Monthly Archives: November 2012

October Surprise

Surprise!  I’m posting.  And it’s not October anymore!

Think of this post as capturing the last month in the style of time-lapse photography but using words.

  • Please stop calling me.  I understand that I live in a swing state.  I am painfully aware of how important the upcoming election is.  But I’m also fed up with all of the political calls.  We went away for a weekend and returned to a voicemail box completely full of recordings from the local campaign office, various PACs, and political surveys.  Is there anyone who actually listens to these robo-calls?  I imagine that on the day after the election, our telephone will go silent.  We’ll go back to days without even one phone call.
  • Oh, Facebook.  How you disappoint.  First, there’s this: “Over the weekend, Facebook took down a message by the Special Operations Speaks PAC (SOS) which highlighted the fact that Obama denied backup to the forces being overrun in Benghazi.”  This story from Breitbart was updated to indicate that the message has since been allowed by Facebook.  Then, of course, there are all of the political posts by “friends.”  Whatever happened to politics being off-limits in polite conversation.  If it’s a no-go topic around the Thanksgiving table, then I don’t want to see it on Facebook either.  I have two or three Facebook friends who insist on linking to politically charged articles or making snide partisan comments on a daily basis.  If we were meeting in a coffee shop or talking over the fence, the conversation wouldn’t go that way.  So why does it on Facebook?  I couldn’t help myself last week and got sucked into a Facebook debate with one of these friends.  Did it make me feel better?  Nope.  It just makes me wonder how the real conversation will go the next time we meet in person.
  • What happened to the rest of them?  Why am I not hearing about more of this: “Peoria (Illinois) Bishop Daniel Jenky ordered priests to read a letter to parishioners on Sunday before the presidential election, explaining that politicians who support abortion rights also reject Jesus.”  Churches walk a fine line during election seasons.  They can’t come out and tell the faithful which candidate to support for fear of losing their tax exempt status.  But religious leaders also have a duty to instruct the faithful on how to apply religious teaching to real life.  In my parish, the closest we got to guidance about the election was a web page listed in the bulletin.  I wonder how many parishioners made the effort to check it out?  I have also seen pamphlets which, although well-written, vaguely discuss choosing a candidate according to the teachings of the faith ahead of self-interest and party loyalty.  The problem is that there is so little practical direction given from the pulpit.  How many pastors have taken the time to discuss issues in terms of Church teaching?  Of course it’s risky to do this.  Certainly some parishioners will be turned off by this type of preaching.  But how else are we to inform our consciences?  Shepherds, won’t you guide your flock?
  • Frankenstorm, Superstorm…Thank goodness someone had the good sense to stop calling Hurricane Sandy “Frankenstorm.”  What is it about our culture that is compelled to nickname everything?  Every political scandal has to have the suffix “-gate” attached to it.  Then there’s Obamacare, Romneycare, and so on.  Are we so freaked out by anything serious that we have to assign it a cutesy name to make it more palatable?

And that was October in a nutshell.





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