Saturday, April 19, 2014

Forgiveness is hard, but...

We are all called, as Christians, to find the grace to forgive, just as, Christ did from the Cross. It's good for our souls and general well being. 

Penance (justice) is still required for the offender regardless of whether that person seeks forgiveness or not. There is always a penalty to pay, even for those who strive to keep the act unnoticed. Those who work to sweep it under the carpet have their sins (crimes) intertwined with the offender and may be committing the greater crime (sin). Justice is mandatory.

Many bad things happened to me in my youth that hurt a lot, especially, when my memory would torture me with it. When I began to come back to my faith that forgiveness part was a challenge. How could I do that? My anger and hurt were clearly justifiable. 

But there was that forgiveness part. So I said I forgive the hurt inflicted on me. Not really. God is no dummy. He knows it's hard. I kept at it and eventually found that, for me, asking that the person be forgiven by the Lord, that they be blessed and saying a prayer for them worked. My memories of those moments are still there, but the anger and hurt has vanished. 

This was clearly a plus for me. I have no idea whether my prays had any effect on those who harmed me. But I wasn't carrying that load of anger, hurt and hate around with me anymore. Forgiveness is truly good for the soul.

Lent ends at midnight, but, this lenten reflection is good for the whole year. (especially for me)

A Lenten Reflection

“Give up complaining----focus on gratitude.
Give up pessimism----become an optimist.
Give up harsh judgments----think kindly thoughts.
Give up worry----trust Divine Providence.
Give up discouragement----be full of hope.
Give up bitterness----turn to forgiveness.
Give up hatred----return good for evil.
Give up negativism----be positive.
Give up anger----be more patient.
Give up pettiness----become mature.
Give up gloom----enjoy the beauty that is all around you.
Give up jealousy----pray for trust.
Give up gossiping----control your tongue.
Give up sin----turn to virtue.
Give up giving up----hang in there!”

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Unitary Executive and torture

from the Spokesman Review;

The Unitary Executive theory, championed, most recently, by Vice-President Cheney, is the root of our disgrace. The belief that the president, has the power of a monarch, so that he can ignore laws passed by the legislature and treaties is a misguided threat to our democracy. Unitary Executive proponents believe that Congress has no power over the Commander in Chief. He can use the military in any place and any way he wants even if it may break treaties or the laws of America. We are all left without a voice in our own government.

When, Cheney, led the US ,down the road, to torture, we became less. It was another one of those dark sinister turns, in our nations past, that must be made right. Great shame has been brought upon our nation because of this hideous practice.

Torture is and always has been evil. This is highly unconstitutional, immoral and a completely un-American exercise in shame. It is much more in likeness to the old Soviet Union, China, or nations such as Syria. Confessions as the result of torture and ill-treatment make them completely invalid in a true court of law. Information gained is unreliable and is dangerous to the well-being of our troops by putting them in a situation, when captured, of being treated the same way. Which we believe to be immoral, cruel and illegal when it happens to one or more of our own.

Once we believe, as many conservatives have, that torture is okay; that we're still pure and clean and good for having accepted it, we open ourselves up to many evil embraced horrors of our own making. We already believe in pre-emptive war and collateral damage without a conscience thought, of the results of our actions. How long will it be before this hideous practice is embraced by the American justice system ? How far down the road must we go before family, friends and acquaintances, of a wanted felon, become subjected to enhanced interrogation methods, because, they may know something.

Torture is a cowardly act of weakness. It is evil everywhere it's practiced. This horror must never be used for information or punishment or intimidation or for any of the other screwy reasons governments, 'freedom fighters' or law enforcement deploy it.

You people who have welcomed this filthy practice of torture have disgraced our flag, our ancestors' sacrifices and the dust of their bones. This is a war crime and all those involved should be prosecuted all the way up to the head torturer in chief.

We must arrest and try all involved especially those on the top of the heap who thought they could find 'legal' ways to break the law.

This must be a relentless campaign issue.