February 11, 2019

Abuse is about power and cruelty.

By Glenn

Abuse is not caused by celebacy.
Abuse is not caused by sexual orientation.
Abuse is not caused by theology.

Abuse is about power and cruelty. As along as we allow people with power easy access to victims, abuse will continue. Stopping abuse requires immediate reporting, credible investigations and certain punishments.

Abuse can happen in a family, a daycare, the BSA, a school, a church, the government….Yes, abuse can happen anywhere. Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Certainly, as individuals, it is always best to avoid walking down a path. The Buddha would agree.

  • All life is suffering
  • All suffering is caused by desire
  • To end suffering one must end desire.
  • To end desire on must walk the eight-fold path.

We, as a community, however, have the obligation to create institutional barriers to abuse and institutional mechanisms for justice. When we only focus on the individual, we fail to prevent abuse.

“Southern Baptist Leaders Promise ‘Change’ After Report Uncovers Rampant Sexual Abuse: Almost 400 Southern Baptist church leaders and volunteers have faced allegations of sexual misconduct since 1998, according to a damning report.” Dominique Mosbergen

February 9, 2019

Tragedy

By Glenn
Topics:
Greece

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February 9, 2019

Come Togther

By Glenn
Topics:
Uncategorized

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February 1, 2019

Allegation Credible

By Glenn

I lost a friend today. Not to death, but to a credible allegation. As his friend, I hold out hope it remains an allegation. Allegation means there is no proof. As a Catholic, I know the “credible” part requires the Church to take preventive action. “Credible” means that it is possible to be true.

I’ve known our priest for 23 years. As he always does, he walked up one day and introduced himself to a stranger. We had just arrived from Louisiana, and he welcomed us. He told us about his time in Covington, Louisiana, and then introduced us to our music director who was from New Iberia, Louisiana. We had a connection to home right away.

The allegation from nearly 30 years ago came out of the blue. I’ve volunteered for the parish for nearly the whole time. Our sons were altar boys. The Bishop told us last night that he had no allegations from our parish, but the Church has investigated an allegation before he came to Sherman. Because it is “credible”, Father resigned from his office as pastor. It hurts to lose him as a friend and a pastor.

As a Pastor, he kept me in the pews. He preached the Beatitudes. He preached service to the least of among us. He refused to preach hate. Never did I hear a disparaging word about women, gays or immigrants. As a Pastor, he created a sense of community, encouraging lay ministry and fellowship. As a pastor, he welcomed and integrated a Hispanic community into our parish.

When the abuse scandal first flared up everywhere else, he set up a Safe Environment protection program for both adults and children. Training was mandatory for anyone volunteering. Father made sure we were all safe.

I am a cradle to grave Catholic. Both personally and professionally, I have known about the good, the bad and the ugly in the Church. It is after all full of sinners. I’ve known countless priests throughout my life. None were perfect, but nearly all took their vocation seriously. I have no doubt that Father did too.

Some of you may know that I too had attended a seminary for a year. It was one of the most formative years of my life. I would never give it up. While there, however, one person tried to initiate an inappropriate relationship. Several of us reported it, and the leadership of the school investigated. The person left.

Twenty years later, I got a call from a nun investigating an abuse claim in a southern state involving this same person. She wanted to know what happened all those years before. I told her what I had observed and gave her the names of others involved. She was thorough and professional. I say this to let you know that I am not naïve. I’ve been a part of an investigation before and take abuse seriously.

I don’t know what happened 30 years ago with my friend. No evidence has been released to the public. It is now in the hands of law enforcement. Because of the ongoing investigation, he cannot have contact with members of the parish. Since it was so long ago, we probably will never know for sure.

I do know that I lost a friend to a credible allegation, and it hurts. As a Christian, Father Jeremy please know that “I have been and always shall be your friend.”

January 31, 2019

Friendship

By Glenn
Topics:
Friendship

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Friendship can be hard. We’re flawed. Our fiends are flawed.

Spock saw all of the humanity of James T. Kirk. Spock didn’t always agree with Kirks’ action and decisions. Anyone who ever watched Star Trek knows Spock had any number of reason to walk away. At the end of the day, however, he had one thing to say.

“I have been and always shall be your friend.”

God is great. Beer is good. People are crazy. May God have Mercy on our Souls.

December 19, 2018

MAGA? Seriously?

By Glenn

Conservatives, are you really OK with this?

1) Donald’s National Security Advisor plead guilty to working as a foreign agent while in the White House and then lied to the FBI.

2) Donald signed a letter of intent to build a tower in Moscow while a candidate.

3) Donald’s fake charity had to dissolve because it illegally funneled money to his campaign and family.

This was yesterday. One day.
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December 10, 2018

Poverty is no Mystery

By Glenn

High poverty states/countries all try to tax the poor instead of the wealthy. The wealthy come up with a variety of excuses to avoid their responsibly to society. The results have been the same for the last 4000 years of civilization. The only way to create a middle class society is to remove the burdens and obstacles for wage earners and to create ladders of opportunity. Needless to say, conservative States like Louisiana and Oklahoma have a history of “doing it wrong.” The progressive era in Texas created stronger institutions, but they too are under assault.

December 3, 2018

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer and the Power of Myth

By Glenn

Bill Moyers introduced Dr. Joseph Campbell to the “general public” in the 1988 PBS series the Power of Myth. Campbell dazzled the audience with exotic mythological tales as well as the fundamental similarities among the world’s seemingly diverse traditions. The interviews revealed Campbell’s’s life-long quest to understand the human experience. He is most famous for his model of a hero which his published works explain in detail: The Hero with A Thousand Faces, 1949; The Masks of God, 4 Volumes, 1959. Myths speak to the experience of “life” or the power of the universe. Campbell explained that life is a journey taken by a hero (Gilgamesh, Moses, Jesus, Buddha) and follows a predictable pattern–departure (birth), struggle/fulfillment (death), and return (rebirth). The hero provides ordinary humans with guidelines of how to succeed on the journey, from childhood through adolescence to maturity. The old-self must die before the new-self can emerge.

Campbell lamented the absence of myth in the contemporary world, but he simply looked in the wrong place. Most academicians look down on popular culture and even dismiss cartoons as children’s entertainment. Remember, however, that Homer’s Iliad did not begin as the object of professorial study. The 1964 animated television program Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer provides a wonderful example of a hero and of an American myth which continues to touch millions of children each year. On the surface it tells the simple story of a reindeer who saved Christmas. I think it gained widespread popularity, however, because on a deeper level it touched on the major issues of the civil rights movement with elegance and directness. The hero pattern conveyed the message of racial and political cooperation in a sublime fashion, moving the hearts and minds of countless children and their parents. Campbell’s model then provides a thesis and the outline for analyzing Rudolph.

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October 16, 2018

Wage Theft and Tax Cuts

By Glenn

There is no question. This is wage theft. Republicans took your wage taxes and gave it away as corporate and investment tax cuts. Now, McConnell wants to cut your pre-paid services.