Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Marriage- the topic of this week's homily

This Memorial Day weekend my regular priest was off with some GW students running around Rome so we had the former Anglican priest. Also the crowd was light, and the regular people who take the collection were not there as well, so I and my Protestant husband decided we would take the collection. Because I normally am not the lead I was trying to figure out at what point in the mass do we walk up and walk our way back taking collection, and we had a 8 mo baby with us, I really wasn't listening closely to the homily.

It didn't help that the priest didn't seem to have his microphone on, but the topic was marriage. I accept and hold the Church's teaching on marriage. I am aware that another parishioner struggles with this teaching, and he and his non-Catholic partner/spouse were in attendance. So I was slightly concerned about them, in between searching on line to figure out when were we supposed to collect the money (I don't pay attention, I just know it comes at the end of the prayers of the people). After taking communion I patted his shoulder to sort of relay, 'hey, I want you to stick around and keep on struggling.'

Because people like to coo over our baby son, and apparently taking the collection with a baby strapped to you is a huge hit, we didn't catch up to the other parishioner and his spouse until we spotted them in the self-checkout. Because they were nearly done and we were just about to start the conversation was very short. My fellow parishioner's spouse said he was asleep during the homily. So it's a non-issue for him. However the parishioner was awake, and they sit close enough to hear an acoustic priest, and he was very sure that the priest was incorrect in stating that cohabiting couples pretend that they are married. My husband and I both strongly disagreed. I have observed it with straight and gay cohabiting couples refer to their partner/boyfriend as their husband. My elder abusing sister in law did it with her baby daddy and numerous gay couples, or one part of the couple, have named their partner as 'husband'. He then responded about something regarding the city's laws regarding common law marriage.

Our conversation didn't last long. Both men were dealing with health challenges and needed to get home. I expect to see one or both next week or the week after that. I appreciate knowing them, even though one of them seems to trap you in conversation.

But on the topic of marriage, apparently common law marriage and getting legal recognition is tricky and not something you fall into. Marriage is also different than shacking up.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Rambling thoughts on poverty

BatesSt68kidsSo I'll probably need to make a list for confession. Recently, I have been imbibing in some rather mean spirited YouTube videos. They are feeding my judgy side. They are about a kind of people found in my ethnic group in my country who are a result of what happens when you have the Sexual Revolution and the Great Society running hand in hand in the sunset. The only good that has come from this, and I'll need to tell YouTube to stop having them appear, is they are a good reminder of why a guaranteed income is probably a bad idea.

When I first heard of a universal guaranteed income I thought it was a good idea. The idea being, get rid the various government agencies for the poor and just give the poor the money. I liked the idea of smaller government and believed that the robots will take our jobs. But then I was reminded of the negatives and the road to Hell the negatives paved with free government money.

The problem of growing single mother headed households is one. This I will put at the feet of the Great Society, which provided the financial incentive, and the Sexual Revolution which took away the shame. Yes, no one is going to get rich on welfare and food stamps. And yes, we should have a safety net. However, both have made my ethnic group suffer. Too many Black children are being raised by single mothers, which makes them poorer (spiritually and financially) than children with both parents and siblings where they share the same mother and father. I have recently become a mother and I don't think I could do this well without my husband. This is especially true when are darling little boy has deprived me of precious sleep and I am not fully functional.

What does this have to do with Christianity? Well Christ mentioned that the poor will always be with us. No generation will have the luxury of not having to deal with the poor. Besides making sure they don't starve, we do a disservice when we discourage the things that will get them out of poverty (good schools, teaching skills that are actually in demand, etc) and encourage things that make their life worse (broken families, passing students on to the next grade without the skills, excusing behavior that makes them unemployable).