Sunday, April 14, 2013

San Francisco Archdiocese Forced to Take Down Symbol of (Hate) Anti-Love from their Facebook Page

As some of you well know, I do not want to comment lately in the ugly atmosphere in which politics is being conducted these days. In fact being attacked by a single troll is one thing for expressing my honest opinion, but they seem to travel around in gangs anymore. 

One is reminded, I am reminded of the Germany in the 1930’s with jackbooted thugs wandering the streets, paid for by the rich industrialists, and funds channeled through a stooge political party like that of the Nazi Party.

So I am reluctant to write some of this. But since I have a global audience now and this is a American Secular Humanist diary in this new global culture, I will try to pass along the basics of this news item without getting too involved as being a so-called "Catholic basher" as some have labeled me or any other false identity from people hiding behind Anonymous masks as they spew and protect their right to hate and try to bully me into silence. Etc.

I have mentioned here and there that I do not do electronic petitions, mainly because I do not want my e-mail address sold onto to some spam list as I sign a petition for a good and great sounding thing in our democracy.

So too I try to avoid symbols or as in Facebook, there was a recent rash of the equality symbols used as avatar by many to indicate a position on the civil rights of marriage equality.  

All well and good to use such a symbol on a temporary basis like wearing a poppy flower at a veterans parade or waving a small flag at a Memorial Day parade or on the fourth of July.

I suppose making a good symbol and making a good point is enough to demand imitation from the other side in terms of a symbol.

Below are two links that say a great deal and I only have one quote from one commenter that says things much better than myself on the matter.

The headline of Writer Jamie Manson at NCR, National Catholic Reporter, caught my eye as I paged headlines looking for what was new on many subjects in the RCC of late.

The mere title said so much that it drew me in and informed of this new symbolism, symbols being used in ways that might be described as hateful by the hierarchy of the RCC. 

I have given up on that hierarchy in ever doing anything useful or mature for the human race.

Their bare faced ignorance of human sexuality on every level tells me that they are children and not adults. 

But the powers that be want these ignorant children to lead the masses into further dark age like ignorance.

That a symbol of equality like:

Equality = Love

Turned into some obscure quote from Luke to divide:
Division = Anti-Love

And reminded me of Hate Symbols like this:

Proven Symbol of Hate

That the RCC is now picking biblical quotations out of context like some tent revival fundies to emphasize some political agenda.

 "Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division." ~~ Luke 12:51

Everything with the RCC Hi-R-key is an absolute and an eternal and set in stone. Perhaps Division is separation from the past and to create new conversation and new ground to explore and not some street mob symbol trying to separate “us” from “them”.

Nothing there was anti-Catholic, it was anti-hypocrisy. The Catholic Bishops have morphed themselves into an anti-gay hate group, and as such have become political, and must expect to be treated like any other political entity (or hate group). When receiving justified criticism or even denunciations of their hate, suddenly trying to morph back into a religion and claiming that they cannot be criticized because they are "religious leaders," is the height of hypocrisy. And we all know what Jesus had to say about hypocrites... ~~”tomtallis” 


Remembrances of War – Heroes, Woes, Trophies, Soap and Cigarettes etc.

On a Friend’s posting on Facebook regarding the death of the American Comedian Jonathan Winters at 87, I had to confess that his humor went over my head as a child. In retrospect, he was an improvisational comic blazing the path for others and was a somewhat Robin Williams on valium.

That Jonathan spent something like eight months in what then was termed a “mental hospital” in the early sixties and in my opinion probably was suffering from PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder decades before they recognized and dealt with the term or the illness. 

These days, the VA would give Jonathan a prescription and schedule a few months of sessions with a shrink. Oh the marvels of modern medicine and mental health care.

Jonathan had been in the South Pacific as a Marine for the last two and one half years of that very bloody theatre of war. 

It was for grunts like Jonathan that Harry Truman dropped the bomb on Hiroshima rather than let soldiers and marines like Winters go through one more trial, the expected bloody battle for the Japanese homeland. Enough said.

RIP Jonathan.

The talk of the theatre of war of the South Pacific had me merging memory and thinking that Jonathan Winters had been at Guadalcanal but rereading his bio he probably missed that battle. In my mind I merged some facts, of two cousins that were also Marines as who were at Guadalcanal and survived and did not do well after the war. 

In fact in terms of what I heard in whispers from the family gatherings, they probably died of chronic alcoholism and no doubt related to their war experiences, They died rather young, in their late thirties, early forties, in the nineteen fifties some two or three years apart and their death was yet another cross or two to bear for great aunt Rose.

This all before PTSD, diagnosis, treatment etc. in the modern age. America has had too many wars.

Another thing that the Facebook entry reminded me of was how that generation went to war during WWII and real men did not talk about the horrors of war and dealt with them in many instances alone and kept it all within.

My father had joined the Army, probably could have gotten a deferment for working in a critical war industry and he was quite old in his late twenties, much older than the average American draftee. He wanted to join but after months and months of repeat training in holding camps in the U.S. waiting to be shipped overseas he got tired of all the marching and opted to become, assume the glamorous job of Army Cook.  

It at least kept you out of the rain most of the time, food being served in a hopefully dry place under a tent etc.

Which brings me to the trophy thing. My dad’s private space in the house would have seemed to have been the workbench and place for tools in the basement in the basement space that once had served as a coal bin before the switch to gas heat etc. 

The obsolete space was where dad began and made some of his household projects.

It was in one of his small metal toolboxes that he kept two eagle with swastika armbands that he brought back from war, in the European theatre of war. The armbands were incomplete and only the face of them with their machine made embroidery was the real pleasure and texture of this textile product.

Of course, dad rarely talked about his military experiences, the horrors of war etc. Though as an army cook 24 hours on, 24 hours off throughout the military campaign in Europe, he was a soldier and expected to have his weapon within reach, even in a kitchen.

The one story he did tell was of as the mess sergeant, he and his crew were sent out to forage for fresh vegetables to supplement all the canned and dehydrated food coming from America non-stop. 

He did mention that all meat in terms of steaks and chops were deboned in America before being shipped to Europe, that, in order to save space and fuel on boats and trucks.

His favorite story involved his few words of German he learned while knocking on doors and negotiating with townspeople to trade potatoes, onions and carrots, hidden in their cellars, for soap and cigarettes. 

That he mentioned that many times after they entered Germany, the town where they were foraging in was many times not officially taken by the Americans and that gunfire was always present over the next hill or passed the next turn in the road and that snipers were a very real threat to life and limb.

I don’t know how my father got hold of two Nazi armbands, similar to the one pictured above. I prefer to think that he did not kill the wearers of such things or even took them off their dead bodies. 

I prefer to think that he traded soap or cigarettes for them as a trophy of war, something to bring home and show his young nephews and other family members etc.

Somewhere along the timeline, my mother threw out the armbands, said they were symbols of evil and she did not want them in her house etc.

I regret not having these trophies around now to remember my father by and not the Nazi empire.