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Is Church Playing the New Lowest Common Denominator; Sending Mixed Messages

Is Church Playing the New Lowest Common Denominator; Sending Mixed Messages? Or no real message at all?

Is the Church missing the bus? Sending the wrong messages?

Passing through some of our local communities, I frequently notice churches, that is, the physical building, the places of worship, and what characterizes them. The structure, the upkeep, the appearances, the messages posted outside; these say a lot about the people these brick and mortar structure, symbolic representatives of the beliefs and communities they claim they serve. I often see the trite clichés like “God is home, come on in!” or “Be yourself; everyone else is taken” and similar trite slogans. Apparently the Roman Catholic Churches in this area, Ravena and Coxsackie, NY, have given up on being taken seriously so now these parish leaders, the pastors, have to play cool cutsie, mimicking their Protestant and Reformist cohorts. Such silliness simply degrades the sacred space and makes idiots of those few who still frequent them.

This is particularly the case when a new pastor tries to become too popular too fast for too many of the wrong reasons. He starts to get sloppy in his role as spiritual leader and too cozy with the local in-crowds. A leader doesn’t have to be a friend and he doesn’t have to entertain. He has to lead. So, as I drive through the aging, geriatric, brown collar community of Ravena, New York, the local Roman Catholic Church, St Patrick’s, catches my attention. How?

Well, some time ago I was surprised to see a folding sign board placed in front of St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church in Ravena, on Main Street. It was last Fall and said something like “Leaves fall but Christ doesn’t”. My first thought was that it was rather silly, rather odd. Something I’d expect from some failing Protestant denomination, or some storefront church whose pastor has no other training than what he received in jail, where he got his certificate in Bible Studies from Dumbass Bible Institute or wherever. I knew the pastor at St Pats was one of the young bloods recently ordained, Scott Vandermeer, in his thirties, a journalism degree, able to move around without a walker, he was somewhat more promising than his predecessors, all aging or decrepit, failing, burnt out or uninterested, all cut from the Hubbard School of Ultraliberal Hacks. Careerists. Our hope never failing and our realism always on the watch, we even wrote to Vandermeer offering him help and support. It soon proved that he was going to be just another narcissist; he never responded to our letter. Here we go again!

Soon the signs started going up and were getting weirder and weirder, perhaps because they were cleverly done so as to appeal to the intellectual depths of darkness of the local community. One that appeared:

The sign above is stupid because St Pats does not have a soup kitchen or a food pantry. So not only is the sign a bit idiotic, to anyone not familiar with the local intelligence level, it’s misleading. [Editor’s note: Vanderveer is “out of the country” at the time of this writing and apparently will not be back for another 2-3 weeks, so we could not reach him for comment.  Nor did we receive a response from his office staff.] That really doesn’t matter because it does get worse. Some local in a feeble attempt to put some meaning in his or her life, and for a minute of local fame, placed the “?” on the sign making it even more ridiculous. No one in the parish, not even the absent pastor, seems to have noticed…or cared.

More recently, that is, several weeks ago we again drove by and saw that the sign had been changed to something quite new:

 Is a feeble-minded, scandal-plagued Church is going to make the nation strong again?

This time Mr VanDerveer is apparently making a statement that the Church has something to do with the characteristics of the nation, presumably the nation known as the United States, since we are not aware of any Scriptural or Doctrinal references that would support such a statement. It used to be that strong men made strong nations, then strong families but with the castration of the American male and the virilization of the American female, together with the decline and demise of the American family, it seems that a feeble-minded, scandal-plagued Church is going to make the nation strong again. If this notion was part of the preaching series offered by Vanderveer, we are really sorry we missed his performance. But by any standard, given the Separation Clause and the hesitance of government generally or any of its branches specifically to enter into any discussion of a collaboration between Church and state, this statement seems to indicate that Mr VanDerveer is either ignorant or has a boundaries problem. While the Church and churches, that is, the Roman Catholic and Christian tradition — by division and internecine conflict —  has been losing ground since the 16th century, it would seem that Mr VanDerveer and his keepers would be better advised to concentrate on good preaching and catechesis, fostering interdenominational dialogue and collaboration,  reaching out to local opinion leaders rather than making an untenable and unsubstantiated statement like “A strong church [=] a strong nation.” No matter how you analyze such a statement, logically, theologically, socially, or politically it fails. The Church would be well advised to steer clear of politics — and fallacious logic —; a mere parish priest has no business making such statements and should be reprimanded for having done so. It’s irresponsible, insupportable, fallacious, and is simply not official Church teaching. Politics should be kept out of the pulpit and away from the front of the church — or it should be left to the bishops who are the sole church officials authorized by Rome to make asses of themselves.. Mr VanDerveer should be spending more time preaching that strong family values and morality make for a strong nation; sharing Sunday family dinner together without smartphones might be a start. Getting rid of fidget spinners and Facebook, replacing them with a print book, perhaps St Augustine’s Confessions,  in the schools would be a great move, too.  But the Church has failed in that teaching, too, and in getting that message across to the community.

An half hour for God and 3 hours for the ball game seems like a fair deal for most Catholics.

Instead, the Church and its agents, VanDerveer’s colleagues, superiors, and minions, have prostituted the Church, mistaught and continue to pervert doctrine, dogma, and promote error, and have reduced preaching to a 5 minute commentary so that the so-called “faithful” can get there and out the door with 30-45 minutes at most. After all, a half hour for God and 3 hours for the ball game seems like a fair deal for most Catholics.

Get the ^%$# out of the way! I’ll be late for worship…and the game!

The latest stupidity to be posted in front of St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church apparently has to do with the Biblical myth of Noah and the Deluge found in Genesis, or we may be wrong and VanDerveer’s referring more likely to the bizarre interpretation of the myth provided in the movie, Noah (2014) but here’s the official Biblical version:

“The Lord then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. Take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and one pair of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, and also seven pairs of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth. Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.” (Gen 7:2-4)

Actually, someone should have whacked the one who thought these signs were appropriate! Never mind the mosquitoes. We don’t recall any specific reference to mosquitoes in Genesis (nor in any part of the Bible) nor any cameo appearance of mosquitoes in the film Noah. Perhaps Vanderveer can help us with that one. We do tend to have our facts straight on this blog so we’re reasonably certain that there were no mosquitoes involved. The only other possibility we can think of is that one of Vanderveer’s Scriptural Studies instructors at seminary came upon some previously unknown Biblical text that tells the story of Noah and the mosquitoes. Whatever the story behind it, Vanderveer appears to believe the story. Why else would he publicly post something like that in front of his church? It seems the “unclean animals” were  sent either to Roman Catholic seminary or to Ravena-Coeymans after leaving the Ark. We have no record of where the “two mosquitoes” went after having escaped being swatted.


A Pleasant Anecdote

While I photographing one of the signs, a St Patrick’s parishioner was approaching the church to attend a meeting, and stopped to chat when she observed me taking the photographs. She commented how interesting the signs were and how they got your attention. I responded very bluntly that they were not interesting; they were a disgrace and were demeaning to the sacred place they were disgracing. I did agree that they got your attention but for the wrong reasons. I admitted to her that I was taking the photo not because I found them attractive, funny or pithy but because they got my interest, and that was not good.

The parishioner was very interested in what we had to say and very gracious, too. We discussed a number problems with the Church, the parish, and local politics. All in all, it was a positive exchange that started on a negative footing.

Shows you that there are still some good, sensible people in the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk community; all too few, though.


Contrary to what you have been told or led to believe, dear readers, churches are not where God lives [Thank God!], that is, churches are not God’s personal primary residence, they are sacred spaces where we can find safe, quiet space to reflect, meditate, be still, or engage in a conversation with the Divine, a practice what we call prayer, but have forgotten – or never knew how to do. Nowadays most conversations with God turn out to be like conversations with those twits exercising their thumbs on an electronic device; a meeting where God’s trying to reveal himself to the twit who’s functioning with half a hemisphere, wondering whose reflection it is in the smartphone screen.

Repurposing Our Churches

When I hear of closure of churches, merging of congregations, sale of church property, conversions of churches to art galleries, restaurants, even private residences, I feel a cold shudder. These churches have become like dinosaurs; they were once living, awesome organisms, and they thrived and nurtured similar life but at some time long ago they became sick, languished and died. Now all we have left of them are lumps of rock we gawk at in museums or use as paperweights in our studies. So, too, many of our former sacred spaces are now secular spaces where the inhabiting materialist-consumerists worship their new idols: mega-flat screens, surround sound, a nymph, and a bottle. Happy worshipping!

We’ve replaced God there too with some idol like money, sex, a car, or a pop star

So where has God gone once evicted? God’s where he’s always been: in the dark silent depths of our hearts, unless we’ve replaced God there too with some idol like money, sex, a car, a political figure or a pop star. Yes, Idolaters of Ubiquitous White Noise and Distractions, the Ultimate Truth still lies hidden in that wet, fertile, darkness deep within a human being (No, not a vagina!) but nowadays who among you Vessels of Clay with your stymied white-cane spirituality would dare explore the silence within, when there’s so much to do in the world? Why would anyone want to become acquainted with their true self when they can invent another, more pleasant, acceptable self and one that you can transform it at any time using a convenient app? Who will know? You will. But you don’t care because you’ve been diving down that slippery slope for so long you wouldn’t know your true self if you tripped over it!

In my meanderings I spend time in churches, at meetings and conferences, on Internet forums, at monasteries, interacting with others in a variety of settings. I note the anxiety and the vulnerability that cripples so many people; I note their white-cane spirituality, blindly pursuing some sort of agenda-seeking-to-become-a-religion, a tool for a virtual life; they have no real life. I listen to and become offended by the ignorance and narcissism of those claiming to be called to a vocation, as clergy, as lay religious, as lay ministers in churches, congregations, parishes; I frequently observe the infantile fascination of the unwashed when, in a strange ecstasy of voyeurism, they rub shoulders with monks, priests, nuns, or spiritual leaders, and they grin idiotically as if caught in an act of masturbation. “Hee, hee! Look at me!” Narcissism, too, is a form of idolatry. I have to wonder whether the gawkers or the gawkees actually realize the pitiable dynamic going on. It’s rather like the voyeurism of social media but worse. Worse because the so-called spiritual leaders are actually enjoying the worship, and the egos soar – and the wound deepens and festers, poisoning the entire mystical body.

Starving?
Tail’s great!

And like starving rats will go for anything that smacks of survival…

If churches and faith communities are hemorrhaging members, the religious vocations are dwindling into membership cachexia. And like starving rats will go for anything that smacks of survival. For several decades now, the materialist consumerism and the dumbing down of society has left the message of higher truths and spirituality to languish in the shadow of anti-human propaganda, corporate greed, political narcissism, social confusion, despair and anxiety. Fear of loss is the underlying message everywhere we look. That fear is nourished by the messages we receive of time running out for something, anything, everything; fear the terror threat, fear the coming rain or snow showers, fear the threat represented by the guy next door, fear the North Koreans, fear the Russians, fear the illegals. What we need to fear is the false teaching in the poor preaching, we need to fear the pulpit politics, we need to fear the bigoted perp patrols.

Stuck somewhere in a learning curve…

The only religion that’s growing these days is Islam and our response is to demonize it

We are stuck somewhere in a learning curve. But where? We need to learn to fear our own demise and ignorance thanks to the conflicting and contradicting messages we receive from the media, the poor performance of our education institutions, and the dishonesty and corruption of our political system. Add to that the failure of our Judeo-Christian religious institutions to teach correct doctrine and dogma, and to provide effective preaching in support of implementing doctrine and dogma into our day-to-day lives in furtherance of “happiness” and a “good end.” And it’s no wonder people are despairing and anxious. The only religion that’s growing these days is Islam and our response is to demonize it as a bunch of whacko terrorists. Doesn’t anyone see where this is leading? Why can’t religious institutions join together to combat the capitalist propaganda drowning us in a sea of lies and hate? But then, when I was a kid it was the Roman Catholics and Protestants killing each other. Only the bigotry and creeds have remained the same; only the faces have changed.

Cultural and political institutions our religious and faith institutions are appealing to the lowest common denominator

Failing religious institutions and religious organizations and institutions are desperately prostituting themselves in a vain attempt simply to survive. And like our cultural and political institutions our religious and faith institutions are appealing to the lowest common denominator in the attempt to get what they can and run with it. It’s not working, people, that’s why you see so many storefront and strip mall micro-churches flooding into the vacuum left by mainstream institutions. Problem is this: the storefront and strip mall micros are just as bad as the movie-theatre or stadium megachurches, because they create their own ideologies, agendas, idolatries and there are plenty of sheeple to participate because they don’t know anything better. Thanks Vatican II and interfaith dialogue, ecumenism. Lights, cameras, action! Worship!

I can speak from personal experience, scholarship, and professional activity with various faith traditions and communities, religious organizations and institutions, and educational institutions. As a writer, editor, researcher, and educator I vet my facts.

So where does an institution in decline turn in the desperate attempt to survive a couple of more years? St Patricks is prepping, even in the absence of its pastor for several weeks, for the celebration of the church’s centennial. 100 years is not a very long time in Church terms but it’s a start. The nagging question is how long does it still have before it’s converted into another empty building on Ravena-Coeymans’ growing list of vacancies. [Editor’s note: St Patricks have already sold off a number of real estate parcels, some of which were sold to RCS school board president, James Latter, the same James Latter who works for the Saudi Arabian-owned Sabic corporation, the same corporation who got recommendations for tax breaks from the RCS school district.] Maybe Mr VanDerveer’s off attending job interviews, since the parishioners in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany are usually the last to know when their church is closing.

When you can’t attract young men to the priesthood you have to attract old men to the diaconate

Like the consumer society they operate in, churches like St Patrick’s are compelled to sacrifice quality for quantity. For example, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany reports in a recent issue of Sheaf, the official gazette of St Bernard’s School of Ministry and Theology, the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese reports “200 deacons and growing.” When you can’t attract young men to the priesthood you have to attract old men to the diaconate. Numbers not quality count; that’s why the permanent diaconate was revived by the Roman Catholic Church in the 60s to stem the decline in seminary admissions; in many dioceses the diaconate has become a boy’s club, a church country club, an organization of narcisistic logrollers. “My dad the deacon.” “My son the deacon.” “My wife, Mrs Deacon!”

Deacon Chic Coming Soon to Your Parish!
You have your church band, liturgical dancing, now you can have liturgical strippers!
Don’t miss the Trinitarian Trio of Trollops!

The Episcopal church has been ordaining “women” for decades; many (mostly gender ambiguous specimens) in the RC church are advocating ordaining women deacons and the reasonable expected consequence of this slippery slope is women priests! When does this comedy of errors, this farce stop? [Editor’s note: For those of our readers with limited vocabularies, a “slippery slope” is a comedy of errors is a related series of amusing or farcical events involving a series of awkward missteps or other mistakes.]

Clergy or Special Ed Class or LGBT Rejects?

There is a big problem with erroneous teaching and that leads to gross stupidity and poor public image. Take for instance the Church’s stand on abortion and other issues. The corrupt and long discredited practice of prayer and what the faithful could expect from prayer as espoused by a greedy medieval Church led not only to Martin Luther’s confrontation and the ultimate schism but also to the Counter-Reformation, and later to many, many scandals. They still haven’t learned.

Erroneous teaching and that leads to gross stupidity and poor public image

OK. But can someone tell me how this works? How about you, Father?

Let’s face the facts: The Church may be facing annihilation over the longer term if it doesn’t (1) come up with some sort of recruitment scheme for the long-term future of the priesthood, and (2) come up with some sort of outside “support for its mission,” which translates into people who are able and willing to give in support of the Church in general and of their local faith community before it has to selling off more acreage. The old priests and nuns committed their lives and fortunes to the faith community; they’re gone now and so are their legacies. A liberal, liberation theology (= socialist)  tainted Jesuit pope is not going to solve the problem; in fact, he stands to worsen it. Jesuits don’t have a very good record in Rome; Jesuit popes have an even worse record..

And this is how it’s gonna be!

One of the real problems being faced by the Church and by the faithful is that they are learning impaired. Change is not measured in years in the Church but in centuries. While the men in the Vatican are swilling good wine and dining in gardens al fresco, the American Church is making its own rules. Everyone seems to be caught up in a dead man spiral, stuck somewhere in an ecclesiological learning curve. But no one seems to be certain where they’re stuck.

Still in the learning curve. But where?

So that’s where we stand locally, and regionally. Ravena is just an example, a stereotype, and not the main culprit; Ravena is a symptom, we have to look for the ecclesiological pathology elsewhere. Meanwhile, the stupid signs aren’t helping.

The Church at Work.
Did you find the problem yet?

 

Like Community, Like Church

It All Comes Together: There’s a certain loose, but perverse, consistency in almost any community. What you find in the local government, law enforcement, courts, schools, you’re likely to find in the church communities, too. It’s only reasonable, because they bleed into and out of each other, don’t they?

Is this what it's all about?

Well, a couple of posts back, I mentioned a certain police investigator and his missus having had a notorious adulterous affair, and that same couple is active in the local church, the police investigator even serving a lay ministry as reader at liturgies.

The local priest has a certain reputation, too. He’s a bit of an eccentric, a maverick, and tends to piss people off. He and his deacon fit beautifully into the local community, if you catch my drift. Even if you don’t follow yet, follow this link to another blog and see what an ass-kicking Father James Kane is getting for a gross indecency concerning his conduct during a divine liturgy. Scandalous from the Roman Catholic point of view, embarassing, and pitious, too. Read more at Is Fr James Kane Really Fit to Be Pastor?

Problem was, it was broadcast!

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Special Notice: We make every effort to be truthful, complete, fair, and balanced on this blog; therefore, if you see anything that you know to be false or incorrect, or if you have additional information to clarify any issue, please let us know by e-mailing your information or by leaving a comment. It’s very important to us that we don’t fall into the same category as those whom this blog is intended to expose. Thank you very much in advance for your cooperation and assistance!
 

What They Don’t Know Might Hurt Them

Could this be happening here, in your backyard? Parent! Beware! Be informed about state and federal school programs (Don’t ask Matt Miller, though!) Schools Infringing on Parents’ Rights, and Doing It Secretly 

In an article published in Zenit by Rebecca Oas, PhD (Washington, D.C., April18, 2012),

she reports that in 2010, an article appeared in the UK newspaper The Telegraph reacting to a proposal to cut government funding for a certain beverage in schools. The author made the argument that the drink might be “doing more harm than good” and cited “negative side effects,” while noting that his viewpoint was heard relatively rarely in comparison to the large industry which vigorously promoted its product through advertising and with the support of government subsidies. The substance in question was milk, which would seem on the surface to be more innocuous than those fearsome beverages that have also come under fire for being available in schools in recent years, soft drinks. 

While the role of government in regulating access to these beverages in schools has varied from place to place, it can’t be disputed that a key factor influencing school policies is the input of parents.

Wotz next? Study hall cocktails laced with the pill?

A 2005 survey found that parents of adolescents had strong opinions regarding nutrition in schools, and urged health professionals in school settings to work with parents in promoting good nutrition in schools. While it may not be practical or even possible for a parent to monitor everything a child consumes while at school, this fact reflects only that substances like soft drinks are widely available, and not subject to restrictions under the law. There’s no excuse for parents are not expressly prohibited from knowing their children’s dietary habits by not being aware of what goes on in schools, neither the school or the government has any right to prohibit a parent’s demand for information. 

But here’s the real shocker: Dr Oas writes, “However, while parents’ input may be welcomed with regard to students’ intake of sugar, substances available only by prescription are being distributed to students at school-based clinics without their parents’ knowledge or consent. Recent reports from both the US and the UK reveal that students are receiving oral and implanted contraceptives while on school property, through government-funded initiatives.”

Is this happening at school?

A story aired on National Public Radio in March, discussing a provision of the new health care law that increases funding for school-based health centers, which exist to treat sick students, but which are also widely used to distribute condoms and oral contraceptives to students. The story focused on one such clinic located in California, where, according to state law, students older than 12 years of age can legally obtain prescribed contraceptives without their parents’ knowledge or permission. [Editor’s Note: 21 states explicitly allow minors to give consent to contraceptive services, meaning that parental consent, and consequently, knowledge, is not required.] This reflects an international trend. [For school implanation of contraceptives, please see the entire article.] Just as in the US, the contraception initiative in the UK was supported by a government effort to reduce teenage pregnancy.

These published news stories point to another key issue: the duties of parents and the larger society toward children, including older minors still under their parents’ legal guardianship.

It is worthwhile to note that the controversy regarding milk distribution in schools was in reference to children five and under, and the distribution of contraceptives is occurring among minors 13 and older. Clearly, society recognizes that personal responsibility increases as a child becomes more capable of making his or her own decisions, as evidenced by the fact that minors can be held liable for criminal activity. In the US, a parent or guardian must not only give consent, but must physically accompany a minor under 17 who wishes to go to a movie with a “Restricted” rating. It would seem that government regulations are frequently willing to defer to the wishes of parents with regard to the health and well-being of their children – except where their reproductive capability is concerned.

Nevertheless, parents who entrust their children to educational institutions rightly have concerns regarding their children’s exposure and access to many things on school grounds, from substances such as soft drinks or contraceptive pills to controversial curricula, to the influence of questionable teachers. That this access frequently occurs without the parents’ knowledge and is disturbing to many informed parents, but that such information is deliberately being kept from them constitutes a dangerous shift in the role of the parent and the local, state, and federal institutions making decisions relating to children in schools “in safeguarding the well-being of those who are not yet legally adults.”

***

To read or download the entire article, click here: What They Don’t Know Might Hurt Them.

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Special Notice: We make every effort to be truthful, complete, fair, and balanced on this blog; therefore, if you see anything that you know to be false or incorrect, or if you have additional information to clarify any issue, please let us know by e-mailing your information or by leaving a comment. It’s very important to us that we don’t fall into the same category as those whom this blog is intended to expose. Thank you very much in advance for your cooperation and assistance!
 

Wait! Is that ??? on the Altar?

This one is in progress. Enjoy this preview and stay tuned!

Qualified Lay Minister? Says who?

Lectors and Readers: Reading and Explaining the Word of God

According to the promulgation of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) when the Scriptures are read in the Church, God himself is speaking to his people, and Christ, present in his own word, is proclaiming the gospel. The readings of God’s word must therefore be listened to by all with reverence; they make up a principal element of the liturgy.  In the biblical readings, God’s word addresses all people of every era and is understandable to them, and a fuller understanding and efficacy are fostered by a living commentary on it, that is to say, by the homily, understood as an integral part of the liturgical action (GIRM 29).(1)

 Because of the importance of the Liturgy of the Word in the formation of the faithful, specific laws determine who may read. Only those who have received Holy Orders — a deacon, priest, or bishop — may proclaim the Gospel. As a rule a deacon or, in his absence, a priest other than the celebrant, should read the Gospel at Mass. If there is no deacon or another priest present, the celebrant himself should proclaim the Gospel (General Instruction on the Roman Missal (GIRM), nos. 59, 99). However, in certain circumstances, lay people may proclaim the Gospel at children’s Masses.

Regarding the other readings and the responsorial psalm, only a person properly instituted for the purpose of reading during Mass should read them. The Church first prefers a man installed into the ministry of lector to read the readings (cf. Canon 230 §§1, 2). In the absence of such a man, other laity, women included, who have received proper training and authorization as a reader may read. In the absence of either, anyone who meets the requirements established by the local bishop can be asked to read. If no one is available, the priest or deacon must read the readings.

As noted in canon 230 §1, “Lay men who possess the age and qualifications determined by decree of the conference of bishops can be installed on a stable basis in the ministry of lector.” The use of the word “vir” [Lat. “man”] in the original Latin precludes women from participating in “the stable ministry” of lector. However, paragraph two of this same canon notes that “lay persons can fulfill the function of lector during liturgical actions by temporary deputation.” According to canon 230 and liturgical law, in the absence of a man installed into the stable ministry of lector, a man or woman can be authorized to act as reader during the celebration of Mass.

The USCCB provides norms for instituted lectors: A layman who is to be installed in the ministries of lector or acolyte on a stable basis must have completed his twentyfirst (21) year of age. The candidate must also possess the skills necessary for an effective proclamation of the Word or service at the altar, be a fully initiated member of the Catholic Church, be free of any canonical penalty, and live a life which befits the ministry to be undertaken. (Complementary norm to Canon 230 §1, November 17, 1999).

In order for an individual to be regarded as “truly suited,” it is required that they be a fully initiated Catholic living in communion with the Church. Thus, a lector should have received both First Holy Communion and Confirmation, and should not be living in an invalid marriage or in any other state of grave sin. Being “truly suited” also implies the necessary native talents to serve as a lector. Thus, individuals who are not able to proclaim the readings in a clear manner that expresses the dignity of scripture may not be suited for this service in the church.

How great the arrogance when one approaches the Almighty Mystery without a clean conscience and heart!

That’s odd. I could have sworn I saw Jerry Deluca, investigator, Town of Coeymans police department,  at the lecturn, as reader, on Palm Sunday (April 1), at Church of St Patrick (Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany), in Ravena, NY. Couldn’t have been! But did anyone else see him there?

 

Read our Signs of Hypocrisy posting at

Recognizing the Signs of Hypocrisy

&

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Special Notice: We make every effort to be truthful, complete, fair, and balanced on this blog; therefore, if you see anything that you know to be false or incorrect, or if you have additional information to clarify any issue, please let us know by e-mailing your information or by leaving a comment. It’s very important to us that we don’t fall into the same category as those whom this blog is intended to expose. Thank you very much in advance for your cooperation and assistance!
 

Brain Size and What It Tells Us

I’ve been reviewing some of the RCS Board of Education video recordings and  have attempted to make sense out of what Mr David Bartlett and some of the other witchhunters are driving at in their questions of a board member’s ability to uphold the provisions of the United States Constitution. Really.

Several questions arise:

Are Mr Bartlett and his supporters questioning the boardmember’s citizenship? If so, then attorney May’s response at the January 24 meeting is on target. That also raises the question of whether Mr Bartlett and his cronies would exclude from the board any person who is not a US citizen. This would, of course, include any individual in good-standing not yet having taken the citizenship oath: a foreign business person, a green cardholder, someone waiting to take the citizenship oath. That’s a very interesting suggestion, Mr Bartlett, and it would be very interesting to hear your response. If a non-citizen Canadian businessperson offered a $200,000 no-strings-attached gift to the school district, Bartlett would probably send it back because the donor is not a citizen. Go bloody figure!

The targeted boardmember is accused by his detractors of “not paying his taxes.” I would guess that most of the detractors are pig-ignorant of the actual circumstances of the case. Right? I would further guess that the majority of the detractors are pig-ignorant of the tax codes. Right? So why are these pig-ignorants opening their pie holes anyway? Every citizen and non-citizen working in the United States can contest and then appeal any provision of the tax code, including whether or not he or she is liable for a given tax. Wake up and shut up until you know what you’re talking about! The targeted boardmember is fully within his rights!

Some of the detractors have questioned why the boardmember won’t speak up. Again, shut up until you know what you’re talking about. Any statement made publicly by the boardmember relating to an issue in controversy can and probably would be refashioned and distorted and held against him. The only prudent and cautious thing to do is not to comment. Only a fool would risk satisfying the pig-ignorant with a public statement and then risk his entire standing and case. Wake up or shut up!

But what really irks me is when I hear people like David Bartlett and his ilk making comments in pulbic meetings and in the comments on some of the newspaper blogs that are so general it would take weeks to first figure out what Bartlett is asking specifically–Does he even know or is he just being a nuisance?–and once figured out, to even attempt answering the question, that is, if the question is even relevant. (Which at this point it is not!)

Mr Bartlett is specifically attacking the boardmember by referring to the boardmember’s pending tax case and the boardmember’s competence to uphold the Constitution based on what I think I hear to be (1) the pending tax case and/or (2) the boardmember’s secured party creditor status and his claim of natural sovereignty. (If you or any of your minions, Mr Bartlett,  have any questions on natural sovereignty I would refer you to John Locke and Emanuel Kant!)

The pending tax case is as normal as vanilla ice cream and is no business of the board or you, Mr Bartlett, or your co-conspirators. Period.

The fact that the board member disagrees, strongly or otherwise, with a provision of the United States Constitution is also irrelevant, as it does not affect in any way whatsoever the boardmember’s fitness or competence to serve efficaciously on the Board of Education in whatever capacity the Board deems appropriate. In a democracy, Mr Bartlett, you voluntarily  delegate some of your decision power to the officials duely elected by the majority (Or did you forget that in your minority standing?). Wake up or shut up!

If Mr Bartlett and/or his cronies were to continue the overly broad and vague accusations, they would only further add to their appearance of pig-ignorance, since they make no impression that they have any idea of what they are in fact accusing the boardmember of that obviates his competence! Neither Bartlett nor any of his chorus of sharks has stated specifically which part of the US Constitution he alleges the boardmember to be incapable of upholding. Or is it the entire US Constitution, which is idiotic even to suggest.

The Sixteenth Amendment (Amendment XVI) to the United States Constitution allows the Congress to levy an income tax without apportioning it among the states or basing it on Census results. Initially, the legislatures of the following states rejected the amendment without ever subsequently ratifying it: Connecticut, Rhode Island, Utah. Virginia.Furthermore, the legislatures of the following states never considered the proposed amendment: Florida, Pennsylvania.

While today individuals and businesses in all 50 states pay federal income tax, residents in 41 states also pay state income tax. Nine states have no state income tax: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming. The states of New Hampshire and Tennessee tax their residents only on income earned through interest and dividends.

But check this out:
Number of Americans Paying Zero Federal Income Tax Grows to 43.4 Million  And that was during 2006. At that time Tax Foundation economists estimates that roughly 43.4 million tax returns, representing 91 million individuals, will face a zero or negative tax liability. That’s out of a total of 136 million federal tax returns that will be filed. Adding to this figure the 15 million households and individuals who file no tax return at all, roughly 121 million Americans—or 41 percent of the U.S. population—will be completely outside the federal income tax system in 2006. Were you aware of that Mr Bartlett & Co?

It gets even better:

Most Companies Pay No Federal Income Tax  Two-thirds of U.S. corporations paid no federal income taxes between 1998 and 2005, according to a new report from Congress. That number has grown since then and we all know the local example of GE who pays NO TAX. Want to talk about the notorious 1%, the Bloombergs, Gates, and Zuckerbergs of the American “classless society?” What are you preaching about them, Mr Bartlett? Wake up or shut up!

Now, back to the Constitution: Abortion as we all know is murder and a crime against the unborn; a movement of the Culture of Death. But it’s been made legal under the United States Constitution under the due process provision of the 14th Amendment. So, Mr Bartlett, according to you any right-to-lifer would be barred from serving on the Board of Education because s/he does not support the Constitution.

Another example: Ownership of automatic weapons, assault weapons. Accoding to Bartlettian logic, anyone who advocates gun control or the ban on automatic or assault weapons cannot defend the Constitution because s/he opposes the 2nd Amendment. By that reasoning, therefore, if someone quite capable and valuable wants to serve on the BoE but opposes the 2nd Amendment right to own automatic or assault weapons s/he is ipso facto and de facto, even de jure  barred from serving. Right?

What about the religion provisions of the First Amendment? If I am following your logic, Mr Bartlett, according to you and your friends, only atheists would be eligible to serve. Right?

So, here’s a little exercise for you: Can you identify the most accurate depiction of your brain in the the image series below ? 

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Next Part of the Test: What do you feel when you look at this picture?

Porking the Goose That Lays the Golden Egg.

Porking the Goose That Lays the Golden Egg. Stifling Diversity.

One more to go. Now be patient:

Does this picture accurately depict the evolutionary path taken by the Constitutional wizards attacking the boardmember?

Danger! Keep away from geese!

Thank you for your participation!

You’re now officially a Constitution Defiler.

Why not just burn it, Bartlett?

Disclaimer: Sincerest apologies to any pig who may have been inadvertently offended by our use of the phrase “pig-ignorant” to characterize any individual or individual’s behavior on this blog. The use of the phrase was not intended to characterize the porcine species as a group, and its use was intended solely for illustrative and figurative purposes.

 

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