Thursday, August 29, 2013

Rare Genius

At the Catholic Information Center in Washington, DC last night a stone's throw from the White House, a  piece of Irish Genius unassumedly came to talk about art. But he wasn't just touting the brilliantly inspired bronze Saint Joseph statue that is just behind him that he created for the Center, he wanted to talk about how art inspires evangelism. Catholic heritage is rich in art and culture because it uses art to inspire and teach  and elevate spiritually.  In the early days of the church when large populations were illiterate obvioulsy the visual arts expressed biblical stories on walls of churches for educational purposes. But even in the internet age, art has a powerful place in Evangelism. He particularly wanted to talk about how the study of the body enlightens and provides insight into what has been called 
"The Theology of the Body"- Art as an Evangelism tool is something perhaps under-appreciated. Originally from Dublin,  He started an art school in Florence, Italy . His vision is for there to be a Vatican Academy of Art where talent from every Archdiocese in the world can send gifted people to train and study both theology and art as a reflection of it. White washed tombs full of dead men's bones and Ezekiel's Valley of Dry Bones are given sinews, muscles and the Spirit moves them into personalities in much the same way that the life of the church can be re-invigorated, re-vivified by art's expression in sculpture and painting. He created the statute of Joseph holding the baby Jesus behind him here as a response to the fact that society with its out of control sexual devolution has become in large parts fatherless. Children suffer where there are absent or unavailable fathers. When one goes into the Catholic Information Center chapel, right on 15th street and looks at that statue one is impressed with how important it is to pray for men so they have the strength, ability and vision to become good fathers. That is how one piece of art can mobilize people- Art is powerful. He once saw kids in Rome defacing with spray paint a beautiful statue in Rome and decided to enroll them in his school so they would appreciate their own cultural heritage. He mentors italian kids and teaches them sculpture so they don't become spray painting street ruffians. His vision is that every Archdiocese in the World should send artistically talented kids to Rome to fine tune their craft. Imagine if the spray painting gang kids in LA could get scholarships to study art in Rome. What would that do to elevate culture everywhere? To learn more contact and get to know the folks at the Catholic Information Center. They host the most amazing talks and presentations. You may not agree with everything, but something will inspire you. I don't agree with a rant against Feminism, because Feminism is a pro-life movement when it enables women whose men have failed or left them to live productive lives. But I am deeply inspired by this guys vision to make art study something appreciated far more than it is currently. In an age of MTV Miley Cyrus passing for artistic entertainment isn't it about time we got a grip? I  hope that Pope Francis realizes that one way to dignify people in poverty and struggle is to provide art education and that the best and most promising should be sent to a Vatican Academy of Art to develop their craft in the service of the new Evangelism. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Reflections of a Wandering Lawyer

Last night I walked into a church basement in DC- the kind of grim decor-bare cinderblock basement sectioned off into rooms with used scratched wooden furnishings. There were metal bookshelves full of wall to wall paperbacks with a primative indexing and alphabetized system for finding categories and genres and titles. In a makeshift filing cabinet of stacked drawers were supplies like reams and reams of tape, rubber bands and scissors. I met the head of the operation; a middle aged woman in a wheel chair who thrust a small box that looked like a radio under my mouth when i introduced myself. 'Hi, I'm Cynthia" I said. "Can you please repeat that, and excuse my microphone, I am deaf and this magnifies what you say because I'm not that good at reading lips' "Hi, I'm Cynthia." She went on to explain the drill. We get letters from prisoners across the country requesting books. We read them, answer them with our stationary, telling them we either found their book or could suggest another of a similar genre and enclose as many as the prison allows. Some have a 2 book maximum. You have to check the specifications book for what prisons allow. Some require a receipt on our letterhead, i'll explain that later." She went on to detail how the books are wrapped. 'We cut the corner of the prisoner return address off and tape it to the box" I observed a guy fastidiously cutting brown paper Trader Joes grocery bags from a stack in the corner into wrapping squares flipped inside out. "We have to tape all the corners" explaining that the post office just tosses things in trucks and it is necessary therefore to plaster the box of books in tape. She stamps them 'Media Mail." She asks if any of my lawyer friends might like to donate postage. Its their only expense- everything else is donate she explains. In one night a few hundred packages went out across the country. One volunteer explained "I did two and a half years in Texas and I didn't ever get anything. My family was in Korea so i didn't get anything-that's why I do this." Just a little Angel Dust one evening in Washington, DC in a place you might not expect it. It's called Books to Prisons (google it)- anyone incarcerated can request a book and a staff of people half in yoga pants and work out gear will try to find it for them.
To send them stamps or books (paperbacks only) please find address HERE
Happy Assumption Day

Friday, August 09, 2013

Assume This

Cells transmigrate from a Fetus to a Mother

     during Pregnancy.

It fortifies immunities of the mother. It exists in the mother for decades and potentially life. Cells then HERE
multiply. Read about it

Now imagine the child has some DNA from a father who is God and immortal.
Now imagine the cells of the God-child migrating to the mother. And now imagine them multiplying throughout the life of the mother.

Assume that, and you can believe an Assumption. THE Assumption of the Blessed Mother into heaven who is nowhere buried on earth because she was Assumed into Heaven fully with all her cells.


Wednesday, August 07, 2013

What's Better than a Cuppa?

A cuppa with mint and chocolate. By the MYSTIC MONKS 

   Those cute monks who make coffee in the mountains of Wyoming now have added a specialty to their collection- MINT CHOCOLATE COFFEE.   Real fresh mint, with real chocolate added to their beans.

  You can order it HERE-------

   How can I turn that into ice cream:-)

(their ad is off to the right of this blog)



     Today John Kerry and Melissa Rogers (Chair of Obama's White House Faith Based Initiative Office) boldly and brilliantly  announced a new US State Department initiative in which the Department will consciously engage faith communities of all kinds throughout the world headed by Casey- (hope to learn more about him later).

   Drawing upon the rich resources that already exist at State which they hope to magnify the office will consolidate and intensify efforts to meaningfully engage peacemaking communities and those wishing to partnership in global efforts to advance the common good by drawing on the better nature of our angels. Kerry noted that extremists who lack depth in their religious tradition have hijacked the tenets of their faith to promote an impure version of their religion in promoting violence.  This office seeks to work with the peace-builders, those who understand the global mission of redeeming not destroying God's creation by engaging civil societies, religious institutions, and leaders globally. Absolutely brilliant.

   They also noted that this will all be done quite constitutionally- it doesn't run afoul of any church-state
separation issues. It is an acknowledgment of sorts that elements of religious and/or ideological extremists hijacking religions pose real security threats that must be intelligently dealt if we are responsible in advancing the common good and protecting those that do good.

   This is a huge new light of hope as it recognizes that religion is only the problem when it is bastardized and hijacked , not when it is marshalled for the immense good it seeks to do by the incredibly dedicated good people seeking to do good.

  Bravo bravissimo all the folks at State who are doing this so nobly, courageously and creatively.

John Kerry, quoting the book of Mark noted that the greatest of all are the servants of all, and he here proves himself quite 'great.'



For the Common Corruption.

     I keep getting articles by people seeking to change my mind on the mandatory celibacy doctrine of the catholic church. Sorry, mind not changed.
First, lots of these articles, even by priests totally misrepresent and misunderstand church history.

There were predominantly married priests even in the Roman church for the first 1,000 years of the church. This followed the express biblical admonition that a Bishop must be husband of one wife not many polygamously and not none. One wife with his household in order. Direct quote-find it.

Then in the First Lateran Council marriage of priests was officially banned. Prior there were attempts to restrict conjugal relations for those with certain altar duties at certain times but there never was a marriage ban prior. Men rotated so one priest would do these duties once every two weeks because the communities had many more priests proportionate to the numbers in the communities than there are now because the priests came from normal families, had normal families with wives and children. Those doing certain altar duties during times refraining from conjugal relations was no different than the Jewish prohibition on having sex for a week after a woman had her period and only after the cleansing of the Mikveh baths. Jews regulated sexual activity (not just for priests- for everyone). They never outlawed married life or conjugality all together. Regulating it had benefits of making more fruitful when it happened. The baths of Lourdes, one surmises has to do with the blessed mother wishing to give catholics the Mikveh experience for purifying healing cleansing.

     The Byzantine, Orthodox, Maronite, Anglican, Episcopalian and early church for the first 1,000 years had and have married priests as a rule not the exception. Some have monks, who do not marry but live in same sex communities, but all had or have married priests. The first three are much closer to the original church in practices and geography.

Many early Popes naturally were married including Saint Peter.

It took about 450 years before the Protestant 'revolution' split the entire Christian world in half and one of the first things they did was abolish the mandatory celibacy rules. Now more than one half of the Christian world has optional married priesthood and the romans the only ones who do not.

There are even in the Roman rite certain head scratching inconsistencies such as the fact that anglican or episcopalian priests with families who wish to be catholics can do so without divorcing their wives. So in fact for converts there is a roman married priesthood.

So you know it has nothing to do with the holiness factor or those men would not be permitted to be roman priests.

When Martin Luther, an Augustinian Monk, very austere, walked bareful from Germany to Rome on pilgrimmage to find Rome a clerical cesspool of pedofila orgyfestivals where little naked boys were jumping out of large cakes he started questioning the mandatory celibacy and the farcical holiness ruse under which clerics were hiding.

Today the church has paid over 2 billion US dollars (and still counting) on deviant sexual scandals victimizing people they were charged to protect and care for.

The mandatory celibacy invites more deviancies because no one has room to sexually or emotionally mature. It has emotionally stunted the priesthood.

Women are half the body of Christ. Women's emotional lives are barely understood by the higher ossified octogenerian priesthood who generally fears and loathes them unless they write large checks. Some of this comes from basic gay mysogeny against women. Some comes from plain ignorance. Some comes from bad imaginary theological interpretations of Mary the Hollogram. Women's emotional well being is completely ignored and even mocked by this mandatory forced celibacy rule where no women genuinely in love with a priest (and visa versa) will ever have any of her needs met that a normal married life provides. She won't have children, she won't have help in any living expenses, she won't be valued in many societies or incorporated in many societies but will be marginalized as crazy, whoreish or both. This is more than insulting, it is evil. It is actually the stated practice to do this to women in order to protect the priesthood and everyone is encouraged to do it. Truly evil.

The motivation for the mandatory celibacy arose from the fact that primogeniture laws and inheritance laws in the western world gave property by law to the oldest male so this rule tandomed an effort to consolidate property rights in the name of the Holy Roman Empire (the Vatican City state did not exist until the 20th century) and subvert nation state's property rights laws. It had its benefits. It is doubtful some of the great gothic cathedrals of western europe could ever have been built if the property rights were not thusly settled.

The mandatory celibacy laws of the Roman church should be changed to allow for married priests. The church would be healthier, financially and emotionally. It wouldn't have to pay off prostitutes, altar boys or confidential settlement in the BILLIONS. Every catholic should be disgusted and outraged at the intellectual dishonesty surrounding this issue. It is time for a real change.


Monday, August 05, 2013

La Tierra Del Olvido | Playing For Change

Can we win the War on Drugs with Music? All over Colombia- the sound of music.

Whom Shall I Fear

The Lord is my Rock and My Salvation, Whom Shall I Fear.

Who Am I To Judge

Who Are You To Judge

  If you missed it the huge news was that the Pope has said, look, you are not the judge. If the Pope isn't the Judge, implicitly you aren't either.

  It was a bit of a gut punch to those self righteous anti-gay marriage people who condemn loudly and viciously people they disagreed with as heretics.

   It was also a complete foil to any alleged 'gay lobby' within the vatican because the pope just slipped the rug from out under any alleged gay lobby. If he doesn't think its so aweful being gay then no one can bribe him to be quiet about it. He isn't going to kick you out. Come out, come out wherever you are- God still loves you.

   You can't extort someone over a secret if its not a secret any more. "They are our brothers" he said. Sure, we have gays in the clergy. As if anyone didn't know. Who else is more likely to be attracted to a lifestyle in which you are required to live in community with all men?

   It was also a bit of a relief to those of us who knew from a legal perspective the arguments forwarded by those fighting gay marriage in various lobbying and court battles was a huge waste of money, not because there wasn't an argument but because the way it was being lodged was moronic, hateful and full of the same old spit and vinegar that the religious right is famous for, directed by the most spitting vinegarish anti-lovely bunch you never want to meet. Everyone should ask for their money back.

    It was a huge sigh of relief for those who have gay friends- who were treated with the same level of ignorance by those who called people championing civil rights in ages past as 'N-lovers.' Mere association with gay friends got you slurred and slandered like you 'must be' gay too. Get thee to confession immediately.


And shall we start on all your sins? Peddling slander and gossip lately? That is one that gets explicit mention of what locks you out of the kingdom of God. It causes a murder of sorts on a soul because it seeks to destroy a reputation and a livelihood. Slander and its twin sister Gossip is the devil in prada- it comes disguised as well meaning nice church ladies who have no other avenue for power than posturing in petty vindictiveness in church circles seeking to advance politically by maligning others and relishing in every attempt to put down someone. Gossip, much? You are a murderer then- out to kill a reputation and a livelihood. There will be gay people in  heaven before you ever get there.


The measure you mete out will be the measure you get. You act haughtily and imperiously and condemingly what do you think Jesus is going to do to you? You want power? You want to be the bmoc-big man on campus? you want to show the world you can control people with acts of cruelty and 'discipline'- guess what Jesus is going to do to you. You want to condemn people by trashing their reputations, trashing their livelihoods, trashing their ability to engage the world meaningfully because of the slander and gossip you peddle as truth- guess what Jesus is going to do to you.

Time to take an accounting of your methods.  Now go wash your heart out with soap and water.

DO NOT JUDGE. Man looks on the outward appearance and God looks on the heart.