Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Mean Commenters

Dear Readers,

Is it just me or are people on the Internet really mean?  Read an article and look at the comments, or watch a Youtube video about politics and/or religion and look at the comments.  There is so much negativity, so much vulgarity and sarcasm, especially on the Huffington Post, which is a pretty liberal site.  But also on Seeing Red AZ, there are a lot of mean people.

One of these days I'm going to write a lot of nice things on the Internet.  I'm just going to go around complimenting people.

When I talk to people in real life, they are usually really nice.  I think the Internet is bad for people.


Sunday, March 24, 2013

The New Pope, other things too like oranges and tortillas.

Dear Readers,

The new Pope seems like a great guy.  I think the Catholic Cardinals picked a great leader.  Pope Francis is humble, smart, compassionate, faithful, prayerful, and socially conservative.  It's nice that the Catholics have such a great man as their spiritual and administrative leader.  Now I hope that the Catholics can live up to the high ideals that their new leader embodies and preaches.  

I've had a change in opinion recently about the Catholic Church.  Now and then I listen to Catholic Radio on my commute to work.  It has some nice programs, and it's very socially conservative, which I enjoy.  They have call-in programs where people debate the existence of God, moral relativism, all the heavy-hitting subjects that I'm prone to ponder.  I think listening to the radio station has made me change my perception about the Catholic Church.  And I work with a weekly mass-attending Catholic, and she's a great lady.

When I used to think about the things associated with the Catholic Church, I thought of child-molesting priests, the Spanish Inquisition, censorship of the Bible during the Middle Ages, the modern day debauchery of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, The Great Apostasy by James E. Talmage, 1 Nephi chapter 14 in the Book of Mormon, and indulgences. 

But now I tend to focus on Mother Theresa, Maria from the Sound of Music, their strong family values, their sincere faith and devotion to Jesus Christ, their endless charity work, their sophisticated history of thought and discovery, the scientific method (which was started by Catholic priests) Gregor Mendel, Galileo, Catholic schools, and Catholic hospitals. Now I think the history of Catholicism is overwhelmingly positive. 

Of course, I'm Mormon, so I suppose I should be listening more to the Mormon radio channel.  Well, I would, but the problem is it doesn't get broadcasted to AM or FM stations, and that's all I get in my car.

But when I do listen to the Mormon Channel, I'm struck by what positive programming it is.  This morning, for example, was a great program about Eliza R. Snow and her songs.  I really like her songs, especially "Oh My Father" and "In Our Lovely Deseret" and "Truth Reflects Upon Our Senses."  What beautiful poetry Eliza R. Snow wrote.  Now and then I sing those songs to my daughter before she goes to bed.   

I only wish the Catholics I grew up around were more like the Catholics I hear on the radio.  The Catholics I grew up with didn't take their religion very seriously.  Generally speaking, they sinned too much, and they  were too worldly and too permissive.  But my childhood Catholic friends and acquaintances still had a better sense of right and wrong than the irreligious did.  And they came from relatively stable homes.  They came from families with a mother and a father.    

Well, things are pretty peaceful in my suburban bubble.  Yesterday on my way to Wal-Mart I stopped by a roadside stand where a family was selling oranges and tortillas from the back of a pickup truck.  I ate one of the oranges as I wrote this blog post.  And the tortillas are really good.  I've eaten four or five burritos in the past 24 hours.

I hope you are doing well and I'll see you later.


Monday, March 18, 2013

A few thoughts about gay marriage

Dear Readers,

How are you doing?  I'm doing fine.  I don't have much to write about, but it's been so long I just wanted to stop in and say hello. 

I've been trying not to follow politics much lately, because that just frustrates me.

What I'm really scared about now is the legalization of gay marriage.  It might happen this year.  The Supreme Court might do it.  And if it doesn't happen this year, it might happen next year, or the year after.  We live in a representative democracy, and most Americans support gay marriage now, 58 %, in fact, according to the Washington Post... so... it looks like it's going to happen.  I never thought it would happen in my lifetime, but, well, now I'll be surprised if it doesn't happen.

And if the Supreme Court doesn't legalize gay marriage, Congress might.

Look, if you want my honest opinion on the subject, well, then just keep reading.  I don't support gay marriage.  I oppose it.  It would be bad for society.  It would further erode the family.  It would confuse kids.  It would anger God and bring his wrath upon us.

Every major religion defines marriage as being between one man and one woman.  Shouldn't we respect the wisdom and the tradition of our elders?

And here's a snippet from this great article from opposing gay marriage:

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that legalized homosexual marriage will mean simply keeping things the way they are, only offering health benefits to homosexual couples.

In fact the changes will be dramatic: Public schools will include texts and materials treating the two types of marriages identically. If you die, your children could be adopted by either a homosexual couple or a heterosexual couple — to prefer one over the other would be illegal prejudice. Homosexual couples would be spotlighted whenever romance is spotlighted: On Valentine’s Day at the public library, in Christmas specials on television, and in billboards on the Interstates.

It's funny.  I'm only 30 years old, but I already feel like an old man sitting on a porch complaining about the kids these days. 

Well, that's my opinion about that hot button issue.  Um... if traditional marriage isn't broken, don't fix it, you know?  Traditional marriage has worked well since time out of mind.  Let's just keep it that way.