Last week an 18-year old Rutgers University student, Tyler Clementi, took his own life after two students videotaped him having a sexual encounter with another male, then posting it on the Internet. I was listening to NPR on the way home from the theater today and the talk was about privacy issues in the age of the Internet. Perhaps we are all guilty of hurtful gossip as children and teenagers, saying things about people, that even if true, we have no right to say. Perhaps we failed to think of the consequences of our actions, or maybe we were curious, jealous, or angry at some infraction. Most of all, perhaps we didn’t think before we acted.
About two years ago, I interviewed Jeff Sharlet on Interfaith Voices. He had just published a book called The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power. Now, he has a new book called C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy.
What he describes is not garden variety Christian fundamentalism. The adherents of this theology believe that Jesus wants them to work with men of power throughout the world (and they do mean men, not women) to achieve the goals of Christianity. Their “heroes” are people like Stalin, Hitler and Mao – who are not remembered for the ends they sought, but for the means they used to achieve power and keep it.
Fr. Joseph Kokjohn, who died May 21, 2009, at the age of 80, left a $1 million legacy gift to St. Ambrose University, Davenport, Iowa, the university he called home for more than 60 years.
The Rev. Joseph E. Kokjohn Endowment for Catholic Peace and Justice has been established to further the education of St. Ambrose students in the Catholic tradition of peace and justice.
A California appeals court ruled Thursday that psychiatric and other confidential records of Franciscan friars accused of sex abuse should be made public.
I was fascinated by the findings of the U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey, conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life from May 19 through June 6, 2010. It polled a nationwide sample of 3,412 Americans age 18 and older, using both landlines and cell phones, in English and Spanish. In sociological circles, that is a large sample.
I hope all readers of this column are familiar with the Web site gratefulnes.org, "a network for Grateful Living."
Gratefulness.org says of itself that it "povides education and support for the practice of grateful living as a global ethic, based on the teachings of Br. David Steindl-Rast and colleagues. Gratefulness – the full response to a given moment and all it contains – is a universal spiritual practice that inspires personal transformation, cross-cultural understanding, interfaith dialogue, intergenerational respect, nonviolent conflict resolution, and ecological sustainability."
You can sign up on the site for a number of useful reflective aids. One is "Word for the Day." The following is the "Word for the Day" for today, Oct. 1.
Philippine senators deplore “hysterical reaction” of Catholic Bishops Conference. The bishops had threatened to excommunicate President Benigno S. Aquino III and other pro-reproductive health lawmakers for supporting the family planning measure.
How did over 1,000 Guatemalans ever get to Postville, Iowa? The answer is an eye-opener on the larger crisis going on because of poverty-driven global migration.
Over on the Huffington Post, Rabbi Michael Lerner -- an Obama supporter in 2008 -- says "Obama (and Biden) Have No Clue About What's Bothering Their Political Base."
Yesterday I blogged about the prevalence of suicide involving teenagers, college students, professional athletes and married couples.
Today came this headline in the New York Times: "Four Suicides in a Week Take a Toll on Fort Hood."
Are you in crisis? Please call 1-800-273-TALK
To learn more about suicide, go to http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/