Italians at Sea…

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Since according to official Intolerista dogma, it’s no longer ideologically correct to recognize Christopher Columbus Day, here’s to some daring adventurers from Italy that set out in search of far-away lands even if they didn’t always find what they were looking for…

Giovanni Caboto

Odorico Mattiussi 

Giovanni da Verrazzano

Marco Polo

Amerigo Vespucci

and of course Giovanni Mazzarella & Francesco D’Allessandro with out whom yours truly would not be here today. 

A Costly Freedom…

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I’m new to these parts but was able to find these local men who are worth remembering on Memorial Day.

Freedom has a cost.

WILBUR THOMAS TARWATER – Navy, Korea June 12, 1951

JOE M LOPEZ – Marine Corps. Korea, March 28, 1953

RICHARD EUGENE STAAB – Army, Viet Nam, May 17, 1969

CHARLES PRICE ROBERTS – Air Force, Viet Nam, August 12, 1972

GEORGE PAWLISH – MIA, N. Vietnam, Heavy Attack Squadron 4, USS Kitty Hawk – March 8, 1967

As Time Goes by…

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“How completely satisfying to turn from our limitations to a God who has none. Eternal years lie in His heart. For Him time does not pass, it remains; and those who are in Christ share with Him all the riches of limitless time and endless years. God never hurries. There are no deadlines against which He must work. Only to know this is to quiet our spirits and relax our nerves. For those out of Christ, time is a devouring beast; before the sons of the new creation time crouches and purrs and licks their hands. The foe of the old human race becomes the friend of the new, and the stars in their courses fight for the man God delights to honor. This we may learn from the divine infinitude.”
― A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy

Remembering…

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Today we recall the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor & the many who died both civilian and military. Over the years I have talked with men who were 17 or 18 at the time of the attack and their first response was to go sign up and volunteer to serve. A different time. A different generation. A different enemy. And certainly a different president who was unashamed to protect his country nor willing to be an apologist for the enemy.

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The New York Daily News boldly proclaimed in regards to our current fears of terror and gun killings that “God isn’t fixing this.” It’s unclear as to what the Daily News expects of the deity, considering that most of the time in New York and elsewhere the invocation of divine persons is typically followed by “damn.”

Politicians want us to feel safe. Our society thinks it will be safe if there are more laws & more government surveillance and intrusion. Some even think the Bill of Rights is an obstacle to safety. The current Attorney General seems more concerned about curtailing free speech than prosecuting terrorists. The current regime seems ready to impose its will on any who disagree with its definitions of truth, morality or justice with the full power and sanction of the state. However, our society rejects the source of true law, the divine word, and delights in violating the divine order which brings life. It refuses the divine governance which brings peace – the kingdom of God.

Despite the official reassurances of its spokesman that all is well, that we are safe, these efforts apart from alignment with God’s design are doomed to fail. The stink of panic is in the air. It’s “last call” for this cultural Titanic. It’s been weighed in the balance of divine judgement and found wanting.

I agree – God isn’t fixing this – our way. What God has done through his son Jesus Christ is to “reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross” (Col. 1:20). It is not that God is unable or unwilling to fix things. To the extent that society and even the church continues to reject the gospel the situation will not remain the same but will get worse.  There is only one source of peace. It is not found in any of the current proposals offered to fix things. It is through the child born for us, the son given, who is the Prince of Peace. “Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end” (Isaiah 9:6-7).

“In ideologies there is not Jesus…”

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“In ideologies there is not Jesus: in his tenderness, his love, his meekness. And ideologies are rigid, always. Of every sign: rigid. And when a Christian becomes a disciple of the ideology, he has lost the faith: he is no longer a disciple of Jesus, he is a disciple of this attitude of thought…”

There was a time when the Pope was considered the anti-christ. There numbers have diminished besides hard-core Chick comic fans, however, suspicion remains. Francis’s speech to the U.S. congress was scrutinized and parsed and found lacking by those on the right wing and by many conservative evangelicals, who don’t seem familiar with Catholic social teaching. Because he is a contrast to his predecessors especially with Cold War era John Paul II, his words seem to be judged primarily if they fit into the bifurcated either-or black-white thinking of the right and left wings of our own national politics. Francis is not running for office (which may explain the lack of “Jesus in my heart” sentiments some expected) and he speaks for and has responsibility for more than the small market share of big-name evangelicalism.
I am not a Roman Catholic so I speak from the outside and as a non-expert, but it seems to me he hit the high points of how current culture, politics and ideology part from historical Christian teaching on the family, marriage and the value of life. He is not from Poland or Germany but Argentina – that’s why he speaks from a different perspective and maybe highlighted some spiritual rabble rousers unique to the U.S. such as Dorothy Day & Thomas Merton. That’s a whole lot more than one usually hears especially from Capitol Hill – or those with lousy comb overs trying to get there.

Isis – American Style!

So on the one hand some people in the US are offended by a relic of the past and the end result is it’s removed from public sight –

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On the other hand some people in Iraq are offended by a relic of the past and the end result is its removed from sight –

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What exactly is the difference?
Banishing offensive images is not how problems are solved, conflicts are resolved or wounds are healed.
But maybe that assumes the “banishers” actually want that…