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    • To my Republican Friends July 6, 2020
      You voted for Trump even though you didn't like him. Doubted his character. Questioned his fitness for the job. Yet, your aversion to Hillary was even greater [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
      Obie Holmen
    • Wormwood and Gall a Midwest Book Award Finalist May 4, 2020
      The Midwest Independent Publishers Association (MIPA) recently named Wormwood and Gall as one of three finalists for a Midwest Book Award in the Religion/Philosophy category. The awards program, which is organized by MIPA, recognizes quality in independent publishing in the Midwest. [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other co […]
      Obie Holmen
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    • What We Are Hoping and Fighting For July 6, 2020
      .The Wild Reed’s 2020 Queer Appreciation series concludes this evening with excerpts from BuzzFeed contributor Alexey Kim's wonderful photo-essay on this year's Queer Liberation March for Black Lives and Against Police Brutality in New York City.During the June 28 march, Kim photographed a number of participants, invited them to say why they were p […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • A Patriotism of Improvement July 5, 2020
      Circle Pines resident Khoi Truong Minh Phan had a thoughtful letter-to-the-editor in Friday's edition of the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper. As you'll see, it's all about understanding patriotism as our efforts to improve our country.It was early morning and I stood outside class, lamenting societal woes; someone told me that I “should go […]
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      My current blog is called the way ahead.
      noreply@blogger.com (PrickliestPear)
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    • Ronan Park and Jack Vidgen: The Travails of Gay Pop Stars October 28, 2019
      (Jack Vidgen)Quite by accident, through a comment from a performance arts colleague of mine, I stumbled across the recent bios of two boy teen singing sensations, both of whom made a big splash worldwide 8 years ago. The first, Jack Vidgen, won Australia's Got Talent Contest in 2011 at the age of 14, primarily for his powerful renditions of Whitney Hust […]
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    • In The Closet of the Vatican: New Investigative Study February 22, 2019
      In the Closet of the Vatican: Power, Homosexuality, Hypocrisy - just published today, February 22nd, 2019.Thanks to Kittredge Cheery of the wonderful gay Christian blog,  QSpirit Blog, for the heads up about the publication of this major new investigative study into the secret homosexual double lives of many priests (and bishops and cardinals) in the vatican […]
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    • Another World is Neccessary: Anarchism, Christianity and the Race from the White House July 30, 2008
      I’ll be presenting at the upcoming Jesus Radicals conference in Columbus, Ohio. My session (on the relationship between Church and State) will be on Friday afternoon. If you’re in the area, drop by. I’d love to meet some of the folks who frequent this site. Here’s the info: August 15-16, 2008 St. John’s Episcopal 1003 W Town Columbus, OH [...]ShareThis […]
      Mark Van Steenwyk
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Opus Dei’s William Barr, the Trump Whisperer

Barr is “a good deal more sophisticated and intelligent” than Trump. “It is Barr who is using Trump‘s relative naivety ‘to advance an agenda that he’s long held,’” Stuart Gerson, former assistant attorney general for the Civil Division of the Department of Justice under Barr, told Andrew Feinberg, White House correspondent for Newsweek.

“Trump’s presidency, gave Barr ‘an opportunity to put himself in a position to assert his own political agenda’ and ‘shape the legal establishment to suit his own political ends,’ posited Jonatha Smit,” one of Barr’s high school classmates at New York’s Horace Mann school.
Continue reading

The Moral Demise of American Catholic Bishops

“You cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24)

After Trump held up a Bible while standing in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church, non-Catholic religious leaders expressed anger and disgust. Continue reading

Catholic Church Received Federal Covid-19 Funding

The federal small business loan program created in response to the coronavirus pandemic has funded 20 percent of the Catholic entities that applied under the original $349 billion program.

“Statistics compiled by the Diocesan Fiscal Management Conference show that 8,000 parishes, 1,400 elementary schools, 700 high schools, 104 diocesan headquarters, 185 Catholic Charities agencies and 200 other diocesan organizations in 160 dioceses had applied for assistance.” Continue reading

In Unprecedented Numbers, U.S. Bishops Named in Lawsuits and Why It Matters

(Warning. This report includes graphic language that may trigger bad reactions in those who have been sexually abused.)

Since March 2019, 15 bishops (see below) have been named in lawsuits either as perpetrators of sexual abuse or for covering up the sexual assaults of others. This is important because while “priests were raping boys and girls, the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing; they hid it all. For decades, monsignors, auxiliary bishops, bishops, archbishops, cardinals were protected; many were promoted,” stated a 2018 Pennsylvania grand jury report.

Thousands of American priests have been sued but relatively few U.S. bishops have been identified by name in court proceedings. “For true bishop accountability to occur, two things must happen: 1) there must be a full account of the bishops’ responsibility for the sexual abuse crisis and 2) bishops who have caused the abuse of children and vulnerable adults must be held accountable,” leaders of the online database, BishopAccountability.org, concluded. Continue reading

Vatican Archives: A History Already Known

The Vatican opened its archives on March 2 to preapproved scholars regarding the papacy of Pope Pius XII during World War II. The records have been “kept secret for decades amid accusations that he turned a blind eye to the Holocaust.”

However, we already have an accurate history of Pius XII’s wartime record thanks to decades of research and painstaking work by some scholars. These include Michael Phayer, author of The Catholic Church and the Holocaust, 1930-1965 and Pius XII, the Holocaust, and the Cold War. Phayer thanked other historians for their contributions upon which he depended, including John F. Pollard, author of Money and the Rise of the Modern Papacy: Financing the Vatican, 1850-1950. Continue reading

Pope Francis’ Seven-Year Reign Brought Division in the Vatican and the Rest of His Church

Pope Francis was elected on March 13, 2013. Since then, he has been directly responsible for past, present and future sexual torture and brutalization of children. He has obstructed the battle for women’s and LGBTQ persons’ equal rights and appeased tyrants. The pope has also created intentional and unnecessary acrimony with Vatican employees and within his Church. Continue reading

Pope Francis’ Seven-Year Reign a Disaster for Too Many

The pope will celebrate the 7th anniversary of his election on March 13. He is directly responsible for past, present and future sexual torture and brutalization of children. He has obstructed women’s and LGBTQ persons’ human rights and appeased tyrants.

As Supreme Pontiff, Pope Francis “wields the biggest bully pulpit of any spiritual leader on the planet,” noted American political scientist Joseph Nye. The pope should “share the Church’s teachings with the world in order to help shape public discourse and policy in ways that protect the common good and promote the flourishing of all persons.

From February 17-23, clergy sex abuse survivors and advocates are returning to Rome to mark the one-year anniversary of Pope Francis’ summit on child sex abuse and “demand more action and change” stated the leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Pope Francis made “a lot of promises to the world that he was going to put an end to this and put safety measures into place to ensure that there was no more – or to prevent future coverups,” said Brenda Brunelle, who was abused from age 12 and founded the southwestern Ontario chapter of SNAP.  “Speaking as a survivor and an advocate for those abused by priests, I’m afraid to say that our report card is a failure.” Continue reading

Pope Francis Met with Mike Pence – 69,550 Migrant Children Held in U.S. Detention Ignored

On Jan. 22, Pope Francis “urged men and women of goodwill to promote and practice a culture of welcome especially towards vulnerable migrants in search of a better life.” Care of migrants has been a constant theme of his pontificate.

Two days later, during “a remarkably long meeting at the Vatican, especially for one not involving a head of state” the pope and vice president discussed the “sanctity of life” for the unborn, religious persecution in the Middle East and the impoverished in Venezuela.

No mention was made ofan unprecedented 69,550 migrant children held in U.S. government custody in 2019 [alone], enough infants, toddlers, kids and teens to overflow the typical NFL stadium. That’s more children detained away from their parents than any other country, according to United Nations researchers. And it’s happening even though the U.S. government has acknowledged that being held in detention can be traumatic for children, putting them at risk of  long-term physical and emotional damage.” Continue reading

The China/Vatican Agreement: A Human Tragedy

Pope Francis “has effectively given Xi Jinping a stamp of approval when the latter’s hostility to religious freedom couldn’t be clearer,” said Sophie Richardson, the China director of Human Rights Watch.

“Watching a major world faith come to an agreement with an authoritarian government that’s notorious for repressing religious freedom and to effectively cede some authority to that government sets a very worrying precedent,” Richardson explained. “The deal came as the religious-freedom environment in China reached its worst level in years, as the government has detained Muslim citizens in illegal detention camps, increased control over churches and temples, and sought to incorporate party ideology directly into religious doctrine.” Continue reading

Besides A.G. Barr, Mick Mulvaney and Pat Cipollone are Opus Dei, too

All three are involved in Trump’s impeachment.

During his July 25th call with Ukraine Pres. Zelensky, Trump urged Zelensky to work with his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, and Attorney General William Barr to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Humter.

When Trump’s chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, was asked whether a “demand for an investigation [into the Bidens] was part of the reason that [Trump] ordered withholding  funding to Ukraine,” Mulvaney replied, “…. We do that all the time with foreign policy … Get over it. There’s going to be political influence in foreign policy.

White House counsel, Pat Cipollone, is the “architect” of Trump’s fight against impeachment and “the attorney who will play a leading role in Trump’s Senate impeachment trial defense” according to NPR. Continue reading