Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year 2014 and a Personal Challenge

In our personal history too, there are both bright and dark moments, lights and shadows. If we love God and our brothers and sisters, we walk in the light; but if our heart is closed, if we are dominated by pride, deceit, self-seeking, then darkness falls within us and around us.

Whoever hates his brother — writes the Apostle John — is in the darkness; he walks in the darkness, and does not know the way to go, because the darkness has blinded his eyes" .

Pope Francis

One of the largest personnel challenges, I have for the new year, is how I view and relate to Tea Party members, Conservatives under their thumb and extreme right-wing Evangelicals and Fundamentalists of every stripe. To be able to, not paint, every member with the feelings I have of these ideologies, which are misguided to loathsome and sinful, is a challenge.

But, just how do I go about doing that ? At some point a person may become so married to a concept that they become indistinguishable from it.

"Just as the commandment "Thou shalt not kill" sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say "thou shalt not" to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills. How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?"

Pope Francis

A person, such as our new Pope Francis, not only believes, but acts upon his convictions, that the poor, sick and needy among us, are the responsibility of all, especially from those in a more secure state of life. He cannot be separated from his deeply religious outlook on the world around him. We should all correctly call him good or at least a good example of what Christ calls us to be.

"NO TO SELFISHNESS"! In other words, to all that impels man to protect himself inside the cocoon of a privileged social class or a cultural comfort which excludes others. The life-style of the prosperous, their patterns of consumption, must be reviewed in the light of their repercussions on other countries. Let us mention for example the problem of water resources, which the United Nations Organization has asked us all to consider during this year 2003. Selfishness is also the indifference of prosperous nations towards nations left out in the cold. All peoples are entitled to receive a fair share of the goods of this world and of the know-how of the more advanced countries. How can we fail to think here, for example, of the access of everyone to generic medicines, needed to continue the fight against current pandemics, an access — alas — often thwarted by short-term economic considerations?”

Pope John Paul II

    "Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system.”

    Pope Francis
Rush Limbaugh, who I've called the elephant droppings of the Republican Party, is a good example of my dilemma. His beliefs and the way he conducts himself on radio is vile. He's clearly a bad example, but should he be called bad by me ?

He called our Pope a Marxist, a hateful term for Conservatives, because our Eminence states the responsibility we all have toward the weak, sick and poor, along with his criticism of free market Capitalism and its' demented offspring Consumerism and the responsibilities of the wealthy and powerful nations toward the downtrodden. Which is an important part of Catholic Social Teaching.

You can go to the 'horses mouth' by going to Google. I went to the LA Times.


Those under the same tent as Rush make, even though I don't have to like them, love difficult. This quote comes from another pope who the Conservatives mostly ignored.

In a world with a superabundance of information, but which paradoxically finds it so difficult to communicate and where living conditions are scandalously unequal, it is important to spare no effort to ensure that everyone feels responsible for the growth and happiness of all. Our future is at stake. An unemployed young person, a handicapped person who is marginalized, elderly people who are uncared for, countries which are captives of hunger and poverty: these situations all too often make people despair and fall prey to the temptation either of closing in on themselves or of resorting to violence.”

Pope John Paul II

How would Pope Francis, this humble, caring, disciple of Christ, instruct me on this problem of mine?

I bet he would tell me to love the sinner and not the sin. That doesn't mean you have to like the person, only Love is required ! Which, is impossible, without the help of the Holy Spirit.

For me the best way to do this has always been to ask the Good Lord to Bless the Person. That that person receive all the Graces and state in life that the Will of God would like for this person.

I've had a hard time doing this with the, self absorbed, purveyors of lies and distortions of truth, prideful of being greedy, and haters, among conservative ranks. Their distortions of social, religious and political dialogue because of their many wild conspiracy theories, aimed at the most ignorant or downtrodden among us, are deplorable.

I could use quite a bit more grace myself, because it's difficult for me not to embrace a strong dislike, bordering on hate for these people. Conquering that darkness within myself is my resolution for the new year.

There are greater evils in this world of ours, still requiring the Doctrine of Love.

Pope Francis' Christmas Message to the World:

Dear brothers and sisters in Rome and throughout the world, Happy Christmas!
I take up the song of the angels who appeared to the shepherds in Bethlehem on the night when Jesus was born. It is a song which unites heaven and earth, giving praise and glory to heaven, and the promise of peace to earth and all its people.
I ask everyone to share in this song: it is a song for every man or woman who keeps watch through the night, who hopes for a better world, who cares for others while humbly seeking to do his or her duty.

Above all else, this is what Christmas bids us to do: give glory to God, for he is good, he is faithful, he is merciful. Today I voice my hope that everyone will come to know the true face of God, the Father who has given us Jesus. My hope is that everyone will feel God's closeness, live in his presence, love him and adore him.
May each of us give glory to God above all by our lives, by lives spent for love of him and of all our brothers and sisters.

True peace is not a balance of opposing forces. It is not a lovely "façade" which conceals conflicts and divisions. Peace calls for daily commitment, starting from God's gift, from the grace which he has given us in Jesus Christ.
Looking at the Child in the manger, our thoughts turn to those children who are the most vulnerable victims of wars, but we think too of the elderly, to battered women, to the sick. Wars shatter and hurt so many lives!

Too many lives have been shattered in recent times by the conflict in Syria, fueling hatred and vengeance. Let us continue to ask the Lord to spare the beloved Syrian people further suffering, and to enable the parties in conflict to put an end to all violence and guarantee access to humanitarian aid. We have seen how powerful prayer is! And I am happy today too, that the followers of different religious confessions are joining us in our prayer for peace in Syria. Let us never lose the courage of prayer! The courage to say: Lord, grant your peace to Syria and to the whole world.
Grant peace to the Central African Republic, often forgotten and overlooked. Yet you, Lord, forget no one! And you also want to bring peace to that land, torn apart by a spiral of violence and poverty, where so many people are homeless, lacking water, food and the bare necessities of life. Foster social harmony in South Sudan, where current tensions have already caused numerous victims and are threatening peaceful coexistence in that young state.
Prince of Peace, in every place turn hearts aside from violence and inspire them to lay down arms and undertake the path of dialogue. Look upon Nigeria, rent by constant attacks which do not spare the innocent and defenseless. Bless the land where you chose to come into the world, and grant a favorable outcome to the peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians. Heal the wounds of the beloved country of Iraq, once more struck by frequent acts of violence.

Lord of life, protect all who are persecuted for your name. Grant hope and consolation to the displaced and refugees, especially in the Horn of Africa and in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Grant that migrants in search of a dignified life may find acceptance and assistance. May tragedies like those we have witnessed this year, with so many deaths at Lampedusa, never occur again!
Child of Bethlehem, touch the hearts of all those engaged in human trafficking, that they may realize the gravity of this crime against humanity. Look upon the many children who are kidnapped, wounded and killed in armed conflicts, and all those who are robbed of their childhood and forced to become soldiers.
Lord of heaven and earth, look upon our planet, frequently exploited by human greed and rapacity. Help and protect all the victims of natural disasters, especially the beloved people of the Philippines, gravely affected by the recent typhoon.
Dear brothers and sisters, today, in this world, in this humanity, is born the Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Let us pause before the Child of Bethlehem. Let us allow our hearts to be touched, let us allow ourselves to be warmed by the tenderness of God; we need his caress. God is full of love: to him be praise and glory forever! God is peace: let us ask him to help us to be peacemakers each day, in our life, in our families, in our cities and nations, in the whole world. Let us allow ourselves to be moved by God's goodness.”

Pope Francis

Jesus tells us that we are to love God with our whole heart and soul and to love our neighbor as ourselves. He also tells us to love our enemies. The demands of our Christian faith dictate that we must care for the benefit and well being of our enemies as well as ourselves. We all fall short, I know I have a whole stack of demons I wrestle with and I let them win far more often than I should, but to outright deny Christ in favor of fear and hate is just wrong. We should all be encouraging each other in this struggle and not be putting pressure on those who disagree to join in an orgy of embracing evil.

Hate is evil, it always has been and it always will be the largest obstacle to fitting through the needles eye.

War is not always inevitable. It is always a defeat for humanity. International law, honest dialogue, solidarity between States, the noble exercise of diplomacy: these are methods worthy of individuals and nations in resolving their differences. I say this as I think of those who still place their trust in nuclear weapons and of the all-too-numerous conflicts which continue to hold hostage our brothers and sisters in humanity. At Christmas, Bethlehem reminded us of the unresolved crisis in the Middle East, where two peoples, Israeli and Palestinian, are called to live side-by-side, equally free and sovereign, in mutual respect. Without needing to repeat what I said to you last year on this occasion, I will simply add today, faced with the constant degeneration of the crisis in the Middle East, that the solution will never be imposed by recourse to terrorism or armed conflict, as if military victories could be the solution. And what are we to say of the threat of a war which could strike the people of Iraq, the land of the Prophets, a people already sorely tried by more than twelve years of embargo? War is never just another means that one can choose to employ for settling differences between nations. As the Charter of the United Nations Organization and international law itself remind us, war cannot be decided upon, even when it is a matter of ensuring the common good, except as the very last option and in accordance with very strict conditions, without ignoring the consequences for the civilian population both during and after the military operations.”
Pope John Paul II

The greater part of faith is trust. If we have faith in all that Jesus taught then we should muster the courage to trust Him as well.

Jesus said to his disciples:
To you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic.Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back.
Do to others as you would have them do to you. For if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same. If you lend money to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, and get back the same amount.
But rather, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back; then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Give, and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.”

Luke 6-27-38

I've only been slightly strong enough to take this vow, once, but here it is. Maybe someday I will be able to make this a lifelong vow, maybe some day we all will be.

RECOGNIZING THE VIOLENCE IN MY OWN HEART, yet trusting in the goodness and mercy of God, I vow for one year to practice the nonviolence of Jesus who taught us in the Sermon on the Mount: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons and daughters of God...You have learned how it was said, "You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy"; but I say to you, "Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you. In this way, you will be daughters and sons of your Creator in heaven." Before God the Creator and the Sanctifying Spirit, I vow to carry out in my life the love and example of Jesus by striving for peace within myself and seeking to be a peacemaker in my daily life; by accepting suffering rather than inflicting it; by refusing to retaliate in the face of provocation and violence; by persevering in nonviolence of tongue and heart; by living conscientiously and simply so that I do not deprive others of the means to live; by actively resisting evil and working nonviolently to abolish war and the causes of war from my own heart and from the face of the earth. God, I trust in Your sustaining love and believe that just as You gave me the grace and desire to offer this, so You will also bestow abundant grace to fulfill it.
After reading and reflecting on the Vow of Nonviolence, people often commit themselves to trying to follow it daily for a year. If a group of people is committing to the vow, a ceremony can be planned.

I commit myself to living according to the Vow of Nonviolence for a one year period.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

I haven't been here in a long, long time. Conservatives battle to kill Obama Care

I haven't been here in a long, long time. Computer problems have been a big part of why I haven't been here especially the long months without a laptop.  A lot of water has gone under the bridge since then.

 I've been posting on the local news paper the Spokesman Review http://www.spokesman.com/ because of the many Tea Party Conservative types on the eastern end of Washington State posting mostly nonsense.

One of their most rabid topics has to do with Obama Care. 

Liberals wanted a single payer form of medical care which would have lifted the burden off of all business and placed it fairly upon all of us. The many, forced upon us, compromises with Republicans in order to get the bill through the Senate made that impossible. When you decry the complexity or perceived unfairness, of the Affordable Health care act, the GOP needs to look in the mirror.
Because, of the unscrupulous behavior of insurance companies and businesses, that refuse to give their workers full time employment, dumping the responsibility on the taxpayer, single payer is what this nation needs.
mass shootings in the last few years. linked to health care because of mental illness
Those who struggle with mental illness should have much more than a little health access. Cutting services to these people aren't just by the communities they live in, but, they are also discriminated against by insurance companies.
Many people who struggle with severe mental illness are left to self medicate any way they can. Many are forced into the prison system which is truly abusive. Some just wander the streets. Many are the quiet burden of their families.
They ARE the responsibility of society to be taken care of by the insurance companies and ALL taxpayers. Not just with a few services here and there but with truly good services which will benefit not just the mental health community but society as a whole.
Insanity is a huge part of the problem. The demented belief, held by many on the lunatic fringe of the far right, that these military style weapons are needed to wage war against our own government is the conspiracy theory dejour. These aren't beliefs that are only uttered in the shadows of extremists sects. These fantasies are proudly expressed on the AM dial and righty web sights.
The United Nations and Obama are coming for their guns so that they can be stripped of their money and religious and political beliefs then sent off to the prison camps, which are already built and waiting for occupants.
Actual natural deaths, of those believed to be precious to their cause, are in fact murder to advance the agenda of the UN and/or antichrist.
Global warming is a myth and the government controls weather systems, all designed to give the world control over our sovereignty.
And, one of the most discussing assertions, that these mass shootings are in fact 'false flag' operations created by the government to make it easier to attack their gun rights.
There's no shortage of feeble minds willing to accept this nonsense, enriching the coffers of those who spread this vile, against the US.
Anyone who speaks differently is either a fool, a pawn or an active conspirator. I'm sure this is just the top of the pile that gets far more pungent the farther down you venture, into their dark world. How can we ever begin to engage them in any type of political, religious or social discussion? Their wanton ignorance is the greatest threat our nation faces at this time. It not only lowers the collective IQ of America but also leads to stagnation as is shown by the Tea Party.
facts on gun violence
He was taught how to be safe and use guns.
facts on violence and mental illness

Wild and loony conspiracy theories have been flooding the minds of Tea Party bullied Republicans, since the time of Sara Palin.
For fun--The wacky right