Price Tag On A Soul

Rudimentary to a price tag, of course, is that fundamental belief in the immortal soul, a soul that registers consequences backed up against a belief system.

Identifying the belief system is a balance of the famous walk and talk comparison. Stumble along with that murky bit for a while. Then try to sort those quietly held truths vs. so-called doctrines or universal truths. The stumble decreases to stalemate.

“This Great Country of the United States of American…The American People have spoken…The greater good demands…Mama Grizzly.”

Public officials have the research. Pick a word, pick a pair, pick a hot button of most compelling, most able to incite action, most conservative, most liberal, most blah. Name a prejudice and the handbook of electability will furnish the words to exploit. Identify a pork and you can bet a politician is slipping it under the radar.

Our shoulders should ache from carrying that burden. We elected them. We read the history and we turn the page allowing a rewrite; same ideas different names.

Part of the reason that this blog stayed quiet for some time is my inability to process the cover up of the abuse of children. The Church, that was my life anchor for well over six decades, covered for and protected the abusers. The abusing priests were more important that the anguish of the abused.

When recently asked why I thought that the Catholic Church got more press than other organizations who have abusers in their ranks, I didn’t hesitate to answer.

The Catholic Church set itself above all others, named itself as the one true, holy, catholic and apostolic church. From earliest memory, the Catholic Church set itself apart and above, the single pathway to God, the true keeper of the words of Jesus. No other denominations need apply.

Right there on top of the flag pole, waving the flag of a Pope speaking directly from God, unable to err on doctrines of faith or morals. Catholics first, all others diminished, setting a bar that demanded a higher standard. Sow and reap.


Stone Walled (ccr)

Good Morning, Gentle Reader,

It has been a while.

Thoughts of writers-block creep in but it isn’t really a block.  It is a steel walled overload and the steel labors with the weight of national, world, church news and personal events.

On Friday, my oldest grandchild graduated from high school.  He is a wonderful young man of promise, convinced that 18 is the age of total independence.  It will take time for him to realize that inter-dependence  is the better way.

We drove 10 hours, crossing Kansas to reach the mountains and  be with family for the weekend events, giving me time to fill a notebook with blog ideas.  Our return drive filled more pages but these new thoughts turned out to be so very personal–mother/grandmother thoughts of how much I love, respect and admire my Colorado family.

Maybe it is a universal truth that my generation worries about the world we leave to our children and grandchildren.  Maybe we lack a balance and see the heaviness of world events overshadowing the promises of the goodness of  fresh ideas and enthusiasm spotlighted in graduation ceremonies.

No doubt the next few days will be my opportunity to sort, write and resort some of what I see as the heaviness of crisis.

Like the oil spill.   Gushing disaster fills the waters with death in many forms  and no clear hope of containment.  And the spin mindset that greedily seizes the opportunity to  blame President Obama for this horror.  Please take me on that mind journey that concludes with Barack Obama creating this mess or failing to respond.

Like violence on the high seas, attacking, killing and seizing ships and cargo.

Like Israel and Palestine and decades of animosity and conflict.

Like unemployment and foreclosures shattering lives.

Like Pope Benedict XV appointing nine prelates to investigate child abuse in Ireland’s Catholic Institutions.  Again, the church is investigating the church.

OK.  My leaps of connections probably are the cow and moon thing, but the parts do make the whole.  How did we move so far from the awareness that consequences reach  far beyond the moment, that personal actions have public ramifications, that responsibility does not have an off switch?

President Obama, Sarah Palin andThat “Hopey, Changey Stuff”

“How’s that workin’ for ya?”

I was in the eighth grade, 1952, when Adlai Stevenson was a candidate for President of the United Sates.  Egghead was the label sarcastically pinned on Mr. Stevenson.  Many voters castigated him for being an intellectual, for being too brainy.  By any measure, he was smarter than a fifth grader.  Did that make him unqualified for the presidency?

Sarah Palin walked away from the Governor’s office 17 months prior to the end of her term.  17 months of service to her state handed off so she could do other things, like ‘spend more time with her family‘—– while doing book tours, TV commentary and ramping up for the 2012 election.

Her hopey, changey comment is very difficult to defend.  Would she campaign on a promise of no-hope-no-change?    Would dropping ending consonants and mispronouncing vowels endear her to world leaders?  Would she refuse teleprompters as she campaigned, preferring hand written notes on her hand?

Mrs. Palin is working towards the presidency using the strategy that she hopes will insure her success.  Maybe she is ‘crazy like a fox’ and knows her target voters very well.   I sincerely hope Sarah Palin is misreading the American voter.

Doing The Twist

We all do it.  We listen, discern what fits our beliefs, reject what might cloud our mindset and determine that our truth is the truth.    Often we sort friends and enemies by belief categories.  Often we each use the same set of facts to prove our righteousness.

A couple of recent conversations about health care legislation is an example.  A person disdainful of President Obama’s efforts to pass legislation declared that 85% of the American people did not want passage.  This person’s belief was that the efforts towards passage were really efforts to get votes.  What did I miss?  If 85% of the people do NOT want passage, how will 15% of the voting public be the goal of legislation passage?  Work towards passage and 85% of the people will vote for opposition candidates, right?

Second conversation seemed based on the same statistic…85%… but this time, the number was given as gospel of support.  And this support was not a vote garnering effort but a sincere belief that health care needs more than a tweak.

Both conversation were with sincere people convinced that objectivity governed their convictions.   I trust them and I trust their belief in themselves.   What I don’t trust is the methods by which we have convoluted our search for the truth.

Perception, Again!

Oprah announces retirement.

Tiger Woods is contrite when his personal life overshadows his Madison Avenue package.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Our President, Barack Obama, accepts the Nobel Peace Prize with the dignity of the man and the office.

To avoid government oversight, a major banking institution repays the loan.

Front page story reports that employee honest and moral behaviors become pragmatic, inching upwards when job security slips.

And it begins again.  Hundreds of print inches and hours of radio/TV discussion circle those wagons ’round points of view.  Righteous anger, virtue offended, politics as usual spawn another round of “My truths is better than your truth.”    Or is that ‘bigger’?

No matter.   This wonderful country protects our speech and supports our right of expression.   Discourse is the best of learning tools.   While we exchange our opinions, it is good to remember words credited to Bertrand Russell.

I am firm.  You are obstinate.  He is a pig-headed fool.

Caution: Forwards Can Be Caustic

Prayer is a very personal activity, even when in a public setting.  Our spiritual quest is private and prayer is what packs well for the current level of our search.

One word–Amen–is the power of prayer for some.  “Our Father Who art in heaven…” is a formula prayer and perfect for some needs.  Meditation and yoga can push us along the way as we search for the spiritual part of self.

I am on several prayer lists, group emails in which prayer needs are shared with the hope that community supplication is the answer.  Once in a while, someone uses the group mail to further a personal agenda, often political and more often caustic when dissected.

A recent misuse of this group email was directed against President Obama using the trite, yet very effective, device of excerpting quotes and using them out of context  to create fear.

This blog is not a political statement.  It neither pro nor con of any party or person.  That said, I have great respect for the Office of The President and for President Barack Obama as he handles the responsibilities of that office.

Rather this blog is a condemnation of the misuse of a prayer line to speak one’s political agenda by spinning the truth to fit a belief.  We are assailed by media money personalities who handle that tactic designed to bind people together behind an enemies list.

Cormac McCarthy has a line in Blood Meridian that is both frightening and apparently true.   “”What joins men together is not the sharing of bread but the sharing of enemies.”