Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Monday, March 15, 2021
This article was something I wrote soon after the attack on our nation's capitol January 6th. The issues remain the same. A well-informed public is the absolute requirement for real democracy to survive. We need to know the truth, each voter individually and equally responsible, and that sets us free to choose a practical politics providing fundamental liberty and justice for all--inclusive, not exclusive. And then we must recognize and cultivate our interconnectedness with the rest of the world's peoples.
The halls of Congress were under siege January 6th, and then occupied for 5 hours by right wing rioters, spouting talk of revolution and threatening our elected representatives, in the name of our ex-president. People died and more were injured in this desecration of the place where the work of a civil democracy should be conducted.
The serious nature of this violent act, encouraged by an ego driven President Trump, rejecting the results of an election which has been validated by all state and federal authorities *, must be recognized and resoundingly repudiated. It deserves much more attention by local press, and the politicians of every party. That 139 Representatives, and 8 Senators, all Republicans, still voted against accepting the decision of some of the states’ electors for soon to be President Joe Biden, after such a debacle, is a great shame. There are solid articles and editorials appearing in the conservative Wall Street Journal that outline our problem—we are a very divided nation in which too many pay very little attention to verifiable facts in our political discussions. [see below for references]. The Wall Street Journal, as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, among others, have called for President Trump to resign. Many of the banks who’ve done business with him are now putting a stop to his credit.
What we saw on January 6, 2021 was an organized riot meant to be chaotic and intimidating. Certainly only a segment of the 30,000 that came to protest were invaders, but all led credence to a lie—that the 2020 election was stolen. We must all do better. Watch, listen to and read respectable, verifiable sources of news, agencies which have editors and producers who routinely check the facts, value and investigate their stories and commentaries. Choose more than one or two news outlets, and certainly ones with some contrasting general political perspectives. If we are to preserve our democracy we must become better informed.
[For good worldwide vision, I look to the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal each with divergent editorial bent, but each diligent in pursuit of facts. The Times Herald gives me local news and perspective, with a USA Today focus on national and world news. The Drudge Report is a composite of news sources, tending conservative. I watch and listen to NPR, Public Televisions PBS News Hour, and surf the other major TV networks news including Fox. CBS’s 60 Minutes has merit. Facebook and other such story spreaders are rarely to be trusted, unless they provide links to credible sources with fact checking content editors. Electronic algorithms are no substitute for editors, providing only a bare minimum of oversight.]
In our Catholic Church Jan 6th is recognized as the Feast of the Epiphany, when the Magi, kings of the world, came to pay homage to the Savior born in a stable—a humble place for the beginning of God’s birth into humanity. This Jesus came to save us from our sins, teaching us that the truth, mercy, forgiveness, and loving our enemies is the way to eternal life. The word epiphany means a revelation.
This past Jan 6th should also be a revealed warning. If we continue to follow the leads of pride, greed, self-righteous hatred, and uninformed arrogance, we will ignore and miss the message of the newborn in the manger—that our true security and happiness comes from reconciling our differences, loving each other as God loves us unconditionally, despite the real difficulties of race, political party, or social class. Blessed are the Peacemakers. God does not discriminate, demands true justice, and is the healer of all pain.
It’s time to put away our swords of division, conquer the pandemic, and share the good things we’ve been given with our neighbors, and the rest of the world. Kings must bow before Truth, born in a stable.
Wednesday, November 25, 2020
ad, sad, that we have to watch President “in transition” Trump star as the Bamboozler in Chief sore loser in the Make Me Great Again post-election show. God grant him the grace to exit to become an ex-president with some charitable character, perhaps even volunteering with Habitat for Humanity or at soup kitchens as others have done. Use his billions to gainfully employ others in creative projects making life better those in need. May his next national gig have as its theme and mission, “You’re Hired” not fired or dead from Covid – hiring to put some Americans to work for the common good, not personal profiteering forever padding one’s own wealth.
We should know by now there is danger in making a man with a mania for power and prestige our President. May Mr. Trump be touched by the Sermon on the Mount. This Thanksgiving I’ll be thankful for the arrival of a more presidential president—a man disposed to humility and truthfulness, difficult vital virtues for the job. May God bless Joe Biden and make him faithful to the task.
From the conservative Wall Street Journal Nov. 25, 2020 https://www.wsj.com/articles/republicans-are-souring-on-trumps-antics-11606238991?mod=opinion_lead_pos9
Illumination by Kathy Brahney
Monday, November 2, 2020
My article, Who to Choose, to Truly Respect Life? - as appears in the online Times Herald.
Monday, August 24, 2020
Reuters photo from the El Paso border detentions
Today I post updates to the immigration situation at our border, and how the Statue of Liberty has been turned on her head. We close our gates and hearts to refugees at our own peril. A gated community dies from within. Joe Biden is not a perfect candidate, but read carefully the 8-24-20 Wall Street Journal article which contrasts his immigration stance against the current administration's policies that have appealed to racism and fear.
Joe Biden Would Likely Use a Familiar Tool—Executive Powers—to Reverse Trump Immigration Policies https://www.wsj.com/articles/joe-biden-would-likely-use-a-familiar-toolexecutive-powersto-reverse-trump-immigration-policies-11598108400?mod=searchresults&page=1&pos=1
And more links to articles with the details of the current immigration crisis --
PBS video tells a difficult story. https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/a-firsthand-report-of-inhumane-conditions-at-a-migrant-childrens-detention-facility?fbclid=IwAR15mz6MT6LsZ5yb0QMAQy6_I1VyPV81uHNwoX0aOEziJ3JxTh-DZtN0iLc
Failed policies, even in their quest to be impervious. After a Lull, the Number of Migrants Trying to Enter the U.S. Has Soared - The New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/06/world/americas/mexico-immigration-usa.html
Hovering the cursor on a link turns it blue, and ready to go to the article indicated.
Monday, August 10, 2020
"The (nuclear) arms race is an utterly treacherous trap for humanity, and one which ensnares the poor to an intolerable degree.”
Pope in Hiroshima: nuclear weapons are immoral https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pChlH2SH2gw&feature=emb_rel_end
Tuesday, August 4, 2020
When I was in 8th grade thinking of becoming a priest, I read a short book on the life of St. John Vianney, the Cure of Ars. He was a simple parish priest in France, and a child at the time of the French revolution, who was a mediocre preacher, yet sought out by a multitude of pilgrims to his remote parish, for his compassion and advice in the confessional, and as a counselor. He’d spend 12-16 hours a day giving absolution.
That was all I knew of him, a good solid unassuming model for the priesthood. Today I’ve learned on his feast day, that he was also a conscientious objector to war. This wasn’t mentioned in the book, or any of the other articles I’ve read on him through the years. Our Sunday Visitor [a national Catholic publication I’ve come to respect for its balance] has a short note on him as their saint of this week: “His studies were interrupted when he was drafted into the army to fight in the Napoleonic Wars. Deserting, he returned home and when to Lyons seminary.”
There are so many saints who’ve chosen to follow the way of Jesus out of the fog of war, “Put away the sword.” We’re seldom told the full measure of their stories. The duty of defending the countries of the world is redeemed by our God who comes to earth saving us by dying on a cross, rising beyond all worldly kingdoms, defeating death by loving and forgiving the enemy. Death is not the end. Do you believe? A young man, who was to become a small town priest in war torn France, visited by multitudes for his straight forward wisdom, knew the answer.
More recent conscientious objectors
More recent conscientious objectors
Because of good example and encouragement by many, including a priest in a rural parish with farmers and migrant farmworkers, I became a C.O. during the Vietnam War.
https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-john-vianney/ This is the usual biography, made more complete by the Our Sunday Visitor entry in their Aug. 2-8, 2020 issue.