Showing posts with label citizenship. Show all posts
Showing posts with label citizenship. Show all posts

10 Sep 2017

More Disasters

The good news is that folks on the Gulf Coast probably won't be affected by Hurricane Irma. Not directly.

Cleanup and rebuilding there is taking a back seat to news of this weekend's hurricane and Mexico's major earthquake.

I'll be talking about this week's disasters, and how folks deal with them. Also faith, reasonable and otherwise, and a little science....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

30 Aug 2017

Harvey Over Texas

Harvey's in the news, a lot, and probably will be for days.

I noticed stuff piling up in my notes, and decided that getting part of my 'Friday' post done early was a good idea....

...News reporting generally uses more superlatives than I like.

"Unprecedented" seems to be particularly popular with BBC News editors at the moment.

I don't mind things being biggest, smallest, newest, or whatever. But I've learned to be rationally skeptical when I read that something is the biggest, worst, or most devastating thing of its kind....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

14 Jul 2017

Climate Change, Attitudes

I'll be talking about Earth's climate, China's pollution problems, and icebergs: including one the size of Delaware. The big berg broke off from Antarctica this week.

The recent G20 meeting was mostly about economics, not climate change; but that didn't deter the usual colorful protestors.

I'm not complaining about folks at the fancy-dress street party in Hamburg. If nothing else, they added a touch of human interest to an otherwise-dry international business meeting....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

28 May 2017

"The Federation of the World"



Tennyson said "Locksley Hall" expresses "...young life, its good side, its deficiencies, and its yearnings." I'm inclined to believe him, partly because I was young when I first read the poem. A half-century later, these are still among my favorite lines of poetry:
"...For I dipt into the future, far as human eye could see,
"Saw the vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be;...
"...Till the war-drum throbbed no longer, and the battle-flags were furl'd
"In the Parliament of man, the Federation of the world.
"There the common sense of most shall hold a fretful realm in awe,
"And the kindly earth shall slumber, lapt in universal law...."
("Locksley Hall," Alfred, Lord Tennyson)
I still think building something like Tennyson's "Federation of the world" is a good idea. I'm quite certain that it will be a long, hard, process.

But we're already making some progress....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

More Than a 3-Day Weekend



Tomorrow is Memorial Day.

It's equivalent to Dodenherdenking in the Netherlands, or Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth of Nations.

The holiday's original purpose was to honor those who have been killed while serving in our nation's military.

That's still the holiday's official purpose. Recent generations have used the three-day weekend as an unofficial start of summer vacation season. That's not, I think, entirely inappropriate. I'll get back to that.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

24 May 2017

Death in Manchester

(From European Press Agency , via BBC News, used w/o permission.)
("Thousands attended a vigil in Manchester earlier"
(BBC News)

Manchester is England's second-largest urban center, in terms of population.

At around 10:30 Monday night, something like 21,000 folks — pre-teens, teenagers, adults — were leaving a music concert at the Manchester Arena. Someone with a bomb set it off in or near the arena's foyer.

He's dead. So are more than 20 other folks.

Except for the chap who killed them, the dead had been enjoying an Ariana Grande concert. The youngest victims I've read about were eight years old.

Quite a few others are injured. Some are missing.

I am not happy about this, putting it mildly....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

21 May 2017

7 May 2017

Truth and Love



I take God very seriously. I also think people matter. I care deeply about truth and love.

By some standards this isn't a particularly "religious" blog.

For one thing, I keep saying that loving my neighbor and seeing everybody as my neighbor is a good idea. I'll get back to that.

For another, I write about science each Friday; real science. And I don't see it as a threat.

I don't 'believe in' science, in the sense that I expect it to replace God. That would be as silly as trying to find life's meaning in the second law of thermodynamics. It would also be a very bad idea....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

27 Feb 2017

Olathe: Death and Hope

Murder and attempted murder in the Kansas City metropolitan area last week is international news.

If the suspect's neighbor is right, the 'drunken mess' who killed an engineer from India was having trouble dealing with his father's death.1

I think he could have found a better outlet for his grief....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

31 Jan 2017

Who is My Neighbor?



Folks were hanging around after an evening prayer service Sunday, when someone came into the building and started shooting. 19 of the 50-plus folks there were injured, five hospitalized in critical condition. Six are now dead....

...This week's news hasn't been all bad. A GoFundMe page raising funds for the Islamic Center of Victoria, Texas, that burned last Saturday has collected upwards of $900,000 so far.1

I've never met the men who died Sunday night, I don't know their families. The same goes for folks affected by Saturday's fire. Why should I care what happens to them?

I've got reasons: some involving enlightened self-interest.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

22 Jan 2017

Conservative? Liberal? No: Catholic

My father-in-law has been asked if he's conservative — or liberal.

His answer: "I'm Catholic."

I'd give the same answer.

Catholic teachings are quite definite, so it's possible to peg them on the American political spectrum — as long as you don't look at the big picture.

Taking bits and pieces of Catholic beliefs, and the history of Catholics in America, I could claim that the Catholic Church is conservative or liberal. That would be as big a mistake as seeing all conservatives as hate-fueled foes of diversity, or all liberals as irresponsible lunatics.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

2 Oct 2016

"Wait For It"


(From Radomir Vrbovsky, via Wikipedia, used w/o permission.)
(دروازه ایشتار, Ishtar Gate, eighth gate of Babylon's inner city: a reconstruction using original bricks in the Pergamonmuseum, Berlin, Deutschland.)

Prophets had their bad days, too — like Habakkuk, from today's first reading (Habakkuk 1:2-3, 2:2-4):
"1 How long, O LORD? I cry for help but you do not listen! I cry out to you, 'Violence!' but you do not intervene.

"Why do you let me see ruin; why must I look at misery? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and clamorous discord.

"Then the LORD answered me and said: Write down the vision Clearly upon the tablets, so that one can read it readily.

"For the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint; If it delays, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late."
(Habakkuk 1:2-3, 2:2-3)
This was about 26 centuries back, and not a good era in our Lord's homeland. Folks who should have known better were misbehaving, badly. It wasn't the first time, and wouldn't be the last.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

1 Oct 2016

Love, Neighbors, and Voting

(From Wiley Miller, via GoComics.com, used w/o permission.) (Wiley Miller's January 16, 2016, Non Sequitur. The field of major candidates has narrowed considerably since then.).

I have no great enthusiasm for November's election, but I plan to vote with whatever prudence and wisdom I can muster.

Being a good citizen, contributing to the good of society and taking part in public life, is part of being Catholic: or should be. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1915, 2239).

In my country, that includes voting intelligently: thinking about issues and candidates, voting for whoever and whatever is best; or likely to do the least damage, in some cases.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

20 Sep 2016

Shopping Center Attack: Why I Care

Saturday night's attack in a St. Cloud shopping center was uncomfortably close to home. Crossroads Mall is about an hour down the road from where I live, and a place I've enjoyed visiting....

...I'm still upset about the attack: and sorry that the attacker is dead. That, I'd better explain....

...Some of the bad news is good news, sort of, from the 'you're known by the enemies you make' viewpoint...

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

11 Sep 2016

Love, Mercy, and 9/11

Airliners were flown into New York City's World Trade Center and the Pentagon 15 years ago today, killing nearly 3,000 folks whose chief offense had been living in an American city and going to work Tuesday morning.

The 19 immediately responsible died with their victims. They were waging Osama bin Laden's religious war against the United States.

Osama bin Laden is dead now, and so are a great many others: perpetrators and victims; Christians, Muslims, and folks who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

On top of that, about 1,800,000 folks were stopped last year, while trying to get into Europe. Some may have had ulterior motives; but most were trying to stay alive, fleeing because their former homes had become a war zone.

It's the biggest problem of that sort Europe's had since the 1940s. Quite a few folks are upset: partly because most of the refugees hadn't had opportunities to fill out all their paperwork before entering Europe.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

24 Jul 2016

Citizenship and Being Catholic

I like being an American, most of the time.

I know that my country is far from perfect, but I'd rather be here than anywhere else on Earth.

Living in Sauk Centre, a smallish central Minnesota town, probably helps. I really like it here.

But it's no Brigadoon, unchanged and unaffected by the outside world....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

13 Sep 2015

Being a Citizen

I was surprised and flattered when two tourists from Thailand asked me if I was Jewish. That was about four decades back, at Grand Canyon National Park, near the visitor center.

I'd brought a big topographic map of that massive gulch, spreading it out at intervals to see what I was looking at, and taking photos. That's not mine, by the way: it's from Tom Bernard Anyz.

I think the Thai tourists had noticed that I had a full beard and never took my cap off.

Quite a few gentiles in America wore caps indoors and out at the time, and still do: but not many American men grow a 'haven't shaved in years' beard. The plain black jacket I wore probably helped, too.

I enjoyed being mistaken for one of our Lord's relatives, but my ancestors are about as gentile as it gets, west of the Urals. They probably hadn't even heard of Abraham or Isaac until missionaries arrived, and that's another topic.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

1 Nov 2014

Preparing Kids To Vote

The following copyrighted excerpt is reprinted with permission from All Things Guy: A Guide to Becoming a Man that Matters written for Catholic boys aged 9-14. 

"Along with patriotism, there is citizenship. You are a citizen of a country. This is what makes you American, Mexican, or French for example. There are a lot of rights and responsibilities that come with citizenship in a country. In many instances, people have died to help obtain the rights and freedoms everyone enjoys.

"This is why gratitude to those who are in your history—and obviously knowing about them—is important. Just like there are Catholics who have gone before you in your faith history, so there are county-men who have gone before you in your nation’s history.

Marriage IS a Vocation

In the midst of preparing for a religious vocation, God surprised me.  He upended my life in a single day when I met Michael, my future...