Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter Morning

Happy Easter to all

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Breath of Fresh Air

So far, I am really liking Pope Francis. I think he will go far in renewing the Catholic Church. He's planning to celebrate Holy Thursday Mass at a youth jail and will set (another) precedent by washing the feet of the young prisoners.

And read his very frank discussion about the challenges of celibacy. We haven't heard this before. But it's about time we did hear it.

The pope broke tradition and allowed a guide dog into his meeting with the world media--and asked to meet Asia and his owner, an Argentinian journalist. Asia even got a special blessing from the pope. St. Francis of Assisi, the pope's namesake and the patron saint of animals, would approve.

Pope Francis, I suspect, will be full of surprises for the Church. Good ones, for a change.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Marriage Debate

When did gay go mainstream?

Even in the face of threats of war, financial panic, debt crisis, budget cuts, and all the new pope hoopla, it seems that gay marriage is all anyone in politics or the media wants to talk about. It's like the whole world's gone gay.

I'm not gay, so I don't know how qualified I am to address this topic. But I do have dear friends, both male and female, who have been close to my heart for many years, who are gay. They don't seem different from other people I know, except for being gay. They're just my friends, like any other friends. I never really think about them being gay--unless I'm being beaten over the head with a political agenda.

This is still America, the remnant of a free country. So here's what I believe. I believe every person alive--gay or straight--has the right to spend his or her life with whomever they want to be with. I believe gay couples are entitled to legal civil unions that will recognize their commitment to each other and protect their rights. I believe gay couples should be left in peace to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness without discrimination of any kind.

But, with all that being said, I do not believe in gay marriage.

Why?, you might ask. Well, in the first place, I've been married. I was married for 33 years, four months, and 18 days. To the same man, it's important to specify. So I know a lot about marriage. And anyone who thinks marriage is about sex is sadly mistaken.

Marriage is about the next generation. Oh, sure, you have the big chemical attraction and the fireworks and all that pizazz to start with. That's nature's little trick to ensnare you into perpetuating the human race. But marriage becomes more about bills, babies, and unexpected setbacks such as a job loss or health issues. A husband and wife living together and navigating all of life's ups and downs are probably too busy to realize they are teaching their children as they go along. They are teaching the kids how to face life challenges and stay committed, as different as they are and as much as they don't understand each other sometimes. Parents are providing their children with two distinct role models, one for each gender--an integrated experience their kids will benefit from throughout life.

A same-sex union simply doesn't have that dimension. Marriage is dynamically organic. Take two completely different creatures--a man and a woman--and combine them to create something totally new--children. To me, that's marriage. Marriage has been the basic unit of successful civilization throughout history. Is it wise of us to mess with it? Just asking...

I may be hopelessly behind the times, and whatever the Supreme Court decides on the issue, I'll accept their decision about the laws of the land. But it won't change my definition of marriage. To me, one man plus one woman equals one logical definition of marriage that no man may put asunder.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy St. Pat's Day

Rest in peace, guys. You're still the best.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Turning a New Page

“In our ecclesiastical region there are priests who don’t baptize the children of single mothers because they weren’t conceived in the sanctity of marriage...These are today’s hypocrites...who separate the people of God from salvation. And this poor girl who, rather than returning the child to sender, had the courage to carry it into the world, must wander from parish to parish so that it’s baptized!”

~ Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio - now Pope Francis - speaking to his priests

He rode the bus to work and cooked his own meals, visited slums and AIDS patients, sat in the back row at bishops meetings, placed reaching out to others above doctrinal squabbles. He's not afraid to use the word "hypocrite" when he thinks it's appropriate. And now he's the pope. I think this might be real progress.

Of course, the new pontiff has his detractors. Pope Francis is Catholic clergy, after all. He's still too mysterious to make any sweeping statements. But I think the next few years will be very interesting ones, not just in my church but in the world.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Now This Made Me Laugh

How interesting that a Saturday Night Live skit making fun of President Obama has been removed from YouTube. My, what thin skin we have in our executive branch!

Friday, March 01, 2013

Reel Humor

"Say what you like about those Mayan guys, but they only schedule an apocalypse once every 5,126 years. Only Washington would try to pull it off every six weeks."
~ Mark Steyn on sequestration

Whenever I need a columnist to cheer me up about dreary current events, I web-surf over to Mark Steyn's most recent entry. If you need a break from the political hand-wringing--and who doesn't--I highly recommend his latest work of art, "Sequestageddon." It's worth the read, if only for the creative titles in his "government by fake disaster movie" theme and the hilarious plot descriptions.

Zero Debt Thirty, indeed. Mark, I know you're from Canada, but you're a U.S. national treasure.