Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Cali Judge Rules Against the Voice of the People

Just a few moments ago, a California judge ruled against Prop 8, which passed by a rather large margin in November 2008. Prop 8 banned same-sex marriage in the state of California, upholding the traditional value of marriage between one man and one woman. Californians demonstrated an enormous amount of guts and bravery when they voted their conscience. But, like in Iowa and Massachusetts, a judge decided that the democratic vote held by the people of their state was irrelevent. The judge overturned the vote after two gay couples (in San Francisco, of all places!) brought suit against the proposition, calling it a discriminatory law which denied civil rights.

I guess voting really is important...unless some judge disagrees with you.

Friday, July 2, 2010

High School Daze

You can tell its summer time in Oklahoma when wheat dust, grill smoke, and the acrid smell of fire works fills the air. Its a relaxing time, but also a little busy at the same time. Tomorrow, I've got my 10 year high school reunion. Hard to believe its been 10 years already! Not to mention the fact that I'm still in school, sort of. Like most people, I had a small group of actual friends, and everyone else fell into the category of "acquaintances." In a graduating class of about 100 kids, you're pretty much forced to interact with everyone at some point. 10 years later, a person can really examine the pros and cons of their high school experience with clearer eyes. Could I have made it better? Of course, everyone knows they could have done better, tried harder in some way. Who knows?

There's not much point in dwelling on the past in such ways. Although, as a teacher, not using my own high school experience to try and enhance the experience of my students would be a waste. As much as I enjoyed a number of my history teachers in high school, its just a fact that I wasn't taught the nitty gritty that makes history fascinating and vital to a free society. The No Child Left Behind experiment of the last decade (and the failed experiments before it) has made history and social studies back burner subjects. There's currently a generation of kids who aren't being taught basic truths. The Constitution isn't being read in class, controversial issues are ignored to keep the peace, and spineless relativism is the dominant philosophy being passed on to students. Teachers who teach truth face discrimination and unemployment. Politically correct curriculum has replaced fact-based study. Schools in Massachusetts refuse to say the Pledge of Allegiance, but have no problem handing out condoms to elementary school children without parental consent. How does this make any sense to a logical, rational, thinking human being?

As I try to decide whether or not to pay for an over priced meal at the reunion, I think its also important to use this opportunity to try and find ways to make the future better. Teachers have a unique place in our society, in most societies for that matter. They have the power to create or destroy the futures of millions of children. Am I being a little hyperbolic? Sure, why not. But, I don't think I'm that far off.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Holy Trinity Sunday

Few teachings of the Church have been more misunderstood. The mystery of the Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is the central mystery of our Catholic faith. Its really good to have a special day set aside to realize the importance of this critical aspect of faith.

With all the philosophical knots the idea of the Trinity can tie your brain in, it can be easy to forget how simply it can be demonstrated. One of my favorite saints, as well as one of my patrons, St. Patrick used a humble shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to the people of Ireland. Sometimes showing is more useful than trying to intellectualize. God made the Trinity hard to explain, but easy to see. Just look at a patch of clover and you'll see it.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Pentecost is traditionally considered the birthday of the Church. So, give the bride of Christ a gift by showing her how much she means to you: Go to Mass! In fact, make a party out of it and bring the whole family!


Monday, May 10, 2010

Ellis Island Revisited

Anyone else getting a massive migraine from the immigration fiasco in Arizona yet? I can honestly see both sides of this argument. On one hand, these are indeed real, flesh and blood souls with families risking their lives to come to this country. But, on the other hand (and there's always another hand) they are knowingly breaking the laws of the United States, laws which are meant to protect this country.

Is Arizona being as "evil" as a lot of the media of claiming? I'm not convinced. If you look at the law of the land, they're trying to do a job that the federal government has failed at, miserably. If anything, this should be a huge wake up call to those in Washington who have been putting this issue on the back burner for decades. Both sides of the political isle have benefited, in some manner, by ignoring this issue. So don't let either of them act like their hands are clean on this one. One plays a hypocritical economy card, and the other plays the hypocritical race card.

Why have we as a nation strayed so far from the ideals presented by Ellis Island in the 19th and early 20th century? No one has been able to answer that question. The ideals of Ellis Island welcomed those to our shores who were willing to risk their very lives to realize the fullness of human potential in a land where merit was prized over blood. This was the very thing that supplied the life blood for the American nation from its earliest inception. Not only are we as Americans being convinced to forget our Christian heritage (both Catholic and Protestant), but we're also being told to forget our immigrant heritage.

I suppose I'm promoting a type of "Ellis Island Immigration Reform." It needs to be easier for families to become legal citizens, but there also needs to be a specific path for them to follow to realize that dream with the support system in place to aid them in this endeavour, with the end result being their integration into American life. If anyone has a valid reason for why this can't be done, I'd be glad to hear it.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Happy Belated Birthday Holy Father!

I'm a day late on this one. Happy 83rd birthday to our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. Plus, the 5th anniversary of his pontificate is approaching fast.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Pro-Life Oklahoma

There's been a marked increase in pro-life legislation working its way through the state legislature down in Oklahoma City over the past year or so. This is a great sign, because changes will occur on the state level before it ever goes before the Supreme Court. It also shows that people are waking up to the reality of what's really happening. The euphemism/double speak of "family planning" can't hide the truth anymore.

I'm going to try and compile a list of pending legislation and throw it on here within the next week or so. If you're a non-Okie, try to find out what your state legislature is doing (or not doing) to further the Culture of Life and let me know what's going on in your backyard.

I hope everyone had a fruitful Lent and Easter! Anyone planning on continuing Fish Fridays year round? I'm going to try...we'll see what happens.