Category Archives: Pope Benedict XVI

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child well-fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth.” — Joan Chittister

WHY DON’T YOU MARRY HIM?

This is the best endorsement of Barack Obama yet.

Pee-wee Herman has come out four-square for the incumbent.

If you can’t trust Pee-wee, who can you trust?

THOSE WHITE CROSSES ON 3rd STREET

I’m told the pastor of St. Charles Catholic Church on 3rd Street is big — really big — on the abortion thing.

As you know if you’ve followed these screeds for the last year or so (yep, it’s been that long), I’m pro-abortion.

There. No mincing of words for me. None of this “pro-choice” mealy-mouthing. If you’re a woman and you don’t think you can handle a kid, do something about it. Give it up for adoption or, if you can’t bear going through with the entire pregnancy, avail yourself of a surgical procedure that is legal, to one extent or another, in all 50 states of this holy land as well as most of the nations on Earth.

The anti-abortionists, by and large, bug me. I find it hard to believe they are so reverent of human life that they feel god’s love even for the multi-cellular human zygote. That said, I’ve got to hand it to the Catholic Church.

The St. Charles Catholic Church Front Lawn

The Vatican instructs its faithful that life is sacred. To prove it, big boss Joseph Ratzenberger, AKA Pope Benedict XVI, and his predecessors have stressed that not only is abortion an evil, but so is war and capital punishment. Fair enough, I won’t quibble with that kind of philosophical consistency.

Problem is, we hear too much about what an abomination abortion is from the Catholic rank and file but when a state executes a man or woman — say in Texas, which is really, really good at it — churchgoers seem fairly mum.

Anyway, St. Charles’ top man, Thomas Kovatch, apparently has really got the flock going on his pet sin. The parish has erected 3,315 little white crosses on the church’s front lawn, one for each of the fetuses aborted every day in America. I checked on the church’s figure and found that it has taken the Guttmacher Institute‘s estimate of 1.2 million abortions performed in the United States in 2008 and simply divided by 365. Again, fair enough.

I’ll be looking for similar displays dramatizing the number of dead resulting from our Mideast Wars and our criminal justice system’s lethal injection program over the next year. The ball’s in your court, Thomas Kovatch.

[Ed.’s Note: When The Loved One and I stopped by the church this morning to take photos, we noticed the signs said 4000 fetuses are aborted a day. I took the above figure from the church’s weekly bulletin.]

STIFLED GENIUSES

Just in case you haven’t seen this (which, I presume, means you’ve been in a coma for the last two or three days):

Chart From Mother Jones

You know, we on the Left tend to portray the wingnuts on the Right as sub-primates but, honestly, this graphic indicates that they’re quite an imaginative group.

And, when all is said and done, the “journalists” over at Fox News also have long demonstrated their collective creative streak.

Dang, these folks ought to be writing mysteries, alternative histories, and graphic novels. They’d put out great stuff.

Just goes to show how perverse your life can become when you stifle your creativity.

THE BEAUTY OF LANGUAGE

You know who’s the hottest new sex symbol?

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s sign language interpreter, Lydia Callis.

Dig:

She turns signing into art.

So shoot me, I’m a guy.

The only events listings you need in Bloomington.


Sunday, November 4th, 2012

CLASS ◗ Dagom Gaden Tensung Ling MonasteryIntroductory Course on Buddhism; 10am

MUSIC ◗ Cafe DjangoBrunch Show: Peter Kienle on guitar; 11pm

FEST ◗ IU Cedar Hall, Union Street Center2nd Annual Traditional Powwow, Native-American arts, crafts, foods, etc.; 11am-6pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Ford-Crawford HallSenior Recital: Kaitlyn Reho on clarinet; 1pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Musical Arts Center, Recital HallStudent Orchestra Recital: Timothy Kantor on violin, Micholas Mariscal on cello, Clare Longendyke on piano, Tal Samuel, conductor; 1pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Auer HallMaster’s Recital: Brendan Shea on violin; 2pm

FILM ◗ IU Cinema — “Chocolat“; 3pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Ford-Crawford HallDoctoral Lector Recital: Hugh Conor Angell, baritone; 3pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Auer HallFaculty/Guest/Student Recital: Mu Phi Epsilon Founders Day Program; 4pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Ford-Crawford HallSenior Recital: Jeremy Sison on trombone; 5pm

MUSIC ◗ The Player’s PubTom Roznowski; 6pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Auer HallDoctoral Recital: Grigor Khachatryan on piano; 6pm

MUSIC ◗ Bear’s Place — Ryder Film Series: Double feature, “Two Angry Moms” & “Keep the Lights On“; 7pm

STAGE ◗ Ivy Tech Waldron Center, Auditorium — Comedy-drama, “Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps“; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ Muddy Boots Cafe, NashvilleDavid Sisson; 7-9pm

MUSIC ◗ IU Ford-Crawford HallStudio/Class Recital: Edmund Cord Studio; 7pm

MUSIC ◗ Rachael’s CafeAdriana and Maya; 7-9pm

MUSIC ◗ The BluebirdMatisyahu; 8pm

ONGOING:

ART ◗ IU Art MuseumExhibits:

  • “Paragons of Filial Piety,” by Utagawa Kuniyoshi; through December 31st
  • “Intimate Models: Photographs of Husbands, Wives, and Lovers,” by Julia Margaret, Cameron, Edward Weston, & Harry Callahan; through December 31st
  • French Printmaking in the Seventeenth Century;” through December 31st
  • Celebration of Cuban Art & Film: Pop-art by Joe Tilson; through December 31st
  • Threads of Love: Baby Carriers from China’s Minority Nationalities“; through December 23rd
  • Workers of the World, Unite!” through December 31st
  • Embracing Nature,” by Barry Gealt; through December 23rd
  • Pioneers & Exiles: German Expressionism,” through December 23rd

ART ◗ Ivy Tech Waldron CenterExhibits through December 1st:

  • “Essentially Human,” By William Fillmore
  • “Two Sides to Every Story,” By Barry Barnes
  • “Horizons in Pencil and Wax,” By Carol Myers

ART ◗ IU SoFA Grunwald GalleryExhibits through November 16th:

  • Buzz Spector: Off the Shelf
  • Small Is Big

ART ◗ IU Kinsey Institute GalleryExhibits through December 20th:

  • A Place Aside: Artists and Their Partners
  • Gender Expressions

ART ◗ IU Mathers Museum of World CulturesExhibits:

  • “¡Cuba Si! Posters from the Revolution: 1960s and 1970s”
  • “From the Big Bang to the World Wide Web: The Origins of Everything”
  • “Thoughts, Things, and Theories… What Is Culture?”
  • “Picturing Archaeology”
  • “Personal Accents: Accessories from Around the World”
  • “Blended Harmonies: Music and Religion in Nepal”
  • “The Day in Its Color: A Hoosier Photographer’s Journey through Mid-century America”
  • “TOYing with Ideas”
  • “Living Heritage: Performing Arts of Southeast Asia”
  • “On a Wing and a Prayer”

BOOKS ◗ IU Lilly LibraryExhibits:

  • The War of 1812 in the Collections of the Lilly Library“; through December 15th
  • A World of Puzzles,” selections from the Slocum Puzzle Collection

ARTIFACTS ◗ Monroe County History CenterExhibits:

  • Doctors & Dentists: A Look into the Monroe County Medical Professions
  • What Is Your Quilting Story?
  • Garden Glamour: Floral Fashion Frenzy
  • Bloomington Then & Now
  • World War II Uniforms
  • Limestone Industry in Monroe County

The Ryder & The Electron Pencil. All Bloomington. All the time.

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“If Jesus had been killed twenty years ago, Catholic school children would be wearing electric chairs around their necks instead of crosses.” — Lenny Bruce

MAN WAS HIS PET, AFTER THE HOUSEFLY*

In this holy land it’s a lot easier to believe in god than it is not to.

America’s biggest holiday is Christmas.

Our coins read “In God We Trust.”

Every candidate for president must declare what a pious soul he or she is.

We say “… one nation under god…” we we pledge allegiance.

Both houses of Congress begin each day’s proceedings with a benediction delivered by a professional believer.

When someone sneezes we say, “God bless you.”

When we’re annoyed we say, “For Christ’s sake!” When we’re really mad we say, “God damn it.”

When we go to war, we ask god to help us blow the brains out of enemy soldiers’ heads.

In America, god is everywhere.

This weekend the putative creator of the universe will be the object of dozens, perhaps hundreds, of special assemblies.

There will be, for instance, a series of “Stand Up for Religious Freedom” rallies in cities around the country. These folks believe their BFF in the sky doesn’t like sex and is miffed because employer health care plans will soon be forced to cover contraceptives.

One Way To Get Under God’s Skin

Unindicted co-conspirator Pope Benedict XVI travels this weekend to Mexico. Monday he hops over to Cuba. He’ll draw huge throngs in both countries.

And Saturday, atheists will crowd the Mall in Washington, DC to proclaim that they have no invisible friends or protectors. Organizers hope the Reason Rally, also dubbed Woodstock for atheists, will attract some 30,000 godless souls.

When I was a kid, a woman named Madalyn Murray O’Hair made a big splash. She was America’s most well-known atheist in the 1960s. It seems her son Bill was compelled to participate in Bible readings while a student in the Baltimore City Public Schools. So she filed suit, which eventually made its way to the US Supreme Court as part of a broader case.

I was a nominal Roman Catholic at the time. My parents (Ma, mostly) still went to church and dragged me along. Ma and Dad wouldn’t drop out for another five or so years. I couldn’t drop out of the faith because I’d never had it.

However, I had some clubbish loyalty to the faithful and so felt that Madeline Murray O’Hair, who soon would found American Atheists, was a villain. She was called “America’s most hated woman.” It didn’t help that O’Hair was pretty much a lunatic.

The Most Hated Woman In America

So even though I had no particular allegiance to any god, I was on the side of those who did. But I was a kid.

By the age of 12, I’d given up childish things — like blind loyalty — and started thinking for myself. The nuns at St. Giles school had told me god was love. They’d said I must love him.

Man, I had a tough time with that one. How do I love god? I mean, he’s this big, powerful guy who doesn’t say much and is always aggravated. In fact, he’s just like my father.

So I imagined kissing god’s cheeks profusely. See, Ma always made me kiss Dad goodnight. He’d sit there in his recliner, purportedly watching TV but actually dozing noisily. I’d have to stretch and strain to plant my tender little lips on his sandpaper face. He wouldn’t budge an inch.

“Wait’ll I Get My Hands on You!”

I figured that’s the way it would be with god. I’d imagine myself up in heaven, standing on a chair on my tiptoes, raining smooches on god’s abrasive cheek. He, too, would remain impassive while I gushed over him.

By 12, that fever dream didn’t cut it anymore. I never did figure out how to love god.

I’m not going to Washington for the Atheists’ Woodstock. I’ve long believed atheism is about not being part of a team.

Christians’ll have an easier time of it at their rallies here in America, as well as in Mexico and Cuba. They can all pat each other on the back and say how great it is to be the apple of god’s eye.

What are the atheists going to do? You can’t really celebrate the non-existence of something, can you?

Actually, I don’t even like the term atheist. There is, of course, the association with Madalyn Murray O’Hair’s weirdness. Then there’s the matter of identifying myself by what I’m not.

It’s like joining a club for people who’ve never murdered anyone. After introducing yourself and proclaiming you’ve never taken a life, there isn’t much else to do.

A better term might be Other — as in the only box I can honestly check on an application that asks me my religion.

I’m a devout Other.

(* Quote from Mark Twain’s “Letters from the Earth.”)

IMAGINE

My second favorite Beatle.

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