Quotes from Laudato Si That Prove the Pope is a Hippie

So, Pope Francis wrote an encyclical and in America, the political right wing is all butt-hurt about it. Why doesn’t that commie leave science to the scientists, amiright?

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Um… well, moving right along, let’s check out some quotes from this moonbat’s encyclical! I’m sure we can expose him for the tree hugging commie destroyer of the Church he is!

“The destruction of the human environment is extremely serious, not only because God has entrusted the world to us men and women, but because human life is itself a gift which must be defended from various forms of debasement. Every effort to protect and improve our world entails profound changes in “lifestyles, models of production and consumption, and the established structures of power which today govern societies”

That’s just the sort of bull I’d expect from a Marxist like… Saint John Paul II?  The guy who helped defeat communism?  Crap, that was him.

Um.  Right.  Well, anyway, I’m sure I can find something else in here…

“The deterioration of nature is closely connected to the culture which shapes human coexistence.”

Man, what a bunch of tree-hugging crap!  I bet he wants us to sit around holding hands and singing Kum Ba Ya with… Benedict XVI?   You know, the one the media used to call Emperor Palpatine?  He said this originally?  Dag, yo.

Well, I’m sure there’s something else…

“Due to an ill-considered exploitation of nature, humanity runs the risk of destroying it and becoming in turn a victim of this degradation”

That’s just the sort of thing I’d expect from a no-good pinko like… Pope Paul VI?  Yeah, Pope Paul VI.  You might remember him from such encyclicals as Humanae Vitae.

So either all our popes have been pinkos, or somebody hasn’t been paying attention.

Disclaimer:  This post has been sarcastic filler fueled by wine and posted as a place-holder until this blog’s author can get an actual review up.  Also, I know that Pope Francis only has a technical diploma and not a master’s, but I’d still take his word over Rick Santorum’s on science… or just about anything else.

7 Quick Takes – 7 Reasons God is Good

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Today’s quick takes are all reasons why God is good all the time.

1.  The Universe: making it: He did.  And that’s pretty awesome.

The Flammarion engraving, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The Flammarion engraving, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Now, some of you might respond like this:

mattfoleylahdeefrickindah

But hey, if we didn’t have the universe, we wouldn’t have:

2. Cartoons!

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3. TNG. I am a Trekkie. I regret nothing. double_facepalm_tng1

4. Gardens and everything they produce:

Photo by Flickr user Burgundavia

Photo by Flickr user Burgundavia

Borage - a lovely but unruly plant that attracts pollinators.  Photo by Flickr user Terrie Schweitzer.

Borage – a lovely but unruly plant that attracts pollinators. Photo by Flickr user Terrie Schweitzer.

A picture taken by me that's actually good!

5. Badasses like these guys:

TisButaScratch

Wish I had Mr. T at these Masses.

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6. And I wouldn’t be able to tell you the main reason I’m praising God today:

I GOT THE JOB!!!!! WE’RE MOVING!!!

epic-win

7. Since it’s Friday, and God is awesome, have a song:

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t the Lyceum!

Answer Me This – Father’s Day Edition!

Father's Day

I promise actual content will return soon, including a review of a certain encyclical.  In the meantime, here’s Answer Me This!

1. What’s the best thing about your dad?  I have to pick just one?  In that case, I’ll go with the fact that he’s a loving and kind man, and one of the most generous people I’ve ever known.  He’s left me some very big shoes to fill (literally as well as figuratively – he wears a size 12).

2. If you’ve got kids, what’s the best thing about THEIR dad? (If you don’t, feel free to substitute your grandfather or another father figure.)  Since I don’t have kids, I’ll talk about my grandfathers.  Both of them served in  World War II (one in Europe and one in the Pacific).  Both of them worked hard at whatever jobs they could get to support their families and went without for their children’s sake.  Neither of them went to college, but both encouraged their children to do better than they had done.  My maternal grandfather taught me to love nature and my paternal grandfather taught me how to tell a good joke.

3. What’s the best advice your dad ever gave you?  “You don’t have to be big.  If you’re smart and hardworking, people will look up to you no matter what size you are.”

4. What’s something you have in common with your dad?  We’re both nerds, we both have a creative streak, we both love being Catholic, and we both have short fuses.

5. What’s the manliest thing you know how to do?  It’s a toss-up between changing a tire and fixing a toilet.

6. Who is your favorite fictional dad?  All right, I know Bill Cosby turned out to be a pervert in real life, but I always loved Cliff Huxtable.  He was funny, he was loving but strict, and he was an adoring husband to Clair.

For more Answer Me This fun, visit Kendra at Catholic All Year!

Answer Me This!

Answer Me This summer

1. Any big plans for the summer?  If it’s God’s will, moving.  As you read this, I am on the West Coast preparing for a job interview tomorrow!  I am still sending out resumes frequently, so even if this one doesn’t work out, I’ll get in somewhere!

2. What is the strangest thing you believed as a child?  That once I turned off the light, there would be Black Widow spiders all over the floor of my bedroom.

3. What is your favorite amusement park ride? Honestly, none of them.  I’m scared of heights and I get horrific motion sickness, which makes amusement parks very UN-amusing for me.

4. What’s on your summer reading list?  Ooh, good one!  I need to re-read bits of the Ball Blue Book before I start canning again, and I should get to St. Faustina’s diary.

5. Have you ever fallen asleep in public?  Yes.  Despite the aforementioned motion sickness, I tend to fall asleep on trains.

6. What is your favorite smell?  I really love the smell of cigar smoke because at family gatherings, all the men get together and smoke cigars.  The smell of pizza cooking is a close second.

For more Answer Me This fun, visit Kendra at Catholic All Year!

Book Review: Cooler Smarter: Practical Steps for Low-Carbon Living by the Union of Concerned Scientists

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I’m always looking to decrease my carbon footprint, and who better to give advice on the subject than the people who’ve studied it the most extensively?  This book provides a well-organized, easy to understand guide to the issue of climate change and what ordinary people like us can do to mitigate it.

One of the things I liked is about this book is that the UCS emphasizes things we can do that don’t cost a lot of money and in fact, might save you money in the long run.  You don’t have to start a worm farm under your bed, go live in a tree, or even buy organic food to make a difference; you just need to make changes and consider every day decisions more carefully.

While the authors only briefly mention religious communities, there’s a lot of connection to faith here too.  In brief, some of their biggest recommendations are:

  • Carpool or taking public transit
  • Give up bottled water and foods in single-serve packaging
  • Eat less meat
  • Waste less food
  • Buy less stuff

And when I look at this list, I think, “Gee, this sounds somewhat familiar…”  To wit, carpooling or taking public transit gets you out of your bubble and in touch with your neighbors. (And you’d be emulating a certain former cardinal from Argentina.)  Bottled water, single-serve foods, and meat are luxuries for much of the world, and if you think about how much of the world goes hungry, wasting food is abominable.  And stuff?  Well, as much as we need some stuff, too much can put a wall between us and God, or between us and our neighbors.

The book also debunks a few myths about reducing one’s carbon emissions, such as:

  • Local food always has the lowest emissions.
  • Cars get better mileage with the A/C off.*
  • Carbon offsets are a great idea.

Change begins with individuals, but the biggest changes come when people work together.  If you feel compelled to do more, the authors give useful suggestions for how to get workplaces, congregations, and cities  to make larger changes to decrease CO2 emissions.

Overall grade:  Highly useful.

*I admit I was relieved to hear this one.

Book Review: Mission at Nuremberg by Tim Townsend

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“O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy.”  – Fatima Prayer.

We’ve all said this prayer during the Rosary, but have you ever stopped to think about what it means?  Lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of thy mercy:   Drug dealers.  Child molesters.  War criminals.

Mission at Nuremberg is the story of Henry Gerecke (rhymes with Cherokee), a Lutheran minister who enlisted as Army chaplain during World War II.  The first third or so of the book focuses on Gerecke’s life leading up to the war, his decision to enter military service at an advanced age (he was nearly fifty) and his role in post-D-Day Europe.  When V-E day finally arrived, Gerecke thought he’d get to return to St. Louis and his family; instead, he was sent to Nuremberg to minister to Hermann Goering, Wilhelm Keitel, and nineteen other infamous Nazi war criminals.

Gerecke, along with Catholic priest Sixtus O’Connor, held chapel services with the men on trial, prayed with them, read the Bible with them, and remained by their sides from the day he arrived at Nuremberg until the day of the executions.  (O’Connor’s activities are discussed, although in less detail; unlike Gerecke, he never spoke or wrote about his Nuremberg experience.)

This book is a difficult read, to put it mildly.  Both men were soldiers as well as clergymen, so neither could say that they didn’t know their flock’s crimes. Father O’Connor had been with the first American unit to come across Mauthausen concentration camp, where he buried the dead and ministered to the survivors.  (Pages 195-209 contain graphic descriptions of the horrors of Mauthausen which sensitive readers may want to avoid.)

Pastor Gerecke and Father O’Connor were two very different men, but they had one pivotal thing in common: they both understood the power of Divine Mercy and humanity’s desperate need for it.  The book ends on a relatively hopeful note and reminds us that “Jesus died for everybody” and “God can forgive everybody” aren’t just cliches for a 1970s felt banner.

Overall grade: Amazing.

7 Quick Takes – Bad News, Good News…

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1.  A few months back, I asked everybody to pray for my high school friend K, who is battling a rare and aggressive cancer.  The good news is that K recovered from her first surgery and got through a 2nd surgery to remove metastases with no difficulty.  The bad news is that after the 2nd surgery, her doctors found a metastasis that they hadn’t known about, so she has an extra procedure ahead of her.  Please pray for K and her continued recovery!

2.  Last month, I had a job interview with an employer in the state where BIL and SIL live.  The bad news is that they didn’t hire me (or at least, that’s what I’m assuming since I haven’t heard from them). Update: I did hear from them, and they did indeed hire someone else.  The good news is that next week I have a phone interview with another employer that’s about 1 hour closer to where they live!

3.  The good news is that it’s Friday.  The bad news is… wait, actually there’s no bad news about that.  I don’t know why that’s even on there.

4.  The bad news is that it’s been raining a lot.  The good news is that my garden is going crazy!

I swear this garlic is 2 feet tall.

I swear this garlic is 2 feet tall.

5. Hey, look everybody, there’s a decent photo on my blog and I actually took it!  With my iPhone, even! And here’s one more:

Flowers on my blackberry bush.

Flowers on my blackberry bush.

I got the bush in the above photo in May 2014, and it was barely a foot tall when I planted it. Now it’s 3 feet tall and probably 2.5-3 feet wide, and might actually produce some berries this year.  :)

6.  Also, thanks for the advice on Monday’s post.   Haven’t decided yet what I’m going to do, but I appreciate the feedback.  Percival annoys me for a great many other reasons, so it’s mostly a matter of deciding which hill to die on.

7.  It’s Friday, so we need a song!  This week’s song is “Soak Up the Sun” by Sheryl Crow.

For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum!