Category Archives: Religion

The Roman Catholic Church, the sexual abuse of children, the media: making sense of it all

pope-benedict I wanted to hold off launching a blog discussion about this issue till after Easter. I thought media attention on the issue might have peaked by now but it seems to be escalating. 

So let’s discuss this issue here: the allegations of sexual abuse of children by priets, the facts, the church’s and Pope Benedict’s handling of the issue, the media’s coverage of it. I’ve deliberately not linked to any media stories in this blog post, so please add links that you think others should consider following.

FYI, I grew up Catholic, and spent 7 years in a Catholic seminary where I got a very good education and loved my time there. Yes, I’m an atheist now but that has little to do with my experience as a Catholic.

Be careful if you reject the idea of an earthquake as God’s judgment for sin

God in Judgment Yesterday’s Strib has a letter to the editor by Northfielder and frequent LoGroNo commenter, John George, on “how earthquakes can be God’s judgment for sin.” (See full text below.) I’m hoping John will chime in here with a longer explanation. 

As an atheist, it makes no sense to me, of course, and I last blogged about God’s role in natural disasters back in 2007.

But for those of you who do believe in God and who might quickly dismiss John’s assertions, consider how often you pray or participate in prayers that ask God to intercede in some way in your physical world or the physical world of others. 

Continue reading Be careful if you reject the idea of an earthquake as God’s judgment for sin

What the hell is Al Quie afraid of?

Al QuieI’ve long been a fan of Al Quie, a moderate Republican congressman and governor whose  legacy of bipartisan problem-solving is one I admire.  But his letter to the editor in the Strib yesterday fussing over the ELCA vote last summer to allow gays and lesbians, in committed relationships, to serve as clergy makes me wonder: What is he afraid of? As a letter writer in today’s paper states: “no congregation will be forced to call a pastor it deems unfit.”

Worse, he states “Think about our youth. The ELCA decision is a travesty upon our youth.” That’s bullshit, and even most evangelical youth would agree with me. See this for example:

Continue reading What the hell is Al Quie afraid of?

Photo album: St. Dominic’s annual celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Father Denny Dempsey, annual celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Dominc Catholic Church, NorthfieldOne of the GBM morning regulars, Jose Rodriguez (“Hey you tender white boys!”), alerted me to yesterday’s annual celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. Dominic Catholic Church here in Northfield. (On the church’s Comunidad Hispana web page: “St. Dominic is the spiritual home for the majority of the 1,500 people of Hispanic descent living in Northfield.”)

I got permission from my former seminarian buddy, Father Denny Dempsey, to take photos at the 5 PM Mass featuring “traditional Mexican dance, meal, and Mariachi band.”

See the album of two dozen photos, the large slideshow, or this small slideshow:

Continue reading Photo album: St. Dominic’s annual celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe

If Tiger was your son/patient/parishioner, what advice might you give him?

someecard-golf1someecard-golf2Tiger Woods has not only been a godsend to late-night comedians and cartoonists recently. Someecards has two e-greeting cards that are proving popular.

Since I’m a father, a former family therapist, and now a minister, I’ve been trying to imagine…

Continue reading If Tiger was your son/patient/parishioner, what advice might you give him?

Can I now become a member of the Northfield Ministerial Association?

Robbie and Griff Wigley attending church in Rincon, Puerto Rico A few weeks ago, my son Collin and his New Jersey sweetie Amanda asked me to perform their marriage ceremony. Having spent 7.5 years in Catholic seminary several decades ago, I guess they thought I was suitably qualified. So I became a minister with the Universal Life Church and last Saturday, married them in Rincon, Puerto Rico. The wedding photos aren’t quite ready so here’s one of me and Robbie yesterday in the bamboo church on the beach where the ceremony was held.

I sure hope I’ll be invited to attend upcoming meetings of the Northfield Ministerial Association.

Heritage Square stores

While the discussion rages (36 comments and counting) in last week’s blog post titled Downtown retail: struggling, thriving, searching, new stores keep opening along Hwy. 3.

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A Sociale Make & Take Gourmet franchise (“Make it at our place. Bake it at yours!“) is due to open in Feb. in Heritage Square, next door to US Federal Credit Union. The corporate web site describes a Cooking for the Community program that “… enables parents, teachers, family and friends to help raise money for specific organizations.”

I think this is the second “take and bake” place in Northfield. The other: Papa Murphy’s, in the same mall. Are there others?

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A few doors down, the Gateway Ministry Center of Wanamingo has opened Northfield Healing Rooms. “Our mission is to help unite, equip and empower the body of Christ to promote healing as a vital part of ministry. Our focus is on the presence and power of the Holy Spirit to work through us to heal the sick and infirmed.”

Update 1/18: They also sell books, art, health products, coffee, and art. And the Northfield News lists them in the ‘Other’ section of their Faith Services page, with Steve Roberts and Rebecca Roberts, pastors.