Is the pope Muslim?

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Pope Francis, in an effort to anger those that seemingly could not be any more disappointed in him, set foot in a mosque and exclaimed, “Christians and Muslims are brothers and sisters”.

He asked that the warring factions in the Central African Republic (CAR) to lay down their arms and  they should instead arm themselves “with justice, love, mercy and authentic peace”.

Conservative Catholic’s the world over shouted in solidarity; “Whatever, hippie”.

If we’re being honest, the whole claim that the pope is a Communist has really grown stale as of late, so the claim that he is a Muslim, breathes a breath of fresh winter air into the lungs of the paranoid.

Francis, of course, was not the first pope to enter a mosque. That distinction belongs to JP2. He did so in Damascus of all places. While there, he offered these words,

“It is my ardent hope that Muslim and Christian religious leaders and teachers will present our two great religious communities as communities in respectful dialogue, never more as communities in conflict. It is crucial for the young to be taught the ways of respect and understanding, so that they will not be led to misuse religion itself to promote or justify hatred and violence.”

No one insisted that JP2 was a Communist. Actually, you can find a somewhat endless list of articles of his participation in defeating Communism during the Cold War. There are as many articles suggesting that Pope Francis is a Communist.

This is, of course, a result of fostering an environment of fear, but at least we can start hearing how Francis is a Muslim Communist rather than just a secularist and a Communist.

Peace be with you.

Follow me on Twitter @ryandavidprice

 

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Is the pope Muslim?

Was Pope Francis seen buying a new LCD TV on Black Friday?

kenya

No, he’s in Kenya, offering stern words to the power elite.

He visited the shantytown of Kangemi to offer hope in spite of the despair and amongst abject poverty and living conditions.

He said, “Our world has a grave social debt toward the poor who lack access to drinking water because they are denied a life consistent with their inalienable dignity”. He continued by saying the “dreadful injustice of social exclusion leaves the poor with an unfair distribution of land, and lack of access to infrastructures and basic services”. He likened these injustices to ‘a new for of colonialism.

Unfortunately, as I continue with this day, I am left with little doubt that I will find articles that key in on only four words from the visit to Kangemi, “unfair distribution of land”. It will offer those without empathy to continue their assault against common sense by perching themselves atop their soapbox and bellowing to those below that the pope is a Communist.

However, as we find this story, so to will we find its antipole.

Hope springs eternal.

Despite the absence of basic necessities, such as running water and dignified living conditions,  the people of Kangemi are grateful for the pope’s visit and what they have. ‘I’m so happy, we are so blessed,” said Magdalene Mwikali, 36, of Kangemi. “He’s left all those rich neighborhoods to come here,” she said. ” He’s shown us we are important, that we matter, that God loves us too”.

All too often we look to the erudite professor or the subject matter expert to define and understand a particular situation when we can simply look to those encapsulated in the situation who they themselves are the erudite professor and subject matter expert. In the face of some of the worst conditions on earth, the people living within it are grateful for their blessings – a lesson we often overlook.

-Hope springs eternal-

Peace be with you.

Follow me on Twitter @ryandavidprice

Was Pope Francis seen buying a new LCD TV on Black Friday?

Texas sits atop the polls as most intolerant state

pan

Only in Texas would the irony of a protester waving an American flag, the shining beacon of freedom and tolerance be missed as it rippled through the air, being held by a protester of freedom and intolerance.

But before I get ahead of myself, let’s try to comprehend this event that had a man proudly displaying a Ted Cruz sign.

Nearly a dozen people showed up to protest, with eloquence, as they earnestly affirmed, “To stop the Islamization of America”.  Not only did they show up with their words and signs of intolerance, the came with their guns – not for intimidation, though – for protection. “They’re mostly for self-defense or protection,”  the organizer, David Wright said, eyeing his 12-gauge. “But I’m not going to lie. We do want to show force. … It would be ridiculous to protest Islam without defending ourselves.”

Sure, because that’s what’s ridiculous.

What is ridiculous is that the people of this country are now scared of everything. It wasn’t always this way, though. The greatest generation fought a war on the merit of removing a ‘leader’ who shares the same xenophobia as these protesters. I assure you, it was not always this way. African American soldier’s walked in lockstep with their white counterparts in the Vietnam War. They did so despite being treated as second class citizens at home.

It was not always this way, but it is that way now.

A friend of mine was recently shot and killed in front of his young children. It is a story that brings me great sadness to even think about.  The perpetrator of this crime was found this past week. My wife, the generous soul that she is, when she learned of my friend’s fiancé looking to escape the clutches of the press, welcomed her to our home for dinner. She spent the night to not be alone. This night as well as the following night, family members questioned the decision to allow her into our home, as it may be compromising the safety of my children. This is the paranoia that is rampant in America today.

The House of Representatives passed a bill with relative ease that  will not allow Syrian and Iraqi refugees into the U.S. 47 Democrats joined 242 Republicans to vote in the affirmative, making it clear that they are voting on the makeup of their district rather than the makeup of their person. “During his trip abroad this week, President Obama has offered a forceful defense of the program and derided Republican opponents as being scared of “widows and orphans.”

The question, which the article considers is; ‘What if the people at mosque showed up at a church on Sunday to protest, and what if they were armed?’ Would these same people protesting the mosque respect their right to assemble? Not if it were in Texas – you can’t bet your bottom dollar on that.

Peace be with you.

Follow me on Twitter@ryandavidprice

 

 

 

Texas sits atop the polls as most intolerant state

eh, will the next pope be a Canadiens fan?

hockey

The problem with this line of work is that longevity is not on your side and the retirement plan, sans the current Pope Emeritus, is lousy. Despite being elected pope two and a half years ago, talks of who might be his successor have already begun, and one just so happens to be a Canadiens fan, which is a mixed bag of interest from this New York Rangers fan.

I often wrestle with the difficult question of whether it is better that your friend is a Canadiens fan or if it would be better if they just didn’t like hockey at all. This applies to the Pittsburgh Penguins, also.

Cardinal Marc Ouellet, who, alongside Card. Christoph Schonborn of Vienna and Card. Luis Antonio Tagle of Manilla are early frontrunners to lead the Catholic Church after Pope Francis either becomes the second Pope Emeritus or retires from the pontificate the old fashioned way.

One is more like Francis (Tagle), one is a moderate (Schonborn), and the other is a Canadiens fan.

On the one hand, I would revel in an encyclical devoted entirely to the exploits of the frozen pond and or his position on the NHL’s new 3-on-3 overtime format and a request for Catholic’s to raise more hockey players than dogs, but  on the other hand, I am not wild about the idea of the next pope being akin to Pope Benedict, as Ouellet is. I worry that he would return the Catholic Church to a church that is less welcoming than it is today. I fear that those that are beginning to trust the church again will lose this trust and their faith altogether. I concede, however, that there are many that would want Ouellet in for these exact reasons, sans the hockey.

So, if my opinion were to be sought, I would lean towards Luis Antonio Tagle, despite having never played hockey or expressed any interest in it answering in the affirmative, that yes, it is better to not like hockey at all than to be a Canadiens fan.

Peace be with you.

Follow me on Twitter: @ryandavidprice

http://www.cruxnow.com/church/2015/11/17/whos-going-to-replace-francis-maybe-one-of-these-guys/

http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/holy-hockey-rink-marc-ouellet-chose-to-pursue-priesthood-after-on-ice-leg-break-1.1187891

 

 

eh, will the next pope be a Canadiens fan?

Despite insistence, Texas does not have Christian values

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Texas, who insists to be a state of great faith, again dispels this assertion through action. They have long spat in the face of Christian values and common sense as it pertains to the death penalty, and they have now joined a collection of states that seek to refuse admission of Syrian refugees. This is in direct conflict with the teaching of Christ.

Pope John Paul II, who is steadily being remembered in the United States as comparable to Ronald Reagan, said the following of refugees;

  • In order to build the civilization of love, dialogue between cultures must work to overcome all ethnocentric selfishness and make it possible to combine regard for one’s own identity with understanding of others and respect for diversity.
  • Dialogue leads to a recognition of diversity and opens the mind to the mutual acceptance and genuine collaboration demanded by the human family’s basic vocation to unity.
  • This atmosphere of welcoming is increasingly necessary in confronting today’s diverse forms of distancing ourselves from others. This is profoundly evidenced in the problem of millions of refugees and exiles, in the phenomenon of racial intolerance as well as intolerance toward the person whose only “fault” is a search for work and better living conditions outside his own country, and in the fear of all who are different and thus seen as a threat” (John Paul II, World Day for Peace Message, January 1, 2001).

The bible is ripe with examples of refugees and the expected Christian response.

In Genesis, Adam and Eve are forced from the garden. Noah takes refuge on the ark. Abram flees to Egypt. Lot flees Sodom. Jacob, Joseph, and Abraham also flee their condition.

If that is not enough, there’s an entire book devoted to human flight. Exodus 22:20: “You will not molest or oppress aliens, for you yourselves were once aliens in Egypt”. This is a verse that is overlooked in the dialogue of today. It has been replaced with self absorbing xenophobia by a people who have lost what it means to follow Christ.

I have seen a few articles and countless posts from people who either have lost their way or never were on their way. It reads something like this, ‘We need to take care of our own first! or, ‘we can’t risk letting these people in if there is even one person with ill intent’, or, ‘how about veterans, or the homeless and hungry?

This is short-sighted at best, and just dumb at worst. We do take care of our own. We do take care of our vets .We do take care of the homeless and the hungry. We have an entire government organization to assist our veterans. Every church in the United States has a program to feed and clothe the homeless and hungry. Do they get all the need? No. Do they deserve more support? Yes. Does this mean that we refuse to help refugees facing certain death? No. It absolutely does not. As a Christian, it requires that you do support the acceptance of refugees.

Before you sign some moronic petition to keep refugees out of your state, understand that the United States is not impervious to an attack that would make you a refugee. If that does happen, let us pray that receiving nations are not as self-absorbed and xenophobic as we can be.

What would have happened if we denied countless Polish and German Jews after WWII? The prevailing sentiment in Texas, and other states, would have left these people in the camps.  It actually shouldn’t be long before a proposal comes forward saying that we will accept the refugees but only by placing them in internment camps. Even though it has been acknowledged as the greatest black eye for America in WWII, don’t think the idea isn’t being kicked around.

Romans C. 12 V. 14-21:

14* Bless those who persecute [you],k bless and do not curse them.l 15Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.m16Have the same regard for one another; do not be haughty but associate with the lowly; do not be wise in your own estimation.n17Do not repay anyone evil for evil; be concerned for what is noble in the sight of all.o18If possible, on your part, live at peace with all.p19Beloved, do not look for revenge but leave room for the wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”q20Rather, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head.”r21Do not be conquered by evil but conquer evil with good.

Peace be with you.

Follow me on Twitter @ryandavidprice

http://abcnews.go.com/US/states-refuse-accept-syrian-refugees-wake/story?id=35231800

 

 

 

 

 

Despite insistence, Texas does not have Christian values

Religion is not the #1 cause of war. It’s not even close.

dove

I’ve spent the weekend digesting the tragic events in Paris on Friday and how to reconcile such hatred. Thankfully for me, Republicans and Democrats saw fit to make certain they had conflicting talking points and dispersed them to their respective blowhard’s to spin the story. Republicans say, “It was a refugee”. Democrats say, “This is what the refugee’s were fleeing”. This is now the lede of Friday’s atrocious attack against humanity. This is unfortunate.

Pope Francis condemned the events in Paris yesterday at St. Peter’s Square and said that “The road of violence and hatred does not resolve humanity’s problems. And using the name of God to justify this road is blasphemy”. These words have not slowed the most overused and patently false expression about religion across social media, which is;

Religion is the #1 agitator, or root cause of war.

Unfortunately, circle does not get the square, here.

According to the Encyclopedia of Wars (Phillips and Axelrod), there have been 1,763 major conflicts in recorded history. Of these 1,763, only 123 of them are classified as having been fought over religion. Do the math; that’s less than 7 percent”.

If you just look at the major wars of the 20th century, you won’t find a single one fought over or in the name of religion. WWI, nope – fanatical nationalism. WWII, nope – antireligious fascism. Vietnam / Korea, nope – atheistic communism. Iraq I , nope – oil. The perpetrators of the greatest atrocities against humanity were not religious. Stalin was not religious, neither was Mao, Pol Pot, Hitler, or Hussein.

If not religion, then what is the root cause? Well, I’m glad you asked.

It is the same thing that has overshadowed the sorrow and the natural grieving process in Paris – politics. St. Augustine gave us the ‘Just War Theory’, and all wars are presented as such to garner domestic support. Unfortunately, almost without exception, wars are begun over false pretenses; the Gulf of Tonkin, WMD’s, the U.S.S. Maine, to name a few. While all that fight the wars do so honorably, very few conflicts have honorable intentions. They are often about land acquisition, natural resources, and man’s Achilles heel; ego. Narcissism is flooding every parliamentary house in the world and personal ambition trumps what is just and what is honorable.

I have also read a few articles about people who refuse to change their Facebook photo blue, white, and red. Their argument is that there are atrocities going on the world over and championing one cheapens the other(s). It doesn’t. These are the same people that put out the Truth.org ads. They are self-righteous and they are moronic. If you think smoker’s continue to smoke because they are simply not aware, well, I guess you can work for truth.org.  Sure, there are atrocities happening simultaneously across the world – Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Palestine, among others, but it does not cheapen the sentiment by offering words of support or prayer to only one. It is not a competition. Never question one’s prayers. If you want to change your picture to bear the French flag, that’s great; if you don’t, that’s great too, but don’t carry on like you’re making some great stand because you come off looking like the guy who adamantly and loudly insists that his 1999 flip phone is far more practical than your smart phone.

Follow me on Twitter @ryandavidprice

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/pope-francis-calls-paris-attacks-blasphemy/

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2015/11/why-im-not-turning-my-facebook-photo-blue-white-red/

Religion is not the #1 cause of war. It’s not even close.

Mexico looks to Donald Trump to help fund papal visit

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Well, that may be a small overstatement. They are, however, looking towards fundraising to offset the costs of an anticipated 2016 visit and wouldn’t it be a nice gesture if Mr. Trump tossed some money into the coffer?

His campaign would have to be entirely in the tank for this to happen as it would put the xenophobic vote back in play that he has fought so hard to secure for his camp.

It is more likely that Trump will assemble a committee to keep eyes on Francis while in Mexico on the chance that his sole intention while in Mexico is to usher more people across the border.

“Guadalajara’s archbishop said Francis’ visit to Mexico in February, “will bring hope to our suffering country”. For a country that is insulted by its bully neighbor to the north without refrain, a papal visit will certainly lift their spirit. It also helps that no one venerates Mary like these good folks, so if anyone deserves a win, it’s Mexico.

This will also present an unknown Arizona Congressperson an opportunity to say something so dumb, they will be thrust into the national debate where they will be embarrassed nationally while at the same time ensuring their reelection at home.

Just so you can’t say you didn’t hear it here first, there will no doubt be “jokes” that suggest we give out 11M one way trips to see the pope in Mexico. This will likely come from Rick Perry.

Follow me on Twitter: @ryandavidprice

http://www.elpasotimes.com/story/news/2015/11/12/mexican-church-prepares-pope-francis-visit/75673818/

Mexico looks to Donald Trump to help fund papal visit