Miscellaneous Meanderings on the signs of the times
Dr. Mark S. Latkovic
November 1, 2015
Feast of All Saints
~September in metro Detroit was the third or fourth warmest September on record. It was more like the typical July and our July was more like June and our August was more like a normal September. Got it?
~Obama reacts to the fatal shootings in Oregon (see http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/after-shooting-angry-obama-blasts-us-gun-politics/ar-AAf11mv?ocid=U348DHP). You ask: How did he react? The same as he always reacts: with political partisanship. Oh, and he called for more gun control. As I said, he reacted the way he always reacts.
~I think I’d pay good money for someone to permanently insure that Miley Cyrus keep her tongue in her mouth.
~The headlines reported that a Vatican priest official comes out as gay and with a boyfriend on tow (see http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/vatican-fires-gay-priest-on-eve-of-synod/ar-AAf3Ajd?li=AAa0dzB&ocid=U348DHP). You can’t make this stuff up.
~October 3rd marked the 50th anniversary of the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965 (see http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/1965-immigration-act-presented-as-symbolic-changed-nation/ar-AAf3wQn?li=AA54ur&ocid=U348DHP). We are far from doing what we need to do today to ensure that immigrants are being integrated into the country with an understanding of its founding principles.
~In my daily encounters with nature outdoors, I am often struck by the ordered randomness around me. My reaction is pure wonder and awe.
~In the old days, mail – usually a few pieces of it – was what was delivered to your home (and work) in a mailbox (a physical structure). Now, added to this is email (and text messages!), usually hundreds a day, which arrives electronically on your computer or mobile device. So much for all of this technology saving me and you time.
~You can’t have a right to something that’s metaphysically impossible (e.g., same-sex marriage).
~Reading the naturalist and founder of sociobiology, Edward O. Wilson’s (1929—) The Meaning of Human Existence (Liveright Publishing, 2014), can leave you feeling, well, meaningless.
~There’s an expression people use when someone does something stupid. They say he must be “brain-dead.” But that may be giving the person too much credit: You first have to have a brain before you can be called “brain-dead.”
~My students in courses that are Pass/Pass with Distinction/Fail, like to speak of “Failing with Distinction.”
~One of the more frustrating things in life is to have someone beep and wave at you…and you have no idea who he or she is.
~When it comes to exercise, one of the more ironic cruelties of aging is you often have greater wisdom and discipline when middle aged than you did in your younger years, but you now lack the physical rigor to do it.
~I have such fond many-decades-old memories of our Croatian Lodge Picnics. I think I received my first bee sting there as a young boy as well as my first encounter with dry ice.
~One way for someone to end an argument is to call something a “myth” (As we see, for example, in this story about the supposed “myth” of welfare dependency: http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/the-myth-of-welfare%e2%80%99s-corrupting-influence-on-the-poor/ar-BBmgNkt?li=AAa0dzB&ocid=U348DHP).
~The Holy Spirit is testosterone (at least for us males!) for our souls.
~I often find myself performing a “thought experiment”: What kind of society would we have today if prayer hadn’t been taken out of the public schools [A more godly one?]; if no-fault divorce was never instituted [More intact marriages/families?]; and if the decisions to legalize contraception and abortion had never been handed down [More people?]
~Actor Liam Neeson’s voice-over for an Amnesty International ad that supports the legalization of abortion in the Republic of Ireland (see the ad and story here: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/republic-of-ireland/liam-neeson-under-fire-for-lending-voice-to-amnestys-campaign-ad-for-abortion-to-be-legalised-in-republic-of-ireland-34131546.html), is not what you’d expect from the same guy that played rescuer-of-the-Jews Oscar Schindler in Schindler’s List.
~Like every cult (i.e., religion, cultus, not its pejorative sense), every culture and country has a creed it professes. Ours is one of a kind. But it can’t remain so in practice without virtuous citizens.
~Before gay marriage became legalized, you could always look at a man’s or woman’s hand to see if he or she was wearing a wedding ring and assume (with some exceptions!) that they were heterosexual and married to opposite sex partners. Not anymore.
~When Jesus says that everyone [any man] who so much as looks at a woman with lust, has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Mt. 5:28), there is an implicit assumption that marriage is between a man and a woman. Jesus does not have to state this explicitly because he himself as a Jew assumes so much of the Jewish tradition on sex and marriage as a divinely-ordained coupling of one man and one woman. In fact, in the preceding verse, he refers to the commandment against adultery in Ex. 20:14 and Dt. 5:18. Further evidence of this Old Testament background comes when Jesus speaks of cutting off one’s right hand rather than letting it cause one to sin and then end in Gehenna (Mt. 5:30). Many have seen this as a common rabbinic way of speaking about the prohibited practice of masturbation. But we can also see a connection between masturbation and homosexual sex: Masturbation (whether alone or mutual) bears a likeness to homosexual activity in that it is sex divorced from the basic human goods of sexual activity – i.e., procreation and the two-in-one flash unity of complimentary persons in marriage – and thus it is purposeless or meaningless sex [This appears also as a separate blog here: https://mlatkovic.wordpress.com/2015/10/25/jesus-and-sex/].
~It’s common today to call a seriously bad act you freely committed a “mistake.” It’s one way to lessen the moral gravity of your deed.
~While recently venerating St. John Paul II’s relics (blood and hair), I was struck by how much a life – in this case my own – can owe so much to the life – in this case John Paul II – of another.
~Some writings contain enough loopholes to…drive more loopholes through.
~James Martin, S.J. addresses the Synod’s final report and does what a lot of liberals like to do (see http://edition.cnn.com/2015/10/26/world/catholics-fear-change/index.html): Blame conservative resistance to change on fear. But maybe it’s because we disagree with the substance of the particular proposal for change.
~The best manual for sainthood is the Beatitudes.