You Oughta Know - That Catholic Thing You Do

That Catholic Thing You Do

I know quite a few Catholics and attend the Catholic Church on Sundays on occasion. After each conversation with Catholic supporters of the current administration, I try to seek out information on how the Catholic Church is responding to the president’s numerous anti-Christian moves. Below are just some of the articles and general resources I have collected of late.

Flint

I mentioned Flint’s water crisis in my longform resources letter last week, but I didn’t give enough credence to the problems Flint’s residents still face. While the lead levels in Flint’s water are now below the federal level, all investigations into the crisis have ceased and there are still concerns that the current administration will not uphold the federal support that Flint residents have come to depend on. Meanwhile, Democrats want the case reopened. In any case, here’s the question: would you trust your tap water after long-term lead contamination? And would you trust a government that is slow to rectify the situation in which you find yourself while discussing expediting other unnecessary expenditures?

Reaction from New York Times columnist, Charles M. Blow: I must keep saying this: How the HELL are we going to spend $20 bil to build the #WallOfHate but can’t find $55 mil to fix pipes in Flint?!!”

Double-standing

I am not sure if double standards and a misinformed electorate have always been de facto in America, but a tweet is making the rounds that points to an unexpectedly clear picture (Source).

Pixar’s Dead; Long Live Pixar

The majority of these resources should and will be political in nature, but periodically we will need a break. The Verge decided to write a story about Pixar and I have to say it was close-minded about Pixar’s future. I think the thing that bothered me the most is the presumptions made on the part of the author; the idea that Pixar isn’t working on new and interesting ideas. This argument is similar to the one made by many about Apple; somehow no news equals no news, even when a company is known for its secrecy. Finally, Pixar doesn’t receive the benefit of the doubt here, which is something the company deserves, not only because of its success in the theaters but for its success in pushing the technology of the animation industry forward, even in their sequel releases. Below is a taste of The Verge article (you can probably just skip it) and a link to the technologies that Pixar has made available to the rest of the animation world.

But perhaps Pixar feels differently. The studio used to lead the industry when it came to animated films. When everyone else was making popcorn flicks to kill time with your kids at the mall, Pixar was crafting actual cinema, forging a path in an art form that previously hadn’t been taken very seriously. Now, with Walt Disney Animation, Illumination Entertainment, and DreamWorks all putting out quality films, there’s a bitter irony in Pixar finding itself stuck in a sequel cash-in loop, losing the very thing that made it stand out in the first place. Thankfully, last year Pixar president Jim Morris announced that the studio was putting a halt on new sequels, turning its attention back to original projects. The studio no doubt has the potential to return to its former creative glory, but despite its successes this week’s nominations will continue to serve as a reminder that some of Pixar’s spirit has been lost along the way.

Awesome Woman of the Day

Last Monday, [the president] introduced a far-reaching anti-abortion measure, which cuts the 575 million funding of NGOs that advise and help women with family planning and safe abortion in forty lower-income countries.

The Dutch Minister for Development Cooperation, Lilianne Ploumen, established an international effort to raise funds that will help replace what the president has abruptly taken away. Awesome!


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The Challenges of 2020

TL;DR: Follow this link.

One of the craziest things about Christianity during the protests of the last few weeks is the fact that there are churches out there not discussing the issues honestly, not taking the time to have the hard conversations, not devoting their Sunday services to betterment of the world and people around them. If you’re church isn’t talking about racism right now, if they don’t mention that black lives matter, instead focusing on platitudes that equate to the all lives matter” sentiment, it is time to start looking for a new church.

My wife and I meet with my home” church virtually via Zoom since the pandemic is still a thing. Kimball Avenue United Church of Christ & La Iglesia Episcopal de Nuestra Señora de las Américas (KANSA, together) combined in a collaborative way to create a single denomination focused on the needs of their community. They follow Christ together toward the vision of love, reconciliation, peace and justice. The justice looks like the demolition and rehabilitation of an old church building and its grounds into a community garden and labyrinth open to all who seek peace through contemplation.

I give this elevator speech to mention that COVID has not been kind to faith communities in general. Budgets have been slashed, funding and grants have been cut, and congregations in need are also working to serve those in need, who are less likely to be able to financially support their church in these times. KANSA in one of the good ones. They speak truth, they have the difficult conversations, they preach in a loud voice every Sunday that black lives matter, that racism has no place in the church, that the LGBTQ community deserves respect and support, and that Jesus was a social justice warrior, who fought for the least of these no matter who they were, where they were from, what they looked like.

In fact, Jesus was most harsh to those who had the means to help and decided not to answer the call.

These systems of oppression we are protesting have been around a long time; they have screwed up a lot of lives, they have been the reason for revolution and the downfall of entire civilizations, they don’t work. We need to find a better way to live by supporting each other. And support has to come in systemic, social, financial, and political ways, both national and local.

I am not local to KANSA anymore, but I support their mission, the way that mission manifests in the world, and the simple fact that they follow Jesus no matter how ostracizing that position can be at times. Which brings me to the point:

Thanks to a $10,000 matching gift’ from an anonymous donor, the challenge has become an opportunity. Over the next two months, we plan to raise at least $10,000 to meet the challenge. Through August 31, 2020, every donation we receive toward our 2020 Challenge” no matter how small or how large will be doubled by the matching gift.

KANSA is hurting financially and needs support, they do good work and are unabashedly progressive in their approach to our world. Donate now and see your contribution matched to keep one of the good ones fighting the good fight.

Thank you for your consideration.