Nuns the Wiser

Thanks to the Daily Kos for the above cartoon.

The Vatican ordered a crackdown on American nuns. I heard the Pope complaining that the nuns were radical feminist. I agree with the nun I heard on the news that said, the problem is not radical feminism the problem in the church is radical patriarchy.

First a quick follow-up from my last post about the Warren Tribune Chronicle’s editor, Frank Robinson. I mentioned how Frank is anti-worker be they public or private sector. I talked about how he is ecstatic when these workers either take concessions or lose their jobs. In the last week the Niles school board decided to cut teachers and possibly non-teaching employees. Frank wrote an editorial complaining that the teachers worked the last school year on a contract that was extended for one year. He felt they should have taken concessions. Editor Frank said, “A reduction in force should have happened a long, long time ago.” Frank also complained that the superintendent is overpaid. As I said, it doesn’t matter if you are public sector, private sector, blue or white-collar Frank thinks you make too much money. Frank has gotten mean as he is jealous of what everyone earns. That tells me he is making poverty wages which mean he is being paid what he is worth.

Now to deal with some other goofballs. I was listening to 1440 THE WORD  AM radio in the car the other day. I get a big kick out of a religious show in the evening called, “What’s Right, What’s Left.” The host is Pastor Ernie Sanders from Newberry, OH. Pastor Ernie goes on in length about how President Obama is a communist and wants to racially cleanse black people off of the face of the earth. Ernie missed that President Obama is black. Ernie is one crazy dude and one can only imagine that those who let Ernie get in front of a microphone are even crazier than him (that’s probably not possible).  It was now time for Ernie and a different show was on. Had Pastor Ernie finally been locked away in a mental institution? It was a religious talk on teaching abstinence to your children and was being given to a parent’s group. The lecturer was attacking public education for being accepting of gay children in school. She went on to attack the teaching of birth control in schools and recommend only teaching abstinence. She talked about how the underlying teaching of birth control in secular public education is really to push sterilization. I then realized this wasn’t Ernie’s show but this woman might be his wife as she was just as insane. She then went on about how your children wouldn’t hear the teaching of birth control if you would send them to schools where the teachers wore a priest’s collar. She said, God gave women a natural birth control called the rhythm method and that is what women should be using. As the show was ending she mentioned how this was a Catholic show. I had been thinking for a while that born again Christians seem to end up with immeasurable brain waves after the rebirth but now I was realizing there are some right-wing Catholics in that category. I am also reminded of a joke. What do you call a Catholic that uses the rhythm method? Answer: A parent.

Back in March of 2012 Living Bread Radio was launched in the Boardman/Youngstown area on WILB, 89.5 FM.  The new radio station is a Catholic talk format. There are a half a dozen local shows and also, nationally syndicated programs that include: “The Son Rise Morning Show,” “Catholic Connection,” “Women of Grace,” “Open Line,” “Kresta in the Afternoon,” and “Catholic Answers.” There is no advertising on the channel except for Catholic materials that can be purchased. I turned on the “Catholic Answers” show the other evening. A caller to the show asked if the hosts knew that recently there was an Islamic ecumenical council of all the Islamic faiths who held a meeting. The Catholic experts (one was a priest) answering the question replied, “It can’t really be considered ecumenical. That is because the different Islamic faiths are known to kill one another.” I guess the “experts” forgot how Christians killed each other in the USA in the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, WWI and WWII.

There was a syndicated comment during a break in the show. The commentator was Dr. Paul Kengor a professor of political science at far right-wing Grove City College. He is executive director for Vision & Values. He said, “The social justice crowd on the left like the Occupy Movement has tried to co-opt Thomas Merton for their causes.” Merton was a Trappist monk, priest, poet and author of over 60 books.  The books focused on social justice issues, including the civil rights movement and proliferation of nuclear arms. Dr. Kengor lashed out at the Thomas Merton Center in Pittsburgh, PA. He was angry because in May the center gave its annual Thomas Merton New Person Award to Occupy Pittsburgh. He went on about how giving such an award to Occupy Pittsburgh shows how radical the Pittsburgh Thomas Merton Center is. He said the center should not be using Merton’s name because they don’t represent Merton’s views. He said as far as the Occupy Movement Merton would never support them because they are rapist, murderers and communists who urinated on cars.  It’s hard to take Dr. Kengor seriously considering he wrote a book glorifying Ronald Reagan. OK, Reagan didn’t urinate on any cars (he did piss on the poor, minorities and union workers) but he supported brutal Latin American dictators. Reagan armed and trained their death squads who killed over 100,00o of their fellow citizens. Among those killed were environmentalists, union organizers, women, children, priests, Bishop Romero and nuns who were raped and murdered. That makes Reagan a mass murderer in my book and I guess a hero in Dr. Kengor’s book. Sorry Doc I don’t think Thomas Merton would have glorified Reagan as the god conservatives do.

One of Merton’s ideas was that non-Christian faiths had much to offer Christianity in terms of experience and perspective. I expect the Catholic Church to bash gays, women, feminism, science, new age thought etc because they are still living in the 13th century. I’m sad to hear Catholic Living Bread Radio bashing Islam. In the past I’ve heard them bash Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Hindus, Buddhists, etc. The Catholic Church is in such a sad state they have to drag all other faiths down with them. Religions need to learn that tearing down another religion is the poorest way to put a positive light on your religion.

I really respect these American nuns for fighting for social justice instead of bashing people for being gay. I’ve met some wonderful Catholics over the years who are tireless warriors in the fight for social justice. I’ve also met many who are hate filled single issue Catholics who only have love for the unborn and disdain for everyone else. I left the Catholic Church over a decade ago for reasons such as these: 8 ugly sins of the Catholic Church.

The Singing Nun: Dominique

Nuns Chant from Avignon

If you want to study the social and political history of modern nations, study hell. ~ Thomas Merton


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