Saturday, October 30, 2004

I was reading Eve Tushnet's blog and clicked on the Peanuts strip she was sent. Once there I found the Oct. 30th strip featuring Linus in the pumpkin patch waiting for the Great Pumpkin. Linus is the strip's theologian and this strip is a great display of prayer reflecting the anguish and impatience we sometimes feel in this "vale of tears".
Officials Believe 'Azzam' Is Gadahn

When people talk about Azzam the American or Johnny Walker the American taliban they always sound incredulous. They simply cannot believe how a young American could possibly hate America or Americans, or wish evil on its people. I don't understand how anyone can be surprised by this. In the 34 years I have been on this planet I have met very few Americans that were decent human beings. In the places I have worked I have met a few nice people while the majority of them have been two-faced, lying, conniving, greedy, selfish, prejudice, racist, violent people. I have seen people lie to get people fired, I have seen people hate others just for the way they looked, I have heard people express hate with impunity. If it were not for my recently re-discovered faith, I don't think I could have handled all this. As it stands now, my faith keeps me from hating my fellow Americans with the fury that these islamic converts do. Make no mistake, I love this country and doubt if I lived elsewhere the people would be much better, but it does make me wonder how anyone can be truly surprised that some who grew up here are so bitter.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Another Mepham -type football incident?

"Three Lindenhurst high school football players were charged with gang assault this week after beating up two former students last Saturday, Suffolk police said. Police and school officials identified them as Dan Doerler, John Pensa and Thomas O'Hanlon, all 17-year-old seniors."

"Doerler, of 329 N. Hamilton Ave., and Pensa, of 822 N. Greene Ave., were arrested on Oct. 27. O'Hanlon, of 320 Newark St., was arrested Oct. 28. All three were arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip on second-degree gang assault and released on $1,500 bail. Two of the suspects have been suspended from school, and one has been kicked off the football team, Lederer said, declining to provide specifics."

I just got home and noticed this story on the web. Interestingly I had dinner with my girlfriend near Lindenhurst and talked to her about how I felt jocks get special treatment and tend to be violent people. I am very surprised one of these monsters got kicked off the team because usually the coaches, families, school and community all support football players accused of rape, murder, violence, etc... Perhaps the Mepham football rapists - Ken Carney, Phil Sofia, and Thomas Diasparra have changed things on Long Island by their getting caught and convicted.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

On Sunday I attended Mass at another parish, St. Christopher's in Baldwin. During my returning to the Church process a few years ago, I attempted to find a nice Church in a nice parish with a nice priest celebrating a nice Mass. Actually I don't mean nice, I mean Catholic, meaning orthodox. I kept track of my parish-hopping and stopped after about 38 parishes, realizing that the one I grew up in was the best I was going to do. I occasionally will try other parishes along with the traditional latin Mass in order to "spice up" my Sunday. Going to St. Christopher's (again) turned out to be a good thing- the Church was traditional looking, with no side pews around the sanctuary, and the tabernacle was in the center on a high altar behind the "regular" altar. On either side of the sanctuary were Mary and Joseph, each in a beautiful side alcove. There was even a large, wooden baldacchino over the altar, with angels on top and saints (I think) lining the sides. This parish is to be commended for keeping their Church both Catholic and beautiful with no wreckovation in sight. The choir loft was (shockingly) used by the choir, who sounded good. The priest, Fr. McQuade, celebrated Mass just the way I likes it - reverently with no clowning. Prayers were offered for Bishop Christopher Cardone, a local son who was just assigned to be Bishop of Auki, Solomon Islands.
"The shooting deaths of a young couple in Queens — an apparent murder-suicide — may have been sparked by the woman aborting her boyfriend's child, his relatives said yesterday. "

Last night Bishop Murphy spoke to the Faith on Tap group I attend. He went around the room before speaking and shook hands with everyone, a big smile on his face. I have seen him do this before - he impressed everyone with his friendliness, humor, and down to earth manner. He did take some questions from the group but his answers were a bit general. For example, my question was about what the Church's response to attacks from muslims should be and he really skirted the issue. (Within two weeks of his installation here, 400 members of his flock were murdered by muslims.) Nevertheless, his talk was good and I suspect that he will have a good impact on the diocese over the long run. It is truly sad to see such an intelligent, orthodox and Christ-centered guy so vilified by the press, VOF, bigoted columnists, etc... For this long- suffering diocese, it is good to have a decent bishop for once.