Category Archives: Catholics

The Original Intention Of Our Founding Fathers

I have spent my life in the study of American history, and at one point even wrote a history of the United States of America. I have read the words of our Founding Fathers, James Madison or Alexander Hamilton or George Washington, and definitely what Thomas Jefferson wrote about religious freedom. The First Amendment to the Constitution dealt with FREEDOM. Our Founding Fathers were concerned about Freedom of speech, of thought, and definitely of religion. I am not a legal scholar in any way,shape or form compared to the knowledge of Justice Scalia or Justice Roberts or any of the so-called Original Intention judges claiming to know what was in the minds of our Founding Fathers. Unfortunately, for this group of “legal scholars” it is quite clear they are not “scholars” when it comes to history nor when it comes to our Founding Fathers. The Hobby Lobby most probably has our Founding Fathers up in Heaven shaking their heads in confusion and bewilderment that any so-called, “scholar” would believe it was their intention that one’s religious views were more important than the views of our political leaders.

Most important for our Founding Fathers was: SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE. They wanted an end to government having links to churches and imposing a “government view” upon the inhabitants of America. They wanted a world in which all could pray as they desired, and that no religion could be linked to operations of the government. Jefferson once said he wanted his fight to separate church and state to be mentioned on his tomb stone. Allowing a corporation to insist their religious views allowed them to refuse to obey the government would have shocked Jefferson.

And, by the way, Justice Scalia, our Founding Fathers differed and argued throughout the Constitutional Convention, there was no ONE INTENTION. However, it is clear that all agreed on separation of church and state. It would be patriotic if Catholic Supreme Court Justices separated THEIR RELIGIOUS VIEWS from their role as judges who do not represent the Catholic Church on matters of legality. Their responsibility is to represent the views of Americans in 2014.

Drug Cartels In Mexico Vs People

I continue to be confused about drug wars in Mexico. One would assume the Mexican army when sent to confront drug cartels would be able to gain victory on the field of battle. However, the figures are quite clear as to who is winning which battle. Since 2007, about 85,000 Mexicans have been murdered by drug cartels who battle one another as well as torment the lives of innocent Mexicans. In the state of Michoacan self defense vigilante groups have emerged. They are tired of the kidnapping, the brutality, the extortion, and the murder that goes on and on. OK, one can blame we Americans for creating this mess due to our drug laws which only transform poor into wealthy Mexican gangs. They draw upon our desire for drugs in order to murder their fellow Mexicans as gangs battle one another for control of this or that drug territory.

How come a modern army possessing tanks, planes, armed helicopters and a navy is unable to defeat in combat drug gangs? I am confused. The only logical explanation is the ineptness of the Mexican “army.” The Mexican army cannot even sweep through a town with tanks and weapons in order to clean up a single area. How come? Perhaps, the vigilante groups are the only intelligent mechanism to defeat drug lords. Of course, if these vigilantes win, they most probably will transform themselves into a new drug gang and the story will repeat itself over and over again.

How about legalizing drugs in America, and allow the Federal government to supervise sale of drugs in government certified stores?

The Making Of Modern America

There is scant doubt that modern America is witnessing a societal division not seen since the decades preceding the Civil War. No, we are not headed for a violent combat in which thousands die. However, lost in the current division is an understanding as to what has happened to American society over the past three decades.

1. Passing from New Immigrants to Newer immigrants. Between the years 1880- 1924, about twenty five immigrants entered the United States. Most were poor, most came from southern and eastern Europe. A high percent were Catholic or Jewish. By 1914 one out of four Americans was an immigrant or child of one. This group encountered severe discrimination, and it required two World Wars in which their children fought for America before barriers of discrimination finally collapsed. It was not until the 1970s that this group was embraced as “true Americans.” There was an unspoken assumption that America had finally completed its immigration process, and now the task was to create a united society in which all were equal. The process of how to accomplish this goal were still unclear, but a majority of Americans wanted this goal.

2. The arrival of large numbers of immigrants from Latin America, the West Indies and Asia created in the mind of many Americans a sense of, “when will immigration finally end and we can just live as Americans?” There were no world wars in which immigrant children would serve and forge bonds of patriotism with other Americans. This lack of a national threat which required the contributions of ALL Americans never enabled these New Immigrants to become bonded with Americans in the cause of societal survival.

3. Republican anger over rise of Democrats to power. Between 1860- 1932, Democrat Presidents were in power only 16 years. The remaining 56 years witnessed a Republican as president. For many Republicans, this became the “norm.” The Depression ushered in a twenty year period in which Democrats were president, and then an eight year period beginning with the election of President Kennedy. For many Republicans who had never been able to assimilate with the New Immigrants, Democrats became associated with –Foreigners. Loss of power was due to the presence of these “foreign elements.”

4. The Cold War. Americans never enjoyed at least a decade of peace in the aftermath of World War II. Suddenly, their ally, the Soviet Union, became a force that threatened the very survival of America. But, didn’t America fight for three years to END global threats to its survival? Instead of peace came forty-five years of threats to our existence. This unleashed the power of Senator Joseph McCarthy and those who became professional doomsday forecasters. We have never recovered from McCarthyism. It simply took on new names, and new devils who were betraying our society.

5. The glory of Individualism. Both liberals and conservatives believe in INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS. Both glorify the right to be an individual who is not bound to any form or allegiance to a societal leadership. An Individual is NOT part of a community. An individual stands apart from community. Pay taxes to construct roads and bridges, heck, I take the subway to work or I drive my car and why should I care about roads in Wyoming? I only care about ME and MY concerns. I do so have the right to bring a gun to church! I am I, not we.

6. Rethinking of Community. The social media has revolutionized the concept of “community.” I am 83 and was raised in a community. My community was east European Jews and we shopped in community stores, we played with friends from the community, we aided one another to get jobs, and we shared many common political and social values. Social media has put an end to such concepts of “community.” The bonds of a working class community included aiding youth to get jobs or identifying who to marry. The path from youth to maturity were strewn with links to a adult life. Social media does not provide that structure for youth.

7. The “Nigger in the woodpile.” At the center of American history is the presence of black skinned people. They were slaves who became free, but there was lack of clarity as to their roles in American society. From day one of the end of slavery, there was ambiguity concerning the role of a black skinned person. Between 1870-1940 about four thousand were lynched without punishment to the lynchers. The “black skinned person” remained for many Americans, the embodiment of their fears. As long as Negroes were inhabiting the twilight zone of rights, I knew there was always someone over whom I stood in my sense of power. Barack Obama’s election has not yet been accepted by millions of Americans who recognize that if a black skinned person leads the nation, this ends forever my sense of power and superiority.

8. The lack of a President who is a communicator forging connections between disparate groups in society. The death of John Kennedy and Robert Kennedy ended for America the possibility of a president who could forge alliances between white workers and poor black and Hispanic groups. Barack Obama had an historical role to play, he definitely was hampered by virulent Republicans,but he also failed to speak WITH Americans about issues and their concerns. Obama completely failed to explain to Americans that his actions addressed Their needs! Obama was not a Franklin Roosevelt.

Supreme Court Hedges On Environment

There is not a doubt in my mind that two hundred years from now, out descendants will be shocked at behavior of modern Americans who refused to accept blatantly clear scientific evidence that climate changes were occurring on this planet due to actions by humans. This is NOT a debate, the evidence is now known by any intelligent thinking person that continued actions by humans, regardless if they are conservative or liberal, Christian or Muslim or Jew, heck, even if they are atheists, that planet Earth is undergoing dramatic climate change. The Obama administration has issued guidelines for factories that seek to prevent further emissions of gases that harm the planet.

The Supreme Court agreed to the legality of most Obama administration rules on emissions, particularly for new and first time plants. They must adhere to new standards. Why this issue is even being debated is a mystery and enigma. Hell, glaciers are melting, what else does Fox News and the talking cute pert blond haired idiots need to know?

Pope Takes On Godfather!

I am a child of the Bronx, New York City, a place in which all children were taught that on no condition should they get members of the Mafia angry with them because it would result in bad things happening. My pop paid the Mafia for their willingness to pick up his garbage at our butcher shop, and always threw in a few steaks to please the guys. Well, I guess this Pope Francis never got the message about not angering the Godfather. He came out with some nasty remarks about the Mafia. “Those who in their lives follow the path of evil, as mafioso do, are not in communion with God. They are excommunicated.” Wait a second. How is it possible that the Godfather is not in communication with God. Heck, I am certain that God checks with the Godfather before doing anything. Why else do we have a Godfather?

According to this Pope guy, “The evil must be fought against, it must be punished and we must say no to it.” Not where I come from in the Bronx! OK, so they have an “adoration of evil and contempt for the common good.” But, then again, if we excommunicate the Mafia what do we do about the Koch brothers and their campaign of evil? I would be real impressed in the Pope excommunicated the entire Republican party leadership in Congress for their evil and contempt for the common good of Americans!

The Price Of “Christianity”

There is no doubt that during the 19th century European nations invaded and conquered huge areas of Africa. They claimed to be bringing the benefits of “civilization” to the benighted people of Africa. Along with the guns came prayer books and Christianity. Europeans wanted to make certain that Africans wore proper clothes, and thought in proper ways about God and their daily lives. Along with European ministers of faith, came American priests and ministers who wanted to make certain that an African thought just like the American next door to you. American ministers of God were particularly concerned about homosexuality and imposed on the African a fear, no, a hatred of those who were homosexuals. During the past thirty years American ministers have been providing money and hatred to Africans in in order to ensure that homosexuals do not get the right to even live.

Uganda has passed laws that make a homosexual act to be a crime. This “crime” can result in five to ten years in jail, but also can lead to a death sentence. It is now common in Uganda for newspapers to print the names of those deemed to be “homosexuals” in order to encourage vigilante attacks upon these men and women. The United States government has now made clear to Uganda leaders that such laws violate human rights. Military exercises with the Uganda armed forces have been cancelled, money for police training has been ended, funds for health clinics have been diverted to other nations, and Uganda leaders are now denied visas to the United States.

It would help human rights in Uganda if American religious leaders ceased their efforts to spread hatred of gays and lesbians.

Republicans Stand For Individual Rights

Anyone who reads material from the Republican party or who watches Fox News quickly understands that the party of Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt believes strongly in the right of an individual to control her destiny–and certainly her body. Florida Governor Rick Scott just signed into law HB1047 which now makes it a crime for women to abort a fetus is a doctor believes the fetus can survive. The new bill replaces the existing law which prevents an abortion if the woman is 24 weeks into her pregnancy. I assume the new law places the decision as to whether or not an abortion occurs in the hands of your friendly doctor. Oh, the new law makes clear if the doctor provides the wrong answer to a pregnant woman and says the fetus can not survive, that doctor can wind up in jail!!

Republicans believe each person has a right to carry a weapon.
Republicans believe each businessman has the right to determine if a worker has health insurance.
Republicans believe each wealthy person has the right to spend and spend in order to get his candidate elected.
BUT Republicans do NOT believe each woman has a right to decide what is done to HER body!!

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT

We offer observations on the human condition from a 23year old mind trapped in an 83 year old body.

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT

In a coffee shop one can speak with strangers.

Americans regard getting a parking space as a great triumph.

Elderly blond woman sits with purse in lap, waiting. For what?

Some sit with angry look on faces.

There are times in life to move on.

If person is waiting, and rises, arms placed around waist.

Some resign from life, some are resigned to death.

Mystery of Life: how would Christians react to an illegal immigrant from Palestine named Christ?

Death is an equal opportunity employer.

Love a gun, invite Death.

Lottery provides a daily failure.

Brilliant people usually are modest about self.

Some tear pages with care.

Some smile while eating. I do not.

After the end, we dwell in the valley or peace.

Some rub hands prior to eating.

Elderly wife in charge of placing sandwich before husband.

Some display serious look while working with laptop.

Where Are Religious Leaders?

Hardly a day goes by without some example of human brutality or damage to planet Earth. Children are kidnapped in Nigeria or kidnapped in Israel, thousands just got shot in Iraq, millions go without health care or enough food to eat, but it is rare for any member of any religion to speak out. The so-called “religious right” in America are concerned about two males marrying, but have absolutely no concern that over thirty million Americans lack access to health insurance. Hundreds of thousands of young people in this country struggle to pay off debts while Wall Street billionaires get free handouts from the government to pay off their debts Heard any comment from religious leaders about this inequity? Thousands of Hispanic “illegal immigrants” are stranded, but how many churches have opened their doors to care for children?

The silence of imams in the Middle East and Africa is bewildering to me. I, a Jew, speak out more often and with more violence in defense of Muslim rights than most Muslim clerics. Boko Haram is a group of crazy Muslims, but how many Muslim clerics denounce the murder of thousands of Muslims by these nut cases? Let me make clear, it is not only Muslim clerics, but Jewish and Christian and Buddhist who remain silent in the face of atrocities. Heck,in Myanmar the assault upon Muslims is being led by Buddhist monks!

Oh, a word about planet Earth which needs some assistance to remain as planet Earth. I assume if there is a God up there in the sky, He must be pissed off as to what is being done to HIS planet! Just remember, those of the clergy, you guys had a chance to speak out for this planet and blew it. I sure as heck hope the Earth God is not into revenge!!

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT

Some physically shrink, some mentally.

Right hand person places left hand in pocket when walking.

As we grow old, new words enter mind.

I enjoy peaceful silence of McDonald’s on Sunday afternoon.

Some men do have a sad face.

Sight of beauty, an elderly couple holding hands.

Irish politicians in my childhood made “Government” a personal experience.

All too often dreamers are more realistic than realists.

I live in past and future simultaneously.

To forget is to destroy the past.

Drive through despair with confidence.

Some fiddle with sleeve while talking.

Long time since I heard, “mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noon day sun.”

Some right hand people hold tray with left hand.

Some teach children to hate, some to love.