Musings of a 30ish Midwestern Catholic Improv Guy.

Sunday, January 29, 2006  

About St. Blog's Prayer Network

Many of you may or may not know that my wife and I have another blog, which is our small way of serving our "virtual parish". Please visit it, pray for the intentions posted, and, if you so desire, send in your own intentions. Thank you!

posted by Dave | 9:58 PM

Guilty Pleasures Meme

Got this from the Catholic Cavemen...

Music: Styx, Def Leppard, and Sammy-Hagar era Van Halen. Look, I grew up in the early 80's. That makes the first two excusable. Most people have trouble with the third...

Movies: The first Police Academy and the first Revenge of the Nerds. Never the sequels, however.

Politics: Following the foibles of school boards. Idealogues, petty power-hungry pencilnecks, unthinking zero-tolerance, and criminal's all fascinating.

Church-related: I like the Gloria from David Haas' Mass of Light. I know I shouldn't...*sob*.

Chow: Little Debbie snack cakes. I also like kim chee. Ask my wife about the latter.

Clothing: Buying everything in greys and blacks (Amy's trying to change that...)

Hygienic: Searching for zits in the oddest places (I'm not saying where, mind you -- I'll leave that to your imagination) , and having an odd sense of satisfaction when they blow.

OK...Wife and're tagged.

posted by Dave | 2:18 PM

Tuesday, January 24, 2006  

Some Are More Equal Than Others...

Full article linked above.

Four suburban teenagers have been charged with felony hate crimes, accused of shouting slurs at a gay University of Wisconsin-Madison student and vandalizing his property, authorities said Monday.

No one was injured in the early morning altercation in Ogg Residence Hall on Dec. 21, and property damage was limited to torn photographs and posters promoting a campus center for lesbians, gays and others.

But the nature of the attack and the fact that it was directed at a student based on his sexual orientation prompted Dane County, Wis., prosecutors to elevate misdemeanor disorderly conduct and criminal damage to property charges to felony hate crimes.

The men are accused of gathering outside the dorm room of a male student who is one of two gay and lesbian liaisons for the university's housing system and shouting anti-gay slurs and expletives.

Someone also tore down photographs of homosexual couples and posters promoting the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Campus Center that were outside the room. Someone also spat on his door and wrote an anti-gay statement in marker on a bulletin board outside the room.

The student chased three men to another floor of the dorm, but they refused to give him their names, police said. He called police about 10 hours after the incident, police said.

The culprits deserve disciplinary action from the University and a citation for disorderly conduct. But to turn this into a felony ?

Let's play a little game of Let's Pretend...

I'm an outspoken Catholic who has a poster on my door which proclaims my faith. I've also got posters about the Newman Center posted all over the dorm. One night, a group of drunken yahoos rip down these posters, write "I hate f***ing cookie-worshippers" on a message board, and yell all sorts of imprecations at me. I'm shaken up, and call the police.

What are the chances of the culprits being charged with a hate crime?

Slim and none. Because I'm not a privileged class.

In fact, I bet there'd be a good chance that nothing at all would be done, and I might be told that I was "asking for it".

Hate crime enhancers are wrong for two reasons:

1) They are never applied equally. If you assault or harass someone because they're gay or a minority, you will get charged. If the victim is conservative, a Christian, or a member of some other politically-incorrect group, you might be allowed to plea-bargain , or get a semi-stern lecture, or have nothing done to you.

2) Even if they would be applied equally, they are still wrong because they criminalize thought and opinion instead of the act itself. Rape and murder and other violent crimes need no enhancement, since they are hate crimes in and of themselves. Anything else will be subjectively judged, and you end up with unequal application.

What should be done with these four young fools? Punish them for what they did, and not why they did it. Give them a good lesson on why it isn't a good idea to get drunk and be idiots, but don't ruin their lives with a felony conviction.

What should be done with the hate-crime law? Repeal it, as soon as possible. And enforce the laws already in the books.

posted by Dave | 5:27 PM

Wednesday, January 04, 2006  

What Makes A Catholic?

Hope everybody had a merry Christmas and happy New Year...

I'm reading through the discussion on Amy Welborn's blog about what makes a Catholic "liberal" or "conservative". I learned quite a while ago not to identify as either, preferring the term "merely Catholic".

What does this mean?

-- It means a distraction-free, faithfully celebrated Mass, without gimmickry, in either Latin or English, current or Tridentine (or any other legitimate rite) .

-- It means that soup kitchens and crisis pregnancy centers are both excellent and necessary things, and one should not eclipse the other.

-- It means adhering to everything in the Cathechism.

-- It means that each person has a different path within the parameters set by the Church. One might prefer rosaries and novenas; another might pray better with the daily Liturgy of the Hours. Some might be called to teach religious education classes; others are better suited for social outreach. And one has a plethora of different spiritualities: Benedictine, Franciscan, Dominican, Carmelite, Ignatian...each different, but equally good.

-- It means the salvation of your soul.

Any other ideas on this theme?

posted by Dave | 7:26 PM