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Gender: Male
Hometown: Kentwood, MI
Home country: USA
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 23,200

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Let us pray for those impacted by the church fires in South Carolina.

May the Lord watch over these church communities.

May they find hope and healing.

Cupich statement on ACA subsidies, same-sex marriage rulings

I'm not sure I've ever seen a statement quite like this:

In the first, the Court preserved subsidies for the 6.4 million low-income Americans who depend on them to purchase health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. We have issues with provisions of that legislation and will continue to advocate to preserve our religious freedom. However, we understand that for millions of individuals and families, most of them the working poor, this decision preserves access to health care and the promise it offers of a healthier, longer life.

In the second decision, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that two persons of the same sex have a constitutional right to marry each other. In doing so, the Court has re-defined civil marriage. The proposed reason for the ruling is the protection of equal rights for all citizens, including those who identify themselves as gay. The rapid social changes signaled by the Court ruling call us to mature and serene reflections as we move forward together. In that process, the Catholic Church will stand ready to offer a wisdom rooted in faith and a wide range of human experience.

It is important to note that the Catholic Church has an abiding concern for the dignity of gay persons. In fact, the Catechism of the Catholic Church says: “They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.” (n. 2358). This respect must be real, not rhetorical, and ever reflective of the Church’s commitment to accompanying all people. For this reason, the Church must extend support to all families, no matter their circumstances, recognizing that we are all relatives, journeying through life under the careful watch of a loving God.

It is also important to stress that the Supreme Court’s redefinition of civil marriage has no bearing on the Catholic Sacrament of Matrimony, in which the marriage of man and woman is a sign of the union of Christ and the Church. In upholding our traditional concept of marriage, we are called to support those who have entered into this sacred and loving bond with God and each other.

Pope Francis recruits Naomi Klein in climate change battle

She is one of the world’s most high-profile social activists and a ferocious critic of 21st-century capitalism. He is one of the pope’s most senior aides and a professor of climate change economics. But this week the secular radical will join forces with the Catholic cardinal in the latest move by Pope Francis to shift the debate on global warming.

Naomi Klein and Cardinal Peter Turkson are to lead a high-level conference on the environment, bringing together churchmen, scientists and activists to debate climate change action. Klein, who campaigns for an overhaul of the global financial system to tackle climate change, told the Observer she was surprised but delighted to receive the invitation from Turkson’s office.

“The fact that they invited me indicates they’re not backing down from the fight. A lot of people have patted the pope on the head, but said he’s wrong on the economics. I think he’s right on the economics,” she said, referring to Pope Francis’s recent publication of an encyclical on the environment.

Release of the document earlier this month thrust the pontiff to the centre of the global debate on climate change, as he berated politicians for creating a system that serves wealthy countries at the expense of the poorest.


World War II Vet Finally Takes His Sweetheart to Prom 66 Years Later

But all that’s changed now. On June 18, he finally got to twirl his wife on the dance floor at the Hillsborough County Aging Services Senior Prom.

“It just made us feel alive again,” said LaVerne, who donned a gorgeous gold gown that reminded her of her younger years.


Ralph, looking handsome in his grey jacket and black bow tie, was officially crowned prom king after his name was drawn out of a hat.

“Since 1944 when I joined the Marine Corps until this date today I never thought I’d be a king, and here I am a king,” he beamed with pride.


Man allegedly licked toad, ran around parking lot (Indiana, not that other state)

An Indiana man was arrested on Sunday for trespassing after he licked a toad while dancing around the parking lot of a local bar, authorities say.

Richard Mullins, 41, was escorted out of JJ's Sideout Bar & Grill in LaPorte early on Sunday morning after failing to show valid identification, police said, according to WSBTV.

After he left the bar, witnesses said Mullins began dancing around the parking lot. He then picked up a toad and started licking it.

“The subject ... reportedly picked up a toad and was licking it prior to our arrival,” Officer Vincent Bowman of the La Porte Police Department noted in a police report obtained by The Smoking Gun.


Graduating for good: Teen turns over open house for charity

When the attention should have gone to Donyea Freeman, who just graduated magna cum laude from high school, he was deflecting it toward others.

He turned his graduation open house into a charity event.

"He put it on someone else," Lorene Jones said, remembering how her grandson turned his open house at Four Points by Sheraton Saginaw into a huge food and clothing drive for the City Rescue Mission of Saginaw.

The next day, they delivered two full carloads of goods to the shelter at 1021 Burt.


Boy gives birthday to kids of fallen officer for Father's Day

"It made me feel good because I knew that I was helping someone else."

So says Carson Atkins, who used his ninth birthday party earlier this month to collect donations for the children of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Officer Benjamin Deen, after the policeman was killed in the line of duty on May 9 along with his colleague, officer Liquori Tate.

"Father’s day was coming up, and police officers give to us every single day, so I thought that one day I could give to them," Carson said to WDAM, explaining his motive. The boy asked for donations at the party instead of presents.

"It caught me off guard,” Carson's dad, Jonah Atkins, told the Clarion Ledger of his son's decision. “It’s hard for adults to think that way, much less kids. The world today is filled with me, me, me. {This} is something that is in him. He is very special.”


Backed by Catholics, evangelicals, Senate adopts anti-torture amendment to defense bill

The U.S. Senate in a bipartisan vote Tuesday approved a measure that would prohibit all U.S. government agencies and their agents from using torture as an interrogation technique.

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, sponsored the anti-torture amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2016.

Catholic and evangelical leaders in separate letters urged U.S. senators to support it, because it strengthens current law and requires all U.S. government agencies -- including the CIA -- to limit interrogation techniques to those set out in the U.S. Army Field Manual.

It also provides for the International Committee of the Red Cross to be given access to all detainees.


University creates a “texting lane” for busy staircase

There’s a “culture of walking and texting” on the Utah Valley University campus, according to conversations with students, but that’s not the main reason Matt Bambrough, the creative director at UVU, came up with an idea to paint a “texting lane” on a staircase leading up to the brand-new Student and Wellness Center. According to Bambrough, it’s first and foremost a design project—the texting lane was a tongue-in-cheek reference to the college-wide epidemic of kids walking around with their faces buried in their iPhones.

“You have 18-24 year olds walking down the hall with smartphones, you’re almost bound to run into someone somewhere; it’s something we’re dealing with in this day and age,” Bambrough told Fusion. “But (preventing collisions) isn’t the reason we did it—we did it to engage the students. It’s meant to be there for people to look at and enjoy.”

Still, when talking to a few Utah Valley students, it sounds like texting and walking can be quite the annoyance.

According to Kenzie Jones, a sports editor at the UVU Review (Utah Valley’s student newspaper), the entire Orem, Utah campus can be traversed while remaining indoors. This is useful in the winter, when the weather’s routinely below freezing—unfortunately, texters and walkers clog up the indoor hallways, rendering it difficult for students to get to class on time. “People just walk slowly with phones in front of their faces,” Jones told Fusion.


Biden Is Back to Cracking Jokes Again

Making a not-so-subtle dig at Congress, he said that many of the White House’s advances on clean energy policy have been hampered by some “short-sighted decisions from the outfit I worked at for a very long time.” He then hung his head and made the sign of the cross.

“Up on the Hill, they're ramping it up as fast as ya'll ramped it up,” he said.

Biden also made light at his own expense when he misspoke in reading a headline from today’s Washington Post.

“Front page of the Washington Pope,” Biden said, holding up the paper as a prop, and quickly corrected his error. “Post! Pope, huh."

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