January 28, 2017

It has been a long day and I am in a pretty damn bad mood, so pardon the lack of formality.

When I was a kid, my mom and I went to a Catholic church. We continued to attend mass until I was 13 and we moved and never found another parish. I was never confirmed, because my mom told me she really wanted me to be secure in my choice to join the Catholic Church before I made that decision. So while all of my friends attended confirmation classes, I sat it out and took a years-long detour into teenage paganism. Which is probably your nightmare, because my years-long detour into teenage paganism dovetailed with a years-long detour into dating a woman who I almost married. But I digress.

As a kid, I remember my mom very vividly saying, in reference to some folks at our church, “You can be Catholic without being Christian.” By Christian, she meant treating others in a kind and generous way and following the teachings of Jesus. It took me a long time to really understand what this meant, but now I do. Especially today, I do.

How in the world are you calling yourself a Christian today as you stand by a president who has used religion as a way to divide? His order to bar entry to people from seven Muslim-majority countries and halt the Syrian refugee program is dividing families, keeping children from reaching safety, and refusing a safe-haven to people who have faced unimaginable horror. Your Savior himself was a refugee, yet you’re standing by as second-in-command to someone who has shut and locked the inn door. You may be a Catholic but you are certainly no Christian.

I’m not usually into lengthy Bible quotes, but I think you need a reminder today.

He asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:29-37)
Jesus is ashamed of you today and ten Hail Mary’s is not going to cut it.

p.s. Also: Remember this?
Offensive is an understatement. Unconscionable? Horrific? A boon to ISIS recruiters everywhere? More like it.

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