Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Catholic Commentary re: McCarrick Doubling Down on Calls to Bar Gays from Priesthood: Why This Red-Herring Solution Is Not a Viable Solution to the Abuse Problem

Here's a Twitter thread I wrote today, that I'd like to share with you in light of my postings yesterday:

Monday, July 30, 2018

Mary Hunt on Next Phase of Abuse Revelations: "Adult Women Who Have Been Sexually Involved with Priests Represent the Third Element of This Complicated Problem"

What Mary Hunt says here is so critically important to be heard, as the hateful, homophobic Catholic right works overtime — once again — to frame the abuse story in the Catholic church as a narrative that's all about homosexuality, in light of the McCarrick story:

Catholic Right Goes All In on Gay-Bashing Analysis of McCarrick Story — As Stories Break of Nuns Abused by Priests and Priests Fathering Children

As Sarasi points out in a comment here this morning, the homophobic Catholic right is having a field day now trying to exploit the Cardinal McCarrick story to attack what it sees as the sexually louche culture of the 1960s, which gave women access to increasing control of their reproductive lives and opened the door for gay folks to come out of the closet. The Catholic right wants women back in their kitchens baking Betty Crocker confections for their hard-working men, and gay folks shut fast back in their dark closets.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

When a Story About Chewing Gum Is Not About Chewing Gum: Transgender Teen Denied Communion in Charlotte, North Carolina, Catholic Church

With all the really challenging things going on in the world around us right now, my choice to focus on this story might appear baffling. It's a "little" story, perhaps, compared with ones like the raging fire gobbling up a big portion of California, or the (shocking but unsurprising) revelation that the parents of many children snatched from their parents by the U.S. government at the nation's borders cannot be located and there are reports that some of these children are being sexually abused. 

Monday, July 23, 2018

More Reports on Shared Goal of Putin and U.S. White Evangelicals: Deconstructing Democracy

The story reported by Peter Montgomery, which I shared with you on Friday — that the neo-Confederate League of the South, classified as a hate group by Southern Poverty Law Center, is inaugurating a Russian-language section on its website — has now been reported by other venues including Newsweek and The Hill. As Peter Montgomery reports (and this is echoed in the other two articles I've linked; I'm also repeating what I posted Friday),

Friday, July 20, 2018

God, Guns, and White Supremacy: More Valuable Commentary about U.S. White Evangelicals' Infatuation with Strongman Putin and What's Driving It

Here's some more commentary for you that I've read today, which shows the clear connections between the white supremacist nationalism that binds together white evangelicals in the U.S. and Russia, as white American evangelicals look to Putin's authoritarian assault on democracy as a model for an American society in which a religious minority will be, they hope, permitted to impose their moral and religious ideas on the majority by force:

Thursday, July 19, 2018

More National Prayer Breakfast Commentary: "The [Republican] Party Needs to Face That Element Within Them, Which Is Essentially a White-Supremacist Element That Putin Is Playing"

More good commentary about the connection of the National Prayer Breakfast to the treasonous behavior of the political party now controlling the U.S. federal government — this commentary has come to my attention since I posted my collection of other pieces early today:

Valuable Commentary on National Prayer Breakfast and Treasonous Behavior of GOP Leaders: "#Nationalprayerbreakfast Is All Over the Affidavit for Russian Spy Maria Butina"

I'm pleased to see that the important thread I identified three days ago in the unfolding story of the treasonous activities of top Republican leaders — the centrality of the National "Prayer" Breakfast to the story — is receiving a lot of media attention. Here's commentary I'd like to share with you:

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Two Threads Not to Miss in Treason of U.S. POTUS: Solidaristic White Nationalism and Its Religious Incarnation in Religious Right

About yesterday's act of treason on the part of the man occupying the U.S. White House: here are threads that stand out for me as very much worth pursuing, from the wealth of immediate commentary I've read as the treason has unfolded:

Monday, July 16, 2018

Footnote to Previous Post: To Understand Why Nothing Has Substantially Changed in the Catholic Church, See NYT Article re: McCarrick Today


As a footnote to what I posted yesterday, I'd like to draw your attention to Laurie Goodstein and Sharon Otterman's report in the New York Times this morning entitled "He Preyed on Men Who Wanted to Be Priests. Then He Became a Cardinal." I ended my posting yesterday by noting that, even as a Jesuit community appears — so it seems to me — to have been shielding a priest who raped a five-year-old girl and then went on to molest her repeatedly over years, it turned away at least one candidate for the priesthood (I know this from the person to whom this happened) because he had had sexual contact with other men, and, during the years when I was doing undergraduate studies at the university connected to this community, two of my teachers were precipitously fired, with rumors circulating all around the campus that they were fired for being gay.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

A Story of Two Jesuits, with Commentary on the Current State of the Catholic Church (Especially re: LGBTQ People)

This is a story of two Jesuits. I'm telling it now primarily because news I read about one of the two this week gave me a shock, and, after having read that story, I've been mulling over my years as a student at Loyola University in New Orleans from 1968-1972. Because what I say about these two men involves personal judgments and neither is around to defend or explain himself, I'm not going to name them — though I'm perfectly aware that anyone with access to the internet, who knows how to dig for information, can fairly easily identify both men.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Remembering Kathy Shaw, Unsung Hero of Abuse Crisis in U.S. Catholic Church

During my silent weeks recently, a very important figure in American Catholic journalism died, and I want to remember her here. I'm speaking of Kathy Shaw, who maintained the Bishop Accountability Abuse Tracker site to which there's a link on this blog's main page. Kathy died on 24 June, and as an email from Steve Sheehan today to NSAC News subscribers announces, there will be a memorial service for her on 17 July from 4-6 P.M. at Graham Putnam and Mahoney Funeral Parlor, Worcester, Massachusetts. Since I know that there are readers of Bilgrimage in that area, I wanted to note the memorial service for those who might be interested in attending.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Internet Responds to POTUS' Personal Theologian Paula White & Her Clownish Theology of White Nationalism: "Do You Not Read Your Bible, Sis?"

Baptist theologian Fred Clark is superb today on precisely how the POTUS' personal theologian Paula White "beclowns herself" through her recent statement that Jesus — who was executed by the Romans via a sentence of capital punishment ordering his crucifixion, a punishment reserved in the Roman empire for the lowest order of criminals — never ran afoul of any laws, and "if he had broken the law then he would have been sinful and he would not have been our Messiah."Here's an excerpt from his commentary:

#HelloICE? On Laughter as Good Medicine for the Addictive Drug of White Nationalism

Someone on Twitter today provided a snapshot of posters that have gone up on electric poles in Kansas Omaha, Nebraska, urging "American citizens" to call ICE and report anyone they suspect of being "illegal" — since THEY ARE BREAKING THE LAW. I let that tweet get away from me and can't find it now, so I can't link to it here. (Later: this is the story I saw tweeted this morning, regarding these signs.)

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

As I "Rest," Thinking About Family: What We Say It Is, What It Often Really Is

In the U.S., we live in a culture super-saturated with sentimental rhetoric about “the family” and how “the family” is the ultimate solution to all social ills. American culture is also notably hypocritical about moral and religious issues, and the hypocrisy extends to what we think about “the family.” While pretending to live some ideal, religion-based version of the family, a large number of us have the kind of complicated, messy family lives that real-world people as opposed to hypocritical religious idealists always have. Our rhetoric and our reality don’t match, and this impoverishes our understanding of what family is really all about, and of so much else that takes place around us.

After My Fall (and Notes on Last Night's Troll at This Blog)

This was me two mornings ago when we returned from our morning walk with the dogs. As we neared our house, and I know not how it happened, I fell on the sidewalk, flat on my face. I also seem to have landed on the knuckles of my left hand and the palm of my right hand, and on my left knee.

Steve thinks I stepped off the sidewalk, turned my ankle, tried to right myself, and this caused the fall. It all happened so quickly, I honestly don't know precisely what took place: just that I was walking one minute and lying flat on my face on the sidewalk the next, worrying that I had broken my glasses and that our little Chris, whose leash I had been holding, would dash into the street. I am very grateful Steve was there to pick me up and walk me around the corner to our house, and then clean and dress the areas I banged up.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Sorry for My Silence — An Explanation, Sort Of

I apologize to you all for not having been active in the conversation here for some days now. I have no elaborate excuse or explanation. I find myself feeling very ground down by what's happening on a number of fronts in my country at present — the separation of children including infants from their parents at the southern border, the caging and disappearing of those children, the brutality of the attempt of the current administration and its goons as they seek to terrorize prospective immigrants.