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Resume school prayer
It just struck me that during the three Fridays/Thursdays nationally publicized tragedies occurred.
A few Fridays (or Thursdays) ago an NFL football player killed his girlfriend, then he went to his coach and told him how grateful he was to be playing football. Then the player put the gun to his head and committed suicide.
Two days later the same team played football as if nothing had happened! After all they could not cancel a game and disrupt the rest of the season. They won their game and said how sorry they were.
The next Friday another NFL player from Texas was driving under the influence and crashed the car killing his friend, another NFL player. This time two members were lost — one dead and another probably in jail for years. Two days later, the same team played its game as if nothing happened. They won their game and said how devastated they were to have lost their players.
Another Friday, and 28 children and adults were killed. Everyone said how sorry they were for the loss. President Obama was weeping on TV. Did anybody ask for the NFL games to be postponed? They were played as if nothing had happened. What would it take to cancel a professional sports game? They will pause for a moment of silence before playing?
I suppose this is not practical to do. What should or should not be cancelled becomes the question. Maybe the president could command that prayers be resumed in the public schools to combat some of the evils and to protect the children.
Teaching over "mush"
The Dec. 17 Voice contained two articles on Evangelization and the Year of Faith. One article reported that NCR journalist John Allen "pronounced a global perspective in his keynote address at the Faith Formation Conference," sponsored by the Oakland diocese and four other dioceses. The other reported on Pope Benedict's comments at the opening Mass at a congress marking the 15th anniversary of the Synod of Bishops for America.
Allen addressed contemporary tensions in the Church between pro-life and social justice factions as "tribe-like" and said we need to "build friendships across tribal lines" and "think outside the box (with a) lively sense of humor." These are goals for the New Evangelization? Thinking outside the box?
The Holy Father, on the other hand, said we need well-catechized Catholics who are "faithful to the teachings of the Church." He called for "effective Christian witness" based on truth and love. Doesn't catechization make more sense for an evangelization goal?
Along the same lines of proper goal-setting, Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia recently told the Catholic News Service that the Year of Faith is an opportunity to counter the cultural relativism that plagues modern society and has led many in the Church to deny Catholic teaching "as a result of poor catechesis."
My observation is that something is wrong in dioceses that permit mush like Allen peddles to be presented as evangelization to a group of 2,200 people, instead of catechization as the Pope and Archbishop Chaput suggest.
The availability of assault weapons and large capacity magazines of ammunition is only one prong of this problem. That part is largely out of the control of the ordinary citizen to effect. Violence, however, especially the type created by our popular media, could be greatly reduced if the public would not frequent movies that glorify it or buy video games that mostly consist of violence and abuse.
I think it's time for our bishops, along with all other like-minded religious leaders, to take the lead and organize a national boycott of businesses that are linked to this cancer in any way. If there is no money to be made by producing this material, it would be greatly reduced. This will not be easy and would require a sustained effort, but, in my opinion is a moral issue worthy of the Church's attention.
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