Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Spring cleaning: Embracing and Releasing

See, I was ALL ready to post complaints about any number of people, places and things today; I'd had a few run-ins, both online and offline yesterday. I was feeling pretty self-righteous, and got the venom-laden blog post all set to go!

After a short prayer and a long walk, I changed my addled mind and wrote the poem which follows instead. As Lent approaches, I am inclined to think about what belongs in my life and what simply needs to go; a spring cleaning of the soul if you'll allow. So here's what I came up with:
I embrace You, my God, my Love, my All,
With Your myriad faces
To release that which I know is not You or of You.
I embrace love, peace, understanding, and empathy
To release false guilt, shame, fear and conflict.
I embrace the tonics of creation, health, and life
To release the toxins of destruction, sloth, and death.
I embrace my true Family and Friends
To release those who have done me harm, and those I've done harm to.
I embrace forgiveness
To release vengeance.
I embrace the possible
To release the doubt.
I embrace the passions that make me the Man I am
To release the indifference that hinders my path.
Daily Mass Readings
Sirach 35:1-12
Psalm 50:5-8,14,23
Mark 10:28-31

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A political...oh, h*ll, let's call it a RANT.

Like my moral/religious compass, my political compass tends to fluctuate wildly.

My political "home" that I keep coming back to is libertarianism: This country was founded on the notion of freedom from an oppressive and over-taxing government. The idea of being free to live as one pleases, as long as one doesn't infringe on those same rights of others while doing so, appeals to me and makes sense to me. I don't want the federal government telling me what I or my children can or cannot watch on TV, in the movies, or on the internet. I don't want the federal government dictating what I can consume, be it alcohol, drugs or fatty foods. I certainly don't want the federal government telling me who I can or can't sleep with, what acts are accpetable in my own home between consenting adults, or who I am allowed to set up housekeeping and legal documents with. I don't want the federal government monetarily penalizing me and my family should we choose not to buy into the healthcare system. And while I myself oppose abortion, I recognize that a government with the power to ban the practice outright paradoxically has the power to mandate it (Don't believe me? Check out China's '1-child policy')

Now...all that being said:

I also recognize that we are no longer living in the 18th century. We live in a complicated, interconnected world. When Thomas Jefferson made his wise quote "Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none", he couldn't imagine the complexities of dealing with oppressive regimes that we alternately bomb/impose sanctions upon and rebuild/do buiness with. Tom certainly could not foresee the stand-off that occured in the Cold War, stemming from the fear of 2 countries literally blowing each other off the planet.

And most importantly (to me anyway) I'd be willing to bet that Tom never for one moment envisioned the genocide going on in countries like Congo and the Sudan. The American libertarian ideal says that this is simply not our problem; we ought to simply donate to our charities and leave their own governments to sort the mess out. I won't go into the detailed atrocities the aforementioned regimes have committed - they are inhuman and well-documented. But in the name of God, don't such atrocities cry out for justice??? If similar events were taking place in say, Canada or Europe, American boots...scores of them...would have been on the ground long since. For better or for worse, we have the most massive and imposing military in history, many times over. If we wish to proclaim democracy and fairness, don't we owe it to not only to our light-skinned business partners or the folks with oil, but also to the dark-skinned people who perhaps don't have a lot in the way of "American interest"?

As a country of HUMAN BEINGS for Christ's sake, don't we owe something to these, our brothers and sisters in humanity, who by simple accident of geography are being starved out, poisoned, raped at gunpoint, shot, tortured, mutilated, and generally being killed off by agents of their OWN government??? It's hard for me to accept that because they're not Americans, it's simply none of America's business. To paraphrase Jacob Marley, "Mankind IS our business"

Well. I guess I just had a bit of a nutty. Again, my poltical views are currently in a state of sometimes incompatible flux; a lot of this I simply can't seem to get out of my teeth lately.

Back to our regularly scheduled programming...

Daily Mass Readings
Isaiah 49:14-15
Psalm 62:2-3,6-9
1 Corinthians 4:1-5
Matthew 6:24-34