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The dangers of the 4th of July on your children


Writing the Declaration of Independence 1776 c...

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Harvard University did a study on the effects of children attending a 4th of July celebrations. Yep, you read it right, the effects of the 4th of July celebrations on children. The results, simply put, children who attend some sort for 4th of July celebration will more than likely turn out to be…. Republicans…

Fourth of July celebrations have a significant impact upon people’s political preferences;
• Attending one Fourth of July before age 18 increases the likelihood of identifying as a Republican by at least 2 percent and voting for the Republican candidate by 4 percent. It also increases voter turnout by 0.9 percent and boosts political campaign contributions by 3 percent. 
(The press release)

So for me, I say if that is the case, than every child should attend a BBQ or parade on the 4th of July.  Maybe our nation will than have a chance to survive.

But the better questions is why does 4th of July celebrations turn kids in to Republicans, and not Democrats?  My simple answer, Republicans love America, Democrats despise her, so they wont show up at a 4th of July celebration anyway.

 

A Brief History of Fourth of July

(Taken from the research paper)

On July 3, 1776, John Adams, the second president of the United States wrote “[Fourth of July]
ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance…It ought to be solemnized with pomp and
parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this
continent to the other, from this time forward, forevermore” (Adams, 1776, p. 3).9 In the years that followed, Fourth of July was the only national holiday, marking the date of the nation’s existence and serving as a display of national unity. The latter function of Independence Day was particularly important in helping the scattered citizens of 13 states view themselves as part of a single nation (Waldstreicher, 1995; Travers, 1997; Heintze, 2007). Celebrations in the early republic included militia drills, processions, readings of the Declaration, dinners, and fireworks. 10 Present-day festivities took form in the late 19th and early 20th century, being part of the Progressive Movement’s effort to revive civic ceremonies on Fourth of July. Appelbaum (1989) describes how the tastes of the progressive reformers ran towards “patriotic pageants, patriotic music, parades with patriotic floats, marching units patriotically costumed in period dress, and tableaux vivants depicting patriotic scenes in American history” (Appelbaum, 1989, p. 141). Through campaigns such as “Safe and Sane July Fourth”, the reformers sought to convince local civic officials to make the public holiday resemble a playground festival, in which children performed dramatic skits and dances (Smilor, 1980; Glassberg, 1987). In documenting Fourth of July celebrations in Minnesota in the early and mid 20th century, Nemanic (2007) writes “Independence Day programs featured events for the entire family, with particular emphasis placed on children…festivities would begin with a noisy wakeup ritual followed by a patriotic parade. Afterwards, a formal ceremony might be held that included orations and readings from the Declaration of Independence. The afternoon offered an array of contests, concerts, and sporting events. In the evening,…a torch light parade might be held…Fireworks ended most celebrations” (Nemanic, 2007, p. 121).
Celebrations in the first half of the 20th century were political events. Local politicians were
involved in planning for the occasion, as well as providing financial support to the Fourth of July
festivities. They also participated actively in the parades and presented orations during the formal ceremonies. Many used the holiday to campaign or to gain visibility between campaigns by giving political speeches. In the cities, civic groups and political parties organized separate events to further their particular cause (Appelbaum, 1989; Nemanic, 2007).
Fourth of July in the 1950’s and the 1960’s included beauty contests, auto races, regattas, dog
shows, and parachute-jumping contests, as well as traditional parades and orations (Appelbaum, 1989). The holiday became increasingly commercialized as businesses took over the Fourth of July program sponsorship from town volunteer committees and the political parties (Nemanic, 2007). Also, the backyard barbecue was institutionalized during this period, making Fourth of July a more private tradition among friends as opposed to a community festival. As a consequence of the holiday’s changed character, the event became depoliticized. While Fourth of July celebrations in the last 40 years have kept much of the private features introduced in the 1950’s and 1960’s, some of the patriotic practices from the beginning of the 20th century were reintroduced. Contemporary festivities can be full-day affairs, with parades and speeches in the morning followed by afternoon barbecues, tailgating, and evening fireworks (Heintze, 2007).

9John Adams’ letter to his wife, Abigail, actually spoke of July 2, the date the resolution of independence was approved, but from the outset, Americans celebrated independence on Fourth of July, the date shown on the Declaration of Independence (Appelbaum, 1989).
10Historic accounts further document how newspapers played a vital role in spreading common Fourth of July practices across the country (Waldstreicher, 1995; Newman, 1999).

I pray that everyone has a blessed, fun and safe 4th of July celebration, and God Bless America!

 

God Bless

Paul

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NASA… Our best investment


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It has been 25 years since the space shuttle Challenger exploded upon lift-off, and our space program has never truly recovered. After the tragic explosion President Reagan comforted the American public but also pledged to continue with space exploration. With the second space shuttle tragedy President Bush began the process of grounding the shuttles altogether. With only three more flights scheduled, Americas domination in space is set to end. And along with it our investment in our future is also set to end.

Our vision of one day traveling space, the final frontier, like Captain Kirk of the USS Enterprise is becoming a pipe dream. The reality of it ever happening is becoming less and less. America needs NASA and all her innovation, the space program has saved lives made our day-to-day living more pleasurable and is a source of pride for all Americans. 

One of President Obama’s fist acts as President was to reshape and refocus NASA, with the directive to become a quasar diplomatic are of the US government.

 “Bolden: I am here in the region – its sort of the first anniversary of President Barack Obama’s visit to Cairo – and his speech there when he gave what has now become known as Obama’s “Cairo Initiative” where he announced that he wanted this to become a new beginning of the relationship between the United States and the Muslim world. When I became the NASA Administrator – before I became the NASA Administrator – he charged me with three things: One was that he wanted me to re-inspire children to want to get into science and math, that he wanted me to expand our international relationships, and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with predominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering.” (source)

NASA as an outreach to the Muslim world, really, that’s our space program. Yes President Obama also had some ambition that also included space, but the simple fact that NASA is not in public relations with the Muslim world sets a new tone for our space program. One that is not space oriented, but rather one that is diplomatic in nature.

This is a new tone for NASA, one that is as far as you can get from the tone that JFK set for America:

“I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to Earth.”
(Kennedy’s Speech: + HTML Excerpt, + PDF Excerpt, + Full Text) (source)

The American space program is part and parcel to American exceptionalism, we must continue to spend time, talent and money in this endeavor. American needs NASA now more than ever, we need something to place our dreams in and we need to see achievements that we once thought were impossible. The Space Program has given us many modern technologies, such as:

1. SATELLITE TELEVISION: Our world would not be the same without the satellites now in orbit around the Earth – all thanks to the space program. They not only give us satellite broadcast television and radio but also power telecommunications including mobile phones and terrestrial TV networks.

2. SAT NAV: The global positioning system on which our in-car navigation systems are based was developed by the US Department of Defense. They would not exist without the space satellites.

3. GOOGLE EARTH: Mapping was never as accurate as the images we can now get thanks to satellites which from space can even see a dog in your back garden.

4. VIRTUAL REALITY: NASA-developed research and advanced technology devices allow users to project themselves into a computer-generated environment. When coupled with a stereo-viewing device and appropriate software, it creates a feeling of actually being there.

5. ARTIFICIAL LIMBS: Prosthetic limbs are not new but advancements in space robotics are being adapted to create more lifelike, functioning limbs.

6. DIALYSIS: Modern machines to do the work of the kidneys – for patients waiting for or unable to have transplants – were developed as a result of a NASA-developed chemical process.

7. MRI AND CAT SCANS: NASA did not invent magnetic resonance imaging but it has contributed to major advances thanks to research into computer enhancement of pictures sent from the moon. Digital image processing has led to enhanced images of human organs.

8. BREAST CANCER SCREENING: A silicon chip originally developed for NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope makes the testing process less painful, less scarring and less expensive than traditional biopsy methods.

Heroes ... Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin

Heroes … Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin

9. ULTRASOUND TO ASSESS SKIN DAMAGE: An advanced instrument uses ultrasound technology to assess the depth of burn damage immediately, improving patient treatment and saving lives in serious burn cases.

10. EAR THERMOMETER: Removing the need to use intrusive, mercury-based thermometers on newborn babies and critically ill patients, the ear thermometer uses infrared astronomy technology to measure the amount of energy emitted by the eardrum. This is how NASA measures the temperature of stars and planets.

11. ATTENTION GETTER: Techniques used to measure brain activity in NASA  pilots are being used to improve attention spans for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

12. ROAD SAFETY: The cutting of grooves in concrete to increase traction was developed to reduce space shuttle accidents on runways. It is now applied to roads and has cut US traffic accidents by 85 per cent.

13. IMPROVED RADIAL TYRES: Goodyear developed a fibrous material five times stronger than steel for NASA to use in parachutes to land the Viking explorers on Mars. They expanded the technology to produce a harder-wearing radial car tire.

14. LANDMINE REMOVAL: Surplus rocket fuel is used for a flare that can burn a hole in the case of a mine and burn away its explosive content.

15. STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS: NASA software engineers have created thousands of computer programs to find imperfections in aerospace structures and components which has proved invaluable in air safety.

16. WATER FILTERS: Water-cleaning technology has existed since the early Fifties but NASA came up with ways to filter it in more extreme situations. The activated charcoal with silver ions used in commercial filter systems cleans the water and kills bacteria.

17. FREEZE-DRIED FOOD: NASA carried out extensive research to reduce the weight of food to be carried on missions. The result was a method for cooking food, freezing it quickly, then slowly heating it in a vacuum chamber to remove the ice crystals. The end product weighs one fifth of the original, while retaining 98 per cent of its nutrition.

18. TEMPER FOAM: NASA developed a soft, high-energy-absorbent padding to improve crash protection in aircraft. Now ?memory foam? is used in mattresses, pillows, military and civilian vehicles, sports safety equipment, amusement park rides, furniture and artificial limbs.

19. SCRATCH-RESISTANT LENSES: A modified version of a process developed by NASA involves coating the lenses with a film of carbon that helps avoid scratches and decreases friction and reduces water spots.

20. RIBBED SWIMSUITS: The swimsuit worn by Olympic sensation Michael Phelps was developed with NASA technology. Aerodynamic research came up with material which give 15 per cent faster speeds than any other swimsuit thanks to small, barely visible grooves that reduce friction and drag.

21. AERODYNAMIC GOLF BALLS: Technology is behind the design of golf balls with 500 dimples in a pattern of 60 triangles which allows the ball to maintain its initial speed longer and produce a more stable flight for better accuracy and distance.

22. ATHLETIC SHOES: Moon-boot material has been incorporated into running shoe midsoles to improve shock absorption and provide better stability and motion control.

23. PERSONAL ALARM SYSTEMS: A pen-sized ultrasonic transmitter used by prison guards, teachers, the elderly and disabled to call for help is based on space technology.

24. SPACE PENS: Most pens depend on gravity to make the ink flow to the ballpoint. The space pen was developed for the gravity-free space environment so that the ink cartridge contains pressurized gas to push the ink towards the ballpoint, so you can write upside down.

25. CORDLESS POWER TOOLS: The household and DIY products firm Black & Decker came up with a portable drill capable of extracting core samples from below the lunar surface during the Apollo missions. The same technology has been used on cordless miniature vacuum cleaners.  (source)

Think cell phone, microwaved dinners and the computer I am using to post this blog. NASA may not have invented all of them, but it is because of NASA and the innovations created for our space program that I am able to post to the net at all.

So instead of looking to high-speed trains as an investment into America, look to NASA. I would consider that to be a nobler investment, and one that would have a far greater impact on American than a train that can get me from Detroit to DC in 1 hour. With NASA fully funded and achievable goals the sky truly is the limit for the American Dream.

God Bless

Paul

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Posted by on January 27, 2011 in History, Life, Politics

 

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Less Hits


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I noticed that the number of hits to my blog have dropped dramatically after Easter Sunday. Leads me to think that peoples interest in the faith is at a peak during Lent, and as soon as Easter comes and goes, so does their interest in the faith. Kind of sad really…

It’s sort of like the world series or supper bowl, lots of non fans become fans during the big games. They look up the stats and follow all the games leading up to the big game but once the game is over they are back to their normal lives.

I can almost understand it with sports, all the hype surrounding it and all, but with my faith life, I just can’t understand it. But I am always trying to learn more and more about my faith, so I just have a hard time understanding people who do not. To me, my faith life is more important that any world series or supper bowl or word cup game, but it seems to me that more people are interested in that than in their faith. why is this, what makes people care more about a sporting event, that will have no bearing on their eternal life, than about their faith life, that will have a direct bearing on there after life?

This question has always bothered me, as a youth minister and catchiest I have dedicated my life to teach youth about their faith life. I always strive to keep myself active in the pursuit of knowledge concerning my faith life. And I always was amazed at how many of my young students knew more about a rock star or sports star than their own faith. Many knew the names of obscure reality TV stars but not the name of their local parish priest.

Amazing at best.

But I can not hold the youth responsible, I must look at the culture and parents. the culture we live in looks down upon faith, treats it almost as a illness to be cured. The schools can not or will not discuse faith and it’s impact on American society, all references to religion have been removed or watered down from our textbooks and teachers are encouraged, in the name of incisiveness, to exclude any discussion of faith and religion from the class room. And sad as this may sound, many parishes do the same, they have watered down the teachings of the Church to make them more acceptable to a modern secular society that does not want to be told that they have done wrong. They teach a dogma that is bubble gum theology made to make you feel warm and cozy with who you are, not calling you to become who God wants you to be. They have reduced the Ten Commandments to Ten Suggestions and the Beatitudes have become a mantra for the “Jesus loves you” cult that is growing in our faith.

Now before everyone flies off the handle, let me explain… Yes, Jesus loves you and me, and yes that message is important, but when it becomes the only message we are missing the point. Jesus loves me as I am, but He is still calling me to a greater version of myself, He is still challenging me to become what it is God is asking of me. If I just teach the “Jesus loves me” mantras than I am short changing the youth, I am committing a grave injustice to them. I would even go so far as to say I would be sinning. Jesus himself called people to a greater version of themselves, just think of the story of the rich young man and how Jesus called him to take the extra step to join Him. Yet the young man was not able to do so and left Jesus. Now if Jesus followed the whole “Jesus loves me mantra” He would have simple told the young man, follow me, come as you are, I love you and you don’t have to do a darn thing”. But Jesus did not say that, he said, “Give up all you have and than come and follow me”

17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? 18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. 20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. 21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.

23 And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! 24 And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. (Mark 10:17-25)

Compare: Matthew 19:16-30; Luke 18:18-30

We all are loved by Jesus just as we are, yet Jesus knows we can be more, we can be better and He calls us to this greatness. Yet all to often we are teaching our youth that all is good “Jesus loves you”. What an injustice to our youth, what a travesty of our responsibility!

The home life, often times, is no better. Parents, often times through no fault of their own, teach the same dogma, or teach nothing at all, feeling it is the Churches responsibility not theirs. I have had to deal with this mentality for over 20 years of ministry. It is frustrating at best and infuriating at worst. All to often parents will pull their child out of formation classes for sporting events or just wont send them because they have to be bothered to drive them and pick them up. The message we send out children is that “religion” and “faith” are nice, but truly not that important. I have has parents ask me it it was ok for their child to miss class because they go to church every Sunday and learn all they need at Mass, or better yet, parents telling me they don’t go to Church but that’s ok because their child attends religion class once a week.

My response to both is basically the same “So if you don’t attend football or baseball practice everyday do you expect to play in the game that week?” Why are we willing to sacrific
e for a sporting event yet not for our faith? Our faith life is not a series of check boxes, it is not a task to be preformed nor is it an event to attend. Our faith life is our pathway to salvation, it is our roadmap to eternity with God. Yet so many treat it as a burden or a task to check off their weekly to do list.

It saddens me to see the number of hits to my blog drop after Easter, not because its my blog and I want lots of hits, but because it shows me that interest in the faith has dropped, that people are not as curious as they were during Lent.

We need to keep our curiosity up, we need to hunger for information and thirst for knowledge. We need to treat our faith life as if our lives depended upon it, because it does!

God Bless

Paul

 

Basic Spiritual Workout: A Guide to Christian Growth for Catholic Youth

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Posted by on April 9, 2010 in Catholic, church, Faith, Family, History, Lent, Life, youth

 

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The Scandal


{{ru|Зефир и Гиацинт, Аттический сосуд из Тарк...

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The scandal of the Church has been on the front pages of the papers and lead stories on the nightly news. Over all this is a good thing, the Church needs to deal with this scandal. But what confuses me is the pure joy they, meaning the media, seem to get from all this. The catholic priest who molested young boys need help and prayers for sure, the bishops who allowed this to carry on and moved them from parish to parish need to be reprimanded, they need to step down. But why al the joy in the media?

It is good that the media is investigating the scandal, or should I say it would be good if they were investigating the scandal fairly.  But that is not the case, they are on a witch hunt and they are willing to take down the innocent as well as the guilty, and at the same time look the other way when it comes to our school systems or other faiths. This to me is a misuse of power and an injustice to children.

The current scandal in the Church is a scandal from twenty or thirty or more years ago, by no means lessening the travesty of it all, the over all population of priest involved is 2% at most. Once again not taking anything away from the harm caused, 2% is way to much, .0001% is to much, but over all 2% of our priest is not a large number.

Such figures led her to contend "the physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests." (Source)

Family members — fathers, stepfathers, uncles, older siblings — commit 47% of all reported sexual assaults against children in their own homes.

49% of all sexual assaults against children are committed by persons known either by the child or the child’s family — teachers, coaches, physicians, ministers, priests,  neighbors, youth leaders. (Source)

I am not using the statistics to take the spot light off of the Catholic Church, but rather to point it also on public education and other areas of concern.

Over all the reporting on the scandal in the Church has been a scandal unto itself. And with the current wave of anti-Catholic feelings I expect it will continue for sometime to come. But we as Catholics can do something about we can fight back, promote the positive aspects of the Church, the good She does for youth and the community She resides in. We can also point out, in letters to the editors, the injustice of the persecution of the Church over our public schools.

In a way the abuse at the public schools is an even greater evil than the priest. We have no choice but to send our youth to school, and we allow teachers to have full access to our youth 8 hour per day, five days a week. And if they are involved in sports, we also allow them to change in front of grown adults. We, in some ways are asking for it,

The scandal involving the priest is sickening at best, but we hold some of that responsibility ourselves. We places the parish priest upon pedestals and made them gods in there own rights, we allowed our children to spend the night at the rectory or to go on trips with them. Sure some parents were good friends with the priest, and as the statistics above state 49% of abuse is by someone they know and trust. But do we have to allow the percentage to go up? Do we have to feed in to it?

The problem of abuse is a social problem and it is not a new problem, it is as old as time (article). The Greek society is full of stories of young boys and me, by no means justifying the actions, just pointing out the reality. The issue is social. Contrary to popular belief most people who sexually abuse youth are not gay. As stated above they are mostly family members or close family friends. 

[M]ost men who molest little boys are not gay.  Only 21 percent of the child molesters we studied who assault little boys were exclusively homosexual.  Nearly 80 percent of the men who molested little boys were heterosexual or bisexual, and most of these men were married and had children of their own.27

These scientists have concluded that pedophilia is a separate orientation from homosexuality and that the vast majority of molesters who target boys have either no interest in mature males or are heterosexual men who are attracted to the feminine characteristics of young boys.(source)

Homosexuality and homosexual pedophilia are not synonymous.  In fact, it may be that these two orientations are mutually exclusive, the reason being that the homosexual male is sexually attracted to masculine qualities whereas the heterosexual male is sexually attracted to feminine characteristics, and the sexually immature child’s qualities are more feminine than masculine. . . . The child offender who is attracted to and engaged in adult sexual relationships is heterosexual.  It appears, therefore, that the adult heterosexual male constitutes a greater sexual risk to underage children than does the adult homosexual male.19 .(source)

My over all point to this blog, we need to look at facts and we need to understand what we are dealing with. Sexual abuse of children is not a “Catholic” thing, nor is it a “gay” thing, it is a society thing and one that needs to be understood. The media is not doing its job, rather it is conduction a man hunt, if you will, on Catholics.

As Catholics we need to educate ourselves so we can better defend the Church in these times of turmoil. We need to know facts so we are not just shooting from the hip but rather using facts to fight our cause.  God willing the Church will survive and come out stringer when this persecution is over.

God Bless

Paul

Galatians 2:20“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

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Posted by on April 7, 2010 in Faith, Family, History, Life

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Scandal


{{ru|Зефир и Гиацинт, Аттический сосуд из Тарк...

Image via Wikipedia

The scandal of the Church has been on the front pages of the papers and lead stories on the nightly news. Over all this is a good thing, the Church needs to deal with this scandal. But what confuses me is the pure joy they, meaning the media, seem to get from all this. The catholic priest who molested young boys need help and prayers for sure, the bishops who allowed this to carry on and moved them from parish to parish need to be reprimanded, they need to step down. But why al the joy in the media?

It is good that the media is investigating the scandal, or should I say it would be good if they were investigating the scandal fairly.  But that is not the case, they are on a witch hunt and they are willing to take down the innocent as well as the guilty, and at the same time look the other way when it comes to our school systems or other faiths. This to me is a misuse of power and an injustice to children.

The current scandal in the Church is a scandal from twenty or thirty or more years ago, by no means lessening the travesty of it all, the over all population of priest involved is 2% at most. Once again not taking anything away from the harm caused, 2% is way to much, .0001% is to much, but over all 2% of our priest is not a large number.

Such figures led her to contend “the physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests.” (Source)

Family members — fathers, stepfathers, uncles, older siblings — commit 47% of all reported sexual assaults against children in their own homes.

49% of all sexual assaults against children are committed by persons known either by the child or the child’s family — teachers, coaches, physicians, ministers, priests,  neighbors, youth leaders. (Source)

I am not using the statistics to take the spot light off of the Catholic Church, but rather to point it also on public education and other areas of concern.

Over all the reporting on the scandal in the Church has been a scandal unto itself. And with the current wave of anti-Catholic feelings I expect it will continue for sometime to come. But we as Catholics can do something about we can fight back, promote the positive aspects of the Church, the good She does for youth and the community She resides in. We can also point out, in letters to the editors, the injustice of the persecution of the Church over our public schools.

In a way the abuse at the public schools is an even greater evil than the priest. We have no choice but to send our youth to school, and we allow teachers to have full access to our youth 8 hour per day, five days a week. And if they are involved in sports, we also allow them to change in front of grown adults. We, in some ways are asking for it,

The scandal involving the priest is sickening at best, but we hold some of that responsibility ourselves. We places the parish priest upon pedestals and made them gods in there own rights, we allowed our children to spend the night at the rectory or to go on trips with them. Sure some parents were good friends with the priest, and as the statistics above state 49% of abuse is by someone they know and trust. But do we have to allow the percentage to go up? Do we have to feed in to it?

The problem of abuse is a social problem and it is not a new problem, it is as old as time (article). The Greek society is full of stories of young boys and me, by no means justifying the actions, just pointing out the reality. The issue is social. Contrary to popular belief most people who sexually abuse youth are not gay. As stated above they are mostly family members or close family friends. 

[M]ost men who molest little boys are not gay.  Only 21 percent of the child molesters we studied who assault little boys were exclusively homosexual.  Nearly 80 percent of the men who molested little boys were heterosexual or bisexual, and most of these men were married and had children of their own.27

These scientists have concluded that pedophilia is a separate orientation from homosexuality and that the vast majority of molesters who target boys have either no interest in mature males or are heterosexual men who are attracted to the feminine characteristics of young boys.(source)

Homosexuality and homosexual pedophilia are not synonymous.  In fact, it may be that these two orientations are mutually exclusive, the reason being that the homosexual male is sexually attracted to masculine qualities whereas the heterosexual male is sexually attracted to feminine characteristics, and the sexually immature child’s qualities are more feminine than masculine. . . . The child offender who is attracted to and engaged in adult sexual relationships is heterosexual.  It appears, therefore, that the adult heterosexual male constitutes a greater sexual risk to underage children than does the adult homosexual male.19 .(source)

My over all point to this blog, we need to look at facts and we need to understand what we are dealing with. Sexual abuse of children is not a “Catholic” thing, nor is it a “gay” thing, it is a society thing and one that needs to be understood. The media is not doing its job, rather it is conduction a man hunt, if you will, on Catholics.

As Catholics we need to educate ourselves so we can better defend the Church in these times of turmoil. We need to know facts so we are not just shooting from the hip but rather using facts to fight our cause.  God willing the Church will survive and come out stringer when this persecution is over.

God Bless

Paul

Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church
Galatians 2:20“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”Brought to you by BibleGateway.com. Copyright (C) . All Rights Reserved.
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Boyness


Working off of yesterdays blog about how we treat boys in this nation, I thought I would dive in to the problem a little more.

If we look at the boys being raised, how we as a society send such a mixed message to them, how parents want to raise soft and tender boy, boys with a heart. We want to raise boys as if they are not boys, we want to remove the boyness from boys.

The whole “pop” psychology thing of being in touch with your feelings and the how does that make you feel questioning of boys has, effectively, removed boyhood from boys. We have created a whole generation of boys that truly do not know how to be boys. Look around you, look at what our so called boys are doing.

One of the true signs that we have ventured to far off course is the simple fact The Pocket Dangerous Book for Boys: Things to Do By Conn Iggulden, Hal Igguldenthat we even have to talk about how boys should act. Look in the book stores, there are tons of books for parents on how to raise your boys and there is even a book for boys on how to be a boy…. Come on! Now I am not the most athletic person, truth be told, I really only like Baseball, and that passion only runs so deep in me. I sucked at playing sports as a boy, but, and I repeat, but no one had to tell me how to act as a boy, I was able to figure that all out on my own, thank you very much! Now some will say that i did not do a very good job at it, that my adventure as a boy lacked in some areas, and that would most likely be true. But I stand by the fact that I did not need a book nor did my parents need a book to tell me how to act as a boy, it was instinctive to me, my parents did not try to raise me any other way, they did not try to make me sensitive (I was by nature) nor did they try to make me sporty, they let me grow up who I was and treaded me as a boy.

What’s that mean, treaded me as a boy…

I was encouraged to play out side, to get messy to climb trees to make forts to play cops and robbers to use my imagination to create exciting new worlds for me to explore, to get holes in my jeans and to do all the other things that boys do. Being a boy  is an adventure in misadventures, it’s being allowed to fall and being told to get back up again and do it all over, and if you fall again, well that’s life. It being allowed to make mistakes and to say the wrong thing at the wrong time, to learn from experience that you just don’t say that to little girls.

Creating new worlds with only a stick from the big oak tree in your back yard and your imagination, that is boyhood at it’s best, play dates and structured time (or at least to much of it) is in opposition to boyhood, it removes the opportunity for spontaneity of a boy, creating a programmable boy and not a living boy.

What have we done to our boys? How did we get to this point? All in the name of woman’s liberation, in our efforts to create equality we have dummied  downed our boys, stripped them of boyness to create a non-gender rather than celebrating the two unique genders we have.

We need to get back to the basics, boys are boys and girls are girls, that’s all there is to it. We are different, one is not better than the other, just different from each other. Now here is were I will get in trouble, but such is life. There are something’s that boys do better than girls and girls do better than boys. There are some actions that are all boy and some that are all girl. That’s just the way it is, sorry but we are not the same, we are equal in the fact that we are humans, that we are created by God, but our equality does not translate in to sameness, we are not the same, we are two different creations with two very different and distinct callings and skill sets. It’s just nature, a fact of life, try as we may (and have over that last 40 years) we cannot make boys in to girls, nor girls in to boy. We are separate genders and we can not make a new non-gender to fit our own selfish needs.

It’s time we accept the fact that boys are boys and girls are girls…

Paul

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2009 in Change, Control, Faith, Improvement, Life, Self

 

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My one Joy


One of my favorite things to do is to read, I love to read. I read books for enrichment, for pleasure and for spiritual growth. And I love to read several books at one time. I have been known to have five books going at one time. At the moment I have 6 books in process, but am actively reading 3. The books rang from Steven King to St. Francis; I read different styles for different reasons. I allow my mood and my needs drive what book I pick up, so some books I may read in a day or two, and others, it may take me a year or more to read. I allow the moment to take me away and allow my mind to drift in to the world of the author. And at times I am sure the Holy Spirit guides me to read certain books. But in the end, I just love to read.

Reading is an escape for me, no matter the subject, be it deep with theology or shallow with the super natural. In truth, I try to learn something from everything I read, I look for that little knowledge that the author wants to share. I dig deeper in to novels than most would, so event the basic Stephen King book turns in to a search for some truth, and truth be told, I almost always find some nugget of truth.

I love to read, it’s my escape, others paint, some play games and others work out or play sports. We all have that one thing that we find the most relaxing, the most energizing. For me it’s reading, now truth be told, I really could use some exercising in my life, but I just find it hard to allow the power of the action to outweigh the action itself. Now I could read about it, and find some joy in that, but the results would not be the same. But that’s for a different blog, this one is about finding that one activity that gives you joy.

For me it’s reading, and I try to read every day, even if it’s for only 15 minutes. Some days I can spend hours reading, and other days, I get no time, but I average at least 30 minutes per day enjoying a good book or two.
Everyone needs to find the one thing that fills them with contentment, you need to find the one joy in this world that allows you to recharge and relax. Now comes the hard part, not only do you have to find it, but now you must make time to spend on it, daily! Five minutes, 30 minutes, in truth the time don’t matter, it’s the fact that you are giving yourself a break.

For me it’s reading, so I always have a book in my car, and several at home, and at work, I usually have something to read, if time permits. If yours is sports you may not be able to play a game of basketball at lunchtime, but you can read up on your favorite teams, or look for places to play after work. There is always a way to fill your day with the one joy you have.

I am sure many of you have more than one thing that relaxes and energizes you, as do I, but I chose the one activity that seems to be the most consistent. Like I said, some days I don’t read at all, I find it’s just too much work, if its summer time, I would work outside on my fish pond, if its winter, as it is now, I find myself watching old movies or working on new ideas for faith formation for my company STATIC Solutions (www.staticplace.com). And sometimes I just need to do something new, something different, but all in all reading is my one joy.

Paul

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2009 in Change, Control, Faith, Improvement, Life, Self

 

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Opportunities Lost


Each day we have new opportunities to praise our God, each hour we new opportunities to help our neighbor and each minute we have opportunities to choose what is right. But all too often we let these opportunities pass us by. We fill our lives with things of this world, things that really don’t matter, but we use them to distract us from what really does matter.

Case in point, take the election coming up, we in America have the freedom to vote, to choose our leaders, yet many Americans do not, they choose not to exercise their freedom. They allow distractions from the world keep them from performing an act that many in the world would die for, yet many waste the power.

Case in point, take sports, many people will forgo church service for a sporting event. Yes, I agree sports are a very important activity providing many benefits to our society. But church is also an important activity; Praising God should be paramount in list of activities we need to accomplish each and every day.

Case in point, take faith formation, I see this all too often, parents sign up their child for faith formation classes with the expectation that they will receive whatever sacrament is offered, without effort on their part or their child’s. They drop them off, as long as there is no sporting activity to attend and the mom or dad feel like it. The child arrives, maybe 15 minutes late because they were watching TV or playing a video game, and they didn’t want to miss any of it. In class they behave, but none of the work was done, and no effort put in to the conversation in class. Yet they feel they have done their part.

We waste opportunities daily, all of us do and all of us need to learn how not to do so. I wish I had the answer, but I do not, rather I am just stating what I see.

The answer is in each of us, we each know what takes president in our lives, we each know how our priorities are set, is it football or Church, is it 2 hour babysitting or faith formation? Questions we need to ask ourselves each and every day. Reminders we need to write in our planners, and set up for automatic email deliveries.

Ways to help you remember that opportunities are always presented to you, if you choose to use them is up to you:

1. Place a task in your planer to pray each day at the same time, asking God to open your eyes to the opportunities to praise him.

2. Set up your email (or find a reminder service on line for free) to automatically email you daily with a reminder to praise God

3. Subscribe to a daily bible passage email or the daily readings from the Church.

4. Set your homepage to a Catholic site such as www.catholic.org or www.mycatholic.com

5. Read this blog or other catholic blogs daily, set up a RSS feed so you always get the latest postings on your home page

6. Read a daily devotional

7. Read a bible passage a day, download a roadmap on how to read the bible in one year or you can purchase a one year bible.

8. Journal daily, start a blog or do it the old fashion way, on paper

9. Make it a point to look up service opportunities in your area and send encouraging emails daily

10. If you can, attend daily mass, what better way to praise God then to receive his son daily.

All of the above suggestions take time and effort, but in the end God will bless you, and you will have more energy and a clearer mind.

Add to my list; post your ideas on how we can remind ourselves daily of the opportunities God has given us, each and every day to praise him. Share your personal examples of opportunities lost or opportunities found.

Make this day the first day of new opportunities!

Paul

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2008 in Catholic, church, Eucharist, Faith, Life, selfhelp

 

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What is your Splinter?


Change is good for the soul…

Change is hard to do…

Not everyone likes change…

Change yourself first….

 

All the above are statements we all have heard at one time or another, or at least something similar to that anyway.

And all are true, change is hard, not everyone likes it and it can be good for you, as long as the change is positive. And that’s the key to it all, it has to be positive, for you and for your soul.

 

Matthew     Chapter 7:1-5

 1 “Stop judging, that you may not be judged.

2 For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the

measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.

3 Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye,

but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?

4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that

splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in your eye?

 5 You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye

first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from

your brother’s eye.

 

In Matthew we see Jesus talking about taking care of our own problems first, before we accuse others, what he is saying is change yourself, remove what is bad in you, before you help others or accuse others.

 Jesus sure was a wise man, if he where alive today, Jesus could charge $100.00 per seat to give motivational talks, and sell out the house… But we seem to forget that the bible contains all we need to know, all we have to do is look for it.

 So what is are your splinters?

 

  • Drugs
  • Drink
  • Sex
  • Porn
  • Shopping
  • Sports
  • Church

 

You probable where with me on the list above until I got to sports and church… Most likely I lost you there… But people can use anything as a splinter, something from keeping them from seeing clearly.

 Sure a sport can be our escape from reality, we can live through the sport, use it to avoid life, and the same can be said for church. I see many people who use church as a way to escape the world that is not what it’s there for; rather church is there to help you enter in to the world. But that is off topic a little, back to changing and removing the splinter…

Jesus calls us to a deep conversion, a deep change. We are called to leave behind all we have, and everyone we love to follow him. We are called to care for our enemies and to pray for those that persecute us. We are called to a change that radically converts us from a life of just being to a life of participation, one that forces us to do unpleasant things, and one that calls us to constantly change, to rise to the occasion. To become al that we are called to be. And Jesus doesn’t call us to be anything less then what we are, but rather he calls us to be greater then we can ever achieve, with out his grace and love.

 We are all called, by name, to be what God has planned for us, but first we must we willing to remove the splinters of our life from our eyes, so we can see clearly what God has planned for us.

 What are your splinters?

Paul

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2008 in church, Education, Faith, Life, selfhelp

 

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