1. I absolutely believe the teachings of the Catholic Church about homosexuality, and about the sinfulness of homosexual behavior. I also believe the Church when it says it is a mortal sin to miss Mass without good reason, to commit adultery, to commit fornication, to use artificial birth control, to abort babies or to murder those already born. The question to me is which of those sins should we as a free society made of people of varying beliefs, outlaw. The law at my house is that those who live here will attend Mass, but I surely don't believe it is any of the government's business whether or not I go to church. If my husband committed adultery, do I want him to pay a criminal penalty? Even if it was politically possible to outlaw birth control, should we? Since I see abortion as murder, and since it is easy to see how murder hurts people, I don't have a problem outlawing it, or outlawing any other form of murder. Where does gay "marriage" fit into this?
2. Of course, part of the problem is defining "marriage". While "marriage" has a very limited meaning and is clearly understood in terms of the Catholic Church, its meaning is far less exact in the civil sense, even without bringing in same-sex relationship. If marriage is nothing but two adults binding themselves together as members of the same family for as long as they both shall love, why not include same-sex relationships? I can get out of my civil marital obligations with less trouble than it is to break many contracts, and I can interfere with your martial contract (a/k/a have an affair with your husband) without worrying about being sued for damages. What if I interfere with other contracts you have with other people?
3. Another big story this week was the Supreme Court upholding ACA subsidies for those who bought their policies on the federal exchange rather than a state exchange. ACA opponents were hoping the Court would rule the other way and thus effectively gut the ACA. I'm no fan of the ACA or of increased government involvement in my life or pocketbook. However, one discussion we need to have a country is how much we are willing to spend on health care, both as a society and as individuals, and, if we are spending too much, how we limit spending. Everyone talks about eliminating paperwork and waste, and I'm certain there is plenty of each, but no one considers the health care they want or need to be waste. In the US, those of us with money and/or good health insurance wait less, get more tests and have more freedom to get expensive new treatments than people in other developed countries. While there are some studies that show that we benefit from this by higher survival rates for cancer and some other diseases, the reality is that at some point, we will reach, if we have not reached it already, where we as a society cannot afford to provide everyone (or even most people) with all possible care. How should we ration? Now we do it by income; is that acceptable?
4. In light of that church shooting, there is a big move do take the Confederate flag off state flags and some retail outlets have stopped carrying it. The mayor of New Orleans wants to remove statues of Confederate heroes from public property and put them in museums. Someone spray painted "Black Lives Matter" on a statue of a Civil War general. Unfortunately, something else that happened this week is that a police officer, the father of young children, was buried--and he was Black. Somehow I don't think he was the black life the spray painter was talking about. Further, that general had nothing to do with that sociopathic man killing those people in that church. Getting rid of Confederate Flags, Confederate statues or other symbols of the Old South is not going to stop young African-Americans from killing each other and those who get in their way. It is not going to keep young African-American girls from getting pregnant outside of marriage. It is not going to improve the schools teaching African-American children.
5. The governments of the coastal states just got a pile of money from BP to settle the oil spill claims. I hope it is put to good use.
6. So far, I'm underwhelmed by those who have thrown their hat in the ring to run for President.
7. I'm so thankful that our country is still free enough that I can write a post like this, and that you can write one disagreeing with everything I just said.
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