One Good Something Invites Another (CCR)

Michael Feldman, What Do You Know, on NPR reads bits of news designed to start his show  by invoking audience  laughter.  Today Michel chuckled through the bit about the Pope having forgiven the Jews for the  death of Jesus.

Ludicrous.

The Pope and his predecessors  fostered centuries of hatred towards the Jewish people for what a handful of men did in 33 A.D.    In 2011, the Pontiff of the Catholic Church forgives the Jewish people. Following that line of reasoning, we can expect forgiveness for the Spanish people who conducted the Inquisitions.  Oh, wait…The Spanish Inquisition was Catholic sponsored so no forgiveness  required.

Following the Pope’s lead in finding a solution for a centuries old hatred problem, I offer my admittedly simplistic solution for hunger, prejudice and poverty in the world.

Abandon the Pomp and Circumstance way of conducting Church ceremonies.  Dress Church leaders in Jesus clothes, much the same way that certain contemplative orders dress.  House and feed church leaders in the manner of low to middle-income people of the congregations.  Keep only those Church museum quality treasures that Jesus could have carried in his preaching life.  Look at gold in terms of mitigation of suffering rather than enhancement of facilities.

And finally, take a long look at the nature of humans in all our characteristics purported to be  created in the image and likeness of God.  If the church believes that God knew what He was doing, it is time to beg the forgiveness of gay men and women for centuries of Church sponsored hated.  It is time to beg the forgiveness of women for centuries of second class treatment.  It is time to beg forgiveness from decades of men and women forced to choose between birth control, celibate marriages or too many children.  It is time to prostrate before the thousands of victims of church accepted child abuse and cry in shame.

One good something invites another.

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Single Mothers

Playing alone, my three-year old grandson prepared to knock over a stack of wooden blocks.  Hand poised to topple, he said in a gentle and loving voice,  “Now, Son, cover your ears.  This will be really loud and Daddy doesn’t  want your ears to hurt.”  Sam was being Dad and taking care of business, the business of protecting his Son.  A very small happening with huge significance.

My intention is to focus on the importance of dads in the development of children, but once again I list disclaimers first.  Tag end placement risks misunderstanding.

Single parenthood, due to the loss of a military spouse, should have our country’s complete  support.  Becoming a single parent as a result of fulfillment of duty by a deployed member of the armed forces  is tragic.   Women and men left to raise families deserve every possible measure of comfort.

Any family in which death takes a parent deserves comfort and support.  The difficulties are staggering.

Single parenthood due to divorce often demonstrates that the worst consequences are not handled by the adults but by the children.   I know from personal experience the depth of hurt felt by children.

A newspaper article about an organization formed to discourage teen pregnancy, listed added difficulties experienced by very young parents, especially any girl facing the future without  help from the baby’s father.  This kind of single parenthood has unique problems and soul-searching decisions.

There are some parents, male and female, who do not deserve the title.  Their children are better for the absence of such people.

My need to list disclaimers first is my need to avoid any shadow of disrespect for difficult circumstances and difficult decisions.   Millions of single parents in those difficult circumstances do raise the children in loving and supportive homes.

All that being said, a statistic heard on NPR staggered my ability to comprehend.  I listened, hoping to hear a correction of the statement that 2/3 of all births in 2008 were births to single mothers.  Two-thirds of all babies born in 2008 were born  to women without a partner of the same or opposite sex?

No numbers told how many pregnancy were within same-sex committed unions prohibited by law from  ‘married’ status.

No numbers explained how many committed opposite sex couples preferred to raise children without being legally married.

Teen pregnancies were part of the statistic, but the percentage was not given.

No follow-up statistic listed rape pregnancies carried to term.

What has me shaking my head is the number of women choosing to raise a child without a male parent.   How can the influence and importance of a male parent be so discounted?  Uncles, grandfathers, male friends have a role and can step up when difficult circumstances prevail.  But to choose to raise any child without a father in the home is a choice I have great difficulty understanding.

Remember that old  slogan, ” A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle”?  As a woman who has a lifetime record of supporting feminine issues, I say, “Fine”.  We are strong.  We  roar.  We are invincible.

But we are a single sex, that Venus/Mars thing.  We are all we can be, but we are not male.   Any little girl needs her dad to enrich her princess quality, to show her how a man treats those he loves, to be reflected in a way that perfects  her roar.  Any little boys needs his dad to share the mysteries of the  male walk, to show how to take care of business, to support the roar.

I sit here shaking my head at such discounting of the importance of Dad.

Pushing The Envelope (ccr)

A reminder to you, Gentle Reader.
I ramble better than I edit. This probably qualifies as a ramble.

An NPR guest had a connection with the creative end of film. Late to tune in and an early-out listener, I missed his name. Wish I could give him name credit for some amazing thoughts…like how much he loves his wife, how amazed he is that she is there when he comes home, and what incredible kids they have. Surely, that isn’t an envelope in need of a push? Sounds like a valentine to me.

Earlier he talked about how the media can push the envelope and eventually change how society sees itself. The acceptance of human differences was a specific case. By placing ‘different’ folks into normal setting, the difference can dissolve and slips right into the normal. Definitely two sides to that coin.

One anecdote focused on George Carlin and his famous Seven Words. When Mr. Carlin’s mother faced a group of elementary school nuns who had taught her son, Mrs. Carlin reacted with embarrassment to the “Words” routine. It was the Catholic nuns who gave George the thumbs-up, saying he was forcing us to face our hypocrisy. Same coin?

Facing hypocrisy isn’t easy. One’s own double standards are both wise and prudent while the doubles that differ are surely hypocritical, right? No. Not right, not even close.
Judging is perilous and always flawed…always. But it is my opinion that we are far better advised to error on the side of acceptance of our differences and celebrating our full human selves.