Monday, April 27, 2015

Monday Joke

A Montana State trooper pulled a car over on I-90 about 2 miles east of Bozeman, Montana. When the trooper asked the driver why he was speeding, the driver said he was a 'Magician and Juggler' and was on his way to Bozeman to do a show for the Children’s Hospital. He didn't want to be late.

The trooper told the driver he was fascinated by juggling and said if the driver would do a little juggling for him then he wouldn't give him a ticket. He told the trooper he had sent his equipment ahead and didn't have anything to juggle.The trooper said he had some flares in the trunk and asked if he could juggle them. The juggler said he could, so the trooper got 5 flares, lit them and handed them to him.

While the man was juggling, a car pulled in behind the State Troopers car. A drunken good old boy from Butte, Montana got out, watched the performance, then went over to the trooper's car, opened the rear door and got in. The trooper observed him and went over to the State car, opened the door asking the drunk what he thought he was doing.

The drunk replied, “You might as well take me to jail, cause there ain't no way I can pass that test.”

[H/T Fr. Leo]

Friday, April 24, 2015


I recently listened to Scott and Julie, from A Good Story is Hard to Find podcast. I listen to a lot of podcasts, and it's tough for me to keep up with them all, so I am a bit behind on this one. The story they were talking about was Isaac Asimov's Foundation. This is a book near and dear to my heart, as it brings me back to high school. A lovely young lass befriended me, and convinced me to join the Science Fiction Book Club, of which she was a member. Now that I think of it, perhaps she just wanted the free book credits for getting me to join...

At any rate, I got 2 free books for joining, and they could be any books, even trilogies. So on her advice I got Isaac Asimov's Foundation trilogy and Frank Herbert's Dune trilogy. Wow, seeing as that's going for $195 I wish I had kept my copies. Oh well.

Science Fiction soon became my favorite thing to read. And although I loved both sets of stories, Foundation was my favorite, and Asimov soon became my favorite author. Between trips to the mailbox looking for my next month's SF book club offerings, I would go to the library and pour through their science fiction section, from Anderson to Zelazny, reading everything they had.

But back to the Foundation trilogy. If you haven't read it, there will be spoilers, so go away, read it, and come back... Good. Julie and Scott had some interesting things to say about it, but they didn't focus on what I think is very obvious (maybe they didn't because it is so glaringly obvious) - Harry Seldon is Christ. Oh not literally, but he is a Christ figure in the story. Just like Christ he gathers his disciples and says "I will be with you until the end of the age."

When there is a Seldon crisis" he even appears to the descendants of his disciples. You did read the books, right? Oh, then a "Seldon crisis" is a socio-political crisis predicted by Harry Seldon's psychohistorical mathematics. When one happens, the people can't see the way it can be resolved, but Harry knows, and it all works out in the end. Kind of like "the gates of hell shall not prevail" kind of stuff...

Which got me thinking. In the 13th century, the Church was suffering from corruption from within and the threat of Muslim invasion and secularism from without. Sound familiar? Until a young man named Francis had a dream that Jesus was telling him "rebuild my church." We think of him as a nice man in brown who holds birds in his hands, but in the day he was quite the radical. He walked hundreds of miles, barefoot, to preach to the Muslims, with the result that they did not invade.

It seems like the Church today is experiencing another "Seldon crisis." Will Jesus appear and help us through this one? Perhaps he already has...

Monday, April 20, 2015

Monday Joke

Trout season has begun, and so I offer you this joke:

One morning a husband returns after several hours of fishing and decides to take a nap.

Although not familiar with the lake, his wife decides to take the boat out. She motors out a short distance, anchors and reads her book.

Along comes a game warden in his boat. He pulls up alongside the woman and says, “Good morning, Ma’am. What are you doing?”

“Reading a book,” she replies, thinking, Isn’t that obvious?

“You’re in a Restricted Fishing Area,” he informs her.

“I’m sorry, officer, but I’m not fishing. I’m reading.”

“Yes, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment. I’ll have to take you in and write you up.”

“If you do that, I’ll have to charge you with sexual assault,” says the woman.

“But I haven’t even touched you,” says the game warden.

“That’s true, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment.”

“Have a nice day, ma’am,” the game warden replied, and he left.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Why gays should (continue to) have the right to marry

I was in a “discussion” on social media the other day, about the whole “gay marriage” issue, which went horribly. One “Christian” was arguing that nobody has a “right” to marriage. He is wrong, of course. Everyone has the right to marriage. Here is a post listing 14 supreme court cases upholding the right to marriage as being fundamental. To quote from one of the cases, “The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.” For better or for worse (pun intended) marriage has been recognized as a fundamental human right by the supreme court.

Even the Catholic ode of Canon law states in Canon 1058: “All can contract marriage who are not prohibited by law.” It then lists a whole bunch of conditions under which the law prohibits a marriage, but sexual orientation is not among them.

The whole “gay marriage” argument is based on the claim that “gay” people (meaning people who have same sex attraction) are not allowed to marry. Just as in the days of racial segregation and slavery, when whites and blacks were forbidden to marry, so too are gay people forbidden to marry.

However, there is no prohibition forbidding gay people from marrying, either in US law or Canon law. Today any gay man and woman can go to a justice of the peace or other official and be married.

“But wait, Mike!” you say “You're being sneaky!” I am and I'm not. The fact is that the “gay marriage” movement is being sneaky, by calling something a marriage that isn't. They liken their case to the case of interracial marriage. For instance, in the aptly named “Loving v. Virginia” the court struck down a Virginia law that forbid blacks and whites to marry each other. Surely choosing to marry a gay man should be just as protected as choosing to marry a black man.
And it is. There is no law preventing a woman from choosing to marry a gay man, or a black man, or an atheist man or any other kind of man. There is no unjust law to be struck down.
Instead the whole thing is subterfuge to force a redefinition of what a marriage is. Interracial marriage was not about people doing something different from single race marriages, but about allowing different people to do the same thing. Gay “marriage” is about people doing something different from marriage, but forcing others to change their definition of marriage to conform to their (the gay marriage proponents) will.

“But Mike!” you say “You don't understand. These people love each other! Why can't they marry?”

I applaud the fact that they love each other, but love isn't marriage. I love my mother. I can't marry her. I love my sister. I can't marry her. I love my best friend. I can't marry him. But let's say you're right – love is synonymous with marriage. Then what is the state's role in this? Is it necessary for the state to approve of my love or your love? If marriage just means love, then it is a private thing between two people, and doesn't require any outside person to acknowledge it (like the state, or a bakery).
Furthermore, if marriage is just love, then why can't I marry my sister or my friend? Why can't I marry my sister and my friend? The fact is you can't marry anybody. That's already established law. From the original article, Griswold v. Connecticut says:
Adultery, homosexuality and the like are sexual intimacies which the State forbids . . . but the intimacy of husband and wife is necessarily an essential and accepted feature of the institution of marriage, an institution which the State not only must allow, but which always and in every age it has fostered and protected. It is one thing when the State exerts its power either to forbid extra-marital sexuality . . . or to say who may marry, but it is quite another when, having acknowledged a marriage and the intimacies inherent in it, it undertakes to regulate by means of the criminal law the details of that intimacy.
“But Mike!” you say “You don't understand. Marriage is just a contract. Why can't two people make a contract?” Because marriage is not just a contract. If all marriage was were a contract between two people, then any two people might in fact enter such a contract (or non-person legal entities, such as towns, governments and corporations). But established law is that marriage is not just a contract.
Again, from the article, Griswold v. Connecticut cites Adams v. Palmer, ME:
"It [marriage] is not, then, a contract within the meaning of the clause of the Constitution which prohibits the impairing the obligation of contracts. It is, rather, a social relation, like that of parent and child, the obligations of which arise not from the consent of concurring minds, but are the creation of the law itself; a relation the most important, as affecting the happiness of individuals, the first step from barbarism to incipient civilization, the purest tie of social life and the true basis of human progress."
and Noel v. Ewing, IN:
In Noel v. Ewing, 9 Indiana, 37, the question was before the Supreme Court of Indiana as to the competency of the legislature of the State to change the relative rights of husband and wife after marriage, which led to a consideration of the nature of marriage; and the court said: "Some confusion has arisen from confounding the contract to marry with the marriage relation itself. And still more is engendered by regarding husband and wife as strictly parties to a subsisting contract. At common law, marriage as a status had few elements of contract about it. For instance, no other contract merged the legal existence of the parties into one. Other distinctive elements will readily suggest themselves, which rob it of most of its characteristics as a contract, and leave it simply as a status or institution. As such, it is not so much the result of private agreement, as of public ordination. In every enlightened government, it is preƫminently the basis of civil institutions, and thus an object of the deepest public concern. In this light, marriage is more than a contract. It is not a mere matter of pecuniary consideration. It is a great public institution, giving character to our whole civil polity."
Not that I regard the Supreme Court as infallible, but to be fair, if arguments for redefining marriage are put forth based on legal precedent, we must also take into account legal precedent against those arguments. It appears that in many cases the argument against is in the same legal case, which indicates that the decision is being taken out of context.

In summary, there are good and bad arguments for holding to the "traditional" definition of marriage. "Marriage is not a right" is a bad arguments. On the other hand, I have yet to hear a good argument for redefining marriage.
I issued a challenge two years ago, for someone to show me what right is being denied by “traditional” laws regarding marriage. So far nobody has taken me up on it. I know people claim rights, but those “rights” all assume that gay “marriage” is the same as marriage, which is what is being decided. You can't make an argument by assuming a result is correct and then claiming you are correct based on the assumption. That's simply begging the question.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Monday Joke

Better late than never...

A man walks into an inn and greets the innkeeper at the front desk. The man asked the innkeeper for a room and the innkeeper says, "Ok, $15 for a room, $5 if you make your own bed."

So the man says, "Ok, I will make my bed"

Then finally the innkeeper says : "Great, here is some wood and nails. Get working."

[H/T Say Grace...
on plurk]

Monday, April 6, 2015

Monday Joke

On Easter morning, little Thelma opens her Easter basket, and asks, "Daddy, will you and mommy get mad at me for giving someone else my chocolate bunny? I don't want you to think I'm not grateful to get it."

Thelma's father thinks a bit then says "No, I won't get mad. Who do you want to give a your bunny to?"

"The Isis group," she says.

"Why them," her father asks in shock?

"Well," she says, "I thought that if a little American girl could have enough love to give them a chocolate bunny for Easter, they might start to think that maybe we're not all bad, and maybe start loving people a little bit. And if other kids saw what I did and then they sent candy and presents to them, they'd love everyone a lot.

"And then they'd start going all over the place telling everyone how much they loved them and how they didn't hate anyone anymore."

Her father's heart swells and he looks at his daughter with new found pride.

"Thelma, that's the most wonderful thing I've ever heard."

"I know," Thelma says, "and once that gets them out in the open, the Marines could blow the crap out of them."