I opine

A Christian Sacrifice

Posted in Uncategorized by jaeminuf on October 14, 2008

On October 10, 2008, Father Geoff Farrow was suspended as a priest and removed as pastor of the Newman Center, which still lists him as pastor, for speaking out against California Proposition 8, “Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry.” I thank and applaud him for speaking out even though he knew he would be rejected by his church and lose the life to which he’d dedicated himself. His immense and noble sacrifice hopefully will not have been in vain, for in making his sacrifice he is truly following in his shepherd’s footsteps.

a question arose which has haunted me: “At what point do you cease to be an agent for healing and growth and become an accomplice of injustice?” By asking all of the pastors of the Diocese of Fresno to promote Catholics to vote “Yes” on Proposition 8, the bishop has placed me in a moral predicament.

there are TWO ends to marriage: 1) Unitive and 2) Procreative. The unitive end of marriage is simply a union of love and life. The Procreative end is, of course, to create new life. It is important to understand that the unitive end of marriage is sufficient for a valid marriage. The Church sanctions, and considers a sacrament, the marriage of elderly heterosexual couples who are biologically incapable of reproduction. So, if two people of different genders who are incapable of reproduction can enter into a valid marriage, then why is that two people of the same gender, who are incapable of reproduction, cannot enter into a valid marriage.

I do not presume to tell you how to vote but I do ask that you pray to the Creator of us all. Think and consider the effects of your vote on others, especially minorities in our society who are sitting next to you in church, and at work. The act of casting a vote takes you a few minutes but it can cause other human beings untold happiness or sorrow for a lifetime. It can grant them hope and acceptance, or it can cause them to lose civil rights. It can be a rebuff to bigotry and hatred, or it can encourage bigotry and hatred. Personally, I am morally compelled to vote “NO” on Proposition 8. It is my hope that the people of California will join with those others around the world such as Canada, Europe and South Africa who welcome their gay and lesbian family members fully into society by granting them the civil right to marry.

I know these words of truth will cost me dearly. But to withhold them, would be far more costly and I would become an accomplice to a moral evil that strips gay and lesbian people not only of their civil rights but of their human dignity as well. Jesus said, “The truth will set you free.” He didn’t promise that it would be easy or without personal cost to speak that truth.

Father Geoff Farrow’s blog post

Dr. Pan for POTUS!

Posted in ethics by jaeminuf on September 22, 2008

Yes. Obviously I’m being hyperbolic. Besides, yes, I know. He’s ineligible since he’s neither an American citizen nor a natural born one. But find out why I would feel impelled to nominate him for POTUS.

White-headed langurs are born canary yellow. Here, a newborn langur clings to its mother.

Need a break from trying to decide whether or not the boy who cried wolf is crying for real this time? From trying to decide whether to laugh or cry at the sheer embarrassment that is the American federal government, primarily the White House but the other two hallowed halls aren’t so sacrosanct themselves?

Our leaders can learn a thing or two from Dr. Pan Wenshi, one man who is singlehandedly saving a species from extinction, a village from the poverty that had driven them to cannibalize their natural resources, and humanity’s tenuous faith in its own perfectibility which Mencius propounded.

Read on and enjoy the warm fuzzies! You’ll need it to get back to watching the tragicomedy that is becoming an epic by the day.

A breakthrough in protecting the species came in 1997 when he helped local villagers build a pipeline to secure clean drinking water. Shortly thereafter, a farmer from the village freed a trapped langur and brought it to Dr. Pan.

“When you help the villagers, they would like to help you back,” he said.

As self-appointed local advocate, Dr. Pan raised money for a new school in another village, oversaw the construction of health clinics in two neighboring towns and organized physicals for women throughout the area.

“Now, when outsiders try to trap langurs,” Dr. Pan said, “the locals stop them from coming in.”

It Takes Just One Village to Save a Species:
By helping a Chinese village out of poverty, Pan Wenshi protects the endangered langur

The New York Times

Shame on the Whole Lot of You

Posted in ethics, gender, politics by jaeminuf on September 6, 2008

Senator McCain with Steve Schmidt

Steve Schmidt has transformed John McCain’s campaign into an elbows-out, risk-taking, disciplined machine. – An Adviser Puts His Stamp on McCain CampaignThe New York Times

Steve Schmidt stands for all that I find problematic about politics. His modus operandi is what most people purport to find repugnant about politicking. McCain used to criticize this type of “win at all costs, including stretching the truth so much that it bears little resemblance to itself” politicking. That McCain who was critical of dirty politics, I actually liked.

Must we resort to this to win? Are we that base? To stoop to such demeaning strategies and to devour such meat with frightening voracity that we make a pack of laughing hyenas appear civilized?

This criticism is not limited to Steve Schmidt and whichever likeminded Republicans.

Dems! Whatever happened to being the change you want, of wanting a more elevated, diginified political engagement? (more…)

Palin’s Teen Pregnancy

Posted in ethics, gender, politics, race by jaeminuf on September 3, 2008

Family Members of the Republican Presidential Ticket

I personally don’t care about Bristol Palin’s pregnancy. What I object to is the hypocrisy, not just of the Palin family but of the claim that it is a subject inappropriate for public debate.

On the one hand, of course, it is entirely a private affair; however, it was made a public affair a long time ago by those who insisted on abstinence before marriage, who cast judgment on anyone who had pre-marital sex, who sneered at teen pregnancies and particularly those of black teens, who supported policies that either rendered it impossible to terminate unwanted pregnancies or eroded public forms of support for girls/women and their unplanned offspring who lack the kind of support that Bristol fortunately has, etc.
(more…)