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Showing posts with the label social justice

Pope Francis Is Like A Canary in the Coal Mine

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Pope Francis is like a canary in the coal mine, identifying toxic trends in our society, then, offering hope as he suggests Christian solutions to current issues. The expression, a canary in the coal mine, is a saying which refers to caged canaries miners would bring with them into mine tunnels. These birds were used in Britain, right up until 1999 as a way to warn miners if gases like carbon monoxide collected in the mine. Noxious gas would kill a tiny canary before miners even knew they were in danger. Now the phrase, a canary in the coal mine,  alludes to someone whose sensitivity delivers early warnings to society. Our popes have often perceived subtle shifts away from gospel values before most of us even notice. continue

Changing Rules

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Today's tech and social norms aren't what they were in my youth. It's exciting. Or bewildering. Or unstable. Or dynamic. or any of a myriad other options.

Change happens, even if I don't approve. What matters is making good choices. More about that later.

These are the 'Good Old Days'
I'll indulge in nostalgia. Occasionally. Parts of my past are nice places to visit. But I wouldn't like living there.

Taking a stroll down memory lane lets me see the best times places, people and experiences. It's a 'best-of' selection.

But I certainly don't yearn for the days before social media, smart appliances, and online search software.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Bah! Humbug?

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'Tis the season to kvetch about Christmas: because it's too commercial, too religious, or whatever. I won't do that.

I'll look at why we celebrate instead. Also Scrooge and "A Charlie Brown Christmas."

Besides, I think enjoying the holiday and doing what I say I believe makes more sense...."

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Advent: Our Long Watch

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'Tis the season for frantic shopping, eye-popping light shows in suburban front yards, and Christmas television specials.

It's also the start of Advent.

This is a season when we look back at ancient hopes for a Messiah, and our Lord's first arrival. And look ahead to when Jesus will be back....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Seeing the Big Picture

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Today's Mass is something new, introduced by Pius XI in 1925. We've had it on the last Sunday in Ordinary Time since 1970.

Focusing on who and what our Lord is seems like a good way to wrap up the Church calendar. That's how I see it.

Today's Gospel reading is Matthew 25:31-46. That's the one starting with "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him...."

It's an important part of the Gospels, and not what I'll be talking about today. I'd better explain that.

I'm okay with what the Church says about Mass, including how the annual schedule works. I'm not a religious scofflaw, disdaining the laws of God and man. But I don't try to coordinate these 'Sunday' posts with what happens in Mass.

I figure it's not a problem, since I'm a Catholic layman — and you're probably not here looking for a homily....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Science, Faith, and Me

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This universe is bigger and older than some folks thought, a few centuries back.

I don't mind, at all. Besides, it's hardly new information. We've known that we live in a big world for a long time.
"4 Indeed, before you the whole universe is as a grain from a balance, or a drop of morning dew come down upon the earth." (Wisdom 11:22) If that bit from Wisdom doesn't sound familiar, I'm not surprised. It's not in the Bibles many Americans have. The one I read and study frequently is the unexpurgated version....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

On the Halloween Express

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Tomorrow is Halloween. I hope you have a good one.

I mentioned St. Wolfgang of Regensberg, All Hallows' and All Souls' Day, and the autumnal equinox, last year.

Also Gaelic and Welsh traditions, jack-o'-lanterns, and Easter eggs.

Enjoying my culture's traditions, within reason, makes sense. To me.

It's arguably better than bitter bewailing stuff I can't change: and don't want to....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Death in Charlottesville

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A vehicular homicide case near the intersection of Fourth and Water streets in Charlottesville, Virginia, is international news.

I regret the loss of life, particularly since the driver apparently intended to harm or kill the victims. I'll get back to that.

Heather Heyer had been with several other folks there, protesting something — or maybe someone — which or who she felt should be inspiring more outrage.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Sane Environmentalism

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I think being concerned about air quality, recycling, and other environmental issues, makes sense.

But I don't think only being concerned about the environment is a good idea. People matter, too. I don't think it's an either/or thing.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

A Mixed Bag

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I picked a mix from 'science news' this week: tardigrade genes, fertility fears, and what is probably the world's oldest living culture.

Folks in Western civilization have known about our neighbors in Australia for about four centuries.

Understanding their beliefs became easier, I think, when some of us realized that respecting them makes sense.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Independence Day 2017

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Today is American Independence Day. It's also the anniversary of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland's publication and Trois-Rivières founding day. Ashikaga Yoshiakira's birthday, Pactum Sicardi, and whole bunch of other stuff make this day important, too.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

"Renewed and Expansive Hope"

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Wanting respect is reasonable. I think folks who support Gay/LGBT Pride Month for that reason have a point.

I don't agree with much of what's said on the gay/LGBT pride issue — and explained why I won't spit venom in today's earlier post.

Basically, I should love God, love my neighbor, and see everybody as my neighbor.

No exceptions....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Respecting Everyone

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Gay/LGBT Pride Month will be over in about two weeks. Wanting respect is reasonable, but I don't agree with much of what's said on this issue.

Don't worry, I won't be spitting venom. Even if I felt like it, which I don't, that kind of trouble I don't need.

First, I'd better talk about love and respect, and why I think both are important....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

London: Death, Hope, and Love

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This is bad, but could have been much worse. Yesterday evening, starting around 10:00, three people in a van drove across London Bridge, deliberately running down pedestrians.1

After crossing the bridge, they left the van and attacked folks out for an evening with friends and family near Borough Market.

A few minutes later, they were dead; shot by police. They had killed seven folks by then, 48, were taken to hospitals, 36 are still hospitalized, 21 in critical condition, as I write this....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Acting Like Truth Matters

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"Folks have thought truth is important for quite a while...

"...I think truth is important, too. As a Christian, I'd better...."

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Ammonites, Dinosaurs, and Us

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Today's world is remarkable for a lack of dinosaurs. Big ones, anyway. Those critters would have been among the first things someone would notice here for upwards of 200,000,000 years.

Then, about 66,000,000 years back, something awful happened. The only dinosaurs left are those little tweeting, chirping, and cawing critters we call birds.

Ammonites had been around for even longer, but whatever finished the 'thunder lizards' wiped them out, too. We showed up much more recently, and are learning that there's a very great deal of our past, and Earth's, that we don't know. Not yet....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Truth and Love

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I take God very seriously. I also think people matter. I care deeply about truth and love.

By some standards this isn't a particularly "religious" blog.

For one thing, I keep saying that loving my neighbor and seeing everybody as my neighbor is a good idea. I'll get back to that.

For another, I write about science each Friday; real science. And I don't see it as a threat.

I don't 'believe in' science, in the sense that I expect it to replace God. That would be as silly as trying to find life's meaning in the second law of thermodynamics. It would also be a very bad idea....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Emmaus: Looking Back and Ahead

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We hear about the 'road to Emmaus' event in today's Gospel, Luke 24:13-35.

There's been speculation about why folks didn't recognized Jesus at first, after Golgotha.

It wasn't just the 'road to Emmaus' thing. Paul lists some of our Lord's meetings in 1 Corinthians 15:3-8....

...About why folks didn't recognize Jesus, I figure there's a reason, maybe more than one, but I'm also pretty sure I can't be sure. Not at this point. That won't stop me from sharing — not so much my guess, as something I think seems reasonable.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Natural Law, Our Rules

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Back in my 'good old days,' a half-century back, some claimed that science, technology, and a changing culture, made the 'outmoded morality' we'd been working with obsolete.

Others apparently believed that moral decay was caused by newfangled gadgets like the telephone and television: and, of course, 'Satanic' rock music....

...Folks who claimed that a changing world made 'conventional morality' obsolete were right: sort of.

That may seem odd, coming from a Catholic who agrees with Fulton Sheen....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Who is My Neighbor?

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Folks were hanging around after an evening prayer service Sunday, when someone came into the building and started shooting. 19 of the 50-plus folks there were injured, five hospitalized in critical condition. Six are now dead....

...This week's news hasn't been all bad. A GoFundMe page raising funds for the Islamic Center of Victoria, Texas, that burned last Saturday has collected upwards of $900,000 so far.1

I've never met the men who died Sunday night, I don't know their families. The same goes for folks affected by Saturday's fire. Why should I care what happens to them?

I've got reasons: some involving enlightened self-interest.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.