Monthly Archives: May 2010

It’s About Time, Pope Benedict

The Catholic Church has been under attack (some call it persecution) for the world-wide travesty of Catholic priests molesting boys (mostly), or turning a blind eye to the priests who do.  The stories of offending priests molesting hundreds of children over decades are mind-boggling, and often, the priests were just moved along to some other location to molest again.

The more recent scandal if widespread molestation of children by priests throughout Europe has been a kind of “last straw” for many who have watched the Church blame the media, pro-choice groups, and pro-gay marriage advocates for the scandal.

Well, bless Pope Benedict XVI.  Just recently, he blamed the sins for the clerical abuse scandal on his own Church, and not on a campaign mounted by outsiders.

“The greatest persecution of the Church doesn’t come from enemies on the outside, but is born from the sins within the Church,” the pontiff said, according to the Associated Press.  “The Church needs to profoundly re-learn penitence, accept purification, learn forgiveness, but also justice.”

The AP goes on to say that despite the Vatican’s initial, defensive response to hundreds of clerical sex abuse reports in Europe, Benedict has promised that the church would take action to protect children and make abusive priests face justice.  He has already started cleaning house, accepting the resignations of a few bishops who either admitted they molested youngsters or covered up for the priests who did.

It’s about time!  It is about time that this crimson line be crossed, and the Church ferociously weeds out its molesters and those who stood by (who, in my opinion, are more horrendous than the perpetrators).  The Church should have its own internal Inquisition – without the torture, but definitely with the firings – and fingers should be pointed and steps should be taken to eliminate this rot from their midst.

I’m hoping that Pope Benedict will walk the talk.  Meanwhile, I give him major props for saying the right thing.

Terrorists Within Our Midst

Our American history is rich with stories of people who came here from all over the world, who assimilated with great enthusiasm, becoming proud Americans while maintaining aspects of their traditions and cultures.

Not so since the Internet.  Now, one’s daily life is bombarded with images and often contrived perceptions from around the world.  One thing for sure, though…the notion that terrorists are impoverished, desperate, and turn to religion as their only alternative to feel connection or power is…baloney!

Our friendly neighbor, Faisal Shahzad (who allegedly wanted to kill all Americans unlucky enough to be in Times Square when he tried to detonate a car bomb), was a naturalized citizen, lived in a three-bedroom suburban home with a wife and two kids and had a Facebook page, an MBA and a job as a financial analyst.  He is the son of a well-off family in Pakistan.

Since 9/11, almost 150 American Muslims have been publicly accused of planning or carrying out Islamist violence, according to Duke University.  Most were born in America, or were naturalized citizens or legal residents.

While many try to comprehend their motives, for me, it seems simple.  There are those personalities who are so weak that they need the attachment to something seemingly powerful to feel strength – similar to women who become groupies and sex objects to sports and movie celebrities.  It isn’t about what they have, it’s about how they perceive themselves.  Being angry and being able to take punitive measures towards someone or something outside of personal responsibility is an empowerment in some minds.  There are ready-made scapegoats all along in history:  Jews, Americans, white Europeans, gays, etc.

When I was in college in the 1960s, the women’s movement very strongly depended on anger towards anything male as a major part of its core.

Second, there is the guilt factor.  Success often brings self-doubts and guilt.  The self-doubt has to do with one’s sense of deserving the success; the guilt has to do with realizing that you have risen above others (and are enjoying American freedoms), and they might hate or reject you.  A lot of self-sabotage motivation comes from self-doubt and success guilt, which, in the case of some Muslims enjoying America, leads to acts of terrorism to maintain their connectedness to what they perceive they’ve left behind.

We have seen this before in the Ku Klux Klan-type groups who blamed blacks and Jews for the problems in life, and bullied and killed their way into history.

Hate and murder are empowerments.  The cultures or religions which lean heavily on these factors gain the support of many who want to become meaningful and strong the easy way.

Quote of the Week

I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks.
               – William Shakespeare
                  from Twelfth Night (Act III, Scene ii)

Saturday, May 15 is Armed Forces Day.  Thank a man or woman in uniform for their service to our nation.

Thank a Soldier for their Service

Lying to Ourselves

Some callers to my radio program are amazed when I explain that their situation is entirely of their own making, and don’t allow them to complain about someone else as the architect of their situation.

Sadly, a typical scenario goes like this:  a young woman caller with one or two illegitimate children is shacking up for years and years with a guy who is now out on the dating scene.  (Well, why shouldn’t he date?  He’s a single man with a consort!).  When the young woman protests that they have a “commitment,” I ask “What is the commitment?  Where is it?”  There is no commitment involved in unmarried sex or procreation or cohabitation.  It’s all “free-flowing,” which is exactly what both paid for when they signed up to not sign up for any obligation past the feeling of the moment.

The truth about females is that we lie to ourselves when we say we can just “hang out” or have “hook-up level” sex and make babies with someone who says “I love you,” but ultimately doesn’t walk the talk. 

We want to nest, settle down, and have someone love us and protect us and provide for us, but we behave in ways that demonstrate massive denial, insecurity, and a kind of pathetic desperation or downright foolishness.

None of this makes a woman feel special, put on a pedestal, valued or really loved.  And none of this protects the needs of children.  More and more women of late are intentionally having babies without marriage because, in my opinion, they are not competent to provide love and affection and attention to anything outside themselves, and the feminista women around them applaud the “no men” clause.  This is atrocious, as it undermines society and puts children in the position of no daddy

None of you should show any support for any woman who makes this choice.  No support…..and lots of negative judgment.  Please.

The Courage of Our Public Servants

A few weeks ago, the news replayed and replayed the hotel surveillance video tape of a scene out of Law and Order.  A woman was attacked by some creep, and a homeless man went to her rescue.  The creep ran away, the woman ran away, and the homeless man lay bleeding to death on the pavement, with at least a dozed people (caught on video) just walking by.  One man turned him over, examined him, and then walked away.  The homeless man died.  He died alone – ignored – and yet, he was a hero for rescuing the woman who was attacked.

I am unaware of any follow-up regarding this hero – who he was, his background, his circumstance.  There was probably little media interest in a homeless man.

Then, soon after, a Vietnam veteran alerted police to a suspicious car in New York City’s Times Square.  The policeman checked the car and recognized that it was likely a car bomb.  The dominoes fell appropriately, with the bomb squad alerted, and everyone evacuated from Times Square.

A Pakistani man who got American citizenship decided to kill as many American citizens as possible, because of his radical Muslim beliefs that infidels need eradication.  Nice family guy, I’m sure.

He failed in his attempt to mass murder American citizens, because a military vet used his training well (many years after the fact), and a policeman did his duty.

This story had a happier ending than the first one, because of the training and commitment of those who serve us.

Facing Your Fears

Recently, on a Friday afternoon, I had an experience which challenged my fears and comfort level.  I went out sailing in 20-30 knots of wind, with 6 – 8 foot swells, in a very, very narrow boat only 41 feet long.  I have five experienced crew with me.  And I was nervous.

Believe you me, it is an intimidating experience when a little sailboat is planing at over 20 knots with gusts and crazy waves.  You don’t have a lot of opportunity to think things through or to hesitate – a five degree wrong move and….WIPEOUT!  In the cold water and sloppy big waves, that could mean “man overboard” with the boat temporarily out of control. (Watch the experience.)

I am learning to skipper a boat under these conditions, where you have to run on “feel” and not so much on thinking things through.  I have lots to learn and practice, but whoo hoo!  What a ride!

In doing this, I faced rational fear and was out of my comfort zone.  It took 48 hours for me to come down from that exhilaration.  It changes you.  I feel proud of myself; I know I’m getting better and better.  Facing fears and limitations, while scary, leads to such acceleration in joy of life and a growing self-confidence, that it is more than worth the scary moments.

As I keep nagging at you folks, things are scary until they become familiar.  Practice and forcing yourself to face the experience time and again gives you familiarity which gives you confidence, and a natural, free, and legal “high.”