JANUARY 28, 2005

These are the Ramblings of a small town, (Holden, population 2,700), Missouri, country lawyer. They contain my random thoughts and observations on current events and my life and experiences in the Solo Practice of law.
Compiled here are the Ramblings for 2002 - 2004. 

Archived Prior Ramblings

In Memorium:
September 11, 2001

  02-22-02  03-30-02  04-05-02
  04-21-02  04-27-02  05-01-02
  05-03-02  05-10-02  05-17-02
  05-31-02  06-21-02  06-26-02
  06-29-02  07-04-02  07-05-02
  07-12-02  08-02-02  08-10-02
  08-21-02  08-23-02  08-30-02
  09-06-02  09-11-02  09-11-02F
  09-13-02  09-20-02  09-27-02
  10-04-02  10-11-02  10-18-02
  10-25-02  11-01-02  11-08-02
  11-15-02  11-22-02  11-29-02
  12-06-02  12-13-02  12-20-02

  01-03-03  01-10-03  01-10-03R
  01-17-03  01-24-03  01-31-03
  02-07-03  02-14-03  02-21-03
  02-28-03  03-07-03  03-14-03
  03-21-03  03-28-03  04-04-03
  04-11-03  04-18-03  04-25-03
  05-02-03  05-09-03  05-16-03
  05-23-03  05-30-03  06-06-03
  06-20-03  06-27-03  07-04-03
  07-11-03  07-18-03  07-25-03
  08-01-03  08-08-03  08-15-03
  08-22-03  08-29-03  09-05-03
  09-12-03  09-19-03  09-26-03
  10-03-03  10-10-03  10-17-03
  10-24-03  10-31-03  11-07-03
  11-14-03  11-21-03  11-28-03
  12-05-03  12-12-03  12-19-03

  01-02-04  01-09-04  01-16-04
  01-23-04  01-30-04  02-06-04
  02-13-04  02-20-04  02-27-04
  03-05-04  03-12-04  03-19-04
  03-29-04  04-02-04  04-09-04
  04-16-04  04-23-04  04-30-04
  05-07-04  05-14-04  05-21-04
  05-28-04  06-11-04  06-18-04
  06-25-04  07-09-04  07-16-04
  07-23-04  07-30-04  08-06-04
  08-13-04  08-20-04  08-27-04
  09-03-04  09-10-04  09-17-04
  09-24-04  10-01-04  10-08-04
  10-15-04  10-22-04  10-29-04
  11-05-04  10-12-04  11-19-04
  11-26-04  12-03-04  12-10-04
  12-17-04  12-24-04  12-30-04
  01-07-05  01-14-05  01-21-05
Greets and Huggers.  Posted the evening of January 28, 2005.  I am angry. Last Saturday, Susan went to Mass ...  she does every morning, during the week.  She can not take communion because she is divorced, (she applied for ... and will probably be granted an annulment, by "The Church"  ... not that it matters ... I would also have to seek an annulment, even though I am not Catholic because MY prior marriage was "blessed" by "The Church".)  She is in training to be a Sacristan, (setting up the liturgy dance), helps with the "food pantry" and she helps bring elder parishioners to Mass. Needless to say, she is a devout Roman Catholic. Last Saturday, she decided, after 10 years ... she wanted to go to Confession ... Monsignor Bauer told her she could not do so.  "Absolution" was not available to her because she is "living in sin" with me.  [<whispering> ... when she came home ... hurting ... almost in tears ... I must admit ... I had this strange desire to unleash a bag full of whop-ass on this "man of God" ... my shortcoming ... no doubt]  I asked her, "Do you really think Jesus, if you asked him, would deny you?"  She replied, "No ... but this is His Church".  So the only way to redemption, the only path, to return to, and become one, with God, is through the intercession of a priest? Susan thinks so.  I don't. If that were true, wouldn't it mean salvation is determined by man, if, as in this case, such intercession is refused, rather than the sacrifice of Christ? Wouldn't it mean Christ's sacrifice, salvation, is only available if and only if, you satisfy Church Law/Dogma, rather than the Word of God? Isn't this exactly what Martin Luther argued against? Wasn't that the basis for the Reformation? "Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason - I do not accept the authority of the popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other - my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen" Martin Luther, April 16, 1521. And Dogma does rule.  "Promoting condoms has failed to stem the spread of AIDS and may have increased promiscuity, the Roman Catholic Church in South Africa said on Wednesday.", (click HERE for the article).  Granted, abstinence is THE single most effective way to avoid an AID's infection but when 34.3 million people are infected and 24.5 million of them live in sub-Saharan Africa and nearly 19 million have died from AIDS, (3.8 million of them children under the age of 15), condemning the use of condoms because they are a form of birth control seems somewhat disingenuous.  Further, after Juan Antonio Martinez Camino, spokesman for the Spanish Bishops Conference, told reporters after a meeting on Tuesday with the Spanish Health Minister, Elena Salgado, "Condoms have a place in the global prevention of AIDS,"  on Wednesday, the Church insisted its position had not changed, and the use of contraception was "immoral", even for couples married in the Church. Dogma has it's place.  Ritual has it's place.  But with "The Church" ravished by reports of pedophile priests, (which The Church KNEW about because they had treatment/rehabilitation centers for these priests), judgments in the millions, in favor of these priest's victims and the vast majority of American Catholics not in favor of The Church's stand on contraception, among other issues  ... perhaps it is time for The Church to take a long hard look at why Catholics, like my Dear Friends Ron B and Corinne C  et. al. have left The Church. And Yes ... when I think about Susan's pain at being refused Confession ..... I'm still pissed.  Oh ... and share with me where the Bible differentiates, classifies, sets a hierarchy of sins.

In a study released this week in Nature Medicine"The drug, known generically as sildenafil citrate, [Viagra] blocked and even reversed some of the heart enlargement in mice with blood pressure stress", said researchers led by Dr. David A. Kass of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "A larger-than-normal heart is a serious medical condition, known as hypertrophy, and is a common feature of heart failure that can be fatal," Kass said. .... <scratching his head>  ..... don't you have to ask yourself, "Why were they feeding mice, Viagra to start off with?"  Is erectile dysfunction in mice really that much of a problem?  I'm sure, he got a grant from some animal rights group, or perhaps "Homeland Security", (basic research on stiffening resolve  ....  or perhaps research on a new weapon:  the "Woody Bomb"  ....  seriously   ....  didn't they consider a "Gay Bomb"?). It was probably worth every dime!! The real irony is that the greatest scientific discoveries result ... from serendipity.

In a study released this week by the journal Nature"male garter snakes emerging from hibernation impersonate females just so that other males will warm them up and conceal them from predators ..."   Rumor has it, that some fundamentalist Christian groups plan to condemn the study as promoting homosexuality in nature.  In related news .... more stupidity:  Margaret Spellings, "The nation's new education secretary denounced PBS on Tuesday for spending public money on a cartoon with lesbian characters, saying many parents would not want children exposed to such lifestyles." PBS pulled the plug on that episode of "Post Cards from Buster", (a kids show, where the main character, Buster Baxter, visits families in different parts of the country, to show how different folks live).  The episode about Vermont, (Vermont recognizes gay unions),  showed Buster eating a maple snow cone while chatting with a Lesbian couple. "... children exposed to such lifestyles?"  Like in two adults, respectful of each other and lovingly committed to their child and to their relationship? Yup!  Really bad thing to show a child!  You know, I get real nervous around adults who view children's things in a sexual context, (Freudian Projection, ring a bell?) This whole "homosexuality" debacle is getting really silly. For example:  Florida allows gay couples to be foster parents but will not allow the same couple to adopt the child they have been foster parents for? (See the January 30, 2004 Ramblings.) Although there is still some debate about what causes a given "sexual orientation", [the census appears to be, a strong biological pre-disposition ] ...  since 1973, according to the American Psychological Association, (APA): " ... human beings can not choose to be either gay or straight. Sexual orientation emerges for most people in early adolescence without any prior sexual experience. Although we can choose whether to act on our feelings, psychologists do not consider sexual orientation to be a conscious choice that can be voluntarily changed   ....  The reality is that homosexuality is not an illness. It does not require treatment and is not changeable." Wouldn't that suggest, if you are gay, God made you that way?  If you profess to be a Christian, how could you believe otherwise?  For an interesting overview of the literature on "conversion therapy", see: "Attempts To Change Sexual Orientation".  .... <whispering> ..... it does not work 99.98% of the time.  As for those of you who feel you have been Bible thumped:  a cure  ...  "Twelve Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse":  "One main purpose of this web site is to encourage people who have been abused by the Bible and religion to take a fresh look at the Bible for themselves.  Discover the spiritual help there that has been a source of encouragement and peace of mind for many multitudes of people in many different cultures and religious traditions."   I must say, I really like the way Episcopalians view this issue: "If homoerotic behavior is sinful; so is a self-righteousness judgment of others by those who are not so tempted, yet are prey to other sins. For Paul, both self-righteousness and sexual sin are to be abjured; fidelity requires holding together Godís justice and mercy. All are called to join Godís new community of light: to answer that call means to repent and to accept healing, wherever that is needed."  Never realized I was an Episcopalian at heart.  'Nuff said.

"An appeals court Tuesday revived part of a class-action lawsuit blaming McDonald's for making people fat, reinstating claims pertaining to deceptive advertising."  Well, I can foresee "warning labels" on "Big Macs"  ... and tiny little warning labels on their French fries.  "This is FOOD.  If you eat it in excess, you will wind up with a fat ass."  I understand the new "Happy Meal" promotion consists of plastic letters ... that, when you collect all of them  ....  link together to make a "Wide Load" sign.

Sitting here editing these Ramblings, sipping on some Port, watching the evening news and thinking about the research I did on "homosexuality" this week.  It is readily apparent, you are what you are, (in terms of sexual orientation), and can not change it.  Isn't one element of love, sexual expression?  Sharing yourself sexually with the person you love most? Isn't that one of God's greatest gifts to us, (all religions I know of, teach so)?  ...  So, if you have no control over determining your sexual orientation, why would the God of all love, the greatest love, create a person in "His Image" and consider the sexual expression of love by that person a sin?  The gay couples I know, have met  ...  love each other every bit as much, every bit as passionately, hold each other, every bit as tenderly, as I hold Susan  .... and she holds me.  "If homoerotic behavior is sinful; so is a self-righteousness judgment of others by those who are not so tempted, yet are prey to other sins." pretty well says it all, doesn't it?  On the evening news, more deaths in Iraq. Folks in Iraq will have their first free election in 3 generations.  Hopefully, they will do better at punching cards, than the folks in Florida.  Tonight, as I go to sleep, snuggled up next to the most important person in my life, I will wonder how many gay folks are also curled up next to the most important person in their life .... but unlike me, feel estranged from God ... do not feel His grace and can see no hope of doing so unless they deny who they are ... do not have the legal protections Susan and I have as a married couple ....  spit on and condemned by Christian hate mongers because they are who they are nor be able to change who they are.  I wrote once, "The best thing about taking the moral high ground ... is the view".  My vision remains clear:  my God loves, LOVES, all His children:  we are ALL created in his image, male, female, black, white ...  and when the time comes, He will judge us all, not by the color of our skin nor our sexual orientation ... but by THE test laid down, how well we have abided by the ultimate commandment:  "Love one another ... as I have loved you".  Be and sleep well, the best there is, is on watch so you can. Pray/send good wishes that they all return home safe and soon.  If my post offends, I apologize ... that is not my intent.  As always ...
A Warm Brotherly Hug
Karl (the dumb ole country lawyer, from Holden, Missouri)

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Karl H. Timmerman M.A.J.D. © 2005
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