Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Modern Day Pharisees

 I was shocked and appalled when I read in the Washington Post that my church, the Catholic Church, was taking steps–officially—to make Communion a political issue.  That is wrong on two fronts: 1) our constitution clearly mandates the separation of church and state, and 2) I have always heard it stated that the Church does not take a political position.  

 Lately, within the Church I’ve seen contradictions to the second point.  Here, in my blog of August 28, 2020 I posted Protesting The ‘Catholic Vote’ which was about the organization by that name.  It clearly takes a pro-Trump/anti-democratic stand, and its objective is to influence Catholics to vote that way.  The official church raised no objections to it.  This present issue again shows that same bias—the official church is trying to weaponize the Eucharist.  This past week, US Catholic bishops voted to back measures to limit Communion to politicians who support abortion rights.  That is specifically aimed at our President Biden who is a Catholic.  The ultra-conservatives in power have pushed it this far—following that intense election campaign to bring the vote to Trump which didn't happen, it now seeks to ‘punish Biden’.

 

They will of course deny that, yet this move is trying to limit who is ‘good enough’ to receive communion.  Who IS ‘good enough’?  The Catholic Church has once again become a body which, in his day, Jesus called the ‘teachers of the laws and the Pharisees . . . who shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces.’  (Matthew was pretty strong on that point.)  

 

God’s greatest gift to humankind was free will; with it each individual is responsible for the choices he/she makes.  One’s own conscience is the final determinate.  Jesus did not command or demand, he respected one’s free will.  When Jesus sat at the table with his disciples on Holy Thursday he knew his betrayer, yet he offered him the cup and bread along with the others.  Jesus does not demand or command, he demonstrates Truth and leaves the choice to the individual.       . . . If we are followers of Jesus, we should pay better attention to that! 




Wednesday, June 9, 2021

of Serious Thoughts: Humanity's Wake-Up Call

of Serious Thoughts: Humanity's Wake-Up Call:   The 21 st   Century calls humanity to awaken to the perilous path it walks. There is order to life and existence.  On its own, the natural...

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Humanity's Wake-Up Call

 The 21st Century calls humanity to awaken to the perilous path it walks.

There is order to life and existence.  On its own, the natural world is in balance.  The human world we have built is not automatically balanced, it evolves through the choices we make.  

Humanity is called to a moral order which keeps life in balance.  We have allowed an imbalance to grow to the point of threatening our very existence.  We haven’t paid attention to seeking a balance and it is past time to wake up to the plight of our planet.

 

Within the living memory of our senior citizens there have been many wake-up calls:  WWI, The Great Depression, WWII, Viet Nam and the anti-war movement, The Million Man March, 9/11, Black Lives Matter protests . . . but none has had a lasting effect.  We fall back to sleep, ignoring the alarm being sounded.  All those alarms were calling us to become aware that Humanity is on the wrong path, we’ve chosen division rather than unity—and we’ve lost our way to sustainability. 

 

As we moved into the 21st Century, there were numerous massive climate crises: floods, tornados, earthquakes, hurricanes, droughts, wild fires, unprecedented winter storms, melting glaciers, rising ocean waters.  It took two decades to finally acknowledge the danger this poses and there are still those who demy it.  There is one climate that envelopes the earth, and collective human actions have disrupted it.  It is our responsibility to correct it and that can only be done through international cooperation.

 

Most recently the world has been in the grip of a global pandemic; no nation has escaped its ravages; it has killed millions.  It demonstrates our planet’s oneness.

 

The wake-up calls are getting louder, more dangerous and persistent.  –To what are the wake-up calls calling us?  To realize and act upon the fact that we are One World—which is a singular interacting interdependent unit!  That is the critical realization that can save us from self-destructing.

 

Sustainability is a word that has become popularized.  Broadly it means the ability to continue existence at a steady level (i.e. without threat or danger.)  At present, our world is unstable—out of balance in ways that threaten humanity’s continuation.  For us to achieve sustainability there are three major areas we must address.  As difficult and impossible as it may seem, we must do it globally in a cooperative fashion. 

 

1)     We’ve come to see the obvious imbalance and threat from climate disruption; it has made itself known through multiple crippling disasters.

2)    The next major imbalance is one which we are unwilling to acknowledge.  It is that of economic imbalance.  Oxfam International is a non-profit group focused on the global economic imbalance, giving annual reports.  They have reported that the top 1% of the world population (the billionaires) hold the same amount of wealth as the whole bottom half.  That is shocking and obscene that billionaires can buy private islands, personal planes, and gold toilets while half of the world starves.

3)    The most immediate and dangerous threat we must awaken to is the stockpile of nuclear weapons.  We don’t pay attention to that, it’s scary to contemplate, but within this last century, humanity has devised a way to annihilate all life on this planet.  A nuclear war can do that!  Throughout all of history humanity has engaged in warring.  In the 1970’s there was an anti-war movement, but it met with opposition and went away—yet the nuclear arsenal of some 13,500 nuclear warheads still exists.  That is the supreme world imbalance; on the whim of one unstable leader, a button can be pushed to end life as we know it.  Look into statics of the nuclear arsenal; I recommend two websites: armscontrol.org and ‘nuclearweaponswhohaswhat’ provides a chart.

 

This century’s numerous climate crises together with the global pandemic, constitutes humanities wake-up call to recognize our One World in need of international cooperation to address the three major areas of threat that create the disastrous imbalance that could literally bring about our self-destruction.  

 

There is a moral order which consciousness asks that we follow.  When we failed that, we lost our way.  Can we wake up in time?

 

 

 

Friday, April 23, 2021

of Serious Thoughts: Again A Nation Weeps

of Serious Thoughts: Again A Nation Weeps:   Today is April 16, 2021.     What a horrible statistic was announced today by CNN: “45 th   mass shooting in the United States since the A...

Friday, April 16, 2021

Again A Nation Weeps

 Today is April 16, 2021.  What a horrible statistic was announced today by CNN: “45th mass shooting in the United States since the Atlanta area spa shooting on March 16” . . . CNN considers a mass shooting incident to be “if 4 or more people are shot and wounded or killed”.

That includes the incident of today in Indianapolis, Indiana.  It all happened within a month!

 

How can that be acceptable to a so-called educated, advanced civilized country?  Damn the NRA, damn the Republicans in Congress or anyone who opposes gun control—this can’t be accepted as ‘the norm’ in our nation!  All the varying voices of protest against violence must be respected.  The American public wants it stopped—I don’t know the percentage number, but it clearly is the majority that want this kind of outrage to end.

 

How have guns become so sacrosanct that their ‘right to be’ exceeds that of human life?  It is an absurdity from every direction that automatic weapons of war are available for purchase at local stores.  No other country allows such an absurdity!

 

Has our nation become so atheistic that the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ has no power or meaning against the Almighty Gun?  The ferocity of opposition to removal of weapons of war from our store shelves is tantamount to the revering of a commandment.

 

It may be true that the banning of assault weapons won’t end the slaughter, there will always be someone who chooses to kill, but the number of people killed by one person at a time can be altered dramatically.

 

In the name of all that is good and holy, we must act against this kind of menace.

 

 

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Our New Reality

 There is a need to see the new reality in our nation and our world.  The reality is that we are  one world.  We have failed to see our planet as One World.  Only if we recognize it as a singular unit, interacting and interdependent, only in recognizing that, is there a possibility to avoid self-destructing.

 

This nation had 4 years of inciting division—and what it led to shocked all.   A brutal attack on our nation’s capital.  We never dreamed an insurrection was possible in this democratic nation.  The four prior years led up to it.  Our democracy works by cooperation between opposing ideas.  Four years of lies, insults, and fanning low burning rebellion ignited it.  It was a time of ‘Us’ vs ‘Them’—no cooperation, no seeking understanding, no empathy—just do whatever it takes to WIN.   The divisions allowed the insurrection to happen!

 

In the more distant past it was understandable why division was the norm.  There was no realization of one whole interacting interdependent world and a Universe beyond.  There was focus only on the ‘pieces’ (and the desire to make ‘my piece’ supreme).  There were excuses for past generations, they had never realized the planet as one whole…..but the 20th and 21st centuries had forced that awareness upon us—two wars that involved the world—that’s why they were called WWI and WWII.  Two world wars and later a trip to outer space to see the singularity of the planet . . . that new awareness requires our response; the need to see and act upon this new reality.

 

It’s so obvious we need to cooperate—yet so hard!  Within our nation and among nations there is so much disagreement.  There is a simple prayer that has appeared in all religions throughout time; the wording changes a bit but the essence is the same ‘Do unto to others as you would have them do unto you.’  The ‘others’ includes our near neighbors and our far off ones.

 

That is what is needed to get out of the world-threatening dangers we are in.  This is our WORLD, there’s no other planet to escape to.  We face a triple threat: 1) permanent division of humanity into the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’; 2) universal environmental collapse; and 3) extinction of humanity by a nuclear holocaust.  Any one of these three should compel us to cooperate.

The facts are: 1)  a report from World Economic Forum reported that ‘the 26 richest people on earth in 2018 had the same net worth as the poorest half of the world population’; 2) It is feared by many scientists that we have damaged our environment to the extent we can’t fully recoup.  (We have exploited the earth rather than husbanding it); 3) in 2016 there was a total of 15,000 nuclear weapons in the world’s  arsenal.

 

We must face the reality of our One World and work cooperatively to heal internal division and address what unites us as a world . . . both are essential.  We can still avert global disaster, but to do so it is imperative that we accept and act upon our new reality.

 

 

Friday, February 12, 2021

Disastrous Outcome

As I await the outcome of the second impeachment trial of former president, Donald Trump, I feel an intensity that is hard to describe.  I believe our world is at a crisis point.  The election of Trump has moved the dial more toward a disastrous outcome.  We are losing the ability to recognize evil.  He has been a champion of unfettered self-serving evil and retaliates against anyone who does not bow to his will.  His actions have spawned an insurrection.  If he is acquitted and suffers no consequences it will demonstrate that our legal system does not reside in justice and he will be free to continue to spread his brand of evil and our nation will be weakened in the eyes of the world.

 

This nation and the world have moved away from living by God’s laws and that spells disaster.   The words of God in the Bible are: ‘I lay before you, life and death—choose life’.  The way we choose life is to live by the universal prayer: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you ‘.  That assumes goodness, not evil.   Each time we step farther from the intent of that prayer we move closer to that negative side of the equation –we are choosing death.  No one event causes the outcome, but each victory of evil moves us closer to disaster. 

 



PS  2/3/21

Having heard the results, I believe the process of impeachment is a mockery and  makes our justice system the same