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The Catholic Church in Minnesota recently mailed out 400,000 DVDs to its parishioners in the state, asking them to accept the church’s belief that gay marriage is wrong for human beings. In fact, gay marriage is so bad for the rest of the world, the Catholic leadership wants lawmakers to pass a new law forbidding it. It’s about six weeks before an election, see, and the church would really like its people to vote for candidates who oppose gay marriage.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune published this piece last week (Sept. 20).

Then, an art curator at the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis decided to produce a sculpture using DVDs provided to her by other Catholics who are opposed to its content. It’s her way of taking a stand against the church’s teaching on gay marriage. She was summarily terminated from her job, of course, and the Star Tribune published this article about the debacle.

As I read the story and readers’ comments, this one struck me as the most relevant…so I wanted to share it here. Naturally, not all good Catholics are anti-marriage. Some actually think with a reasonable and “modern” process about the issue. Here’s the reader’s comment from the newspaper:

Where did the $400,000 for the DVD come from?

First, I’m a parishioner at St. Mary’s, and like many fellow parishioners, my wife and I are planning to donate the archbishop’s DVD to Ms. Naylor’s art work. We feel this work of art is the perfect response to the archbishop’s actions, and it’s the Holy Spirit at work. Second, the archbishop has clearly crossed a line of political lobbying that is totally inappropriate. The church lobbies on behalf of the poor, children and others who need the protection of the church. The church builds schools, hospitals and shelters to serve, according to Christ’s command. That’s not what this DVD is about. This is the archbishop telling Catholics how to vote to change the constitution of the secular state of Minnesota. Minnesota and the United States are secular institutions which have laws and constitutions to protect the rights of all–regardless of religious belief. Instead of fighting for the poor, Archbishop Nienstedt is fighting to get Catholic theology into the constitution of the state of Minnesota where it would govern anyone, Catholic or not. We’re not a theocracy–like Iran or Saudi Arabia. We’re America, a secular society, and one of our core beliefs is freedom of religion. That includes freedom *from* religion. I don’t want my church dictating to people outside the church. It used to be illegal to buy contraceptives in many states, because archbishops demanded laws against it. They misused the authority of the church then, just as Archbishop Nienstedt has misused his authority now. Finally, I have to ask: where did this $400,000 come from? Was it a donor? Who was the donor? What else has the donor given money to? And if it wasn’t from a donor, how can the Archbishop order $400,000 be taken from the church’s budget and spent on this theocratic attempt to deprive some non-catholics of their civil rights? That money could run a daycare center in north Minneapolis for 250 kids for a year. Or a homeless shelter. Or it could have been spent lobbying the legislature to stop cutting funding for education. The number one subject Christ talks about in the New Testament is about the poor–not fighting to take away rights that are due to others. The appropriate place for the archbishop to plead his case for the church’s view of the institution of marriage is from the pulpit. Instead he wasted desperately needed $400,000 of funds on an arrogant attempt to decree Catholic law should be secular law. Each year there is a special collection at St. Mary’s, as in all diocese churches, for the Archbishops Fund. Each year as the scandals have grown in the church, the amount of donations has shrunk. So long as Archbishop Nienstedt leads the bishops of Minnesota in this kind of arrogant theocratic campaigns, ours is one parish household that will give our money elsewhere to help the poor and the forgotten. Rohn Jay Miller, parishioner at the Basilica of St. Mary.

Amen Brother!

-end-

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A few days off from writing and it feels like, “Where do I begin?” What’s more, I wonder, “What have I got to write about that hasn’t been written?” But, it’s my blog and I’ll write what I want. Doesn’t really matter if the wisdom or words of flotsam I pass on mean anything to anyone (but it always does).

Resurrecting an older post, here are a few random thoughts:

  • I sat alone on Christmas day, just me, the cat, a book, and the TV remote. Less than four miles away, in a house I once owned and shared, my two kids celebrated Christmas with their Mom and her side of the family. With snow in the air, the Christmas tree twinkling its red and white lights, and a little background noise from “The Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End,” (which I watched…twice), I felt a comfortable sense of peace. Through it all (and by it, I mean through the divorce process which kicked into high gear two years ago), we’ve emerged in better-than-expected condition. What seemed to be the world’s end for us has resulted in many beginnings, new starts and renewed optimism. Life is too short to live it sad and unfulfilled. Two years ago I was only saying it. But now I am really alive again and each day is better than the last.

It’s not just about living forever. It’s about living with yourself forever.” –Captain Teague (Keith Richards) from Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

  • As elusive as love tends to make itself, most people I talk to agree that having it in your life is much better than not. We all have someone who loves us: Kids, family, secret admirers, stalkers. Those of us in search of the all-elusive romantic love…the kind that just fits and sits well with us, like a favorite pair of jeans, or shoes, or baseball cap, must keep our heads about ourselves. We can be dreamers as well as realists when it comes to love and being in love. And because we’ve been around the block a time or two, we can also be a little on the selective side. I’ve been waiting for the right moment to share this video from Ray LaMontagne and Damien Rice. Here they cover the Bee Gees, “To Love Somebody.”
Lyrics:
There’s a light
A certain kind of light
That never shone on me
I wanted my whole life to be
Lived with you
Lived with you
There is a way everybody say
To do each and every thing
Oh but what good does it bring
If I ain’t got you, if I ain’t got you?
Baby
You don’t know what it’s like, baby
You don’t know what it’s like
To love somebody
To love somebody
The way I love you
In my brain
I see your face again
I know my frame of mind
How you got to be so unkind
And I’m blind, have I gone blind?
But I’m a man, can’t you see what I am
I live and breathe for you
Oh but what good does it do
If I ain’t got you, ain’t got you?
Baby
You don’t know what it’s like, baby
You don’t know what it’s like
To love somebody
To love somebody
The way I love you
Baby,
You don’t know what it’s like, baby
You don’t know what it’s like
To love somebody
To love somebody
The way I love you
  • I’m reading profiles and background information on Democratic candidates who are running for President of the United States. Let’s face it, there’s no chance in hell a Republican wins the 2008 presidential election unless Bush pulls our military out of Iraq (which he won’t do because he’s incredibly stubborn when it comes to admitting mistakes). So, I’m thinking: Hillary. Obama. Hillary. Obama. Hillary. Obama. Hillary? Obama. Obama. Obama. Obama.
  • I continue to be a bit confused on how assumptive e-mail spammers are when it comes to my needs. For example, should I not be offended when a subject line from an e-mail spam reads, “Want a larger male organ?” And lately many spammers are hunching that they can match me with a “special buddy” in my city who is apparently a nymphomaniac. Of course if I choose to ignore these appeals, I can always “play craps online for free.” I wonder if they’re going to give me free money to lose in my crap-playing activity? And if I do lose and am unable to pay my debt, will a thug appear at my door and break my knee caps?

I think I’ll just continue to read, write and enjoy my day job instead of getting lost in all these intriguing e-mail offers. As long as I keep hitting the delete button I’m thinking I’ll save myself several trips to the emergency room.

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