April 2005 Archives

Let's Save Marriage

The insitutional Catholic church is showing its bigotry by forcefully attacking the Spanish government as Spain proceeds with strengthening the institution of marriage. I hope that Spain, along with the Netherlands, will be supported by an ever widening circle of Christians who want to promote fidelity, commitment and stability in marriage.

We in Texas are not doing so well, since the legislature this week passed a bill, sponsored by Republican Rep. Warren Chisum of Pampa, intended to ban some of its citizens from getting married. The current Catholic institutional leadership would do well to heed the voices from the margins, those who suffer from injustice and know it well. It is from that position that God's voice is revealed.
Rep. Senfronia Thompson, one of our Houston representative is 66, an African-American who grew up with segregation. She said the legislation reminded her of the time when interracial marriages were illegal.

"When people of my color used to marry someone of Mr. Chisum's color (white), you'd often find people of my color hanging from a tree. That's what white people back then did to protect marriage," Thompson said.


Show the dark side to reveal hope

Echoing my last post about learning from negative examples, last night the screening of "Enron, The Smartest Guys In The Room" left me depressed. However,as soon as I stepped out of the theatre I realized that the filmmaker,Alex Gibney, edited a seamless, almost perfectly paced look at the dark side of US culture and in doing so left me with hope. By showing this depressingly disgusting aspect of the US financial community (banks, legal corporations, politicians and accountants were all in on the fraud)the filmmaker is calling us to change.

Mary points to this Internet spot to raise awareness and mobilize to fight AIDS and extreme poverty: a pact with other countries and the allocation of just 1% of the US budget to the effort.

The Pope is Elected

The one good thing about today's white smoke at Vatican Square is that young people learned that the Pope is elected. This fact can lead to the election of bishops by lay people.

Actually, another good thing is that the television coverage of so many old men sleeping together in a "men only" club is so strong and so out of touch, that it will help to further dismantle the institutional exclusion and oppression of women.

All in all, after feeling disappointment, I'll choose to say that it was a good day for the church,,,,this learning from negative examples.



This quick note to say that I'm alive and well. The long silence is due to my travels and fatigue. I get to my room and am quite tired and some of the places do not have Internet access. I've going through Latin America and have visited two Catholic seminaries where issues of Latin American telenovelas are being discussed. Should seminarians watch telenovelas daily so as to keep up with what's going on with ethical debates in living rooms families? One seminary, Villa Paul, just outside Bogotá, has installed a large screen, high definition projector, and surround sound in one of the large classrooms. They watch feature films and also invite the families who live around the seminary to come and watch, then they talk and talk and talk about the movies.

Another seminary, the Major Seminary in Montevideo, Uruguay, is about to install Internet access stations in several floors where seminarians live as small communities. They are proceeding by organizing a seminar for themselves, inviting experts, about open source software so that when they decide how to arrange their seminary intra net, they will be making ethical decisions about both hardware and software. I was thrilled.

Gotta go.

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