Thursday, December 31, 2009
A Franciscan Blessing (from an anonymous Friar)
May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart,
May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.
May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy.
And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.
Bonne et heureuse année 2010!
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Everyone is abuzz about the Pope getting jumped and tackled by a woman inside Saint Peter's. A cardinal is waiting surgery for a broken hip. Not nice- in fact criminal to assault anyone. Particularly upsetting at Christmas, even more upsetting during a church service.
But is it too easy to dismiss as the demonic derangement of a woman off her meds? A couple people (admittedly not Catholic) I know actually said "he deserved it but that's not nice at Christmastime."
At the Christmas church service I attended, a high up catholic clerical type in the pinnacle of his homily repeated that the pinnacle virtue is the Eucharist. This is of course, not correct. The pinnacle virtue is LOVE- the Eucharist is not a virtue, it is food for the journey and it is the 'real presence' of Christ with us, which means that it is a focal point of heaven touching earth- just as wherever and whenever, just as forcefully, real Love is present it is a focal point of heaven touching earth. God is Love. It's in the bible, read it.
Faith, Hope and Love, and the greatest of these is LOVE.
Why this "the greatest of these is the Eucharist" is such a dangerous mis-statement of the Heart of Jesus is because anything can be justified in the name of the Eucharist, giving far too much justifying power to do anything in the name of the Eucharist to protect the institutional organization that provides it- and even evil can be done in the name of the Eucharist and the Priests who serve it.
The Priests who serve it are all men. Single men. Men who have had the desire for intimate relations with women beaten out of them either by their own "immolations" or castigations from an emotionally castrating institution-all in the name of Holiness, virtue and the greatest virtue- ostensibly "the Eucharist." It thus creates a milieu ripe for abuse against women. An institutional discrimination against women persists in the misunderstanding that Jesus only wanted celibate priests to serve him- when he picked on purpose Peter, a married man, and the Holy spirit inspired scripture makes sure everyone knows that the man had a mother in law that he took care of. Emotionally and physically healthy women naturally understand Love in all its dimensions and manifestations, culminating in the supreme pinnacle of Love- incarnation. New Life. Childbirth. Like that in the manger you see in paper mache, plastic and plaster painted relief, rather than in the burping, smiling, cooing, suckling nursing flesh and blood of an infant child. Paper, plastic or flesh and blood- you choose.
Article after article is written about the issue of the abuse against minors, two billion dollars has been paid in the US alone in secret and not so secret settlements in the name of the highest pinnacle of virtue; the Eucharist. And the issue of abuse against women, when reported at all, is deemed such a litigation threat to even mention that archdiocese insurance dogs everywhere gnash their teeth at any woman people find too attractive for her choir robe.
So is it shocking or surprising that this confluence of arrogant institutional pride/conceit, theology off the rails, and brutal insensitivity has landed the Pope on the floor of the Vatican by an angry woman? No, it's surprising it hasn't happened sooner, and frankly, more often. Were I her criminal defense counsel I would argue "provocation in the heat of passion for the Love Of Christ."
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
he's not afriad of email e-discovery (like who in their right mind listens to litigators about love).
You can even upload pictures (your kids, your dog, yourself) with a cheery Merry Christmas message. I wonder if he writes back. Let me know. When is the Vatican running the 'cutest kid on the planet' contest because I want to enter my three year old miracle baby boy nephew Jack.
This is actually real- the Vatican is more techy-savvy than your local computer geek- the Pope is on the i-phone, i-tunes, Facebook and has his own YouTube Channel. Get with the program people!
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Question: Why did God pick Joseph to be Jesus ' earthly stepdad?
Mary was pregnant. It wasn't his. That is all he knew 'in the natural.' It looks pretty darn grim in the natural sometimes. Looks like the person you love and wanted to marry is so evil she should be buried alive which is what they wanted to do to her- it was a stonable offense. Too bad to entertain the thought- they are going to just kill her off.
But God talked to Joseph by sending Gabriel in a dream to let him know- it's OK- it's not what it looks like. Looks pretty bad, I know- but don't be afraid. It's all part of the plan. It's all going to be so awesome you can't even imagine it now.
He didn't see it in the natural. Didn't make sense. Plus he had to drag her all the way to Bethlehem to register for the census where he was born- on a donkey. How fun was that?
It looks like not only a curse but a burden. And how was he supposed to pay for the two of them when he got there?
Things often look grim. That is what Faith is for.
There is a sign on top of Macy's this year. It says simply "BELIEVE"
BELIEVE in your dreams. They are real.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Did you know that the French word in the infinitive for eat is "manger" pronounced "monjay." It's similar to the Italian "mange." The Old English, which borrowed from the Norman French pronounced it differently- it's where we get the word Manger, as in the Creche scene. The manger was actually believed to be a feeding trough for animals in a barn. It was full of hay because that is what cows and horses chomped on. It's possible that the donkey cleaned it out first before laying Jesus in it-he would have been rather hungry carting a pregnant woman all that way all day and night. It is also possible that the French word for it travelled to England because Mary Magdalene and/or other disciples (possibly Mary) landed at some point in France- as is rumored throughout the South of France. Hence the name of La Magdalene Cathedral in France and their fondness for Mary Magdalene. This is my body which is broken for you. When he was born they actually laid his head in a feeding trough.
(No, Dan Brown didn't tell me that-it's possible the Holy Spirit did.)
How not to be full of beans:
of sayings of JPII. Now Pope JPII has just been beatified "Venerable"....and we only need one more miracle to make him a Saint. I'm believing for a Miracle. I'll let you know.
BACK AT YOU PADRE.
[did i ever tell you about the time i was as close to him as the length of a rosary once at a special Mass at Saint Peter's ...]
Think you have it bad? Try being pregnant with no fosset running water, toilets, microwaves, electric stoves or electric blankets or baby bottle warmers. Nazareth wasn't much bigger than
Bethesda with a few caves and hovels and stone houses- one with a "grotto" to hide from the Romans that Franciscans were led to discover. Now do you know why Mary appeared at a "Grotto" in Lourdes, France?
Remember: They "reclined" at table because they didn't have chairs.
So if they made it work with nothing and a donkey for transport.....
postscript: actually Mary and Jo might have had a bit of runnning water even out of a sort of spicket/fosset; one thing Romans were really crafty at was building Aqueducts and Nazareth was under Roman rule- they had huge water systems and "bath" houses- remember the English town "Bath"- aptly named. Running water into the barn out back where Mary delivered was likely a different story. Get the "NATIVITY STORY" and watch it this year on DVD.
Never needed your help to survive
Just wanted your heart's inspiration
and the song of your voice to make me feel alive
Just wanted to give back
a life inside you created
by manifesting your hope and devotion consecrated
by a faith that pierced the madness of oppressions
imposed upon you from all those needy souls.
Just wanted to hold you.
MERRY CHRIST MASS
I know that you have more people to shop for than bucks in the bank this holiday with market meltdown. But you still can do something phenomenal this Christmas if you are in DC this year. Holy Trinity, the Jesuit Parish in Georgetown is hosting ON CHRISTMAS DAY ten homeless people from the "rotating shelter" who are sleeping for the holiday in a converted room of the church building complex right in Georgetown. Typically in shelters people are kicked out at 7:00 and get to return in the evening- but not on Christmas Day. They get to spend the entire day in the church.
At 3:30 we are cooking and serving them a beautiful Christmas dinner. Nothing too fancy but something warm and delicious. If you want to help you can drop off your favorite caserole, pies, extra Christmas cookies, that fruitcake aunt Sally sent that you don't have a heart to send back! or anything you want to treat these folks to- because it is Christmas.
Just drop it off at the church reception upstairs with a note that it's for the Christmas homeless shelter. You will be rewarded a hundred times over.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Put A Ring On It
(Beyonce's For All The Single Ladies: viral videos tell it like it is.)
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
The Health Bill we are considering now has done away with the Private Option (Ted Kennedy's baby) and done away with the early age Medicare Buy-In (that even Lieberman campaigned on) all to save the mandatory universal elective Abortion coverage that Obama explicitly stated in his address to the nation on health care he would keep out?
Since when does Planned Parenthood, NARAL and the old generation of other "liberal" women
hold hostage the entire Health Care Reform Agenda of the entire Democratic Party? Since WHEN is the more or less mortal sin of nuking your children in-utero with minor exception if any, something that we as a country are required to cater to by paying for it?
No, Senator Casey- (who is apparently in the hot seat now to craft a compromise to allow paying people to commit mortal sin- that is, land you square in the pit of fiery hell sin without escape for eternity when unrepented, if you were wondering) please don't do it. Prove you have the same cahoonas as your father and tell them where to go now. The nerve of them.
TAKE THE ELECTIVE ABORTION COVERAGE OUT OF THE BILL YOU MORONS.
There is no way to be diplomatic about it. You are going to blow it all for this insanity.
Take it Seriously this year. The more or less solid year of on again off again rain in the DC area followed by occasional bone chilling cold has created more sniffly noses than Rudolf has reigndeer friends. I just learned that it has caused the death of a 56 year old woman who goes to Mass regularly at St. Matthews in DC. 56 is rather young to kick it from the Flu or anything naturally floating in the bacteriosphere. There have been reported over 10,000 deaths from the Swine (H1N1) Flu so far and counting in the US alone.
Friends don't let friends go without a hat and gloves now. Pretty Scarves are as plentiful on the streets of DC as bags of Doritos flapping in the wind from vendor carts and make great early Christmas/Channukah presents. Seriously, I don't want to see any of my crazy clients or friends playing Decalced Carmelite sporting sandals in this weather (you know who you are angel!)- even with brown socks! It's never been cheaper with market meltdown to buy a pair of shoes.
So I read the below official announcement and it sounded to me like we were inviting people to come pay for their food at a holiday party (TACKEEEEE).
The Director then insisted that a huge number of Pizzas have been already ordered (best Pizza in DC by miles) and first come first serve until they run out everyone gets free Pizza for showing up and saying that they are with CSI.
So come one come all and meet and greet us. We won't let you leave hungry. Trust Me.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
1629 K St., N.W., Suite 300
Washington, D.C. 20006
Conflict Solutions International is pleased to present:
A Holiday Happy Hour at Vapiano's!
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 22ND 2009, 6:30 to 9:00 PM
Please join CSI for a "festive happy hour with a purpose". If you haven't yet met the CSI community at play, you're in for a treat. We're sending the invite to our entire mailing list so it's going to be a fun evening. You will meet the classic CSI crowd of intellectuals, literati, international women and spies. And well, yes, some government agents as well. As Andy of the Meetup often says, "I'm with the government and I'm here to help....".
Vapiano's is located at 1800 M St. NW, Washington D.C. Two blocks from Farragut North, (Red line) Farragut West (orange/blue line) and Dupont Circle (Red line) metro stations.
FREE admission and CSI members [correction; AND FRIENDS!] will get FREE pizzas from Vapiano's. The restaurant has a good selection of inexpensive pasta dishes, pizza and dessert. Good quality food cooked in front of you. The bar features excellent wines and beer.
For more information on the foundation please visit our website at:
**RSVP by SATURDAY DECEMBER 19th to:
With your full name, number of guests, phone number and email
Your RSVP is necessary to notify you in the event of event change or cancellation!**
I'm going-see you there.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Last night on Rachael Maddow there was a testy interview between Rachael, a self-professed Gay person in active sexual relationship with another woman, and a guy whose last name is COHEN who believes Gay-ness is reversible or recoverable. He was gay, and now is the proud married (to a woman) father of three kids. He describes his gay experience as "unwanted." In other words, it was a reaction of his autonomous bodily impulses and arousals that he didn't like or invite and didn't want to stay that way. He had a sense of being "off."
If you speak to gay people, they often tell you the same thing- they don't have a choice- they just get automatically aroused by the same gender. It's not something they choose or invite- it's an auto-reaction of their physique. In Cohen's case it was something he overcame. Now he is aroused appropriately by his wife. The debate was testy because the fact that some people "come out" of gayness or turn straight (and that there are huge ministries touting success in this regard), has the Ugandans believing, after being prodded by evangelical American Christians who are part of "The Family" movement, that they should have zero tolerance for gayness, which prompted them to author a bill actually authorizing death to gays- just kill them all. Cohen was horrified his logic resulted in death sentences. The zero tolerance actually advocated and preached by leaders of "The Family" was for those who knew that they had AIDS after homosexual liaisons then transmitting it to unwitting wives who then contracted the deadly disease.
Here's my theory- who knows what causes this gayness-or whether it is the same cause in every case. That is rather beside the point because acting out any impulses is within every one's control. My suspicion is that hormones could play some part in some people's auto-reactions. If hormone therapy is used in transgender people to
facilitate growth of breasts for example in men turning them more effeminate, and grows hair on the chest of women given progesterone, this suggests that possibly appropriate hormonal treatment be used to balance out people in a healthy way back to their gender's healthiest hormonal balance. Everyone has male and female hormones and fluctuating quantities of both. God, you recall made them male and female and they both originally occupied the one person called "Adam" until Eve was extracted from his rib. After women undergo menopause they undergo a hormonal adjustment and sometimes take synthetic hormones to regain the balance. These natural life cycles can be disrupted chemically.
So my question is what would Rachael look like if she were given a heavy dose of natural oestrogen reorientation. Would she start sporting long curls and look furtively at men? Would she get excited to be around men or still long for the embrace of her girlfriend? Can aggressive hormone therapy readjust sexual orientation?
If that is the case and if the statistics are true that gayness or physical response and arousal is something that can be and is reoriented in large statistical amounts, then classifying things like Gay Rights under the Civil Rights rubric is really misplaced. There is no civil right or constitutional right to be "off" your gender. If it is a state of slightly unhealthiness, we don't need to label it sin to debunk it of civil rights status for equal protection purposes. It needs then just "treatment" of a psycho-social emotional hormonal dimension.
Just a theory- don't shoot the messenger. And don't knock it Rachael till you tried it.
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
Normally, as you may know if you read this blog, I am rather fiercely progressive. Actually far more liberal than Blue Dogs and down right proudly conspiratorial in believing most of the War we are waging is based on myth, hyperbole and fabrications to serve nefarious interests and line the pockets of a few at the expense of life and limbs of many American servicepersons and millions of civilian Iraqis and Afghans.
I have been proud of Hillary for crashing glass ceilings, Barbara Boxer for understanding if not championing election reform, and God Bless Diane Feinstein for too many things to here list.
But Ladies- Have you lost your minds? It is one thing to think that government should be out of the bedroom and out of decisions regarding a woman's reproductive health but totally another to insist government be forceably in the business of bankrolling whatever reproductive "health" procedures a woman wants- whatever the moral consideration-whatever the health of the Fetus.
This is just a license to get screwed over- and more coercion from idiot men who are going to insist women get abortions because there is no excuse if the government is paying for it. Do you want to completely take away all accountability for making a wrong choice with regard to sexual behavior (like women are dogs and don't know better or can't make wise decisions or control themselves?) by not even requiring that they pay for their own abortions? Insane.
Seriously. You have all lost your minds and you are pushing intelligent women like myself to the edge. Unrestrained sexual behavior without natural consequence is not a natural right or a constitutional one. It just isn''t. GET A GRIP there in the Senate. I am starting to think it's time for you ladies to retire and write your autobiographies now. These are really scary Senatorial Senior Moments. Barbara, don't make me move to LA to run against you. It's too much fun taking pot-shots from obscurity hoping someone has half a brain to pay attention.
My Click My Heels 3 Times And Say....
4th wish is to SING with STING. (now, aren't you wondering what No.1 and 2 are?)
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
The Italian legislature is proposing a bill to recognize rights of the unborn and phrasing it in the context of the Universal Declaration for Human Rights of the Child. (Thanks Zenit)
Miss Mary. I don't know her last name-everyone just calls her Mary. Like the Madonna.
She is a gracefully aged woman, like fine cheese, with white hair tied prettily back with a pin or two. Her brother lives in Potomac and she has the gentility and grace of a woman who has seen more than her share of the high life in high style in her day. Here she sits, every other Monday morning behind a table in a basement conference room at Saint Matthews Cathedral in DC with a smile indefatigable meeting grumpiness of the morning, a table
on which her famous warm homemade caseroles are dished out to the homeless men and women who come as they are, in moldly smelling duffel coats and fleece in Washington, DC . Bright eyed volunteers ladle and spoon out the caseroles asking "risotto with brocolli or rice and chicken?"
Mary gets up every other Monday at 4:30-5:00 am or earlier to put together things like her famous pot roast "I don't use red wine marinade like usual because you never know what they are dealing with" she told me. It looked like a pot roast my grandmother would make with peas, carrots, baby potatos and roast beef all simmering in the juices. Then there is her bow-tie cheezy pasta with bacon, and don't forget her risotto with cheese and broccolli. Mary doesn't just throw down some Mac 'n Cheese- Miss Mary puts on the Ritz for these people- who get a full course meal in the morning to last them all day. Beats a baloney sandwhich by miles.
For the last ten years, every other Monday, Miss Mary has been waking up at 4:30-5:00am or earlier, and making a feast for 50-100 people-on her. For free to them. People who you wouldn't in a million years invite anywhere- people who smell a bit off, people who live in shelters or even outside, people you probably have seen outside peddling "Street Sense" the homeless rag, people whose belongings trail them in ripped tattered plastic black bags or who wheel their lives around in old dirty torn 'round the edges suitcases on wheels. Miss Mary loves them all. She knows them by name, most of them. They all greet her with a hearty "Thank you Mary!" "God Love You Mary!"
After the meal time, followed by a scripture reflection and clothing dissemination to those in need of another pair of jeans, hats, gloves and a bag of underwear and toiletries, Mary rinses off and packs up her caserole dishes and puts them in a metal cart with wheels that she wheels back to her apartment on 17th street-like she has done for a decade. It's a metal cart like you see women dragging to the grocery store- Mary has one that she stacks chock 'o block full of caseroles every other Monday.
Mary is getting a bit up there and she worries about who will take over the mantle if she can't do it. "Do you see that refrigerator!" she points to the frigidaire that looks like it was made around WWII. "Doesn't even have permafrost it's so old!" She bemoans the fact that in none of the conference rooms kitchens in the Cathedral is there a working stove. "We need a kitchen remodel" she says- and I think- OPRAH!
Yes, the downtown Washington, DC Cathedral is so old that it underwent a major renovation upstairs, where there are spectacular mosaics, sculptures, ceilings, paintings, frescos, etc. But there needs to be a remodel for a good working kitchen with a good working stove in one of the conference rooms- because this folks out on the streets problem is only getting scarier.
If a Cathedral doesn't qualify for funding for church-state reasons, or because DC is mad at the Archbishop for his stand on Gay Marriage, perhaps that EXTREME HOME MAKE-OVER guy can come build us all a good working kitchen in the Cathdral so Miss Mary can heat up dishes she makes the night before in the Cathedral and doesn't have to get up at 4:30-5:00 am. Because one day she may not be able to do that.
So here is the throw down- I challenge OPRAH and the EXTREME HOME MAKE-OVER guy to see who can come up with the better plan to remodel the basement of the Cathedral to install a new kitchen without demolishing any part of the historic property to do it!
Monday, December 07, 2009
Like about 2-3 Million Americans. Like about every fourth African American male in this country at one point in their life. Like Dennis Sobin, who once got himself locked up for filming a French Artsy Avant Guard film that might have received some Palm D'Or award or something in France (where all the women run around on the beaches topless), for shooting film in a nudist colony in Florida where there happened to be entire families with children partaking of the sport of nudery- which earned him a "child performance" porn Federal charge and forever a federal record. Shocking you say? Porn artist he isn't- Artsy Fartsy Filmy guy from New York he is- and he found himself locked up. So what does someone with an indefatigable Joie De Vivre do in that situation? Eventually Dennis started a Foundation where he encouraged artistic talents of people in Jail. White guy from Queens, developing talents of all colors, creeds and sexual orientation- because God is Good-all the time- to everyone who loves him.
You would be amazed at what prisoners can do with all that time on their hands. Some of them have prior formal art training. Some of them should be in a museum- and some of them are- they are in the Safe Streets Foundation Gallery a few blocks from the White House that Sobin runs. www.PrisonsFoundation.org
You can see Dennis on nice days not sub-below weather around Dupont Circle displaying his art open air style. He has a program where he gets volunteers from everywhere to send Christmas cards to inmates everywhere. America has the highest per capita incarceration rate in the world. Many of these people are forgotten or cursed at Christmas time for all the trauma and drama they put their families through.
Today, Dennis Sobin plugged in an electric amp to his guitar and played beautiful Christmas music in the basement conference room of Saint Matthews Cathedral in downtown Washington, DC to an audience of about 60 cold, hungry, homeless men and women who ate the hot dishes Miss Mary (canonization soon to follow) cooked at 5:00 am where after they helped themselves to a bag of underwear and toiletries for the week. Dennis got rousing applause and standing ovations from those who were not too tuckered out from the sleepless night in a grim shelter to rise in gratitude.
There are truly amazingly good people in the World who have seen Hell and came back victorious over bitterness- and contribute something that brings such Joy to so many people-
Keith Olberman should give this guy a "Best Person of the Week" award. Oprah should fund the permenant gallery. If you are looking for year end charitable contributions, put the Safe Streets Foundation on your Christmas List. More people will appreciate it than you can imagine.
Isn't that another word for "Cosmetic?" As in, cosmetic surgery, nose jobs, boob jobs, butt lifts, tummy tucks, collagen lip enhancements, and liposuction? Is that all covered in the health care and/or public option such that all Americans- even the struggling ones who can barely afford to pay for any insurance so get stuck buying the government insurance, have to pay for someone else's cosmetic surgeries? Clearly that just seems unjust.
"Elective" abortions are just that- "elective:- Optional. Not Mandatory by virtue of medical necessity. "Elective." Like "elective War."
Only this Election is something far more insidious than just a nose job, sucking fat out of your thighs, whacking off and reshaping your butt or injecting your brows and lips with collagen or botox. This is "electively" stopping a beating heart. A separate beating heart. A different autonomous little beating heart. A real Hit Job on an innocent swimming in utero who doesn't know what hit him or her and can't defend himself or herself. Is that "elective" procedure covered? Does everyone in the country have to pay for that for anyone who wants to do it?
What is the Moral Defense of such a paradigm?
I don't want to have to pay for someone else's boob job- why should I have to pay for someone's abortion? I don't want to pay for someone shooting puppies by the side of the road either.
Saturday, December 05, 2009
To Sing with Andrea Bocelli.
Here is his new Christmas CD- off the hook- get it. PBS special- they will send you a DVD and CD if you send them a big enough donation. If any of my priest friends knows him and hooks that up I will put you in the will:-)
-It's praying twice-
I fulfilled in a friar minor way my Susan Boyle fantasy by auditioning for the local Cathedral's Festival Choir for Midnight Christmas Mass and am happy to report that the Cathedral's much nicer equivalent of Simon Cowell gave me the thumbs up (minus the ticket to vegas.) I can't read music much for beans but I have decent pitch and carry the tune in two or three parts once I hear it through.
I say this not to brag, because truth be told, it was an ever so kind Pastor out of the magnanimity of his heart and dearth of mezzo-second sopranos who ever gave me a consecrated blessing as a musical sacristan of sorts- "good enough for government work" is rather how I classify my undeveloped singing talents. I say this instead to put in a pitch for the local Cathedral of Saint Matthew of the Apostle for folks to support their music ministry- because on the whole it is off the charts spectacular and one of the real treats of being close enough to monuments in DC to get a taste of something you otherwise would have to travel to Vienna, Austria to hear.
The regular choir is verily so professional they should cut CDs-and guess what- THEY DO! You can buy them in the Rectory. So I urge you get a few- in fact the number is listed to the right of this blog on the listings of churches in the area. It might have you humming a few bars.
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
I still, as a female, want to marry a man. Go Figure. Possibly an emotionally crippled unavailable one, possibly one who doesn't have the first clue about male honor or respect for women, possibly one who will dump me for the nearest secretary with a smaller waist and higher heels and bigger dowry with a condo in Palm Springs. But I don't care. I am sticking to them- men that is. Gayness in the World doesn't affect me a hoot or holler- I am not going to marry a woman now because DC passed Gay Marriage.
Think about it.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Who if he does the right thing should get the Saint Thomas Moore Award of the Century.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Stuffing cooked inside the Turkey? Did you learn to cook in a barn? Cranberry out of a can? Are you mad woman? Pumpkin pie with cream cheese not condensed milk? Are you trying to poison us or just get us fat? Holiday can be a bit testy with personalities and peculiarities of family that get all together just a few special times a year. In case you didn't ask-yes, it's your turn to do all the dishes.
That reminds me of Mother Theresa's 'do it anyway' litany.
People will impute the greatest acts of love you gave with the most nefarious motives- do it anyway. They will feel like total jerks later. Then you can tell them how many karats you want.
[3; 4 is a bit gauche and makes my finger look fat.]
If they don't just stay the same abominable course.
I'm Thankful For....all the Republicans who will have to eat their hats.
I'm Thankful For....TRUTH.
Happy Thanksgiving to my Fellow TRUTH Addicts and junkies.
The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving. We trust you all have something for which to be thankful. (Happy Turkey Day back at you to the folks at the Posse List.)
What Weapons of Mass Destruction? Inquiring minds in Britain want to know what the real deal was, and why they were so bloody dumb as to just take Bush's word for anything.
And they don't own Chevron stock so don't care who they expose.
ITS ABOUT DEAD KIDS
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Could it possibly be (just askin') that Gulliani (or however you spell his name) doesn't want
trials in NYC of terror suspects because someone might ask (a) so why did Mr. Mayor G. put a gag order on the firefighters to prevent any talk about the internal demolition explosions at the World Trade Towers? (b) so why did Mr. Mayor G. know to leave the building at the World Trade Towers where he had some central command office. Not that this might impact the evidence in any respect concerning whether these characters actually were the masterminds of those events-where three buildings melted in internal demolitions and only two were hit- to name a few anomalies that the Patriots Question 911 Truthers posit (google it- I am tired of defending them.) THINK FOR YOURSELF ya mindless automatron eater of whatever garbage they want to stuff down your throat. Seriously, Are you that hungry fool?
Love Hits You For Real
Once in a great while.
You either believe in the deal
or change that dial.
You either trust that its true
or trust in your doubt
You either have faith
or flail wildly about
in sarcasm and shouting
You either believe in love
or doubt you are worthy.
You either grab the ring
and rise to sing
or swim in disbelief and grief.
The saddest Crucifixion is the one
done to yourself by you
Because you believed in the lie
more than the truth.
According to one of my favorite talking heads Keith Olberman (MSNBC), the RNC has now tried to push a loyalty test, called a "purity test" (like the corrupt bunch of war profiteer terrorist fabricators collectively have the first clue about spiritual "purity"-gag me with a maggott)- and in it is a ten point litmus test they call the "Reagan test" that Reagan himself would fail. One of the litmus tests for Republican purity is that one must "support all troop surges"- In other words- regardless of whether military solutions are feasible, intelligible, calculably winnable, or productive for any other reason than lining the pockets of the defense contractors, war profiteers, and everyone feeding off them in their Bethesda and Potomac estates feeling "pure", we must all support the million dollar a soldier troop increases- because it is the basis of our War economy. This is because we are too moronic to figure out how to make that kind of money on any other sector-and haven't invested in the infrastructure development or greening technologies and other innovations that would create another basis for the economy than perpetual mindless fabricated pretextual wars to serve industry.
Unocal and it's Board, (Condi and Rumsfeld included) apparently all agreed that a pipeline in a place like Pennsylvania isn't as cost-effective as in a country with an ineffective if not non-existent federal government throughout the country and an under-developed highly corrupt legal system. In Pennsylvania we sue people for environmental disasters and contamination and have advanced labor laws and codes not to mention powerful Unions, that makes doing business there and opening pipelines there potentially expensive. We have advanced labor laws/codes, not to mention powerful Unions. something here called "class action lawsuits" which makes opening pipelines and factories in places with under-developed legal systems -or those in our pocket- more appealing. Hence, if we can get the US military to pay for security in these regions, with the blood of Americans that have nothing whatsoever to do with reaping any direct profit off it- and convince AIPAC and others in the Jewish lobby that it is in the security interest of Israel for us to go to war in these places- we can get everyone who had any sensitivity to the Hollocaust, like Richard Pearl and other Neocons, to believe that our Agenda also serves their interests. (Richard Pearl by the way it is reported backtracked on his support of the Iraq war.) -Yes, Iran may be an actual existential threat- but that doesn't justify our war efforts in Afghanistan or Iraq, which some argue exacerbated the situation and just gave the jihadist fundamentalists a better recruiting tool- because we are over there slaughtering civilians by the hundreds of thousands and that is inciting the insurgencies.
Unocal has since merged with CHEVRON- and on its board sits Sam Nunn as well as an officer/director of Northrup Grumman now.
So to be a good and 'pure' Republican- one must "support all troop surges" it appears-In other words, one must be a person of War- mindless War, War for the sake of War. Because
it's too expensive to do business properly in America.
I believe it's time for a new Party Agenda, new Party leadership, new Party innovation, and new Party direction- or the Republican Brand will be viewed as full of crap as CHARMIN.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Imagine a Halloween co-op where everykid on the block got candy no matter how rich or poor their parents that year, and every house gave out candy no matter how rich or poor because the richer houses the night before halloween came to each poor house and gave the parents a big bag of candy. How cool would that be- everyone gets candy. Everyone goes to City Hall and signs up for the Free Candy program- and mysteriously if they make below a certain annual income the candyman delivers a bag of select mixed Hersheys right to their door.
What mean miserly person would possibly object to such a "mom, flag, apple pie" program.
Now imagine that the program will only be allowed to work because it is partially underwritten by "Gillette" so there are razor blades hidden in the chocolates of one in ten bags that get delivered.
WHAT! Who in their right mind would pay for that? Who would sign up for it? Why would the rich guys want to subsidize the razor chocolates? It's morally repugnant- we don't slice the mouths up of little children!! Are you CRAZY? How off the wall?!! Who invited Gillette in the program in the first place?
We don't slice the mouths of children with razors, we just delimb them in utero, puncture their skulls with sharp instruments while they flail and kick in utero, and "extract" them delimbed and decapitated from wombs.
Now, Who Wants To Sign Up For Abortion In HealthCare?
I asked an African American professional democratic woman who owns her own real estate brokerage business over 40. Smartly dressed in a gray designer suit, hair coiffed expensively and stylish boots that set her back a few hundred on sale as Ferrigamos.
She defines herself as "pro-choice."
"But only in early stages of a pregnancy-not for birth control for stupid women "
I asked "Do you think abortion should be covered by Goverment health care?
"Hell No- Who in their right mind would think everyone had to pay for someone else's abortions?" "I paid for my own abortions."
Who indeed? Harry Reid maybe?
Today's monday morning homeless breakfast and scripture reading in a basement conference room at Saint Matthews Cathedral took a disturbing turn until one of the homeless ministry leaders reigned the conversation back on track and quieted a potential uproar over hot cocoa and day old muffins. The homeless men were actually talking about the controversy over Catholic Charities allegedly not providing certain services as a response to the same-sex marriage legislation. "The church runs the shelter! are they going to shut it because they don't like gay people? " one upset homeless man said, sitting in the scripture discussion circle. No one really wanted to talk controversy. "It's complicated."
On another note-a senior ministry leader in a Jesuit parish said "I was raised in a Non-Traditional Marriage because my parents divorced when I was 2. I lived with my Mom, my aunt and my grandmother-all women. I think I turned out fine." She was raised in a strict polish catholic home. She turned out spectacularly in fact.
I, and many head scratching people like me are incredulous if we are told that Catholic Charities or other catholic social service agencies will not, once the City has called someone gay "married" give them any essential services that Catholic Charities normally provides to everyone- like HIV counseling, medicines, Health clinic care or other services. Certainly health care should not be dependent on one's state of sin or grace- or we wouldn't treat diabetics if they ate too many Twinkies, we wouldn't treat lung cancer if the patient snuck a cigarette, we wouldn't treat heart conditions if people didn't get their regular exercise and stop eating so many burgers, and we wouldn't treat obesity if people kept eating too much and drinking sodas.
Health Care should be provided regardless of any one's state of sin or grace. Because Jesus did that. He didn't ask anyone seeking healing what got them in that predicament. So I hope that isn't what they mean.
The adoption question poses another interesting ethical situation. Should kids be languishing in parent less situations in orphanages, or in foster care with too many kids to get necessary attention, because we don't want to allow two people who are of the same gender to adopt a child because we don't like what they do with each other in the bedroom and consider it sin? Should kids suffer because we morally disapprove of people's lifestyles? Does anyone seriously think gayness transmits to kids?
Have you not heard of kids raised already by gay people who are not gay?
When Catholic Charities takes a moral position like this (or the Wuerl-Wind dictates it)- it means everyone who is Catholic has to step up to the plate to fill in the funding void that loss of city funding means-and we are as broke as the next guy. So now we see double collections more and places that used to have Masses during the week free of the collection basket circuit now are asked to pony up. So while Catholic charities used to service catholics and non-catholics alike, because they operated under city contracts, now only Catholics will be paying for services for catholics and non-catholics alike- because this is what it means to be catholic. But this imposes an increased burden on the flock- to take a moral position about not wanting gay people to have adopted children. Just so we can feel superior to people who sin in a different way than other people sin-according to our theology.
If I am missing something here- please correct me because the record on this has me more confused than Anglican priests who can be married unless they haven't started Seminary yet.
The social justice committee advocacy chair at one catholic church in the District raised the question of possible objection or even civil disobedience to the church hierarchy which appears at times painfully nonsensical in its positions, at which point the old excommunication bugaboo reared its ugly head and people reminded the group that the church hierarchy isn't exactly a democracy. Deal with it.
The best thing that can be said about this recent upheaval about toting this moral line is that it has caused people to be truly exercised and upset- on both sides of the catholic divide. And a few homeless guys are choking on their day old muffins.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
1. The German High Court has outlawed all Electronic Voting in Germany: the Fourth Largest Economy in the World. (The US outsourced its elections to ES&S, an arguably partisan electronic voting machinery company with little transparency, auditability and verifiability process standards met.) Can anyone say "Remember John Kerry?"
2. Over One Million Iraqis have died at the hands of US soldiers and by US weapons since 2003.
(And it's YOUR fault)
3. Congressman Patrick Kennedy, who has been in a wizzing battle with the Catholic hierarchy over his views and votes on abortion, has been officially excommunicated by the Bishop of Rhode Island where he officially lives.
Answer: Pat Kennedy's wiz battle with the Bishops got the most major play (except for that American Papist character who would be all over it except he is in Poland ironically at a conference on use of media for promotion of pro-life efforts.) The Million Dead Iraqis - no one seems to think it relevant because? They were the undemocratic kind? The reporting of the German High Court decision made its way first into the blog world then appeared in The Rock Creek Press, the only Washington paper that cares and dares to cover the news that doesn't suit the Eisenhower pet peave; that military-industrial corporate feeding frenzy he called a "complex" when it's really simple and simply about money, greed and corruption.
AND THEY WONDER WHY THERE ARE BLOGS.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Once again you can experience the beautiful sounds of Christmas from the Choir of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Christmas at Mary’s Shrine, performed by the Basilica Choir under the direction of Dr. Peter Latona, wonderfully captures the beauty of Christmas at the Basilica.
This beautiful music will certainly fill your hearts, minds, and souls with the peace and joy of the Christmas season. The Christmas at Mary’s Shrine CD is available while supplies last at a suggested donation of $20.00.
Silent Night / Grüber (3:59)
Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring / Bach (6:15)
Puer natus in Bethlehem / chant / arr. Latona (4:00)
Alma Redemptoris Mater / Palestrina (2:49)
Ave Maria / Schubert (4:30)
In Dulci Jubilo / Praetorius (3:56)
Adieu des Bergers / Berlioz (4:48)
Sweet Was the Song the Virgin Sang / sixteenth century (5:34)
Andante (Sonato in A Minor) / Telemann (2:29)
Panis Angelicus/ Franck (4:38)
Away in a Manger / Kirkpatrick / arr. Latona (2:25)
Angels We Have Heard on High / French carol (2:43)
Request a copy
You can also order Basilica Christmas CDs from previous years:
Christmas at Mary's Shrine 2007 CD includes Angels We Have Heard on High and Silent Night.
Songs of Christmas 2006 Edition includes the traditional O Come, O Come Emmanuel, I Wonder as I Wander, and Schubert's Ave Maria.
Songs of Christmas 2005 CD contains favorites such as O Holy Night, and Bach/Gounod Ave Maria.
Christmas at Mary's Shrine 2004 CD contains Mulet's Ava Maria and Away in a Manger.
Follow the link below to place your order, and please don't forget to share this beautiful music by forwarding this message to a friend. In order to allow adequate delivery time before Christmas, please submit your order no later than December 11, 2009.
Request your Christmas at Mary's Shrine & other CD's
For more information about mass schedules and events at the Shrine or for more gifts ideas for this Holiday Season please visit our website at www.nationalshrine.com
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
by Cynthia L. Butler, Esq.
Graduate of Georgetown Law Center,
Litigation practitioner in the District of Columbia.
"Public Accommodation" exemptions for religious orgs to practice their tenets have been everywhere widely adopted. For example, the DC City Council on November 10 passed out of committee the following language appended to their Marriage Equality legislation:
"No priest, imam, rabbi, minister, or other official of any religious society who is authorized to solemnize or celebrate marriages shall be required to solemnize or celebrate any marriage.
Each religious society has exclusive control over its own theological doctrine, teachings, and beliefs regarding who may marry within that particular religious society’s faith.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a religious society, or a nonprofit organization that is operated, supervised, or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious society, shall not be required to provide services, accommodations, facilities, or goods for a purpose related to the solemnization or celebration of a same-sex marriage, or the promotion of same-sex marriage through religious programs, counseling, courses, or retreats, that is in violation of the religious society’s beliefs. A refusal to provide services, accommodations, facilities, or goods in accordance with this subsection shall not create any civil claim or cause of action, or result in a District action to penalize or withhold benefits from the religious society or nonprofit organization that is operated, supervised, or controlled by or in conjunction with a religious society. "
This strikes me as pretty clear language. They may include an amendment stating something like "neither shall the exercise of any religiously based refusal to provide such services, accommodations, facilities or goods in conjunction in any fashion with same-sex marriage be grounds to deny any such religious organization of any city funds, grants, tax exemption status or bequests in conjunction with any other program that it runs or offers for benefits of residents or inhabitants of the District."
But the purpose of the language seems pretty clear. It was a victory of sorts for the religious communities who should feel as though they were heard on this point.
I suspect that Larry King's research staff reads my blog because most of the controversial topics here he asked a prominent Pastor T.D. Jakes last night. So for Larry's benefit, to correct the record that he misunderstood (and that has been widely misreported and misunderstood, not to single out Larry, bless his heart)- NO, the Catholic church is not threatening to withhold its services to the poor to spite Gay People. Ridiculous. The Catholic Church isn't in the extortion business threatening City Hall.
They were concerned that they just won't be ELIGIBLE for the DC funds to provide the services if they are non compliant with the laws, and if they don't have the bucks to buy the food, they can't feed the folks. It's about Money- isn't that usually the case...
Catholic Charities is a huge feeder organization that distributes funds out to the many Parishes who provide directly services to the needy- shelter, food, prison rehabilitation and reintegration services, medical care in some cases- even free legal assistance here in the District under the Archdiocese legal network for indigents dealing with things like evictions, SSI disability, etc.
That is the concern. An amendment in the general bill would fully alleviate the concern- and readily solve the problem with the bad PR, but the intention of City Council seems pretty clear from the language already in the Bill. Lets not fight phantoms.
I, as a female, personally have not met a gay person who I knew was gay who I didn't love to hang out with (with the exception of a creepy woman who once tried to hit on me). A few gay men in my life have helped me enormously in a variety of ways, including emotionally, and I value them as treasured citizens. You can call me a "fag hag" if you like, because I love my gays! I am Grace to Will. Red hair and all.
But the sexual expression of gayness, I prefer not to think about. Just don't tell me, and I won't ask. That's because I view it as fundamentally objectively "immoral" - according to my faith. I can't get around it. I read too much scripture. I have made peace with loving my gays and drawing a firm line on sexually immoral homosexual conduct. A lot of people I know dance this line. They don't believe they have jurisdiction to Judge. They suspect at least one of their old boyfriends was really "bi" and they have enough to worry about without picking fights with people minding their own business, they are deeply offended by ignorant hate crimes and language against anyone.
When the first Christian missionaries, who were basically mostly Jews ventured into the Greek territories that were claimed as a result of the conquests of Alexander the Great (large populations of Jews spoke Greek as their first language at the time of Christ), they found a culture of unspeakable immorality -essentially a culture of 'whatever gets your rocks off" sensuality- they found Temples to Aphrodite and Diana where cult prostitutes practiced gay sodomy as a ritualistic form of connecting with the Divine, they found rampant bi-sexuality and homosexuality and pederasty.
This was totally shocking and scandalous to the Jewish consciousness. There was a debate between the early Apostles concerning whether someone wishing to follow Christ had to convert first to Judaism and all its rules and traditions. It was determined that there were only three essential core rules that would distinguish the communities of Christians and persons wishing to follow Christ from the rest of the Greek hedonistic world: 1. Do not eat the meat offered to Idols, 2. Do not practice sexual immorality 3. Do not eat blood.
The reference to the meat of idols was to honor the commandment and tradition against idolatry and also to make a statement that Christians were separating from the Greek Temple practices which included idol worship through temple prostitutes and other lewd forms of worship. Do not even eat the meat affiliated with such expression. The sexual immorality prohibition is very clear. Everyone knew the stories of what happened to the twin cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and the abominations that brought down the fiery wrath of God there. Sexual immorality included any kind of 'fornication' which is one of the things that gets one squarely locked out of the kingdom according to scripture.
This is what distinguishes a follower of Jesus Christ from the "whatever gets your rocks off" masses. This is what the Catholic Church understands is a core principle of discipleship.
Secular Humanist Hedonism (some call it the "pleasure principle") is nothing new to human experience. It is, as a system of beliefs supporting practices, in fact a religion.
Constitutionally, the State may not establish any laws that favor in any respect any Religion over another. This violates the Non-Establishment provision of the First Amendment to the US Constitution (by extension of the 10th and 14th amendments to the States/District of Columbia). Thus, giving money, or state funds only to organizations that embrace the Religion of Secular Humanist Hedonism is against the US Constitution- and will invoke litigation likely to go to the Supreme Court. --and we all know who sits on the Supreme Court.
For that reason, it is only smart, only right, and only Constitutional, to include the clearest Amendment language that does not threaten or jeopardize the ability of Catholic Charities and other social service organizations from receiving District Funds. I believe that the City Council and its Counsel is close to being on the same page and it's a matter of getting the language incontrovertibly correct now.
We are all praying for you.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
"Stop acting like such a Princess"
"I can't help it."