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Issues

This category is for posts that raise or discuss issues related to spiritual development or its study.

Do you feel "put off"?

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One of the more amusing characters from the Popeye comic strip (created by E. C. Segar in 1934, called then the "Thimble Theater") is a hamburger ravenous fellow named J. Wellington Wimpy (although usually just "Wimpy") who is a sort of charactature of an intellectual con-artist. His famous tag line is "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today." Surprisingly, he seems to be impossible to find on Tuesdays.

16th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

Jeremiah was a prophet of the Kingdom of Judah, prior to, during and after the conquest by the Babylonians. He was, so to speak, a "gadfly on the wall" as great tragic events swirled around him, events that were inevitable as the people, especially their leaders, abandoned faith in the Living God. Instead, they sought refuge in all the wrong places. Their leaders even fled to Egypt to escape the Chaldeans (whose capital was Babylon)… Yet, their alliance with Egypt proved fruitless.

What is Fascism, really, and why is it regarded as "right wing"?

I find it puzzling that serious intellectuals can find it so difficult to recognize that fascism has nothing to do with either conservatism or liberalism. Indeed, calling it extreme right-wing shows a fundamental ignorance of the fact that political ideology is inherently a multi-dimensional phenomenon. A more accurate assessment would be that fascism is not even on the same multi-dimensional axis as liberalism vs. conservatism.

"Love your neighbor as yourself."

God taught us to love our neighbor as ourselves. Do we really understand what this entails?

Let's start with today's first reading, from Leviticus, chapter 19 (verses 1-2, 11-18). Here we find the injunction…

The LORD said to Moses,
"Speak to the whole assembly of the children of Israel and tell them:
Be holy, for I, the LORD, your God, am holy.

A day for remembrance and reflection

Today seems to be a day for remembrance and reflection. Thomas More published his novel (known by the shortened name) "Utopia" in 1516, perhaps 500 or 501 years ago.

The delegates to the constitutional convention in Philadelphia signed the U.S. Constitution (preparing it for ratification by the individual states) on September 17, 1787, or exactly 230 years ago.

William Golding published "Lord of the Flies" (a kind of dystopian novel) on September 17, 1954, or exactly 63 years ago.

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