Monday, July 27, 2009

Outsourcing Faith to America

This article is not intended to show bias against any foreign nationals or nations. But speaking of it addresses the situation whereby approximately 20% of the Priests in the RC church in the USA are foreign born. Some of these priests are permanent residents, or naturalized citizens and others travel back and forth under temporary contract and temporary work permits.

Before going further, let me state that two of America’s strongest, most dedicated and building saints were immigrants – Mother Cabrini and Bishop John Neumann. They were of course European and in those cases they spoke the same language as other immigrants.

There are some factors for these immigrant priests to be considered like the alien nature of the western American culture in terms of language, attitudes and diet. The following article is more PR than Journalism in describing priests on work permits from India working in the Scranton Diocese in Pennsylvania.

Priests from India help ease shortage in Scranton Diocese

I have read other articles whereby immigrant priests have terrible accents and can barely function in their homily roles or confession. They are imported sometimes more like bodies to fill a job - to perform the sacramentals.

I have read that it is easier to get an American priest put through a criminal background check for a foreign diocese than it is for an American diocese to get a criminal check done on an incoming immigrant worker priest coming from Africa, Asia or South America.

Indeed, many times American Bishops have to take the word of foreign bishops that the people being imported are of sound moral quality. We know how that game is played.

I do not want to address the sex abuse issue here and in conjunction with this topic for fear that I might be accused of trying to strike fear in the hearts of the Americans who now have foreign born priests doing the mass etc.

That being said, I know that a large percentage of Spanish speaking foreign priests compliment a growing Spanish speaking American population.

All these stats are unclear because they have as a source the American RC church and the stats may or may not be accurate enough for specific analysis. I’ve read figures of between 4,000 to 8,000 of the American RC priest work force is foreign born labor.

That being said, I knew of a local Spanish speaking priest who was highly thought of and died recently. He was 78 and was working to in essence send his monthly stipend or salary back to South America to support relatives.

But there you have it. Economic factors such as dwindling Catholic populations, church closings and consolidations and imported labor, outsourced from other nations is becoming one of the major factors in the American RC church today.

America in many of its population centers is now considered Missionary territory to be administered to by the rest of the world. An explosion of vocations in many poor nations produces a surplus of priests that can be exported, outsourced to American missionary territory.

This is probably why the Vatican wanted to reincorporate the Saint Pius X crowd even if Bishop Richardson and club were Holocaust deniers. This right wing group of Tridentine Traditional Catholics have seminarys full of Spanish speaking seminarians. They were assets worthy to be acquired as in recent news.

This whole thing of the American RC church and its Bishops and their Harvard spreadsheet business mentality is perhaps part of the cause of the dying RC church in America. Catholics want celibacy as an option and women ordained as priests. That is not going to happen. Impossible!

So haphazard shoddy business management has a cheap labor force to help thwart a need for real responsible dialogue and interface between the faithful and the hierarchy. The church in America reflects too much of the way America does business these days with native citizens being factored out of economic equations as the least important items to be considered when running the shop on American soil.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sin Tax on Marijuana - Thumbs up !


Joke used to be that the only useful thing that California ever contributed to civilization was the traffic concept of “Right Turn on Red” - something that came out of the energy crisis of thirty years ago that the yahoos and bozos in Washington never really got around to fixing.

Now the second most liberal city in California – Oakland has raised taxes on “Medical Maryjuana” sales which is becoming a growth industry in that state.

Marijuana Supporters Welcome a Tax Increase
But sure enough, supporters of medical marijuana were pleasantly pleased Wednesday after Oakland voters overwhelmingly approved a huge tax increase — 15 times the former rate — on sales at the city’s handful of permitted medical marijuana dispensaries.

Believed to be the first of its kind, Measure F received nearly 80 percent of the vote, a landslide that pot professionals hailed as a significant step in the legitimization of the cannabis industry.
Marijuana is the correct spelling here, shows you how hip and or illiterate I really am or am not.

The PR push for Medical Marijuana was that it helped Chemotherapy patients control nausea and increase appetite to help in cancer recovery. On the news I saw a dude who was getting his prescribed Maryjane to help out with seasonal allergies. How smoking this stuff and putting smoke into your sinuses can help your allergies is beyond me. Maybe he puts it in brownies. Whatever.

The genie is out of the bottle. California with its medieval way of doing things with voter approved initiatives is basically bankrupt and unable to meet its bills. Tax on Medical Marijuana is likely going $tatewide soon and legal use is not far behind.

Perhaps with California creating this new growth industry, perhaps we can begin to abandon the largest penal system in the world – Prison building (taxpayer paid free housing for all those evil, sinful drug dealers), an American growth industry from the eighties and nineties and into the naughts.

Human nature is human nature. Gambling, sex for money, drug use are going to happen whether you legislate for or against it.

It is a Cultural Christian (Secular) Country. Which means that catering to sin (or forgiveness thereof ) and not virtue is big business. As such, a sin tax is appropriate in order to forgive the sinful use of a natural product untouched as yet by the Pharmaceutical industry.

In any case, no matter where you may feeble-ly stand on these issues - for common sense sake, legalize the evil weed – Marijuana – and like alcohol and nicotine, tax the hell out it!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Joyous Wedding! - Jill and Kevin!

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. -- Psalm 98:4





Congratulations Jill and Kevin. Good Vibes. Good life and good marriage.

Minn. couple's wedding aisle groove
-

Thursday, July 23, 2009

"C" Street - Zach Wamp - Know Nothing ?

The Know Nothing movement was a nativist Amerian political movement of the 1840s and 1850s. It was empowered by popular fears that the country was being overwhelmed by Irish Catholic immigrants, who were often regarded as hostile to U.S. values and controlled by the Pope in Rome. …There were few prominent leaders, and the largely middle-class and entirely Protestant membership fragmented over the issue of slavery. Most ended up joining the Republican Party by the time of the 1860 presidential election.

…The origin of the "Know Nothing" term was in the semi-secret organization of the party. When a member was asked about its activities, he was supposed to reply, "I know nothing." Wikipedia 7-23-09
There is that great line “I know nothing - Nothing!” from German Master Sergeant Schultz in the TV show “Hogan’s Heroes” about a POW camp secretly run by the inmates.

U.S. House Representative Zach Wamp, current resident of the 133 “C” Street Christian dormitory for white males, made a statement that rang a bell in my history focused brain.

Scandal touches D.C. row house, home to Ensign, others of faith
The C Street residents have all agreed they won't talk about their private living arrangements, Wamp said, and he intends to honor that pact.

"I hate it that John Ensign lives in the house and this happened because it opens up all of these kinds of questions," Wamp said. But, he said, "I'm not going to be the guy who goes out and talks."

In other words, Zach Wamp “knows nothing – NOTHING!”

Is it possible that some Illuminati like nineteenth century Nativist – Know Nothing Party / fellowship went underground with the Civil War and still operates covertly within the Government to this day?

Is “C” Street a Loch Ness Monster that may or may not really exist? It is never the less an interesting social and anthropological phenomenon in our midst.

In any case, both the Birthers (Birchers) and the extreme right wing elements of the chaos called the GOP residing in corporate welfare housing on "C" Street - they deserve a better designation. Know Nothings is as good as any description. It more honest and more accurate than just a private club, white males only “Christian” fellowship.

Birther Fraud Lady – Who is this undocumented Person?



Well I see this thing on MSNBC. MSNBC shows the one reeler and passes it off as journalism without the who, what, where, when, why of the old classic journalism.



Joe the Plumber’s Mom gets up at a town hall meeting of Rep. Mike Castle of Delaware and waives her invalid hospital issued birth certificate and then begins to rant about how Barack Obama is not a citizen of the USA but rather Kenya – (the GOP and the new racism).

MSNBC shows this amusing little tidbit and is starting to practice third rate journalism on the way to the fourth and fifth levels of Murdockian half truths and lies like on Fox News and the fat drug addict on radio.

I too was undocumented some few years back when I tried to exchange my Pennsylvania license for a New York State license having moving back here. In order to register my car, I needed a valid driver’s license. In order to have a valid driver’s license I needed a state issued, embossed with a raised seal, birth certificate.

I have had a New York State driver’s license on and off for thirty years depending on when I was a resident there. My old driver’s license and its same driver license number for thirty years could not be reissued without a valid state issued birth certificate to prove my place and date of birth and my citizenship.

My hospital issued birth certificate was now considered invalid. It had been valid forty years ago to get my original passport. But then and there and with all the bullshit Homeland Security rules and regulations – I was undocumented in my native land - temporarily a man without a country.

I had let my passport lapse for too many years. It was no longer valid as ID or proof of American citizenship. I was stuck between a rock and a hard place and a deadline to register my car before I would break the law on that count for not having a valid car registration.

Finally and reluctantly I went on line and ordered a Pennsylvania issued certificate to save some time. It still took a couple of weeks to get it. LOL

So when I see Joe the Plumber’s Mom on You Tube shouting about the undocumented state of Obama’s black butt, I know that this broad has never left this country or the house she has lived in for decades. One day she will try to get a passport or move in with the kids across the stateline and not be able to transfer her driver’s license – BECAUSE she is an undocumented person, with a phony hospital issued birth certificate, living in our great and safe and no longer totally free land.

While we are at - have any of you “Birthers” seen Jesus’s birth certificate lately?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

"In Doug Coe We Trust" - ???


A lot of things I want to comment on. I do not believe in the big conspiracy theories. I do believe that JFK was killed as a result of private money financing several covert operatives, one two or three of which pulled their trigger on November 22, 1963 in Dallas Texas. That being said I do not believe that 911 was an inside job, though like the JFK thing, some retired government employees may have sold knowledge to the enemy. Free agents, traitors, lobbyists – whatever. It still was a mess to clean up. The one thing I have noticed, having worked for a brief time for the Federal government is that it takes intelligence to do the conspiracy thing. Most Government employees could not survive in private sector jobs given their entitled attitude and their listening to Rush Limbaugh on their iPods while at their desks and pretending to work etc. Pay Rush a forty million dollar a year pension to retire and you will get at least a 40 billion dollar rise in government productivity overnight.

Over the weekend I noticed a dead file weekend story about atheists wanting to prevent the carving of “In God we Trust” in stone at the US Capitol visitors center. The visitor’s center is $400 million dollars over budget and four or five years behind schedule. Having worked for a construction company I understand how changes in a skyscraper from one purpose to another and by different divisions of a company – costs and reality get thrown to the wayside especially if you can write off the costs as a business expense. The three things that have brought my cloth coated America to its knees in recent decades has been big government, big corporations and big religion - the new "three estates" of the modern age. Where are people like you or me in that equation? No conspiracies there - just convenient and profitable intercourse and commerce. Where are people like me, a fool, a taxpayer, in this Ménage à trois thing?

Getting back to the new church vestibule of the $600 million dollar Capitol visitors center, I am willing to bet that the cost overruns had to do with building bunkers under the visitor’s centers for members of Congress in case of another 911 type attack. A necessary evil if that is the case.

Other than that I went back and forth with these two similar McClatchy news paper articles. The second one is from late 2008 about members of congress, some of the “C” Street Persuasion wanting or insisting that “In God We Trust” is the national motto and not “E Pluribus Unum” that I remember being taught in grade school civics class. I don’t know what they call civics class these days but I am willing to bet the “Civics” book weighs eleven pounds and costs $100 from the publisher. I got a better education from used text books, paperback civics texts and verbally from a teacher who was worth her shit in teaching than the whole modern fraud of education as a for profit business and not as a minimum cost community enterprise.

Atheists sue to keep 'In God We Trust' off Capitol Visitor Center

I do not agree with the Atheist argument that “In God We Trust” should be taken off the dollar bill or that the Pledge of Allegiance should drop the phrase “under God”. I believe that all that is grandfathered into the fabric of our past. I have to say that I cannot see spending another $150,000 to carve “In God We Trust” in stone in what would look like a government endorsement of theism and or religion.

But because the “C” Street Persuasion wants the phrase, I know in my heart of hearts it is not in reverence to the God that I believe in but in the god that they believe in – which represents greed, power and moral corruption for the elite. The Elite is in many cases represented by white racist coded words that represent denial of the loss of the Civil War and the loss of a way of life that crumbled with civil rights. These South Carolinians in particular and their confederate flag on the state house are the ones that dissed John McCain in 2000 and paved the way for their inbred white elite political messiah George W. Bush.

Conservative lawmakers bring God to Capitol Visitor Center

What is it like to live in a world of code words? Code Words for life, Code Words for God and or Jesus? Conspiracy? Part of the reason for the decline in attendance in church in the USA these past decades is the fact that Church now is a code word for political auxiliaries that many times reinforce denial about the basics such as life, liberty, privacy, sexuality in our modern world.

I know what “In God We Trust” is code for - for some so adamant to get their secular political quasi religious cult to make letters in stone in the US Capitol Building. Is it code for “In Doug Coe We Trust” which is probably already painted in gold in one of the private bunkers below ground reserved exclusively for this coven of white men pretending to be Christian?

God (the real One) protect us from all tax free religious fanatics and secular cultural PC lunatics!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Faithful of Allentown – Why don’t they like us anymore?

"Well we are living here in Allentown
And they're closing all the factories down…" Billy Joel
(Or more appropriately these days – They’re closing all the churches down...)

The opening title is I think from the POV of Parishioners of 47 Allentown Diocese churches closed in the past year. In typical arrogant RC archaic hierarchical, myopic management style, the outgoing Bishop Cullen cleaned all the shit off his desk – 47 Parishes in time for his mandatory retirement at age 75. The new guy will only have to worry about disposal of real estate assets and sending the cash to Rome - cushy job assignment. I hear he is a scholar like the pope.

Allentown Diocese Church Closings – Photo Gallery

An article today from Allentown about how some are getting along in the new compressed, condensed parish compactor solution – squeezing two or three parishes together with a part time priest to say one or two masses a week on an itinerate schedule commuting from parish to parish to say those masses – “modern RC management styles 101” to the layman.

Appeals and a prayer

I can see where a lot of ethnic RC churches should be closed as church attendance dwindles among the young. A lot of these old ethnic enclaves are sometimes situated within a block or two of each other. I see that demographic aspect of it from my own youth in Philly. The rest of it is management from the top, from the local bishop, from the local Cardinal, from the cleric in Rome deciding the fate of parishes in upstate Pennsylvania over his cappuccino at a sidewalk café in Rome.

My cynicism, my empathy for the little people dispatched from life long places of worship does not change anything. As sometimes happens lately, I was reading a different religious story when someone sent the article today from Allentown.

My concept, my feel for religion, comfortable feel for faith is for local control. In that sense I took part of my opening title from an article from a Baptist Pastor with his small congregation in Virginia.

Sermon Criticism- Why don’t they like us anymore?

Dan Kimball’s book, They Like Jesus But Not The Church, is a case-study of several young adults Kimball interviewed. Basically, they consider themselves to be spiritual, but not religious — just like our famous book from the 1970s. But here’s what they don’t like about the church. These are the actual chapter titles in Kimball’s book –

• The church is an organized religion with a political agenda.
• The church is judgmental and negative.
• The church is dominated by males and oppresses females.
• The church is homophobic (meaning, the church fears and/or hates homosexuals)
• The church arrogantly claims all other religions are wrong.
• The church is full of fundamentalists who take the whole Bible literally.
Apparently the Baptists have some of the same problems in attracting youth, among others to gather in church on Sunday, same as the Catholics.

Perhaps ”we need fresh moral guidelines to address the structural and systemic sinfulness of our time”. *

That being said Pastor Chuck Warnock of Chatham Baptist Church in Chatham, VA also has a bit of a visionary thing that might be applied to keeping some church complexes in Allentown open – to raise cash to pay electricity etc. Pastor Warnock looks to the past of self sufficiency – local control – as was the case in Celtic monasteries of the past.

The Abbey Church

It is not necessarily a solution but I think of old rectories, convents, school halls and say why can’t they be used to make a few bucks as youth hostels, stopping off places for traveling the road in an increasingly budget conscience America.

Churches used to be the center of real neighborhoods and real communities - not virtual. In the past half century of Wharton Spreadsheet Mythology, they, along with people, have merely become penciled in figures in some distant, hands off, no accountability, front office chancellery.

As the human culture becomes more global in orientation, the more local traditions need to be retained, maintained and reframed to offset the new global madness.


* John Mark Ministries - Book Review

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Holy Vagina - the Feminine Side of God


I started writing this article last week but stopped. I had to do some follow up research. It is best to feel comfortable with what you are quoting. It started with a quote from Father Kennedy’s Pentecost homily. Father Kennedy was talking about the Gnostic thing again. The Gnostic movement in ancient times seems to have written a large portion of the Jesus story from a philosophical point of view. Writings and large parts of those concepts were suppressed for over fifteen hundred years only to be rediscovered or at least partially documented in the finding of the Nag Hammadi scrolls in Egypt in the late forties.

There is a quote from the Father Kennedy’s Pentacost homily that quotes a radical theologian Diarmuid O'Murchu who kind of dumbfounded me when he referred to the Holy Spirit as “she”.

Peter Kennedy's Homily May 30-31 Pentecost Sunday 2009
O'Murchu in his book
Catching up with Jesus
speaks of the Holy Spirit as an awakening presence that breathes where she wills, ever generating new breath thoroughly in human and planetary consciousness. Literalist Christianity created by Constantine gave source to the Holy Roman Empire, a totalitarian regime that would rule Europe with an iron-fist for over a thousand years. In the Western world the institutional authority of the church became the principal means whereby the state created political and social order. Gnostic spirituality throughout history has ceaselessly exposed literalist religion as a pernicious source of ignorance and division.

The Second Vatican Council, the vision of John XXIII which he referred to as a new Pentacost has yet to become a reality. It is time to awaken to the original message of the early Christians to the truth of Ultimate Reality, that is, the Oneness of Creation infused by the presences of Love itself, that is, there is only God.

I looked up this O’Murchu guy and he is quite off the wall and or futuristic in some of his theories. He is not afraid to engage in the modern world – this twenty first century world – not unlike the Episcopalians in Anaheim these past few days.

Is the Holy Spirit Female? Is my opening title word vagina offensive, strange, to you? For thousands of years before Christ, the power and ancient wisdom of God before Christianity was embodied and universally recognized in the earth goddess figure both as an idol and as a mental concept. Little wonder the sacred wisdom, Hagia Sofia, went underground for close to seventeen hundred years after Constantine and his Army Bull Cult took over the reins of the Christian religion to advance his personal glory and empire.

No doubt many of the bishops, imprisoned in the Emperor’s summer palace at the Council of Nicea, had to send us a message here in the future to say that yes, God has a feminine side and it is the Holy Spirit. It makes sense. It has balance. It is needed to counterbalance the present male godless capitalist system that would enslave us forever as it marches forth at present to destroy all our humanity.

The American Episcopal church seems to be dealing with reality, first with women ordinations and women as bishops and now extending that openness to the gay community. The American Episcopal church has its feet firmly planted in the twenty-first century of the common era of mankind. The Holy Spirit I think was in California this week. The rest of the established Christian order of things, especially the RC church, seems permanently stuck in the dark ages – time to follow a beacon of light from California.

I have to agree with the twenty-second century thinker and theologian Diarmuid O'Murchu that the Hold Spirit is a “she”. She is very much the feminine side of the Patriarchal God of the past four thousand years. She has been in her prison. She is a prisoner no more.

A new age of the Holy Spirit of God is upon us. Wake up and smell the roses!

God be praised!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Episcopal Leap of Faith


The Episcopal Church in America has decided that gay people are suitable to be ordained in their church. This is of course in direct conflict with the established order, CoE, Church of England, old order of things.

Episcopal vote on gay clergy widens Anglican split

There are a lot of patriarchal CoE types on the planet who still believe that women are only good for making babies or serving as doormats. Gays are not even part of that abuse filled talking point. Their Old Testament belief system is in direct conflict with the living real Jesus who if in human form would toss these haters of portions of humanity, these tossers into hell so to speak. Whatever.

The CoE with its Queen or is it the Welsh guy as Archbishop of Canterbury is going to have to organize the established church to face reality – It might be a good management model for the tossers who run the RC church to observe. I predict boutique divisions being formed and sanctioned under the dusty crown of the CoE head office brand to suit the out of daters, mad haters, of the old male "straight" order of things.

The American branch in its two hundred year experiment of independence, freedom and recognition of human rights has stated as of yesterday that Gays can be ordained. It does not sanction Gay Marriage. In fact I think the Secular World in America will sanction that decades before the religious types do.

In any case the bottom line is that Americans, religious or not, will not tolerate discrimination.

God bless our Republic!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Jan Brewer - Current Cracker Governor - Arizona



Arizona is prone to lunatics. Given the heat and the weird mix of civilization in the sprawling so called valley of the sun in Phoenix, its been a while. Arizona is due for another cracker and or crack pot governor. Last one was Evan Mecham and they had to impeach him, he was that bad. Among many other things, he dissed and cancelled the new federal Martin Luther King Jr. birthday holiday. Phoenix lost the Superbowl with the crazy governor MLK thing because the rest of the country was like in realityville man.

The current Governor succeeded Gov. Napolitano, a human being, who got moved up to Secretary of Homeland Security because of the need for talent in Washington D.C.. No Lieutenant Govs in AZ. Brewer was Secretary of State (?) and legal successor.

This new gov, just passed, signed off on a many barriers to women and their wombs abortion bill that Janet had vetoed several times.

Arizona governor approves abortion constraints

Considering that the state legislators get $24,000 per year, in terms of legislation you get what you pay for.

Having lived and worked under slave like conditions in Arizona, a fascist “right to work” state, where human rights let alone women’s rights are still a distant dream in the future, the politicians there only serve their rich contributors. Senator Kyl was the best lawyer money could buy when he was a lawyer. He is now the best Senator money can buy. John McCain, who has never had a private sector job, and part of the barbecue ribs and champagne ruling class, had never met a common ordinary citizen before he met Sarah Palin.

While Sarah is in hip waders and waiting for the straight jacket to be properly fitted at Saks, the boys down at the “C” Street "Church" (and occasional brothel) should be checking out the presidential timber potential of Jan Brewer, current cracker republican governor of Arizona.

I can only imagine what draconian legislation is now being drawn up to restrict the gay community in Arizona. If Arizona starts a trade mission with Borneo to import exotic hardwoods, one guess is that the wood will not be used for any ordinary barbecues. What's the fuss and sweat guys? It's only dry heat!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Politics of Reality


There seemed to be a great energy in the meeting of Barack Hussein Obama and Benedict XVI in the Vatican yesterday. The “superstar” handle that John McCain’s campaign so cynically labeled him is true to some degree both home and abroad. You heard about him. Now you get a chance to see him in person.

There is a certain magic when virtual images on the TV come into reality focus and in person. Of course the real of “reality” is sometimes totally different from what you expected to see as compared with the “virtual”. How tall is he? His face and body are three dimensional. There is a handshake and there is a real person on the other end of your hand.

This is not meant to be a PR handout for the White House. It is meant to illustrate that what you see is sometimes not what you get. I read an interesting article from Time magazine again this morning that I read last night. Some of the parts that I skimmed over last night stuck out in a more pronounced way in the light of day.

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend’s article accenting the Presidential visit with the Pope, was a thought or a frame of reference that I have not seen before from her angle on the RC church and its forty year campaign in America to uphold authoritarian rule and its mixing politics with religion. Ms. Townsend states that Barack Obama is more in line with the thoughts of the average American Catholic than the Pope is.

Without a Doubt
In truth, though, Obama's pragmatic approach to divisive policy (his notion that we should acknowledge the good faith underlying opposing viewpoints) and his social-justice agenda reflect the views of American Catholic laity much more closely than those vocal bishops and pro-life activists…
Upon rereading I decided that parts I skimmed over were possibly more important than I originally had thought. In particular:
But there they part ways. Politics requires the ability to listen to different points of view, to step into others' shoes. Obama might call it empathy. While the pope preaches love, listening to the other has been a particular stumbling block for the Catholic hierarchy (as it is for many in power). The hierarchy ignores women's equality and gays' cry for justice because to heed them would require that it admit error and acknowledge that the self-satisfied edifice constructed around sex and gender has been grievously wrong. Before he became John Paul II, Karol Wojtyla had a telling all-or-nothing formulation:

"If it should be decided that contraception is not an evil in itself then we should have to concede frankly that the Holy Spirit is on the side of the Protestant Churches."
Archbishop Wojtvla’s remark if quoted correctly says two disturbing things to me:

The idea that “we” are right and the Protestants are wrong. Acting on an informed conscience in general is against the authority of the hierarchy of the Church.

Two, that compromise, that SOME contraception is evil and that separating the pill, condoms etc. from the many tentacled abortion issue was unthinkable and undoable – that compromise was not possible in the black and white mind of the Polish Archbishop.
That attitude has resulted in some heinous decisions. Most famously, in the lead up to the encyclical "Humane Vitae" in 1968, an advisory body of theologians and laity empaneled by the pope advised that the church should reverse its position on birth control and concede that the issue should be a question for morality and for science. But authority—not truth, not love—prevailed: Pope Paul VI, listening to the advice of Wojtyla, disagreed with the majority of these advisers, who had voted 69 to 10 for change, fretting that to change this position would weaken his authority.
One of the ten, Wojtvla, had pushed his ideas over the majority view and onto the pope with a mail order priest’s diploma to decide the next forty years of debate on issues that I believe Ms. Townsend has stated elsewhere on things not mentioned in the bible.

One thing I want to note upon hearing of this quote for the first time – from its sinking in. When looking at the future John Paul II as advisor to Paul VI, I feel I must say that his statement above about the Holy Spirit is a disappointment. That the Polish Archbishop’s siege mentality probably contributed to the thing that “Humanae Vitae” has in common with other religions in time of seize and fear and in the mind of the Archbishop from behind the then “Iron Curtain”.

Unrestricted conception as described and protected by the ideologues of the RC church to this day reminds me of the polygamy sanctioned in Islam and Mormonism in times of siege and fear of war in the past. Both Islam and Mormons are stuck with the embarrassment of the wrong decision being made in the past.

Historically speaking, “Humanae Vitae” is a similar embarrassment to Roman Catholics. The need to produce more sons and future armies as in John Paul II’s case was no doubt to accommodate his private and nationalist dreams of future war on the Polish Communist state.

John Paul II was almost right. The Holy Spirit does favor individual informed conscience in the Secular but not necessarily Protestant state.

Friday, July 10, 2009

"C" Street Prayer House - Wash. D.C.


Amidst the current Republican sex scandals in both Washington and South Carolina there seems to be a cult like secret Christian prayer group located in a house on “C” Street in Washington D.C.. It, a former convent and still having a tax free religious status, is home to some of the most conservative fundamentalists in Congress.

In all fairness I have seen on TV how Senator Chuck Schumer shares a townhouse with three other Senators and commutes home on weekends. I don’t know about the prayer breakfast thing with liberal Chuck and company.

The house on “C” Street acts as a dormitory of sorts for Senators and Congressmen who cannot afford on their stingy little salaries to maintain a family home in Washington and their distant home voting base.

I have heard the cable talk show host Joe Scarborough mention that he had to quit his house seat in order to attend to family personal matters related to his being away from home 200 nights a year. I have done some long distance commuting and I feel for people who have to make that part of a work/home/family situation.

It has been noted in some places that Washington and its politics were a lot nicer in the forties, fifties and sixties. Politicians were not so nasty or so divisive as when their families went to the same church or their children went to the same school or they belonged to the same D.C. country club as their opponents in the other party. I think that had to do with economics. Washington is such an expensive place to live now.

All this being said in the interest of fairness, there seems to be something a little crazy the way some of the guys in the “C” Street Prayer House are acting.

Senator John Ensign of Nevada is a current resident of the “C” Street Prayer House. He recently admitted to adultery and has not resigned. There seems to be a lot of weird side effects of his adultery. There would seem to be bribe and or hush money being paid out by Ensign’s parents to his former piece on the side. Well, it just gets more thick with layer upon payer with deceit and corruptness of moral character.

Governor Mark Sanford had mentioned the “C” Street association in his recent confession of sin and adultery. Apparently he got Christian counseling to help him stop his sin in Argentina. Sanford had been a resident of the dorm when he was a House Rep before becoming Governor.

Presiding over this “Prayer House” is Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma with the title of deacon. To his credit Doctor Coburn (He is a medical doctor) used to practice medicine on weekends in Oklahoma when he flew back from Washington as a Congressman when he was a member of the lower house.

The deacon we know gave counseling to Governor Sanford and now there is a question if Coburn helped Ensign write a letter to his mistress trying to break off the affair. Senator Coburn – ever hear the line about jack of many trades = master on none?

The liberal press is trying to make the prayer house out to be some sort of secret fundie cult prayer cell but I take the whole thing on face value. Sometimes a bunch of fundie nuts living together is just that – a bunch of fundie nuts (with an occasional fruit mixed in). Whatever.

I am enjoying seeing the holier that thou fundamentalist right wing melt down now that the GOP is in exile. What new, perhaps Green party, will replace the GOP in the future elections?

I am not pleased with the present administration or his party and its unlimited bailout to the rich and their failed banking system that helped destroy the present world economy.

I miss the cloth coated republican days of Gerald Ford and Bob Dole.

Boy, what a mess many of us have in our economics, politics, religions and personal lives these days. Perhaps it is a good time for real prayer.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Gay Miracle by Jesus - Luke 7:2 - ?

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And a certain centurion's servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die.Luke 7:2

And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.Matthew 8:6

There are of course differences in translations of the synoptic gospels, Matt, Mark, Luke and I almost always go back to the King James Version of the gospels believing that in the manner they were assembled and translated from the ancient languages to have been a fair distribution of meaning of these considered to be sacred Christian texts.

Some things over the years I remember and reassemble in my mind to clarify later.

I do remember as I have mentioned earlier that some gospels passages have stuck in my mind over the years from my youth and having been read in church. And in those fairly ancient days of the fifth and sixth decade of the twentieth century, I remember a phrase that struck a note back then and now I feel in my heart the time to speak.

The passage in Luke 7 was about a Roman Centurion who asks Jesus for a healing of his servant “who was dear unto him”. Of course the gospels and all ancient histories lack a great deal of detail that we in the modern age demand and expect from writing. But that phrase has stuck in my ears and memory until yesterday when a thought gelled in my psyche.

Matthew has the same story line in its eighth chapter but the Roman’s slave and or servant is said to have “palsy” and was greatly tormented. No mention of a bond of affection and or respect for the life of the servant/slave. Of course some of these translations are many times trying to empathize with the culture of the times.

Luke I have been taught was a Greek. As such his Greek outlook and Greek culture seem to not be ashamed to add a note of affection between master and slave. Perhaps the dying slave had been a tutor, a second father, or he, and I presume he here, might have been his lover. We will never know.

If you believe in the basic message of Jesus, then Apostles or later disciples who wrote down the early oral traditions of the early Christian cult aimed for accuracy and perhaps on occasion feelings. Greco-Roman culture did not draw lines so tightly and meanly between sexual practices as we now do in very recent history.

The use of the story of a Roman Centurion could have been a later add-on to make the gospels more user friendly to Greeks and Romans after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.. I think rather than being an add on, it seems the real thing because it speaks of faith and a hierarchy of principles and commands and blind discipline that held the Roman Empire together for so long. I think it possible and probable that Judaism for a Roman army officer was a local religion and a local “god” that demanded attention and respect. After all, it says the Centurion built a synagogue. Not perhaps kosher on his part so much as trying to win the hearts and minds of a captive people.

Jesus in his ever widening circle of the people, real people, outside the sham world of the Temple crowd in Jerusalem appealed to all levels of humanity and to their individual needs and cultures.

I believe that this curing of a “servant dear unto him” may have been an unbiased act of love by Jesus, by God to a gay couple. It was perhaps a gay miracle by Jesus.

I say all this because an energy hit me yesterday. Someone kindly forwarded an article in USA today about some conservative bishop in the Church of England ranting his hate directly at gays and indirectly at women ordinations etc. It is a wonder how these conservatives in the COE/Episcopal Church can eliminate 50% of humanity in the form of women and say another 5% in Gays. Rip the church apart and live in the mistaken belief that 45%, a trimmed budget of Jesus’ Church, is a queer fulfillment of Jesus’ command to preach to all nations. I do not believe Jesus left a list of the select few in those nations that should listen and or be saved.

So, the article in USA Today was negative energy created in the universe by a very smug blind cleric. Well the negative energy hit me and it knocked me in the head and I remembered the thing about the Centurian and his “gay” servant that I had filed away for some time. The world and or universe may be on its way back to balance now that the Centurion and his servant are now out of the closet so to speak. Thank you Bishop for the kick in the ass.

Jesus loves us all, every one of us.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Communion with People

I was moved by what I read in the following homily by Father Kennedy of St. Mary’s community in Brisbane. His words begin to trace a human experience and are about a former parishioner that chose to not follow him down the street away from the old church. The parishioner has cerebral palsy and lives in an assisted care center.

Peter Kennedy - Homily - Sunday 14th June
Now the people at Lotus House have experienced physical, psychological and sexual abuse in church and government run institutions - abuse they have never been able to fully escape. I think that one of my reasons for being apprehensive about going into Lotus House was that I, an official religious person, might not be all that acceptable to the victims of such systematic abuse and yet the opposite happened - people smiling a welcome, putting out their hand to touch mine…

Again there was no meal but there was for myself as I walked away a sense of Eucharist/communion that left me promising myself that I must return to Lotus House - not for their sake but for mine…

During my conversation with Michael whenever I mentioned God he fell about crying, tears welling up in his eyes and I knew I was communing with mystery.

This community was accused of "not having any faith over there" and our celebration of the sacraments and the Eucharist were suspect, because institutional Catholicism demands that we can only come to the truth through the

divinely appointed brokers, totally submissive to their doctrines and correct formulas - the opposite of course is more likely to be the truth.

For it is clear from the gospel that the poor, the disadvantaged, the victims of injustice, the differently abled, all those excluded on the grounds of gender/sexual preference are the very ones that the historical Jesus welcomed to his table time and time again.

To paraphrase Dominic Crossan, "The last supper never happened but it is always happening".

So on Tuesday I understood what Crossan meant and that I didn‟t have to explain my Theological difference to Michael or to anyone about the Eucharist as given to us by the divinely appointed brokers, with their demand for validity, that we use the right formula for Baptism or only the ordained Priest has the power to make Jesus present in the Eucharist.

I don‟t have to fall into that trap anymore because I now know where to find a truly valid experience of Eucharist/communion…

In some cosmic sense, I believe that a true early Christian sense of fellowship, love and social earnestness are expressed above in what I feel might be called a living gospel – good news – by and for the people of God in a small distant community.

It is stories like the above that sparked the early Christian movement hearing stories from a distance that they believed, absorbed into their lives and began to commune with the energy of Jesus, a gift of God, of himself, to humanity.

Christianity needs a rebirth of spirit and outlook and focus.

Twenty first century western culture is corrupt - is as bankrupt of values and love as any of the grand totalitarian regimes, new man made religions, that failed in the recent history of the last century.

The words of Jesus did not destroy the Roman Empire. When the dust settles on fallen empires, the words of Jesus persist in the hearts of the faithful and the Word lives on.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Real Saints of Australia



Soon to be excommunicated Father Peter Kennedy of St. Mary’s in Exile in Brisbane gets my vote for future sainthood and in his own church. God Bless him!

In any case he would not be the first religious excommunicated by a cracker bishop intent on upholding strict discipline in the ranks. One pending RC saint managed to get herself excommunicated over miscommunication with her bishop in her time.

The above photo of Blessed Mary MacKillop, soon to be the first native born Australian saint, is waiting for her third miracle.

Bathersby, the archbishop, is merely cleaning off his desk before retirement in two years time of old paperwork. Efforts to defrock ahead of the curve Father Kennedy have been going on for over twenty years. Previous bishops have not tried so hard to please the Vatican.

But then this is an old case file on the desk of Cardinal Ratszinger, then John Paul IIs hatchet man in the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. Lots of files left on Joe’s desk from the past and into the present. Makes you wonder why they elect somebody so old or was it fear that he knew where too many skeletons are buried or in the closet in the Vatican? Oh well.

Besides Blessed Mary MacKillop, let us not forget Joan of Arc who was excommunicated by the English bishops only to have the black mark taken off her record a few decades later in spiritual or was it political regret? In any case it would have saved a lot of fire wood. It only takes one bishop to excommunicate and, as in Joan of Arc’s case, another bishop not unlike a mere bishop of Rome to rescind an order of excommunication.

The church doesn’t always know the real thing when they see it. I think Peter Kennedy is the real thing. Like the historic model with Joan of Arc, Bathersby and his crowd (including Joe) don’t seem to know Christmas from Bourke Street as they say in parts of Oz.

Mary MacKillop’s nineteenth century RC bishop backed off and rescinded his excommunication. Father Kennedy officially or unofficially in his church will continue his work, his labor, his sheparding in the truest sense of the Message of Jesus and the Christian faith to the members of his congregation.

There is something so stubborn and frontier like in the nature of some Australians to blaze a true path to settlement or to the future that I greatly admire.

Maybe Mary MacKillop’s third miracle to achieve sainthood will have to do with the softening of the stone hearts of the RC hierarchy intent on destroying true good works.

Pax.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

British Embassy - Hostages - Iran


I had a momentary flashback to 1979 and the seizing of three hundred American hostages in the American Embassy in Tehran.

The photo above is a documented picture of an American hostage from those days and the guy in the circle is allegedly Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in his salad days of local Iranian politics.

The headline and words in the CNN piece below did not immediately clarify the situation to me.


Britain blasts arrest of embassy staffers in Iran

The arrest of local staff members at the British Embassy in Iran is "harassment and intimidation of a kind which is quite unacceptable," British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said Sunday.

"About nine" staffers have been affected, he said, adding that some had already been released.

"We have protested in strong terms directly to the Iranian authorities about the arrests that took place yesterday," but there has been no response, Miliband said.

Iran's government-backed Press TV said earlier on Sunday that eight local British embassy staffers had been seized for their role in the unrest following the disputed presidential elections on June 12.

My main complaint about this piece of “Journalism” above is that it does not fully follow the old rules of newspaper journalism and answer the basics of who, what, how, where and why and being addressed in the first paragraph of the news story.

“Local staff members” does not say if the local staffers are British Citizens or not.

As I usually do, I turned to a British news source to get a fuller, tighter, more professional body of the story and situation.


Iran arrests UK embassy staff
David Miliband, the foreign secretary, has angrily refuted allegations that Iranian employees of the British embassy in Tehran played a role in the post-election protests of the past two weeks.

In the latest in a series of spats between the two countries, Iran detained eight or nine local embassy staff for playing a "significant role" in the unrest, which has seen serious clashes between demonstrators and security forces.

Miliband, speaking from a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Corfu, said the government was "deeply concerned" at the arrests. "This is harassment and intimidation of a kind that is quite unacceptable," he said. "We want to see them released unharmed."

The other side, the Iranians, who are not unlike the Chinese in 1971 before Nixon’s visit in 1972 – their dictionaries and handbooks on western protocol are decades out of date.

Words are important. Not everybody on the planet talks urban street. An old fuddy duddy such as myself sent an E-mail to CNN or one of the mainstream media because they had called the actress Loretta Young an actor in her obit when she passed in 2000.

Other people may have decided that actor is good word, not actress, for a female. I do not agree. I thought it disrespectful and or inept on the part of the MSM. Lorette Young lived and displayed her talents in another age in which she was called an actress. Modern day PC words did not fit her obituary. Just because I had not gotten with the new asexual word of “actor”, does not mean that I liked or understood it as part of the obit.

We should do not presume that headlines in an American News Source are correct, or interpreted correctly and or reliable especially when the other side, or its leadership is still in a permanent unmovable 1979 AD western moment frame of mind (like Iran).

I doubt that we can be drawn into another Iranian Hostage situation even though it would suit the Supreme Thug (wearing a so-called mantle of God) and his cronies especially his grape peeling sycophant Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

I doubt that the “bunker busters” are at this moment on Air Force transports to Israel.

I am mildly concerned that a major story on a major American News source in its opening vagueness might escalate a propaganda war on both sides of this potentially hostile global conflict.

Obama is a lawyer and I expect him to put negotiations first or foremost. If that does not work – well – let’s not go there.