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Note: Cross posted from STATIC Youth’s Weblog.

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altarboy2 Friday was a god day for me, I had time to catch up on some of my reading. I subscribe to 3 different Catholic newspapers and 3 different magazines, two Catholic and one political. The problem is time, when do I have time to read them all. Well Friday night I was able to slam through all the newspapers, than Saturday a new one arrived… UGH! But such is life.

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Note: Cross posted from STATIC Youth’s Weblog.

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As part of my job, my 9 to 5 job, the one that pays my bills, I get to travel the world. I love that aspect of my job, I love going to new places. Not only do I get to go to new places, I get to make new friends. I now have friends in five countries around the world and have traveled to seven different countries. So on this next trip I get to visit my friends I have not seen in over a year. It will be nice.

Note: Cross posted from STATIC Youth’s Weblog.

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The scandal of the Church has been on the front pages of the papers and lead stories on the nightly news. Over all this is a good thing, the Church needs to deal with this scandal. But what confuses me is the pure joy they, meaning the media, seem to get from all this. The catholic priest who molested young boys need help and prayers for sure, the bishops who allowed this to carry on and moved them from parish to parish need to be reprimanded, they need to step down. But why al the joy in the media?

It is good that the media is investigating the scandal, or should I say it would be good if they were investigating the scandal fairly.  But that is not the case, they are on a witch hunt and they are willing to take down the innocent as well as the guilty, and at the same time look the other way when it comes to our school systems or other faiths. This to me is a misuse of power and an injustice to children.

The current scandal in the Church is a scandal from twenty or thirty or more years ago, by no means lessening the travesty of it all, the over all population of priest involved is 2% at most. Once again not taking anything away from the harm caused, 2% is way to much, .0001% is to much, but over all 2% of our priest is not a large number.

Such figures led her to contend "the physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests." (Source)

Family members — fathers, stepfathers, uncles, older siblings — commit 47% of all reported sexual assaults against children in their own homes.

49% of all sexual assaults against children are committed by persons known either by the child or the child’s family — teachers, coaches, physicians, ministers, priests,  neighbors, youth leaders. (Source)

I am not using the statistics to take the spot light off of the Catholic Church, but rather to point it also on public education and other areas of concern.

Over all the reporting on the scandal in the Church has been a scandal unto itself. And with the current wave of anti-Catholic feelings I expect it will continue for sometime to come. But we as Catholics can do something about we can fight back, promote the positive aspects of the Church, the good She does for youth and the community She resides in. We can also point out, in letters to the editors, the injustice of the persecution of the Church over our public schools.

In a way the abuse at the public schools is an even greater evil than the priest. We have no choice but to send our youth to school, and we allow teachers to have full access to our youth 8 hour per day, five days a week. And if they are involved in sports, we also allow them to change in front of grown adults. We, in some ways are asking for it,

The scandal involving the priest is sickening at best, but we hold some of that responsibility ourselves. We places the parish priest upon pedestals and made them gods in there own rights, we allowed our children to spend the night at the rectory or to go on trips with them. Sure some parents were good friends with the priest, and as the statistics above state 49% of abuse is by someone they know and trust. But do we have to allow the percentage to go up? Do we have to feed in to it?

The problem of abuse is a social problem and it is not a new problem, it is as old as time (article). The Greek society is full of stories of young boys and me, by no means justifying the actions, just pointing out the reality. The issue is social. Contrary to popular belief most people who sexually abuse youth are not gay. As stated above they are mostly family members or close family friends. 

[M]ost men who molest little boys are not gay.  Only 21 percent of the child molesters we studied who assault little boys were exclusively homosexual.  Nearly 80 percent of the men who molested little boys were heterosexual or bisexual, and most of these men were married and had children of their own.27

These scientists have concluded that pedophilia is a separate orientation from homosexuality and that the vast majority of molesters who target boys have either no interest in mature males or are heterosexual men who are attracted to the feminine characteristics of young boys.(source)

Homosexuality and homosexual pedophilia are not synonymous.  In fact, it may be that these two orientations are mutually exclusive, the reason being that the homosexual male is sexually attracted to masculine qualities whereas the heterosexual male is sexually attracted to feminine characteristics, and the sexually immature child’s qualities are more feminine than masculine. . . . The child offender who is attracted to and engaged in adult sexual relationships is heterosexual.  It appears, therefore, that the adult heterosexual male constitutes a greater sexual risk to underage children than does the adult homosexual male.19 .(source)

My over all point to this blog, we need to look at facts and we need to understand what we are dealing with. Sexual abuse of children is not a “Catholic” thing, nor is it a “gay” thing, it is a society thing and one that needs to be understood. The media is not doing its job, rather it is conduction a man hunt, if you will, on Catholics.

As Catholics we need to educate ourselves so we can better defend the Church in these times of turmoil. We need to know facts so we are not just shooting from the hip but rather using facts to fight our cause.  God willing the Church will survive and come out stringer when this persecution is over.

God Bless

Paul

Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church
Galatians 2:20“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

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One of my favorite people to look to or to quote is Albert Einstein. I think is because we both are so much a like…. (I’ll let that one sink in a bit before I move on…….)

Truthfully I do see a lot of similarities between us, no I am not as smart as him, no were near, but we both share a thinking pattern. For anyone who reads my blogs or knows me personally will know that I am a person with an imagination and a positive attitude. Albert also has this trait, and I have quoted him several times, in fact I have a small postcard of his hanging in my office and I have read biographies on him. I find him to be a very interesting person. I have no ability to understand his math or his logic (most of the time), but I can understand his outlook and his way of dealing with the world. Today as I was thinking I should blog about something, but I didn’t know what. I didn’t want to blog about politics again, not because I don’t have anything to say, because I do, but because both of my blogs are not primary political they are primarily spiritual. So my latest rant concerning Obama will have to wait…. So what than do I blog about. As I often do when I don’t have a solid idea I will look up quotes on the internet (God’s gift for writers block). What I found was this quote from Mr. Einstein:

The important thing is not to stop questioning. -Albert Einstein

I like that, in fact I teach that… I have from the start, I have always valued questions. To me if you are not questioning that you are dead, dead to the topic at hand, dead to the presenter, dead to the faith, dead to what ever it is you are not questioning.

To an insecure presenter or teacher the questions may come across as attacks, good question by e-magic.as if the questioner is challenging there domain. And they very well may be doing just that, and that’s ok. Hell if it was good enough for old Albert, than it’s good enough for me!

My overriding passion is my faith and teaching my faith to youth. In fact this will be the first time since 1990 that I will not be actively involved in a teaching ministry, but back to my point… My passion is my faith and the passing on of my faith (teaching). Part of this passion is also learning more about my faith on my own and taking formal classes. It is the process of questioning my teachers and my students that grow and learn more. It is the process of questioning that allows my mind to explore other areas it normally would not travel. It allows me the freedom to play the “devils” advocate in the name of knowing.

Questions are what makes America a land of the free, if were are not allowed to question of government, than we are no better than and no different than present day Cuba. Our ability to place our public officials under the microscope of public questioning is our key to freedom. My ability to question my faith is what makes my faith mine is my ability to question her teachings and to question my understanding.

Albert got it right, The important thing is not to stop questioning.

Think about a toddler and there constant why? why? why?, it is their ability to ask why that allows them to grow, why should that be any different for a pre-teen or teen, a parent of grandparent. Our ability to grow never ceases, just our own limitations placed on ourselves do. We have that same power as the curious 3 year old, the power of WHY… That power to change the course of events is not limited to the mind of a 3 year old, it is innate in all of us, it is our nature to question. God created us to question and he celebrates us when we do so.

A single question has changed the course of history, a single question can place common scene on it’s ear and turn right to wrong and evil to good. The power of a question should never be over looked nor should it be played down or belittled.

The question was asked of Jesus, “Are you the Messiah, the King of the Jews?” and all of history was changed for ever. The question was asked, “What is the price of liberty” and a new nation was born.

The ability to question is our basic right as part of humanity, to stop questioning is to stop participating in humanity. Teacher and politicians and parents that stifle the questions of those they are charged with not only stifle that individual but also all of humanity.

Just imagine if:

  • Edison never question electricity
  • Ford never question the assembly line
  • Jefferson never questioned Liberty

It is the questions that have created the humanity we know today. With each stifled question our next Ford, Edison, Einstein or Jefferson might never be able to ask that all important, life changing question.

If we do not allow questions, than who will question poverty, hunger, global war’s and the outer limits of space or the inner limits of the mind? Sniffle one is the same as stifling all.

 

 

Just something to question….

Paul

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Working off of yesterdays blog about how we treat boys in this nation, I thought I would dive in to the problem a little more.

If we look at the boys being raised, how we as a society send such a mixed message to them, how parents want to raise soft and tender boy, boys with a heart. We want to raise boys as if they are not boys, we want to remove the boyness from boys.

The whole “pop” psychology thing of being in touch with your feelings and the how does that make you feel questioning of boys has, effectively, removed boyhood from boys. We have created a whole generation of boys that truly do not know how to be boys. Look around you, look at what our so called boys are doing.

One of the true signs that we have ventured to far off course is the simple fact The Pocket Dangerous Book for Boys: Things to Do By Conn Iggulden, Hal Igguldenthat we even have to talk about how boys should act. Look in the book stores, there are tons of books for parents on how to raise your boys and there is even a book for boys on how to be a boy…. Come on! Now I am not the most athletic person, truth be told, I really only like Baseball, and that passion only runs so deep in me. I sucked at playing sports as a boy, but, and I repeat, but no one had to tell me how to act as a boy, I was able to figure that all out on my own, thank you very much! Now some will say that i did not do a very good job at it, that my adventure as a boy lacked in some areas, and that would most likely be true. But I stand by the fact that I did not need a book nor did my parents need a book to tell me how to act as a boy, it was instinctive to me, my parents did not try to raise me any other way, they did not try to make me sensitive (I was by nature) nor did they try to make me sporty, they let me grow up who I was and treaded me as a boy.

What’s that mean, treaded me as a boy…

I was encouraged to play out side, to get messy to climb trees to make forts to play cops and robbers to use my imagination to create exciting new worlds for me to explore, to get holes in my jeans and to do all the other things that boys do. Being a boy  is an adventure in misadventures, it’s being allowed to fall and being told to get back up again and do it all over, and if you fall again, well that’s life. It being allowed to make mistakes and to say the wrong thing at the wrong time, to learn from experience that you just don’t say that to little girls.

Creating new worlds with only a stick from the big oak tree in your back yard and your imagination, that is boyhood at it’s best, play dates and structured time (or at least to much of it) is in opposition to boyhood, it removes the opportunity for spontaneity of a boy, creating a programmable boy and not a living boy.

What have we done to our boys? How did we get to this point? All in the name of woman’s liberation, in our efforts to create equality we have dummied  downed our boys, stripped them of boyness to create a non-gender rather than celebrating the two unique genders we have.

We need to get back to the basics, boys are boys and girls are girls, that’s all there is to it. We are different, one is not better than the other, just different from each other. Now here is were I will get in trouble, but such is life. There are something’s that boys do better than girls and girls do better than boys. There are some actions that are all boy and some that are all girl. That’s just the way it is, sorry but we are not the same, we are equal in the fact that we are humans, that we are created by God, but our equality does not translate in to sameness, we are not the same, we are two different creations with two very different and distinct callings and skill sets. It’s just nature, a fact of life, try as we may (and have over that last 40 years) we cannot make boys in to girls, nor girls in to boy. We are separate genders and we can not make a new non-gender to fit our own selfish needs.

It’s time we accept the fact that boys are boys and girls are girls…

Paul

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Can we help it? Often times we will say, or we will hear someone say “I can’t help it” or something along those lines. The excuse is an easy one, we take the responsibility off of ourselves and place it someone or something else.

We are becoming, and some would say we already are, a society of blamers a people who have no personal responsibility to anything or anyone, including themselves. Don’t believe me, just watch the news, read the paper or listen to people talk about their problems. Seldom will you hear someone say, “Man it’s all my doing, it’s all my fault”, but you will hear them say “If only so and so would have…” or “If I didn’t have bad luck, i would have no luck”

I know I have done that very thing, tried to find others to blame for my screw up, I look for an excuse for my failure, I seek out reasons why I didn’t do what I was suppose to do, any old reason will do from the dog ate my paper to I was feeling al little under the weather.

The reasons my be true, but most often than not we create the reasons to justify our actions or inactions. We allow our minds to create situations to facilitate our need to blame others. It is truly a remarkable ability of the human race, no other creation can do this, if a dog fails to go the the bathroom outside he can not state that he could not help it, he cannot blame the other dog in the  house.

So can we help it? Do we have the ability to take the blame head on? I think we do, but I also think that modern society has programmed us not to. The pop culture is one of blame, we are told from a very early age that it is everyone else’s responsibility or fault, not ours. We have to work counter to what the culture tells us, we have to start teaching our children to take responsibility and we have to no longer accept the “I can’t help it” mentality.

It wont be easy, but the results will be a household full of peace and understanding, one that takes responsibility for there own actions and allows for mistakes to be made and lessons to be learned. Personal responsibility is a virtue we seem to have lost over time, like many virtues this one seems to be viewed as old fashion, out of date and just plan bad for the persons self image.

But what can be better for ones self image than personal responsibility? Pop culture has begun a sterilization of humanity, and if we do not stop it soon we will not be able to. We must teach our children and re-teach ourselves to take personal responsibility, once we have that back, other areas will fall in to line. We will not have as many teen drug issues, or pregnancies. Abortion rates will drop and kids will stay in school longer. We would have less violence and more acceptance. Personal responsibility is the key that will turn the lock on society, it will unlock the potential of society and allow the greatness that we are capable of to flow and flourish.

Can we help it? Yes we can, and we need to start at home, with ourselves and our families. there is no over night remedy, it will take time, but change starts at home, and from there it will grow to your community, and beyond.

 

Paul

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