Not Cease from Exploration

Friday, March 13, 2009

Road Apples, #20

The Week In Review - It's been a rather busy week, but busy in a non-insane kind-of-way. That's a good thing. I've had a lot to do, but nothing that would fall into the category of "I'm falling under the water". Today is a light day schedule wise, so I'll be able to make some progress of those few really big things I'm working on.

Pontiac G6 - For the second time in a row, my rental car has been a Pontiac G6. My single biggest peeve about it? Well first understand that I have arms the size of an orangutan's (by the way, that's a difficult word to spell...). With the previous statement in mind, why on Earth would General Motors design a car that has doors that open so wide that you practically need to step out of the car to close them? It's one of those small things you notice, but it's quite frankly retarded that they open so wide. If I don't know what people that don't have ape-length arms would do to close the doors, outside of almost climb all the way out just to get back in. Oh, and in case you might be wondering, the cars I've rented were both 4 door models. File this under the "oh, that's why these guys are losing in the market place" category. Note to GM: It's the little things that matter folks, it's the little things.

Scranton Bishop Martino - is telling US Senator Bob Casey that he needs to vote against President' Obama's pick for secretary of the department of Health and Human Services, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. As I've said before, I respect (not that he needs it...) Bishop Martino's right and obligation to speak out on matters of faith and morality, but I strongly disagree with the notion that somehow Bob Casey (or any other public servant) is a Catholic (or Baptist, or Buddhist, or Jew, or Mormon) first, then a legislator second. Yes, religion does in fact shape our characters and certainly our sense of morality, but Bob Casey doesn't solely represent Catholics in Pennsylvania. What's more, I firmly believe that any candidate for elected or appointed office needs to be viewed from the perspective of many issues, not just one...no matter how important that one issue is. Viewing Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as unacceptable simply because of her stance on abortion seems short-sighted to me for two reasons:

1. What we hear about that stance comes from folks like Bishop Martino, not from the Governor.
2. Not everyone subscribes to the teachings of the Catholic Church when it comes to abortion.

For the record,
Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is herself Catholic.

Bottom Line - Everyone out there should be wary anytime a religious leader decides that he/she can tell a politician how to vote. In this country Bishop Martino should have the same ability to influence the voting of Senator Casey that Steve Albert does...namely through the exercise of his one vote...the same one vote that I have.

Abortion - Every time I reference abortion I feel somehow compelled to explain my "position" (quotes to denote the fact that position is nothing more than an opinion...but "position" sounds cooler) on the subject. I personally believe that abortion is wrong and that it shouldn't be performed unless there are compelling, almost life-threatening reasons. That said, I also believe that reasonable people can have a different opinion on the subject. In the end, it's up to each and individual and their conscience to determine what this means for them, as I don't believe that any larger body...be it a church or a politician...should have the right to make such a deeply personal decision for any of us. I realize that this puts me in a position that is contrary to that of the church I in theory belong to, but so be it. For sake of consistency, I also feel the same way about the death penalty...I believe that it is wrong, but I acknowledge that others can have a different opinion. For the record, the Catholic Church does in fact teach that all life is sacred, from conception through a natural death.

Contraception - Related to abortion...and since I'm out on a limb anyway...the Catholic Church also teaches that artificial means of preventing pregnancy are inherently evil because they either destroy a potential life (this is what an IUD does) or the prevent a life from happening (this is what a condom does). The Church also teaches that contraception has the impact of lessening the importance of sexuality by "cheapening" it. Yes, I certainly understand why the Catholic Church teaches what it teaches, but I also disagree with the notion that all means of artificial contraception are evil, because I don't believe that the sole purpose of sexuality is procreation. A really interesting side-note here is that about 96% of married Catholics use artificial birth control, putting them directly at odds with Church teaching. Think about it: if Bishop Martino were to truly enforce the Catholic Church's teaching of all life issues, then 96% of married Catholics would not be receiving Holy Communion. It does make you think.

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