Catholic Interest

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    Saturday, September 29, 2007

    Miller, Pelosi, and adoption

    "There is no better way to prepare your mortal flesh for the kinkiest weekend on Earth than to nourish your bones and boost your spirit with a divine feast: The Last Supper With The Sisters, at Eureka Restaurant ... "

    This is the Folsom Street Fair poster that is causing all the noise. Way down at the lower left corner is the Miller Lite logo that Christian groups are asking Miller to remove, if Miller hopes to have the groups continue drinking their beer.

    The picture is too small to make out the sex toys, whips, and other leather that are spread out on the table that mimics the Last Supper painting. I don't get it. What do these people and their equipment have to do with the Last Supper?

    The smaller picture is from, and a related festival called "Up Your Alley Fair".

    Baited by a reporter, the House Speaker Pelosi identified herself as a catholic, called herself "this speaker" in the third person, and saw no harm done to Christianity".

    1. The homosexual life style is not pretty to Christians. Gay anglican bishops and other homosexual partners in a committed active relationship attempt to dress it up a little better in their photo shoots, but this is what it really looks like.

    2. Since the God given parts don't fit, as Natural Law informs us, they have a preoccupation with plastic substitute body parts and the anus. That's not too pretty either.

    3. These are the mental pictures we need to keep in mind when the government allows adoption of children by these cobbled couples. It is indeed government sanctioned child abuse. As was plainly demonstrated with our bad priests, a young boy coming of age is quite an attraction to the homosexual male. Little ones living powerlessly in the same home as these festive folks is both the design and desire of the adoption. It just drips of violence and danger and harm.

    4. As Pelosi understands Christianity she is right. These far away people equate Jesus with the Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. And what would these folks have others do unto them? That thought is not too pretty either. Especially if done within the confines of a home in front of and perhaps with children. After all there is no shame in the homosexual agenda. There is no reason to hope that they will confine their perversion behind closed doors.


    Asked to respond to a San Francisco "gay"-festival's promo mocking the Last Supper of Jesus Christ, the chief spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi offered a dismissive quip.

    "As a Catholic, the speaker is confident that Christianity has not been harmed," said Drew Hammill, the San Francisco Democrat's press secretary.

    WND reported earlier this week the Last Supper poster promoting the Folsom Street Fair replaces the bread and wine with sex toys and depicts Jesus Christ and his disciples as "half-naked homosexual sadomasochists."

    Scheduled for Sunday, the annual sadomasochistic "leather event" features public displays of nudity and sexual acts.

    CWA noted Pelosi, a major supporter of homosexual activism, will receive an award Oct. 6 from the "gay rights" group Human Rights Campaign.

    Matt Barber, CWA's policy director for cultural issues, said his organization has "photographic evidence the San Francisco government suspends indecency and child abuse laws for a day allowing fair goers to parade the streets of San Francisco, fully nude, engaging in illegal public sex while taxpayer funded police stand-by and do nothing."

    Barber pointed out children have attend the event, exposing them to "this activity which is illegal child abuse."

    The festival boasts that it draws about 400,000 people each year from around the world. It describes its mission as organizing "world-class volunteer driven leather events, providing the adult alternative lifestyle community safe venues for self-expression, emphasizing freedom, fun and frolic, while raising money to benefit San Francisco charities."

    Tuesday, September 25, 2007

    Clarity on the clash of humanity

    This Jesuit, Samir Khalil Samir, provides some important clarity regarding why islamists are so hard to understand with Western eyes and ears.


    I have imaginged them to be some seriously misguided spiritual folks. But as Samir points out, the spiritual has little to do with it. It's something social and political, that happens to be based on a prophet from around 616 or 666.

    From a social point of view, someone who converts to Christianity and encourages others to follow him or her becomes a cancer on society.

    From a political point of view, anyone leaving Islam is a traitor, a spy against his own nation who deserves death, because Islam is always viewed as a community, the Ummah.

    For the Egyptian government for example, anyone who converts to another religion “threatens national unity.” Although Egyptians authorities are not likely to put any apostate to death, they will certainly try to hush up the whole thing or attempt to push the apostate to emigrate. This is exactly what befell Nasr Hamid Abu Zaid, a writer forced into exile in the Netherlands after a fatwa was pronounced calling for his death.

    Undeniably the real problem with Islam is that becoming a Muslim today means joining a political and sociological group. It no longer means making a religious and spiritual choice.

    This is what most ails Islam today. If this profound conversion is not made, Islam shall always be the enemy of the modern world, a world that is based on individual liberties, on the individual person rather than the group, on freedom of conscience, etc. Muslims want this as well but they do not realise that it is all interconnected. As long as Islam is seen as a group or partisan issue rather than a matter of personal choice, it will lag behind.

    Until now Islamic teachings have been based on the notion of ‘submission’ (Islam). This kind of submission is against freedom. I as a Christian do submit to God but I remain a son who is free! Christ, too, obeyed (Philippians 2, 8) and any man religious, too, takes his vows of obedience, but does so fully aware of his freedom of conscience.

    Conversely, in the Muslim world the most common teaching that is spreading inside families and in the mass media is that submission must be total, obliterating one’s personality, removing all differences.

    Freedom is a core human attribute because it goes to the heart of our image as child of God. To our Western thinking, all of our associations are voluntary because we are free. Be it religion, marriage, jobs, or country, we stay because we are compelled by our constant choice to do so.

    The poor islamists are either in or out of some really powerful human groups.. family, religion, country. And this to the extent that those groups see "out" as death or exile.

    Given their only choices, it becomes clearer why they are so different from us. We clash as regards what it is that defines human.

    Saturday, September 22, 2007

    Let us pray

    This Sunday's readings would be well placed here in America on July 4th.

    Still, since we're ramping up for some changes in high leadership, a prayer and a vote will go a long way towards ensuring that we might be able to lead "a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity".

    Hear this, you who trample upon the needy and destroy the poor of the land! The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob: Never will I forget a thing they have done!

    High above all nations is the LORD; above the heavens is his glory. He raises up the lowly from the dust; from the dung hill he lifts up the poor to seat them with princes, with the princes of his own people.

    Beloved: First of all, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone, for kings and for all in authority,that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity. This is good and pleasing to God our savior, who wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth.

    It is my wish, then, that in every place the men should pray, lifting up holy hands, without anger or argument.

    And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently. “For the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. I tell you, make friends for yourselves with dishonest wealth, so that when it fails, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones. If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth, who will trust you with true wealth?

    Back in '68, the chant in Chicago was "the whole world's watching". That's big.

    But not as big as "Who is like the LORD, our God, who is enthroned on high and looks upon the heavens and the earth below? Never will I forget a thing they have done!"

    Thursday, September 20, 2007

    They can't stop smiling

    It makes them happy to be on the forefront of something new and exciting. Gay bible and gay leadership.

    This Jefferts lady bishop understands that her American friends are so far advanced, it may take the rest of the world 100 years to catch up to their new reading of God's Word that now says all are welcome at the table without the admonition to sin no more.

    Two strong currents got them into this future place. One is their understanding of inclusiveness regardless of sin. Added to their understanding that homosexual acts are no longer a sin. Pre-Jesus and the 2,000 years since, people were simply wrong in their gut understanding that homosexual acts are as dirty as any other sin. They have changed shame into smiling pride.

    Lesbian Rev. Tracey Lind and lesbian Rev. Liz Steadman and who knows how many other homosexual clergy with them agree that this is indeed a proud and future moment.

    Somehow, the last line in the sand has become the argument about homosexual bishops, since the argument about homosexual clergy was settled for them back 10's of years ago. I wonder what made anyone think their bishops could somehow remain normal.

    And so now their church will be ripped along American, non-American lines. Those who are the future, and those who will take 100 years to catch up. In the mean time, old thinking bishops from Africa will have to come in to minister to the non-futurists.

    I am in no way gloating over their demise. It is a sad lesson to be learned for us Catholics. We can not be fooled into letting sinful structures into the clergy, and not expect it to infect the whole. And as we can see, not in a quiet way, but with pride and smiles.

    We don't have much pride or smiling regarding the gay boys who became Priests in the 60's and 70's, fooled around with the school boys, and now drain the coffers making the grown school boys rich. That sinful structure has been suppressed.

    And perhaps given the anglican lesson playing out before our eyes, we will be safe from their scandal.

    Who can say what will be the devil's next temptation to smiling pride?


    Though Anglican leaders have urged the U.S. church to stop electing gay bishops who are in committed relationships, a lesbian priest is among five finalists for bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago. Meanwhile, dissidents in the diocese will turn out Sunday in suburban Wheaton to hear Archbishop Peter Akinola, conservative leader of Nigeria's Anglican Church and the fiercest critic of the Episcopal Church's stance on gays.

    "We are asking Rowan Williams to be bold and represent the worldwide Anglican Communion and not just the Episcopal Church," he said. "The Episcopal Church has engaged in behavior that has caused a rupture in the communion, and I feel saddened by that."

    The directive being considered came out of a February meeting in Tanzania, where three dozen Anglican leaders demanded that the Episcopal Church bar blessings for gay couples and stop consecrating gay bishops. Though bishops have yet to address those requests, the Chicago diocese this month named Rev. Tracey Lind, a lesbian in a committed relationship, as one of five finalists to become its next bishop. She and four other candidates will tour the diocese in October.

    Rev. Liz Steadman, the Episcopal chaplain of Northwestern University, finds Akinola's visit troubling. The chapel where Akinola will preach is named after her grandfather, a former president of Wheaton College, and she is a lesbian in a committed relationship.

    "I don't love the Gospel despite the fact that I am a lesbian. I love it because of who I am—Victor Raymond Edman's granddaughter, a child of God and, yes, a lesbian," she said. "It breaks my heart when the Gospel is perverted to justify the abuse of entire groups of people."

    Yes Liz, it does. Perverted abuse of the Gospel that is.

    The church is a clinic for sinners. But that doesn't work so well when the person preaching lives in a sinless proud future of their own design. Even our bad Catholic Priests knew shame. To be shameless is something altogether worse.

    Tuesday, September 18, 2007

    Pastor Sally

    Looks and sounds to high heaven like one of those TV preachers getting 'moved' by the spirit.

    For your entertainment...


    Attendance in heaven

    Attendance as a criterion of desire seems right.

    Noting the decline began in 1950 means that beyond Catholics, the decline started well before Vatican 2.

    That could mean that culture was moving downward anyway for some reasons, and that Vatican 2 was the trigger for Catholics, not the main reason for empty churches.

    It reminds me of the common public notion that we are all going to heaven. Yet how comfortable would we all be in heaven's environment of worship, if we do not feel comfortable worshiping here on earth?

    And to put a finer point on it, how comfortable would we be so close to God, if we do not strive to seek God in truth here on earth?

    For serious Catholics, that means realizing, and then constantly testing, that the Church does indeed contain the fullness of salvation through knowing the real Jesus.

    And for serious non-Catholic Christians, it means believing that their church, or personal knowledge, instead contains the fullness of salvation through their knowing of Jesus.

    Anyway, it's the seeking of closeness to God here and now that would seem to portend our eventual joy in being with God in the after. It wouldn't seem right to force anyone to heaven if they wouldn't enjoy such a thing forever.

    And this would be resonant with sin's definition as being apart from God in a particular action. As God has no part in sin, then whether the sinner knows he is sinning or not, sinful actions are still apart from God. A knowlegable sin is a further bad thing, but the sin itself, even though the person may be ignorant of it, is still something that God and heaven has no part in.

    A person comfortable in sin would likely be uncomfortable in heaven.

    So when the numbers go down for seekers, as they did from 1950 to 1990, yet our impression that we are all going to heaven goes up at the same time, it would seem that the public definition of heaven may be all that is wrong with this picture.

    Heaven perhaps does not after all contain nice people like ourselves, accompanied by our nice pets and relatives, singing birds and dewy mornings. That would be a place for everybody.

    Heaven may contain only those children who wish to be close to God forever. So much so that they even enjoy worshiping Him here while still on Earth. And in seeking to be ever closer while on earth, look for the fullness of salvation where it may be found.


    Durham, NC -- Despite various claims that Americans are becoming either more or less religious, attendance at weekly religious services in the United States has been essentially constant since 1990, according to a recent study by a University of Maryland professor of sociology and a Duke University professor of sociology, religion and divinity.

    In a study published in the September issue of Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Maryland professor Stanley Presser and Duke professor Mark Chaves write, “However one reads the evidence about trends between World War II and 1990, we currently live in a time of stability.” Chaves said that short-term increases in attendance at religious services following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were not sustained, and that the proliferation of mega-churches has not led to overall gains in attendance.

    Presser and Chaves say evidence from previous studies suggests that attendance declined from 1950 to 1990, but was stable for some time before 1950.

    This study is significant, Chaves said, because “it shows that we live in a time of neither religious revival nor dramatic decline. These results also suggest that the main pattern of religious change may be periods of stability punctuated by times of transition, not steady trends in one direction or the other.”

    Wednesday, September 12, 2007

    Outrageous source

    "It is a sure bet that if Griffin had said, 'Suck it, Muhammad,' there would have been a very different reaction," Catholic league president Bill Donohue said in a statement posted on the group's Web site. He called on TV academy president Dick Askin to denounce Griffin's "hate speech" and on Griffin to apologize.
    Just what reaction is Mr. Donohue looking for?
    Griffin's reaction to the imbroglio, according to a statement issued by her publicist: "Am I the only Catholic left with a sense of humor?"
    The speech drew fire from a leading Roman Catholic group, the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, which condemned Griffin's remarks as "obscene and blasphemous."
    "A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus," an exultant Griffin said, holding up her statuette. "Suck it, Jesus. This award is my god now."
    As important as finding out what they said, it's more important to remember who said it. Here is an outrageous woman who tries to make a living by being outrageous. Besides, it's good to remember how it is with lots of folks whose relationship to God the Son is sophomoric. Can we help but be sophomoric in realtion to God? I doubt it.
    In fact, I kind of know something of what she means. It is absurd of people to be thanking God for things when all is going well, and forget to thank Him with the same gratitude when things are going not so well.
    I have to cringe when some lucky person bubbles up with "I just want to thank Jesus" for whatever... winning a football game, winning the lottery, avoiding a serious accident.. whatever. If that is, they are not quite so bubbly when that same God allows pain, suffering, and death. If we are not able to be thankful for both sides of the same coin, perhaps we should keep our "Thank you Jesus!" 's to ourselves.
    I still can not imagine Jesus ever really laughing. Smiling yes, laughing no. He just understands too much to find anything funny.
    Jesus endures all sorts of vile bile from his creation all the time. I'm sure he understands. It is not the humor or lack of respect we need to worry about. It is the lack of love.
    Mr. Donohue belongs to a group that can't help but defend God's dignity, that's their mission.
    But we sinners know our secrets and the offense we offer our Hero and Savior each day. One can hardly offend God's dignity because he is God, and knows the source intimately. I'm not saying so much that to understand all is to forgive all... but rather God's dignity is a given, and it is only our dignity that is harmed by trying to be humorous at his expense.
    Unlike some groups (the Middle East comes to mind), Catholics are generally known as a quiet bunch. We suffer for God with God. Our Jesus is the suffering servant. And it is a human response to want to imitate our heros.

    Sunday, September 09, 2007

    Lepers and wellness

    Finally we are getting somewhere.

    Smokers have gone from the most accepted folks to the most scorned lepers. Smoke has gone from "smells like smoke" to "what's that awful stench?". People have apparently gotten so feeble that even walking past a smoker standing outside in the elements makes their heart race and induces cancer and early death.

    Anyway, we know that one's final illness is always expensive. Now things have progressed to the point that companies are choosing which final illness they will allow employees to have based on some price schedule.

    Referring to some unfathomable cost information, some illnesses are OK, but some fall into the new leper category. There will be no end to it you know. Folks pushing and prodding with carrot and stick until everyone behaves and is indoctrinated.

    Somehow the streets get cleaner, the air is less tainted by human activity, but the people are not as kind, or hospitable, or likable.

    And let's not fool ourselves. Our drive for "wellness" is the same drive that sweeps away Downs infants, girls in India, and any other people or things that upset our clean, neat, pretty and antiseptic vision for the world. Lepers on the inside, sweet smelling on the outside.

    Luckily we are all given the same general time on earth, whether we struggle against it or not. Soon enough we will all meet somewhere else, and get a glimpse of what things really smell like.


    First they tried nudging. Now companies are penalizing workers who have high health risks such as obesity and high blood pressure or cholesterol as insurance costs climb.

    The businesses are deducting from employees' paychecks, adding insurance surcharges or offering insurance discounts or rebates only to low-risk workers.

    "Employers know they have to do something," said Garry Mathiason, a senior partner at the national employment and labor law firm Littler Mendelson, based in Boston. "I believe that in just the next two years more employers will turn to penalties to change employee behavior."

    A 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey showed about two-thirds of adults in the United States were overweight and almost one-third were obese. A U.S. surgeon general's report said health care costs of obesity totaled more than $117 billion in 2000.

    More employers have charged higher insurance premiums the past few years for tobacco-using employees. Otherwise, wellness programs had been primarily voluntary, offering in-house fitness centers and free health screenings, for instance.

    But many employees of Indianapolis-based Clarian Health didn't use the programs, hospital spokesman James Wide said.

    In 2009 the company will start reducing pay for employees in its health plan by $10 per paycheck if their BMI — a measurement of body fat through a height and weight ratio — is in the obese range of more than 29.9. The deduction will be $5 per check if they don't meet required cholesterol, blood pressure or blood glucose measurements. Workers will be required to complete an annual health risk assessment and can appeal to have their fees dropped if they show improvement.

    Scott's Miracle-Gro Co., a lawn and garden company based in Marysville, Ohio, charges $40 more per month in health premiums for employees who don't complete annual risk assessments. The company charges $65 more for workers who don't try to reduce any high health risks that show up.

    "We think that personal accountability is a big part of driving overall wellness, but we also provide our associates with the tools they need," spokesman Jim King said. "We think our program is a good balance of the carrot and the stick."

    King said participation rose from 70 percent to 95 percent after the charge was added.
    Scott's earlier stopped hiring tobacco users in states where that is allowed and reserves the right to fire employees who use tobacco.

    Saturday, September 08, 2007

    Walk a mile in my Charmin

    Charmin is doing a nasty thing with its marketing.

    Twice I've seen their commercial using Handel's Hallelujah Chorus complete with the sun's rays shing forth because the bears in the ad are so happy with their paper and it's results.

    Insensitivity to Christian images for sure... even the folks who only get to Church on Easter. And a pretty good indication that there is no serious Christian on staff with a voice.

    Now marketing is not known as a haven for Christians. They are a group that sees people as test subjects responding to stimulus. Well known associations are used to grab attention, create a mood, and just generally brand the mind so that the product becomes a trusted friend.

    Still though, it's a cheap shot. And I have to keep in mind that at Easter, when I employ Handel at the Alleluia, some in the crowd will think of toilet paper rather than Christ's rising and joy.

    So now I can feel a very little of what muslims feel with their cartoon crisis.

    Yup, it's alive again. This time from Sweeden.

    Seems as though a dog was used in the cartoon, and sure enough their highly esteemed prophet is insulted, along with 1.6 billion followers. Their reaction is un-Christlike, but I guess that should be no surprise.

    As the lady author says, it's easy to "bring any nation to its knees" and "hit them where it hurts".

    And I say again, the poor muslims have no Sermon on the Mount, and no Cross. Without these critical ingredients, slaps in the face cause more than hurt feelings... they call for retaliation.

    Something lifelong.. something "you teach your children to do and even your grandchildren". To them, the world is full of enemies, and always will be. Growl!

    What I didn't know is that their angels are afraid of dogs. "The dog is considered an impure creature in Islam and is not even welcome in the Muslim home because angels are afraid of it and will not enter."

    I don't think their angels are like our angels. Their angels require an Excorsist. Which by the way, is one of my favorite movies.


    The Muslim reaction over the latest cartoon slur against Muhammad (peace be upon him) should be firm and peaceful. There is no need for violence and it only makes us look bad in the global audience.

    If Muslims decided to unite and boycott Swedish goods it should not be a limited boycott like the Danish one was. It should be a permanent lifelong commitment to avoid all Swedish products. It should be something you teach your children to do and even your grandchildren.

    It's easy for the enemies of Islam to insult our religion and our Prophet but it's even easier for us to not support them with our dirhams and dinars. The quickest way to bring any nation to its' knees is to hit them where it hurts...their wallet.

    Thursday, September 06, 2007

    Helpless by choice

    Ask a child why they did something, and you're likely to get back "I don't know".
    Answer the judge in a courtroom with "I don't know" and you're going to be treated with contempt.
    It's lazy to not grow up. Everyone knows how babies are made. Yet the nine month separation between the act and the birth fools lots of people into not connecting the dots. How many people? The same number that think abortion is a reasonable mother's response to her child.
    We won't find their reasoning any more sharp in excusing their actions either.
    The same dull thinking that makes babies without expecting a baby to come forth, carries on to their thinking about how reasonable it is to cause the baby to be mushed or sliced to pulp before the nine months completes.
    MANILA (Reuters) - Minda is a masseuse with a difference. Her caress is used to abort foetuses.

    The 50-year-old grandmother has lost count of the number of pregnancies she has terminated in this largely Roman Catholic country where abortion is illegal and strictly taboo, but where about half a million women end their pregnancies every year.
    The petite 44-year old, who declined to give her last name, paid 150 pesos (1.50 pounds) for a hilot, or traditional midwife like Minda, to crush her three-month old foetus using rough strokes and pincer-like grips on her belly.
    OK, so it's not pretty. It never is.
    What was mom thinking?
    Most women who seek abortions are like Remy, married with several children and too poor to afford another baby.
    "I felt guilty but I thought it was better than having another child that will only suffer because we have no food," she said in an interview in a slum on the outskirts of Manila.
    Looks like adoption of her child never entered her mind. Neither did moving out of the slum. Neither did not having sex in the first place.
    I mean, that's the really big unconquered social ill it seems. Some great human default makes us fornicate with partners not worthy to be husbands or wives. As quick as the encounter might be, it still requires social effort. A quest prepared by smiles, and talk, and foreplay, and consumation. An awful lot of work to accomplish as the connection between the act and the baby still remains unconsidered.
    Then another delusion comes about. Better to suffer the sight and pain and cost of abortion than meet the baby face to face. I mean, that's really what's being avoided.
    Mom is willing to think ahead enough to take the pill, wear a condom, or kill the little one while still as little as possible, to avoid seeing the baby's face or hearing the baby's voice. That is the deep fear that drives all the actions. Not fearful enough though it seems to not commit the sex act in the first place.
    Having sex makes babies. Perhaps this should be a stronger marketing effort of the pro-life groups.
    But it's easier than that. Or harder perhaps. Women need to walk as adults when doing adult things. Walk awake and aware. Even the "The petite 44-year old". Helpless victim just won't cut it.
    Before her abortion, Remy had no access to artificial family planning. If she had, she says she wouldn't have become pregnant and resorted to the potentially life-threatening procedure.

    Under President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, a devout Catholic who relies on the support of politically powerful bishops, the central government promotes natural family planning methods such as abstinence when the woman is ovulating.
    Abstinence! It's talked about as if it were impossible. And so if Remy had access to "family planning" she wouldn't have become pregnant. Notice the delusion? I'm sure you do. Where's the sex act? Missing. Missing from Remy's thinking, and pro-abortionist's speech. In fact, missing from this whole article except to associate it with those nasty "politically powerful bishops".
    So the belief that it is the great human default to be helpless against the sex urge remains powerful. Jesus didn't think so.
    Jesus was celibate, our Priests, Nuns, Brothers, and Virgins are celibate. And non-celibate folks are expected to act like adults too.

    Wednesday, September 05, 2007

    Fly me to the moon...

    And let me play among the stars Let me see what spring is like On Jupiter and Mars...

    Officials at Nepal's state-run airline have sacrificed two goats to appease Akash Bhairab, the Hindu sky god, following technical problems with one of its Boeing 757 aircraft, the carrier said Tuesday.

    Not one, but two... hmmm. Ol Akash must be a greedy thing. Would you trust your trip to the bosses of Nepal's airline? Do you think they know what all the knobs and swiches are for?

    Forget Jupiter and Mars. For that you'd need a whole herd of goats.


    Tuesday, September 04, 2007

    Basic Necessities of Life: the list grows longer

    For the love of our Hero, charity will overflow to our neighbor. There will be nothing to stop us caring for the people we meet as we journey to our quickly approaching goal.
    Our hearts will pull us to join together like the company of angels we hear about at Mass in their hymn of praise Holy, Holy, Holy; Lord God Almighty.
    The converted hearts of the throng of God's children changes the earth like a mighty flood.
    Until our hearts are set on fire, we will be satisfied to form committees that will bore us right out of our shoes. That unfortunately is where we most often find ourselves.
    Perhaps this article has misquoted the Bishop. If he truly is teaching that education and health care and economic security are "fundamental principles " of a public justice, I would be interested to know what developed doctrine of proper government he might be referring to.
    If instead, he is meaning that we might squeeze injustice right out of existence through dedicated lives of service, I can see his point. Yet, I see no reference to Jesus, only government, and what government should be doing for us. Perhaps the fact that he is a Bishop is the reference to Jesus. OK then, I'm with him 100%. But still, I wish he would speak more clearly.
    The religious communities used to give us a lived witness to these very things. Priests and Sisters and Brothers offering their whole lives to service. And the service was in caring for the children, caring for the sick, and prayer. In other words, Faith and Charity.
    But the 20th Century shriveled their numbers and presence. Likewise the lay people shrivel for lack of love's example. And so now it seems we are left to work with government as the moving force. An environment where Jesus can not be mentioned. His surrogate of "justice" is expected to suffice.
    Is it just me, or are we hearing more and more how rational explanations in the public square will be needed to convince people to act in loving ways? Good luck to us with that approach. Faith and Reason can work together, but it is Faith that is the strength. In fact, it is better than Faith, it is Charity. And it is Charity that is lacking.
    We really do need to put first things first, and justice is not the cause, it is the effect. Committees will concentrate on justice, converted hearts will concentrate on love. Bishops need to teach the whole thing, or end up sounding like socialist government agents inventing rights based on justice based on nothing.
    Citing an earlier statement by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, A Catholic Framework for Economic Life, Bishop DiMarzio suggests 4 fundamental principles for economic justice:

    The economy exists for the person, not the person for the economy.
    A fundamental moral measure of any economy is how the poor and vulnerable are faring.
    All people have a right to life and to secure the basic necessities of life (e.g. food, clothing, shelter, education, health care, safe environment, economic security).
    All people have the right to economic initiative, to productive work, to just wages and benefit, to decent working conditions, as well as to organize and join union or other associations.
    The number of rights seem to be growing. Especially odd I think are:
    health care,
    economic security.
    I somehow can not image Jesus addressing the United Nations like that. If permitted to guess, I would say He would say something regarding loving your neighbor as yourself for the sake of God.
    Education can be given through love, but is hardly a right, and certainly not requried for salvation.
    Health care is one thing if the empathies are on the side of care vs. health. In fact, making little of doctors is right there in the gospel regarding; "She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse." Spending all our money seems to be the same theme today as 2,000 years ago.
    Economic security is the real new right that is fearful. Beyond food, shelter, and clothing we get into some real committee areas very fast. And I might add Bishops quickly going to areas in which they have no obvious competence.
    It still seems to me that converted hearts are the answer and all the rest is noise. Bishops.. get on with it.

    catholic interest.