Monthly Archives: January 2014

Power and Authority

When Right to Resist Becomes Duty to Submit

“The control of man’s destructive and aggressive impulses is one of the great unsolved problems of our society,” pontificated the Court as it destroyed one of the few effective checks on the deadliest manifestation of those impulses. “Our rules of law should discourage the unnecessary use of physical force between man and man. Any rule which promotes rather than inhibits violence should be re-examined.” That objective is not legitimately served by granting State functionaries an unqualified license to commit criminal violence against the innocent.

America’s Police State Worse than North Korea?

The back of a commemorative DNC T-shirt sold by the Denver Police Protective Association bears the slogan 'We Get Up Early to Beat the Crowds - 2008 DNC.' (Photo/Ernest Luning)

The back of a commemorative DNC T-shirt sold by the Denver Police Protective Association bears the slogan ‘We Get Up Early to Beat the Crowds – 2008 DNC.’ (Photo/Ernest Luning)






“Thou, Dear God”

Thou, Dear God, Prayers That Open Hearts and Spirits,” by Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Thou, Dear God” is the first and only collection of sixty-eight prayers by Martin Luther King, Jr. Arranged thematically in six parts–with prayers for spiritual guidance, special occasions, times Thou Dear godof adversity, times of trial, uncertain times, and social justice–Baptist minister and King scholar Lewis Baldwin introduces the book and each section with short essays. Included are both personal and public prayers King recited as a seminarian, graduate student, preacher, pastor, and, finally, civil rights leader, along with a special section that reveals the biblical sources that most inspired King. Collectively they illustrate how King turned to private prayer for his own spiritual fulfillment and to public prayer as a way to move, inspire, and reaffirm a quest for peace and social justice. With a foreword by Rev. Dr. Julius R. Scruggs, it is the perfect gift for people and leaders of all faiths, and an invaluable resource for spiritual individuals and those who lead worship.

War Made Easy

War Made Easy reaches into the Orwellian memory hole to expose a 50-year pattern of government deception and media spin that has dragged the United States into one war after another from Vietnam to Iraq. Narrated by actor and activist Sean Penn, the film exhumes remarkable archival footage of official distortion and exaggeration from LBJ to George W. Bush, revealing in stunning detail how the American news media have uncritically disseminated the pro-war messages of successive presidential administrations. The documentary is based on the book War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death by Norman Soloman and published in 2005.

UMass Protest of Andrew Card

In case CNN and Fox News forgot to mention it: On May 25, 2007 Andrew Card faced hundreds of boos and catcalls as he was given an honorary degree during the graduate school commencement at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Before the commencement, about 200 protesters staged a rally and press conference outside the Mullins Center on the UMass campus. Hundreds more students and faculty who opposed the honorary degree would later protest inside the hall.

Card, former Bush Administration Chief of Staff and chief salesman for the invasion of Iraq as head of the White House Iraq Group, faced signs calling him a war criminal.

He comes with work to do


by Gerard Manley Hopkins

When will you ever, Peace, wild wooddove, shy wings shut,
Your round me roaming end, and under be my boughs?
When, when, Peace, will you, Peace? I'll not play hypocrite
To own my heart: I yield you do come sometimes; but
That piecemeal peace is poor peace. What pure peace allows
Alarms of wars, the daunting wars, the death of it?

O surely, reaving Peace, my Lord should leave in lieu
Some good! And so he does leave Patience exquisite,
That plumes to Peace thereafter. And when Peace here does house
He comes with work to do, he does not come to coo,
He comes to brood and sit.

– See more here.

Born at Stratford, Essex, England, on July 28, 1844, Gerard Manley Hopkins is regarded as one the Victorian era’s greatest poets. In 1864, Hopkins first read John Henry Newman’s Apologia pro via sua, which discussed the author’s reasons for converting to Catholicism. Two years later, he converted and soon decided to become a priest himself. He spent nine years in training at various Jesuit houses throughout England. He was ordained in 1877. In 1884, he became a professor of Greek at the Royal University College in Dublin. He died five years later from typhoid fever. His poems were never published during his lifetime.


***The following was written by Rev. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy***


General Robert Baden-Powell, who is considered the founder of the Boy Scouts in 1906 and author of the first book and the most widely read book on Scouting in the Twentieth Century (150 million copies), Scouting for Boys (1908), said he had seen enough of war and that “…the boys should be kept away from the idea that they are being trained so that some day they might fight for their country. It is not war-Scouting that is needed now, but peace-Scouting.” The early editions of the American Boy Scout Handbook emphasized this so strongly that it was accused of being ”propaganda for pacifism.”

Indeed in the 1980s at a retreat I directed on Gospel Nonviolence at the Catholic Church in Devil’s Lake, North Dakota, I met a man who was a life long pacifist and a World War II conscientious objector, who told me that he was converted to pacifism when he was a youngster in the Boy Scouts. There was no problem with Christian Churches sponsoring Boy Scout Troops then, but what about now? Are the Scouts picture below or in the slide show below have their little, undeveloped  brain nurtured in the values of Jesus? Is it the mind of Christ that today’s Boy Scouts of America are helping them “put on?” Is it not a radical form of child abuse for a Christian Church to sponsor or to allow its facilities to be used to so corrupt young Christians’ minds? If not, why not? If your parish is engaged in this or is engaged in finessing Christian children into engaging in this, what is the responsibility before Jesus Christ of an adult who belongs to such a parish?

Explorers Train to Fight Terrorists, and More, The New York Times

Photo credit: Todd Krainin for The New York Times

Photo credit: Todd Krainin for The New York Times