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    • Gonna Stick My Sword in the Golden Sand September 15, 2014
      Gonna Stick My Sword in the Golden Sand: A Vietnam Soldier's Story has just been released. The title comes from a stanza of the gospel traditional, Down by the Riverside, with its refrain--"Ain't gonna study war no more." Golden Sand is a bold, dark, and intense retelling of the Vietnam experience through the eyes of an army scout that is […]
      Obie Holmen
    • Gay Games Symposium July 21, 2014
      I am pleased and honored that the UCC has asked me to moderate a symposium during the games entitled Queer Christians: Celebrating the Past, Shaping the Future. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
      Obie Holmen
  • RSS There Will be Bread

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    • Quote of the Day December 6, 2016
      You can often see where a president-elect is going by his nominations to high positions in his forthcoming administration. Across over a dozen crucial posts, Mr. Trump has chosen war hawks, Wall Streeters (with a former Goldman Sachs partner, Steven Mnuchin, as his pick for Treasury Secretary) and clenched teeth corporatists determined to jettison life-savin […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • At Standing Rock and Beyond, Celebrating and Giving Thanks for a "Historic Decision" December 5, 2016
      Following is the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s statement on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' decision to not approve an easement (permit) that will allow the proposed Dakota Access Oil Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe.Today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it will not be granting the easement to cross Lake Oahe for the proposed Dakota Ac […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
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    • Had One of My Church Dreams Last Night: An Advent Meditation December 3, 2016
      Had one of my church dreams last night. Church dreams are, for me, often painful ones involving tears (the impossibly distant altar I can see from high in the eyrie at the back of the church to which I've been consigned, but which I cannot reach at communion time). Or, they are the opposite, ecstatic ones involving singing and a gladdened heart.Last nig […]
      noreply@blogger.com (William D. Lindsey)
    • #NotNormal: Choosing Normalcy As the Not-Normal Prevails December 2, 2016
      This is what the end of democracy looks like pic.twitter.com/MmnUHE56AE— CJ Werleman (@cjwerleman) December 1, 2016In what is becoming an increasingly dark moment of global history, due to the determination of economic elites to pick one last time over the carcass of a defunct late-capitalist economic system built on the exploitation of the many to put more […]
      noreply@blogger.com (William D. Lindsey)
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    • the way ahead March 23, 2013
      My current blog is called the way ahead.
      noreply@blogger.com (PrickliestPear)
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    • Not Our President November 16, 2016
      To hear the simplistic denial of those who scream out with naiveté “give Trump a chance” as they condemn others engaged in selfless protest against a certain political and social tsunami in the making, is to ignore his life-time public embrace of policies that tens of millions reject as not just destructive, but evil per se. They are not mistaken.Those in st […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Demma)
    • President Trump November 10, 2016
      A very short reflection:Still absorbing the shock of the recent US elections - reflecting, meditating, praying for light and inspiration. Dark days ahead for Gay people in the US? Not to mention people of color, Muslims, Latinos?However, a number of commentators whom I respect have set some of my fears to rest.For any who are interested, here is Russ Baker a […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Demma)
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    • Those less fortunate December 7, 2016
      Another twitter account I sometimes visit is that of Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker). This from him today ...It's all good celebrating Rogue One and the festive season,but please,let's not forget the poor,the homeless, and the lonely this winter...x pic.twitter.com/tOwEJ20in5— MarkHamill UK/France (@hamill_france) December 7, 2016
      noreply@blogger.com (crystal)

With an Estimated $17B in Assets, Pope Francis Creates a “Day of the Poor”

The Vatican’s securities, commercial real estate and bank accounts are estimated at $16-18 billion, its bureaucrats are still engaged in financial fraud, corruption and possible money laundering and most of the donations to the pope for charity are withheld from the poor.

On Nov. 20, Pope Francis created an annual observance for a “Day of the Poor.” In an interview broadcast that same evening, he declared, “One must always struggle for a poor Church for the poor, according to the Gospel.”

An April 2015 article in the Italian financial news, Il Sole 24 Ore, stated the assets – securities, commercial real estate and bank accounts – of all the Vatican departments and offices combined “by a conservative estimate” would be around 15-17 billion euro (approx. $16-18 billion). No outsider can be sure because Pope Francis hides almost all his fortune from any independent audits or disclosures. Continue reading

Catholic Bishops Doing a Happy Dance – For Now

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), “looks forward to working with President-elect Trump to protect human life from its most vulnerable beginning, [a] commitment to domestic religious liberty, ensuring people of faith remain free to proclaim the truth about man and woman [anti-transgender dogwhistle], and the unique bond of marriage that they can form …. We are firm in our resolve that our brothers and sisters who are migrants and refugees can be humanely welcomed without sacrificing our security.”

Much of this echoes the Vatican’s statement that “points of dialogue” with Trump will include “internal [domestic] subjects such as religious freedom, Catholics’ commitment and attention to the most vulnerable bands of society.”

Martin R. Castro, chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, recently stated: “The phrases ‘religious liberty’ and ‘religious freedom’ will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy or any form of intolerance.” Continue reading

Vatican Will “Dialogue” with Trump on Anti-Gay and Anti-Women Issues

Pope Francis’ right-hand man, Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said on Thursday that “points of dialogue” between the Vatican and Trump will include peace and “internal [domestic] subjects such as religious freedom and Catholics’ commitment and attention to the most vulnerable bands of society.”

“Religious freedom” is the euphemism justifying anti-gay discrimination. “Most vulnerable” is a common phrase used in anti-abortion rhetoric. Continue reading

How Pope Francis Helped Defeat the Colombian Peace Agreement

Pope Francis refused multiple requests for his participation or presence during the peace process. He also advocated the ideology and vocabulary for those who opposed the peace agreement.

In April 2015, Pope Francis’ secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, sent a letter to Colombian bishops on behalf of the pope “in the hope of seeing them soon during one of his trips to Latin America.” (Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay in July 2015, Cuba in September 2015, Mexico in February 2016). Archbishop Luis Augusto Castro Quiroga, president of the Colombian bishops’ conference, said he hoped it would be in “early 2016 …. This date was tentatively picked as it should coincide with the eventual ratification of the peace agreement should it be completed on time.” Continue reading

Pope Francis’ Diplomatic Reach Exceeds His Grasp of History

Pope Francis formed an alliance with Vladimir Putin, an accommodation with Raul Castro and capitulated to Xi Jinping.

On Aug. 26, the pope announced his intentions for the 50th World Day of Peace to be celebrated on Jan. 1, 2017. He included “recognition of the primacy of diplomacy,” acting “within what is possible,” and having “a realistic political method.”

Two days earlier, the pontiff’s chosen Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, “remarked that it is ‘the simplicity and courage with which the pope proposes the primacy of dialogue and understanding’ that has sparked in many religious and political leaders ‘the desire to communicate with him and to get to know the actions of the Holy See and the Catholic Church worldwide better.’” Parolin is so confident that other world leaders admire Pope Francis’ “negotiations and dialogue rather than affirming truth” that he is considering creating an Office for Papal Mediation.

Pope Francis and Parolin have said that their “dialogue” with China will bring “a more fraternal world society,”  “is the only way to achieve peace,” can be an “example for the world as a whole, building bridges of fraternity and communion everywhere,” would have “immense benefits for world peace, very, very big benefits,” that “the blossom [of relations with China] will flourish and bear good fruits for the good of the same China and of all the world,”  and that they were “writing a page unheard of in history.”

The results of Pope Francis’ diplomacy, however, is that  he “has helped to underscore Russia’s renewed standing as a global power,” in Cuba “he honored Fidel Castro while ignoring the dissidents” and his new deal with China is “a huge win for Beijing‘s soft power program.” Continue reading

Bishops Still Behaving Badly on Sex Abuse as Pope Francis Sets the Example

The clerical sex abuse scandal has revealed the core of corruption in the institutional Catholic Church. There have already been hundreds of thousands  of victims around the world.

Since the systemic sexual abuse of children made national headlines in 2002, survivors (young people who had experienced child sexual abuse had a suicide rate that was 10.7 to 13.0 times the national rates) and their advocates have demanded essential reforms necessary to protect children in the future.

One is that the pope require that all criminal acts be immediately reported to the police. This is still optional  according to Pope Francis. Another is that the pontiff hold bishops accountable. Pope Francis has never disciplined anyone for protecting child sex abusers, obstructing justice for the survivors or impeding measures to keep children safe because that’s what he does. So the scandals go on and on and on ….. Continue reading

Clinton: A More Formidable Opponent of the Pope Than Trump

Most of us are familiar with the exchange between Trump and Pope Francis in February regarding the pope’s trip to Mexico. Trump said “Mexico got him to do it because Mexico wants to keep the border just the way it is.” The pope said “a person who thinks about building walls … is not Christian.” Trump responded, “For a religious leader to question a person’s faith is disgraceful.”

But Hillary Clinton courageously challenged a pope about his organization’s grievous denial of women’s rights. Continue reading