Sunday, June 29, 2008
Did I say "outspoken?" ummmm yes, I do believe I did. Doesn't spare the language, that fellow - points out that only gays have to force their "private business" into everyone's faces, reducing themselves to their "preferences" -
Points out that heterosexual people do not make political issues over what we do in our beds (or couches or floors or wherever we happen to... thingy ... that we do not reduce ourselves to a genital identification in everything else we do...
It's actually a very good post - and I have to confess I roared with laughter several times... but I am not going to post the link here lest someone think I've ... contributed to lustful thoughts by male readers, or approved non-marital thingy amongst the ladies who read here....
but if you drop me an email, I might send you the link...
I woke up from a nap a little while ago, and I must have been dreaming about the paper I have to write for one of my courses, because I had this general topic, spiritual warfare, on the brain, and my first really conscious thought was -
But the place spiritual warfare begins is with our own conversion.
I've been told (by my ex-husband, you understand) that I have a maddening habit of over-stating the obvious, so I apologize to all of you who saw it before I did. But it's so easy to pick up causes and dream grandiose dreams and see magnificent visions... while buried to our knees in the muck that is the worldly world. We really do have to ground our sense of living counterculturally in our conversion.
The initial conversion is like going into the recruiter's office and enlisting in the army - the rest of our time is going through various trainings and being sent on various missions. They don't let you stay still in the Army; they keep you moving forward - once you finish this rotation of duty, you go serve this other place, or you're assigned to this other location for more training in a particular skill.
Spiritual warfare is simply part of being part of the Church Militant.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis has been appointed to the Roman Curia - as Prefect of the Apostolic Signature.
He goes out with a bang, publicly disciplining a Sister of Charity for her participation in services to "ordain" to women "priests.
God bless the man for his faithful service to Christ's Church in the U.S. - Since his appointment to St. Louis, he has served as the example we all longed for, in our own dioceses.
Pray for his successor in St. Louis
Friday, June 27, 2008
According to whom???
Since when did Christian people get off abandoning Christian moral values and all the identifying hallmarks of their name, and still clamor to be called by that name? A Hindu, a Buddhist, a Muslim... you don't see THEM trying to revise the definition of their ideology.
But suddenly it's "not Christian" to oppose "gay rights."
Okay - in the first place, I still don't get why people should be demanding rights based upon where they put their... privates. (I'm trying very hard not to be crude, here, but I'm irked enough something might need to be edited later.) One Quaker gentleman said to me a number of years ago, "Why do we have to make an issue of what people do in the privacy of their bedrooms with their genitals?"
If only the gay lobby would leave it to the privacy of their bedrooms - but, no - they have to hijack the American Psychiatric Association to force them to re-write the DSM in 1973, removing homosexuality from the list of disorders. This was a decision based not on science, but on political pressure from the gay lobby.
The rhetorical cacaphony surrounding the gay rights debate is noteworthy for its disregard of fact. Despite the fact that ancient Greece was a culture dominated by homosexuality and pederasty - actually, the ancient and modern pagan world routinely practiced all sorts of sexual license - modern-day homosexual radicals deny the link between homosexuality and pederasty, treating them as two separate issues. However, even a casual reading of Plato reveals that the two are irrevocably connected.
The fact that many of the world's civilizations, excepting the ancient Hebrews, were so licentious, would seem to indicate that homosexuality is in fact a matter of cultural imprinting, rather than biological orientation.
If we're going to talk about "sexual preferences," that polite code word among the gay lobby, we have to take an honest look at what that phrase means. Strictly and simplisticly translated, it means, "one's preferences in sexual matters."
WELL - right there we have ourselves a quandry, Ladies and Gentlemen! Because by calling it a PREFERENCE we immediately acknowledge the reality of CHOICE in the matter.
Furthermore (and I have to quit soon because a storm is brewing close by and I might lose internet connection) - if it's to be a simple matter of preference, then what is to be our rule for which preferences are "normal" and which violate all sense of human dignity and decency? All statutory sexual limitations - polygamy, incest, age limits, etc. - can be casually toppled by the "innocuous" label of "sexual preference."
Okay - storm getting closer. We need the rain. More rant later.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
For those of you who don't like to read Ann Coulter - it's just a well-documented demonstration of how Bush has kept his word since 9/11. Nothing really impressive - (yes, Dear, that is sarcasm)
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Then who wants to bet there was a Comprehensive Sex Education program in place?
Check out this video for a very good look at what that can accomplish - Very discreetly presented...
Monday, June 23, 2008
The first 27 days - we offer up our Intention to God and Our Lady - I found it helpful to be very specific with what I was looking for.
The second 27 days - we thank God for hearing and answering our prayers.
It's not a magic trick - it's an intensive school of deliberately putting ourselves and our Intentions before God. I haven't thought of this devotion in MONTHS - then found it coming to my consciousness earlier today. Feels like a Prompting -
Starting today. I'll finish on August 15 - the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
We need to be very very careful about this PP/ACLU invasion of our local schools -
Saturday, June 21, 2008
A person's a person, no matter how small!
Horton wasn't talking about the pre-born, was he???
Unfortunately, it appears not. I just did a Google search, and Wikkipedia, that dubious resource but a good starting point, reports that the good Dr Seuss and his widow both found the appropriation of such a very obvious comment to an "agenda" to be abhorrent.
Still, it's true - a person is a person, whether he's been born or not, or a child (the phrase could be used in the war against child abuse) - or how oddly big (Andre the Giant would have appreciated being treated like a regular person, I suspect) -
Why does it seem so difficult to grasp what ought to be an elementary-level truth? A person's a person....
Friday, June 20, 2008
I'm horrified to see Charlotte-Mecklenburg as one of the worst cities in America for crime; but I have a feeling that my own community won't be far behind, per capita. We see evidence of this - I can only identify it as nihilism among the black and Latino youth at our high school.
What's the remedy?
Thursday, June 19, 2008
A recent graduate who had a baby during her freshman year told Time she knows why the girls wanted to get pregnant.What grieves me is the defensiveness with which these girls reject overtures of genuine caring and friendship from the emotionally healthy adults in their lives - their teachers, subs, and others. We don't get it, I suppose - but what they don't get is that children don't come in to the world just to unconditionally love their mamas.
"They're so excited to finally have someone to love them unconditionally," Amanda Ireland, 18, said. "I try to explain it's hard to feel loved when an infant is screaming to be fed at 3 a.m."
I see from a link on WRAL.com that you are one of our candidates for Congress, come November. I've been working in another county and hearing about one particular race, which accounts for my being late in "meeting" you.
I want you to know that I will be voting for Howard Coble in the General Election.
I've become increasingly disinfranchised with the Democratic Party I grew up hearing revered by my father. Its support for liberal causes, like gay "rights," offends me. I say that I contributed to the gay rights movement when I gave my ex-husband his marital freedom through divorce. That was more than enough for a lifetime.
I also disagree with the economy rhetoric. Interesting that, in the past two years, since the DNC controlled the House, and the US economy through its electoral powers, gas prices (and the costs of everything else, consequently) have more than doubled. I wrote of this incongruity to Mr. Kissell over in Biscoe, over the weekend... he has not replied to me.
Moreover, I'm concerned that the DNC is on a bandwagon opposing the war that they unanimously supported back on 9/11, 9/12, 9/13.... 2001 - for a damn good reason. President Bush warned this country that the war against Terror would be slow, difficult, and costly - and not a damned Democrat dared to argue with him in the passion-filled aftermath of 9/11. He was right; the DNC is wrong to have turn-coated. Shame on the DNC.
But most of all, I will not be voting for a Democratic candidate because the issue of Sanctity of Human Life is so vitally important that I have been a single-issue voter since 1976, when I was first eligible to vote. The DNC's pro-
"choice" plank is so offensive to me that, were I to agree with you about the economy and the war, this one issue would be the deal-breaker.
All the nice talk about helping Americans with ... everything we could possibly need? health care, tax relief (ha!) and all that other stuff - doesn't mean a thing if you are going to say that the unborn are disposable property that can be "liquidated" (horrible choice of words for which I do not apologize) at will. Until America chooses to treat her most vulnerable citizens with respect, then all the other programs you can come up with are a lie.
Just wanted you to know how I - a voter, a blogger, and an outspoken citizen - feel about things.
Check her out!
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
What I'd like to know is how Mr. Obama proposes to send the NYPD and other law enforcement from the U.S. into hostile foreign countries to find and arrest these terrorists. Hmmmm?
Monday, June 16, 2008
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
I'm so tired and angry at hearing black kids at the local high school talking as if laziness, promiscuity, lack of self-control, low- or non-achievement were uniquely black cultural entitlements. On more than one occasion, I've cornered the kids by saying, "I hope you don't mean what it sounds you just said - because it sounds as if you just said that black people are not capable of ..." whatever it was they were talking about: making good grades, doing honest work, achieving moral integrity, or whatever.
Their reaction is amusing - they deny, vehemently... but then they think about it for a second or two... and then they re-direct their conversation in a more affirming tone. I hope it does some long-term good.
What was it someone said? Evil triumphs because good people do nothing? I'll have to look it up -
But the time is upon us: Christian people cannot be passive; we must enter the battle as soldiers of Christ - prepared, obedient, and willing to suffer the martyrdom of ridicule and insult in order to serve our Master.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
I'll announce off the top that I'm going to vote for John McCain. I like the Libertarian candidate (checked out his profile on Project Vote Smart last night), but a vote for a minor party candidate will split the ticket so badly that Barack Obama will walk away with the nomination.
And we must not see Obama elected President of the U.S. in November.
Barack Obama is a very smooth rhetorician - a point frequently pointed out by those of my acquaintance who are embarrassed at President Bush's frequent verbal crepitudes. But the meaning behind the rhetoric is frightening.
He is vocally, adamantly pro-abortion, not pro-choice, but pro-abort, and he has the vigorous endorsement of every pro-abort organization in the U.S. It has been a frighteningly brief leap from abortion on demand granted in 1973 with Roe v. Wade to physician-assisted suicide, euthenasia and terminal medication; I fear that an Obama regime (not, you note, administraton) will see the U.S. embarked on a course of ridding itself of unwanteds and "undesirables" - the disabled, retarded, elderly and infirm - reminiscent of Nazi Germany in the 1930s and early 1940s.
A blog noodling for another day: the bitter irony of a black man supporting a movement founded on the eugenics principles of an open, vocal racist.
His position on the economy is also frightening. Bad enough that the DNC-controlled Congress has thwarted President Bush for the past two years, allowing gas prices to more than double and the cost of nearly every other commodity in the marketplace to follow suit - If Obama and the DNC sweeps the national elections in November, Obama has promised to raise taxes and increase government spending on programs I feel we simply do not need.
After all, a Democracy not only allows citizens the privilege of governing themselves, but also the responsibility to take care of ourselves. When the Government becomes responsible for our needs, we become artificially dependent - witness high school students with no plans and no ambitions, having been raised on Welfare and intending to live on it - and the societal structure erodes ... eventually collapses.
Obama would also make a horrible Commander-in-Chief. I fear for the future of this nation if a man who has made friendly overtures to the enemies of our nation - leaders of the radical Islamic world - should suddenly be installed as the head of our armed forces. We would be, effectually, handed over to our enemies, gift-wrapped.
More later. I'm pressing several of my politically-astute friends for help in increasing and improving my political education. I feel a grand passion developing - and will likely mouth off a bit more in the coming months.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
However, the editorial writer left out an important consideration, in my (never) humble opinion: schools are not the arm of government, but of the people of the community. At least, that's how they started out to be in this area.
When I was growing up, each town school had its own School Board. My uncle was on the School Board for West End School for a number of years, and my ex-father-in-law ran for the School Board for Southern Pines (I don't remember whether he won the election). The schools reflected the needs and expectations of the communities they served.
I grew up, until at least the fifth grade, with a daily devotional - a reading from Scripture, a prayer, and the Pledge of Allegiance. In the third grade, Mrs. Pullen required us to memorize the whole first chapter of the Book of Genesis, which I can still recite, mostly accurately, today.
I also remember the third grade vividly as the year we seemed to do nothing but conjugate verbs and memorize multiplication tables - sans calculators, of course! and we probably got a good start with fractions that year, too. There were no ubiquitous calculators in 1964-65, nor were there spell-checking and grammar-checking word processing programs; we had to learn the principles of both arithmetic and grammar in our own little heads.
We also learned Civics - the value of responsible American and community citizenship. Along with the Pledge to the Flag every morning, we learned to treat that symbol of American liberty with respect - how to honor it from saluting it to retiring it.
Somewhere in the mid-1960s, Mrs. O'Haire, that famous atheist, began her campaign to remove prayer from the public schools, and about the same time, governance for our schools was transferred to the County and State levels. Mrs. Pullen's rigorous morning devotionals were pronounced "Un-Constitutional." Grammar became an outmoded and unnecessary exercise, Civics was replaced with a succession of increasingly watered-down "heritage" courses, Math became largely a matter of preference... and somewhere along the line the Latin classes I'd heard people proudly brag of hating (even while they would show off by declaiming Virgil) also disappeared from the curriculum.
Discipline also began to change. At Aberdeen school, paddling was allowed, and standing in silent, straight lines in the hallway as we processed from our classes to another class, the library or the cafeteria was required. When a local bully made noises on the school playground and in the underpass under U.S. 1, parents informed the principle with the solid expectation that the bully would be dealt with - and he was.
But by the time I got to Pinecrest High School, corporal punishment - like grammar, systematized mathematics study, Civics and Latin - was pronounced decidedly passe. We had a smoking area! and cutting class and other shenanegans were met with ... were there any consequences? I don't recall any. We didn't have standard classes; we met in large open classrooms: on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays we had "Small Group" with a small class; and on Tuesdays and Thursdays we had "Large Group" where we all gathered together to hear a teacher give lectures, usually with the aid of the overhead projector, from which we were supposed to take notes. We didn't have textbooks; chapters were reproduced in mimeographed packets called "LAPS" (Learning Activity Packages), and courses were theoretically self-paced.
We were supposed to be part of a great educational revolution - which failed, obviously. Some time between 1975 and 1996, each of the large rooms was divided into four smaller ones, books returned to the classrooms, and more traditional methods were re-instated. However, calculators had been introduced and become de rigeuer for all students (in 1975, only the really advanced students would have invested the couple hundred dollars for a calculator), and an appalling number of students had to use the damned thing to figure out simple addition - I've seen them, literally, adding 2+2 on a calculator; they swear it's easier than thinking.
And grammar has been re-introduced - but it is really nothing more than Parts of Speech, which 9th grade teachers scramble to work in because it's usually part of the 9th grade State End of Course exam; forget the beginning differentiations between nouns and verbs that we experienced as early as the first grade. The systematic study of how words work together in order to convey meaning is unheard of - in fact, most high school students demonstrate an appallingly inadequate stock of words (vocabulary).
Education used to be the community's means of preparing children for a responsible, productive, active adulthood, in which that child was expected to grow up to make responsible moral and civic decisions. In those days, education was what we'd now call "wholistic" - academic, intellectual, moral and spiritual. Nowadays, removed from the community and consolidated into larger, "more useful" geographic units, it is merely the passing on of a few basic skills (how to operate a calculator and use a computer) and the instilling of certain bits of information, mostly geared to render graduates incapable of rational independent thought and wide open for propaganda ploys from a liberal intellectual elite.
God help us.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
I suspect Bishop Waters was a bit premature in merging the two parishes; after all, in 1963 even our local schools had not yet adopted "Freedom of Choice," the first step toward complete integration. It must have been very difficult and painful for this community in West Southern Pines to lose their center and their unique identity.
Prayers were offered for the souls who have died since leaving the Church and for the reconciliation of their families to Mother Church, on Sunday. It really was a very moving event.
I sent the following email to Steve Bouser, Editor of The Pilot, in response. It'll be interesting to see whether I receive any response:
Since I've had my letter to the editor published just last week, would you please be so kind as to forward this to Mr. Simon in response to his editorial about religious inclusiveness in school?
While I appreciate your concerns about religious inclusion and exclusion in the schools, I do believe you have missed some very important points. Actually, you had my sympathy up until the point your wife threatened to involve the ACLU. Then you lost me. Completely. But I'd like for you to consider a few things, here.
First of all, you're in the Bible Belt now. The Jewish community is quite new to the Sandhills. When I was growing up, in Aberdeen, in the '60s, "religious diversity" applied to the friendly (and sometimes less-than-friendly) competition between the Methodists and the Baptists (or the Baptists and everyone else). Catholics were few enough we didn't even think about them, most of the time, and the "holy rollers" were in a class completely by themselves.
No one intends to be snobbish or offensive in matters of religion around here (I speak as a native whose family has been born and raised within 100 miles of Pinecrest High School for at least five generations on all sides, and a known eight generations on one). We just aren't used to you folks of different faiths being here. We're accustomed by l-o-n-g habit to think in terms of Baptists, Methodists, and Presbyterians... and once in a while we remember there are Episcopalians, Congregationalists, Quakers, and Catholics. And LDS... when we see the nice young men on their bicycles... And now we get to become accustomed to remember there's a Jewish community here, too.
In fact, if I didn't sub at Pinecrest, where I know a teacher who is a member of your congregation, I might not have even known a Jewish community exists here, now.
You also need to remember that the event held in the Robert E. Lee Auditorium was not a school event. A local cooperative group of (Protestant) churches rented the facility. You can rent the auditorium. Heck, the Zoroastrians can use the space, if we have any of them around here. All it takes is a few procedural steps with Moore County and appropriate rental fees... there's nothing discriminatory on the schools' part, in the event held last week for graduating seniors.
What we locals do have a problem with - and it is a very big one - is when people move here from other parts of the country - usually up North - and decide that we're a sorry, backwards bunch of so-and-so's who have to be fixed and brought into the Modern Era and taught how to think like you want us to think. We've never had a Jewish community before you folks came to Foxfire - but you have accused us of being deliberately discriminatory. We have men and women here who fought Hitler to liberate the Chosen People from concentration camps in Germany and Poland - and you accuse us of being bigots. We have people here, Christian men and women, who support the Nation of Israel as the political expression of God's Chosen People - but your wife wants to sic the ACLU on us because a group of long-standing Protestant churches got together, informally, to hold a religiously-oriented service - at the only venue in the area large enough - to bless our graduates as they officially cross the threshhold into adulthood.
Mr. Simon, anti-Catholic sentiment runs strong in the Bible belt (in fact, although I never heard anything derogatory about the Nation of Israel or about Jewish people - quite the opposite! - I grew up hearing anti-Catholic cant) but you don't see a bunch of Catholics screaming "foul!" over this Protestant endeavor, or threatening legal action against area Protestants, do you?
Now. Don't you think the nice and effective thing - the neighborly thing to do would be to have called Deborah Richardson, who coordinated this event (and is another long-time native to this area, and a very nice lady - I graduated from Pinecrest with her), and said, "Hey - next year, can we work together to do something that includes non-Christians, too? Like our Jewish kids?" Dollars to donuts, Mrs. Richardson would have said, "That's a terrific idea! I'm so glad you called!" And if there are still those Christians in the area who prefer a Christocentric religious observance, that doesn't mean there can't be more than one celebration - does it? I don't think so.
So - I find serious fault with your tactics. If I could get past your tactics, I might have some philosophical differences with the forced "inclusive" rhetoric you use; but for now I'll settle for ironing out the tactical offenses.
Wishing you all the best -
Monday, June 09, 2008
Music arrived today for the Eucharistic Congress to be held in Charlotte this October - See list below.
One of the ongoing arguments I faced - frequently - during my former endeavors as a music director was "Why will you not do the music that other diocesan musicians do? I go to events at other parishes, and they do this music you won't do!" - Well, my answer is that the music I chose is in keeping with the choices made by the Diocesan Director for Liturgy and Music, Dr. Larry Stratemeyer, and his associate, who happens to be in charge of this year's event.
Advent: The Angel’s Greeting: Brahms
Marion: Ave Maria: Victoria
Christmas: And the Glory of the Lord: Handel
Lent: In Memoria – Vivaldi
Palm Sunday: Children of the Hebrews: Robert Schafer (sent from St. Barnabas)
Holy Week: Lamb of God, What Wondrous Love: arr: Allen Robert Petker
Easter: This Joyful Eastertide: arr: Charles Wood
Trinity: Hymn to the Trinity: Michael Burkhardt
Pentecost: O Holy Spirit, Praise to You: Howard Helvey
Corpus Christi: Three Eucharistic Motets: ed. Richard Proulx
Ordinary: A Jubilant Psalm: Emily Crocker
NOTE: There's not a Haugen, or a Haas, or a Talbot or a Joncas, or a Schutte among them!
Thursday, June 05, 2008
No, I'm not blaming global warming. Okay - maybe it's global warming, but not the Al Gore variety; the earth cycles, and we're on the hot side of the cycle. Geological evidence supports this, as does historical. Remember the painting of Washington Crossing the Delaware? All that ice and snow? That's not typical, but it was what he and the Revolutionary troops experienced that year - part of a "mini ice age" in the cycle.
That doesn't absolve us from living more responsibly, but it does place the onus of responsibility on you and me, and not President Bush. We've got to get over this mentality of being entitled to our luxuries - the gas-guzzling autos, the a/c, the electricity-burning gadgets and widgets and Whatsese.
Yes, I've got my Victory Garden started - the tomatoes, peppers and eggplants are in, organically augmented with decomposed horse manure, and mulched with locally-grown wheat straw. Squash family will be going into the ground - probably very very early Saturday morning since I'm working tomorrow. I have enough trouble getting out of bed by 6 or 6:30; I'd have to get up at 5:30 to get it done tomorrow (still not a bad idea!)
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
I grew up in this community; in fact, most of my family has been born within 100 miles of where I now sit, for at least five generations. This IS the Bible Belt. Protestant Christianity is the long-held norm of religious expression, until the past ten years or so fairly exclusively so (except for a growing number of transplanted Catholics).
I'm not sure which makes me angrier: one woman's attack on religious freedom in our community, or her flagrant contempt for this community, its citizens and its customs.
Hell, blast and damn! if she doesn't like it here, why did she MOVE here?
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
A parent has lobbied a protest against a religious service to be held at our local high school on Thursday.
Our superintendent has caved to loud-mouthed tactics backed by no sense whatsoever before. I expect that she'll work now to prohibit the free exercise of Religion as guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution.
I've written to her and to our local paper. You may certainly do the same if you are so inclined.