Friday, April 30, 2010

Your prayers sound comatose to me
Brain dead repetitions of idolatry
My mother isn't my savior, said Jesus
on my cursed tree. My mother isn't my Savior
My God My God is much higher than she
And how do you treat your bride to be
while gazing comatose and reciting rote poetry
to the angels, saints and statues in your rectory
It's May Day and the Month of Mary
blessed her crushed and weeping heart
Take pity on the suffering angels
but do not make them Gods of art.

Scripture Quiz

Where Does It Say In Scripture

I am the Eunich From Heaven.....Whoever follows me shall be effectively castrated.

I am the Bread of Life, Living Waters, The Life, the Way, the Truth, the Great White Eunich From Heaven come down to effectively castrate you.


Scripture appears to the right streamed daily and I have been looking all year-somehow I misssed that one.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Christ and the Neanderthals

The New Evangelism and New Models

The Pope is talking a lot about the New Evangelism and even announced formation of a new office of such with Vatican standing to take back Europe from the abyss of secularism back to its roots. This is now being hailed as what will be viewed as one of the most significant contributions of Benoit XVI to the Papacy.
The problem that immediately jumps out and begs more questions and media clarity is -Will the Pope be open to new Models of Christian collective belief and expression or is it just a reactionary kick-back to all the things that turned off large parts of Europe from Catholicism in the first place. If you have half of your church defecting in violent revolts to form other Christian groups historically and a good portion of what's left so turned off they completely dumped Christ Himself embracing a political view of salvation, it obviously begs the question-what are you going to do different this time. Whenever the Secularization of Europe is discussed, and whenever anyone in particular mentions the European rejection of things Catholic or the anti-clericism of the French Revolution, for instance, they seem totally clueless about what rational people would find so offensive and objectionable to the practices that they had to banish all of them- or in the case of France- even engage in a vicious campaign to confiscate church properties, defrock clergy and even kill them. What would inspire a society to so react? Is it just the devil or is the church not looking at what inspired people to do that- people who in some cases previously were the "Pray, Obey, and Pay" lock step sheep of the fold?
I might suggest that there are at least three areas of internal church reform that has to take place if the 'post-christian' European world is to find any welcome for the Catholicism that drove some people in droves to America to escape from. It is a simple formula and derives from the nature of Christ himself- If Europe is to refind Christ- the church has to market Christ, not itself. Clearly much of Europe is foaming mad at or sick of the Church- note for example the recent LeMonde cartoon of the Pope sodomizing a boy. It's considered fair game, all things considered.

So this requires a greater fuller more honest examination regarding the personhood of Christ.
How did he treat people? How has the Church deviated from what Jesus himself was about.
The first most obvious point of contention will be how Europeans view women generally in the more modern wealthier countries and how the Church does with its intrinsic biases and deeply ingrained theologically twisted misogynies. Jesus never excluded any woman who came to him and defended their presence every time the chauvinists were mad they appeared or were hanging around. He valued them for more than the "Pray, Obey and Pay" church does in old Europe. The Feminist movement is routinely derided by the church in various ways and forms and it has to examine what is good about it-and embrace it. Women's equality is something that no one wants to back-pedal on.
Secondly, it has to look at it's own authority structures. The catholic church model of a college of octogenarian cardinals in pink yarmulkes (oh, excuse me-red, the Archbishops get the pink ones, I get it confused, because it all looks gay to me-lucky I love gays) telling all the rest of the world what Jesus is -and who can and cannot have him -is an outdated authority model and NOWHERE biblically mandated by anything that Jesus ever did or said. First, there is no indication that his
Apostles were all over 70, nor that they didn't have working lives and were in fact working men and women (many of them fishermen, Matthew was a tax collector, Paul a 'tent-maker' who insisted on making his own money for his missionary keep, etc.) The men in the movement were at the height of their working lives, their peak as vigorous vital men (John may have been a bit younger) and they were not required to dump their wives to join the fray.
That brings me to the Third Point- a chime I ring constantly, because I believe it at the root of the most major of perversions- that Priests in the New Evangelism have to be given the option and right to marry and raise families that are models of Christian living. The Roman church insists that they have a more profound view of holiness in not permitting married priests and I beg to differ. It is not a holiness that is a biblical view of holiness- it is a false asceticism that was flatly confronted by the writers of scripture and rejected- if you need the citations email me but I know you can find them. It fosters a priesthood not only detached, but aloof improperly in some cases, a priesthood that is forced to struggle with sexuality in ways creating martyrs of women- (Jesus never told the church to impale itself and call it holy)- and it will be and has been rejected by large portions of the Christian world in Europe and everywhere.

While Christ does call some to be "eunichs for the kingdom" it is a profound perversion to make eunichood the central organizing prideful principle of all higher religious authority - and flatly not biblical. Eunichs held special positions guarding the sexually vulnerable women in higher court life- they were not the rulers of the kingdom. Were that the case the Ethiopian eunich would never have spoken to a random jewish traveler hitchhiker.

If the church wants to truly bring Jesus back to Europe that has in many places kicked him out (because the church has been a bad Ambassador for Christ in past) then it MUST look at itself more deeply, and it must for God's sake- CHANGE to conform more to the likeness of Christ.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What the SEC Was Doing

Instead of Watching Wall Street

Our Lady of Montserrat

Our Lady of Montserrat

The Little Black Madonna.

Noted Author and Papal Biographer George Weigel Honors JPII at Holy Trinity

Are the Jesuits Shocked?

Weigel, arch conservative nice guy who isn't known especially for catering to liberal Jesuit lines will come to a Holy Trinity sponsored event in Georgetown, as specially invited by the deChantal Group (named after French famous Saint Jane deChantal, friend of that other famous Saint Francis deSales -and you thought that the French didn't appreciate their Saints?).
I expect most lively gracious conversation and perhaps toleration for mild dissent trying not to sound contentious. As I last told him, I blame everything, including a free spirited non-conformity of sorts on my Presbyterian mother when things don't work out- handy excuse to always blame one's mother. Just don't try it on the Blessed one Mary, most Holy, Virgin. She always wins.

This Just in From their Communications Committee:
The Holy Trinity deChantal Group welcomes everyone on Saturday, May 8, to the "Taste of Poland," an evening of Polish food and lively conversation with our guest speaker, George Weigel, the internationally recognized expert on Pope John Paul II. Mr. Weigel will share his experiences in writing and teaching in Poland.

Cocktails will be served at 6:30 p.m. followed by a three course elegant dinner in McKenna Hall at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, 3513 N Street, NW, Washington, DC. The cost is $35.00, payable at the door. Please RSVP: "Yes, Taste of Poland" in the Subject line to [sub @ for at].

Parking is a bear in G-town but available at Georgetown Visitation School at 35th St. & Volta Pl., NW

La Menu

Pope John Paul's favorite snacks with cocktails
(If you are wondering what exactly those are so am I-can't help you there)

Roast Beef Wadowice StylePotatoes with fresh dill
Medley of Spring Vegetables
Assorted Pastries served with Coffee and Tea

From: Brother Bob Sauer
Co-communicator (Not a real Brother as in Friar sense, just in the generic everyman sense)

When You Know EVERYTHING is Grace

It's Nothing To Give Anything Away

I love this story- Ozzie Osborne-

The once rather dark horse "Black Sabbath" drug destroyed musician proves that Jesus saves from the pittiest pit and inspires acts of charity and kindness into older age-- Ozzie Osborne--making up perhaps for lost time proves that it is never too late to take God seriously. We are only here for about 100 years (or 120 if you are that French woman from the Pyrenees who lived off Haricots Verts and Yogurt)- so it's time to take inventory and start afresh.

Gratitude- for everything. It's a good place to start, and it becomes funner inspiring it in others than getting stuff yourself. More blessed in fact, to give than receive. Who said that??

Monday, April 26, 2010

Merci Mille Fois Roland

Next Time Obama Passes Up a Diplomatic Dinner from the French

He should have his head examined. No reason to turn your nose up at spectacularly fine dining, the way only the French know how. There is a reason that Cordon Bleu is in Paris and they exported campuses to the US and even a Pasta Making subsidiary in Florence, Italy.
Tonight at the Embassy after a perfectly brilliant historical survey of the inter-relationship between French and American literary arts and cinema, the French Ambassador to the US Vimont hosted an exquisitely lovely dinner of two kinds of duck, at least three kinds of delicate wines and champagnes, a nouget glace gelato sort of desert and a bevy of eager waiters who made sure that your french bagette plate was always full with a replacement pretty much as soon as you scarfed down the last piece.
Many thanks with deepest gratitude for the kindness of the folks at the French Embassy and their sense of taste, style and gastronomic refinement.

Forgive me but beats Ben's Chili Bowl any day by miles and oceans.


If you are anywhere near DC this weekend....

4101 Reservoir Road (across from Georgetown Hospital)

May 2.

Acrobats, stilt walkers, jugglers, clowns, magicians, and puppets will entertain at the second annual "Washington, DC Street Performance Festival" on May 2.
Well, it’s not quite on the streets, but at the French Embassy.

More than 20 professional troupes from France, Canada, Germany, and the US will perform more than 40 shows.

And you too can perform – there’ll be dancing and workshops. Au courage -- the cash bar might help.

Here’s a sampling of the festivities, described (mostly) by the embassy:• The Horsemen - Compagnie les Goulus ->
/ (Comic street performance)Three tres talented French horse riders showcase their Olympic training while parodying the stereotypical “French Attitude.” • Les Zenvoulants - Compagnie les Zenvoulants ->
/ (Dance and acrobatics)Zephyr and Zebulon walk through the crowd, followed by their musicians. Despite their spectacular height, they dance, play, even fly through the crowd,• Patou Deballon (Street art -- “The wheeled painting”)Patou Deballon wanders around the crowd with his chariot equipped with paints and plywood panels. He paints the public and all his surroundings to create a live report of the day. • Pascal Rousseau ->
/ (Circus performer -- “Ivre d’équilibre”)In the tradition of Parisian street tumblers, this artist … transports the audience to the atmosphere in the biggest of music halls.• Hercule Flocon ->
/ (Interactive street performance -- “Les Floconneries”)For the "Soft Rope" routine, the performer walks on a rope held by the audience. The 20-minute performance involves eight volunteers …and a plethora of props like soap bubbles and paper tears.
• The Cock Tales – “Compagnie Frites Foutues”“The Cock Tales” are musical and hilarious chickens … (which) waddle proudly and uncover our human traits behind the animal masquerade.
• Béron - La Compagnie à tiroirs ->
/ (Parody show -- ‘’Ce n’est pas commode’’) From Montpellier, France, Béron combines juggling, acrobatics, tightrope walking, and magic in a wonderfully clumsy way.

General admission is $5. Children aged ten years and younger are admitted free.

More than 2,000 people attended the event last year.
For more info and tickets:
La Maison Française, ,

Embassy of France, 4101 Reservoir Rd, NW, Washington, DC, 202-909-6400.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Masterful Perturbations

Peter Kreeft Warned Catholic Elite and Clergy of Spiritual Hand Jobs

The distinguished scholar, prolific author and philosophy professor of 45 years teaching at a major Catholic university in Boston addressed a finely suited cabernet crowd of professional Catholics at the Catholic Information Center in DC Friday evening on topics such as "Love and War," The New Evangelism and the search for the American Identity, putting the 'culture war' more in a frame of how to bring more life and light to a world sick and tired of the messes we got ourselves into.
He noted that the great commission at the end of Matthew 'doesn't have a clergy tag on it' meaning it's everyone's business and duty. He noted the validity of the protestant evangelists to bring people to Christ and noted that first we have to bring humanity to itself insofar as humanity has a disjointed disconnect in parts with the moral law, an understanding of which is a predicate to understanding why you need a savior in the first place (to save you from your obsession with yourself among other reasons that might prevent you from resting in the mansion in the sky in the sweet by and by).

There are Republicans who will be in heaven and some in Hell he noted (a thought I am sure had never crossed the mind of some of the audience.) There will likewise be democrats on both sides of the Lake of Fire divide. I evoked a chuckle from him when I noted that when you designate party affiliation at the DMV there wasn't a box that said tick here for "GRACE."
In this town it is worth noting that it is extremely dangerous for that reason to cater to a congregation of powered monied lobbying contingent of parish council wing-nuts. (Especially ones who do things like tout the values of torture on national TV. Hello-what were you thinkin!)

"We are all a victim of Original Selfishness" which is another way of saying Adam's Original Sin. He believes that the ego and id of self-aggrandisement is a prison that folks can become too attached to and even start to love their little prisons. I could hear my mothers voice chime: "You can get used to hanging if you hang long enough." Doesn't mean you should stay strung up.

In an exposition of the real meaning of "Love" that is at war with this selfishness and ego (power needs not based on service but pride), he didn't get himself into any theological trouble by pointing any fingers but it is easy to see that if the Pope wanted theological support for abolishing the lifetime clergy mandate, he could find it speaking to Mr. Kreeft who was not too light or easy on those whose masterful perturbations in the spiritual dimension stunted their psycho-social growth and allowed them to entertain fantasies of adulating harems rather than engage meaningfully any growth-inducing demands of the opposite gender. Boooooooring, I thought as a sad way to love your prison. And not a little lonely I imagine. It's enough to turn you blind.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews

The head Rabbi of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews is the invocation speaker at the National Day of Prayer in Washington, DC on May 6. He wrote this in support of Prayer (how could that possibly be controversial- and yet...):

Prayer: An American Tradition

April 22, 2010
Dear Friend of Israel,
On Thursday, May 6, I will be privileged to deliver the invocation at the National Day of Prayer, an annual event held in Washington, D.C. that for 59 years has brought together people of all faiths to pray for the U.S.In recent years, the National Day of Prayer has attracted controversy, and this year's event is no exception. Earlier this month, a district court in Wisconsin ruled the event unconstitutional. President Obama said that he will recognize the event despite the court ruling. The Wisconsin court's decision is not surprising. For years, there has been an ongoing debate about the role faith should play in our public life. This debate can be healthy and invigorating. Where free speech is valued, ideas are constantly being put to the test and beliefs being held up to close scrutiny. This is part and parcel of our democracy, and acts as a check against governmental abuse of power and state-sanctioned religious discrimination.Yet, it is clear that, from the founding of our republic, government has not been hostile to public displays of faith. In fact, the public record, including the words of some of our greatest elected officials, reveals just the opposite.The examples are too many to ignore: George Washington in 1795 spoke of the duty of citizens "to acknowledge our many and great obligations to Almighty God and to implore Him to continue and confirm the blessings we experience." During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation calling on Americans to observe "a day of … fasting, and prayer." On D-Day in 1944, President Franklin Roosevelt read a prayer during a radio address calling on God to "help us … to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice." In 1980, Ronald Reagan urged Americans to "seek Divine guidance in the policies of their government and the promulgation of their laws."Time and again those who have held the highest office of our government have publicly recognized that faith and prayer are part of our duties as citizens, and their duties as elected officials. The National Day of Prayer acknowledges this fundamental truth—and this is one of the reasons I believe the event will survive for many years to come, despite the challenges it faces in court.I am reminded of the words of another of America's founders, Benjamin Franklin, who in 1787 said: "In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for Divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered… do we imagine we no longer need His assistance?" On May 6—and every day—let us appeal for God's assistance in securing health and safety for both the U.S. and Israel, and pray for the day when God will bless our nations, and the entire world, with his most precious gift of shalom, peace.

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein

What's The Buzz

Tell Me What's A-Happenin.

THE HISTORY CHANNEL outdid itself on the Shroud of Turin episode. I ordered it and watched it last night. You can too.

If you scroll down this blog you will see the Face of Jesus constructed from the Shroud, by computer animators and military electronics experts using techniques high and low tech that reveal what was underneath the burial Shroud- and the history of its examination. The Holy Face most of us affiliate with the Shroud image is actually the negative of film taken by an Italian at the end of the 19th Century who took photos with the first invented photographic equipment and saw this image revealed in his developing solution on glass. It went around the world and became the famous "Holy Face" that you see on holy cards, posters, wall hangings, in rectories and under Saints' pillows. (It's to the right of this blog) But was that really the image of the face of Jesus? That is an image of the negative of the Shroud, and the Shroud had some distortions intrinsic in its presentation as it covered a 3-D image and blasted as though with radiation a 2-D image that is actually a code for what is underneath. This is brilliant stuff.

Where did it come from this Shroud? Was it actually taken by one of the Apostles from the Tomb? Is it a middle ages counterfeit, or was it actually transported to the area we now call Turkey (the Blessed Mother recall it is believed lived there for a time after the her son was killed in Ephesus where there was already sprouting a Christian community---remember the letters to the Ephesians?) The channel traces the travels of the Shroud , where it is believed to have landed at some point with the Knights Templar in France and in the custody of the Savoy Family in France for ages.

The Shroud is gaining a lot of current interest in light of the Pope's upcoming visit. If you scroll down this blog you will see an image of something that looks something like a Jewish version of Al Pacino -but I don't want to give anything away.

It may be playing at the CIC (I have to convince them first to show it, cross your fingers)- But you can order the DVD on line. It is well worth the $24.00. I am giving my copy to Ray at the Center -email him if you want to lobby for a public showing or borrow it off him when he's done.

SUPREME POWER: Franklin Roosevelt v. The Supreme Court

By Jeff Shesol. West Wing Writers- Former Clinton Speech-Writer.

Buy it here:

This book promises to be a fascinating read, and Patricia Wald, a brilliant jurist in DC noted as she moderated a talk today by Jeff Shesol, a political historian on the attempt of
FDR to pack the courts, at the Alliance for Justice.
He noted, that there is nothing in the Constitution mandating that there be Nine Justices. I looked-he's right. It's not in the Constitution- and historically in the 19th century the number varied.
FDR attempted to "pack the court" but became, he argued, a bit too enamored with his cleverness and the plan backfired when it's justification- namely-judicial efficiency of a Court whose median age was 71 that allegedly saw through clouded foggy lenses, was proved inaccurate by reports that the back-logs were largely solved and grossly overstated.

But what now? Is there anything stopping Congress from saying that 12 Justices makes more sense than Nine and passing such a law authorizing the President to create three more Justices? Twelve Apostles, Twelve Tribes, Twelve Justices. Seems a fairly good number to get a better cross-section of the community for the wisdom of the ages.

Could Congress actually now pass a law that says that we need twelve justices and get it through? Well, sure enough it could likely get it through without one Republican vote but would it be popular? Would it invoke the ire of the media frenzied conservapathologicals (does Glenn Beck know he is a parody of himself and doing it on purpose?) to deride it's intent? Anyone who likes thinking about these questions and revisiting what the constitutional convention chatter was about under the radar would be delighted by this book.

I hope to read it in the record time that Judge Patricia Wald did- all 500 pages in a day and a half. Mesmerizing!


AFJ will be hosting another event with Jeff in New York in May in conjunction with the American Constitution Society-contact them for more information.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Stinging Singing

Melodies of Merriness

And sublimated joy.
Whenever I am stressed by bitterness
and clinging to my vengeances
I put on a STING CD
and dissipate my orneriness
in favor of five- part harmonies
that calm my soul in
soothed quiet caressed gentleness
to sleep humming odes
and praises middle english
medieval eternities of angelic
choirs of angels' hymns to the Queen
of Galilee and Heaven fair
with harp and lair and guit-fiddle
hay diddle hush child your silent tears
the day is near, the day is near.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Where the Wind goes gushing down the Plane

The Oklahoma winds in abortion legislation may sweep other states like a grass fire. Or someone may be setting up to sue-

What think you about this? Good idea? Bad idea? Another excuse for the right wing nuts to start raising a legal defense slush fund to fight all the litigation?
Constitutional or Not Constitutional . That is the Question.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I know this is supposed to be satire

But it's hysterical.
Admit it-you laughed.

I still don't know what you are talking about

Pope: Beauty is a privileged way to approach God

Pope: Beauty is a privileged way to approach God

Heaven Just Landed Another Angel

And the Earth is Left in the Star-Dust Trails

as Dorothy Height passed to the other side of the by and by in the sky. There are just some people you thank God he sent because he so obviously did. Others you want to whack some sense into. Some have good sense enough to stay for nearly a century- and what a movie that is.

There were and are women of some profound dignity that rose above the slights of the age who followed and lived by -whether they knew it or not -that old Swahili proverb:
"I am not what You Call Me, I am What I Answer To."

Dorothy Height's resume in the "Let there be Light" category on earth is longer and deeper than this blog could express. The writer's acquaintance of her is mostly from stories retold, passing introductions in conference room and glimpses of a tilted fine hat in a wheelchair later in her life.

Her life legend will be no doubt the stuff of Oscar winning movies with Halle Berry. This woman, even to a white lady lawyer, was a pillar of moral rectitude. Passing in her shadow could heal your soul of anxieties of a troubled world.

So for her eulogy I leave that up to Marian Wright Edelman, the Children' Civil Right Icon, who knew her intimately and describes her better than anyone here:

Marian Wright Edelman’s Child Watch® Column
See all columns »
Dr. Dorothy Height—Extraordinary Leader, Lantern, and Role Model
Dr. Dorothy Height attends the Champions for Children’s Health Stroller Brigade in Washington D.C.
“We African American Women seldom do just what we want to do, but always what we have to do. I am grateful to have been in a time and place where I could be a part of what was needed.”
This is the quote inscribed on Dr. Dorothy Height’s Congressional Gold Medal, just one of the many dozens of awards Dr. Height received over her extraordinary life, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The brilliant Dr. Height was a lantern and role model for millions of women and a long haul social change agent blessed with uncommon commitment and talent. Her fingerprints are quietly embedded in many of the transforming events of the last seven decades as Blacks, women, and children pushed open and walked through previously closed doors of opportunity. To me she was a dearest friend, mentor, and role model, and the Children’s Defense Fund was blessed to have her serve on our board for over 30 years. When she passed away on April 20 at age 98, we all lost a treasure, a wise counselor, and a rock we could always lean against for support in tough times.
Even as a young girl her speaking skills stood out. She attended New York University in part with a $1,000 scholarship from a national oratorical contest sponsored by the Elks (after being turned away by Barnard, which had already reached its quota of two Negro students for the year). On November 7, 1937, which Dr. Height remembers as the day that changed her life, she was the 25-year-old assistant director of the Harlem YWCA and had been chosen to escort First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt to a National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) meeting, and there she met NCNW’s founder and president, the legendary Mrs. Mary McLeod Bethune. Mrs. Bethune was immediately impressed with Dr. Height. She became Dr. Height’s close friend and mentor, and in 1957, two years after Mrs. Bethune’s death, Dr. Height became NCNW’s president—a position she held until 1998, when she became Chair and President Emerita.
During the Civil Rights Movement, while so many women were playing vital roles that weren’t featured in the spotlight, Dr. Height was always up front with a seat at the table. She was often the only woman in the room with Dr. King and the rest of the “Big Six” group of male leaders as they planned many of the Civil Rights Movement’s key strategies, and she was sitting on the stage—she should have been a speaker—at the historic March on Washington. She led the NCNW membership as active participants in the movement and reminded us that women were its backbone—unseen but strong. One of the cornerstones of NCNW’s civil rights strategies was Wednesdays in Mississippi, which brought together White and Black northern women to travel to Mississippi to develop relationships with Black and White southern women, educate themselves and each other, and create bridges of understanding between the North and South and across racial and class lines.
Later, NCNW developed a range of model national programs focused on Black women’s and families’ needs including employment, child care, housing, hunger, health care, and youth development. Dr. Height began the NCNW’s wonderful Black Family Reunion Celebrations twenty-five years ago, emphasizing the traditional values and strengths of Black families at a time when too many people focused on the Black family’s “breakdown.” Dr. Height always understood how African Americans’ needs connect to a larger global mission as well. She participated in conferences and leadership training sessions and on official delegations around the world, and from the White House to the United Nations, her expertise on civil rights, women’s rights, and human rights was always in demand. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia’s and Africa’s first woman president, is just one of the many people who has said she owes a debt to Dr. Height’s leadership.
Through it all, Dr. Height’s intellect and strength remained as sharp as her signature sense of style. A musical based on her life was named “If This Hat Could Talk,” and anyone who knew Dr. Height and her trademark gorgeous hats understands just how that title was chosen. When Dr. Height was awarded her Congressional Gold Medal, then-Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton began her tribute by saying she had known Dr. Height for more than thirty years, since they first began working together on the Children’s Defense Fund’s board—and “just as in those long ago days, today once again, Dr Height is the best dressed woman in the entire room.”
I personally and CDF were always profoundly inspired by and grateful for her extraordinary example of leadership and service. In 1990, Dr. Height co-convened with Dr. John Hope Franklin and the Children's Defense Fund a quiet but landmark meeting of 22 Black leaders in 1990 at the beautiful Rockefeller Foundation conference center in Bellagio, Italy that launched the Black Community Crusade for Children (BCCC) committed to Leave No Child Behind™. We committed to weave and reweave the rich fabric of family and community that historically have been the cornerstones of the healthy development of Black children; to tap into and strengthen the strong Black community tradition of self-help; to rebuild the bridges between the Black middle class and poor; to assist and galvanize current Black leadership around specific goals for children; and to identify, train, nurture, link and empower a new generation of effective Black servant-leaders under the age of 30. Since that 1990 meeting, over 10,000 Black college-age and high school youths have been trained at CDF-Haley Farm near Knoxville, Tennessee; community service models like the summer CDF Freedom Schools® program, a reading enrichment and child empowerment program which has served over 80,000 children between the ages of 5-15, have been established at sites across the country; and CDF-Haley Farm has become the center for spiritual renewal and leadership development and the incubator of new community models like the Harlem Children’s Zone for the 21st century children's movement. The Bethune-Height house at Haley Farm is named in Dr. Height’s honor.
We all needed Dr. Height’s example of steadfastly doing what she had to do. Now we must do what we have to do to save all of our children.

Marian Wright Edelman is President of the Children's Defense Fund whose Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities. For more information go to
Mrs. Edelman's Child Watch Column also appears each week on The Huffington Post and Children's Defense Fund's Leave No Child Behind® mission is to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start, and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.

The writer is not affiliated with the Children's Defense Fund and the blog gets no advertising credits for posting. Just a huge fan and hope she likes the free advertising. Please donate to the Children's Defense Fund. It's largely because of them that children have things like free school lunches, health care benefit improvements and a healthy Head Start.

24 Hour

Adoration. Coming to a theatre near you. Pray.

Will Blog For Food

The Bread of Life

It's real food- for the soul and the journey hereafter.

Look at the video on these eucharistic miracles.

The Knights

That Go "KNicght!!"

I am a huge Monty Python fan dating from my high school days in London. There is a hysterical skit of "The Knights that go Knicght!!" These fancy armored nobility just say loudly "Knicght!" No! to everything. They gallop on fancy horses in iron vests shouting "Knicght!! Knicght!!"

This reminded me of the republicans during the health care debate. They calculated wrong-rather than play "lets make a deal" they thought that they could sabotague everything by just holding fast in their delusional corner of consternation. Senator Dodd said yesterday that "no one really comes here with the intention to just say 'No' to everything." Why would you spend all the time and money running for office if all you did was sit there as an obstructionist to say no to everything. At some point you will want to be remembered for something you actually did.

This struck me as a pretty good way of saying- what's your program people. What's your agenda. What do you think you are actually going to accomplish here other than take up space and get free health care on the taxpayers' nickel. Start cooperating- we have work to do. We are all in this great country together.

Dodd was very gracious in noting that it would have been easy for everyone to throw in the towel on the health care bill- he particularly congratulated and thanked Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama for having a larger vision and sticking with it. No one would have faulted Obama for failing on this, he noted, because we have been trying for a hundred years and no one could pull it off. Presidents don't often make major reforms or changes and they have only a certain window of time to make a real difference. They have to be concerned with re-election and this can eclipse a real progressive agenda, they then get stuck as lame ducks their last term and its harder to mobilize public support. But this time something truly unique happened- and the most significant piece of legislation since the 1960s some say was actually made a law, that will have real legal consequences that help millions and millions of Americans.

It's astonishing really that our democracy, with all the pieces, special interests, stake-holders and points of view can pull off collectively something so monumental as the Health Care legislation.

It's something regardless of your political stripe for which you can be proud to be an American.

Monday, April 19, 2010

I Thought I Died

And Went To The Members' Reading Room

How could I live here so long and never see the inside of the main building of the Library of Congress Main Hall. Today, thanks to NYU and a lecture sponsored by gracious benefactors in conjunction with a distinguished former member I got to sit in the "members room" of the Library of Congress and wonder what it would be like as I listened to Senator Chris Dodd talk about the historic Health Care initiative. I could go on and on about that, and will in future posts (many) but let me rant a bit about how wonderfully blessed we are to have such a building here in DC and suggest you visit if you have not recently. The Law Library of Congress is in a totally different place/building so I can't remember if I ever was in the main building, and if so, it didn't look like it does today.

The librarian of Congress noted that the reading room for members historically was a place where the members frequently went, with reading tables, table lights (such as you see in places like Penn Law Library or the McDonough law library at Georgetown) old bookcases, etc.
I had a grandmother with a masters' degree from Columbia Teachers' College in Education and Library Science who was a librarian at a college in Pennsylvania so I was born with a love of old dark wooden panelled libraries and fat bulging leather chairs. The members' room has ceiling paintings/frescos suggesting a Medici Palace over a government building built by the Army Corps of Engineers "under budget and on time" as Dodd explained proudly.

Dodd opened his talk with a tribute to something so marvelous I couldn't believe it. Did you know that one of those rare Guttenberg bibles is sitting in an Exhibit frame in the Main Hall of our US Library of Congress? I couldn't believe it. Then I noticed on the other side of the Hall that there was an authentic "Mainz" Bible from the Cathedral of Mainz in Germany which is an ornately illustrated manuscript bible painstakingly copied by monks from the 15th Century, sitting right inside our Us Library of Congress. This large bible was placed for the lector to read during the Mass, which totally fascinated me because I actually get to do that once in a while and imagined reading from something so beautiful.

Without getting into the minutia of the health care issue or debate I have to say that I am so grateful for such a monumental achievement and that there are people like Chris Dodd who did not give up the ship in spite of all the falderall- He noted that there was a lot of misinformation in the media-there are no death panels- He noted that Ted Kennedy made this his life's work and was inspired originally by his son's cancer. His son was in a control group of free experimental drugs and when the drugs were found to work they were no longer free and the people in the control group who could not afford them discontinued treatment tragically. Chris Dodd noted that when the town hall meetings were in their frenzied hayday last August, he was at Sloane Kettering in New York having surgery for Prostate Cancer so had first hand experience with the medical care issues. He also noted that recently his young daughter (don't you love it when people have kids later in life, so inspiring) had to go to the emergency room he discovered a disturbing number of people whose kids had to use the emergency room as their primary care physicians because the parents could not afford the premiums.

Chris Dodd, who sponsored the Family Medical Leave Act understands better than anyone what the costs of health care are to a family and he understands that the prevention aspect of the current bill will do a lot to reduce costs for everyone all around, including the deficit.

While the bill remains in part controversial, Dodd noted that if even the few things that kick in immediately were the full extent of the bill it would be a good bill (elimination of pre-existing coverage exclusions including for millions of kids not now covered, elimination of caps or denials mid-treatment, etc., young people able in this economy to remain covered under parental policies longer, elimination of donut holes in medicare, etc.) The exchanges foreseen should also be viewed as something that will revolutionize the delivery of health care.

Dodd spoke movingly of FDR's vision of a country free from Fear. He noted the quiet fear that parents have when their kids are coughing in the room with a fever as they pray that they don't need to go to the doctor or hospital because they cannot afford it, the fear that seniors have when they have to cut their meds in half so they can afford groceries at the same time, the fear that a disease or injury will bankrupt you. This is something that this bill attacks because that sort of fear is unacceptable. We should not be a country, the wealthiest in the world in which people Fear that they will be bankrupted by being well. An unconscionable percentage of bankruptcies in this country are due to medical cost issues.

We have a lot of work to do still he concluded. And I wanted to help.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I need another Dye Job

My Snarky Presbyterian Roots are Showing

I think I just figured out why the US years ago denied the Vatican anything other than "observer" status at the UN.

Imagine an entire country where all the paid official hierarchy, the official decisionmaking voting "college" of Cardinals in pink yarmulkas, and all their aspirants and all adulating ambitious underlings made a firm decision one day that -hey, I can live happily without women.
Except the kind that will do the dishes, clean up the pews, pass out the program, wash the sheets, vacuum the rectory, pay the bills, and read scripture when we run out of men deacon or seminarians to do it. An Entire Country who don't need women to tell them what to do about anything.

I have heard from the greatest men that what makes them humble is that every so often their wives will tell them "Honey, it's your turn to take out the trash" or "can you please take the dog out for a walk I did it yesterday" or "can you pick the kids up after soccer practice" or "please help little Johnny learn his numbers, he can't figure out how to tell time." Women in the real world interact with men on a totally different level than priests who think that they have to be jesus, and some confuse themselves with him to a point where they are swallowed whole by their own conceits.

God will humble the proud. Every time. When the church gets too big for it's boots, the church will be humbled by God himself. From inside or outside, it's coming.

Honey, can you please do the dishes, I have to teach a class tonight.

Penance Means Change

Repentence Means Stop It

Change- it will do you good. Profoundly- it will do you profound good- more than you can dream or imagine.

The church is now in a mia culpa mia culpissima chest beating frenzy over all the ugly media outcry which they can't figure out why won't just disappear. After all, it's only a tiny window crack in the stained glass, it's only a tiny percentage of miscreats whom we dealt with, after all, it's only a reflection of the wider depravity in society generally in the slide toward gomorrah.

All these excuses, aside from being totally inaccurate are why it isn't going away- because they are excuses, not real CHANGE.

I am not talking about OK NOW we are going to tell the authorities when we know actual crimes against humanity are committed or when we discover how low life our brother priests who molest children actually are rather than transfer or worse promote them (better a millstone hung around their necks and they are cast into the sea)

I am talking about- the Holy Spirit screaming from the sidelines LET ME IN to the church hierarchy from the inside. I am talking about a persistent deafness to the Holy Spirit which refuses the winds of real change and locks out the practice of real love, I am talking about the locking in marble cages the Holy Spirit suffocating it's action and killing it's life in the church under the distorted belief that only old white men in dresses can interpret the Spirit and communicate it. I am talking about throwing the Baby out with the Baptismal waters.

The Roman Catholic Church HAS to stop self-justifying itself and start examining the deep psychosis that allowed and continues to fester the sorts of aberations that were manifest and excused which the rest of the world finds plainly disgusting behavior.

It can't just say, God loves us anyway- because if it loved God and Jesus back, truly, it would
do his Will- and his Will is not to presumptously rest on laurels looking in the "Who is the Fairest of them All" Mirror and saying to the rest of those emotionally and physically abused -"You are enemies of the cross and be damned." The Church is an enemy of Christ every time it quashes Love in the name of the institution. That is worse than the leg saying to the foot "I have no need of you"- it is an Amputation of the Heart. The Church will gut itself into a walking dead image of a state museum, or a large White-washed tomb full of dead mens' bones (with lots of degree letters after them) naval gazing at it's own history unless it lets Jesus' love back in.

Can't you hear that still small voice yet say "Why are you persecuting me?" What is your problem?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Oh Sanctissima

Oh, For the Love of Pete Another Castellanos masterpiece (see below.)

Twenty Bucks

For anyone who can tell me who this guy is.

Father Brisson-another Castellanos masterpiece with a twinkling eye. See her works at the JPII Center this month. Latin beauty in a variety of settings, shapes and sizes by Cuban Artist living in Philadelphia- Chica Rena. Another good reason to have a Catholic Museum of Art and History. see, below.

A Picture Says a Thousand Words

And you Can read Books of them at the John Paul II Center in DC (JPII)

John Paul II, who is in heaven now about five years, wrote a letter to artists. It was in part cited today inspirationally in the program at the JPII Center, courtesy of that lovely Hugh Dempsey who invited a look today on modern sacred artists interpreting culture in the form of some spectacular pieces on display there for the next month. Go visit -and catch a Mass at the Shrine. It features local and nationally acclaimed artists.
One particularly brilliant woman artist, Cuban born Sylvia Castellanos ( has a few pieces that you should definately see. There is one of Sojourner Truth, and another brilliant large one of Saint Jose Maria-Escriva -that Opus Dei founder. Someone at the Catholic Information Center should go visit, buy that piece and do a deal with her to turn it into prints to sell at the CIC. She has another beautiful one of a child with the image of Our Lady of Guateloupe in the background- her work is decidedly latin in flavor and colors. Last one there is a rotten egg.
Brilliant. She currently lives in Philadelphia but gets to DC quite a bit. Any further questions on how to get in touch with her contact me-you know where to find me-I don't charge commision (yet!)
Christina Cox is another inspiring personality who had a vision sitting in Saint Patrick's Cathedral one day in Manhattan that there should be a National Catholic Museum of the Arts and History- there is one on the Mall for just about everyone else- native americans, soon African Americans, etc. By some measure a fifth of the country at least has some Catholic heritage or roots in America as an immigrant nation. Why not for Catholics whose art historically has been integral to its exposition of its faith- as art has been used as a teaching device since the early Christians wrote symbols and drawings on the catecomb walls. Stained glass, sculptures, mosaics, brilliant paintings have always been integral to the catholic tradition who didn't view it as idolotry but exposition and illustration, particular in times when literacy was low in various countries as a method of retelling the biblical accounts and historic church events. Sounds like an inspired idea to me.
The National Catholic Museum of the Arts had a home in Manhattan until recently and now is deal shopping for a suitable place in DC.
Note to real estate guys, if you have space near a cathedral or basillica that you think may be suitable and appropriately priced give her a hollar
info[at] (sub. @ for 'at'). I am thinking old Woodies building near St. Patrick's. These are all inspiring characters living the "Hope and Love" that the church is supposed to be about. Some of the works were breathtaking.
Thanks to all involved- and the caterer who put on a display for royalty with strawberries in white and dark chocolate, pecan pies, petite fours, and cajun spiced shrimp. Those folks know how to party in the name of the Pope.

Mother's Day is Coming

Making it a fitting time for a Pilgrimmage to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception to pay respects and say hello to the Mother of the Lord.

You can order novena cards from them if you are into that sort of thing. Why not. They have a great gift shop for shopping for mother's day also- lots of things your mom would love to get.

And to remember all those spiritual mothers and sisters: visit here while you are in DC:

WOMEN & SPIRIT: Catholic Sisters in America" at the RIPLEY CENTER, SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION through APRIL 25th.

WOMEN & SPIRIT:Catholic Sisters in America is a traveling exhibit sponsored by the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) in association with Cincinnati Museum Center. Through letters, artifacts, and the spoken word, it tells how approximately 220,000 Catholic sisters, living in hundreds of religious communities, participated in the building of America, shaping its social and cultural landscape, particularly in the fields of education and health care, and more recently, social justice. From the earliest days of the republic, theirs is a remarkable story of women’s leadership, of determination and vision, exercised when women did not even have the right to vote and when there were few public forums for the voices of women. For more information about the exhibit, go to

An Israeli Jewish Catholic Priest?

Father Paul

I miss him. You can find him in New Jersey now. He was ordained in Washington, DC and was once a Deacon at the Cathedral in Washington, DC. He is an Israeli Jew, with an accent. He's lovely. He also is a self-identified Catholic, and now a fully consecrated ordained Catholic Priest. He used to love showing movies off the Papal official favorite list of the top hit parade of movies with a profound spiritual message in a conference room in the Cathedral in their antiquated audio-visual equipment fidgetting with the screen projector and sound-adorable. (Note to anyone who wants to donate upgraded systems for the Cathedral call Monsignor Jameison at Saint Matthews.)

These life stories are important to recall when the PR is running in the opposite direction with the Catholic -Jewish relational divide. It's hard enough to convince Jewish people that Catholics don't think that they all collectively killed Christ without some whack-a-doodle early Alzheimer British priest forgetting everything Winston Churchill said and did- so here is another bit of news that was most welcome and refreshing: The church excommunicated Catholics in Germany who joined up with the Nazi.

They deserved it.
I don't like excommunication of anyone generally as a proposition because I operate under the premises that the biggest sinners need Jesus all the more and he never turned himself away from anyone seeking him when he walked the planet in life- but if they are going to excommunicate anyone it makes sense that they would to turn-coats who became Nazis. Nazi-ism ran centrally counter to catholic theology at its core. First, at it's core, anything anti-Jewish from a theological perspective is anti-thetical to Catholicism because Jesus came first to save the Jews then to the Gentile, he was a Jew, all his early followers and martyrs who died for their beliefs were largely first Jews (people we now call early Saints and Martyrs were Jews-Saint Stephen being the first), theologically it is based on and presumed to be the fulfillment of the jewish scripture and a next chapter in the Jewish story regarding it's Jewish Messiah. That is why any anti-semitism in the church is mind-bogglingly ignorant of what the faith is about and just anti-thetical theologically to it teachings at their core.

There are many priests and hard core christian protestant evangelists who actually were also killed by Nazis, who tried to hide and protect Jews from destruction, and who fought the Nazis at the cost of their lives. Deitrich Bonhoffer's life story is illustrative and deeply moving. He refused to back down from his biblical understanding in the face of Nazi persecution as a German preacher-pastor educator in a seminary and was captured and killed in a Nazi prison for objecting to the regime's blasphemies. There is an international movement called the Shoenstadt movement after a priest who similarly was captured and held, as well as famous Martyred Priests who died in the camps.

The Catholic world, I have found, in spite of the discipline it seeks to impose top down, is not always a monolith, which surprises the onlooker outside. There are more liberal factions and more conservative factions- as was witnessed in the health care debate in this country where you had republican catholics pushing for no abortion funding and liberal catholics pushing for a public option and any reform at all, with the liberal ones, I might add, being far more gracious and felicitous to the name calling republican ones whose screed was often ugly, calling them fake catholics because they didn't either like or understand them- tinged with the sexist rant against the uppidy liberal sisters who just weren't having it from the men in dresses any longer. It is easy to see that the catholic world of Germany in the 30s would likely have been no different.

The official line of the church, however, would have to stick with it's own Doctrine, which would have compelled that anyone adopting political views wildly contrary to it's core, which Naziism was, should be put out so I don't doubt the veracity of this document. The church puts out people rudely here now (sometime for ridiculously ignorant reasons-some have been screaming to excommunicate Nancy Pelosi for years), so it is no shock it would be aggressive about it if it thought that it's core teachings were being violated and adopted by Catholics. The Nazi's would have been considered engaging in what the church calls "unjust war" or illegitimate killing- murder which is unrepentant mortal sin.

The Nazi movement tried to co-opt and consolidate religions and make a national religion by consolidating the Lutheran Synods and making Hitler head of the church the way the Queen of England is the head of the Anglican church in Great Britain (figurehead or not.) This would be directly against what the Catholic Church was about and a direct challenge to the Papacy. It makes total sense that anyone who was a Nazi would be excommunicated because it would be a direct affront and challenge to the Pope's authority.

There is a new movie coming out about the Pope who was in office during the Holocaust which should be interesting- there is a lot that we don't know about regarding how the clergy protected and hid Jews in catholic schools and monasteries, gave them (as an official program) fake ID, fake birth and baptismal certificates to foil the Nazis and escape countries, and tried to co-operate with allied forces. It is an intriguing story and the jury is still out- so before we hang all the catholics in the court of public opinion, we should look at all the evidence carefully.

And talk to Father Paul.
Catholics and Jews are Family.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Fr. Tom Reese and the Long Learning Curve

The Arc toward Moral Justice is long.

Jesuit Father Tom Reese, long considered one of the bright light of intellectual honesty and piercing inquiry into Vatican Truth puts it like it is and tells the European Bishops to get with the program fellas.

Six Million Jews Murdered

By Soldiers who wore "God is With Us" on their belt-buckles.

Gott Min Us.
Talk about self-delusion. And This Guy Missed the Headlines:

Priest CONVICTED in Germany for Holocaust denial.

It can never happen again. That's why delusional reality-challenged denials are illegal in Germany.
What's his penance?

Stone Cold Indifference

To the Emotional lives of Women- like that is at all Jesus.
click here:



CITE DU VATICAN, 16 AVR 2010 (VIS). Hier matin, Benoît XVI a célébré la messe avec les membres de la Commission biblique internationale, consacrant son homélie au primat de l'obéissance à Dieu et au vrai sens de la pénitence et du pardon dans la vie chrétienne. Rappelant les paroles de Pierre devant le Sanhédrin, plutôt obéir à Dieu qu'aux hommes, il a dit: "On parle souvent aujourd'hui de la libération de l'homme, de sa pleine autonomie et par conséquent de sa libération de Dieu... Cette autonomie est un mensonge ontologique, car l'homme n'existe pas par lui même, ni pour lui même. C'est aussi un mensonge socio-politique car la collaboration et le partage des libertés est nécessaire. Et si Dieu n'existe pas, s'il demeure inaccessible à l'homme, l'ultime instance est le consensus majoritaire, qui a le dernier mot et auquel tous doivent obéir. Le siècle dernier a montré que le consensus peut être celui du mal. Sa soi-disant autonomie ne libère pas l'homme".

Puis le Pape a rappelé que les dictatures ont toujours été contraires à l'obéissance envers Dieu. Les dictatures nazie et marxiste n'admettaient rien au-dessus du pouvoir idéologique... Aujourd'hui, si, grâce à Dieu, nous ne vivons plus en dictature, nous subissons des formes subtiles de dictature, un conformisme selon lequel il faut penser comme les autres, agir comme tout le monde. Il a aussi des agressions plus ou moins subtiles contre l'Eglise, qui montrent combien ce conformisme représente une véritable dictature". Il a alors reconnu qu'on a presque peur de parler de la vie éternelle. "Parlons de choses utiles au monde, montrons que le christianisme peut l'améliorer, mais que son but est la vie éternelle, qui dicte les critères de l'existence... Il faut donc avoir le courage et la joie de dire la grande espérance qu'est la vie éternelle, la vraie vie, d'où vient la lumière éclairant ce monde. La pénitence est donc une grâce. C'est une grâce que de reconnaître ses péchés, de reconnaître avoir besoin de renouveau, de changement, de transformation de soi-même".

"Je dois dire que les chrétiens, encore récemment, ont souvent évité le mot de pénitence, qui leur apparaît trop fort. Aujourd'hui, sous les attaques du monde qui parle de nos péchés, nous voyons que faire pénitence constitue une grâce. Nous voyons combien il est nécessaire de reconnaître s'être trompé. S'ouvrir au pardon, s'y préparer, permet la conversion. La purification et la transformation que sont la pénitence sont aussi une grâce car le renouveau vient de la divine miséricorde".

Physician Heal Thyself

Church: Refuge of Sinners and Bed Wetters

The degree of women bashing, women hating, women persecuting , women disrespecting and women disdaining at the core of the all male hierarchy of the priesthood is really something worth study- and it is worth studying in depth the relationships between priests and their mothers. I don't say this to condemn but because of the obvious need for healing in these men the church isn't going to be healthy unless the priests themselves are. Many are- many are clearly not- and this is at the core of why the world isn't leaving it alone on the scandals. If they keep confusing sickness, mental illness and dysfunctional as piety the world isn't going to let up. They don't know how sick they are often.
All one has to do is look at the garbage fueling people like Tom Peters and those going off on that Chicago priest for merely suggesting something that is totally biblically correct- married priest- to understand how deep the antipathy toward any women in authority is and why these men revolt at the idea of any of them being married. 1 Timothy 4. the historic spin on demeaning Mary Magdalene, the complete disappearance of Mrs. Peter Pope, etc.

Sure there are some women who deserve it- sure there are some women who take abortion too lightly and practice the sin too flagrantly- but there is something deeper at the misogynist psychology at play at the root of the theology that is contributing to the deceptions inherent in sweeping too easily forgiven sexual sins under the rug.

Scripture says that nothing should be added or subtracted to it doctrinally- yet the Catholic world has created an all male authority structure world that runs completely counter to scripture where only men can consecrate and bring Jesus food into the world (when Jesus survived for years off the food of a woman exclusively). Women throughout scripture clearly had a significant Apostle role, and were integral to ministry in all dimensions, were Deaconesses (ask a Dominican one day to explain that one away for you and your head will spin at the spin) and not only financed the travels of the apostles but were the backbone of the living churches.
When you hear someone like that American Papist rail violently and start an entire lobbying effort to persecute someone who is taking a biblically correct view of a married priesthood, I would really want to look deeply at the following questions (a) did he wet his bed (b) was he potty trained before the age of 5 (c) did he draw on the walls with his crayons till he went to first grade. Because someone like that would have woken up every day to a really annoyed ticked off yelling angry mother and much of his early childhood would have been surrounded by the shrill voice of a woman screaming "Oh My God, Not Again, Now I have to Change and Wash those damned Sheets Again! " followed by a swift spanking. He probably had his crayons taken away from him daily. Someone like that is going to have deeply entrenched resentments toward any women in authority structures all his life. The Church is a very comforting place for someone like that.
Then there is the type who never had a mother emotionally present and saw an elegant beautiful woman who asked nothing of him in statue form at a place he found lots of women mother figures doting on him in church- so idealized a blessed mother figure beyond something that has actual flesh and blood and milk glands in her breasts that kept the infant Jesus alive for a few years as he sucked on her breasts. Gasp. What-you think they had Gerbers baby formula in Egypt and Nazareth? John Paul II curiously lost his mother at an early age and had as a result a deep devotion to the Blessed Mother. I am not saying he was a hater of women in authority, but the distorted views on womanhood as something either completely ethereally otherworldly looking down from heaven or otherwise rather irrelevant on earth can come from such a distortion.
A third type would be the opposite of the screamer who in between the soap operas while she was ironing had nothing but a disciplinary relationship with her son (perhaps acting out her own revolt against an oppressive husband) comprised of mostly "get off that couch!" "don't wear that! change your shirt you spilled on it!" or "don't you hit your sister!" or "stop punching the dog!" "go take your homework upstairs!" "get off that phone!", etc. The opposite type would have been the smothering doting type of woman. This woman type who didn't get emotional fulfillment in the marriage so transposed it upon her son(s) did the worst damage- this woman, equally unbalanced emotionally is someone who felt emotionally starved in a marriage so buried herself in her kids-to a point where she is still feeding and babying adult male children and effectively espouses them emotionally keeping them in emotional bondage to her dreams for them. Some let them live forever in the basement. These women sometimes (often) cause or are in divorce situations and they use children as emotional crutches, and their children pay the price for it. They can be nice women, but just badly damaged and it passes along in emotionally crippling ways. These can create deep resentments in men who blame the dysfunctionalities of their relating with women and lack of ability to get a life of their own on their mothers and they likely from their fathers have a disdainful view of their mothers as their faults are amplified in a divorce context as the blame game flies. Again, this creates a distorted view of women authority figures, and deep antipathies towards women in authority structures. This is the martyr mother- look what all I have to put up with for you kids. Look what I do for you. Martyrdom becomes the highest virtue-these priests emphasize dying to self not surprisingly. So they commit emotional suicide in the name of Jesus. It's not piety, it's perversity.

There are all kinds of men who would be attracted to an all male authority structure where women are seen as just to be bilked for the bills. The best kinds of priests are those who had healthy relationships with their sisters (in a church I love where I consider the Pastoral relationship one of the healthiest I have witnessed, the Pastor's sister attends the church and sings in the choir and you get a sense he views women as his sisters in a completely appropriate way.) Another priest I admire had a large professional in tact family he was surrounded by during his ministry and was just singularly devoted to his priesthood the way law students focus so intently on the study that they simply don't have time for frivolities because there are souls to save who otherwise would burn in the lake of fire hotter than that volcanic eruption in Iceland.

My experience at the Dominican House was that there was one nasty guy who sat in a dress on a fancy fluffy chair and for men to be ordained they had to kneel in front of him and kiss his ring as he sat there like King Tut while the women, banished to the back banister sidelines bowed their heads as neary a one of them dared approach. My reverential thought was "you have to be kidding me." I expected that the ring should turn into a pot of gold then take flight and turn into a dove. One woman I know at the Dominican House was led on by a professor of high rank in a dress who lived there who had her head so twisted over the thought that he loved her it drove her to psychiatric meds as she wrote love letters to him into her 50s that went unresponded to, while the checks all got cashed.

The church needs, as the Pope has admitted, serious Penance and Repentance. But more than that, it need serious self-evaluation and healing. You cannot begin to correct the problem unless you understand the depth of the sickness.
Jesus does love his sick, dysfunctional hurting diseased church. He is mad as Hell at it now.
It is Get Real Already Time Folks.

Thursday, April 15, 2010



Watch CBS News Videos Online

Being Crazy Can Get You Fired

As the Court-Martialed 'Birther' discovered.

The "I am totally bonkers off my gourd" defense isn't legally recognized I have to advise as an employment-labor experienced attorney, so don't try it in a court of law- or a court of court martial. I have to say one of the saddest news stories of the day is the soldier who refused orders because the commander in chief, he believes, is illegitimate constitutionally because he thinks he wasn't born here. Some lovely career soldier just self-sabotagued his life by falling for the political falderall nonsense that feeds into that "I aint takin no orders from no black guy" racism.

Listen people, if you were white, pregnant, and your black lover may or may not marry you, in the EARLY 1960s, and he lives a continent away and is dumping you in Hawaii possibly to get himself to Harvard, are you going to want to travel all the way to a remote African village somewhere in a place you don't even know has a hospital to live in a place you don't even know has running waters or flushable toilets to deliver a baby? ARE YOU PEOPLE CRAZY? Don't answer that-it's a rhetorical question.

The politicos who contrived this garbage should be ashamed of themselves for what this is doing to good soldiers like this poor guy who has sullied his record now forever. Shame Shame Shame. Hello Michael Steele- what's your problem here? Can't you get a grip on these rumors?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Why Church?

You May Be Confused. That's Why You Should Get This Book.
What does the Catholic church do actually and what do the priests do? Why are they there? What do they really do? If you are a protestant or another religion, you may have asked yourself this.
This might seem like an odd question, but not to be taken lightly or for granted. It's worth asking the question- to get the answer. The answer may surprise you.

Everyone knows (unless they were born in a pod in planet pluton) that Jesus was a Jewish fellow who lived about 2,000 years ago. Ever since then there has been a sect of Jews that followed him which morphed into what is called "The Holy Catholic Church" that later morphed into a bunch of denominations called generally "church." The Catholic church educated and anoints priests which they claim all come down a line of succession from Peter the Apostle, the first Pope- and they participate or dispense 7 sacraments -pointing toward God's grace.

Peter Vaghi, Pastor to a number of Judges and lawyers in the DC region through the John Carroll Society, as well as the Bethesda, Maryland parish of Little Flower is himself a lawyer and still admitted to the Bars of Virginia and the District of Columbia. This is his second book (the first was The Faith We Profess) in a four part series based on his talks and lectures.

For anyone confused about what the sacraments are and what they mean, this book promises to be highly informative and gives people a better sense of what the men in dresses are all about. (He wore a standard black suit to the lecture-they don't always wear dresses; note to Maureen Dowd.) What would draw a lawyer to become a Priest? This book subtextually partially answers why the calling might be higher than the current news stream would have us believe.

Greater Love has no man than this; than to lay down his life for his friends.

Monsignor Vaghi doesn't appear to drive a fancy car or any car- he is happy to graciously bum rides off fans or take public transport. He doesn't have expensive cuff links or silk ties- a simple square white roman collar suits him fine, his black suits aren't pin striped and his shoes don't come from Madison Avenue (I am thinking DHW or Payless.) He doesn't get to pick which house he lives in (if he practiced law he could likely pick his McClean or Bethesda house), he is lucky if he gets to pick the change in wallpaper. He devotes his life to his flock- and guiding them to peace of mind and joy of heart in the Lord. He does this all without complaint, without missing the finer luxuries. He is a priest who keeps a picture of Jean Vianney by his bedside, he told us today at the talk at the Catholic Information Center to remind him of the Cure of Ars' gift of hearing confessions- which he got on a trip to Ars. It's a backwards place, he said- like a lot of what we see here in some respects. We all have lived in backwards places. Challenging folks to find God in the most backwards of places fuels his juice more than the stuff of status that Washingtonians thrive on. He is a Priest. One priest once remarked to me that he greatly admires him because Vaghi knows the names of homeless people on the streets as much as he knows the folks in the parish.

In quoting another theologian Vaghi noted that Priests have a rough rap sometimes. When one falls they all are on trial (and presumed guilty by association.)

When asked about one of his more memorable dispensations of the Sacrament he noted that the 'sacrament of the sick' which used to be called 'last rites' or 'extreme unction' can also be given to anyone undergoing a serious operation. He was called in to administer to a sick child going into serious life-saving surgery- it was the youngest person whom he ever gave it to- the child survived and thrived and he stays in touch with him even now as the boy is in high school.

These are the things that make a Priest happy.
That's what a Priest does.

Callous Saddistic Suffering

Never Justifies More Callous Saddistic Suffering.

This past weekend, likely in keeping with the tone of "never forget" the Shoah, in New York and Connecticut stations ran an old movie called "Judgment at Nurenberg." It's an old classic featuring legends like Judy Garland, Marlena Dietrich, Burt Lancaster, and that guy who Catherine Hepburn had an affair with her whole life. There is even a cameo by a young Captain Kirk Shatner.

It's quite long. I had never seen it before. It is absolutely frightening- it was made in 1961. From the time the war ended until the making of that film we were still engaged in Nazi hunting old war criminals-and you see why here vividly. The most striking thing about the movie is that it has original footage of unbelievably gory scenes, like "World at War" scenes of the dead bodies in mass graves being bulldozed, the gas chambers, the shoes and gold teeth, and all the horrors you never want to believe actually happened and can hardly believe your eyes. [The Holocaust Museum should get this film and clip this footage and show this non-stop. ]
Yet, it did. An entire society so off it's collective rocker that they completely lost their souls- and self-justified the most massive evils of biblical proportion that we can barely conceive of it. Two-thirds of the entire Jewish populations in Europe were wiped out by a society gone mad driven by a demon leader-engaging in callous saddistic mass slaughter. --With half the country pulling a colonel klink "i know nuthink" --it was all the gestapo's fault.

I ordered this and will send it to the first Priest who asks for it (you know where to reach me) if he promises to show it to his church congregation. You can order it too off Amazon for $22.

You will understand after watching this how obscene and dangerous it is for any European Bishop or any cleric to call any Jewish person "deicidal" or "userous" or anything anti-semetic, or to offensively insanely liken the sex scandals to the persecution of the Jews.

Further, it should demonstrate to you how evil and wrong it is for us to use the saddistic suffering callously mass murdering innocent Jews in Europe to justify doing the same to Afghanis or Iraqis or Palestinians. It might explain better and justify the understandable paranoia but it also demonstrates that the solutions cannot be pre-emptively wiping out entire ethnicities or political parties without inspiring the same outrage and cyclical retribution that breeds nothing but more contemptous death.