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Saturday, October 20, 2018

Human Migration - Editorial, The Week in Review


Analysis, Commentary, Opinion
10.20.2018


Human Migration

My heart was breaking at the news yesterday, watching video of Mexican Federal Police confronting immigrants who were trying to cross their border; families, women and children, husbands and fathers and sons, all looking for a better life.

They want to live in a just society

They are fleeing crime and violence, the threat of murder. They are heading north from South and Central America on foot, hoping to find jobs and a secure place to raise their children.

The Mexican Federali’s met them in force, in riot gear, used tear gas on them and pepper spray. They are doing this because Donald Trump threatened to close the border with Mexico if they did not do something to stop this annual migration of people.

This is a crime against humanity, and T-Rump is responsible for it.

People have the right to migrate to sustain their lives and the lives of their families. This is the first principle of Catholic Social Teaching.

The challenges that the United States are facing in regard to immigration are not a crisis, it is the product of poor policy. We actually need immigrants, we need their labor, we need their contribution to our shrinking labor force, we need them to help us secure the future of Social Security and other entitlement programs.

We are a nation of immigrants and we need continued immigration to keep our society healthy and whole.

The challenges we face are nowhere near the scale of the challenges that Europe faces in the modern day, or the crises Europe faced at the end of world War II when “Pope Pius XII wrote Exsul Familia (The Emigre Family), placing the Church squarely on the side of those seeking a better life by fleeing their homes.”

Nevertheless, “because of the belief that newcomers compete for scarce resources, immigrants and refugees are at times driven away, resented, or despised.” This is a grievous moral sin and we are complicit in it when we allow our elected representatives to advance policies in furtherance of these crimes.
“People have the right to migrate to sustain their lives and the lives of their families….the goods of the earth belong to all people.” This cannot be overlooked, our own history as the children and grandchildren of immigrants should never be forgotten. Our country is big enough, and great enough to support these migrations, and there is no doubt that we will be enriched through them.

Not all Americans are Christian, and public policy should never be based on the religious traditions of one religion over another, and though I am citing the teachings of Christianity in support of my claims, these principles on human migrations have been upheld by the United Nations and are detailed in the International Declaration on Human Rights that the United States of America is signatory too.
  
The basic tenets of the Christian faith teach us that: “Every person has an equal right to receive from the earth what is necessary for life—food, clothing, shelter. Moreover, every person has the right to education, medical care, religion, and the expression of one's culture.” The United States of America is strong enough and wealthy enough to defend these principles, to defend these moral values, and to defend our identity as the leader of the so-called “Free World,” by furthering this mission, by living up to these aspirations. We cannot allow ourselves to be demoralized by the lying and corrupt cynicism of a man like Donald Trump, who seeks to bring suffering on poor people, not to protect America, but for his own political self interest.

It is disgusting.

These poor people who are trying to make it to America “live in fear, danger, and dehumanizing poverty….it is not God's will that some of his children live in luxury while others have nothing.” Remember this, all of you who pretend to promote Christian values, “in Luke's Gospel, the rich man was condemned for living well while the poor man starved at his doorstep (Lk 16:19-31).”

The entire Nation of Jewish people were once aliens in a foreign land, forced to labor without rights or recourse to the law. King David was descended from a Moabite, and Jesus was born in exile.  

The fundamental truth that underpins the entire experiment in American democracy is this; our rights do not come from government, they are derived from God, and they are inalienable. “The native does not have superior rights over the immigrant. Before God all are equal; the earth was given by God to all. When a person cannot achieve a meaningful life in his or her own land, that person has the right to move.”

When those immigrants show the strength of will to walk thousands of mile, simply for the hope that they will have a better future for themselves and for their children, living in a just society, we want them here.

They make us better as a people, not worse.


Emergence 3.0 - Section Six, The Empire; Part Forty, Faith; Chapter Six, Orthodoxy


Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 293, Saturday
October 20th, 2018

Chapter Six: Orthodoxy

He learned to differentiate between the articles of faith he was expected to promote as his beliefs, and the convictions he held in heart.

He exercised the greatest care concerning the manner in which he expressed himself. There was no privacy, he knew that he was under observation at all times, even in the inner most sanctum of his private dwelling.

A casual comment could change the fate of a planet.

What he held in his heart, was never the same thing as he could give voice to.

His survival, and the lives of billions upon billions of people depended on it.

The higher he ascended into the mysteries, the more he felt he was shackled by the dogma and tradition of the Imperial Cult

It was a prison of the mind, a prison without walls.

His circumstances were unique. None of his peers experienced the same things, little was expected of them, they were merely functionaries, fulfilling roles, like cast members in a play, like the extras.

He, on the other hand, had a following. It was unprecedented, he had no experience of this, and neither did the magisterium.

The Continuum was fascinated by the control he exercised, the care he gave, as was the Collective. They followed him closely, and obsessed on the successive waves of consequences that flowed from his most casual utterances. 

The Observer Core was tasked with manipulating his life and circumstances daily.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #OnePagePerDay

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Friday, October 19, 2018

Emergence 3.0 - Section Six, The Empire; Part Forty, Faith; Chapter Five, Belief


Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 292, Friday
October 19th, 2018

Chapter Five: Belief

His life was filled with contradictions, and he had never before been so conflicted, so filled with doubt.

He spent his days promoting the beliefs and traditions and rituals of the Imperial cult. He was the most eloquent spokesperson the masses ever witnessed.

He spoke with power and confidence, elegantly articulating the complex narratives that glued the Imperial society together providing the rationale and the justification for each citizen to remain in their caste, in their class, in their state of bondage.

He was a living exemplar of the faith, perfectly demonstrating to every citizen, even to the outcast, the possibility of elevating themselves from their station, through fidelity, duty, and adherence to the law.

He learned that the promises concerning reincarnation, and the Continuum, all of those promises that had been made to the people, were built on lies, the most pernicious kind of lies, a vast complex of falsehoods, predicated on the narrowest sliver of truth.

He did his duty.

He perpetuated the lies anyway.

The powers that held him in check did not do so with the threat of coercion. Everyone he had ever known or loved while he was an ordinary man, they were long since dead and buried.

His family had been erased.

They held him in check with the power of love, the promise of fulfilling his desires, the mystery of beauty and the touch of a woman.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #OnePagePerDay

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Thursday, October 18, 2018

Emergence 3.0 - Section Six, The Empire; Part Forty, Faith; Chapter Four, Mystery


Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 291, Thursday
October 18th, 2018

Chapter Four: Mystery

The priestly caste was organized according to rank, like every other strata of Imperial society. The major divisions in the priestly caste were between the ruling houses and the minor officiants, between the parish priests and the holy orders.

This differentiation was not unlike the differentiation between managers and staff in the bureaucracy, or between the rank and file and command in the military.

The unseen difference, a difference unknown outside the select circle, was the society of Observers, those members of the Continuum who had opted to live out lives in time and space, observing the day to day realities of the Empire, for the Collective and its Continuum.

While it was the case that Observers were scattered throughout the Empire and held posts in every strata of society, most Observers preferred to carry out their mission from the vantage of the priestly caste, and the royal houses.

Nothing was hidden from them, because they knew the full truth concerning the origins of the Empire, The Continuum, its promises and their lies.  

Many of the Observers were eager to interact with the hero/priest the guardian of the faithful.

He was indoctrinated into the deepest mysteries of the Imperium.

He discovered the mechanism of salvation, the translation of consciousness into the quantum field which brought eternal life in the Continuum as a member of the Collective.

He learned that the Imperial rites meant nothing, they were based on lies, they were minor dramas perpetuated as a means of controlling the people; controlling them through hope, and fear, through love and hate, which were the only meaningful controls, controls which never failed, controls that surpassed even thirst, hunger and pain.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #OnePagePerDay

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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Emergence 3.0 - Section Six, The Empire; Part Forty, Faith; Chapter Three, Rites


Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 290, Wednesday
October 17th, 2018

Chapter Three: Rites

He took all of the rituals seriously, as he did everything during his career.

He carried them out perfectly even though his studies revealed them to be nothing but tools of control and division.

He fulfilled them with grace, and a presence that gave no indication of the fact that he knew they were empty gestures, and meaningless incantations.

The comfort that he had with his body, developed through his long years of martial discipline, gave his performances a nuance that his peers were unable to match.

Once again he stood out from those around him, not only because of the attention that was focused on him, but for what he brought to each moment.

While he no longer believed in the mysteries as they had been taught to him, he understood that the cohesion of the Empire, the peace of a million worlds, relied on them for everything.

While the imperial families, the royal powers, the priestly caste and the war machine cared nothing at all for justice, intrinsically viewing any person below them in rank as a thing to be used, a device or a tool; justice, if it was to be had, had to be distributed from the top.

He performed the rites with that in mind. He bound people to the commitments expressed in them in ways that had never been seen before, in ways that were not remembered.

When members of the Imperial family came to the table, drawn by his fame, he extracted promises from them in the sacred space, which they could not then refuse.

In the place where his life was most regimented, he found the freedom to return to his old self.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #OnePagePerDay

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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Winter Queen


A clear frozen pool
Reflecting heaven’s bounty
Mirroring the stars

Quiet at twilight
The numbing hand of winter’s
Icey fingers stretch

Capturing with cold
A slowly breaking heart, stops
The pulsing starlight

Blinking in the night
Turbulent waters, now still
The wind blows across

In this plane of glass
The Queen of Winter resides
Magic in the frost

Skin as white as death
Snowy soft, and smooth as silk
Lips bright as rubies

Her dark curls tumbling
Shining in the shadowed night
With forbidden fire

A spark of life, locked
Hidden within her breast, lost
To the trespasser

A lure for the dead
Frozen man at the lake shore
Snow up to his waist

Faded in the drift
Expiring in Winter’s grasp
Taken by Loreli

The Queen ascending
Ice blooms falling with her tears
Crystalline flowers

Graceful Loreli
Immaterial and pure
Elemental witch

She touches him, soft
His silent heart, and breathing still
A final offer

A coin for passage
The ancient nymph accepting
She takes it from him

The gift of heat, life
Guides him to the underworld
The divine moment

Slip below the plane
To pierce the shivering veil
Past the frosted screen

Emergence 3.0 - Section Six, The Empire; Part Forty, Faith; Chapter Two, Dogma


Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 289, Tuesday
October 16th, 2018

Chapter Two: Dogma

He made his vows, and took to holy orders.

Of all the transitions he had made in his long sojourn, this was the first one that he questioned.

It did not feel natural or honest, the priestly class lived in a state of being that he never imagined when he was a child, when he lived a life of dismal-drudgery, as his family had done for countless generations.

Even the lowest order of priestly professions, in the lowest ranking priestly houses, lived exalted lives. The technologies available to them were like magic.

He ignored his reservations, and he immersed himself in the priesthood

He studied.

He memorized everything, which was not difficult for him.

His knowledge expanded, exponentially. The history of the Empire was exposed through the sacred texts, as much of the real history as was possible.

He absorbed all of the tracts, all the way back to the first contact that the Empire had with the Continuum.  

It fascinated him, and struck him cold.

The Continuum appeared to be less than divine, and more like an alien civilization.

The entire Empire was enslaved to it, sending vast tributes in minerals and technology to the Central System, which he learned was the physical location of the Continuum.

The people thought of them as the heavenly worlds, but they had a location in time and space.

Deep feelings were stirring inside him. Feelings he had not experienced since he had been resurrected.

He became aware of the reality of the Collective, as a force of consciousness behind Continuum, and the truth set him free.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #OnePagePerDay

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Monday, October 15, 2018

Emergence 3.0 - Section Six, The Empire; Part Forty, Faith; Chapter One, Indoctrination


Emergence 3.0
A Novel – In One Page Per Day
Day 288, Monday
October 15th, 2018

Chapter One: Indoctrination

He was born into a family of plebians, free citizens, but in reality they were servants of the Empire in bondage to the Continuum.

He was an ordinary person, one of trillions whose lives were nothing special, not of note, they worked, went to school, worshipped and raised families.

He was a natural born empath, a capacity that had been engineered into his genetic line covertly, and he was the first in that line to manifest the ability.

He was a mutant, but his mutation was so subtle that it went unregistered.

He could not tolerate injustice.

He felt the suffering of everyone around him, and it hung on his neck like a stone.

He wanted nothing more than to give hope to the hopeless, and to free the despairing from despair.

Even as a child he found ways to rebel, to question the teachings of the Imperial cult, the indoctrination of the Imperial schools, the entire structure of the social order.

As an adult, he took up arms against the Empire, he fought the enemy wherever he could.

He became an outcast, a criminal, but for his gallantry the Continuum made him a star.

Then he was co-opted by it, executed and returned to life. It was a miracle for the masses. Afterward he entered service as a bureaucrat, then as a soldier, and finally as a priest.

#Emergence #SuperShortFiction #365SciFi #OnePagePerDay

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Sunday, October 14, 2018

A Homily – Mark 10:17-30 ©


The Gospel According to Mark – 2018.10.14
                        

Do Good and Walk Justly


Listen!

Remember this, with God all things are possible.

The kingdom of heaven is not a kingdom in the earthly sense, rather it is the garden where we walk God, where we talk with God in friendship.

Listen to the wisdom of Jesus, no-one is good but God alone, we would all do well to emulate his humility.

Remember this, the wealthy young man does not refuse Jesus, he merely goes away sad because he has been asked to do something hard, and he knows it will be hard.

The gospel reading speaks of rewards in heaven for good deeds done in the here and now.

The truth is this; the good things we do in the here and now bring the eternal blessing into the present.

The garden is not beyond time and out of reach, the garden is present in the good things we do on behalf of each other, on behalf of the poor, the marginalized and the needy. It is only through service to one another, and the love we share here that we serve God and experience the divine.

Give no thought to what will come in the afterlife, everything will happen then, just as God wills it.

Concern yourself with the here and now, with doing good and serving living justly, in this way you will be a blessing to all the people.


Give Everything You Own to the Poor, and Follow Me

Jesus was setting out on a journey when a man ran up, knelt before him and put this question to him, ‘Good master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: You must not kill; You must not commit adultery; You must not steal; You must not bring false witness; You must not defraud; Honour your father and mother.’ And he said to him, ‘Master, I have kept all these from my earliest days.’ Jesus looked steadily at him and loved him, and he said, ‘There is one thing you lack. Go and sell everything you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’ But his face fell at these words and he went away sad, for he was a man of great wealth.

Jesus looked round and said to his disciples, ‘How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!’ The disciples were astounded by these words, but Jesus insisted, ‘My children,’ he said to them ‘how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’ They were more astonished than ever. ‘In that case’ they said to one another ‘who can be saved?’ Jesus gazed at them. ‘For men’ he said ‘it is impossible, but not for God: because everything is possible for God.’

Peter took this up. ‘What about us?’ he asked him. ‘We have left everything and followed you.’ Jesus said, ‘I tell you solemnly, there is no one who has left house, brothers, sisters, father, children or land for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not be repaid a hundred times over, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and land – not without persecutions – now in this present time and, in the world to come, eternal life.’


28th Sunday in Ordinary Time