Philosophy

Dear Planet Earth The events that unfolded in Paris this week cannot be described with mere words. To describe such loss of life as a tragedy seems too weak, too disrespectful. But as shocking and devastating as this act of terrorism was, it has been events that have unfurled since that have shocked me more. I was party to a conversation earlier today in which friends of mine, who are well-educated and rounded individuals living in a multi-cultural society, reacted to the shootings in Paris. At first there was disbelief and anger in their words, feelings that I too experienced. But for them these feelings soon turned to hate, and not hate of the terrorists. Not hate of an extremist organisation hell-bent on turning the world against itself, but hatred of an entire...
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OUTSOURCING BOO BOO CLOWN I remember the kindergarten I went to, back in 1994. It is a Catholic school that provides education from kindergarten to junior high school. I am not a Catholic, but my parents enrolled me anyway. It was not a prestigious private school, nobody has ever heard of it. Most of the pupils were from working-class families. We didn’t have fancy, sophisticated playground and toys. We didn’t have English-speaking tutors, only devoted nuns and local teachers. They can’t afford to outsource janitors; the janitors were an elderly couple from a rural area in Malang, East Java, who came to Jakarta to try their luck, and lived from the charity of the Church. They didn’t earn much, obviously, but you have no idea how devoted and genuinely nice they are to kids. The lady...
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To Those Atheists It May Concern, I have a couple questions for you. Why do you think the Bible is just a bunch of fairy tails if it's banned in about 52 countries? Why not ban Treasure Island or The Legend of Robin Hood?
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An Open Letter to Sister Patricia McCarron January 20, 2014 Sister Patricia McCarron, SSND, Ph.D. Notre Dame Preparatory School Headmistress Sr. Patricia McCarron: I recently read The Baltimore Sun article “Notre Dame Prep Rejects Alumna's Same-Sex Wedding Announcement” regarding the omission of Mrs. Sarah Rupert-Sullivan’s wedding announcement. I would like to offer my assistance in helping the school edit their publication policy so it may be aligned with Catholic doctrine. Although same-sex marriage is a very charged topic, we are fortunate that our Catholic beliefs provide us with a path that can guide us to a course of action that is right and just. The catechism of the Catholic Church unequivocally indicates that marriage is between a man and woman. In 2003 the...
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Dear Mr Murad In the wake of the terrible murder of a young soldier in Woolwich on Wednesday, I welcome the statement that you have issued on behalf of the Muslim Council of Britain. You said: “This is a truly barbaric act that has no basis in Islam and we condemn this unreservedly. Our thoughts are with the victim and his family.We understand the victim is a serving member of the Armed Forces. Muslims have long served in this country's Armed Forces, proudly and with honour. This attack on a member of the Armed Forces is dishonourable, and no cause justifies this murder. This action will no doubt heighten tensions on the streets of the United Kingdom. We call on all our communities, Muslim and non-Muslim, to come together in solidarity to ensure the forces of hatred do not prevail...
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Dear Mr. Daniels, Recently, I was pleased to see you make a decisive and important statement regarding Purdue’s views on hate crimes and other types of intolerance, stating: “…bigotry and hate are neither welcomed nor tolerated at Purdue University. There is no place at Purdue for those who act from hatred. If you recognize yourself in this last sentence, you are not welcome at Purdue.” This concise speaks to your strength of character and moral fortitude, recognizing that no groups are to be treated unfairly on this campus. I believe that you care deeply about Purdue, and very much want to provide a quality education to all students. However, there is a substantial group of individuals at Purdue who need your support, but are not receiving it: atheists. You have personally...
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The idea for this came a few days ago. To read that letter I wrote on this post out loud to the boys (men, now) who sexually abused me, so you could see I’m okay. That I’m not defined by that past act, but am healed today, and am continuing to walk that path of healing. I was surprised at how difficult this was to do. To face a camera and read those forgiveness words. Because the forgiveness words came at a price after the violation. There’s so much more to say about that story, things that will probably never reach the light of the page. I felt the weight of it as I read, knowing the nuances way down deep. Warning: trigger alert. If you’re walking your own path of healing, I do share about what happened to me when I was five years old, not in graphic detail, but it’s still there...
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Dear Joseph Ratzinger; Ex Pope Benedict XVI When you were appointed as Pope, you were appointed to a head one of the most revered and long-lasting religions in the history of mankind. You became God’s spokesman on earth. Yet not only did you make an earth-bound decision not to carry on in the job, and so break with tradition and history going back centuries, but you also insulted the God you were appointed to serve. You “admitted” that it sometimes felt as if 'God was asleep' during the troubled days of your papacy when you gave an emotional farewell in St Peter's Square before tens of thousands of pilgrims on the eve of your shock resignation. You looked relaxed as your white "pope mobile" bore you through the famous plaza where more than 150,000 people gathered to hear your last...
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Dear Bishop James You issued a statement in December confirming that “clergy in civil partnerships, and living in accordance with the teaching of the church on human sexuality, can be considered as candidates for the episcopate,” (or the office of bishop). In your statement explaining the decision, you said that the House of Bishops had decided that “All candidates for the episcopate undergo a searching examination of personal life and discipline. It would be unjust to exclude from consideration for the episcopate anyone seeking to live fully in conformity with the church’s teaching on sexual ethics or other areas of personal life and discipline.” It is a typically pompous and obscure statement that requires translation for us poor sinners and/or working class Joes. It means...
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Dear The Most Reverend Vincent Gerard Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales and Head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, I write to you in response to the pastoral letter you sent to all of the Roman Catholic churches in your diocese of Westminster, which was read aloud in pulpits yesterday. In it you extolled the virtues of family life and the “vision of family [that] is rooted in the faithful love of a man and a woman”. You ended it by entreating your fellow faithful Catholics to write to their MPs to express their concern about the government’s proposals to allow same-sex couples to marry in civil ceremonies. As a gay man who has long had an interest in gay couples being allowed to marry, I have heard...
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