Friday, September 20, 2013

The Pope – In All His Wisdom – The Jesuit Interview - Mischaracterized by Media – “If they have ears, let them hear”.

Pope Francis, the wise and humble Leader of Catholics - image AP via NYTimes

Pope Francis is clearly a breath of fresh air, if one is an evangelical and holding that the way to life and God is through scripture – however, certain media and social groups have a tendency to take the Pope’s intent out of context: The New York Times is a prime example. In an article about an article in the Jesuit Journal the New York Times led with an article titled– “Pope Says Church Is ‘Obsessed’ With Gays, Abortion and Birth Control” – going on to imply that the Pope feels that the one who is involved in a gay marriage, or supports abortion is doing just fine.

The pope’s interview did not change church doctrine or policies, but it instantly changed its tone. His words evoked gratitude and hope from many liberal Catholics who had felt left out in the cold during the papacies of Benedict and his predecessor, John Paul II, which together lasted 35 years. Some lapsed Catholics suggested on social media a return to the church, and leaders of gay rights and gay Catholic groups called on bishops to abandon their fight against gay marriage.

In the actual interview available at Thinking The Pope’s meaning becomes perfectly clear – on all subjects – as it is rooted in the Gospels, and he relies on Hebrews, in part to form his opinions – read the entire article here. In interpreting the meaning of the Pope’s wording on the subject one finds that he is referring to the call of Christ, and the early Church fathers (including St. Paul) to heal the sinner, and not judge them, regardless of what they eat (referring to Paul-Romans). Clearly, Jesus came to call the sinners, as they were in need of healing. Clearly God, in whose image man is made, loves each one and offers each the opportunity of redemption in several levels – Therefore, looking at this humble and brilliant Pope’s stance on the issue, it is in common teaching within the biblical context. First one heals the sinner, then the sin. In speaking of the confessional – and the confusion that is caused by pastors who are either too strict or too lax in consoling those who are ‘confessing” their sins (think of pastoral therapy with a sacrament rolled in for good measure) – should an individual confess an abortion to a priest who is too rigid in doctrine, there will be no hope offered, and if the priest is too lax, there will be no chance to speak to the saving grace of God, should one renounce the sin, and seek to live a whole life.

Therefore, first, heal the rift between God and his child, and then heal the sin.

The man is brilliant and perhaps the world has a Pope who understands the Church and the Politics behind religion, which tends to get in the way of salvation.

The writer is a Catholic by birth, an Evangelical by logic and the gift of the Spirit.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Neighborhood Crime Statistics: Massachusetts 8 Cities that Rank in the top 100 Most Dangerous

From the website: Neighborhoodscout.comcomes the “rankings of the most dangerous cities in the U.S. They use the following data to reach their conclusions:

Our research reveals the 100 most dangerous cities in America with 25,000 or more people, based on the number of violent crimes per 1,000 residents. Violent crimes include murder, forcible rape, armed robbery, and aggravated assault. Data used for this research are 1) the number of violent crimes reported to the FBI to have occurred in each city, and 2) the population of each city.”

The cities in Massachusetts that rank in the top 100 are:

  • 95 Lawrence, MA MA

  • 91 Worcester, MA MA

  • 85 Holyoke, MA MA

  • 77 Springfield, MA MA

  • 57 New Bedford, MA MA

  • 42 Fall River, MA MA

  • 41 Brockton, MA MA

  • 11 Chelsea, MA MA

  • The most dangerous city, East St. Louis, Ill, on the bottom of the top 100 list is Sarasota, FL.

    Other States in the Top 100 List include: WI (1), CT, NC, CA, MI, IL, NJ, AR, MO, NY, SC, CA, IA, AL, DE(1), PA, FL, TN, GA, MD, OH, OK (1) LA, TX (1), DC(1), RI(1) , NM(1), IN, NC (1), MA and WV(1)

    Considering a move to another state, the list to avoid is shown above.

    For all statistics, rankings, refer to:

    With the exception of one state, high unemployment in these states should also be considered as a factor.

    Tuesday, September 17, 2013

    Rick Perry – Taking the Message of Prosperity to Blue Maryland Businesses

    From the Baltimore Sun: Texas Governor, Rick Perry, is in Maryland attempting to woo businesses to Texas, in yet another Blue state. It appears that so far, no matter which tax burdened blue state the Texas Governor has set his sights, he has generally brought home new businesses and new jobs to Texas.

    The message of less regulation, lower tax burdens and a willing and able work force are among the pitches the Govenor can rightly claim – which also makes Texas a jobs search destination.

    The mission usually involves a bit of back and forth between the fiscally conservative Rick Perry and the given tax friendly Democrat governor of Pick-a-State. It never ceases to amuse - the premise being that the company might say in say, Connecticut, without the wherewithal to increase profits, and hire additional staff, or move to Texas – and succeed – there’s “state loyalty” and then there is common sense that can only be found in the private sector –Businesses generally are run on the common sense, bottom line approach in order to be successful.

    It’s anyone’s guess as to how long those Blue States that are being targeted by Perry and who knows which Conservative Govenor will be the next to jump on the bandwagon, will ever see the error of their tax till one drops ways. Best bet – when the states occupants vote them out of office.

    Monday, September 16, 2013

    Chevrolet, Apple Pie, and Miss America – The Tradition Continues – Miss New York, Nina Davuluri, wins Scholarship and Crown

    Miss New York, Nina Davuluri, now Miss America - image

    One might ask why a Conservative Feminist is writing about the Miss American Pageant – to be perfectly honest – it’s personal - In my final senior seminar at the Elms, I was tasked with taking the side of the pageant, and convincing the class of the validity of that pageant – from an historical perspective. That required some research – and what I found was somewhat shocking. (More on that) One might also note that my child competed in talent pageants, replete with makeup, costumes and hair and makeup – it ran against my grain – but it was the way in which she was allowed to pursue her own “agenda”, and that also opened my eyes to the good and the bad. When one is of an age to remember watching Miss America crowned on a black and white set, the show was what all women tuned into once a year – one might wonder why that one “frivolous” show was so important.

    It was, simply put, liberating. Historically, the pageant was begun as a way to extend the summer holiday in Atlantic City, bathing suits at the time were far from revealing, but those women who competed in the first Miss America pageant were escaping from a Victorian era that strangled one both in body and soul. In the ensuing years, the pageant offered scholarships, as well as job opportunities in the entertainment field (Hollywood). The program became and remains single the largest scholarship organization for women in the United States. Without the Miss America Pageant, the women’s movement would have gained little to no steam – had a group of feminist not made repeated attempts at disrupting the program, got lucky enough to catch the eye of one reporter while waiting for results, the “controversy” of the feminist movement might not have finally got significant press. It was a program of fists, and that included diversity, it has and remains one of the most inclusive of organizations, specifically when it comes to women. Therefore, as bad as the talent can become, as much as it riles some that the “fitness” segment is a swim suit, and the questions asked and answered seem banal and painful at the same time, it remains a tradition that has allowed women to further their career goals. They are not seeking a modeling job, they are seeking a means to continue their studies, and or pay off their student loans. They are aspiring doctors, lawyers, many of whom are Rhodes Scholars.

    Therefore, when Miss New York was crowned as the first Indian-American (or Asian) Miss American last night, it was in keeping with the organizations history.

    However, lacking understanding of what the pageant represents to Americans and American women especially, the media had to play it up – CNN lead with a story about racism and the results. Apparently, several individuals took to Twitter and suggested that a “real American” should have been crowned – it is somehow taken to be something that someone from the right would suggest. One might understand that regardless of the ethnicity, race or state of the final winner, the tweets would have been – malicious. It has little to with being right or left (although one might understand that some of the most racist individuals are from the left); it is about rooting for one’s team and sour grapes.

    Miss American, Nina Davuluri and her bio can be found at the website (here).

    For those young women who are considering ways in which to pay for college, one might want to buffer their scholarship with an appearance at a local Miss American pageant. The scholarships begin on the local level and continue to the state and national stage. It requires a talent and fitness competition as well as what some might consider an “issue of concern” – any prom dress will do. Unlike other pageant systems, the first in the nation does not require hefty entry fees, or plastic surgery – it requires smarts.

    One other note: The Iconic Program, is now Back at Atlantic City, the birthplace of the Organization. It is as American as – Apple Pie, and so is the choice of Miss Davuluiri, who hopes to become a physician, just like her father.

    On a personal note, I may have failed to convince the majority of the class of the validity of the pageant – women’s study majors, however they did grant me the “A” – for presentation and historical accuracy. – Go figure.

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