Monday, October 13, 2008

Yankee, Go Home! Part One

Today, I went to McCain-Palin Rally in Richmond, VA. This has been a hard election cycle on all of us, given its length, but it will be over in three weeks and one day. Phew. We'll have a new president and vice president. Anyway, today I headed to Richmond for a rally with Sarah Palin. (Sorry for the poor quality picture--my camera died and I had to use my blackberry for this one!)

She is a pretty neat lady--was very gracious (only one awkward moment when she thought people were protesting, but they were just shouting "louder!") and had a great pro-life message. She talked about how God made every child unique, including kids with special needs. It wasn't quite as good a pro-life speech as this one from in Johnstown, PA, this weekend, but it was still really good.

I know she's getting raked over the coals on SNL (Tina Fey is funny), but I like that she's out there, doing her best, in not a great political climate. That means something, especially when she gets up and says that every life is important. After all, life is first of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." For me the tipping point is that we can never have that third if we don't protect the first. You know, as a Catholic, I try to stay independent, but as a citizen, it's important to remember to speak the Truth in love. Even Mother Teresa did, in a brief to the Supreme Court. She wrote, in part:

As your Declaration of Independence put it, in words that have never lost their power to stir the heart: “We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…” A nation founded on these principles holds a sacred trust: to stand as an example to the rest of the world, to climb ever higher in its practical realization of the ideals of human dignity, brotherhood, and mutual respect. Your constant efforts in fulfillment of that mission, far more that your size or your wealth or your military might, have made America an inspiration to all mankind....It was a sad infidelity to America's highest
ideals when this Court said that it did not matter, or could not be determined, when the inalienable right to life began for a child in its mother's womb.

I'm just glad someone is finally talking about life in this election. More later in the week on the rally. Richmond is the SOUTH. The rally was part Nascar, part revival, and part policy. Oh, and Hank Williams was there. How's that for a teaser?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

"Home, home, on the range...."

Greetings from the desert! It's nice to be a way from the city for a few days, though the work hours out here are long! Utah has beautiful sunsets, and I'm about the head out to see one.

But, my comments on Roe (below) will be published in Lifelines, the PA pro-life e-pub. Excited! Also, this weekend, I'll be playing in the DC Think Tank Softball Tournament. Not to mention, CCD starts this weekend!

So, busy times when I return from "the range." Pray for all those catechists when you have a chance. This is "back to CCD" time which is both a joy and a stressor for the legions of volunteer teachers in the world. To all my fellow teachers, remember those wonderful words of Pope John Paul II, in Catechesi Tradendae and teach courageously:

I am anxious to give thanks in the Church's name to all of you, lay teachers of catechesis in the parishes, the men and the still more numerous women throughout the world who are devoting yourselves to the religious education of many generations. Your work is often lowly and hidden but it is carried out with ardent and generous zeal, and it is an eminent form of the lay apostolate, a form that is particularly important where for various reasons children and young people do not receive suitable religious training in the home. How many of us have received from people like you our first notions of catechism and our preparation for the sacrament of Penance, for our first Communion and Confirmation! The fourth general assembly of the synod did not forget you. I join with it in encouraging you to continue your collaboration for the life of the Church.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Living in the Shadow of Roe v. Wade

A friend of mine passed on this question of "What does it mean growing up in the shadow of Roe v. Wade." Here was my reply:

I remember quite profoundly the moment I stopped saying, "I personally would never have an abortion, but I don't think I have the right to impose my beliefs on anyone." It was in the spring of 2000. Two friends and I were walking out of our statistics class, and we were greeted by another friend of ours, "Ruth." Ruth announced with some trepidation that she was pregnant. The first sentence anyone uttered was, "Are you happy?"

Eight years later, I often dwell on that day, because I wonder how our society could have evolved so far as to allow happiness to dictate whether someone can live or die (Ruth was happy, incidentally). I also wonder how I had reached 21 years of age thinking that it was wrong of me to advocate the right of a human to live. Roe vs. Wade not only legalized genocide, it installed relativism as the belief system of choice. We weren't taught absolutes in school, we were taught that everyone's truth was equally valid. Because of this, far more of my contemporaries embrace apathy over empathy. If all positions are equal, why should I bother to understand yours? It's evidenced in the detachment of those of us who live, who shout for change, but are unwilling advocate any position. It's in the "me" attitude that keeps us isolated from one another, rarely bothering to learn our neighbors names, let alone listen to their stories. It's in the neverending pursuit of "happiness" that results in promiscuity, serial monogamy, and insecurity. And for those of us rejecting Roe vs. Wade, it means often being the lone voice at the lunch table, the person known as a "religious zealot," and the "judgmental" one.

In truth, Roe yielded a generation of lonely people--our parents robbed us of siblings and friends, and our Government institutionalized an isolating philosophy. But, as in all things, there is hope. Those of us who have spent all our lives in the shadow of Roe are slowly stepping into the light--we are learning in adulthood the lessons we should have learned as children. That happiness comes in service. That all life is precious. That there is an absolute truth. We are combatting loneliness by banding together, and we will stare down the shadow of Roe. And, in time, the only response to the utterance, "I'm pregnant," will be, "Congratulations!"

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Twice in One Night? McCain/Palin = Tigh/Roslin?

Mostly because my love for sci-fi and Sarah Palin have quickly intersected. I'm said I missed this before:

The McCain/Palin ticket is the Battlestar Galactica Tigh/Roslin ticket. At least Roslin became president. There is hope for Sarah Palin.


It's Irrational....

Now that I've completed nearly a month of mourning (Brett Farve is dead to me) and survived vacation (Disney World), I'm back to the real world. And there is nothing more real in my world right now than the election. POTUS, if you are unawares. To be honest, I could have cared less until last Friday. Hillary was obnoxious, and Obama doesn't really do it for me anymore. Change. Hope. Blah, blah, blah. I expected better from the Junior Senator. I even gave him a pass on that whole "clinging to their religion and guns" comment. I like my religion, thank you very much, and I'll own a gun if I darn well want to.

Then of course there was Obama's refusal to back the Born Alive Infants Protection Act. He also wouldn't want his daughter "burdened" with an unwanted child. And his flip-flop on wire tapping. And the fact that I'm still not convinced he has a plan--all the plans I've seen smack of Marxism. Not to mention that it offends me EVERY TIME someone highlights that Sen. Biden is a Catholic born in Pennsylvania.

But I wasn't sold on McCain, either. He's aged since 2000. He'd need help on the economy. I'm not sure he'll change Washington.

And then I met Sarah Palin. Okay, I didn't meet her, but I did. Via the TV. And it's absolutely irrational how much I like her. I would love to quit my job and move to Alaska and work for her. Or go to work for the office of the VP if she wins. It's irrational, I tell you. So be it--she's living the pro-life life. She's got a family, she runs a state, and I bet she drives a minivan. I want to be her when I grow up.

She's resonating with a lot of young, conservative, pro-family women I know. All of us feel revived. Like Sarah Palin can accomplish what we've all dreamed of. It's irrational, I know, but I can't help feeling like Sarah Palin has the potential to be my hero. Sigh. I'll let you know.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Oh, Brett (Favre)

Dear Brett (Favre):

What gives, man? I bleed green and gold, you know. The Pack is my team. From the time I saw my first game at Milwaukee County Stadium, to that year you won the Super Bowl ("a Brett and a Brooks and an Edgar and a Reggie, and Jones, and a Leroy and a Newsome and a Dorsey, hey Packerena, hutt, hutt"), and I laughed hysetrically when that girl in high school called you "FAHV-RAY."

It was I who drank a shot of tequila every time you scored during your victory over the Bears on New Years 2007 and pleaded that you wouldn't not retire until you went out with a winning season. And then, last year, you were flawless. You broke records. You tearfully retired. I was depressed. I grieved. For the first time since I was a teen *4 wouldn't be QB when the season started. But, I dealt with it. I moved on, knowing that you had played your heart out. I was ready for summer camp. I was ready for pre-season. And then this. Oh, Brett. Why do you have to do this to me? Why did you have to be like Mike? I can't handle it, and I hope you realize that I'm not the only one. I don't know whether or not to be thrilled to see you play or angry because you're messing with the future of my team.

I might have to become a Redskins fan in protest...or....root for the Bears. That's right, I'll root for the Bears in protest. Okay, maybe I won't go that far. I mean I'm a cheesehead. But, I might not go to a bar to watch the games. I'll, I'll just listen to them on the radio so I won't have to watch you, who broke my heart! A pox, a pox on you, who I'd learn to live without. A pox on you somewhere other than your throwing arm, because we really need to beat the Bears this year. So, since you insist on playing, get it together and play well. Because I don't want to have to have you be dead to me. Or root for the Bears.



Saturday, July 26, 2008

I Want to Believe

In high school and college, Friday nights and then Sundays, belonged to Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), my constant companions. So, when I found out that I’d miss the series finale, because my parents didn’t have cable, one of my cousins sent a VHS tape with the finale episode. It was a bittersweet ending; Mulder and Scully didn’t save the world, they ultimately couldn’t raise their son, they didn’t change any minds…but, they did have each other. So, in a bookend to the series, Mulder and Scully ended up in a crappy motel room, just the two of them. But that was The X-Files--struggling for Truth but never quite getting what you want and finding out the truth that it is our relationships that endure when, literally, the world explodes around you.

Fast forward seven years—I’ve finished graduate school, worked in DC for three years, and figured out that government per diem can get you a lot better than a crappy motel room, but not much, depending on where you have to go. I’m not a special agent investigating aliens, like I wanted to be in high school. And I'm not Dana Scully, though I wanted to be in high school, because, if I were, I’d be cool enough to run in heels while shooting my 9 mm, write awesome journal entries, and hang out with Fox Mulder. Not to mention I’d be jet-setting across the world seeking that elusive Truth, always getting a glimpse. But, after seven years, I feel more like Dana Scully than I ever did in high school—seeking the Truth, struggling when my Faith intersects Science, and desperately hoping to keep it all together, just like she did, though I still haven't found my Fox Mulder.

So, go visit my old friends Fox and Dana (TM—Mrs. Scully) in their new movie, The X-Files: I Want To Believe. If you are an “x-phile,” you’ll love it. It’s got the snark, the sexual innuendo, the laughs, the creepy monsters, and our two intrepid agents. For x-phile, it’s a great reunion. You get to reminisce about all your fondest memories, you get to catch up with old friends, and you get a glimpse of their life in the future. And you realize not much changed. If you’re not a phile? Well, you still get the awesomeness of Dana Scully. This movie is about a woman’s struggle to understand what she believes about her life and her relationships with others, as well as the complexities of her choices as a medical doctor.

Dana Scully is still the type of person I think it would be good to be. Somehow, she never gives up; she has a deep Faith that challenges her; she makes the wrong decisions, but so how mananges to get it right in the end. She takes chances, but knows when to draw lines in the sand. Not to mention, she got to be a snappy dresser! So, go see my movie if you're bored and The Dark Knight is sold out. It's a great way to spend two hours.