Showing posts with label life issues. Show all posts
Showing posts with label life issues. Show all posts

2 Oct 2017

Death in Las Vegas, and Life

My plans for today did not include writing about mass murder on the Las Vegas Strip and rush hour panic in Wimbledon.

Instead of trying to ignore what is now international headline news, I decided to look for whatever useful facts might be filtering through.

I'll share what I found, along with what I think about the events.

How I feel about them is — sad, for what happened in Nevada. No words can console folks who lost family and friends there. I won't try.

The Wimbledon panic? I'm not entirely sure what I feel about that....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

21 Aug 2017

Death in Steubenville

Bad as news from Steubenville, Ohio, is — it could have been worse.

Only one person is dead. Two are injured, but probably will recover.

One of the injured people was with the man who is dead, so investigators may get some clue as to why he shot a judge.

On the other hand, the man who drove the deceased to the courthouse says that he had not known what the shooter had in mind.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

18 Aug 2017

Editing Genes, Ethically

Scientists at England's John Innes Centre learned how to grow plants that produce polio vaccine. That sounds like a very good idea, particularly since the process should work for other vaccines, too.

The other 'genetic engineering' news raises issues that can spark strong feelings: and should encourage serious thought.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

28 May 2017

More Than a 3-Day Weekend



Tomorrow is Memorial Day.

It's equivalent to Dodenherdenking in the Netherlands, or Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth of Nations.

The holiday's original purpose was to honor those who have been killed while serving in our nation's military.

That's still the holiday's official purpose. Recent generations have used the three-day weekend as an unofficial start of summer vacation season. That's not, I think, entirely inappropriate. I'll get back to that.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

22 Jan 2017

Conservative? Liberal? No: Catholic

My father-in-law has been asked if he's conservative — or liberal.

His answer: "I'm Catholic."

I'd give the same answer.

Catholic teachings are quite definite, so it's possible to peg them on the American political spectrum — as long as you don't look at the big picture.

Taking bits and pieces of Catholic beliefs, and the history of Catholics in America, I could claim that the Catholic Church is conservative or liberal. That would be as big a mistake as seeing all conservatives as hate-fueled foes of diversity, or all liberals as irresponsible lunatics.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

10 Jan 2017

Deciding Who Dies

Death at a Bible study back in 2015, and at Fort Lauderdale airport last week, has been in the news.

It's probably not as exciting as what glitterati were wearing and saying at the Golden Globe Awards; but I figured now would be a good time to talk about those deaths, and decisions

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

28 Nov 2016

Hate, Justice, Forgiveness

Islamic centers in California got hate mail recently. At least one of the letters was addressed "To the Children of Satan," and started with "You muslims [!] are a vile and filthy people...."1 Details are new, but the attitude is all too familiar.

Hating Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Catholics, or other 'outsiders' may be easier than coming to terms with personal issues. I don't know why those letters were sent.

I also don't know why a Somali refugee drove into a crowd at Ohio State University and hurt some folks with a knife this morning.2 He had been a student there, and now he's dead. I'm not happy about that, but I think he shouldn't have attacked those folks.

I do not think we should deport all Somalis, lock up college students, or ban knives and automobiles. I'll talk about what I think would make sense, after explaining why I'm not upset about Americans who don't look and act exactly like me.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

21 Nov 2016

Celebrating Mercy

Pilgrim Registration, Jubilee of Mercy, 2015, from im.va, used w/o permission.

Here we go again. The headlines are accurate, as far as they go.
I'm pretty sure we'll see a replay of last year's sound and fury over the Pope's 'changing stand on abortion,' expressed in a letter dated September 1, 2015.1

The reality was nowhere near as horrific or hopeful as many folks apparently thought....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

11 Nov 2016

16 Oct 2016

Alchemy, Science, Life, and Health

(From BBC, via Wikipedia, used w/o permission.)
("I find that nothing's ever exactly like you expect...." (Professor Richard Lazarus))

A mad scientist's lot is not a happy one. All he wants is to redefine being human: and the next thing you know, he's eating guests at his victory celebration.

Doctor Who's The Lazarus Experiment doesn't have much to do with The Devil Bat and The Brain That Wouldn't Die, apart from featuring a mad scientist — and science gone horribly wrong.

Some movies, like Fantastic Voyage and Things to Come, present science and technology as useful.

But "tampering with thing man was not supposed to know," as Mr. Squibbs put it, keeps the plot going for quite a few; like Altered Species, They Saved Hitler's Brain, and Island of Lost Souls.

Reticence, reasonable and otherwise, regarding new ideas isn't new....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

7 Oct 2016

Bioethics and a Three-Parent Baby

A Jordanian couple have a baby boy: who does not have a lethal genetic disorder, thanks to DNA transplanted from a third person. Four of his siblings did not survive the procedure.

I'll be talking about the decisions involved in that procedure, research involving "tiny brains" grown from human cells, genetically modified humans grown as research subjects, and water bears....

...After discussing recent genetics news, I'll share why I take human experimentation and medical ethics personally, and what I see coming in the near future....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

9 Jul 2016

All Lives Matter


(From BBC News, used w/o permission.)

...I was quite upset about the incident when I heard about it on radio news the next day. Philando Castile had apparently done exactly what he should have done: followed instructions of the police officer....

...Later Thursday, I heard and read that someone had started shooting police officers at a demonstration in Dallas, Texas.

So far, six people are dead as a result of that incident: five police officers, and the person who apparently killed them. Seven officers and two civilians are still alive, but injured. I was quite upset about that, too....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

15 Jun 2016

Death in Orlando: Love and Solidarity


The 49 folks killed at an Orlando entertainment venue late Saturday night/early Sunday morning, and the person who killed them, are still dead. Others are hospitalized, and may or may not survive. A whole lot of folks are mourning the loss of family and friends.

Repeating what I wrote Sunday afternoon, I should love God, love my neighbors, see everybody as my neighbor, and treat others as I want to be treated....

...Here's what a Bishop, an Archbishop, and someone at the Vatican, had to say....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

13 Dec 2015

Mercy!

The Year of Mercy/Jubilee of Mercy started on Tuesday, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.1

In my home parish, it's also when we started receiving the Eucharist under both forms: our Lord's body and blood.

If you think that's sounds gory and repulsive, you're not alone. Following our Lord has involved public relations issues from day one ...

...We'll be using Latin for parts of Mass during Advent, too: which is fine with me. I like Latin. I can even understand a little of the language. Mercifully, though, most of the Mass is in my native tongue.3 — Which brings me back to the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis, and getting a grip....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

6 Dec 2015

Evil is Not Good

On Wednesday, December 2, 2015, at about 6:59 p.m. UTC, 10:59 a.m. PST, two people killed 14 others at a holiday office party in San Bernardino, California.

The killers were located and stopped a few hours later, and died during an armed confrontation with law enforcement. I put names of the dead, and a few links, at the end of this post.1

I'm still experiencing anger, disgust, and several other emotions in connection with this latest mass murder. It's an unpleasant sensation, but I'd probably be more concerned if I didn't notice any emotional response.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

17 Nov 2015

Attacks in Paris: People Matter




(From BBC News, used w/o permission.)
("The names of victims have started to emerge. Top left to right: Nohemi Gonzalez, Marie Mosser, Djamila Houd. Middle left to right: Juan Alberto Gonzalez, Guillaume Decherf, Nick Alexander. Bottom left to right: Mathieu Hoche, Thomas Ayed, Valentin Ribet"
(BBC News))....

...Another article tells about efforts to find folks who are still missing: either dead, or hospitalized and not able to say who they are. I'll get back to that....

...A few names from that BBC News article —
"Dado," the nickname of a man killed at the Bataclan. Hugo Sarrade, Cedric Mauduit, Mathieu Hoche, Quentin Boulanger, Guillaume B Decherf, Marie Lausch, Mathias Dymarski, and Lola Salines, had been at the Bataclan, too.

No pressure, and this is just a suggestion: but praying for everyone involved couldn't hurt....

More, at A Catholic Citizen in America.

27 Sep 2015

Pope Francis and Nietzsche

I'll be quoting Pope Francis quite a bit today, starting with this bit from the news:
"...Speaking on Sunday (Sept. 13) to the Argentine radio station, FM Milenium, Francis lamented those who posed as his friends to exploit him, and decried religious fundamentalism.

"And speaking to Portugal's Radio Renascenca in an interview that aired on Monday, Francis put his own popularity into perspective: 'Jesus also, for a certain time, was very popular, and look at how that turned out.'..."
("Pope Francis: 'Jesus was popular and look how that turned out'," David Gibson, Religion News Service (September 14, 2015))
David Gibson apparently paid attention to what Pope Francis said.

Some other headlines, from derivative stories are — imaginative. Others perhaps show a better understanding of the Pope than displayed by the occasional outraged Catholic....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

6 Sep 2015

Hate People? Not an Option

I ran into a familiar sentiment on Twitter:
"Sometimes I wish I was religious so I could have an excuse for hating people."
Instead of seething with anger, I did a quick Google search.

The phrase, with exactly those words, showed up about 60 times. The earliest example I found was posted by a bot on reddit.com, December 28, 2011.

Without the quotes, I got roughly 35,200,000 matches.

That's a lot of folks talking about religion and hate. Some agreed with the "excuse for hating people" quote, some didn't, and some were talking about something completely different.

The "excuse for hating" quote hadn't been directed at me, and came from an account that Tweets a lot of platitudes and quotations. Instead of firing back a response, I started writing this post. That was on Monday of this week....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

30 Aug 2015

(Not) 'Going Native'

As a Christian, and a Catholic, I should be 'in the world but not of the world.' That idea shows up in John 15:18-19 and 17:14-16, and Romans 12:2.

Joining a cloistered outfit like the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (Trappists) is one option: they're part of the Benedictine family, contemplative monks and nuns.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

21 Jun 2015

Charleston Church Shooting: Emotions and Reason

A young man joined a Wednesday evening Bible study group at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, earlier this week

After participating for about an hour, he killed nine of the folks there and left.

I'm angry, and sad, that nine lives were unjustifiably ended in that church: and am profoundly impressed at the calm shown by some of the victims' relatives.

In my considered opinion, what the young man did was wrong. I'll get back to why I think that's true: and what I'm doing about my anger and sorrow.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Beauty and the Beast: My Take on the Controversy

I've heard a lot of varying reactions to Disney's live action Beauty and the Beast remake. I'm talking, thoughts that are ...