Category Archives: Social Commentary

Roe vs. Wade

Today we mark the one of the darker days in history. I fully realize that this topic pisses a whole lot of people off, but it is what it is, and I suppose I should add my two cents.

First off, I should let you know I’m not really into politics. It’s just not really my thing. Yes, I realize it’s important, and I try to vote conscientiously, but it’s simply not in my everyday repertoire of discussion. I get that glossy eyed look, and have a tendency to faint from boredom.

It’s not that I’m not interested, I sincerely am. I care deeply about economics, rights, and taxes. Politics are the heart of how we relate to one another as a nation. It just that I’m a one issue voter, and until that issue is fixed, there really isn’t anything else I have to say. My vote is already decided, so there is just too little to comment about.

Now I know that many see this differently, but as I see it, life begins at conception. If conception has happened, then you have yourself a baby. It’s not really all that complicated. I know all the stories about raped women, incest, abuse, really, I do. My heart truly goes out to these women. But a baby is a baby is a baby.

If some jerk decided to hit a pregnant woman in the belly, any state in the union would call it manslaughter. I would just straight call it murder. If you left a baby in a trash can, I would say the same. A baby is a baby is a baby. I love babies, I can’t help it. They are way too cute, and smell very nice. Teens, well, you will have to let me think on that one, but babies? Easy to love.

So if you think that they are not babies when they are still in their mothers womb, so be it. I can respect that. But you have to respect that for me, and nearly every pregnant woman in the world, it’s a baby. Women grieve after a miscarriage. No one goes to an abortion clinic thinking that they are having a mole removed. This is not appendicitis. They know that they are going to have a baby. You have to admit that my view, even if it is not your own, is valid and reasonable.

So as I see it, we are in the middle of a Holocaust of epic proportions. Nazis killed Jews, we kill babies. Nazis killed 11-17 million people. These were some really bad guys. Stalin killed 20 million at his lowest estimates. Clearly he had an issue being nice to people. Since 1973, our conservative figures put us at around 50 million deaths to abortion, all babies. It’s a damn bloodbath.

I can’t help it. I’m a one issue voter. I will wear a sandwich board on any street corner that you ask. it’s just plain out and out evil. It sure as hell isn’t natural or “green”. Hmm, should I vote for economic independence, or should I vote to stop the killing of babies? Health care for the poor, or to stop the killing of babies? National park development or to stop the killing of babies? Against foreign oil, or to stop the killing of babies? More solar energy, or to stop the killing of babies?

Do you see why I don’t feel I really have a choice?

Smoking Taxes?

You’ll never guess what I just found out! Did you know that smoking cigarettes is actually not good for you? Who knew! Total surprise, right?

/end sarcasm

Okay, so I smoke. I’m not a chain smoker or anything, I smoke about half a pack a day, usually under. I am fully aware that this is not my healthiest habit, and I’m okay with that. I do plan to quit at some point, but I’m not exactly sweating over it.

Let’s get this straight from the get go though. Smoking is not a sin. Neither is eating at McDonald’s, or not working out or going out with the boys for a nice cold beer. Not a sin. Yes, I am aware that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, and we should take care of them, but let’s not get scrupulous here. It’s just silly. We have had a pope that smoked, saints that smoked, and plenty of clergy and religious that smoked. Not a sin.

Maybe I have been a victim of peer pressure, but as I write this, I can’t help but realize many of my heroes smoked. The pictures following on this page are just a few of the many.

I am not saying that I recommend this, and I think passing out cigarettes to kids is a bad idea. Smoking is not good for you, and if you are worried about it, or if it’s getting out of hand, I highly recommend you quit. You do not need to bring the fact that you smoke to confession however, so it’s not a sin. Clear on that? Good.

For some reason though, our government has found tobacco to be the great evil of our time. Not the endless killing of babies, or the growing homeless population, or pornography, or you name it. Nope, these are fine and dandy, but smoking, that’s just plain evil.

It’s so evil in fact, that we have decided it’s appropriate to tax tobacco separately, and at insane rates. Heck, if we make them too expensive, then everyone will have to quit, and we can avoid this terrible evil that is looming over our nation.

Now let me say, I am a very conscientious smoker. I don’t smoke in my car with the kids in it, I don’t smoke in the house, I don’t smoke in restaurants, in fact I really don’t want to bother anyone with my smoking. Most people don’t even realize I smoke. Part of the reason for this is because I live in the anti-smoking center of the universe, northern California. We can’t smoke anywhere here, and most of what I mentioned above is illegal. I can’t even go to the bar and smoke with my beer, and if I get pulled over while smoking with my kids in the car, they send us to the concentration camp.

But I digress, smoking is not a sin. (did I mention that already? Sorry!)

So when we allow our government to tax smokers differently in an attempt to change our habits, I get a little worried. Will I soon have to pay $20 for a cheeseburger? $15 for a can of beer? $500 for your gun registration? What happens when they decide that oil is a target, and my gas shoots up to $35 a gallon? Cars are still one of the top causes of unnatural deaths, will our DMV fees rise to $2000 per car? Is this truly the way we want to write policy?

I can’t help but feel the same way about luxury taxes, like increased taxes at restaurants and the like. A nice dinner is a luxury, but a diamond bracelet isn’t? Go figure.

It just feels inappropriate for our government to tell me what is moral and what is not through taxation. Especially when the government is so screwed up when it comes to morality in general.

It’s okay though, cause nobody likes smokers anyways.

Barefoot

I realize my post yesterday was rather firm. While I cannot help but be serious, that is my nature, I can however choose a lighter topic for today. I want to talk about feet.

I bet when you read this title you thought i was going to use being barefoot as an analogy for some great spiritual topic. I am not.

God made us without shoes.

Seriously, he really did. I know this will come as a surprise for many of you. You have worn shoes since the day you were born, and they have become a staple for you. I am willing to bet you cannot even imagine going a day without them. I agree warm feet can be quite intoxicating, but I must say, I feel much better without them

Yes, if I had a choice, I would only wear them in the snow. I would walk around the department store barefoot, go to the mall barefoot, go out to eat barefoot, even go to Mass barefoot!

Let me hearken back, way, way back to the beginning of things. Adam and Eve were barefoot. It was a result of eating from the tree that God made clothes for them. While it is not explicit, I would say that God did not include shoes in his wardrobe choice. Why would he take so beautiful a creation as the foot, and then shield it from what it was made for, contact with the dirt?

Maybe you think I’m silly. Well let me show you! After Adam, God keeps an eye on things, giving language and making floods and such, but for most of history, he is a behind the scenes kind of guy. Then comes Moses.

“When the LORD saw that he had turned aside to look, God called out to him from the bush: Moses! Moses! He answered, “Here I am.”God said: Do not come near! Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground. I am the God of your father, he continued, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.” Exodus 3:4-6

That’s right. Sandals were evil, and even not allowed in God’s presence. Okay, maybe it would have been clearer if he said, “Taketh those shoes of evil and cast them off thy feet!” but I think we can all agree that is clearly what he meant. Alright, no, he didn’t mean that, but still, shouldn’t we cast them off anyways, just in case?

Now I must handle some objections. First, hygiene. If I walked into a standard restaurant barefoot, I would be kicked out. Not because of any actual health violation, (there are no such health laws in any of our United States, county laws may vary) but because of a perceived health risk. What risk is this exactly? Spreading germs and disease? Maybe my bare feet are tracking in all sorts of nasty stuff, right?

 

So, when was the last time you washed the soles of your shoes? I wash my feet every day in the shower, so I would bet my entire fortune that the bottoms of my feet are far cleaner then the bottoms of your shoes. That is one of the reasons nurses and doctors have to wear foot coverings when they go into surgery. I hope my doctor is barefoot as well.

“Bare feet are less safe, you could stub your toe or something.” you say, but again, I think bare feet are far safer. With my feet uncovered, I watch every step I take. It’s when I put on shoes that I run around clod hopping with no attention. I have never stubbed my feet then they are bare, except around the house where I am running around not paying attention. But more then that, when your feet are flexing and bending the way they are supposed to, you would be amazed of the effect on the rest of your body.  When you walk barefoot, you naturally walk the way you are supposed to, on the balls of your feet, near your toes. No more jarring the bones in your legs = no more back pain. I’m serious, if your back hurts, start by taking off your shoes.

God doesn’t make junk. Feet were made for walking. Sure you may have to walk slow for a while, or wear light sandals or something while you get used to it, but I’m telling you, it’s worth it. They even make shoes now to try to emulate the barefoot walk. I don’t really like any of them, but for the sake of social compliance I wear them when I must.

 

 

Lord, I pray that you show me the day when everyone is using the feet you gave them the way you intended. (Especially my wife who just thinks I’m silly!)