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!


Read, Think, Share, Repeat

What Are WE Doing?

I wrote a post late last week about my discomfort with staying at home. My outlets are normally work, hiking, biking, and working with people. I am privileged enough to be working from home and still be able to bike and walk around my neighborhood in safety. So damn my discomfort.

I put the post up and immediately took it down, angry with myself for posting about me, when others deserve our attention, my voice. I am here now to rectify that wrong.

Yesterday was Pentecost Sunday, the day church goers celebrate the introduction of the Holy Spirit into the disciples. My family has been attending my father’s church in Chicago, IL virtually during the pandemic. If you are interested in the sermon, go here. Key highlight:

And nowhere do WE need this transformation more than in the Church. The Church in America that has been silent for too long because it has been infected too long. The Church has called itself pro-life, but it has regularly supported the politics of death. The Church has been satisfied with the status quo because the status quo has served its purposes and goals. The Church that has more concern for its structures than the structural inequities in the community. The Church maintains an outward appearance of godliness and holiness, but denies its power. The Church is so focused on life in the hereafter that it cannot bother itself with life here and now. The Church has chosen comfort over honest confession and safety over the least of these, our siblings.

I was struck by the moment of silence at the beginning of the service. Cultures use moments of silence to memorialize, to commemorate, to mourn and show respect, but I don’t feel like being silent. I feel like being loud and amplifying others who have been forced for too long to be silent.

I broke my silence on Twitter; it had been almost a year. I want to use that avenue to amplify the voices of those who shouldn’t need amplification by now. In 2020, WE shouldn’t need to be having this conversation because in 2020 WE should have fixed this problem. In 2020, WE should be talking about how to rewrite the history books to better exemplify the work of all the missing voices of the civil rights movement that most white people have never heard of, an act so mundane as rewriting history books is something you do when the work is done.

I hope people have been following Bernice King during this time because she is truly wonderful in every way. She and many others have called on white people to use their voice with other white people. Note these two great examples (and my apologies that I cannot give every person a voice after this colon): Bernice King and Ava DuVernay.

These things start at home; this change starts from within. It is our responsibility white people to talk to those that agree and those that disagree. Only WE white people have the platform that might actually MOVE those racist family members to deal with their own racism, only WE white people have the position to TURN UP THE VOLUME WITH THOSE who are ignored or silenced, only WE white people have the privilege (and therefore responsibility) to stand up when others are battered down and to STAND BETWEEN THOSE WHO ARE BEATEN DOWN AND THAT WHICH THREATENS THEM.

The following are some of the tools that WE white people have to work with that you should note not everyone has: time, money, voice, vote, safety, security, strength, freedom, power, platform, citizenship, support, energy, rest, access (to health care and food, for instance), inherent—yet almost always unearned—trust.

Parents, WE have one of the hardest and most important jobs in all of this: only WE have the ability to teach our children a better way.

My six year old has more context for injustice than my wife ever did growing up in suburban America and that is the problem. My daughter (and my two sons) will grow up knowing that these systems are broken; that they are strong enough to stand in solidarity with their siblings of color against the systems of oppression that work to marginalize and destroy; that they have a responsibility to fight due to their inherited privilege purchased with blood money on the backs of those same people they will fight with and for; that WE therefore owe our siblings of color everything WE can give.

Black Lives Matter. Black People Matter.

Let’s get to work.