Friday, October 12, 2007

How Big Is Your God

How Does He Move
Whom Does He Use

Can He Use You.

Watch the Story of a Texas Preacher's Son
Who Caught the Fire
Tomorrow Night on 60 Minutes.


the interview clip:

Joel Who??

his church:

Battle of the Bishops

Judging the Judges.

It is both amazing and frightening that people so freely condemn the motivation of others to call for their deprivation of the eucharist when Jesus flatly said "neither do I condemn you" and expressly said not to judge the motivation of others. Jesus did not come to condemn the world but to save it. Some people are outraged that a priest in San Francisco gave communion to two gay men in Nun drag who were making a point about who knows what, because they appear to be mocking Nuns rather making a point about who knows what. They don't know what. They are just sure that they shouldn't get communion.

Cardinal McCarrick, the "retired" Archbishop of Washington doesn't agree with those who would deny communion to any candidate based upon their "pro-choice" stance. His view; they are all problematic on one doctrine or another. This is the genteel bishopric way of saying- basically, they all sort of suck. He has a more consistent integrated "life" view that includes doing the things that make Life possible (improved educational opportunities, fighting poverty, etc.) , the death penalty issue and immigration related livlihood issues, rather than the sometimes narrow agenda of just legislating "thou shall nots" and hand slapping "bad boy/bad girl" dictums on one issue- albeit a huge issue. For some this is the defining be and end all issue. Some studies indicate that one in three women in America will have an abortion by the time that they are 45. ONE THIRD. We know at least 47 Million abortions have occured since Roe.

The abortion of an embryo that has a real potential to become human because it is already housed in a womb has a different reality and factual predicate than the pre-zygotes that will never see a womb because they were artificially created in a lab in the Invitro process and there are tens if not hundreds of thousands of them more than wombs lining up to house them to maturity.

A tree in a forest will drop multitudes of acorns and pine cones only a fraction of which will ever mature to trees.

The official Catholic position on any stem cell research that requires destruction of an embryo is that it is a "grave moral sin." Period. End of Story. No Discussion. Consequently it could fall within the excommunicable offenses also along the same lines if any candiate espoused it too loudly (as opposed to the "don't ask, don't tell" rubric some politicians are hiding under rather than address the issue head on while public opinion in America is overwhelmingly that the people holding back the federal funding on this research which already takes place around the world and in this country with state and private grant funding are "flat earth" people who in 50 years will look like the people who wanted to stone Gallileo.) Thus, there is a tendancy for people to go "oooh- embryonic stem cell research- cardinal sin-grave sinner." The more charitable will say "well, I suppose you are entitled to your opinion" while secretly condemning them to the netherworld.
The nuance of the issues begs much depeer study and typically people spouting off about what is or is not a "grave moral sin" understand the science about as well as they understand the circuitry in their car On-Star system, how the video feeds to them from their i-phone or the email is sent from their crack-berry.
Questions barely thought about in the grave moral sin spectrum by some include, but are not limited to whether the killing of an embryo is required to extract embryonic stem cells ( not always required or contemplated), whether the stem cells are pre-implanted in a scientifically fertilized scenario of a scientifically created pre-zygote that will never be implanted for lack of enough womb takers or artificial wombs (there are literally tens of thousands more frozen than ever will find a womb-are we pretending they don't exist or arguing for a society that just forces women to be surrogate wombs shackled to a bedpost?) and whether the taking of the cells, by their research properties will save magnitudes more people than the pre-zygote lost such that the moral balance might be reconsidered. If the research from three pre-zygotic not-implantable "embryos" allows two million children to be cured of AIDS or malaria what then is the moral equation even if those three pre-zygotic "embryos" die?
People in this election cycle are really tired, no - thoroughly disgusted-- with people whom they consider scientifically illiterate dictating their state of sin to them. If any progress is to be made, and any coming together in a mutually respectful civil consensus, we need better science education all around with facts to support it. Now each side crafts the facts to suit the argument, like saying-"well, umbilical and placental cells are just as good, and no promising result is actually believed with embryonic stem cells that adult stem cells can't provide". Researchers disagree.
"Moralists", theologians, clergy, etc. have to stop resorting to epithetic slander like "scientists and researchers are just out to cash in on an undeveloped market and thus they are exploiting human life for profit." False. Scientists and Researchers can be just as motivated by the drive to find cures-life saving cures. If they believe they can, and don't, it is worse than negligence in loss of life. These Moralists and Theologican have to understand the boring parts of the science they preach against if anyone will take anything they say seriously.

Candidates would do well to stop throwing around buzz words and sound-bites and talking to the audience and press like they are fifth grade drop-outs.
The candidates who are more scientifically literate and can articulate the science will do much better- you can win minds much better if you respect that people have them and treat them like they use them. The questions are serious. No time for making up the science. The scientific/research community would do well to do what they do well; present the facts factually.
That's what I call Scientific Progress.

What do you think? If a tree falls in the dark does it make the same sound as an acorn falling from a tree in the dark?

One Great American

(and had the moxie to fight for it)


What does filling your tank have to do with the War in Darfur? If you have not seen "An Inconvenient Truth" yet, see it and find out. Not just for floating polar bear lovers.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Mares Eat Oats

Mares Eat Oats
and Does Eat Oats
and Little Lambs Eat Ivy
A kid'l eat Ivy too-
Wouldn't you?

And if the words sound queer
and funny to your ear
a little bit gipsy and jivey

Just sing
Mares Eat Oats and Does Eat Oats
and Little Lambs Eat Ivy
A kid'l eat Ivy too,
wouldn't you.

That was a song my tone deaf Father used to sing to me. If you say it really fast it gets funny. He used to sing it as we were going to the store, or around the house when we were little. While my Dad passed away a decade ago now, the song pops back into my head at the most unusual times.
It seems to serve this purpose now: to remind me that Dad is still watching,the maker of Mares, Does and little lambs and Kids is still watching, and amidst the chaos, the conflict, the angst, the uncertainty of life, the worry, the drama, the wars, the loss, the disputations, the heartache, the tensions, and the good and bad grief, that there is a plan, and logic to it- that God is still in control, and he made things to make sense. Mares and Does after all still and always will eat oats. They are made that way. It works for them. Little lambs and kids (as in goat babies)-well, they apparently still eat ivy.
War will decimate millions of homes half a world away, and bring back tens of thousands of veterans with half a brain and half their limbs. Aids will decimate millions of homes half a world away and create millions of black orphaned children. Hurricaines and Tsunamis will wipe out villages and coastal cities half a world and a few states away. We now deny torturing prisoners of war and have clandestine foreign detention centers in which to do it.
And Mares still eat oats, Does eat oats, and Little Lambs Eat Ivy. And did you know that Kids by the way do too? We still have little lambs don't we? Someone check on that.
Somehow, God designed it, is still in control, sense is to be found somewhere in it's natural order if we look and pray hard enough to find it--which, not just deistically clicking along with the regularity of disinterested clockwork, but watched after intently minute by minute by an unsleeping God, begs the question, "wouldn't you?" And still there are born little lambs- who eat Ivy. Little lambs- as a sign- that God has not given up on the world.

We are profoundly disturbing the natural order.

The God of Israel never sleeps. I'm having trouble myself.
The least we can do is say Thanks for watching.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Voix du ciel

Now that's a voice-Arrivaderci

Next Year in Lourdes- 150 years since this

150 years of miraculous healings of a physical, psychological and emotional kind:

Lourdes is one of the Largest Marian Shrines in the World-

to the Blessed Mother-the Greatest Jewish Mother Ever, Mary.

official site (send a Vet to Lourdes with the Knights of Malta):

S.A.V. Send A Vet

To Lourdes 2008

Hi Mom. I'm Home

See more like this on

The no-brainer; Shouldn't all these kids have health insurance?

Movies that Matter

Saint Francis still Speaks

I urge everyone to watch the movies and powerpoint here about the Franciscan Friars of the Holy Land. This part of the Franciscan Order (after Saint Francis of Assisi) is charged by the Holy Roman Catholic Church to tend the Christian sites of the Holy Land. The order itself follows after Saint Francis' apostolic poverty. They have a Foundation which supports the needs of the Christian community around the Holy Land Christian sites which in turn helps sustain these sites viably. The conflict in the region has caused a mass exodus of the Christians, who are not connected with the Muslim agenda there but are native Palestinians. They are a peaceful buffer in the conflict caught in the cross-hairs. They worship the Jewish Messiah. They need our help. Please view the movies which discuss a Memorial Hall in which you can subscribe a loved one to support the Franciscan Mission.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Holy Heresies

Let There Be Light, if you can Pay For The Electricity.

And Jesus said to the boy- how many loaves and fishes do you have? He said five. Then Jesus said, let me have them, and before I give them to any of those thousands of hungry folks on the Hill I am going to have to ask them a few screening questions to confirm their ideological alignment with me. I will bless the bread, and turn it into enough to feed five thousand people, but first I have to know how they feel about gay people and whether they understand that the genetic material from their respective reproductive parts, when combined outside a womb in a petri dish is actually a baby. It looks like a few mutating cells, but I am going to Rorschack test them and see if they see a human baby there. If they say "fig tree" they get thrown in the Lake of Fire. Then I have to ask them if they agree with me on which of the ruling Prelates is most likely to tote my philosophy. If they answer all Open Sesame questions correctly, then let them eat. If not, let them starve.

Then the Apostle Paul, Saint Paul to you, who was hauled off in chains and sent out of the country on a ship to Rome to be tried for spreading word of The Word, found himself shipwrecked on the Island of Malta. On the Island many people came to him needing healing.
He said- I know I can heal you, but first before I try or get near you, I have to ask you a few screening questions- like 'Is the earth flat or round?' 'if you extract an egg from a woman, and put it in a jar and a guy jacks off in the jar and you shake it up does God think that there is a human in the jar?" If the Maltese people answer wrongly I won't heal them, I will let them perish in their sinful thoughts for having rejected my philosophy. Only if they answer all the open sesame questions correctly will I heal them and let them live.

Then Jesus said that on judgment day he would separate the sheep from the goats, and place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. To the sheep he will say, come get your inheritance that was reserved for you from the creation of the world because you answered correctly the open sesame questions and picked what was lying behind the Price is Right Door No. 1. --the rest of that feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, tending to the sick, visiting people in prison, giving water to thirsty people doesn't count for squat-I was just kidding with all that. It's all about what's in the Petri dish and jack off jar.

NOT! Of course Jesus and Paul said nothing of the sort!!!

So Why Do Some American Bishops Do It During American Election Season?

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Today is the Feast Day of Saint Francis. Happy Feast Day to you.

It is also the 50 anniversary of Sputnik. What could those two possibly have in common? Answer: Hillary Clinton.
Huh? you say.

Sputnik, explained Hillary today in a address at the Carnegie Institute for Science in Washington launched a period in American history where we were excited and inspired by the unlimited potential for science to advance us forward in multi-dimensioned areas of improvements in health, space exploration and unprecedented economic opportunities created by development of entirely new industries. Sputnik launched rockets of an attitude about the potential and hope of Science. After Sputnik laid the challenge, America rose to it, after suffering a depression and a World War, and the economy was launched into an unparalleled period of expansive growth with the creation of entirely new industries. America became the leader of the Western World economically and technologically. Computers, which 40 years ago were the size of a room are now something you can carry in your palm.

Subsequently during the Presidency of her husband, the discovery/invention of the potential of the Internet launched a technological revolution whose significance parallels the Gutenberg press and movable type. This transformed business and industry into a new Century. The fact that you can read this blog is a direct result. This could not have happened without a government that created a hospitable environment for such revolutionary technological innovation.

After Sputnik, the American genius was unleashed, the economy responded, and it eventually threw cold water on a Cold War as the world cooperated in the Space Program and brought down a Berlin Wall bloodlessly.

This was all because of an attitude about the Promise and Hope of Science. We need to regain this attitude, and not attempt to conform facts to our superimposed biased theories or make science an enemy. Science is not the enemy of morality.

The current challenges to the environmental degradation attendant to climate change, she argued can be met with innovation. We can regain the competitive edge that is partially lost to Europeans who are far ahead of us in carbon capping and recapturing environmental and atmospheric toxins. The current administration, she noted is not only hostile to addressing the need clearly, but is engaged in a "war on science" in which it suppresses facts, truth and honest scientific inquiry/research in a variety of disturbing areas to obscure the real seriousness of our challenges. It even re-writes reports.
Not until recently, seven ( 7 )years into his Presidency did Bush even admit there was a serious global warming climate change crisis- after the UN dedicated an entire session to it because the rest of the world has passed him and us by on noticing. The record of suppressing Truth, people pursuing it and fabricating conclusions or records by selective redactions, factual suppression and industry edits on governmental reports is more than disturbing, it is flatly dangerous. Hillary will reverse the disturbing trend.
She will inspire kids to want to become engineers, scientists of all flavors and explorers on the cutting edge of research and scientific exploration.

All doubts about Hillary's Presidential stature were dispelled when she hit her stride in speaking about the need to spur on green alternative energy technological innovation, with concrete visionary plans which include restructuring and budgeting departments, incentivized with grants and awards to get us off our dependency on foreign oil. Industries that can barely be imagined now, can with the right hospitable governmental environment save us from our dependency on foreign oil which is fueling more than our cars; it is fueling a distorted foreign policy. Green technologies can be exportable to redress balance of trade deficit issues. We are now overtaken by Europeans who are on the ball with this already and surpassing us in alternative sustainable energy technologies. That does not have to be the case and it is a scandal that it is. Why is the most popular hybrid a Japanese Toyota for example.

Here is where Saint Francis is looking out for us. Few people realize that Saint Francis was a soldier from Assisi warring with other Italian city states prior to his conversion where he became, among other things, an Apostle of Peace. He forsook the lance and sword, for a life following Jesus, the Prince of Peace in as pure a form as he could possibly live. He went on mission to address the Turkish Sultan in a time when religious wars abounded to promote Peace.

War simply breaks the heart of God. And we have been at it far too long.

There is no doubt that oil and the oil industry feature strongly in our perpetually warring foreign policy. Hillary wants to create the governmental platform where we don't need to factor oil into the equation, thus minimizing our self interest geopolitically in regions where people would rather kill us. She wants to invest in new green technologies and roll back some of the unnecessary subsidies currently favoring the oil industry which does not need them.

The natural consequence of these reshaped priorities will certainly foster Peace.

A budget is a moral document. Ours is way out of balance in favor of war supplementals and financing the mechanics, personnel and products of War. War. Not kids health care, not upgrading and building schools, not clean water sanitation in developing countries, not medical care, not promotion of scientific health biomedical research, not caring for indigents and homeless. Just War and More War; The business of killing people as an instrument of Foreign Policy-because diplomacy failed.

Hillary noted that as a child with a pair of binoculars looking for Sputnik in her suburban Chicago backyard she was so inspired by the space program she wrote a letter asking how she could become an Astronaut. She received an official letter back explaining that women were not considered for the program. The Poetic Justice of the same woman now running for the job that would make her the boss of NASA and everyone who could possibly write such a letter is too sweet for words. But she isn't gloating. No time for that. Neither is she "strident", "inappropriately aggressive", "angry" or any stereotype of a successful woman Yalie attorney aspiring to the highest public service office in the land.

She is just really SMART. So Smart you and I can't possibly know how smart.
She has vision coupled with strategic astuteness.
There is a reason she has the most money
of anyone running.

Some of the same people/groups are still going to have the same ideological objections to her wanting to reverse the ban on stem-cell research, without looking at the possibilities that advanced scientific research will hold in, for example, the area of increased effectiveness of fertility treatments (without the need to create more embryos than necessary for implantation) in addition to the life saving cures of all manner of diseases that this research may offer. Some people will still think it morally objectionable to make legal Plan B contraceptives, without noticing that the government would not in any case force or mandate anyone to take them.

Whatever your moral persuasion along those lines, for her sheer Brilliance, Integrity, Intellectual honesty in appreciating and tackling the most serious issues of the time, and for the compassionate heart of a Mother, watching Mothers who receive flag draped coffins returning from Iraq, SENATOR HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON should be the next President.

And so, as we pray as we are taught, for all leaders and public servants, please pray with me:


Deceit is in the mind of those who plan evil, but those who counsel peace have joy.
- Proverbs 12:20-20

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

You Can't Handle The Truth

On the Difference Between Lust and Passion

On the Eve of the Feast Day of Saint Francis I am compelled to write on the difference between Lust and Passion; two impulses that can have some outward manifestation similaries and are thus sometimes mistaken one for the other by their object, but emminate from two entirely different places; one is an impulse of the heart, the other an impulse of humanness sometimes known as the "flesh" which is a composite of the confluent influences of hormones, emotions, tissues and wrong thought. It is a tragedy to mistake one for the other, because to deny Passion is to insult Love.

Outward manifestations of both appear to the observer or the object to be both intense, and both self-sacrificing to the extent that the rest of rational self preservation is discarded in its pursuit.
But one is a selfish impulse and the other entirely self-less in favor of the other's good.

No man has greater love than that he lay down his life for his friends. Jesus, our best friend, did that for us. What a friend we have in Jesus. His Passion was the supreme self-lessness in human form. He cared for us more than his own life. His heart was pure. He gave himself totally and fully for our salvation. He poured himself out. He paid the ultimate price.

Lust takes, demands, and gives no thought to that which it claims and must possess or its well being. It objectifies its object to calculate what it gains from it's pursuit. Passion gives overwhelmingly, unceasingly and unconditionally. It spends itself in an outpouring without counting the cost or the loss. It believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things- to serve the good of the other.
Passion emminates from Love.
Lust emminates from greed.

And this is Love, that God gave his only Son so that no one who believes on his name shall be forsaken, but all who believe in him and call on his name will be saved.

And the Passion of Christ demands and compels that we Go and Do Likewise.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord, Jesus of Nazareth.

EXTRA: You really don't want to miss the EWTN show Live on the Rock where Dawn Eden, a Jewish born woman from New York city discusses her transformation from living a "Sex in the City" ungratifying lifestyle to one where she practices Chastity and Abstinence as a practicing Catholic who believes sex before marriage isn't the fullest path to the depths of real love. Tomorrow may be the last day you can access the EWTN show on their Archives; see Dawn's blog at

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Follow Me

Saint Dominic below-
click to see Brother Hugh be ordained as Deacon.

When the Son of Man comes in all his glory, and all the angels with him,
he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

Then the King will say to those on his right 'Come you who are blessed by my Father, take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you invited me in. I needed clothes and you clothed me. I was sick and you looked after me. I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

Then the righteous will answer him "Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?"

The King will reply "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brethren of mine, you did it to me."

(Brethren, here meaning "family members" includes women, something strikingly missing from these Dominican ceremonies in any role other than observer from the nosebleed peanut gallery sections, and then typically only to those consecrated, veiled and in habit. The blanket exclusion of women can make one deaf to their voices; a fair comment from this New York Times movie reviewer of LAKE OF FIRE a documentary on abortion; opening in New York theatres today, )

What Did Jesus Really Look Like?

Jesus, son of Mary, son of God, from Nazareth, in the North, Gallilee region, not far from Lake Kinneret, the Sea of the Gallilee.

(the images derived from the Shroud of Turin, believed to be the burial cloth of Jesus. Note that left hand in the full image seems to indicate that the nails in the hand went through the wrist with the white indicating the blood flow from the wrist. The image from the Shroud is his visage after his beating, flogging, scourging and crucifiction; stare at the picture for 5 seconds and see what is believed to be his visage during his ministry)

A priest in Mexico found this on this film when he developed pictures of his new church and altar: