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Showing posts from December 2, 2012

Reconciliation and Regret

I like talking. Talking and words are how I come to understand. If there's a problem, I value the opportunity to talk it out. Words are the means by which I communicate my deepest desires and thoughts. Silence is good for many things. Peace. Reflection. Reverence. We need it sometimes, in order not to be bombarded by a Cacophony Of Words, even in our minds. Silence is not so good for being angry. Angry silence is the worst kind. I hate it more than shouting. I try to remember that people need time to cool off, to think about things. I was once told not to push so hard to reconcile, that it was too soon. Honestly, I don't get that. But like I said, we have different temperaments and all that. So you do what you do. You pray. You fight through the pain and the anger, even if it was your fault. And wait, I guess. Father Coffey told me it happens. It happened to him. He said he said the wrong thing, and that was it. To this day, I don't understand. I'm not built that


I have now read the entirety of the United Nations Convention On The Rights Of People With Disabilities. Though precious little jumps out at one as offensive on its face, the people of the United States, who both understand the nature and genius of our Constitution, should oppose the treaty vigorously. The genius of our Constitution is that it limits specifically the government of the United States. It is not an exaustive treatment of the aspirations of the American people as a part of the human family; it entrusts those aspirations to the people themselves. Without prejudice to the citizens of other nations, who have the right to define their relation to their governments however they wish, this is rare. International treaties, as per the US Constitution itself, "trump" that document itself. We can hope, therefore, that our leaders would only enter in to such agreements in the gravest of circumstances, where the common good of all humanity was in view, and the basic liber


I have been accused of many things in my short time on this rock, but undue deference to a man is never going to stick. [You could say that one again, jerk.--ed.] Anyway, I was talking it over with God just now, and if the bishops, guided by the Holy Spirit, want to wade in and short-circuit a political discussion by sanctifying one particular policy over another...well, I'll just say, "Thy will be done," and we can be foolish together. The rest of you, there's at least a 32.4% chance that I don't care what you think. (This still means you, Bob Costas.) In any case, if any of my previous statements seemed to indicate a possible unwillingness to submit to the authority of the bishops, it was not intentional. I'm usually a very affable contrarian, but I am a contrarian. As much as I love consensus and agreement and harmony, a false, comfortable version of those things irritates me. We all have to be on guard that we don't make character judgments about p


"The basic point I want to make is, quite frankly, the bishops have no expertise and no grounds to come down on one side or the other. This is the epitome of a prudential judgment sort of issue, and brandishing a few Bible verses doesn't make it less debatable or contentious." The reason I say this so strongly is that, the biblical commands do not tell us whether or not to build a border fence, whether to impose tax penalties, etc. I might believe we need a fence and other measures, but if faced with a person in need, those concerns are less pressing, obviously. Perhaps my annoyance at certain simplistic formulations obscured my strong affirmation of human dignity with respect to immigrants. I have no idea why the bishop of northern GA has deemed it necessary to opine, when none of the proposals on any side will have anything to do with the way legal immigration is conducted, nor prevent Christian people from acting in accord with mercy and the gospel in the case of

Sports, Politics, Rick Santorum

5 Thoughts For Today 5. That awkward moment when listening to Jay-Z when you realize, "I haven't prayed today." 4. 117 days until MLB Spring Training. Let's cut the crap: In comparison, I don't care about football. 3. Bob Costas, you are one of the greatest sports announcers the world has ever known. I'd rather listen to you than almost anyone. You are a credit to your profession. Loved "Fair Ball." That said, I don't give a rip about your view of the Second Amendment. Shut your pie-hole. This is a football game, not Donnybrook. 2. I enjoyed "Red Dawn." As the problem unfolded, and the bad guys did their thing, I enjoyed saying, "Those commie &^#*@%$" a bunch of times. 1. I still love Rick Santorum, just so you know.


If I were al-Qaida, I would start a terror cell in a Mexican border town. Let me preface the rest of this rant with the statement that I'm fairly flexible--even undecided--on what to do about illegal immigration. Right off the top, mass deportation is not an option. It is both unworkable, and un-Christian. I do not, however, believe that the Christian teaching to be hospitable to the alien and sojourner obligates me as a matter of faith to support the specific policy of granting amnesty and citizenship to those who come to the United States illegally. Doing this makes poor schmucks out of those who follow the rules. I wouldn't. Why? Not when US politicians are lined up to dole out the goodies. On the other hand, we can dramatically simplify the process for becoming a United States citizen, and increase the numbers of people we accept as visitors to the United States. Citizenship confers privileges and obligations, and should never be granted lightly. The DREAM Act has a gr

Faith and Works

“I have no problem with religious acts, as long as they are a result of being saved and forgiven, not as a way to be saved and forgiven. ” Why does anyone accept this reasoning as anything close to what the Bible plainly teaches? “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.” Did not Ananias and Sapphira die when they lied? “True religion that the Father accepts is this: to look after orphans and widows…” Do you recall the sheep and the goats? What’s this nonsense about having to be already forgiven in order to do anything? King Saul lost the kingdom because he did a “religious act.”   Let’s tell the truth: This is crazy. This is a theological conclusion so derived from party spirit that the text doesn’t even make sense anymore. If you can be damned by an act, surely you can be saved by one.   How did words and deeds working together become, “We save ourselves”? I keep looking for that in the Catechism. It must be in there. Afte

Dr. King

You know, there are people who frustrate me. The way they say things. The way they approach people who may be less intelligent, or at least less credentialed than them. Or maybe they don't see the moral implications of a thing the way I do. It happens. I'm a very intelligent dude. That's not a boast. It's just the way things are. 97.4% of the time, I'm the smartest person in any room. But I'm the son and grandson of average folks. I like ordinary people. I really do watch NASCAR. I listen to country music. If I ever run for office, my opponent is already doomed, because I connect with people pretty well. Provided, of course, that I can stay calm. I do have a bit of a temper. My trigger for anger is usually incurious stupidity or rank unfairness or injustice. People who have seen me argue politics and think I make Rush Limbaugh look like a moderate are very wrong. On the other hand, I will argue an extreme position or defend a marginalized person in a discuss


Advent. I'm neither Catholic nor attentive enough to have noticed that the Gloria was missing, although, when the priest mentioned it in the homily, I'd swear I felt it right then. I didn't feel terribly spiritual going to Mass this evening, though I didn't feel weighted down by sin, either. BUT, when I entered the sanctuary, it was but a few seconds when I sensed that it was Advent. It had slipped my mind intellectually. Still, I could not brush away this anticipation. If I didn't know better, I'd call it agitation. I can't call it joyous, at least not yet. What I felt was need. I need Jesus to be here. Even as I felt shame for losing patience earlier this week, and for being timid in sharing my faith. Yet there is something else: I have something to live for. Or rather, someone. And it really does make all the difference. We all want to seem normal and well-adjusted. But the truth is, none of us are. You can maybe dance it away, or drink it away, or s