Monday, December 28, 2015

Pillars of Islam

I'm hoping this gets the combox going.  How many pillars of Islam are there, and what are they?

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

What do Jesuits in Oregon have against anything pro-life?

Once again, I asked to have a pro-life item included in our bulletin, and once again, our Jesuit-trained pastoral assistant blocked it.  Over and over, whenever I meet a pro-choice Catholic, I'm told they are Jesuit trained.  What do Jesuits have against life? ---- Jesuit pro-choice strikes again. In the end result, 9daysforlife.com will not be promoted at St. Clare's.

Monday, December 21, 2015

50 Important Facts About Having Mild Autism:Asperger’s Syndrome | My Blog

50 Important Facts About Having Mild Autism:Asperger’s Syndrome | My Blog:



Best list of this type that I've seen yet- a must read for anybody who either has HFA Level 1 (the new name for Asperger's) or loves somebody who does.

Friday, December 18, 2015

My version of the Benedict Option

It starts with a ghost town. Some of them go really cheap. Someplace in Oregon, there is a ghost town that would be useful for this purpose. It needs a creek or a river running near it. But that's about it; cache basins can supply the rest of the water if we can build them to keep it. It also needs a hill or a mountain. And on top of the mountain, a very special chapel will be built. The Venerable Fr. Michael J McGivney chapel. The basement will look something like this- 4 rooms, for 4 very special purposes, no windows.
The stairs in the basement leads up to the next level, by the wall- where an altar on rails covers the steps when in proper position for the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, but is open for the Ordinary Form of the Mass. On this same level are 4 patios outside the walls of the Maltese Cross shaped church- two red and two white.
Finally- far above- is a very special sculpture- made of solar panels and steel- making up the roof:
Sitting nearby, is another cross shapped building with a circular dining hall, 12 rooms on two floors, and a central nurse's office. On its roof, is a painting of a globe and the white sculpture of a dove. It is the Patriot's Rest- an assisted living center and restaurant combined.
The Fraternal Retreat Center would be a log cabin lodge, for state conventions and rented out as a retreat center to Catholic groups the rest of the year.
The Unity RV Park is open to any Knight of Columbus that needs a place to stay. Full hookup parking lot, basically.
And finally, attached to the for profit supermarket, is the Charity Food Bank, subcontracted to the St. Vincent De Paul. Extra donations at the time yu are paying for your own food, stocks the food bank.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The History of Laudato Si

Time to repost my list. I thought I had already done so. Since Laudato Si has a definite economic component to it, as a part of the description of the Authentic Human Ecology in paragraphs 100-150, I'm adding it to the list.

And now, the ten Papal documents, so far, on economics, so that you can get a feeling of the history of the Doctrine of Distributism:
Rerum Novarum from Pope Leo XIII

Quadragesimo Anno from Pope Pius XI

Mater et Magistra from Pope John XXIII

Populum Progresso from Pope Paul VI

Laborem Exercens from Pope John Paul II

Centesimus Annus from Pope John Paul II

Sollicitudo Rei Socialis from Pope John Paul II

Caritas In Veritate by Pope Benedict XVI

Evangelii Gaudium by Pope Francis

Laudato Si by Pope Francis

People think that Catholic doctrine never changes- but it's dogma that doesn't change, doctrine changes ever so slowly because of the concern for human error. The Doctrine of Distributism is as solid as any other form of economics I can think of, but unlike communism, which requires total subservience to the state, and capitalism, which requires total subservience to self, distributism is duty to protect other people's rights and justice to fulfill other people's needs. And in return- other people have a duty to protect YOUR rights and fulfill YOUR needs. Interdependence, rather than independence.

And that ethic I think is really worth thinking about.

Monday, December 14, 2015

What I need to read for the Jubilee Year of Mercy

http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_30111980_dives-in-misericordia.html

WALDO- a better software methodology

I've been thinking a lot about the software methodology religious wars lately. It seems to me that all methodologies have their strength and weaknesses. 15 years in, Agile has given us faster coding, but worse quality. Waterfall was flawed due to its overemphasis on architecture and underemphesis on business. Lean cuts out inefficiency- at the cost of elegance and maintainability. Devops sacrifices quality and cheapness for speed of continuous Outcomes. And while it's true that the "User Interface is everything" because that's the only thing the user sees, Outcomes sacrifices the future for one-off unmaintainable code.

 So here's my solution- WALDO. The ultimate 3-6 person team- no more than 6, no less than three if a couple of guys wear multiple hats.

W- Waterfall
A- Agile
L- Lean
D- Devops
O- Outcomes

But these aren't just methodologies- they imply roles on the team.  The ideal six person team consists of:

W- The customer's view of the project should always be waterfall with iterations.  They tell us what they think they want, we build it- they're involved in every iteration.  Of course, they don't really know what they want- it takes several iterations before we discover what they want- but the W role is the customer herself.

WA- The Waterfall Architect, or perhaps the Waterfall Analyst.  This is the guy who is the face of the team to the customer- the single point of contact.  On smaller teams, may also be the scrum master- but ideally should be a master of the models.  This person should also be the principle advocate in scrum meetings for the customer.

AL- the real scrum master should be a master of both Agile and Lean.  This guy lives in the world of Gantt charts and excel spreadsheets- keeping both schedule and budget, keeping the team on schedule, communicating that schedule to the team and to the WA and W.  Daily scrums should keep people on task.

LD- the Lean Developer is a Model First Full Stack Programmer, but is the king of Object Orientation, maintainability, and reuse.  It is this role that you want somebody who excels in data- but can work in the higher tiers of programming right up to the User Interface Tier.

DO- the ultimate Devops guy should be as much artist as programmer- a whiz of the User Interface.  This is what the customer will see, so the DO and the WA are a natural Quality Assurance feedback loop for each other.  Since the DO consumes data and objects coded by the LD, there's a natural QA feedback loop there as well.

O- the Outcomes guy.  QA and Build Engineer rolled into one- this is your build manager, working with WA and W to make sure every release happens quickly and accurately, and that beta testing actually occurs to provide data back to WA.

This is my ideal team- one that insures you get the best of all methodologies, not the short sightedness of focusing on one or two.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

I guess I haven't said it plain enough yet

Some time ago I read Rerum Novarum, and it changed the way I thought about both capitalism and communism. At the time, I had become a convinced crony capitalist. Though a communist in college, I had found success through hard work, and was living a life that by any standard I can think of put me in the top 1% of human beings worldwide, even if I was someplace in the middle in America.

When I was finally challenged to read a book called Papal Economics, I realized that crony capitalism and communism are two sides of the same coin. Both are so incredibly centralized that they prevent access to basic needs for some people in this world.

So in the end result- capitalism and communism are a false choice of false religions. Follow Christ instead.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Ok, I get Pope Francis likes mercy

And I get that I need to learn the Spiritual Works of Mercy better. But can I have mercy for my eyes from this crazy logo?

Saturday, December 5, 2015

what3words | Addressing the world

what3words | Addressing the world:



'via Blog this'



I don't think I like my new address by this system- curvy.backs.offers , but I guess it is memorable

What Does Mercy Mean? | Best Advent Ever

What Does Mercy Mean? | Best Advent Ever:



This series is helping me greatly with learning a much more Catholic definition of mercy.  Offering healing to a heart in misery.  What a powerful concept- and it shows that my primary problem with mercy stems from a very Americanist narrowing of the concept of mercy to just forgiveness.  How do we show mercy to the unrepentant?  By instructing the ignorant, counseling the doubtful, and by admonishing the sinner.  How do we show love to those we are being merciful to?  By bearing wrong patiently, forgiving offenses willingly, comforting the aflicted, and praying for the dead.



This is Catholicism at its finest- this is the Jubilee Year!

I eagerly await confession with one of Pope Francis's new missionaries of mercy. For all that remains, is reconciliation with Rome.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Spiritual Works of Mercy

  • instruct the ignorant
  • counsel the doubtful
  • admonish the sinner
  • bear wrongs patiently
  • forgive offenses willingly
  • comfort the afflicted
  • pray for the living and the dead

Being a child of the 1970s, I never memorized the works of mercy.  Perhaps if I had I would have noticed that another answer to the false mercy of the Jesuit Liberal Calvinists would be the first three Spiritual Works of Mercy- at which far too many Jesuit schools are woefully inadequate.

In their rush to "Academic Freedom" under the sexual revolution, they exceed at the last four- but utterly ignore the first three.  And yet, the first three are precisely how we should be showing mercy to the unrepentant.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

If there was one thing I could ask Pope Francis about

It would be this question "Is the law not also a part of mercy"?

From his closing comments to the synod, in which he was rather harsh with those who follow the law "The Church’s first duty is not to hand down condemnations or anathemas, but to proclaim God’s mercy, to call to conversion, and to lead all men and women to salvation in the Lord (cf. Jn 12:44-50)."- Pope Francis conclusion to the 2015 synod

I see repentance as necessary for mercy. Justice, repentance, and Mercy, the human trinity.

The way this is shown is in the eternal call to conversion- a person who doesn't know his sin is a sin can't convert. The reason for the condemnations and anathemas is precisely the call to conversion.

If you are looking for more of my evolving thoughts on this subject, use the labels to find other related posts.

Monday, November 23, 2015

On Bullying | Spiritual Friendship

On Bullying | Spiritual Friendship:



'via Blog this'



Funny, I never thought of this before- but sometimes, the lie of sexual orientation is merely giving in to years of abuse from homophobes or heterophobes.

Since my comment to Spiritual Friendship didn't post- I may have been banned there- here is a synopsis of my thoughts upon reading this topic.

I could have written this post.  But with nearly 20 years advantage in maturity on the author, my story ends very differently.  In 2000, at age 30, I was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism Level 1, formerly known as Asperger's.  Before that, the bullying never made sense to me.  I was interested in dating women, I had no idea why they called me fag and queer.  Why, in the cruel middle school game of Smear the Queer, I was always the queer.

I now know.  Any kid with strange mannerisms, who doesn't quite get social niceties, is queer.

Sexual Orientation is a myth.  It is the myth of the bullies.  Accepting the label is giving in to the bullying.

And that is why I am often seen as opposed to gays, as "living in a different reality"- because I do not accept the myth of sexual orientation.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Bishops Take on Porn

Pornography is a problem often overlooked in American society and is the part of the sexual revolution that has infected the brains of just about everybody under 40 years old. As usual, the Bishops are a half century late tackling this issue- but at least they ARE tackling this issue. I suggest that pornography is more than just the obvious- Romance Novels are as much porn as Hustler, fanfic on the internet is often quite nearly as pornographic as anything found in an x rated video. The idea that this is only a male problem is ridiculous.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The problem with the law of scarcity


The real problem with the law of scarcity is in the difference between the word "want" and the word "need".  God provided us with a planet that has all the natural resources we need to feed, clothe, and shelter 80 billion people, if we work for it and distribute those goods fairly and equitably.  And most importantly, if we distribute the work equitably.

There can never be enough for want however- want is psychological, and the infinity of human want is greater than the infinity of God himself.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

I am not a Theologian, I just play one on the Internet

And thus, for once, I really want some theologians to comment on this, wherever you find it.

Sin, Mercy, and Justice are the trinity of the human mind.  We worship, as Catholics, the Trinity of God the Father, God the Son, God the Spirit.  But we act in a fallen mortal world- a world where Original Sin is a scientifically proven fact by preponderance of evidence (ok, the science is theology, and since a few atheists follow me, I'm sure they will disagree with that, but I'd ask them before they jump on that if they've ever acted against personal conscience- doing something they knew was wrong and justifying it afterwards).  And where there is sin, there is need for mercy.  Where there is mercy, there is also a need for justice.  These three concepts are so intertwined that (with apologies to Kasper the friendly Cardinal, who I know believes differently) they cannot and should never be separated.

Luke 17:1-10 tells us that we should forgive the repentant.  But what are the repentant, if not those who seek to do something to repair the temporal effects of their sin, who seek justice for their own crimes?  And are not these the very people who deserve mercy the most?

Likewise, the man who seeks to avoid his sin, who claims that it is not sin, and who does no repentance- has not done justice.  And thus, does not deserve mercy.

Using the Year of Mercy Logo above- which I detest, but does include this point- it is not only Christ trying to see through the sinner's eye.  It is also the Sinner trying to see through Christ's eye.  I know many liberal evangelicals and less than orthodox Catholics who only see the first- and forget the second.



Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Paintings Made By Unborn Babies | Bored Panda

Paintings Made By Unborn Babies | Bored Panda:



'via Blog this'



So much for the "lacks the capacity for consciousness" argument

The Medieval Mind and the Modernist Error |Blogs | NCRegister.com

The Medieval Mind and the Modernist Error |Blogs | NCRegister.com:



'via Blog this'



This is brilliant.  Yes, that is exactly right.  Without morality, without a moral intelligence, a technological intelligence becomes monstrous.

What same sex marriage means to me

The Assault on Parental Moral Authority - Crisis Magazine:



'via Blog this'



I've often been asked why I oppose same sex marriage, because as a heterosexual, what harm does allowing two sodomites or two lesbians get married mean to me?



This is why.  Because same sex marriage isn't about same sex marriage, it's about a direct attack on biological parental rights.  In that, it mirrors its elder brother, no fault divorce, and its elder twin sisters, contraception and abortion.



Dissent from the new order cannot be tolerated- so now the Department of Education gets into the destruction of biological gender act.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Please Pray for a former member of our council

From St Clare Sisters in the Spirit:
-------------------------
Dear friends,
   Please pray for Gary Lane, a parishioner who is dealing with cancer of the throat. He has been a faithful reader for the last couple of years. And let's remember to continue to support Georgette Spacarelli as she goes through 5 weeks of radiation therapy. 
   I have a beautiful Sunday evening prayer which is labeled a "Traditional Jewish Prayer". I always find it reassuring that the best of all faith traditions have so much in common. I feel sure that makes God smile!
    "Grant us peace, goodness, and blessing; life, grace and kindness; justice and mercy,  Our Father, bless us all together with the light of your presence, for in the light of your presence you give us law and life, love and kindness, justice and mercy, blessing and peace.  And in your eyes it is good to bless your people with great strength and peace. Blessed are you, Lord, who bless your people with peace.  Amen." Amen. Amen
Sheila
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
He may no longer be our brother in our order, but he is our brother in Christ.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

How to Improve Your Mind - Archbishop Fulton Sheen - YouTube

How to Improve Your Mind - Archbishop Fulton Sheen - YouTube:



'via Blog this'



;

Liberal Calvinism and the problem of Mercy

I have a problem with the upcoming Jubilee Year of Mercy.

I'm having a bit of a crisis of faith over competing definitions of the word mercy, and the role of repentance in forgiveness when it comes to salvation.

On the one side (one might say the conservative Catholic side), to paraphrase Fr. Robert Baron, Mercy includes Misery.  You don't ask for mercy for q situation that isn't making you miserable; thus, even merely asking for mercy is a form of repentance.  And as we know from Luke 17:1-10, God's mercy for the repentant is indeed boundless- all we need to do is recognize that we have sinned and are sorry for it, and we WILL be forgiven. q=>r=>m

The other side (one might say the liberal form of Calvinism) God's Mercy is also boundless- and unavoidable.  All good dogs go to heaven type.  In this form salvation is unavoidable, heaven is very full, and hell is very empty, because God forgives *everything*, even the previously unforgivable sin of failing to ask for repentance.

The problem is, I see Jesuits in America Magazine and in real life preaching more the second and far less of the first.  They call this being pastoral.  Even the Pope has had harsh words for the Pharisees who insist on repentance first.  But where is the role for evangelization and conversion in the second?, Why would anybody give up the joys of sin, if all sins are forgiven whether we repent or not?

When did the liberal Calvinists take over Europe?  Why do they have so much power in the Curia?  And why is their form "Pastoral"?


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Want an excellent Laugh?

The Pope / Useful Notes - TV Tropes:





A great cure for Francis Fanaticism, is to read the St. John Paul II section of this page (along with the rest of the history of "Famous Popes and their TV Tropes")

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Synod15 - Final Report of the Synod of Bishops to the Holy Father Francis (October 24, 2015)

Synod15 - Final Report of the Synod of Bishops to the Holy Father Francis (October 24, 2015):



Thanks Be to God- the English translation of the new synod report is out.  Not only that, but maybe in response to previous online rumors about biased English translators in the Vatican, this online document has a cool geeky new feature- hover over a sentence, you'll get the original Latin, or maybe Italian.  I'm a post Vatican II Catholic so I can't tell the difference.



On my fears- Paragraph 76 completely and utterly refutes the denial of heteronormative marriage.  Paragraphs 83-86 completely deny that divorce is objectively good.  Unless Pope Francis pulls a Humanae Vitae style reversal of these points in the final exhortation, we conservatives have good reason to be hopeful.



Chapter II, paragraphs 64-68, are a must read for all Catholic parents.  Paragraph 65 in particular touches on a subject I've been a bit contentious online on, the preference that children be cared for by their natural parents first, an adoptive heteronormative married couple second, foster care by a heteronormative couple third, and only after all of the rest fail, by single people.  There is zero mention of homosexual couples in this paragraph because by Catholic standards, homosexual adoption is child abuse.



We have a new prayer too, in the conclusion:

Prayer to the Holy Family
Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
in you contemplate
the splendor of true love,
we turn to you with confidence.
Holy Family of Nazareth,
make our families
places of communion and prayer circles,
authentic schools of the Gospel
and small domestic Churches.
Holy Family of Nazareth,
no more families will have experience
of violence, closure and division:
anyone was injured or scandalized
know soon consolation and healing.
Holy Family of Nazareth,
awakened in all awareness
of the sacred and inviolable character of the family,
its beauty in God's plan.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
listen, answered our prayer.
Amen.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

I fired Robert Half

For a headhunting company working in high tech, they are extremely incompetent.  They screwed up this one so badly that I will neither use them to look for a job in the future nor will I ever hire a temp from Robert Half.

Monday, October 19, 2015

How to end homelessness in Oregon once and for all

A legislative scheme to end homelessness in Oregon:

Step 1.  Take back 5 million acres of BLM Land from the Federal Government.
Step 2.  Create a birthright homestead lottery in which every child born in Oregon in the last 150 years, is granted a random acre of land.  This land grant is for this person only, cannot be bought or sold, and is returned to the state in whatever condition it is in upon the person's death.  It can be built upon,
Step 3.  A birthright acre can be developed.  It can be rented.  The mineral rights can be leased.  It can be farmed.  It can be used to collect water for whatever water falls on it from the sky.
Step 4:  Any resident, after two weeks, can qualify for a $50,000 1% 15 year fixed mortgage for a pre-manufactured  house under 300 square feet with proof of rental or ownership of a birthright acre and sufficient income to repay the loan, from state funds.  Such a shelter shall contain a rainwater collection system, a composting toilet, and a solar oven, for complete self-sufficiency.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

There's a way out, but you wan't like it

School Safety Starts with Community.  Which makes me very afraid for my son's middle school.  The Whitford community is everything you remember public school community to be like from high school- from the students right up to the PTO.  Cliqueish and into all of the division that brings.

There is a way out.  Inclusion.  Instead of calling that strange kid of the opposite sex gay, ask them out on a date.  Instead of ostracizing that kid in the Alternative Learning classroom, get to know them.

You might be surprised.  And maybe because of it, your own kids will have a better time when they get to middle school.

We might even have fewer school shootings.

A Liberal’s Ten Commandments | Works and Days

An interesting question posed in #3 for Pope Francis-  If gun manufacturing and ownership is so evil, why do the Swiss Guards carry pocket machine guns?  An equal question for President Obama- if guns cause mass shootings, why do you allow the Secret Service to carry weapons?



A Liberal’s Ten Commandments | Works and Days:



'via Blog this'

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Two Ways There Are: Yoda tackles basic 1st Century Christianity

My translation of the ancient Christian document, the Didache, into theology and grammar from the Star Wars Universe.  You could just see Yoda reach out to give this Sermon to young padawan.  

--------------------------------------------

The Didache
Yoda's Teaching from The Twelve to the Nations. 
Chapter 1. The two ways and the first commandment. The side of light and the side of dark, but between the two ways a great difference is, two ways there are. Do to another what you would not want done to you, the side of light, then, is this: first, you shall serve the force that gives power; second, serve your neighbor as yourself, and do not. This: bless those who curse you, and serve your enemies, and fast for those who persecute you, of these sayings the teaching is. There for serving those who serve you, for what reward is. The sith do the same, does not. Have an enemy, but serve those who hate you, and you shall not. From fleshly and worldly lusts, abstain you. Perfect, if someone strikes your right cheek, turn to him the other also, and you shall be. If someone impresses you for one mile, go with him two. If someone takes your cloak, give him also your coat. Are you, if someone takes from you what is yours, back ask it not, for indeed able not. Given of our own blessings (free gifts), to all who ask of you give; for the force wills that to all should be. Guiltless, he who gives according to the commandment, happy is, for he is. Having need shall pay the penalty, why he received and for what, woe to him who receives; for if one receives who has need, he is guiltless; but he who receives not. Escape from there until he pays back the last penny, and coming into confinement, he shall be examined concerning the things which he has done, and he shall not. Been said, let your alms sweat in your hands, until you know to whom you should give, and also concerning this, it has..
Chapter 2. The second commandment: grave sin forbidden. Murder, commit not adultery, commit not pederasty, commit not fornication, steal not you shall, practice magic not you shall, practice witchcraft not you shall, murder not a young padwan by abortion nor kill that which is born, and the second commandment of the teaching; commit not. Bear, covet the things of your neighbor you shall not, swear you shall not, bear false witness you shall not, speak evil you shall not, grudges you will not. Be double-minded nor double-tongued, for to be double-tongued is a snare of death, you shall not. Be false, nor empty, but fulfilled by deed, your speech shall not. Be covetous, nor rapacious, nor a hypocrite, nor evil disposed, nor haughty, you shall not. Take evil counsel against your neighbor, you shall not. Hate any man; but some you shall reprove, and concerning some you shall pray, and some you shall love more than your own life, you shall not..
Chapter 3. Other sins forbidden. Flee from every evil thing, and from every likeness of it my young padwan. Prone to anger, for anger leads to murder, be not. Neither jealous, nor quarrelsome, nor of hot temper, for out of all these murders are engendered, be. A lustful one, my young padwan, be not. For lust leads to fornication. Neither a filthy talker, nor of lofty eye, for out of all these adulteries are engendered, be. An observer of omens, since it leads to idolatry, my young padwan, be not. Neither an enchanter, nor an astrologer, nor a purifier, nor be willing to took at these things, for out of all these idolatry is engendered, be. A liar, since a lie leads to theft, my young padwan, be not. Neither money-loving, nor vainglorious, for out of all these thefts are engendered, be. A murmurer, since it leads the way to blasphemy, my young padwan, be not. Neither self-willed nor evil-minded, for out of all these blasphemies are engendered, be.
Meek, since the meek shall inherit the earth, rather, be. Long-suffering and pitiful and guileless and gentle and good and always trembling at the words which you have heard, be. Exalt yourself, nor give over-confidence to your soul, you shall not. Be joined with lofty ones, but with just and lowly ones shall it have its intercourse, your soul shall not. Accept whatever happens to you as good, knowing that apart from god nothing comes to pass..
Chapter 4. Precepts, various precepts. The lord, my young padwan, remember night and day him who speaks the word of god to you, and honor him as you do. Uttered, there is the lord, for wherever the lordly rule is. Seek out day by day the faces of the saints, in order that you may rest upon their words and. Long for division, but rather bring those who contend to peace, do not. Respect persons in reproving for transgressions, judge righteously, and do not. Be undecided whether or not it shall be, you shall not. A stretcher forth of the hands to receive and a drawer of them back to give, be not. Anything, through your hands you shall give ransom for your sins, if you have. Hesitate to give, nor complain when you give; for you shall know who is the good repayer of the hire, do not. Turn away from him who is in want; rather, share all things with your brother, and do not say that they are your own, do not. Partakers in that which is immortal, how much more in things which are mortal, for if you are. Remove your hand from your son or daughter; rather, teach them the fear of god from their youth, do not. Enjoin anything in your bitterness upon your bondman or maidservant, who hope in the same god, lest ever they shall fear not god who is over both; for he comes not to call according to the outward appearance, but to them whom the spirit has prepared, do not. Subject to your masters as to a type of god, in modesty and fear, and you bondmen shall be. Pleasing to the lord, you shall hate all hypocrisy and everything which is not. In any way forsake the commandments of the lord; but keep what you have received, neither adding thereto nor taking away therefrom, do not. Come near for your prayer with an evil conscience, in the church you shall acknowledge your transgressions, and you shall not. Is the way of life, this.
Chapter 5. The way of death. Knowing a reward for righteousness, not cleaving to good nor to righteous judgment, watching not for that which is good, but for that which is evil; from whom meekness and endurance are far, loving vanities, pursuing revenge, not pitying a poor man, not laboring for the afflicted, not knowing him who made them, murderers of children, destroyers of the handiwork of god, turning away from him who is in want, afflicting him who is distressed, advocates of the rich, lawless judges of the poor, utter sinners, and the way of death is this: first of all it is evil and accursed: murders, adultery, lust, fornication, thefts, idolatries, magic arts, witchcrafts, rape, false witness, hypocrisy, double-heartedness, deceit, haughtiness, depravity, self-will, greediness, filthy talking, jealousy, over-confidence, loftiness, boastfulness; persecutors of the good, hating truth, loving a lie, not. Delivered, children, from all these, be.
Chapter 6. Against false teachers, and food offered to idols. That no one causes you to err from this way of the teaching, since apart from god it teaches you, see. Able to do this, do what you are able, for if you are able to bear the entire yoke of the lord, you will be perfect; but if you are not. Able; but against that which is sacrificed to idols be exceedingly careful; for it is the service of dead gods, and concerning food, bear what you are.
Chapter 7. Baptism, concerning baptism. Way: having first said all these things, baptize into the name of the father, and of the son, and of the holy spirit, in living water, and concerning baptism, baptize this. No living water, baptize into other water; and if you cannot do so in cold water, do so in warm, but if you have. Neither, pour out water three times upon the head into the name of father and son and holy spirit, but if you have. Before the baptism let the baptizer fast, and the baptized, and whoever else can; but you shall order the baptized to fast one or two days before but..
Chapter 8. Fasting and prayer (the lord's prayer). Your fasts be with the hypocrites, for they fast on the second and fifth day of the week, but let not. Fast on the fourth day and the preparation (friday) rather. Pray like the hypocrites, but rather as the lord commanded in his gospel, like this: our father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, do not. Thy kingdom come. Be done on earth, as it is in heaven, thy will. Give us today our daily (needful) bread, and forgive us our debt as we also forgive our debtors. Into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one (or, evil); for thine is the power and the glory for ever, and bring us not.
Three times each day, pray this.
 Chapter 9. Eucharist, the eucharist. Way, now concerning the eucharist, give thanks this. The cup: first, concerning.
The glory for ever, we thank thee, our father, for the holy vine of David thy servant, which you madest known to us through Jesus thy servant; to thee be...
The broken bread: and concerning.
The glory for ever, we thank thee, our father, for the life and knowledge which you madest known to us through jesus thy servant; to thee be. Broken bread was scattered over the hills, and was gathered together and became one, so let thy church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into thy kingdom; for thine is the glory and the power through jesus christ for ever, even as this...
That which is holy to the dogs, but let no one eat or drink of your eucharist, unless they have been baptized into the name of the lord; for concerning this also the lord has said, "give not. ".
Chapter 10. After communion prayer. Filled, give thanks this way, but after you are.
The glory for ever, we thank thee, holy father, for thy holy name which you didst cause to tabernacle in our hearts, and for the knowledge and faith and immortality, which you modest known to us through jesus thy servant; to thee be. Create all things for thy name's sake; you gavest food and drink to men for enjoyment, that they might give thanks to thee; but to us you didst freely give spiritual food and drink and life eternal through thy servant thou, master almighty, didst. Mighty; to thee be the glory for ever, before all things we thank thee that you are. Prepared for it; for thine is the power and the glory for ever, remember, lord, thy church, to deliver it from all evil and to make it perfect in thy love, and gather it from the four winds, sanctified for thy kingdom which thou have. World pass away, let grace come, and let this. The god (son) of david! ! Feel the force! Hosanna to. So, let him repent, if any one is holy, let him come; if any one is not. Maranatha. Amen.
Permit the prophets to make thanksgiving as much as they desire but..
Chapter 11. Concerning teachers, apostles, and prophets. Been said before, receive him, whosoever, therefore, comes and teaches you all these things that have. If the teacher himself turns and teaches another doctrine to the destruction of this, hear him not but. If he teaches so as to increase righteousness and the knowledge of the lord, receive him as the lord but. The apostles and prophets, act according to the decree of the gospel but concerning. Received as the lord, let every apostle who comes to you be. Remain more than one day; or two days, if there's a need, but he shall not. A false prophet, but if he remains three days, he is. The apostle goes away, let him take nothing but bread until he lodges and when. A false prophet, if he asks for money, he is. Be forgiven, and every prophet who speaks in the spirit you shall neither try nor judge; for every sin shall be forgiven, but this sin shall not. Every one who speaks in the spirit is a prophet; but only if he holds the ways of the lord, but not. Known, therefore from their ways shall the false prophet and the prophet be. Eat it, unless he is indeed a false prophet, and every prophet who orders a meal in the spirit does not. Do what he teaches, is a false prophet, and every prophet who teaches the truth, but does not. Teaching others to do what he himself does, shall not be judged among you, for with god he has his judgment; for so did also the ancient prophets, and every prophet, proved true, working unto the mystery of the church in the world, yet not. Listen to him, but whoever says in the spirit, give me money, or something else, you shall not. In need, let no one judge him, but if he tells you to give for others' sake who are.
Chapter 12. Of christians reception. Understanding right and left, but receive everyone who comes in the name of the lord, and prove and know him afterward; for you shall have. Remain with you more than two or three days, if need be, if he who comes is a wayfarer, assist him as far as you are able; but he shall not. An artisan, let him work and eat, but if he wants to stay with you, and is. Live with you idle, but if he has no trade, according to your understanding, see to it that, as a christian, he shall not. To do, he is a christ-monger, but if he wills not. Watch that you keep away from such.
Chapter 13. Of prophets support. Worthy of his support, but every true prophet who wants to live among you is. Himself worthy, as the workman, of his support, so also a true teacher is. R high priests, every first-fruit, therefore, of the products of wine-press and threshing-floor, of oxen and of sheep, you shall take and give to the prophets, for they are you. No prophet, give it to the poor, but if you have. If you make a batch of dough, take the first-fruit and give according to the commandment. So also when you open a jar of wine or of oil, take the first-fruit and give it to the prophets; and of money (silver) and clothing and every possession, take the first-fruit, as it may seem good to you, and give according to the commandment..
Chapter 14. Assembly on the lord's day christian. Pure, but every lord's day gather yourselves together, and break bread, and give thanksgiving after having confessed your transgressions, that your sacrifice may be. Be profaned, but let no one who is at odds with his fellow come together with you, until they be reconciled, that your sacrifice may not. Is that which was spoken by the lord: "in every place and time offer to me a pure sacrifice; for I am a great king, says the lord, and my name is wonderful among the nations, for this. ".
Chapter 15. Bishops and deacons; christian reproof. Lovers of money, and truthful and proved; for they also render to you the service of prophets and teachers, appoint, therefore, for yourselves, bishops and deacons worthy of the lord, men meek, and not. Despise them, for they are your honored ones, together with the prophets and teachers, therefore do not. In anger, but in peace, as you have it in the gospel, and reprove one another, not. That acts amiss against another, let no one speak, nor let him hear anything from you until he repents but to anyone. It in the gospel of our lord, but your prayers and alms and all your deeds so do, as you have..
Chapter 16. The coming of the lord watchfulness. Watch for your life's sake. Your lamps be quenched, nor your loins unloosed; but be ready, for you know not the hour in which our lord will come, let not. Profit you, if you are not made perfect in the last time, but come together often, seeking the things which are befitting to your souls: for the whole time of your faith will not. Multiplied, and the sheep shall be turned into wolves, and love shall be turned into hate; for when lawlessness increases, they shall hate and persecute and betray one another, and then shall appear the world-deceiver as son of god, and shall do signs and wonders, and the earth shall be delivered into his hands, and he shall do iniquitous things which have never yet come to pass since the beginning, for in the last days false prophets and corrupters shall be. Made to stumble and shall perish; but those who endure in their faith shall be saved from under the curse itself, then shall the creation of men come into the fire of trial, and many shall be. Then shall appear the signs of the truth: first, the sign of an outspreading in heaven, then the sign of the sound of the trumpet and. Of all, but as it is said: "the lord shall come and all his saints with him, and third, the resurrection of the dead -- yet not. The lord coming upon the clouds of heaven, " then shall the world see.


With Apologies to Sword of Peter



When I saw this (original cartoon at Sword of Peter Blog ) reposted during the Synod:

I just had to do some photoshopping in Paint.NET:  



Monday, October 5, 2015

The Gospel is clear on the Synod

The Pope made it clear in his homily on Sunday- Marriage is between one man and one woman, for life.  No divorce, no homosexual marriage, none of that can be found in the Gospels.  God has a bigger plan than the 19th century invention of sexual orientation can cover

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Here we go again with Loki rather than YHWH

In his closing Mass homily, and his remarks before leaving the United States, Pope Francis once again referred to the God of Surprises.  It's likely just my autism, but I really resent being told to worship a Trickster God like Loki rather than the faithful God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who kept his promises.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Text of Pope Francis' speech to Congress - News - NorthJersey.com

Text of Pope Francis' speech to Congress - News - NorthJersey.com:



'via Blog this'



Funny how I couldn't find it at any of the national sites.  Here's my count, reading what I heard, of score between Republicans and Democrats:
Republican Jibes: 7

Democrat Jibes: 5

Neutral First World Jibes: 7



Left leaning?  a bit, yes.  Critical?  Certainly- I counted at least 19 insults against first Americans and what they seem to hold dear by their actions, 7 for the right wing, 5 for the left wing, 7 for all Americans.  But by holding up his four individual examples (not one strong pro-lifer among them- Dorothy Day stayed quite silent on the subject of abortion due to having had one herself, Thomas Merton fathered a child in his Cambridge days and then rejected the vocation implied by that to become a monk), he showed that even sinners can bring about great good.  And there is hope in that.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A Family Resemblance | CatholicVote.org

A Family Resemblance | CatholicVote.org:



I remember this great act by a Pope in 1987 (read the article link first, we'll still be here when you hit the Back button).  I remember just a few years after, in conservative Klamath Falls, OR in 1991, attending a "The Body of Christ has AIDS" vigil.  Holy Priests stepped up and started AIDS Hospice centers (I know of a few still operating).  An entire monastery of monks stepped up to be infected- just to increase knowledge of the disease.


By 1997, they were paid back completely not in kind, when Holy Redeemer was vandalized by AIDS activists, but still many of us campaigned for civil union laws.


By 2002, in Oregon, we had passed a civil union law.  


In 2004, 3 out of 4 Multnomah County Commissioners defied the law and started us on the path to same sex marriage- since then it has gotten incredibly ugly.  I've seen churches vandalized, priests and nuns attacked.  I've been called a breeder for my only child having special needs (because of course, all people with disabilities should be aborted, right?).  The culture war turned hot- and as we all know on June 26, 2015, we all lost.


How I so much wish we could return to the simple act of charity for those in pain - even those in pain because of actions we disagree with.  No, ESPECIALLY those living out the temporal consequences of their sin.  There is no higher calling for a Christian than to love the sinner.

Monday, September 21, 2015

A few words on preaching in Catholicism

It's sometimes challenging to be a member of the Pastoral Council at my parish.  In the last 15 years, we've had 4 pastors (in the Archdiocese of Portland, one pastor usually stays 6 to 12 years, with the approval of the Archbishop, so this is a lot of changes quickly).  In addition, before 1996, the parish wasn't dioscean, it was Franciscan- and urban Franciscan at that, which means it had a tendency to attract people "Church shopping" for a comfortably liberal parish.

And then God and Archbishop Vlazney sent us Fr. Steve Stobie.

Excellent Administrator- even with the post 2007 slump, the parish is now back in the black financially.  Wonderful confessor priest- every priest has his own talents, and Fr. Stobie's is the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Wonderful person too, if you can break through his introversion and actually get to know the man.

But also, a Canon Lawyer who is very conservative for this parish.


Which leads me to the link I want to save, and my reason for writing this post. One lady, who apparently did not realize this was a liturgical abuse, complained about how we never hear from women in the homily anymore. Three priests ago, we had a very holy, but also very liberal, pastor who would turn the homily over to lay people quite often. He even did so for me back when I was in high school in a different parish. But that was then, and this is now- post the CDF cleaning up the Y2K General Instruction of the Roman Missal, and thus, we need to hold tight to Canon Law on this issue.

Canon 767 is the main culprit here.  In one of the few places where clericalism is written into Canon Law, only a Bishop, Priest, or Deacon may give the homily- and the homily should be limited to being related  to the readings from the lectionary.

This means that the kind of freewheeling homilies we got used to in the 1970s and 1980s are truly no more; in any parish where the priest is faithful to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, Canon 767 is followed to the letter.

It also explains why Fr. Stobie, so free in the confessional to be pastoral, gives boring lectures on ancient history for his homilies, and never seems to relate them to the present day.

Fr. Stobie is currently on Sabbatical, and I hope when he returns, he'll have some fresh eyes, fresh insights into the scriptures to share with us.  But if he doesn't, at least now I understand why.

Friday, September 11, 2015

St. Pelagius Pray for Us

The Shoebat is on fire today with an interesting tale for conspiracy theorists that matches public knowledge.

It's very much conspiracy theory- but it does fit current events.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Pope Francis vs Pope Francis

I'm praying this is more perception than reality, but the this seems downright schizophrenic to me.

In Laudato Si, the importance of an authentic human ecology- the standard nuclear family unit combined with the extended family as a basis for economic and human activity- is held up as an example of what we should strive for.  Human beings living in heterosexual lifelong monogamous  families consume fewer material goods, which is better for the environment and the world.

In Mitis Iudex Mitis Iudex (English Commentary, English translation not available yet), we relax the rules on annulment to insure that annulments are easier to obtain- and like the secular divorce that causes the need to examine a marriage to see if it ever existed in the first place- annulments tear apart the family, often quite violently.  Mitis Iudex seems to be a crime against an authentic human ecology.

This Pope is not a deep thinker- so perhaps he doesn't even see the connection that he himself has pointed out.  But it increases my own sin of despair when these contradictions happen.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Haven't posted anything here in a while

Mainly because I've been busy with work, Knights, and family issues.

Leading up to the World Meeting of Families, I'm both more sure that canon law surrounding marriage will not change (at least for the Archdiocese of Portland) but also that we need to do better outreach to those who reject traditional family.  I met the new director of Marriage and Family life for the Archdiocese- a father of five, one of them special needs- and his daughter, who has some developmental delay.  I think he's the perfect man for the job.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Another quickie

The Caliphate commits homicide because #ChaldeanLivesMatter

Thursday, August 13, 2015

A quickie

Abortion is a form of Homicide, because #BlackLivesMatter

Sunday, August 9, 2015

My personal issue with Pope Francis's Year of Mercy.

I am told that the new Jesuit teaching is a mercy of unilateral forgiveness.  Luke 17:1-10, of course, teaches Christians Forgiveness for the Repentant.   The next step up, is pardon for the unpardonable- with the understanding that the crime is, indeed, unpardonable.

But unilateral forgiveness of the unrepentant, is something I have a big problem with.  So did the great Catholic televangelist, Fulton Sheen, apparently.  In 1965, he showed where American Culture jumped off the rails:

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A plan to fix the American Family

A 5% surcharge in income taxes, with a break for anybody who gives away more than 20% of their income to charity. Use it to directly fund WIC, SNAP, and TANF. Take the money that would have gone to planned parenthood and also use that to fund WIC, SNAP, and TANF. Increase means testing to not just take into account income and ration of dependents to workers, but also fulfillment. Provide parental training in how to be a parent- and use that same training to screen and recruit some portion of the women to run in home daycare for those who want a second job (in effect, using the SNAP money twice, first to support the family needing daycare, second to supplement the income of those stay at home mothers who are willing to watch a couple of extra kids).  Use some of the money to make sure every father, identified by DNA to be linked to a child and with a valid heterosexual marriage certificate to be supporting the mother of the child, has a living wage job (even if it ends up a government job with subsidized housing, but let us prioritize private, local employment first).
Put it to the Republicans in the form of "We will trade all taxpayer support of contraception and abortion in return for this new welfare program to support mothers and children". Make it a trade of political capital, so that every Democrat and Republican Incumbent can spin it to support of the family when they are up for re-election.

It will never happen.  The poor are to Democrats what the unborn are to Republicans, mere campaign cannon fodder to trot out ever two years when the incumbents are up for re-election.

Monday, July 27, 2015

What everybody over the age of 21 who thinks that homosexuality is always good, needs to read.

Moira Greyland is the child of ultra liberal sexual revolutionist science fiction authors Marion Zimmer Bradley and Walter Breen.  Her tale of her parents descent from heterosexuality to homosexuality, with a side trip into pedophilia and child abuse, is a horror story that is nearly unmatched.  The entire idea of replacing the order of the family with sexual chaos is abhorrent.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Father Brown Mysteries - The Deadly Seal- and Mercy needs Repentance

As of Late, I've been concerned with the Jesuit teaching of the Charitable Interpretation- and how it often seems to inspire unilateral forgiveness- that is, Mercy GRANTED without repentance. This seems to me to be against the Gospel of Luke:
Luke 17:1-10Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)17 And he said to his disciples: It is impossible that scandals should not come: but woe to him through whom they come.It were better for him, that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should scandalize one of these little ones.Take heed to yourselves. If thy brother sin against thee, reprove him: and if he do penance, forgive him.And if he sin against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day be converted unto thee, saying, I repent; forgive him.And the apostles said to the Lord: Increase our faith.And the Lord said: If you had faith like to a grain of mustard seed, you might say to this mulberry tree, Be thou rooted up, and be thou transplanted into the sea: and it would obey you.But which of you having a servant ploughing, or feeding cattle, will say to him, when he is come from the field: Immediately go, sit down to meat:And will not rather say to him: Make ready my supper, and gird thyself, and serve me, whilst I eat and drink, and afterwards thou shalt eat and drink?Doth he thank that servant, for doing the things which he commanded him?10 I think not. So you also, when you shall have done all these things that are commanded you, say: We are unprofitable servants; we have done that which we ought to do.

Tonight I watched a Father Brown murder mystery, _The Deadly Seal_ on PBS.  I don't remember this one from the GK Chesterton Father Brown books I've read.  It includes two confessions by a murderer, to hide a murder.  In the second confession- Father Brown says that even God's forgiveness requires repentance- and he urges the murderer in a third confession to widen the confession to the police.  The first two times repentance was claimed, it was false.  The third time, it was true.  In no way did Father Brown *refuse* the forgiveness of God to the murderer- he only told her what she needed to do to attain it.

Even at the order of the Bishop- he never breaks the seal of the confessional.

I think this is the proper way to approach sin.  Don't be wavering in being outspoken that the sin is wrong.  Keep forgiving every time the person repents.  But repentance IS necessary.  For without repentance- without true repentance- it's only an act.  Just like in this episode- where the actress did it.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Eve Tushnet, celebrated "Gay Catholic" Side B New Homophile, accidentally lets slip heterosexual tendencies

respectfulconversation - HS-Conversation - Eve's Last Post: I Don't Think There Are Monks in This One: "Out of those three I feel the lack of sex most sharply. It's a way of making your body an icon of self-gift and union: not the only way, but one of the most powerful and urgently-felt. The longing for biological children is a similar kind of intense, gut-level longing which also has such deep symbolic resonance. It's important to name this pain. By exposing the painful yearning that we feel, we can build solidarity (with other gay people, or with straight people who have suffered from the same lacks for different reasons) and honor the sacrifices we make. God doesn't want us to pretend that our surrender is costless."
'via Blog this'


I'm always amazed at how the disordered sexuality of Americans hides procreative heterosexuality below other identities.  This pain exists, even for gay people, because heterosexuality IS the default vocation for humanity, even when you are trying to deny it to yourself.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Mercy From God, Mercy From Satan

Forgiveness is a wonderful thing.  Unilateral forgiveness can free the soul.  But it can be dangerous for the other soul.  And it is not the same as loving forgiveness.

Loving forgiveness is like the Mercy of Jesus Christ and of God.  Loving forgiveness cares about the other person enough to say "I love you and I want you to change for YOUR good, not for mine".  Loving forgiveness is a call to conversion, a continuing call to conversion, and cannot be complete until the other soul is ready to repent.

But Satan also offers Mercy.  Satan's forgiveness seems unconditional at first.  Satan's mercy is
"You are forgiven, because what you did is not sinful in the first place".  It is a destruction of the very concept of sin- and it does not include a call to conversion.  It is the easy acceptance of sin- the easy forgiveness and mercy of Satan, that I fear.

Here's the sad part.  In a few short months, the Jubilee Year of Mercy begins for the Catholic Church.  Too much from the Jesuit Order has suggested to me that they do not believe in the Mercy of God- but rather in the Mercy of Satan.  Too much from the German Cardinals who apparently believe in the Mercy of Satan has been written about the Synod.

In the last 40 years, the Supreme Court of the United States has enshrined the Mercy of Satan into the laws and government of the United States.  This mercy is used to justify everything from usury against the poor to contraception to abortion to gay marriage.  Because people have aligned their lives with a lack of the concept of sin, with a definition of liberty that has no limits, they reinterpret the constitution until there is no concept of sin.

Many Protestant Churches have done the same.  They align themselves with the Mercy of Satan, in hopes of winning souls to Christ, but they fail to call people to convert their lives to align with Christ.

It is my fear that the Roman Catholic Church, in contemplating how broken the model of the family has truly become, will, in October, abandon the model of the family.  Pope Leo XII foresaw this attack, and wrote the following prayer as a defense against it.

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the malice and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Incredibly Inappropriate spam of the day

Incredibly inappropriate spam from Fred Meyer (a local to me retailer, part of the Kroger chain now):


Today only FLASH SALE! $7.99 Fashion Scarves


Because even if I was a metrosexual, what I really need going into a weekend with 

90+F temperatures is a FASHION SCARF!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Existing Buildings Below 75 meters elevation should be condemned

Cities that exist below the 75 meters of elevation that the sea level could rise under global climate change need to change their building codes.  There's plenty of time left to do so- it will take a century or more to happen- but if we start now, all new construction can be built with potential flooding in mind.  Oregon should do the same with any building more than three stories high not built to earthquake standards.

We know these threats exist- why not adapt to them?  We know how to build watertight boat hulls, we should be building them into basements.  We know how to build seismic isolation foundations, we should be building them into new high rises.  This is basic engineering.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Strange SQL Problem

I have a Select Statement that returns 4 rows.  When used in a stored procedure as input to an Insert Into, though, it was returning five rows.   I commented out SET NOCOUNT ON; which is added by the SQL 2014 template.  It then returned 4 rows.  To test that was what was really going on, I uncommented out SET NOCOUNT ON; and it is now returning 4 rows properly.

I made no other changes.

Anybody else ever run into anything like this??

Monday, June 29, 2015

Friday, June 26, 2015

Today I celebrate 16 years of an illegal marriage

It wasn't illegal when we started, but as of today, when the Supreme Court has officially embraced "consent" and "love" rather than commitment and having children to be in the next generation, it is now.

I'm celebrating anyway-16 years of defiance against the standards of the morally bankrupt sexual revolution.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A short poem

The Cultural Warrior

That sinking feeling you get
When you realize
The battle was lost
Long before you were born

Friday, June 19, 2015

Important quotes for Americans to avoid the heresy of Americanism

Laudato Si offers us some insight into the Church's opinions on many current political problems in America.   We would be wise indeed to listen to the words of Pope Francis on these topics; all of them will require adjustments to American culture and our habits of indifferent individualism.

On what we individally can do to help the environment
"Education in environmental responsibility can encourage ways of acting which directly and significantly affect the world around us, such as avoiding the use of plastic and paper, reducing water consumption, separating refuse, cooking only what can reasonably be consumed, showing care for other living beings, using public transport or car-pooling, planting trees, turning off unnecessary lights, or any number of other practices. All of these reflect a generous and worthy creativity which brings out the best in human beings. Reusing something instead of immediately discarding it, when done for the right reasons, can be an act of love which expresses our own dignity. (#211)
On water as a fundamental right
One particularly serious problem is the quality of water available to the poor…. Yet access to safe drinkable water is a basic and universal human right, since it is essential to human survival and, as such, is a condition for the exercise of other human rights. Our world has a grave social debt towards the poor who lack access to drinking water, because they are denied the right to a life consistent with their inalienable dignity” (#29-30).


On social media’s effects on our culture
“When media and the digital world become omnipresent, their influence can stop
people from learning how to live wisely, to think deeply and to love generously…. True wisdom, as the fruit of self-examination, dialogue and generous encounter between persons, is not acquired by a mere accumulation of data which eventually leads to overload and confusion, a sort of mental pollution.

“Real relationships with others, with all the challenges they entail, now tend to be replaced by a type of internet communication which enables us to choose or eliminate relationships at whim, thus giving rise to a new type of contrived emotion which has more to do with devices and displays than with other people and with nature” (#47).


On overpopulation
“Instead of resolving the problems of the poor and thinking of how the world can be different, some can only propose a reduction in the birth rate. At times, developing countries face forms of international pressure which make economic assistance contingent on certain policies of ‘reproductive health’….  To blame population growth instead of extreme and selective consumerism on the part of some, is one way of refusing to face the issues” (#50).


On transgender issues
“Learning to accept our body, to care for it and to respect its fullest meaning, is an essential element of any genuine human ecology. Also, valuing one’s own body in its femininity or masculinity is necessary if I am going to be able to recognize myself in an encounter with someone who is different. In this way we can joyfully accept the specific gifts of another man or woman, the work of God the Creator, and find mutual enrichment. It is not a healthy attitude which would seek ‘to cancel out sexual difference because it no longer knows how to confront it’” (#120).


On abortion
“Since everything is interrelated, concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion. How can we genuinely teach the importance of concern for other vulnerable beings, however troublesome or inconvenient they may be, if we fail to protect a human embryo, even when its presence is uncomfortable and creates difficulties? ‘If personal and social sensitivity towards the acceptance of the new life is lost, then other forms of acceptance that are valuable for society also wither away’” (#120).


On genetically modified food
This, then, is the correct framework for any reflection concerning human intervention on plants and animals, which at present includes genetic manipulation by biotechnology for the sake of exploiting the potential present in material reality. The respect owed by faith to reason calls for close attention to what the biological sciences, through research uninfluenced by economic interests, can teach us about biological structures, their possibilities and their mutations. Any legitimate intervention will act on nature only in order ‘to favour its development in its own line, that of creation, as intended by God’” (#132) (More on this topic in #133-135)


On the problem of modern day politics
“That is why, in the absence of pressure from the public and from civic institutions, political authorities will always be reluctant to intervene, all the more when urgent needs must be met. To take up these responsibilities and the costs they entail, politicians will inevitably clash with the mindset of short-term gain and results which dominates present-day economics and politics. But if they are courageous, they will attest to their God-given dignity and leave behind a testimony of selfless responsibility” (#181).

On hope in this situation
“Yet all is not lost. Human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start, despite their mental and social conditioning. We are able to take an honest look at ourselves, to acknowledge our deep dissatisfaction, and to embark on new paths to authentic freedom. No system can completely suppress our openness to what is good, true and beautiful, or our God-given ability to respond to his grace at work deep in our hearts. I appeal to everyone throughout the world not to forget this dignity which is ours. No one has the right to take it from us. (#205)”
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Oustside The Asylum by Ted Seeber is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at http://outsidetheaustisticasylum.blogspot.com.