Thursday, September 27, 2012


What exactly was in the film? Who made it? What were their motives? Was Muhammad really depicted? Was that a Qur’an burning, or some other book? Questions of this kind are obscene. Here is where the line must be drawn and defended without apology: We are free to burn the Qur’an or any other book, and to criticize Muhammad or any other human being. Let no one forget it. Sam Harris  Clyde, this is a very good article. Thanks for sharing it. I think this guy defies labels, I have read him before on something, maybe an article in Esquire.  To make a point, he is even harder on Mormans than I would be. The one flaw in his thinking as I see it is simple: nobody knows really what to do about the Middle East. Do we think a harder line will shake up fanatics. I don' think so. They are ignorant, uneducated, sexually repressed and blindly are willing to die. Plus, they are "used" by those that don't give a rat's ass for Mohammed or anybody, just power  Consequently we do the best we can and another war is not the answer. We are weary of war and look what Iraq and Afghanistan has gotten us. Zilch, other than dead young Americans. I do think his basic point is right. We can't be ashamed of free speech and the government that I trust (they may occasionally be intrusive, stupid, and wrong but they are not the enemy) has to unapologetically say to the Muslim world, f..k you very much but we will not alter our culture because of your fanaticism or belief system; join the rest of the world in tolerance or expect various American lunatics will  continue to insult you. Having watched the video as I said, it is, without a doubt, insulting. As Harris says, who and what is behind it. No doubt about it, The video is insulting and really a sexual fantasy in a way. But, well done in terms of the actual footage (no shaking cameras, that sort of stuff). Costs somebody big bucks. But, nothing to do about this idiot. Clyde, here is one thing that I have wondered about. My belief is that you can't just say you are a Christian as Harris article suggests. But, you have the conversion experience. In my terms, "saved." You are going in one direction, you are converted, accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior, turn and go in another direction. In Islam, you merely declare you are Muslim; Morminism, you declare, you start following the rules. So, my question, why have Southern Baptists not pushed this faith idea of conversion? {{{{{{{Jerry}}}}}} 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Military and VA

Occasionally there is something you read that is so moving, it's hard to know how to deal with it. A piece by Nicholas Kristof in The NY Times is one of those. He hit every critical area that we face today with our vets. Major Richards is an example. He also nailed it: the military mentality. The article was pretty scathing  in terms of the Army and VA. Here's the rub:The mission of the military is designed for one thing: to fight amd win wars. When it moves beyond that, it doesn't know what to do. The Sec Def is right: let's don't kid ourselves. The VA is overwhelmed and it is only beginning. The elephant in the room is the new soldier paradigm. The modern soldier is keenly attuned to social media and aware  of the system. Even while he is in combat, he is calling home, describing the action; he's emailing, tweeting. He understands what his/her benefits are, i.e., nearly half of returning soldiers are applying for benefits before they hit the ground. PTSD is a good example. It was 10 years before Vietnam vets by hook and crook could even get a hearing and then it all had to be meticulously documented. I know,  although never filing a claim personally, I've helped many. Now, a soldier, thanks to the President, only has to say, they were "present for duty." And, let me tell you this, all combat is not equal. In Vietnam, we had prolonged fire fights that could last for days. Snipers and booby traps came toward the end of the war, wounds similar to what Iraqi and Afghan vets received. Most of the 58,000 Vietnam soldiers died in the old fashioned way by bullets fired by an enemy intent on killing him. While a good Army, repetitive tours can be directly blamed on a volunteer military that is too small and less emotionally sophisticated, making them prone to an inability to cope, possibly an explanation for the epidemic of suicides. It may be the calibre of the recruit. While the good major blames a culture of the Army, I do the same for different reasons. Instead of telling the American people that care that we will face these problems, they used tho old "can do" philosophy. Think Shinsekie, now head of the VA, when he suggested another course for Iraq, as opposed to the old, "Can do," they in essenes fired his ass. I am certainly no apologist for the VA and my disclaimer is that although never having filed a claim, I have helped many. VA has improved but is onerwhelmed. And, let us not forget: the claims side of VA is different from the medical side which is as good as any HMO or better maybe.

Dialogue With Dave

Dave, as usual good thoughts. You should write a book but then there's already dozens extolling your views which surely have merit. And, your ideas are ideal. I personally think we are on a precarious spot. If you are a democrat, you see it one way: Republican, another way. My bottom line is that Obama has learned to be a good president and deserves a second chance. From the things I read is that for the first time in history, high unemployment and other economic factors usually would turn a prez out. Not this time. And where I would see it differently is that the public trough are entitlements any way you look at it. We can say, we earned it, etc; still entitlements. A last thing and where this breaks down a bit. Let us not forget that 60 million people voted against the President in the last election. We can never truly know about racism or whether there's bias against Mormonism. But, by voting with the 1% as opposed to voting with the middle class, 12-70%, a person votes against there own self interest as the rich get richer and the poor poorer. And, as Forest Gump would say, "that is all I have to say about that." god bless.  {{{{{{{Jerry}}}}}}  On Sep 12, 2012, at 9:16 AM, "Dave Peterson" wrote: Jerry/10 Chaps  (Jerry:  I enjoy the discussion…causes me to think and check my own philosophy.   -----A couple random thoughts in response to Jerry’s thoughts.:   1)      TAKING CARE OF THE POOR:  I think it does make sense to take care of the poor.  In fact, it is mandatory.  Whether or not we get “anything personally from things like Section 8 housing or hot lunches for kids, (these things don’t put a dime in our pockets..I don’t know why we do it.”)  I believe we do it primarily because we, as a nation, are a compassionate people, and because, we, historically, believe that all mankind are created in the image of God and we must do what we can to keep people from suffering.  Having said that, I know that we are not pure and are guilty of too many inconsistencies, but in the final end, we have, as a nation, been generous and compassionate.   My problem is not that we provide welfare, but it is in the manner in which we do it.  Bottom Line:  In my opinion we would be wise to personalize the welfare program as much as possible.  As is, it is totally impersonal.  The Federal Government is too far removed from the problem.  Consequently, not only is it impersonal, but there is very little accountability.  Simply handing out funds, Food Stamps, etc.  makes a lot of people feel good, but the positive value is limited, and the negative value is growing:  I.E.  Sense of entitlement;  taking people out of the workforce; taking away from the dignity of mankind, and ultimately, the number of “have nots” dramatically increases to the degree that the “haves”  run out of funds.  I remember from some secular ethics course the professor or the book talked about the fact that our ethical system may cause us to feel obligated to provide a donation or somehow assist the poor, but we are not obligated to sell our car and give the funds to the poor because we are now limiting our ability to provide future assistance. I mention that because of the present style of the Federal Welfare Program.  Ultimately, if the trend continues we, as a nation, are limiting our ability to take care of the poor in the future.   I still believe the Welfare Program (s) would be much better served if it were pushed down to State Level (s) 2)      INVOLVEMENT OF CHURCHES:Of course the Churches are right on top of it.”  I don’t mean to communicate that the Churches are.  In fact, I know I am speaking idealistically, and agree that, the Church as a whole, has lost its compass.  Having said that, theoretically, it is possible that the Church would be revived and change its course.  During the last several months I have been preaching every Sunday on the subject of “Contending for the Faith. Jude vs. 3)  In the process, I used the history of the 1st. & 2nd. Great Awakenings as an illustration.  At the time of the 1st. Great Awakening the Nation was in bad shape…morally, ethically, etc.  A small group of ministers were convicted to gather weekly to pray for the nation and the Church.  This group increased dramatically in numbers to include a high number of lay people.   At the same time God brought on the scene people like Jonathan Edwards, and later, George Whitfield, the Wesley brothers, and various others who didn’t receive the notoriety as the afore mentioned.  Also, several natural disasters occurred which resulted in people seeking God.  Result:  A major Revival which positively impacted all of society—morally, ethically and economically.  The ministers were careful to communicate that they were not involving themselves in politics, however, because of the revival politics was affected.  I mention this because it could happen again.  3)      “And let us be honest here, it really is a little disingenuous to be so down on government when most of us are drinking at the public trough:  VA, Tricare, Pension, SS, Medicare.”  I don’t want to become defensive here because I know that I “am drinking at the public trough.”  However, I don’t put VA benefits, Tricare, pensions, SS, and Medicare in the same category of “drinking at the trough”  as Welfare, Food Stamps, Contraception/Abortion support, etc.  The reason being:  Participants in VA Benefits, Tricare, Pensions, SS, and Medicare  put in funds into the “pot” in order to receive such benefits.  In a sense, all the above mentioned are similar to an Insurance Program.  Participants don’t  and have not received the benefits free gratuitous.  In each case, they are programs which were developed by the government…basically, saying, if you meet our requirements (serving in the Armed Forces, etc., paying into the system (Medicare, Medicaid, SS, etc) we will respond with the following benefits…To some degree unemployment benefits are similar….workers put funds into Unions etc…just in case a rainy day came along. 4)      “System is broken and whoever is elect president won’t be able to fix it for years and even then it is going to take a tremendous will of the people who care and most don’t “  Agree.   Self interest is at an all time high.  It seems to me like there is very little loyalty to the nation.  So many of the “Haves” (Wall Street, Brokerage Firms, etc) have allowed greed and dishonest to rule the day.  It seems like the last several generations have lost their appreciation for the nation, for the constitution, etc.  It is really bleak.  What could turn it around?  A loss of many of the freedoms we now enjoy, a serious economical /financial collapse, or a spiritual revival .   5)      “The Hispanics, African Americans, other minorities will not be able to overcome whites like the 10 Chaps, right wing Christian Fundamentalists, and Racists.”  To my way of thinking,  I know there are a small number of “Christian Fundamentalists” in our society, however, I doubt that they have much of an impact.  However, I am not sure how you define Christian Fundamentalists. I define them as such groups as the one from Wyoming that hates Gays and goes to funerals to shout obscenities or the few who condemn everybody to Hell if there are outside of their unique doctrines…If we identify Christian Fundamentalists as the primary evangelical groups who believe in the inspiration of Scripture then I am not there. 6)      RACISTS:  I know there are a few racists in our society, however I doubt that the racists have a significant impact on the election of Obama.  In fact, my guess is that a significant number of “whites” voted for Obama because they were anxious to move beyond the culture of racism.  Although I didn’t vote for Obama I do remember, perhaps in my naivety, thinking that his presidency would go a long ways in healing the tension between the races.  I would love to live in a society where racism wasn’t a factor.  Also, if we say that many of those who are not Democrats, more specifically, Republicans, then in like manner, we should be suspicious of those, primarily, Democrats, who come down so hard on people like Congressman West, Scott, and Herman Cain when he was running for the Republican Presidential Candidate, plus a  few others..  I remember how vicious the words became when Supreme Court Justice, Thomas was nominated.  Many of the Democrats were horribly abusive, however, I don’t think it was because of racism, but it was a result of liberalism vs. conservatism, and because, it is so difficult for them to believe that an African American can be a Conservative.   What think YE? 7)      “NO TWO WARS”.  For sure, many mistakes were made during the Iraqi War.  However, I believe there is a strong possibility that the end result is going to be good.  I understand that the prospects for –a form of Democracy—and an big time economical recovery are good. Even today there are a significant number of companies (coke, General Electric. General Motors, Nokia, Lucent Technologies, Motorola , Canon) who have set up business on their soil.  Oil industry is booming …Major Oil Companies are making big time investments in Iraq         .  For sure there is still some discontent and civil disturbances, but the expectation is that they will work through it as the military (12 Divisions) becomes increasingly trained and professional.  (Iran is the unknown problem) 8)      OBAMA INHERITED THE CRISIS:   Some truth to this.  The last two yrs. of the Bush Administration were not good.  I still have a hard time believing it.  However, one factor that is not given much discussion anymore is the debacle with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage companies. .  ..more specifically, the decision of Dodd and Franks, supposedly, under pressure from the Clinton Administration, to lower the requirements of providing mortgages to people who would normally not qualify….to the degree that thousands and thousands of mortgages were given when everyone knew that there was not a chance in the world they would be able to meet the financial obligations.  However, they “were betting on the come” , but unfortunately, the housing market went belly up and it turns out to be one of the primary reasons for the recession. 9)      “I personally think that when you net it out, that Romney has the greater chance of being elected.”  I hope, but it is not looking good at this point.  In the final end I think the decision will be made as a result of the debates.  For whatever reason it seems to me like the Democrats out politic the Republicans.   Clinton carries a big stick and sways many people.  To some degree it is a mystery to me, just as Obama’s appeal is a mystery, but none-the-less it is reality.   Well, that is it for now..  Will look forward to your response.   Dave     K From: [] Sent: Sunday, September 09, 2012 8:37 AM To: Marvin Vickers Cc: Northrop;; Claude Newby;; Charles Clanton; Dave Peterson; Bernie Windmiller; Tom Carter Subject: Dave's Thoughts   Dave, good thoughts and my belief: in an ideal world, the churches, states, etc. could do the job. No longer possible, even if they would do it. There is almost no area of your comments that don't make sense. It doesn't make any real sense to look after the poor, the downtrodden, the real underbelly of our culture. We don't really get anything personally from things like Section 8 housing or hot lunches for kids, those sorts of things don't put a dime in our pockets. I don't know why we do it.    Of course, the churches are right on top of it. Since Jesus was here, truly we've had a shot but most don't have time; even if they had the resources.  The church wants to be dealing with abortion and gay marriage, etc. Lots more important than caring for foster kids or food stamps for illegals. I can make your case in a millisecond: it makes no sense to do what we do as a country. Since the patron saint Reagan, we have created all these social programs and haven't had the courage to figure out how to pay for them. And, let's be honest here, it really is a little disingenuous to be so down on government when most of us are drinking at the public trough: VA, Tricare, pensions, SS, Medicare.    Our system is broken and whoever is elected president won't be able to fix it for years and even then, it is going to take a tremendous will of the people who care and most don't. (Of my father's children, I love myself the best, if the Lord provides for me, the devil take the rest). I am skeptical because of so much self interest.    I personally think that when you net it out, that Romney has the greater chance of being elected. The Hispanics, African Americans, other minorities will not be able to overcome whites like the 10 chaps, right wing Christian fundamentalists, and racists. We need desperately to reform the electoral system. Al Gore, for instance, won the popular vote by over 5000 but did not have the electoral college vote. Imagine what a different place we would be in today had he won. Balanced budget we assume from Clinton. No two wars (imagine if you were the parent of a younster killed in Iraq or Afghanistan to be able to turn the clock back with no wars) or having to deal with the worst economy since the great depression (crisis happened with George W still having 18 months left on his second term).    Well, I know that nobody is convinced and I'm not trying to convince you. If I were, I would use the line from Clinton,  something like, "it is like giving Obama all these crisis, you got four years to fix them. If not, you give it back to the same guys who created it in the first place." Got to love it.  Something equally as interesting to me is, I could care less about labels, i.e., Reub/Dem; and, I did vote for George W., his first term, how did we get to the intractable point we are. Mainly, it is guys like me, who still operate with a simplistic view of, "What would Jesus Do?" basically, I think that most present day Repub views are unChristian and border on the immoral. And, I am going to have to remain immovable from the onslaught of Republican spin. They would not know the truth if it ran over them. And, let's face it, we are as intractable ourselves. Our vote is really not to count when you have six or eight states deciting the election. Airborne, Amen, power in the blood. {{{{Jda}}}} >Jerry: (I am not sure you received my previous e-mail to 10 chaps concerning my take on how to best take care of the “poor.”) >  >A few random thought in response to your view of Jesus being a Democrat…meaning, taking care of the “vulnerable” and the poor. >  >It is true that Jesus advocated taking care of the “vulnerable” and the poor, however, to the best of my knowledge, he didn’t say this it was “Caesar’s responsibility. >  >My first thought is that the Federal Government should not be in the Welfare business, including Food Stamps, birth control pills, abortion support.   and various other give-away programs. >  >I know this sounds radical, but I don’t even think the Federal Govt. should tax the public for such causes.  Why?  This is a state/county/district and Church Mission.  I know this is somewhat idealistic, but I do believe the Church, as a whole,  has abrogated its responsibility/ministry of mercy to the government. I know there are exceptions, however, if the entire US Church/Synogues/temples, etc, were united in this ministry  the problem would be very close to being solved.  Since the various Faith Groups will probably not change, the States should take on responsibility.  At this level it would be much better controlled and well spent.  In other words, they would more effectively use their respective Chains of Command……I.E. State to County, County to Communities. >  >Afterthought: I do believe the government (state level) should be involved in disaster cases..  ..such as what is happening in LA. And MS. Now.  FEMA is a good program, although, I would prefer State Level personnel oversee the mission.  (By the way, I suspect that if the truth were known, the various faith Groups did much more, and spent money much more wisely to assist in restoring communities and families after the Katrina disaster) >  >Also, I do not think that Welfare programs were ever intended to be a permanent fix. Therefore, It would be wise to put enforced time limits and restrictions on welfare programs.  Exceptions would be approved at local levels.   In addition to the States being responsible for Welfare programs the nation  would be well served if training or retraining programs for the “vulnerable/poor.” were established. I could easily accept that these retraining programs would be supported by the state and not cost the participant a thing, however, I would suggest that a small percentage be reimbursed to the state once the individual re-enters the job market.  This leads me to the thought that Obama’s view of growing/fixing the economy and creating jobs is enhancing the problem rather than solving the problem.  Small businesses are over regulated and overtaxed, consequently, with the perspective of their financial obligations increasing due to Health Care, > they are reluctant to hire more personnel.  Solution:  Follow the Reagan plan.  It worked then, it would work again. >  >To my way of thinking the present system is a short term fix to a long term problem.  In addition, it takes away from the dignity of humanity.  Most people think much more highly of themselves when they are working for a wage and providing for themselves and family.  Having said that, I recognize there are some who are very willing to live off of the government and really have no desire to enter the job market.  (That is one primary reason why I believe there needs to be restricting and rules that are enforced.  Also, the present system leads to a sense of entitlement for many.  In fact, this is a present problem within our population. There are an increasing number who are saying, “it is the governments duty to take care of me.”   That is, to my way of thinking, a false belief and expectation.  It is the result of uncontrolled, unchecked,  and endless welfare programs.  EX:  Under this administration the Number of Food Stamp recipients > (47 Million) has nearly doubled in the last 3 yrs.  Even now they are working to get more people to sign up/  Why?  My suspicion is that they have ulterior  motives---meaning, increasing the number of people who are dependent on govt……ultimately giving govt. more and more control over its citizens.  >  >After thought:  Today, on CNN I heard that the Democratic Platform Committee has taken out all references to God…The last one to be taken out is:  GOD GIVEN RIGHTS.  This really bothers me for several reason.  I recently re-read some of Alexander Solzhenitsyn writings: (My reason for being overly sensitive to such issues)   When he gave his speech at Harvard he began with the words:  What has happened to my adopted country, the United States.  He went on to show how Russia/Soviet Union/Stalin took over complete control of the people One of the first goals was to get God out of society..  Also, the story of Bonheoffer brings out the same point.    My fear is that this administration has a conscious goal of gaining more and more control of the population.  I would think that the wording of the Constitution would overrule in such a decision. (Obviously, taking God out of the mix makes it easier.)    Another after thought:  The Democratic > Platform took out the phrase that the US Recognizes Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel.  Why?  This absolutely baffles me and it makes me fearful that Obama is yielding to the wishes of the Muslims.  When I recall how Obama has treated Netanyahu and the way he has dealt with Israel,  it makes me think he is anti Semitic.  Admittedly my theology increases my sensitivity on this issue. >  >Well,  that is it for now.  >  >Dave >  >  >  >  >  >From:jerry autry [] >Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2012 12:49 PM >To: Dave Peterson >Subject: Re: Test >  >Dave, got it. I rarely check this though but I'll get better. God bless my brother.  >On Tue, Sep 4, 2012 at 10:42 AM, Dave Peterson

Vietnam's Dragon Lady

Madame Ngo,(Madame Ngo Dinh Nhu), the legendary defacto first lady of Vietnam(1955 to 1963) early on in that “sorry” war, recently died. Known as "The Dragon Lady", Madam Nago, was married to the brother of the Prime Minister Of Vietnam. The Prime Minister was a life-long bachelor. Ngo and her family lived in the presidental palace which made her the defacto first lady. Her outspoken views always shocked as “politically correct” was not part of her persona. An example of one of her many shocking comments-When the Buddhist monks began to set themselves on fire to protest the brutality and repressiveness of her brother-in-law, the President (He had never married and was later assassinated along with Madam Nhu’s husband) "She would applaud at seeing another monk barbecue show, 'for one cannot be responsible for the madness of others'.”

Friday, September 14, 2012

Don't Jump To Conclusions

Because we are so health conscience in California. Well, maybe I shouldn't say California. We did get duped by the big tobacco companies and didn't pass an anti smoking bill that would have probably saved thousands of lives. But, by in large we are health conscience and so recently when I was looking at the Lifestyles/marriage section of the Sunday's NY Times and saw what I envisioned was a somewhat large couple featured in what appeared to be an elaborate wedding. But, then as I looked more closely, I saw a portable oxygen tank and then I started reading. I was already slapping myself. Here was a couple very much in love, already into heartache road but had found each other and just as their life plans were chrystalizing, the fiancée came down with cancer. Their world shattered and with what little money they had going for medical bills, no chances for a wedding. Somehow the groom scraped together enough for a ring and an organization, Wish Upon A Wedding gave them their special day. And, the bride was sticking with him. Lesson here in addition to not being jugemental is that Wish Upon A Wedding needs to be applauded as well as the NY Times. The "Times" usually appears to feature those handsome young couples, future Wall Street Bankers amd Harvard graduates whose parents are incredibly successful themselves. And, I am going to better be on top of it: being a rather large person doesn't mean that you are less than anybody else. It could mean lots of things; only the individual can determine that. However, the least of which what you look like has anything to say about who you truly are. God bless us all.


Death is an equal opportunity player. Everybody dies. I am often so very sad when I watch the news and routinely see death and dying in places like Syria. Mostly, the results of the foibles of man, i. e., politics. F..king intolerable but nothing we can do about it. And, of course, death also has to do with  personal loss. Let's face it, we are all touched by death in one way or another. For instance, my older brother recently died. He was the greatest guy and was always there for myself and three brothers. What should have been a comforting time became a family drama. Because we were close, he told me exactly what he wanted in death. Simple things mostly. His family chose to ignore his wishes. Not earth shattering but everyday things that could have easily been followed. What is so f..king upsetting is that we all knew exactly what my brother wanted. Consequently, in my view, not following his wishes dishonored his memory. I would like to make a fuss but it would serve no purpose.


My wife and I were recently discussing our southern roots and how Southern Baptists in particular could be so in the camp of a Mormon like Romney and the Catholic Ryan. No mystery to me. Racism. It is so deeply ingrained in those deep South states: South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas. Maybe my home state of North Carolina. Think anybody will admit it? This is all opinion. These southerners who are now embracing the Mormons are zealots. They are driven by basically, "don't confuse me with facts, I have my mind made up." Throw in the deep seated unspoken race issue and you have a "lock." And, it is easier to be a Zealot if the deep seated race Issue is there. There was a time, just a few years ago, Southern Baptists were calling Mormonism a "cult." There are so many strange things about this southern embracing Republican zealotry that can be explained no other way. Put any sort or label you want but this ain't no f..king spin. Democrats have always been concerned with a safety net. When LBJ, after passing the Civil Rights Bill said, "We've lost the South for ten years." Wrong! His statement should have been, "We have lost the South." Think about it, so much of the South is poor and programs that address poverty are those like head start, aid to dependent children, medicaid, etc. All kinds of social programs would be dismantled by Romney the Mormon and Ryan the Catholic. I am amazed. It is f..king downright unChristian.


Few movies have I ever watched that had a greater impact. While realizing that movies can make whatever they want happen, this was a fantastic movie Amy way you cut it. I knew much of the stuff. Mexicans living in America, simply trying to create a better life for themselves and their families back home. They stand on corners, literally begging for work. They are, as a rule, skilled workers and yet relegated to menial tasks to earn a few dollars. The story was all about that with a few twists and turns. The protagonist, a Mexican laborer, with a son, working as a gardener. The teenage son left without supervision is a step away from joining a gang. The Dad is trying to mdke it. Honest to the core, through a loan from his sister, he buys a truck and a future. The twist: the truck is stolen by a fellow countryman. Finally with great effort, he locates the thief who has already sold the truck and sent the money home. He finds the truck and steals it back  The rest of the story is way too familiar to us: stopped by police (LA), goes to jail, deported. Can't tell you anymore. You must see it and you'll never see immigration quite the same ever again.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan in all his flowing robes delivered the closing blessing to the Republican National Convention in Tampa. To be perfectly honest, I don't give a f..k one way or the other. I simply find it strange that a Catholic would choose to bow and scrap for a political party that would dismantle all the safety nets for the poor, many which are Catholics. Jesus, whose ministry was build around his Sermon on the Mount could not, with the utmost stretch of compassion, embrace the Republican Party Platform. Help!


Does it make any difference what religion a person is. I don't know. It is so incredibly definitional in America. Christianity is what Americans as a rule mean when they say religion. I always think in terms of something being moral or immoral. Or ethical or unethical. This isn't religion 101 but it is a legitimate question. An example. The Supreme Court is made up of 3 Jews and 6r Catholics. Even Clarence Thomas, black, who has ever heard of that many black Catholics. Does it make any difference. Yes and no. Let's say they are deciding on a woman's right to choose. i. e., abortion and their church strongly is against abortion which they are (hell, the Catholic hierarchy doesn't even want them using birth control). In the example, the court decides against abortion. Was it their belief, the church's belief? Were they influenced by their church? How would we know? We wouldn't. It is a thorny issue. What about Mitt Romney's Mormonism. Or, the polite term, Latter Day Saints. Joe Paterno had his statue unceremonious taken down at Penn State for a perceived or real sin for putting his football program ahead of protecting children. Brigham Young still has his statue at the Mormpn Temple in Salt Lake City. Young described black people as cursed with dark skin as punishment of Cain's murder of his brother. Mormonism through the book of Mormon suggests an alternate universe even going so far that blacks supported the fallen angel Lucifer in his rebellion against God.