More about healthcare…or…”Bill Moyers is my new hero”

August 31, 2009 at 10:27 pm (Uncategorized)

I’m not a Bill Maher fan. I don’t think he’s as funny as he thinks he is, and if I were a real jerk, I’d say something about Religulous, but I haven’t actually seen it yet, so I’m not going to. HOWEVER, his interview with Bill Moyers on Friday was such a home run, I can’t stand it. Some angel has put it up on YouTube, so here you go. It is WELL worth a look:

Bill Moyers the Marvelous, part 1

Part 2

Part 3



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A moral issue

August 27, 2009 at 12:55 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

I have mellowed in my old age. I am much more able to see opposing points of view, and much less likely to get out my soapbox and start ranting, but with that said, I truly don’t understand the health care debate. I’m not being disingenuous, I promise. I sincerely don’t see the other side of the argument. Why is there a question about universal health care? Of course we need it.

It’s not that I’m totally surrounded by pinko commies, either. I have friends, family members even, who don’t believe that we should enact universal health care. They are loving parents and daughters and sons…and I just don’t get it.

This is a moral issue. This question is no less than “Who do we want to be as a society?” Do we believe that when a person gets sick they deserve medical treatment? Or do we believe that poverty is somehow your “fault” – that you’re lazy if you’re poor, and you deserve what you get? I am terribly afraid that that’s the truth of it.

And if that’s so, geez, we’re in trouble. Because what about “whatsoever you do to the least of my brethren, you do unto me?” Not to mention that it’s “easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God?” If you’re a Christian and that’s not keeping you up at night, I don’t know what’s wrong with you.

And don’t feed me that old saw about it being the individual not the government that should provide charity either. For one thing, this isn’t charity, this is a basic human right. If you are sick, you deserve access to health care. Period, end of story. For another, two hundred plus years of leaving it to the individual to take care of this hasn’t worked very well. Let’s try another method, shall we? And finally, for now anyway, these people are not strangers – they are my friend who went through a bad divorce; my babysitter who’s putting herself through college…in short, THEY are US.

I think that must have been for Ted. Rest in peace, Senator.

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The opposite of love…

August 26, 2009 at 1:21 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

According to Elie Wiesel, the opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. He goes on to say that
“[t]he opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.” (Remember citing things? me neither).

I’ve been going through a dry spell…a sojourn in the desert if you will. Appropriate for summer, I guess. On Sunday, the priest in Camden said that we weren’t tourists, we were pilgrims. Tourists have maps, while pilgrims have faith. But the problem is this: I’m an excellent map-reader, and I’m not so strong on the faith side.

Don’t get me wrong – my religion has been an exceedingly important part of my identity, and of the way I live my life. Personally, I think “do unto others as you would have done unto you” is a pretty decent rule to live by, regardless of whether you believe in Jesus or God or any of it. And even in the driest of dry spells, the hour’s peace that attending weekly mass provides has brought me great comfort.

Nevertheless, I wouldn’t describe myself as faith-filled at the moment. It might be because of what I’m doing – it’s hard to feel holy while cleaning baby poop out of the bathtub, or it might be that I’m not working hard enough at it.

Which is why I like that Wiesel quote. It’s a good reminder that for most of us, the danger isn’t that we wake up sadists one day…the danger is that we wake up not caring.

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What she said…

August 25, 2009 at 8:02 pm (Uncategorized)

lazy today – could you just read this and pretend like I wrote it? thanks ever so…

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Every day I write the book…

August 24, 2009 at 3:50 pm (Uncategorized)

…although not the blog, unfortunately.  Ah well.

We’re back from our annual whirlwind tour of the East Coast, and despite the mosquitos (vicious vampires), the heat (insane – I wouldn’t mind if I were never in 90 degree heat ever again) and the in-laws, (KIDDING!) a splendid time was had by all.

In addition to seeing family and friends, sailing and swimming, it was also fun to go to mass at a different church.  In Lincoln, MA, Riley and I biked down to St. Joseph’s (and I do mean down, leaving me with a sense of foreboding throughout the liturgy).

St. Joseph's, Lincoln

St. Joseph's, Lincoln

In Camden, ME, we went to Our Lady of Good Hope (and I did take a picture, which must have gotten replaced with Spin Art on the interminable trip home…) The priest only gave a short homily, as there was a missionary appeal, but what he said stuck with me.  Shortly after he was ordained, a parishioner asked him if he ever questioned his decision to become a priest.  Like all good philosophers, he answered with another question, asking the man if he ever questioned his decision to get married.  Every day, the man answered.  And every day I make the same choice.  Me too, answered the priest.

That’s helpful to me – to recognize that with things that are hard, like, let’s face it, marriage, you question it, and then recommit yourself to it every single day.  A nice little thing to have learned on summer vacation.

And, then just because I stole the title, here’s the song, which has nothing to do with anything, but is a great song, AND as an extra special added bonus, the clip is from Solid Gold!!!!!!!! I am NOT LYING!!!!

Elvis! on Solid Gold! Does it get better than that?

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Bread of life

August 5, 2009 at 11:18 pm (Uncategorized)

I was a little distracted during mass on Sunday.  I found out right before that my mom had just been admitted to the hospital with pneumonia.  I am sorry to tell you that after I heard the news my first reaction was “wow, I really don’t want to go to [expletive] church.”  I fumed all of the way there, in between calling various siblings, and nearly causing several serious car accidents.

But something happened after I opened the door.  I walked in, and I felt better.  No lie!  I signed my mom’s name in the book of intentions that is right inside the door, dipped my hand in the baptismal font and crossed myself, and I seriously felt lighter.  Don’t get me wrong, I was still freaked out and stressed beyond belief, but just being in a church, The church, my church, calmed me down.

And it only got better.  I’m not going to pretend that I was able to pay perfect attention to what was going on (there was also a microphone mishap, dammit, not to mention starting the fourth verse of the recessional at the wrong time, whoops!) but I did get that it was a very “Eucharist-y” day.  The first reading was the Israelites waking up to manna in the desert, Psalm was more of the same, can’t remember the second reading (sorry Paul!)  and the Gospel was Jesus telling the apostles that He is the Bread of Life.

Well, I’m not a complete numskull.  I did in fact get the message!  Far from being completely incapacitated by my mother’s illness, I could perform a very important and useful task, one I could only have achieved by going to Mass that morning.  After a very jaunty organ postlude, I sought out the sacristan and asked if I could take communion to my mom.  He gave me a dubious look and asked if I knew the communion rite (the what now?) but nevertheless briskly walked over to the Blessed Sacrament chapel, genuflected and placed the Host in a nifty little box.

As soon as my dad and I got to the hospital, I told my mom that I had communion for her if she wanted to receive it.  One “Body of Christ” and one “Amen” later, that was that.  Not bad for a day’s work and a heckuva lot better than I had thought it was going to be.

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Good night!

August 3, 2009 at 2:35 am (Uncategorized)

It’s been a helluva weekend for my family. So this seems appropriate:

Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm,
Whose voice is contentment, whose presence is balm,
Be there at our sleeping, and give us, we pray,
Your peace in our hearts, Lord, at the end of the day.

Thank you, Jan Struther.

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