My God Can Beat up Your God

The Iowa Independent reports that a minister who spoke at John McCain’s rally in Davenport, IA today injected a divisive statement into his invocation. Here’s what Pastor Arnold Conrad said:
I would also pray, Lord, that your reputation is involved in all that happens between now and November, because there are millions of people around this world praying to their god — whether it’s Hindu, Buddha, Allah — that his opponent wins, for a variety of reasons. And Lord, I pray that you will guard your own reputation, because they’re going to think that their god is bigger than you, if that happens. So I pray that you will step forward and honor your own name with all that happens between now and election day. Continue reading

Obama and the End Times

I read an editorial in the New York Times today that astounded me. I guess I am a bit naïve when it comes to politics and some fundamentalist traditions. To read the entire provocative editorial please go to
I believe that some people are convinced, without any evidence, that Obama is a Muslim because he had a Muslim father who later became an atheist and left the family. My persons on the street when it comes to politics are some of the people I golf with. I have heard people say, “Obama is a Muslim.” When I tried to tell them that he was a very committed Christian, they dissed me, “Where did you find out that he was a Christian? On the internet?” Continue reading

Greed and the Economic Crisis

And he said, “It is what comes out of a person that defiles. For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” (Mark 7:20-23)
While he was speaking, a Pharisee invited him to dine with him; so he went in and took his place at the table. The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not first wash before dinner. Then the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You fools! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? So give for alms those things that are within; and see, everything will be clean for you. (Luke 11: 37-41)
And he said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” (Luke 12:15)
We have had a roller coaster ride on Wall Street and K Street this week. As I listened to the reports, I kept thinking “Greed.” Then, I read a blog by Jim Wallis. He talked about greed being at the root of this problem. Continue reading

Poverty Sunday

[This is a talk that I gave after the Masses this weekend to introduce our Vote Out Poverty initiative.]
I am here to speak about an initiative we are undertaking as a faith community to reduce the ravages of poverty. Poverty is an issue in this community. At the end of August, Fred Sickle told me that our St. Vincent DePaul Society had already spent $11,000 to help the needy in our community. Poverty is a problem in Georgia, North Carolina, the United States and the world.
I want to begin with a story. In 1860, Patrick and Catherine left County Mayo, Ireland in the aftermath of the terrible tragedy known as the Great Hunger. They made their way to America on a coffin ship, so named because many, many people died en route to America. They settled in Pennsylvania. In 1880, Patrick, my great grandfather, died in a mining accident in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Continue reading

Abortion and the Election

Well intentioned but very misinformed critics and Catholics are lamenting Obama’s choice of Biden. Their opposition centers on the abortion issue.
I use the word “misinformed” advisedly. They will tell you that the American bishops for years have told us that we cannot vote for a candidate who is pro-life. Au contraire. Obviously, these one-issue Catholics have never read “The Challenge of Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship.” Continue reading

Moonbats for Jesus

The so-called war on terror has provoked a lot of discussion on patriotism. Last fall, when Joan and I walked in the anti-war march in Orlando, we encountered a group called “Gathering of Eagles.” These self-styled super patriots make it a point to attend such marches and to harass the marchers. They call us “moonbats”—liberals! [How did the word liberal get such a bad reputation? Etymologically, liberal comes from the root “to set free.” Did not Jesus say that he came to liberate the oppressed? Knew it all along. He must have been a liberal!] Fortunately, there was a mounted patrol from the Orlando police department which separated us from these folks; however, that did not prevent them from yelling and shouting obscenities and other epithets at us. Two that I can print on this blog were “traitor” and “infidel.” Continue reading

A New Version of an Old Prayer

Our scriptures, while the inspired word of the Creator, present revelation through androcentric (male focused viewpoint) and patriarchal lenses. We often forget that creation is the first revelation of the Creator. The role of the feminine found in religions with roots in the created world was obliterated. Hence, religion as we know it, lost the spirituality inherent in the feminine. Celtic Christianity did mange to retain some of the feminine. Continue reading

Joan–The people I met in Israel Palestine

I am going to tell you about the people I met on this pilgrimage. I felt throughout the time spent there, that we were in an extremely difficult and complex situation. I am convinced we cannot take sides in this conflict. We cannot be part of the solution for peace if we call one side our friend and the other our enemy. This fact was brought home to me on many occasions. Continue reading

Love Flashes Forth

Great Mystery
Flashing forth the universe
Fifteen billion years ago—
Flashing, flaming,
Spewing forth from nothingness.
Slowly evolving amid extinctions,
Growing, expanding, bursting forth.
Much later, much much later,
Earth cools, gels and solidifies.
Life forms emerging.
At first oxygen destroys
And then it gives life.
Late in the eleventh hour,
Man stands upright and walks forth
Capable of reflecting the Great Mystery
While reflecting on the Great Mystery.
Eden like oneness with the universe
Grounded in stardust.
The fullness of time arises—
The Only Begotten flashes forth
In a humble stable cave.
The face of the Great Mystery–
Peace, justice, compassion,
Nonviolent response to violence
At first violence destroyed
But then New Life emerged—
Peace be with you!
The Spirit of Truth teaches—
Life overcomes death.
Hope resurrects anew—
Love flashing forth
Grounds us in the Great Mystery
Whence we came.