/style as that of “Cowardly Silioquy” whereupon they silence any question they don’t like by switching off guest’s mikes.
I think this challenge should be answered- no matter where you stand or who you prefer in this mix, I have to give the man who calls for an honest debate the winner -in my own estimation- until someone steps up and accepts the challenge. It would seem a fair fight given the vocations of all of these men- if someone is going to be a public media figure who specializes in political material- that puts them in a category where they should be able to manage a genuine debate scenario.
The pro-Israel dogmatists here in the U.S. like to invoke the idea that if the Palestinians would just lay down their arms, they would have the peace they ostensibly want- but this notion is an inaccurate one- it way overestimates the good intent of the Israeli leadership and possibly the majority in the Israeli society. If we just look at the time period after the Oslo Accords- that lengthy time between Intifadas- the number of Israeli settlers doubled in the Occupied Territories. The facts on the ground convinced the Palestinians that the Israeli leadership was just using the time to entrench, and make it less likely that the 1967 borders (that were internationally indicated as offering the best chance for a boundary between Israel and a new Palestinian State) would still be a possibility as the years wore on. This was the primary root cause of the Second Intifada which was incredibly more violent all around than the first. The Palestinians are usually seen by the majority of Americans as the bad guys, the ones who just refuse to seek peace with the Israelis- the ones who refuse even to recognize the right of Israel to exist- but it is the Palestinian situation that is so much more desperate, and their right to exist as a viable, contiguous State has hardly been one respected by Israeli and American leaders over the years- not in real terms, even if the rhetoric and official statements sometimes indicates such an acknowledgment. Read the rest of this entry »
I would like to recommend a few good reads to help one navigate the situation of how to regard Islam and Muslims as both Christians and Americans. First of all – the suggestion that America is or should be engaged in a Holy War Crusade against all Muslim majority nations is one that has to be confronted- there is nothing more dangerous than to try to match the extremism of Bin Laden-style Islam with some kind of Bin Laden-style Christianity.
The following is from Florida Right to Life Organization:
“THE MOST IMPORTANT PRO-LIFE, PRO-WOMEN LEGISLATION IN FLORIDA HISTORY WAS VETOED BY GOV. CRIST ON JUNE 11, 2010!
HB 1143 was a pro-life and a pro-choice bill. It required that an abortionist give an ultrasound test before an abortion. 82% of the abortion clinics in Florida already do, but they do not all give the woman the option to see or discuss the ultrasound.
The Vatican released a working paper during Pope Benedict XVI’s pilgrimage to Cyprus to prepare the way for a crisis summit of Middle East bishops in Rome. What I take away from this- along with the Holy See’s call for lifting the blockade of Gaza- is something of a vindication for my more raw views urging for a sea change in American Catholic opinion and action regarding the overall situation in the Middle East, and in Israel-Palestine in particular.
Some Information You Should Know About The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (From Jewish Voice For Peace)Wednesday, June 2, 2010 \PM\.\Wed\.
It is always time to step back and review the record whenever a discussion starts up on “what’s the deal with that crazy Israel/Palestine conflict?”. It is tiresome to be on the losing end of the political fight in shaping American policies regarding the Middle East- It is maddening to have to always be on the defense against the charges of anti-Semitism when one is highly critical of the policies of the State of Israel- especially when being anti-Semitic as in being anti-Arab is all the rage today, while being anti-Jewish is one of the worst things any American could be accused of. I am bold in my own words and deeds on this issue because I have nothing to hide, no shameful anti-Semitism, no axe to grind, no family connections- just a strong desire to see the Holy Land be a place that is humane and just, and to see to it that my own nation is a contributor to a positive outcome for the peoples of the Middle East. That’s it- that’s my storyline- that’s my truth.
I don’t hate America, I hate the sin but love the sinner. I love my nation but I hate when my nation does something in my name as an American citizen that I believe is really evil, really stupid, or both. It is a glaring fact that America has been the #1 ally and supporter of the State of Israel- both in economic and political terms. This fact of life is not missed by those who believe that the State of Israel has been the primary agent of violence and injustice in the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Iagree with this perspective, and I want to change the reality because it is the right thing to do, and many lives all over the region, and even here in the U.S. are in present or potential harm’s way due to some really bad, one-sided, and misguided policies emanating from Tel Aviv and Washington D.C.
I am not going to run over my own story of the time I spent with Archbishop Elias Chacour of Ibillin, Galilee many years ago- and what I saw in Hebron at that time. And I am not going to run down the list of books I have read to get additional background to the Conflict which has shaped and emboldened my position on this important Catholic and American issue. I am not going to take the chance of being charged with any sort of anti-Semitism with this blog entry because I am going to use a source that is decidedly Jewish. I want an elevated discussion to get going and I don’t want my Catholicism to get into the way- one could (I suppose) make the charge that the organization Jewish Voice For Peace is full of self-loathing Jews, who hate Israel, hate themselves- whatever. But I think they can manage such charges for themselves- I met some of them when I used to visit San Francisco frequently- they seemed pretty secure in themselves. I think they are a good source of information and here they provide a primer on the Israel-Palestine Conflict 101 (from Jewishvoiceforpeace.org):
A nice reminder of all the positives in the Catholic priesthood- why we need our priests, and why we can’t throw them under the bus when they fail our expectations. (hattip Domenico Bettinelli of BettNet blog).
I had a thought a while back- what if a large percentage of priests went over to the nearest abortion clinic, and just camped out there, praying a silent protest? If Catholics wanted Mass they would have to go to where the priests were; and if the authorities told the priests to move on, and the priests refused, then they would all go to jail, and so the laity would not have Eucharist. Forget about denying Communion to this or that politician- why shouldn’t the priests deny all of us Communion- except for those in prison- until we got serious about stopping abortion. The priest is not ordinarily a zealot, but when a genocide of the unwanted, unborn children gets so little notice by a very distracted society- well it would seem time for Jesus’ priests to overturn some spiritual tables outside the temples worshipping the cult of consumer choice for the life or death of innocent children.
The priest is perfectly suited for such a protest- he isn’t a businessman, he doesn’t have a wife and children depending on his securing money for the day. Yet, he is needed by every Catholic who knows his/her duty to participate in a weekly Mass- what if the priests said – “hold on a minute- you, the laity, need to fulfill some minimal requirements yourselves- you have a primary responsibility to set the temporal order straight- you can’t keep up this killing of our children on America’s Main Street- get hold of yourselves, and take care of these women and children- for God’s sake as well as your own.” The priests and bishops have had their problems- but the laity have a greater scandal to deal with- our lack of seriousness in seeing to it that all children are able to live and thrive- inside the Superpower and in all the world.
In this past Sunday’s Florida Today editorial page “letters to the editor”, there was an interesting juxtaposition of letters taking radically different sides on the debate in Florida over an Ultrasound requirement for women seeking abortions. The bill is currently awaiting Gov. Charlie Crist’s signature- which is anything but guaranteed. Read the rest of this entry »