Saturday, May 23, 2015

Defending Huckabee ... again??? (Sigh)

This is getting old.

I've been a supporter of Mike Huckabee since 2007. I volunteered with his campaign in 2007/08. I was disappointed when he didn't get the nomination then, and even more so when he didn't run in 2012. I remained on the mailing lists. I continued to post in Huck's Army. I continued to promote him and argue for him in places like Twitter and Facebook.

This year, I got excited that he was going to finally run again. But then ...

He kept making statements that were either not wise, or were twisted by the media and his foes.

I found myself again and again arguing with people. "That's not what he said." "That's not what happened." Again and again.

The latest is his support for the Duggar family after reports that Josh Duggar had been guilty of molesting some young women when he was a young teen.

Mike did condemn the actions. If he had also just said he is a friend of the family and is praying for them in this time of need, that would have been fine. But he went further. He said too much, opening him up to attack yet again.

Yes, he was right. Yes, we should not forget forgiveness. Yes, the media, the Duggar haters, the conservative Christian bashers, are exploiting and sensationalizing this story. Yes, Huckabee was speaking like the Baptist minister he is.

But, frankly, I'm tired of trying to explain what he said or meant.

Sometimes he seems to be still in television pundit/entertainer mode, saying too much or saying things without thinking about what he is saying. Shooting from the hip, often with a quip (though not in this case).

I'm guilty of the same sort of foot-in-mouth tendencies - one of the reasons why I knew I could never really run for office.

And now the issues I disagree with him on - like the death penalty, for example - weigh heavier when the enthusiasm is not there.

At this point, I'm about to give up. I'll vote for him if he gets the Republican nomination, especially given the kinds of candidates the Party of Death seems bent on nominating, but I don't see me volunteering with his campaign, or in continuing to defend him in social media.

Pax et bonum

Monday, May 18, 2015

Praying as ministry

In thinking about the men's conference call, and in my own nature, I have a solution.

I am more of a private, reclusive sort - going out into the streets, even hanging out with people (men's groups, for example) is not my thing. While not a "hermit" in the strictest sense, I am inclined that way.

Plus, I do have a tendency to argue, and to be uncharitable as I argue.

Then it hit me: When tempted to confront others, pray for them instead. More Franciscan anyway.

So I plan to pray. To spend more time in adoration. To turn off the radio in the car and pray instead. To spend less time on line or watching television.

It doesn't have to be hours on end. It can be a few minutes here and there. While walking the dog. While driving. While waiting.

And I should pray for those who ask for prayers, those who I'm tempted to argue with, those I'm worried about.

I won't be totally silent on issues, of course. Debate can be good. People do respond to reason. But when tempted to get confrontational, argumentative, snarky, I need to turn to prayer.

For their sake.

And mine.

Pax et bonum

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Rochester Catholic Men's Conference

I attended the first Rochester Catholic Men's Conference Saturday, along with hundreds of other Rochester Catholic men.

Great speakers - Tim Staples, Hector Molina, and Danny Abramowicz, as well as a homily by Bishop Matano for the opening Mass.

Inspiring and challenging.

Tough for this reclusive fellow. And the call to action, well, I would like to commit to promoting men's groups, but that's not my thing. Except for the Franciscan, I'm not a group person - and even with them I'm somewhat reserved.

As awful as it sounds, I just don't like being around people a lot. 

But the call to speak out - well that's one I can handle.

I look forward to seeing what happens in the diocese as a result of this conference, and to the second conference next year.

Pax et bonum

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Becket Hall is closing

Back in 1975 when I was exploring my faith, I decided to enroll in our diocese's pre-theologate college seminary, Becket Hall.

I discovered that the priesthood was not the right path for me, but I still valued my time there. I learned and grew so much. I met some good a holy men who remain friends, and some of whom were later ordained.

When I was there we had some 50 men. The numbers dropped, and eventually the seminary moved off campus and became a residential facility housed for a while in a former convent, and later a former rectory.

Bishop Salvatore Matano has now announced that Becket Hall will close, to be replaced by a non-residential program. I am saddened by this news, but given the numbers, it makes sense.

Thank you Lord for what I experienced some four decades ago. I wouldn't he who I am now if not for Becket Hall.

Pax et bonum

Monday, May 4, 2015

Margaret Sanger (and Hitler) Clerihew

The ideas of Margaret Sanger
inspired a certain German paper hanger.
He especially found she met his needs
when she talked about getting rid of "human weeds."

(Okay, the photo is a fake, but too good to pass up!)

Pax et bonum

Sunday, May 3, 2015


The Baltimore riots have sparked of a debate. I've heard racism spouted. I find it offensive.

I've also heard nonsense defending the action of the rioters.

One fellow likened the rioters' actions to the fight against oppression and for democracy of the Boston Tea Party protesters.


The Boston Tea Party targeted an item that was central to the dispute back then - tea. The rioters targeted stores, a senior center, citizens' cars - and none of these had anything to do with the death of a Black man. The Tea Party protesters did not loot the tea - they destroyed it. The Baltimore rioters stole. The Tea Party protesters destroyed property at the center of the dispute, but did not attack people. The Baltimore rioters attacked people.

I can understand the frustration of the people of Baltimore, but they need to let the criminal justice system work.

And I fear what will happen if the officers - three of whom are themselves Black - are acquitted, or are convicted of lesser crimes. I suspect there will be more riots that have nothing to do with democracy.

And frankly, I'm sick of the exploitation of racial issues by so many in the media and by the professional race baiters. They undermine the fight for racial justice and equality.

Pax et bonum

Okay, sometimes I'm silly

Yeah, I posted about Baba Dada. Silliness.

He began as a way to comment on silliness I saw in the media - absurd, dadaesque responses. I had joked about the name Baba Dada - due to dada, due to the fact that I was a "dada" to three daughters, and the fact that so many gurus (legit and not) referred to themselves as "Baba."

So I wrote a few pieces, penned a few quotations, suggested I might write a whole routine and go on stage spouting "wisdom." (I didn't - more fun to think about than to actually do, given my reclusive ways.)

I had fun.

Sometimes I am silly. Sometimes I am satirical.

Sometimes I am Baba Dada.

Pax et bonum