A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Some Randomly Not Necessarily Connected Thoughts

I love spicy food. If my face doesn't sweat and my eyes don't water, it isn't hot enough. So I am always disappointed when I order a dish at a restaurant that is described with the words "nuclear" or "red death" or "volcano" or some such explosive terminology, only to find that I'm a victim of false advertising. Only fellow five alarm folks can understand what I mean.

North Korea is saber rattling again, only this time their failed rocket launch was quite an embarrassment. How out of touch with reality can a government be that continues to try to convince the rest of the world that it is a major player on the world stage, when all it has accomplished is making its people hungry, impoverished, and miserable? The people of North Korea deserve much better, but they won't get it as long as the current regime is in power.

Speaking of dictators, I have been very critical of Hugo Chavez, the President of Venezuela, on this blog. Chavez has been battling cancer, and while no one knows the prognosis, he keeps going back and forth to Cuba for treatments. I've been praying for Chavez, not because I approve of his politics and governance, but because he is a human being made in God's image. That truth transcends all earthly political perspectives.

A school in Ohio is refusing to allow one of its seniors to walk on graduation day because he had two more unexcused absences than school policy will allow. The reason he was out of school-- he was taking care of his mother who has stage four breast cancer. I am a big believer in not allowing exceptions to policies (from schools and other organizations) except in rare and extenuating circumstances, but this is clearly an extenuating circumstance: an exception should and must be made. Now the response to this is if one exception is honored, you end up having to honor all exceptions. I must confess that I am weary of that excuse. My response to that is, "No! One does not have to honor all exceptions." Extenuating circumstances mean just that. You evaluate extenuating circumstances one situation at a time. The "if you grant one exception you have to grant them all" response is an excuse to avoid shouldering the responsibility of making tough decisions. I predict the school board will reverse its decision. A dying mom wants to see her son walk across the stage and graduate. What possible justification can there be to deny her wish?

A carpenter is offering classes on making one's own casket. Times are indeed difficult. Actually, I would be OK if they just threw me in a Hefty Bag and dropped me in a hole. Like I would know the difference?

I don't watch much TV, but when I get a chance, I like watching old reruns of M*A*S*H. I really like two characters in particular-- Maxwell Q. Klinger and  Father Francis Mulcahy-- the former because you got to admire a guy who walks around in women's clothing (with lots of fashion sense) to get out of the army, and the latter because he is a down-to-earth kind of padre. With both of them what you see is what you get.

This week in history: On April 9, 1816, Richard Allen and colleagues organized the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The next day on April 10 he was elected as the denominations first bishop. This made him the first African American to be elected to the office of bishop in the United States. I am proud to claim Bishop Allen in my Methodist heritage and mourn that my denomination could not lead the way in racial equality thus forcing a split.

A Silly Season in Politics Newsflash: A Democratic strategist got in major trouble this week suggesting that Ann Romney, a stay-at-home mom, never worked a day in her life (as if raising children is a piece of cake). First of all, politicians' spouses and families should be off limits, from both parties, whether it's Ann Romney or Michelle Obama. They are not running for office nor are they elected. So, everyone should just leave them alone. Secondly, we now once again enter the tug-of-war as to which party is pro-women, pro-motherhood, pro-working mom, pro-jobs, pro-business, pro-this and pro-that. I must confess that it all gets rather boring and ridiculous, if you ask me. (Of course, you didn't, but it is my blog after all.) I know that this will come as no surprise, but over the next few months there will be plenty of "Silly Season in Politics Newsflashes" posted because no one has a more inflated sense of their own value and an impoverished sense of the truth than politicians and their minions.

And finally in this season of Easter, a quote from Richard Bach: "What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly."

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