Friday, September 15, 2017

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT


Christian: You Are Upset About the Wrong Things

 JUNE 22, 2017 BY GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
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This guest post was written by Darrell Lackey.
Unfundamentalist Christians blog

Sociologist Tony Campolo has been known, when speaking to Christian audiences, to begin by saying something like this: I have three things I’d like to say today. First, while you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. Second, most of you don’t give a shit. What’s worse is that you’re more upset with the fact I just said “shit” than you are that 30,000 kids died last night.

When citing this, I have had people prove his very point by responding something to the effect of, “Yeah, I get it, but I still wish he would make his point some other way…” Ummm, that is his point. His point, in my opinion, isn’t really about the children (although it is, obviously); his point is that we (Christians) get upset over the wrong things. Our moral sense of outrage is often misdirected.
The fact that we notice the language, our being offended, before we really register the fact that children are dying, tells us all we need to know. Any focus on a crude term and not on his greater point that children are dying of starvation or malnutrition and that we might be complicit proves his very point. If there was a tiny gasp from the crowd at that word or an awkward silence—such reactions were misdirected. These people were upset about the wrong thing.
The legalistic, simplistic, and shallow world of fundamentalism (and even many aspects of evangelicalism) breeds some rather odd triggers for what it is we are supposed to get upset about. Here are just a few:
If you become upset when hearing that gay marriage is legal or that a transgender person may use the same public restroom as you, but you are less upset regarding the hate, violence, and discrimination directed toward such people, often leading to suicide: You are upset about the wrong things.
If you become upset when people use the greeting “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas,” but you are less upset at the wasteful use of resources during this season and the rampant shallow consumerism while many live in poverty: You are upset about the wrong things.
If you become upset when the government uses its power to make corporations protect their workers and protect the environment, but you are less upset when those workers are exploited, injured, or the environment is critically harmed: You are upset about the wrong things.
If you become upset at the grocery store when you see someone pay for their food with vouchers or food stamps, but you are less upset with the institutional and cultural structures that often create the very need for such help: You are upset about the wrong things.
If you become upset when you see people smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol, but you are less upset when you see people over-eating, knowing the health effects of such, or wasting food, knowing that people go to bed hungry every night: You are upset about the wrong things.
If you become upset when Hollywood puts out movies that contain coarse language or nudity, but you are less upset with the excessive, sadistic, and pornographic displays of violence, murders, gore, and bloodletting in war movies, action movies, or even movies like “The Passion of the Christ”: You are upset about the wrong things.

If you become upset when the government tries to pass reasonable gun restriction laws, but you are less upset with the amount of accidental firearm-related deaths among children and the general level of gun violence in America: You are upset about the wrong things.
If you become upset when you feel the government is restricting your religious liberties, but you are less upset or even applaud the restriction of the religious liberties of others: You are upset about the wrong things.
If you become upset when someone commits adultery or at the sexual lapses of others, but you are less upset when people gather around to stone them, or gather around to throw insults, or gossip, or shun them, or shame them, or pass laws to single them out: You are upset about the wrong things.
If the response to the above is still, “I get it, BUT…” you have missed the point and made the point, all at the same time. Yes, you can be upset at those other aspects (rightly or wrongly). The point, however, is that those aspects pale in insignificance when placed alongside the deeper and much more important moral failing noted—the failing that should really upset us. It would be like someone telling Jesus, just before he overturned the money-changer’s tables and grabbed a whip, how upset they were at the price of doves that year. It isn’t a false dichotomy. It’s a problem of scale.
I am reminded of a scene in the movie “Life is Beautiful” where we see Guido (Roberto Benigni) so happy to think that his old friend, the Nazi doctor, will help him after the doctor recognizes him and makes his life easier inside the death camp. The doctor remembers how clever his friend was, and how he could solve difficult riddles. We begin to think the doctor realizes the moral wrongness of the death camp. Maybe he will try and save Guido and his family. But no, we finally realize, as does Guido, that the doctor simply wanted help solving a riddle. He doesn’t see Guido or the suffering. That doesn’t upset him. What upsets him is not finding the answer to something as insignificant as a riddle. He even says he can’t sleep at night because of it.
An extreme example? Maybe. Still, I think such is the sort of person we look like, and are perhaps in danger of becoming, when we get upset over the wrong things, when we focus on the incidental and miss the deeper moral issue. Christian: Don’t be that person.

About Darrell Lackey

Darrell Lackey has been a lead pastor and currently works in the private sector. He is part of a home gathering of some amazing, wonderful Christians and a graduate of the University of San Francisco and Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary (Now Gateway). You can follow him or read more of his writings at Divergence (A Journey Out of Funda-gelicalism). He and his wife reside in Northern California.




Monday, September 11, 2017

ARCHDIOCESE OF CASTRIES PRIEST AND DEACON RETREAT


BECAUSE OF IRMA,

I WON'T BE GOING TO THE ISLANDS TODAY! 

I should have known better than schedule trip #8 down to the islands on "9-11" - and during the height of the hurricane season at that!

AMERICAN AIRLINES has cancelled my flight from Louisville through Miami to St. Lucia. I am not going to re-schedule till the end of the hurricane season.  

I will go to St. Vincent in December for the dedication of the new chapel and go down to lead the St. Lucia priest retreat the first week of Lent. 



Archdiocese of Castriesin the
Caribbean Nation of St. Lucia

ANNUAL PRIEST AND DEACON RETREAT
SEPTEMBER 11-15, 2017


 CANCELLED UNTIL NEXT YEAR

INTENTIONAL PRESBYTERATES
"The Powerful Spiritual Leadership of a Unified Presbyterate"

Rev. J. Ronald Knott
 Retreat Director



The city of Castries on the island of St. Lucia


The magical twin Pitons, the most famous landmark in the island country of St. Lucia.


Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Castries.




The Enbas Saut Rainforest Trail

Venture into the central portion of the Saint Lucian rainforest at the foot of the island’s highest peak, Mount Gimie. This remote forest is thick and lush and incredibly scenic. Due to its general inaccessibility the forest is rich in avian life including the Saint Lucian Parrot and the Saint Lucian Oriole. The 2.5 mile long hike is rated moderate to strenuous, but is rated overwhelming in beauty and wildlife. The name “Enbas Saut” translates into “beneath the falls” and thus the two waterfalls encountered along the way definitely add to the appeal.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

GONE, BUT CERTAINLY NOT FORGOTTEN





HAPPY 100th BIRTHDAY MOM! 
We Still Miss You!



Photo taken at my First Mass
May 17, 1970

She died of breast cancer just six years later. She was only 58 years old. 



My sisters, brothers and I had these two angels restored and placed in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel at the Cathedral of the Assumption in honor of our parents.  They stand guard on each side of the Blessed Sacrament. 



Ethel



Jim



Mary Ethel (Mattingly) and James William Knott
St. Theresa Cemetery


  
This Mary statue was installed in the new Marian Shrine on the grounds, at the right side, of the Monte Cassino Shrine at Saint Meinrad. This part of the recent renovation of the Monte Cassino Shrine (still in process) is a gift in honor of our mother, Mary Ethel, by her sons James Ronald and Mark Anthony Knott.