Friday, November 6, 2009
Go get 'em kids. er, um, I mean, young people!
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Our church holds an annual joint service (“joint” as in “together” not as in “The judges say that’s okay, they smoke big joints, too"!”) with a local Catholic parish and as we were driving there a few months ago, The Child™ asked me if Catholics think Lutherans—which we are—are going to hell and I told her, “Of course.” Then she asked me what the Lutheran faith teaches and I told her that we espouse the same belief as does every major religion which is that if you don’t belong to that religion, as soon as you die you go straight to Hell. And, I continued, in our case it’s even worse because the Lutheran Church has Synods: Missouri, Wisconsin, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and perhaps others, and you have to be a member of the proper Synod (in our case ELCA) or it’s Lake O’ Fire for you.
Now, I should point out that Laura knows, and has known since she was 3 or so, when I am feeding her a line of bullcrap. She knows that this is not what I personally believe. In fact, I can’t even remember why I brought the story up, although the possibility that I used the whole thing an excuse to get the Cheech and Chong video in not only cannot be ruled out but may in fact have been the sole reason for it.
But I did want to talk about ELCA. A few months ago, by a solid majority, the church voted in national assembly to permit openly gay members of the clergy who are in “committed relationships” to serve as pastors.
This has ignited what Jesus would have called a shitstorm in the church. The largest congregation in southeast Michigan, for example, reacted by leaving ELCA and forming a brand new (non-gay) synod of their own.
Our parish held a meeting on the subject last night and I’m sorry I missed it. At a breakfast with some of our members this morning, they told me all about it. (Name Withheld) told me that (another Name Withheld) summed it up best when he said, “Hate the sin but love the sinner.”
I said, “To which sin was he referring? The sin of passing judgment on others?” He didn’t have much to say after that.
I’ve told Laura, who knows when I’m feeding her a line of bullcrap and has since she was about 3, but who also knows when I am telling her what I believe, that the way people react to homosexuality provides the single best example of the concept of Inverse Proportionality. That is to say, the less something is somebody else’s business, the more they care about it. Since there is nothing that is less somebody else’s business than sex, it is sex—and specifically how others engage in sex—that people care about more than anything else.
I call bullcrap on all of this. Jesus told us to love one another. E.O.S. (End Of Story).
I guess that’s all I have to say today.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
I have mentioned to a few folks that I was going to put up a blogpost about an issue that I feel is important. That it involves a young man I've know for his entire life, the son of one of my best friends makes it much more personal than most of the things that I talk about here.
I've known Brad Jardis' dad about 40 years, and I've known Brad's mom for something like 35 years. I have known Brad Jardis since he was a very young boy. In the time that I have known Brad he has gone from being a curious and very determined child to a smart, hard working, honest and very courageous cop. He's a good son, from a good family, who has always acted as a professional in his LE capacity and who has always been cognizant of the fact that he is first and foremost an officer of the LAW.
Brad has been a police officer since he was eighteen years old. He graduated the NH State Police Academy before he was 19. He has served ably and honorably on three different departments. In the ten years that he has been a uniformed officer Brad has worked his share of petty and major crimes, domestic disturbances and drug busts. He has also volunteered his time as a counsellor for crime victims.
Brad is currently at loggerheads with his employer, the Epping, NH PD because of his integrity, honesty and outspokeness. He is a member of LEAP (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition) an organization that is made up of law enforcement professionals who believe that the current policies of most law enforcement agencies, re: criminalization and prosecution of drug use is misguided and counter productive. His public stance on this issue is amply documented and it is a major reason, if not THE reason, that his employer is attempting to deprive him of his livelihood and his good reputation. Suffice to say that Brad is being "railroaded" by his department and his union. The charges are trumped up and Brad is fighting them. As is usually the case with fighting city hall, they don't bother to post the rules in a concise and clear way, so that gets added into the mix.
Following the links at the bottom will allow you to familiarize yourself with the situation.
Brad is a bright, energetic and earnest young man. He and I have had some fairly "energetic" discussions in the area of politics. We don't always agree, but we always respect one another's viewpoint. His positions are never based on anything but logic and his reading of the U.S. constitution and the laws of the United States. He's the only guy I ever met who actually keeps a copy of the constitution on his Blackberry. More to the point, he understands it as well as--and often better than--many people who are older and have made the study of that document a passion of their lives. I have suggested to Brad that going back to school and working toward a degree in law would be a great way to channel his energy and passion about justice. Whether he ultimately remains as a police officer or moves on to another career, he has my total support as my friend and my "nephew".
I would be quite happy if any of my readers want to take this post and re-post it. It would be a nice if it went viral and brought the sort of attention to his employers that they are most certainly trying to avoid.
Let's review. After 2001, no Laura, no state finals for the FHS Band. Now she's in and the FHS Band qualifies. Just sayin'...