Saturday, January 28, 2012

In NJ, Gay marriage fight is debating definition of word

For about sixty percent of the United States that does not recognize civil unions or gay marriage, the debate over the legal rights of homosexual and lesbian couples is often framed as a question of fairness and civil rights. Agree or disagree, the argument is made that the state should recognize a reality that already exists and allow similar tax deductions, medical insurance, property rights, ability to make medical decisions for ones significant other etc. 

In NJ, in 2009 the statue legalizing civil unions specifically references granting the civil union every civil right and responsibility granted to a married same sex couple in New Jersey (obviously the state can’t do anything about other states or federal law) In short, in NJ a civil union is everything but the “ M” word.

Yet for the second time in two years, legislators in Trenton are again hotly debating legalizing gay marriage in the Garden State. But despite all the rhetoric and comparisons to the 1960’s civil rights fights, the political maneuvers by state democratic leaders who have been checkmated for two years by populist republican governor Christ Christie, his counter move to call for a state wide referendum and the like- both sides overlook the reality on the ground – de facto same sex marriage already exists and thrives in NJ, it just doesn’t use the word  “marriage”.

If this was not crystal clear previously, the press release of the NJ Catholic bishops on the topic seals the deal.

What is surprising is not that the Bishops oppose the legalization of same sex marriage; they make very clear they do not support such a change. No what is amazing is essentially the bishop’s final arguments- that the legislation is not needed because same sex civil union partners already have all the civil rights of married couples. 

So we are down to debating the definition (or perhaps more precisely changing the century’s old definition) a very emotional, very personal word– marriage. Now no matter how important the word, the definition of word “ marriage” will neither shake the foundations of western civilization nor will it represent a seminal civil rights victory. 

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day 2010

This post on a Marine Private who is buried in Arlington offers an observation from across the Potomac from the sniping that has taken over our nations capital..and a reminder that class is not impossible.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Scranton Bishop Martino to Resign?

I posted my thoughts over on Deacon Greg's site...

see post and comments

Your thoughts?


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Camden Diocese - Where did the haters come from?

I have been contemplating this post for a while. In the Camden NJ catholic diocese ( where I live) , Bishop Joseph Galante announced 16 months ago ago a sweeping reorganization of parishes that understandably has brought great consternation. Closing and merging parishes is traumatic and people will feel hurt and angry. This is understandable.

The Bishop and the chancery officials are not perfect and with such a large change they certainly made some missteps-- and to their credit made some adjustments when faced with additional data. In the end they face the same hard facts of many dioceses in the nation-- far less priests and far fewer active parishioners to support the current number of parishes. And it resulted in hard choices to consolidate many parishes.

What is disturbing however is the reaction of a small but vocal group of people who object to these parish consolidations and closings and have responded with regular on line attacks on the bishop, chancery officials and even local priests. The attacks have a few common characteristics:

**They are inevitably personal and accuse the priests and others of chancery with willful and intentional desires to destroy the local church

** The ignore all data and the experience of the rest of the Church in the US with pie in the sky statements that there really are plenty of priests, no need to close any church etc

**They, without any sense of irony, proclaim with all certitude their world view to be the true authentic Catholic church and the local Bishop ( appointed by the Vicar of Rome) and his officials to not be truly Catholic or legitimate and

**they hide their hateful venom on websites that are closed to respectful disagreement and only present their narrow view. Apparently as sure as they claim to be holders of the truth, they fear any post that would point out any weakness in their arguments.

More recently one hater has decided to slander a parish priest I know and respect, Father Ed Friel. At some point someone needs to take on this garbage.

Here is the post

I don't know who Byrnes is but I do know Father Ed to be a hardworking and down to earth priest who is trying to do his best in a difficult situation. Her rants are a disgrace and deserve a strong response. Alas, the website is only open to people who have drunken the kool-aid and agree with Byrnes and her fellow 'authentic Catholics'.


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Liberty Bell, Independence Hall...Comcast Center Lobby???

The Philadelphia Inquirer today highlights the latest tourist attraction in Philadelphia - the lobby of the Comcast Center.

These photos do not do full justice to the 'wow!' of walking into what appears to be "just another office lobby" and suddenly being overwhelmed by a wall of video.

If your in Philadlephia - No matter your opinion of mother Comcast-- its worth the visit. And the price is right- free!

here is a link to a youtube -



Hello everyone.

Welcome to my blog. The title is a nod to my profession ( accounting) but my hope is to stimulate more balanced conversation on a wide variety of topics beyond business and accounting. So we will link in discussions on politics ( I am from NJ - so we will start by searching for an honest politician -- please ,please someone name one!) religion, sports, books, popular culture....

So I look forward to hearing from you