On Religious Freedom

A military chaplain, the Rev Ronald Apollo, sued the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to be able to practice his religious beliefs and won. BOP wanted all personnel to carry pepper spray, including chaplains, so that if attacked by an inmate they could protect themselves. Apollo challenged the rule and now prison chaplains will no longer have to carry pepper spray. That to some may be just another example of how the Christian right asserts its values on the society, but it is more than that. First of Continue reading “On Religious Freedom”

White Nationalists–The Chain’s Weak Link

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. It’s a saying that seems to have relevance to Donald Trump’s election. Much is being said about those who form part of his base, if not the majority of it, the white nationalists, the alt-right, by whatever name those who have a belief system that to most of us represents intolerance. Given the trend of the US electorate, the trends of US society, these are people who seem anachronistic, with values that run counter to the movement of inclusiveness and pluralism. Their values appear to feed racism, sexism, homophobia , xenophobia and many of the categories which as a whole our society has been in travails to overcome. To many reading this it may be that Continue reading “White Nationalists–The Chain’s Weak Link”

The Fight Against Deportation

There’s already the outline of a movement to fight whatever the Trump administration may do about deportation. Several Ivy League universities including Harvard, are making plans to protect the students there illegally, some young people in the US since childhood. The Catholic Bishops have asked Trump to rethink his planned deportation policy. Cardinal Jose Gomez, head of the Los Angeles diocese has already expressed his opposition to deportation. There’s also the chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, Charlie Beck, who declared that deporting people is not the job of the police. The Los Angeles Unified School district has Continue reading “The Fight Against Deportation”

Forced Catheterization

We are surrounded by so many serious issues that sometimes the problems not affecting many people can slip through the radar. Despite the amount of reading I do to write these pieces, I was not aware that forced catheterization was among them. In several states including Indiana, Utah, Idaho, Washington and South Dakota, forced catheterization is and has been used. A good illustration of how it happens is the case of Jamie Lockard in a small town in Indiana. He was stopped by the police for going through a stop sign. Suspecting he was intoxicated they gave him a breathalyzer test. He blew .07 which is right under the limit. They then got a search warrant for both Continue reading “Forced Catheterization”