Meanderings

Sometimes you have a great Mother’s Day. That happened to me this year as my mother and my wife were both in our home to celebrate the day. My son tossed around some black mulch and one of my other son’s cooked the meal. He is a great chef, having taken cooking lessons in Boston. Anyway, I hope you all had as nice a Mother’s Day as I did. It was memorable.

I have been reading the newspapers closely and there is some really serious stuff going on out there. “The Pilot,” the Catholic Archdiocesan newspaper, ran two important stories in one week. One quoted Cardinal O’Malley saying that Sex abuse panel is stressing accountability and education. This is a new papal commission “for protecting minors from clerical sex abuse…” and setting standards for accountability. As the Cardinal said, “Well, it’s a human problem and the Church needs to face it everywhere in the world.” [“The Pilot” Friday, May 9, 2014; Page One] It is a human problem and we have, partially because of the public reaction to the problem, made the problem, and similar problems, something that is played out at the highest levels now. It is too bad that that was not always the case, but it makes me feel good that we are taking an interest now.

Another story in the same newspaper is about the death penalty. In that article, Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, OK. says “How we treat criminals says alot about us as a society…In general there are other ways to administer just punishment without resorting to lethal measures.” [ibid, Page 11]
It is interesting that John Wayne Gacey welcomed the death penalty to serving his life-time in prison. The most just penalty is locking them in a cage and throwing away the key, I believe.

In the “Lowell Sun,” of May 9, 2014, the same day as the “Pilot” printing, Scott Harshbarer endorses Michael Sullivan for District Attorney. Now, usually I believe in what Mr. Harshbarger is saying, but to the best of my knowledge Mr. Sullivan is not a prosecuting attorney, he is an office-holder who is the Clerk of Courts. I am surprised that Scott, and I can call him that because he and I are friends, endorsed anyone in the pre-primary season. Beyond his years as a District Attorney, Scott was also the Attorney General and a viable candidate for Governor. But, I believe he has failed us on this one. Marian Ryan, the other Democratic candidate, is the current District Attorney, and she has the smarts and the savvy to run that office in as apolitical a style as humanly possible.

Marian Ryan runs a tight ship, from my standpoint, and I believe that Mr. Harshbarger is endorsing when he should be observing. It is very odd to have a person of that experience championing anyone in the Democratic primary. I have not made up my mind who I am voting for in this election for District Attorney. Mrs. Ryan has not called me, and I am simply voicing my opinion. A person of Scott’s stature should not be picking his picks before the Primary Election.

I also noticed in the newspaper that “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance is legal and right. It was put in the Pledge of Allegiance in the 1950’s and is one of the good things to come out of that era, again in my opinion. We were founded as a government which was attempting to separate church and state. We were not founded as a government which abolished all relationships between church and state. There were to be no state-run religions in the United States. The Constitution is very clear on that point. But every so often, someone tries to have the words, “In God We Trust” taken off of the money to be replaced by, well, it appears by nothing.

This country was more closely tied to God than perhaps any other in history. It is time to stop tying up the court’s time by constantly challenging the harbinger on the role of religion in our country. We do not always agree with what is said, but as Stephen Decatur said, “I will defend to the death your right to say it.” It is past time for people to determine what they believe in and what they will stand for, and I intend to live my life defending the right to choose a religion. Anything else would be letting myself down.