Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Soap Box Time

Soap Box #1.  I didn't watch the Grammy awards, and from all reports, I only missed that they decided to drop the veil of pretending to care what we plebeians think.  Today's entertainers continue the relentless quest for how to find the underside of the bottom of the barrel of bad taste.  Miley outdid Brittany who outdid Janet, and now Katy Perry seeks to carve out her niche with all who like watching a cocktail of fire, pole dancing and Satanic references. But I'm more stunned anyone has any energy to express outrage.
How is it that the Grammy awards surprised anyone? 

I'll give the girl credit, the bar has been raised...or lowered, depending upon how you want to work that metaphor.

As the whole of the entertainment industry commits itself to triple dog daring each other how to lick and twerk enough to cause stomach upset, we grow less capable of having our sensibilities rocked. So in the interest of self preservation (I don't want to bleach my brain or eyeballs), let's just tell them, the culture is dead, they win. We'll declare ourselves outraged and shocked and
The bell rang. We're going back inside now.

Soap Box#2  After all, our culture is currently at war with anything that smacks of holding onto sanity.  Ideology has become the new American Idolatry.  There is acceptable thinking, and everyone else.  Everyone else, shut up and let the smart people govern and entertain. 

For example: the Governor of New York declared those who hold pro-life views aren't welcome in his state.  Before someone says, "You're taking it out of context...he meant." I've read what he said. I've read what he said we should think about what he said.  I've read the "context."

 Here's my response.  If someone like say, Sarah Palin said, "Those who are pro-choice should form their own state or get out." The calls for her head that haven't yet been made, would still be non stop streaming on the television.  The internet would melt from the scores of posts, tweets and blogs about the intolerant right wing.  No later back pedaling, I only meant extremist when I said that would satisfy.

So no. I'm not buying his latest non apology or the ditto he received from the new mayor of New York. They meant it.  They think it.  They believe it.  Pro-lifers, we shouldn't be part of the public square.  Besides, there aren't that many of you so just go with the flow.

Annual flash mob of Ninjas

We're gumming up the utopia that would be by daring to not agree.  

Which brings me to Soap Box Issue #3

Modern thinkers love to remember Saint Francis as the sort of patron saint of bunnies, and he loved the earth so, there's that.  But all that other stuff?  Forgettaboutit!

Any time Catholics integrate faith into the whole of life, we're just being simplistic. Probably people said that to SAINT FRANCIS too.

"Think you're taking this give everything away and follow me a bit too far Francis."

Following the arguments of those who think Catholics ought to just get over themselves and their religion and stop imposing their values on others by not wanting to pay for birth control or abortion, the general gist of it is this:

For those of you who still believe in God, trust us.  We know God understands if we need to make allowances for modern living even if you don't. They then assert there isn't anything in the bible that says "No abortion" or no "birth control."  followed by some attempt to claim there isn't any God but if there was...He/She/It/ would think like they do.

Remember I said judge not.  That's the only thing you have to do.  I didn't mean any of that other stuff.  YOLO!

One can almost hear Kathleen Sebelius pondering, "Would someone rid us of these troublesome nuns?"  Saint Thomas Beckett, pray for us.

Being Catholic means turning the other cheek. So I'm feeling a bit cheeky today, mirthful and merciful.  Turning the other cheek isn't rolling over. It's fighting back with grace, humor, joy, wit, knowledge and truth.

Our society is trying to discern do we serve the government or does the government serve us? 

If it is the former, then any who think otherwise must be brought to heel, if it is the later, than there is room for those for whom religion, faith, vocations, aren't to be kept in a box for Sunday or simply used at the soup kitchen. I could argue that people who believe in what Jesus said at the sermon on the Mount about feeding the hungry, serving the poor, caring for the sick, visiting the lonely to the point of living it are the reason for being at mass on Sunday and why you serve at a soup kitchen, they are why there is a soup kitchen.  But I'll point out instead, you won't have a society of civilized kind people if the only reason for not breaking the law is the threat of punishment, you will have martial law even if it is only done via economic lashes of the whip.  

Free people think freely, speak freely, worship freely, act freely.  They hold vigorous debate, they argue, and they stipulate that the other side may disagree without being utterly devoid of sense, sensibilities and legitimate grievances.  Memo to Laura Levites and all those who think wishing evil, violence and death upon political opponents is clever thoughtful commentary.  Stop it.  And if you can't stop yourself, I'll just say (cause I'm Southern), "Bless your heart." and then because I'm Catholic, I'll have to (and it won't easy), pray to mean it in a non ironic or sarcastic way.

Bottom line:
The State of the Union is precarious, because a nation divided against itself cannot stand, and as long as the political climate insists upon pitting right against left, religious against anyone else, man versus woman, and DNC vs. GOP and lays everything as a you're for us or against us and if you're against us, you're ignorant or evil or both, we cannot have a thriving nation, or a thriving people.  Being told you're either surrounded by ignorance and evil or that you are ignorant and/or evil, drains the public spirit, the will to go out and really address the serious pressing problems our country faces in real time. Such a lens always forces the viewer to eliminate half of the solution by dismissing any and all disagreement as made in bad faith. We can only work at our best if we are a Union, not a squabbling nation in need of counseling and in danger of divorce. 
We need to be able to have discussions about serious topics of dispute that don't translate to sound bites or become used as a sledge hammer against the other side. A reasonable government would not demand people violate their religions to satisfy a political goal. We need to recapture the beauty and genius of our government and our nation, which included limitations on power and procedures which insured culpability for action and inaction in the three branches of government, a firm belief in the fair application of rule of law, not the selected prosecution and enforcement of some or of mitigated justice based on economics, color or creed.  We need to recapture the promise this nation held, that people could make it, because we remained people free to try and free to succeed. 


Bertha said...

Good stuff Sherry. Thanks for putting some of my own thoughts into words.

Bertha said...

Good stuff Sherry. Thanks for putting some of my own thoughts into words.

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