Monday, July 10, 2006

Reaching Out

Ancient Evergreen,
boughs through pale translucent drapes,
a proud offering

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Evil Awaits Every Opportunity

There are words civilized people will not utter. There are actions that cultured people will always refuse to employ.

These are the limits that agents of evil blow past.

Captain's Quarters chronicles one of them here:
Jeff Goldstein, who has always been a friend to CQ from its earliest days, has found himself and his family the target of some despicable threats, apparently from an academic at the University of Arizona. This series of e-mails allegedly came from Deb Frisch, a professor of psychology at Arizona with some history of on-line histrionics:
"I’d like to hear more about your “tyke” by the way. Girl? Boy? Toddler? Teen? Are you still married to the woman you ephed to give birth to the tyke?

Tell all, bro!"


"[...] as I said elsewhere, if I woke up tomorrow and learned that someone else had shot you and your “tyke” it wouldn’t slow me down one iota. You aren’t “human” to me."


" Ooh. Two year old boy. Sounds hot. You live in Colorado, I see. Hope no one Jon-Benets your baby.

Are you still married to the woman you humped to produce the toddler? "


Give your pathetic progeny (I sure hope that mofo got good genes from his mama!) a big fat tongue-filled kiss from me! LOTS AND LOTS OF SALIVA from Auntie MOONBAT, if you don’t mind!

Somehow, Jeffy boy, I think you get off on the possibility of Frenching your pathetic progeny, even if it is a boy. You seem like a VERY, VERY sick mofo to me, bro.
If this came from Frisch, then perhaps she would be better off the subject of psychotherapy than teaching it. In any case, regardless of whether you agree with Jeff's politics or not, we should all join in condemning this kind of attack on anyone. I'd condemn this kind of sick, perverted threat if it was aimed at anyone in the blogosphere. Nor do I think this is indicative of anyone's politics; I've had plenty of debate even with hard-Left bloggers and commenters without ever encountering anything like this. Namecalling is petty and childish, but it goes with the territory and immature people across the political spectrum engage in it. These threats have nothing to do with politics, and everything to do with intimidation, a kind of terrorism, in its way.
Ms. Frisch has resigned her position at UA over this incident. She also manages to blame her victim for her own agregious behavior. What a surprise.

Anyone that would implicitly threaten an opponent's child has forsaken the right to be considered civilized. She flirts with sins that cry out to heaven. May she come to repent of her evil and rejoin the society she has abandoned.

And may God strengthen Mr. Goldstein and his family in their dark hour.

Come, Lord Jesus! Come!

Hamas continues its ignorance.

How would this scenario play in Gaza if Israel and the PA had reversed roles?

Let's say Massad conducted a daring raid by tunneling into Gaza. Let's say they made it back to Israel with a Hamas "militant." If the PA responded with mass homicide bombings, and the Israelis offered them a truce, would the Hamas-led government accept it?

I doubt it.

Unfortunately for the Palestinians, Hamas doesn't get it yet

THE JOURNAL NEWS, courtesy of the AP, has the latest:
The Hamas-led Palestinian government called for a cease-fire Saturday in its violent two-week standoff with Israel, but Israel rejected the offer because it did not call for releasing a soldier held by Hamas militants.

Officials in Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office said he would not agree to a truce until Hamas freed Cpl. Gilad Shalit, whose capture two weeks ago provoked Israel to invade the Gaza Strip and bombard it with artillery barrages and airstrikes.

Earlier, an Israeli Cabinet minister said Israel hopes the fighting, which has killed more than 40 Palestinians and an Israeli soldier, eventually will lead to a broader cease-fire deal.

In fighting Saturday, Israeli troops exchanged fire with Palestinian gunmen, and army bulldozers searched for militants' tunnels near Gaza City. In northern Gaza, tanks pulled out of Beit Lahiya, leaving a wide swath of destruction after trying to carve out a buffer zone against rockets there. Two Hamas gunmen and a Palestinian wounded in earlier fighting died.

Israel's two-week military campaign in Gaza - its broadest since ending its 38-year occupation last year - has put the Hamas government under growing pressure. Israel also has arrested dozens of Palestinian Cabinet ministers and Hamas lawmakers.

The five-point truce proposal that Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas issued Saturday called on Israel to halt its offensive and release prisoners, but said little about what Hamas is prepared to do in return.

"If we want to get out of the current crisis, it is necessary to return to calm, on the basis of a mutual halt to all military operations," said a statement issued by Cabinet spokesman Ghazi Hamad in Haniyeh's name.

Hamas also urged Israel to open negotiations over the fate of Shalit, 19.

However, Hamas often sends out conflicting signals, partly because of divisions between a more militant leadership in Syria and more pragmatic politicians in Gaza. Israel has largely held the Hamas political chief, Syrian-based Khaled Mashaal, responsible for the soldier's kidnapping.
What Hutzbah! Hamas invades Israel, kidnaps an Israeli soldier and then has the guliones to not only ask Israel for a truce, but to negotiate the soldier's release.

Are they truly shocked that Israel has said no?

How about this: Hamas returns the kidnapped soldier to the IDF immediately. Since Israel currently assaults Gaza in order to clear border areas of terrorists and facilitate the soldier's recovery, they should have no reason to continue hostilities once he's returned.

Unfortunately for the Palestinian people, this does nothing to promote the Hamas mouth-foamers' agenda of driving Israel into the sea. Therefore, continue to watch Hamas whine while Palestinians--70% of whom supported Hamas in their last election--suffer.

A tragic waste.

Today's Weekly Mow

Afternoon scortcher:
Face the backyard jungle with
sputtering tractor!

Friday, July 07, 2006

FBI thrwarts Islamofascists

Just remember: when in doubt, just keep saying, "It's all Bush's fault. It's all Bush's fault."

After all, many Reasonable pundits and advocates of the Agenda will wax mouth-foamic about how the GWOT is merely a pretext for Bush to implement his Neoconisciou Empire.

Then the blood-lusters remind us Fools once again on who the true enemy is.

WP covers the story here:
Authorities have disrupted planning by foreign terrorists for an attack on New York City tunnels, two law enforcement officials said Friday. FBI agents monitoring Internet chat rooms used by extremists learned in recent months of the plot to strike a blow at the city's economy by destroying vital transportation networks, one official said.

Lebanese authorities, acting on a U.S. request, have arrested one of the alleged plotters, identified as Amir Andalousli, the other official said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is still under way.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said, "This is one instance where intelligence was on top of its game and discovered the plot when it was just in the talking phase."

The planning for the tunnel attacks was first reported by the New York Daily News in its Friday editions, the first anniversary of the attacks on the London transportation system that killed 52 people.

It was unclear how far along the planning was.

"At this time we have no indication of any imminent threat to the New York transportation system, or anywhere else in the U.S.," Richard Kolko, Washington-based FBI special agent, said in a statement to Associated Press Radio.
The Al-qaeda wannabe franchisees would have loved to celebrate the anniversary of the London bombings with the demolition of the Holland Tunnel. Thankfully, our counter-terrorism efforts succeeded.

Perhaps this story will silence the unhinged conspiracy rhetoric from our more extreme mouth-foamers. But I won't hold my breath!

Gay marriage nixed by state's high court

My, my, how the chorus changes when the melody turns. Suddenly the rabid supporters of Judicial fiat rend their garments as NYS' arm of the Judiciarium acts like a court!

NYS' court of appeals declined to redefine an institution that predates every known civilization.

Of course, behold how the Reasonable mouth-foamers for Absolute Individualism and the Gay Collective frame the issue: "Gay marriage nixed by state's high court" sayz this headline from the Journal News.

Take a closer look:
Gay-marriage supporters vowed to take their fight to state lawmakers yesterday after New York's top court ruled that the state's constitution provides no right to marriage for gays and lesbians.

In a 4-2 decision, the Court of Appeals said gay marriage was not a question for state courts but the state Legislature.

Judge Robert Smith wrote for the court: "We hold that the New York Constitution does not compel recognition of marriages between members of the same sex. Whether such marriages should be recognized is a question to be addressed by the Legislature."

However, the judges did not leave it at that. They found that the limitation on marriage was consistent with the state's constitution, that it did not deprive gays and lesbians of their rights to equal protection under the law and that the Legislature had a "common-sense" rationale for promoting only opposite-sex marriages.

And they rejected arguments that a ban on gay marriages was akin to a ban on interracial marriages decades ago.

"By limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples, New York is not engaging in sex discrimination," Smith wrote.

Several of the gay couples who filed suit gathered at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church in Manhattan with their legal representatives and civil-rights groups to condemn the decision.

"It's a sad day in New York," said Susan Sommer, senior counsel at Lambda Legal and the lead attorney in one of the lawsuits. "The New York Court of Appeals turned its back on these families."

Smith was joined in his opinion by fellow conservative judge Susan Read and the most liberal member, George Bundy Smith. Judge Victoria Graffeo, another conservative, joined in the ruling but issued a separate, concurring opinion.

Chief Judge Judith Kaye and Carmen Ciparick strongly disagreed with the majority. Writing for the dissenters, Kaye said: "This state has a proud tradition of affording equal rights to all New Yorkers. Sadly, the court today retreats from that proud tradition."

Further, Kaye chided her colleagues for essentially misunderstanding the case, using the wrong analysis and employing "circular reasoning."

Departing from her colleagues, Kaye said that marriage is a fundamental right and added: "Simply put, fundamental rights are fundamental rights. They are not defined in terms of who is entitled to exercise them."

Judge Albert Rosenblatt, whose daughter has advocated for gay and lesbian couples in California, had recused himself from the case.

The decision combined four lawsuits from around the state involving 44 gay and lesbian couples who had been denied marriage licenses — including Heather McDonnell and Carol Snyder of White Plains, and Sylvia Samuels and Diane Gallagher of Mount Vernon. It upheld the decisions by mid-level courts and an analysis by Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, who has said the state's domestic-relations law does not provide for gay marriage. Gov. George Pataki's Health Department also had refused to grant marriage licenses for gays and lesbians.

New York is not the only state wrestling with the issue. Georgia's top court yesterday reinstated the state's constitutional ban on gay marriage. Top courts in New Jersey and Washington are deliberating similar cases. At the moment, Massachusetts is the only state where courts have ruled to legalize gay marriage.

The New York ruling was devastating to gay-marriage supporters who had hoped the court would step in where the Legislature hasn't.

"Today is a shameful day in New York state's history," said Sen. Tom Duane, D-Manhattan, the lone openly gay state senator and sponsor of a bill to authorize gay marriage. "Instead of a moral, legal and constitutional victory, the (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered) community now faces a dragged-out political street brawl in the state Senate and Assembly. That is a shame. It did not have to be this way."
Yes, it's such a crying shame. The people of the state of NY must now consider a monumental change to their way of life through the branch of government responsible for legislating laws. The elected representatives of voters must now pass--or deny--laws that transform in institution of marriage in the state. O the humanity!

Of course, the sophistry surrounding the latest prize of the Gay Rights movement exceeds all bounds:
Yonkers resident Michael Sabatino, 55, was not one of the lawsuits' litigants, but he spoke at a pro-same-sex marriage rally last night in White Plains, one of seven in New York.

"It's very devastating, and it's not only the decision. It's what they said in the decision, that we can't procreate. That is not true," Sabatino said earlier in the day. "The reality is we do procreate and we do have children and we do have families."
Gay couples can now procreate? Wow! The lifestyle that by definition excludes the conception of children can now contradict its very nature! Those that practice homosexuality, and demand the State equate their relationships with married couples, now claim they can conceive children. Mr. Sabatino might want to put down the kool-aid for a moment.

Not that this will surprise anyone, but Reasonable journalist Yancey Roy distorts the record on how the Catholic Church treated Mr. Sabatino and his partner. Here's Mr. Roy's account:
Sabatino was married to Robert Voorheis in Canada in 2003. Shortly afterward, they were asked to leave their Roman Catholic parish when the marriage received media attention.
Here's what really happened:
A Catholic pastor ordered two men out of the choir because they went public with their gay wedding, the men said. Michael Sabatino Jr., who has sung in the choir for 32 years, said he and his partner, Robert Voorheis, were confronted Oct. 19 by Monsignor Edmund Whalen as they entered St. Benedict’s Church in the Bronx. Between Sept. 28 and Oct. 5, the Yonkers men had been profiled on the front page of the Journal News, featured in an article on gay marriage on and married in a United Church of Canada ceremony in Ontario that was announced in the New York Times. Whalen “told us he couldn’t have us in a public ministry after going public in the newspapers,” Sabatino told the Journal News. “He said, ‘I have parishioners who are complaining.’” Whalen referred questions to Joseph Zwilling, a spokesperson for the Archdiocese of New York, who said, “I don’t know these individuals or the specifics of their circumstances, but in the church, if … there would be a possibility that the teachings of the church would be questioned … a pastor has not only the right but the obligation to act.”
Mr. Roy appears to be under the impression that membership in a choir is mandatory for Catholics in good standing. I guess I've never been part of any parish that I've lived within, then; I've never been a part of any choir.

A pastor of a Catholic Church refused to allow two Catholics that had persisted in public scandal and grave sin from continuing to minister in the Church. What a Foolish decision. What a refreshing one! But to Mr. Roy and the Reasonable mouth-foamers for the collective, that pastor has unReasonably discriminated against these men. Therefore, it's alright to claim that the Catholic Church banned them from their parish. Any spin that helps a reasonable cause is clearly fair game.

The more the mouth-foamers rend their garments and condemn the courts for upholding Democracy, the more they'll alienate the Joe-and-Jane Six-pack contigent that fills the silent majority. Americans like fairness, not imperial dictates. If the Reasonable advocates of gay marriage truly believe in their cause, they shouldn't be ashamed to pursue its passage through the legislature.

But when did fairness ever enter into their plans for pushing the Agenda?

June Morning Sun

Sheaves of morning sun
Bathe through the pale bedroom drapes
to the antique chair

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Paranoid and Pointless Sabre Rattling

I once taught an emotionally disturbed student that didn't know his limits. He aggressively threatened any student that crossed his path--no matter who it was. One day, he tried to start a fight with a new student. A huge, new student. The boy absolutely dwarfed the antagonist, in fact. Before I could intervene, the larger boy had grabbed the bottom of the emotionally disturbed boys jacket and pulled it over his head. Then he forced the crazed child to the ground, laughing the entire time.

After I broke them up, the emotionally disturbed student still tried to fight the laughing giant.

Why do I suddenly have Deja Vu?

Here's a sample of the latest laugher from Kim Jong ll:
North Korea angrily mocked international criticism of its multiple missile tests, threatening on Thursday to fire off more rockets.

In the face of nearly unanimous world condemnation of the seven missile tests on Wednesday, Pyongyang's foreign minister released a blustery statement declaring that it had the right to develop and test its weapons — and vowing unspecified retaliation against anyone who tries to stop it.

"Our military will continue with missile launch drills in the future as part of efforts to strengthen self-defense deterrent," said the statement, carried in state-run media. "If anyone intends to dispute or add pressure about this, we will have to take stronger physical actions in other forms."

The statement did not specify what actions North Korea would take.

The aggressive stance from Pyongyang coincided with intense diplomatic activity in world capitals to formulate a response to the tests. Washington and its allies — particularly Japan — clamored for sanctions against the North, but struggled against resistance by China and Russia.

North Korea set off an international furor on Wednesday when it tested seven missiles, all of which landed into the Sea of Japan without causing any damage. The blasts apparently included a long-range Taepodong-2 that broke up less than a minute after takeoff and splashed into the sea.
The trouble is that North Korea's latest bluster follows the righteous world condemnation it received for its illicit missle test. Mr. Jong ll's unhinged paranoia about an imminent US invasion drives him to provoke his regional neighbors into mayhem. He may soon find that the US is the least of his worries. I seriously doubt that a resurgent China with interests in economic triumph will tolerate a nuclear failed totalitarian state on its border. Never mind what Japan might do if NK continues hurling ballistic missles into the Sea of Japan.

Mr. ll may prove the Kinks right yet: paranoia will destroy ya!

Micro-credit introduces Hope

The poor will always be with us, Jeus has said, but that's no excuse to ignore or exploit them. What has troubled people of goodwill since Christ's time, however, has been how to help the poor.

Within the last two centuries, philosophies as diverse as socialism and the Austrian School of Free-Market capitalism have debated the best course of action. The predictable result has been a great deal of heat, little light and even less relief from the poor.

That's why stories like this refresh me.

INDIAN CATHOLIC has the details of how micro-credit has liberated some of the impoverished in India.

Taste and see the hope:
A micro-credit program managed by a Catholic nun is encouraging village women to develop the habit of saving, get out of the cycle of debt and start livelihood activities.

Sister Josephine Moses started the project in September last year in Thaniwa, a village in Padaung township, about 400 kilometers northwest of Yangon. It now has 15 women as members.

The Our Lady of the Missions nun applied to Karuna Myanmar Social Services (KMSS), the local Church's social-action agency, to support the project after she took part in a Community Development Course that KMSS ran in 2003.

Sister Moses, who is responsible for the local Catholic women's group, first formed the micro-credit union with 11 married women, after explaining to them the rationale and policies as well as how it could benefit them.

The members have been saving 500 kyat (about US$0.40 in street value) a month since then. From November 2005, members were able to take out loans of 50,000 kyat to start small businesses such as trading, weaving and pig raising. The money comes from a KMSS grant and money pooled by the women.

The loans are given with an interest rate of 5 percent a month, of which 2 percent goes toward the borrower's savings and 3 percent into the common fund.

Yin Shwe, a member, says farmer families in the predominantly agricultural area have been caught in a cycle of debt.

She told UCA News that in the past they had to borrow money at interest rates of up to 15 percent a month in order to hire additional labor during the planting season and to be able to pay their children's school fees. The start of the school year coincides with the start of the planting season.

With such high interest rates, much of their earnings from crop sales after harvest went back to the "rich people." Now with the micro-credit program, she said, the people are more secure.

Hla Kyi, another member, told UCA News all loans must be repaid within three years, and only members may borrow money from the fund.

Sister Moses admits it was difficult at first to organize the micro-credit union, because people are not used to saving money. On May 19, she shared her experience of starting and managing the project at a session involving alumni of Karuna's Community Development Course. The nun took part in KMSS' second national-level course, March 16-May 18, 2003, conducted partly in Yangon and partly in Liektho, Kayin state.

The micro-credit union in Padaung is participatory in nature and is flexible, according to the nun. She said that making a difference in the grassroots community is a fulfilling experience. "Our future plan is to establish a rice bank by the end of 2007," she added.
Sister Moses free-enterprise adaptation allowed these women to participate in their own solution. By eliminating the usury interest promoted by the questionable regulatory environment of their region, Sister Moses' program helps these women to help themselves out of poverty.

More subsidiarity-in-action and personal-empowerment CST solutions to poverty, please!

Patriarch Positive on Russian Orthodox/Roman Catholic Unity

The shadow deepens every day. More and more the influential celebrate the denigration of the Truth. The Dictatorship of Relativism tightens its tyrannic grip. In the face of this gathering gloom, the world needs the light of the Gospel.

The union of the Roman Catholic and Russian Orthodox Church would further the spreading of the light.

Patriarch Alexy II understands this.

Catholic News Agency has the latest on the troubled relations:
Russian Patriarch Alexy II insisted on the need for the Russian Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches to cooperate facing the challenges of the current culture in modern Europe, reported Interfax.

The primate of the Russian church made the comment at the World Religious Summit, held in Moscow, from July 3 to 5.

Uniting the two churches with a common position on issues of the day, “presents a wonderful opportunity to witness about Christian values before the world,” he said.

Alexy II also thanked Pope Benedict XVI for his support for the summit and said the participation of a Vatican delegation at the interreligious summit “testifies to the positive development of relations between the Russian Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches. The Pope did not attend the summit.

Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, said the Vatican shares the concerns of the Russian Orthodox Church about attempts to marginalize religion in Europe and throughout the world.
Christ himself warned us that a house divided against itself cannot stand. For far too long, Christianity has stood divided while the enemies of Truth and Love prey on the vulnerable. Let us all pray that the Church, whom Christ himself united through the shedding of his blood, become one again. The world deserves a united witness to the truth. Isn't it time we gave such a testimony?

Nature v. Humanity in Miniature

The whine of water,
press against the faucet seal
of the hose roller.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Ken Lay has died

The Washington Post reports that Enron Founder Ken Lay Dead of Heart Attack:
"The recently convicted former Enron chairman Kenneth L. Lay, 64, died early today in Aspen, Colo., a family spokeswoman and the sheriff's office said. Lay, convicted of fraud and conspiracy for his part in the Houston-based energy company's collapse, had faced the possibility of life in prison at his sentencing scheduled for October.

Family spokeswoman Kelly Kimberly said Lay died of a heart attack. A statement from the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office said deputies and an ambulance were sent to Lay's vacation home in Old Snowmass near Aspen at 1:41 a.m. for 'a medical emergency.'
Kenneth L. Lay, the former Enron chairman who was convicted in May for his role in the accounting fraud that led to the energy giant's collapse in 2001, died of a sudden heart attack on July 5 while vacationing at his home in Aspen, Colo. He was 64.

'Mr. Lay was transported to Aspen Valley Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 3:11 a.m.,' the statement said. 'A coroner's autopsy is pending.' The statement said the autopsy results will be available later this week.

'The Lays have a very large family with whom they need to communicate, and out of respect for the family, we will release further details at a later time,' a statement from the Lay family said.

On Friday, federal prosecutors asked a judge to order Lay and former Enron executive Jeffrey K. Skilling to turn over $182.2 million in assets, arguing that their homes and other assets were acquired by fraud.

In May, a federal jury convicted Lay of each of the half-dozen counts with which he was charged and found his protege Skilling guilty of 19 more, pinning them with the responsibility for one of the era's biggest and most damaging business frauds. The two men were ordered to return to court for sentencing on Oct. 23."
Mr. Lay's crimes caused immense suffering to Enron's employees, stockholders and the nation as a whole. His legacy will be the equation of his company with unadulterated corruption.

I pray for his sake that he repented of his sins and received God's mercy through Christ our Lord. May his family find comfort in this distressing time.

May the victims of his crimes find the serenity in their hearts to forgive him. It's the only way they'll bring the tragedy of Enron to an end.

Bloggers Recover together: one year after July 7.

My Way News has the story here.

Witness the sorrow:

(British Rachel North, a survivor from the July 7 London bombings poses for a photographer in central London Wednesday June 28, 2006, one week ahead of the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the British capitol. North, a 35-year-old advertising executive, has become a reluctant figurehead. She has drawn 150,000 readers to her online journal, which described the horror of the blast on a Piccadilly line carriage that killed 25 passengers. (AP Photo/Christopher Pledger))
Bloodied and bewildered strangers led each other from the wreckage of the London bombings last July 7. A year later, many of them have forged close bonds - sharing their experiences in a network of blogs.

Dozens of the 700 injured in the train and bus blasts have recounted their stories online and are using them to press the British government for a full public inquiry.

Advertising executive Rachel North, 35, has become a reluctant figurehead, drawing 150,000 readers to her online journal, which described the horror of the blast on a Piccadilly line carriage that killed 25 passengers.

As she rode the subway just six feet away from 19-year-old suicide bomber Jermaine Lindsay, North already was recalling an earlier trauma: reading a newly published magazine article about her rape in 2002, when a teenage assailant tied a wire noose around her neck and beat her unconscious.

North suffered only minor wounds in the bombing and returned home within hours. Unable to sleep, she posted a message on an Internet forum, describing the sickening feeling of the new attack.

"Clouds of choking smoke filled the tube carriage ... I thought I was about to die, or was dead," she wrote. "There was silence for 10 secs. Then a terrible screaming."

"In 2002, when I was first attacked, I'd found reading the experiences of others who'd gone through the same thing helped, so I wanted to get my experience out," North told The Associated Press in an interview.

"It was cathartic for me, but I also hoped it would be read by those struggling with shock."

Soon after her first post, North was contacted by a survivor who had already taken the difficult first step of returning to London's Underground. A day later, nauseous and shaking with fear, North returned to the subway and, by chance, met a third anxious survivor.

From those meetings grew King's Cross United - a network of 110 victims of Lindsay's bomb, including members from Spain, Turkey and Singapore - who trade advice on a Web site and meet in person.
They endured the horrors of the July 7 bombings alone. They recover from the together.

That's a lesson we can all continue to learn.

That's why we're Church, after all.

We sinned against God, ourselves and those in our lives all on our own. We recover from those sins, and from the devestations they caused, when we repent and rejoin God and our neighbors. In other words, when we're sick to the point of death, it's time to head to the hospital. That's what we are as Church together. We're in the hospital to heal. Christ is the physician that treats us.

And the funny thing is, Church works the same way when we're sinned against. Shattered by those sins others commit against us, we can drown alone in our bitterness, resentment and pain. Or we can forgive. It's easier to forgive when we do it united with our Savior. In other words, when we're under the Physicians care, we act healthier.

Rachel North and her peers gathered together to heal from the horrors they experienced. Let's follow their example as we unite together with each other and our Savior.

Between Unrelenting Rainfalls

Drops on narrow leaves,
Slight quiver, the weight of rain,
Torrents on the way.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Fourth of July!

(photo courtesy of Julie D.)

We began with a vision enacted as an act of insurrection. In the pursuit of our own destiny as a nation upon the Earth, we became something new. As G.K Chesterton observed, we became the first nation on Earth born not of ethnicity or race, but of creed. While we have all fallen far short of the ideals for which our ancestors committed their lives, we can take heart that they exist:

We may not have realized it then, but our Declaration of Independence established for our America a mission in the world:
It is extremely evident from history and from an accurate reading of “the signs of the times” that the American people have a special mission of service in the world. God has abundantly blessed your forebears and the land they settled in: it is no wonder that he permits so many people throughout the world to place so much hope in America. How many refugees and immigrants have found new life in your land!

I am sure that this visit of yours to Europe is in fact placed under the sign of solidarity - a solidarity that you wish to manifest as representatives of the American people, a solidarity that transcends your national boundaries and reaches out to peoples everywhere.

I am sure that every day you pose questions to yourselves: What can we do to be of service to our people? And what can we do to enable our people to fulfill their role of service to their fellow human beings? In a word: How can we advance the great cause of human solidarity? In your search, you certainly come face to face with immense problems, urgent needs, critical situations. But in all of this you must remain conscious of your mission: service and solidarity. And certainly in this service and solidarity there is great human enrichment for the American people, who are themselves confirmed in their traditions and strengthened in their own identity.

But in order to make a lasting contribution of service, in order to promote the true solidarity of peoples, America must remain faithful to herself as “one Nation under God”, being truly conscious - in the expression of your own Declaration of Independence - of “Nature’s God”, of the “Creator”, of “the Supreme Judge” and of “the Protection of Divine Providence”.

In the awareness of this dependence on God, America is then able to sustain the defense of those rights which your Founding Fathers reverently spoke of as “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.
Today, we Americans celebrate our independence day. Let us do so mindful that we became free for service to each other and the world. Let us enjoy our freedom in the greatest way we can: by offering ourselves in service to the ones that need us most!
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness...
Happy Fourth of July, everyone!

Fourth of July, 1776 and beyond

Firm hands, one parchment;
Lives, fortunes, honor at risk:
Their vision still stands!