Category Archives: Freedom of Conscience

It’s A Record!

You know, there’s probably a few thousand folks around the country thinking that; and perhaps a few hundred thousand folks around the world (God, I hope it’s only that many.) thinking the same thing.  Somewhere north of fifty is the body count, and a couple of hundred people in every hospital for miles around waiting to see if they’ll increase the count.  And, there they stand, on the corner watching, worrying, waiting, counting, and, perhaps, grimly smiling in their best “I told you so!” manner…

Some V.P. at one of the TV stations lost her job because she simply gave voice to what was going through the minds of not a few people.  “Somebody’s got to pay!  Somebody’s got to be responsible!  Why not “them”, the ones who believe in all of this stuff, anyway.  Live by the sword…”

I mean, what’s the problem?  We set a record for cripes sake!  So, we lost a few one toothed rubes.  What was it that guy said, the English one a couple of centuries ago, about Irish babies?  Same thing.  Who dies doesn’t matter.  What matters is we set a record, or, better still set a record and in some way “provide a benefit to the country”.

And, as usual, there are plenty of folks who, understandably upset at the method employed for record setting, are calling for more gun control, calling for the government to step in and prevent such things from happening again.  They did the same thing when the last record was set in Orlando a couple of years ago, and before that when some teenager in Connecticut  set the Youth Division Record in his school a couple of years ago.

Be that as it may, though, it is the truth that all of these folks died not because guns were allowed out in public and got over eager, or carried away by “record fever”; as if they were in some competition;  some Orlando versus Las Vegas thing.

No.

Put a gun down and it stays there; stays until hell freezes over.  The next gun setting a record for body count, whether it’s rubes or boobs, lawyers or liars, will be the first.

You see, that isn’t the problem.  Motive is the problem, and guns, inanimate objects, mere tools that they are, are incapable of forming a thought, however twisted it may be, or developing a motive.  Do we remove hammers from carpenters who bludgeon their wives, children or co-workers with them?  No, we remove the carpenter from the hammer, and either execute them or lock them up for life.  Hammers remain in circulation.  More are made every day, and sold to anyone with enough money to buy them.  And knives.  And bricks.  And sharp spades.

The current and latest record holder is dead, but, I will bet a ham sandwich that like them, the other two I mention above, he was as mad as the Mad Hatter; “barking mad”, frothing at the mouth mad.  And, I will bet another sandwich that absent guns, he would have done what he did with matches and kerosene, or a hammer, a bow an arrow, or, as is becoming a trend around the world, a large truck on a crowded street.

I cannot understand what drives some folks into a rictus of fear driven indignant frustration, what has them wide eyed and sputtering about the need to control guns.  Is it the desperate straits we’ll be in until the last gun is safe behind bars, or melted into something really useful, like a door stop;  and, possibly, until all present gun owners, many of whom were probably fittingly present in Las Vegas the other night, are sent to some quiet place for re-education?

Well, yeah!  And there’s the rub.  It will never happen. But, some folks won’t stop crying and trying.  Well not some, but an awful lot of folks; the brow knitted, hand wringing, teary eyed, do gooding, banner carrying, folks with a cause.

Yesterday I got myself into a discussion on a “social media site”.  You know the one.  Maybe you’re a subscriber, too, along with a couple of billion other people. Just shows you how much spare time there is in the world.

Anyway, folks were going on about guns, and how they cause all these deaths, set all these records, and no one seems to do a darn thing about it, seems to want to keep them out of the hands of screw ups all over.  They always say, “Write a law, or change one, and let the government control what guns there are, or anything else, how many there shall be, and who shall use them and when and where and how.  One of them had written, when I asked why should guns be controlled the following, and my response appears below it:

 “Umm, because people with guns who take a life seem to have more rights than their victim. Seems obvious to me…. right to own and carry a firearm gets talked about way more than the right to assemble in a public or private place without threat of violence.”

I answered this way: “I don’t own any guns, never have.

But I was issued a gun, and carried it for 33 years. On more than one occasion I was glad I had the use of it. And on many more occasions I was glad I had possession of it. It was a magnificent argument winner.

I also know quite a large number of men and women, and children, who own and use guns. Not a one of them has caused an injury or death to anyone else by gun. And there are millions of people like them.

Many, many more people are killed by automobiles each year than by guns; killed by leaping from bridges and tall buildings than by guns, killed, dare I say it, by abortionists, than by guns.

Yet we have not outlawed cars, bridges, tall buildings (or sleeping pills, or cigarettes) or abortionists.

Perhaps, what we really need to do is outlaw pre-meditation.

Then we have only to solve the problems posed by cars, bridges, buildings, pills and tobacco…and, of course the current bette noir, opiods.

Shall we outlaw knives because thousands each year are injured or die by knife? How then would we carve Tom Turkey? And pillows? Shall they be done away with to prevent the death by suffocation of demented elders or annoying spouses?

I offer a revision of the “Guns don’t kill people…” line: Guns don’t kill people, sin kills people!

Outlaw that!”

My interlocutor answered: ” Only one of the items you listed has the sole purpose of inflicting harm upon another living thing. Can you identify which one?”

How shall I answer? Do you know which of the many things exists solely to harm other persons? Cigarettes? Abortionists?

 

 

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IT’S NEVER RIGHT: or, Save the Baby Spinaches

I read somewhere that one of the things Socrates said was, “It’s never right to do wrong.”  Now, thinking about that and the three folks canvassing the country for you and me to help one of them become our next president, I am wondering how that quote applies to me.

Should I vote for one of them?  Should I vote for someone else?  Should I not vote at all?

As a citizen I have the right to vote, to participate with the rest of you who are eligible. Which, these days, simply means that you are alive, old enough, and have registered to do it; neither property, riches, language, religion or intelligence mattering as once they did. (In a way, folks in that frame of mind might reasonably conclude that consciousness is the only thing that counts about being a citizen and “Participating In Democracy.”  I say that with not a little irony and scorn.)

It’s an obligation and a duty to vote we learn from an early age.  Something which is, I guess, along the lines of making your bed, picking up your toys and eating everything on the plate when you are a child; even the yucky stuff like spinach, kale and codfish.  The stuff  Dad said was good for you, and  Mom said would help the starving children in China.  How was forcing myself to gag or puke going to do that?  I still wonder about what good they do and whether my swallowing what I hated saved a single soul across the sea.  And, though I have grown accustomed to kale and actually like spinach, I sometimes muse on the morality of eating “baby spinaches.” Cod, though, is good in chowder and for seagulls in fishing ports.

That’s absurd of course, that baby spinaches malarkey.  Just so, there’s nothing ethically or morally wrong with eating baby sheep or cows, they’re tasty; or harvesting baby seals, their skins keep us warm and look nice on pretty girls; becoming whatever form or thing one decides one really has or is; marrying a tree, or oneself; saving baby whales, there aren’t enough of them; or killing baby humans.  Umm, now where did that thought , the baby human one, come from?

Well, it’s obviously originally from one of those ten things we can no longer put in front of the courthouse carved in stone; those things which nevertheless hang heavily  over our heads like a gathering storm, which loom like ten massive mountains in front of us, a wall of warning we have so far safely ignored.  Those things which with the help of Progress in Science, Economics, Jurisprudence, Medicine and Politics we may all one day soon be able to drive out from under and up and over into a land flowing with, well with whatever we would like it to overflow, solar panels on every rooftop and 500 channels of TV; a workers paradise and a thousand year something or other.

We will be great again!  Have hope!  Achieve, at last, the change we have wanted all along, from that first afternoon with the sun on the meadows and us lolling in the shade of a the apple tree.  We will be the best we can be, if only we listen to one of the three.

It’s a choice, really, between Tweedledum, who will make everything plentiful and free; Just Plain Dumb; who will make us once more great behind our Great Wall; and Dee, the barrel legged beauty from hell, our true mother with what potions and drugs we need to make us well.

It is a choice I do not wish to make, a meal I do not choose to eat, in a place I find oppressive and toxic.  I know how the Socrates quote applies to me.  Avoid the ballot booth in November as if it contained a nest of vipers.

Perhaps I should stand outside the place with a sign that carries the words, “Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch’entrate!”  Few enough of us read English any longer, so it might be a conversation starter.  Folks who know me could ask, passers by, poll watchers “Why are you out here?”  And I could ask them back, “Why are you going in there?  Why do you care?”  When they ask, “What the hell does that sign say?  I could say, “It really doesn’t matter.  We are there already.”.

And on January 20, next year I’ll stand at the right moment, wave my sword in the right direction and proclaim with the rest of us, “Hail, whomever, we who are dead salute you!”


Yes, it is a wild place we have wandered into.  Would that we had a guide through, and up, and out.

Dante’s Inferno

Today, April 24, 2016

P1010740

A Ruined Augustinian Monastery in Cashel, Ireland Destroyed by Cromwell

 

It is a cool afternoon here by the river; a steady wind from the north has been blowing downstream since mid-afternoon yesterday, and I wonder why everything here isn’t somewhere on Cape Cod.  It’s a bit late in the day to be doing this, but when one has to be at Mass long before Mass begins because you need practice, well, things get put aside.  Now, the time seems to be good for this little exercise.  I’ve finished lunch, folded the wash, actually two washes, and conducted a fruitless search (again) for something I’ll need for a trip we are taking in June.

There’s only this, and, maybe, a nap.

Spring has made itself seen and felt around here with usual brightness of day, softness of showers and sound of courting birds for the past week or so.  We await the first tulips blooming in our little plot out back.  Yesterday afternoon I listened to a lonesome cardinal  in a nearby tree calling someone, anyone, in his cardinal world to come and make his life complete.  There were at least a dozen other cardinals in trees on both sides of the river with the same idea.  Poor guy, he sang his heart out, and got nothing for the effort.  He won’t give up, though.  I admired his persistence and his pluck, and hoped the best for him and his bachelor buddies.  There are no cardinal monasteries they can enter.  There’s no vocations to celibacy for them to follow.  Nature bound, they must find a mate and obey.  Nor can they will to do anything else, like deciding they identify as something, anything other than a lonesome male cardinal, or running away with the fellow one tree over.

Above them all yesterday, high against the clouds two hawks slid effortlessly down the wind and back again for at least twenty minutes.  Cloud coasters, sky surfers, catching the invisible air waves; I watched them and thought of angels and Icarus.

It’s too wind washed today though, both sky and nearby trees, for a lonely gang of cardinals or a lazy pair of hawks.


It’s quiet in this room.  All I hear is the clock on the wall, and all I see in the afternoon sunlight are the crab-apple branches shying from the wind and a chickadee or two  darting into the azalea bush before dashing to the feeder just outside the front door.

It was a century ago this day in Dublin when the Easter Rising against British Rule took place.  The “lads” all met a swift end in the Post Office, or a few days later against a wall.  I saw the marks the British bullets made and put my fingers into the holes.  It was Easter Sunday, a century ago.  My father was just “gone” three, with his mother and father in New York City, and I wonder what those two thought might be coming for their families home  if the British got their blood up over it all.  There was Dick Fanning, my grand-uncle who fled his mother’s house, and up and over hills to hide in Kilkenny.  And all I knew of him I first learned watching his sister pray for him when I was little.

But, then, perhaps the Sassenach invader couldn’t devote too much thought to it all, caught up as they were in the slaughterhouse across the channel in France, and a crumbling empire.

The only things I know about that day a century ago I learned in the songs we all sang when I was younger; songs of the long years of trying in the sad and often desperate tunes of wild colonial boys, rattling Thompson guns, orders from the captain to get ready quick and soon, the sad fields of Athenry and the hope behind it all; that Ireland once again a nation be.

It isn’t, yet, after eight hundred years.  They got most of it, to be sure, to call their own again.  And the rest?  Someday, God willing, the four green fields will together bloom.


What took place in Ireland then was preceded by a greater horror only a year before, the great murder of Christian Armenia by the Muslim Turks, the the decaying remains of the Ottoman Empire built on the corpse of Byzantium.  Until today I hadn’t known the two events were only a year separated, and I’m walking around wondering at the woe both people suffered; only for the Armenians much more horrible for its scope and swift brutality, I suppose, at the hands of the Turks than the long woe of Ireland under the British yoke.  It was thousands, perhaps a hundred or two thousand transported away from home by the British over a few centuries, and four million starved to death in the Great Hunger, while beef and pork and poultry and corn and all the great produce of the small green land went across the Irish Sea to feed the landlords, and the farmers ate grass and watched their wives and children die..

But for centuries the Armenian people, the first Christian nation, suffered slavery and worse at the hands of their Muslim overlords until the effort to do away with them completely began with the arrest and imprisonment of several hundred scholars, and spread with enslavement, rape, crucifixions, death marches and slaughter.  Spread in a word with all of the honored cruel methods of population control used for so long in the Middle East.

Not much has changed.  It happens today.


Today is the feast of St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen, a town in Germany.  He became a martyr in Switzerland where he had gone to preach.  He once wrote: “What is it that today makes true followers of Christ cast luxuries aside, leave pleasures behind, and endure difficulties and pain? It is living faith that expresses itself through love.”

Think of him when next you hear of some Christian being castigated for telling the truth about their faith, for “casting aside” the luxury of silence before error, or worse being martyred for being a Christian.

The Fields of Athenry is a song about a young man sent away from his family because he tried to feed them: The Fields of Athenry 

This is a song from Armenia.  I don’t know the words, but you can guess, and I do not think you’ll be wrong:  Armenian Song

 

I Have A Right To Be Polarized

Good Morning Sunshine(s):

I remember the famous quote from someone getting his head handed to him:  “Why can’t we all just get along?”  Or, it was something along those lines.  Whatever  it was, it’s become more or less a New Commandment; as in “I give you a new commandment!  You shall get along with everyone!  You shall be tolerant, and diverse, and non-judgmental of your neighbors.  You shall not think their behavior savage, profligate, illegal, immoral or fattening lest you cause them to feel bad!  I am the, umm, the Happy Face!”

It was something along those lines that I woke up thinking about today, remembering the recent accusations of treasonous behavior directed at a group of senators from the opposite party here in these Untied States who wrote a very public letter warning a very public enemy about the life expectancy of a deal in the making.  A deal which a lot of folks, including the letter writers, not only think is not good, but is downright bad, not to say stupid, wrong and jejeune.  But, we have come to expect such things from certain folks over the last half dozen or so years.

So, they think the deal’s wrong, all wrong, and said so.  Well, at least we know where they stand on that issue.  At least, too, they don’t meet their opposition, who was one of their own, on the porch of the Senate and stab him to death to preserve the Republic.  But, it isn’t yet March 15th.

Some folks, not yet at the “calling someone treasonous” stage, lament such public displays of differences of opinion uttering versions of the “Why can’t we…” plea for harmony, unity, peace and good will.  Being right (not politically, Dear.  Puhleeze!) and acting that way causes disharmony.  Being polite does not.

Well, sometimes polite is wrong and right is, well, honorable.  I mean, it wasn’t right for former Rep. Wiener to show his naughty bits to a lady, even if some folks would say he had a right to do it…which I do not think he did, being after all married even if it was(is?) to a lady who works for a lady who has long thought it’s always right for her not to do the right thing (but what difference does that make?).   But it was right to say, and that loudly, that it was wrong, that HE was wrong, even if some folks would have preferred to “avert eyes” from the rude behavior, and to reach the conclusion that his wrongness was much wider and deeper than a mere matter of dressing or not.  Are you still following?

Stuff like this upsets a lot of folks.  They want everyone, like the fellows above, the Senators of Great Discord, to just get along; because, after all they say, it’s the right thing to do.  Families get along.  Don’t they?  They’re not polarized.  Neither are countries; or they shouldn’t be.  A nation needs to stick together and follow one leader.  “My country, etc…”  So they did in Rome, as recently as 70 years ago…and look what’s happened since.  And, they did it in places like Germany, Russia and China which were paradises and thousand year empires, for a while. Then other folks started thinking it wasn’t right, more or less, not to be polarized about some things…most things…everyone said should be right, including, most importantly, a bunch of Dear Leaders, and Uncles.   How else, one reasons in these cases, can Great Leaps Forward be accomplished unless everyone at all times thinks; nay believes with heart and soul, that all is right, and just, proper and helpful toward salvation?

While I continued thinking about this, I came across an article by a fellow with the odd sounding name of Hadley Arkes.  He wrote about polarization, a bad thing to have say the right believers in this article; worse, I suspect, than Ebola, because it has proven fatal in many cases among the polarized.  And Prof. Arkes concludes that it just might be right; despite what all of the folks who want us to have and exercise our rights in an atmosphere of smiling tolerance and agreeable silence say; vigorously exercise them, including the new ones which have been hiding in closets and shadows until coaxed out into the light by judges and oddly dressed or undressed people.

But, he, being a well educated fellow, and a real live professor of something, somewhere, says it much better than I ever could here.

Right’s never wrong.  But sometimes, and lately quite often, “rights” are, and being polarized, even angrily so, about that is, to my way of thinking, right.  The folks who argue against that, preaching tolerance of wrongs, will see nothing wrong, some sweet day, with putting people away who aren’t tolerant, diverse of opinion and supportive of one dear leader, a person not afraid of progress and change; a person to charge full speed ahead into the hope filled future. Dammit all!  They’ll do it because they’ll say that those who don’t think right are wrong and have no rights, particularly the right to think the way they do about the right way of doing things, including such things as Prof. Arkes mentions in his little article..

They’ve done it before. And, they’ll do it again, to paraphrase a once popular song.

They’ll do it again.

Businesses, Brotherhoods and Babies

It is snowing outside.  We’ll get three to six inches today if the liars at Weather Central (All Disaster, All the Time) can be believed.  So, instead of going over to the gym to get ready for the beach this summer, I am sitting here in The House With No Heat, myself rapped in buffalo skins reading stuff on the internet and occasionally saying a prayer for people who have neither homes nor buffaloes to robe them.

I’ve done what I usually do when bound up inside by the weather.  I have read.

So far this morning I’ve read that our goofermint, as someone I know refers to it, wants the new president of Egypt to say he was a jerk a couple of years ago when he told folks over there to raise their children to hate everyone not them.  So far, it looks as if no one over there in sand castle land is listening.  But, when they do hear the whispers, perhaps Mousi (no relation to our kinder, gentler Mickey) will grunt something or other.  The guy deserves at least a dope slap for what he said.  But, what  can you expect from someone who hangs around with a bunch of cruds who think strapping a dozen or so pounds of dynamite on a kid and sending them into a crowd of weekend shoppers is the Muslim Brotherhood equivalent of Little League?  Over here the Big Brothers try to teach a kid to be a good person.  Over there, you’re a kid and you get one of Mousi’s friends for a big brother, you’re sure to be taught how to be one of two things, a murderer or a “martyr”  (which is the same thing for those whackos); probably both.

Then, I happened on an article about my favorite women’s organization, Planned Parenthood.  Now the first time I heard the name, which was a long time ago I have to confess that I thought it was some kind of place, maybe like Triple A, where they give you helpful travel trips, make reservations and stuff,  sell you plastic water bottles.  You know, stuff you never thought you needed, but can’t live without now that you know it is there, and cheap.  I figured you walked into a Planned Parenthood store and got deals on bassinets, formula, diapers, stuff like that; and there were these nice ladies with shawls on and wire rimmed glasses sitting around knitting booties and little blankies ( a different kind of B&B) the place painted in shades of pink and blue.

“Divil a bit of it!” my Grand-Mother Kate Fanning Gallaher might say, her lips curling and a curse against them forming.  I found out it was another kind of place.  Scary, really.  Well, you know.  It’s the last place someone wants to be when planning their parenthood.  Planning for Un-parenthood?  That’s a horse of a different species.  They got, umm, slicers, dicers, choppers, hoovers, pills and potions and are ready for you 24/7, with, I bet Early Bird specials:  In by eight, out by ten anytime before little Janey or Junior’s  ten weeks along.  Or, something like that.  Maybe, if they get your e-mail, they send you coupons and 2 for 1 specials, and you can like ’em on Facebook.  It’s good marketing, you know.  And, if you don’t know yet, Planned Parenthood is a business, just like some of those big deal sausage factories, like Jones and those others.

And this smoothly segues into the second article I glanced at this morning, the one that explains in sordid detail just how Planned Parenthood is a business, perhaps the bloodiest business this side of an abbatoir (a fancy French word for a slaughterhouse).  Only they deal in killing kids, not cows.  Last year they set a record, the article says, and manage to kill more than 300,000 little human beings, none of whom asked for it.  In a really cool concatenation of events and circumstance those of you who read the article (have strong drink at hand…or anti-nausea meds) will learn that that number matches almost perfectly the dollar figure for their daily profit.  And, mirabile dictu, both numbers are all time universe wide records!  Imagine, most babies killed in a year and most money made per day for a year, and they occurred together!  There’s a pair that’ll beat a full house anytime.

But, it gets better, because 45% of this loot comes from you and me, the American taxpayer.  Yep, we gave the country’s busiest and biggest house of death about a million samoleans a day between June, 2010 and June 2012.

After I had finished in the bathroom and washed out my mouth, I came back here and found something different to read, a short essay on something called The Catholic Education Resource Network by a fellow named Anthony Esolen.  The essay has a very simple title.  Its title is “The Child”.

Now, in all fairness I have to say that I have been in the same room as has Anthony Esolen at least once.  I know that because I heard someone say his name and , at the same time, point to him.  But I have never met him.  I would like to, and the first thing I would do is ask for his autograph.  I know that this frosts a lot of peoples’ pumpkins out there, but the guy is a good Catholic, and a good teacher, to boot.  And what he writes and what he says, and, I have no doubt, what he teaches about is thoroughly Catholic from the first word to the last.  So, if you are the kind of person whose goat is got by the things Catholics say and believe you may want to save yourself some agida, and maybe a trip to the ER, and not read the article.

Because, you see, Dr. Esolen’s article starts off in an entirely Catholic way, an authentically Christian way.  It starts off in the kind of way which I know grates on folks who think Planned Parenthood, even if it is a lousy business, is a good thing; the way sewers, I suppose, are a good thing…only a child isn’t supposed to be in a sewer.  It starts in the kind of way which I know ticks off people who think that Mousi and his fellow Muslim brotherhood members, and every other person who wants kids to grow up hating, are just teaching kids the facts of life, and that’s a good thing…like suicide bombers are good things.  Only a child has a life before him.

Here are the first couple of sentences  from Dr. Esolen’s article,  “Everywhere outside of Christianity, wrote Hans Urs von Balthasar, the child is automatically the first to be sacrificed. Only for Christians is the adult the imperfect child. Everywhere else the child is the imperfect adult, and falls subject to our lust for domination.”

I Will Make You Ready

I Will Make You Ready

Read it.  And, maybe shed a tear for children all over the world, children who are  sacrificed every day to Moloch, perhaps more alive today than ever and closer to us than we think.  Which way shall we go?

Going My Way?

Julia In Dublin

And after you read it come back here and listen to the music below.  I used to play it sometimes and remember a little poem set to the opening theme that I sang to my daughter when she was a child:

When at night I go to sleep,
fourteen Angels watch over me.
Two my head are guarding,
two my feet are guiding,
two are on my right hand,
two are on my left hand,
two who warmly cover my head
and two who will guide me toward Heaven.

Much better, so, don’t you think than businesses and brotherhoods?

The Sheepul Vote (A Short Pastoral Fable)

The dictionary has something to say, here.  The definition of complaisance in one of the sources I checked is this: com·plai·sance (k m-pl s ns, -z ns) n. The inclination to comply willingly with the wishes of others; amiability. complaisance [kəmˈpleɪzəns] n

Sheep and cattle are complaisant.  As long as the grass is green and no wolves wander near, they are content to stand, even in the rain, outdoors and munch, moving only when the grass might grow too short, or the piles of ordure they produce a little too high.  From time to time the tender ones are carted off to “somewhere”.  No one of them left behind really notices or cares very much what that means for them.

The grass is green.

The shepherd’s whistle pierces the still air and the dogs are let in upon them, to run them here or there.  But, the sheep know.  The promise always is greener grass beyond the next gate.  This has been the way.  Always forward.

The shepherd never lies.  So the sheep willingly obey.  And, from time to time the tender ones are carted off to “somewhere”.  No one looks up.  The grass is green.

Soon, they will go forward once more, their slow ramble from green bit to green bit temporarily interrupted by the shepherd’s whistle, the little dogs busy  at their backs and the frenzied nip at the slackers.

But the grass is always greener there, wherever there may be.  The sheep neither know nor care.  That the shepherd knows, and that is enough.  Did the sheep once know?  It is too much to think about.

The grass is always greener after the sheep have gone forward..

And, the way is downhill.  Going forward is always easier when the direction is down.

Too late, alas.  The cliff.  Too late.

One , the last, turns before the plunge into darkness, and sees.  There was no grass at all.  The dogs smile.  The shepherd lied.

But the sheep have been complaisant.  They have been willing.  They believed, if it can be said that sheep are able to believe.  Some few may have even thought they were making a good choice.  And why not?  Every time they moved it was forward.  It was green.  It was down.

It was down.

Every change they made was a change to a better place.

Until the cliff.

“We believed unto death,” cry the sheep falling.

_____________________________________________________________________________

Now, I will beat you on the head until it hurts.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

Every word or attitude is forbidden which by flattery, adulation, or complaisance encourages and confirms another in malicious acts and perverse conduct. Adulation is a grave fault if it makes one an accomplice in another’s vices or grave sins. Neither the desire to be of service nor friendship justifies duplicitous speech. Adulation is a venial sin when it only seeks to be agreeable, to avoid evil, to meet a need, or to obtain legitimate advantages.

But, what is it when it leads to debt, weakness and death?

To whom do children in our schools now sing?  Whose face appears on our flag? To whom do the sheep-like look for their “things”?  Who promises them greener pastures?

How close is the cliff?  Can you see its edge?

Dogs’ nipping.

Sigh!

He has let the other shoe drop.  BOOM!  It hit the floor and knocked loose a few chunks of plaster on me down here just sitting quietly watching nothing on one of the 500 available channels from All Silliness All the Time Satellite Direct to Me Anywhere.  (I swear that it’ll only be a few years before some brilliant soul will be able to come up with a hard wire TV feed right into the brain..and only a few years after that the Supremes will rule that TV brain feeds are a a Constitutional Right protected under the First Amendment, and the surgery necessary to get one is allowable for free under our Universal Cradle to Grave…if you can get to the first and avoid the second long enough…Medical Care.)

And, while we are on the subject of Constitutional Rights, the dropped shoe above?  That was all about The Great and Hopeful Ozbama saying he’s OK with guys marrying guys and girls marrying girls.  I guess I’m OK with it, too, if that’s all there is to it.

I mean, I remember when we were little kids my sister sometimes used to marry her dolls to each other, and they were only dolls.  And don’t comic book characters get married?  They don’t even exist except in cartoons.  I think Bugs Bunny even got married once.  Micky and Minnie, Donald and Daisy, Dagwood and Blondie.  Those aren’t real folks having real marriages.  It’s all make believe.

I remember when I married Gloria Smith.  I think I was four.  We kissed, made a mud pie wedding cake and then my mother called me in for supper.  I never even got to say, “I’m home, Honey.  What’s for supper.”

That time.  The next time we got married, we did it a little earlier so I could go to work.  “What do I do now?”  “You go to work silly.  Go outside and wait until it’s time to come home.”  I went outside and me and Eddie Haviland went looking for salamanders down by the railroad tracks in the drainage ditch.  I never came home, never did get to say my line.  For all I know we may still be married.

Don’t get me wrong,  I’m not saying that Fred and Bob, Donna and Lobelia, aren’t real.  I’m not even hinting that what they want to do is merely imitate folks like Michelle and Obama, and play grown up.  No, they love each other with great devotion and tenderness, and would like such things as joint ownership, joint tax returns and medical insurance.  But most of all they want to be known as Mr. and, umm, well, as a couple.  Which, I think is just fine.  That horse has left the barn, anyway.

Let them have the word. After all!  It’s only a word, for heaven’s sake. Well, it’s several words, at least; a noun, a verb, an adjective; several parts of grammar: subject, object, predicate, modifier. Nothing more. Right? So, why not give them the use of the word and come up with something else, some nice other word or term? Something that describes the Life Long Covenantal Spousal Relationship Between Persons of the Opposite Sex Which Is the Only Human Relationship Open to Bearing Children Naturally and Raising Them Within the Safety and Security of a Traditional Human Family Where Both Spouses Willingly Accept Traditional and Natural Roles of Nurturing and Support,  Cooperate in the Education of Their Children and Vow to Love, Honor and Obey Each Other, Forsaking All Others Until Death Parts Them Tens of Years Hence, God Willing. I know it’s a big word, but if someone can come up with a shorter one, maybe after a sufficiently brief evolution we can get a Presidential endorsement of it and get over this silliness.

I did say silliness, didn’t I.  Not that I really meant it, because I know that the people who would like to see a re-definition of marriage are not at all of the same mind about it as I might be.  They are dead serious about it; seize the moment, take no prisoners serious.  Which is why I am all in favor of letting them have that word for their very own, and any others they want to go along with it.

If , as I said before, if that is all there is to it.  About that, though, I wonder.

I’ll let others argue about what marriage should be, or point out that it can’t be whatever we want it to be because.  I ain’t smart enough.  But this scares me:

About five years ago I went to ameeting in my home town.  New Hampshire was considering a law to allow same ses marriages, and a committee was formed to travel the state and gather public input.  One of the people on the film, David Parker came and offered his testimony about what was happening in Massachusetts, and how he had been jailed for not wanting it to happen to his children.

That’s the part that scares me.  If it’s only about words, who cares.  If it’s about more than that, I begin to worry, and I think you should,