Monday, March 20, 2017

Work Related

It's rare, but every once in a while I run across a cool site for Software Engineering.  97 things every programmer should know  is a resource to turn any code monkey into a professional

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Manhood of Jesus Christ.

My wife and I recently went to a couple's retreat to try to improve our marriage.  While there, I learned a very interesting definition of what a man needs to be a man:

  1. a Challenge
  2. An Adventure
  3. A woman to die for.
I was reading this upcoming Sunday's readings, and it occurred to me that the Gospel reading, the encounter with the Samaritan Woman at the Well, is Jesus Christ's moment of becoming a man.

Bear with me.  Let's go through each of the above criteria:
  1. A Challenge.  Jesus Christ was both man and God.  Which means the God side was continually, in his brain, having a dialog with the man side.  What a challenge for a first century Jew, raised in a tribal society- to enter Samaritan Territory, and sit at this well.
  2. An Adventure.  Once he sat at the well, after the adventure of getting there at all (travel in those days for a poor man like Christ was on foot- slowly) the thirst kicked in.  All human adventure is linked to our needs; and the fulfillment of spiritual and physical need.  No less so did Christ experience this, which is when we come to number 3.
  3. A Woman to Die For.  At first, this was just the fulfillment of his adventure- merely asking for water.  But it quickly, thanks to God knowledge seeping into Christ's finite human brain, became much, much more.   For this was no ordinary Samaritan woman.  She was adulterous (after all, we heard before this week how divorce is a form of adultery) having had five husbands and currently living with a boyfriend who is not her husband.  Given the times, much of this sin was likely due to mere attempts to survive after divorce; a woman did not live long on her own in such patriarchal societies.  But meeting this sinful woman, I believe, was the beginning- the beginning of what he knew he needed to do to redeem us all.  For we are all the woman at the well.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Feed the Hungry, Clothe the naked, Shelter the Homeless, Document the Undocumented, Assimilate the Unassimilated

The problem of refugees has come to the forefront due to Donald Trump.  But the one place I've had a problem with Church teaching, is in the unreasoning allowance for human migration.

Thinking about where I differ with Donald Trump, I think my problem with this teaching is a severe cultural problem that has happened with white American Catholics in my generation.  We've lost our roots, we were denied teaching about our culture in the 1970s and 1980s, and we're only now getting it back.

When you have no culture yourself- multiculturalism is a threat.  Everybody else is allowed culture, but white people are not.  Why?  Because our culture is evil.  Our culture is supposedly that which conquored the world- but now must be denied.

But what if we start taking a different approach.  What if, in forming "Sanctuary Chuch" policies, we not only feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, protect the criminal (for a time, and to reconcile the criminal to the crown), but to go a step further.  Let us document the undocumented and thus create the paper trail necessary to prove that a  person really intends to immigrate and abandon old allegiances to pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which she stands, One Nation Under God, INDIVISIBLE, with Liberty and JUSTICE for all.

Which leads to our next duty as a Church.  We must assmilate the unassimilated.  If we want a Christian nation, and we most certainly should, that means converting the unconverted.  It means teaching English to those who are newly arrived.  It means introducing them to our food, it means inviting them into our homes, it means teaching them the laws of the land so that they may become productive members of our culture.

Which circles back around- that we must first have a culture to teach.    It is time to stop being afraid of our own culture, it is time to offer the melting pot of culture where *all* cultures are blended together into one, rather than the salad bowl of multiculturalism where the tomatoes fight for dominance against the lettuce.

For Catholics, that means we need to start with faith and reason.  With reason and history.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Pope Francis, a love/hate relationship

As readers of this blog know, since the first Synod on the Family, I've had a bit of a love/hate relationship with Pope Francis.  I recently came across an interesting "Rigid" side blog post  listing all the "Rigid Catholic" concerns about this Pope and the way Jesuits in general operate within the Church.  It is most excellent, and contains things that you won't see in main stream media or even sometimes in Catholic media about the Pope:
  • Mercy for fornicators
  • Mercy for pederasts (molesters of pubescent children)
  • Mercy for Jesuit schools that in search of money are abandoning Catholicism in favor of Islamic or Humanist studies
  • The side insults against rigid Catholics
  • Twisting history to exemplify heretics at the cost of real saints
  • Dialogue with Masons
  • Ignoring the massive martyrdom caused by Islam, while welcoming massive numbers of Moslem immigrants to Europe who have an antithetical view of western women resulting in rape and murder
  • The 500th Anniversary of Fatima, and the fear surrounding this time.

My one saving thought, the thing that keeps me from total despair, comes from the Mercy of St. John Paul The Great:  Not all who are in the Church Militant or the Church Suffering are Catholic.  But all who are in the Church Militant and the Church Suffering, will be Catholic in the Church Triumphant.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Privilege = Opportunity

Any time you see a privilege that someone else has that you want- that is an opportunity to create a business to give that privilege to others.

Every "White Male Privilege" in the book  Four Days to Change, is in fact something that society once found necessary for survival.  It's something that white male culture *had* to have, and so built business structures to provide.

There is no reason why those structures cannot be built to provide exactly the same privileges to others.

All it takes is localism- taking an interest in your neighborhood, and building, rather than dividing.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Birth Control doesn't work

The problem is, almost every form of birth control, including sterilization, has flaws.  Condoms cause more sex to occur, overcoming the contraception.  Same is true of any other form of birth control.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The ancient rite of Asylum, and modern immigration problem in the United States

There has been talk of sanctuary churches as of late, and I got to thinking how these could be a positive rather than further division in our nation.

From Wikipedia, we have this ancient description of Sanctuary in English Common law:
Church sanctuaries were regulated by common law. An asylum seeker had to confess his sins, surrender his weapons, and permit supervision by church or abbey organization with jurisdiction. They then had forty days to decide whether to surrender to secular authorities and stand trial for their alleged crimes, or to confess their guilt, abjure the realm, and go into exile by the shortest route and never return without the king's permission. Those who did return faced execution under the law and/or excommunication from the Church.
If the suspect chose to confess their guilt and abjure, they did so in a public ceremony, usually at the church gates. They would surrender their possessions to the church, and any landed property to the crown. The coroner, a medieval official, would then choose a port city from which the fugitive should leave England (though the fugitive sometimes had this privilege). The fugitive would set out barefooted and bareheaded, carrying a wooden cross-staff as a symbol of protection under the church. Theoretically they would stay to the main highway, reach the port and take the first ship out of England. In practice, however, the fugitive could get a safe distance away, abandon the cross-staff and take off and start a new life. However, one can safely assume the friends and relatives of the victim knew of this ploy and would do everything in their power to make sure this did not happen; or indeed that the fugitive never reached their intended port of call, becoming a victim of vigilante justice under the pretense of a fugitive who wandered too far off the main highway while trying to "escape."
Knowing the grim options, some fugitives rejected both choices and opted for an escape from the asylum before the forty days were up. Others simply made no choice and did nothing. Since it was illegal for the victim's friends to break into an asylum, the church would deprive the fugitive of food and water until a decision was made.

 This, to me seems close to workable as a way for Churches, especially Catholic Churches, to fulfill their sacred duty of mercy to the immigrant, while staying on the right side of the law.

I thus propose that the Church make the following deal with the Department of Homeland Security:
1.  If any undocumented person comes into a Catholic Church, places his hand on the Altar, and requests Asylum, that person shall be granted the right to ask a member of that Parish for a place to stay for 180 days maximum.
2.  That person is safe from deportation for 180 days.
3.  The person will be reported to DHS, and a process will be started to vet the individual.  This process is to take no more than 180 days.
4.  The person themselves will devote themselves to prayer, confession, and discussion with the parish priest.  The purpose of these discussions is to decide between one of the following three options:
            a.    Documentation-  If no other impediment exists, becoming a permanent resident with the intention of naturalized citizenship.
            b.    Leave Asylum and turn oneself into authorities for the normal justice process.
            c.    Confess guilt, Receive absolution for eternal sins, and the church will help the person to sell all his worldly posessions and self-deport with the help of the international worldwide church.

Of course, in this 180 day process, any other concerns of family and friends must be taken into consideration.

Of course, this presupposes a modernization of the entire immigration process, to the point where such a decision can be made in 180 days.  The United States does NOT have a good track record on this.

Creative Commons License
Oustside The Asylum by Ted Seeber is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at