Nineveh moment 33… Like going next door and looking in the window at… photo

As I mentioned in an earlier ‘Nineveh post,’ the airwaves these days are saturated with sexual imagery. (And here comes an invisible deadly virus into our air waves now. Hmm.) But many of us have become so desensitized to this sexual imagery that we simply accept it as normal now (unless it’s tremendously X-rated stuff). But here’s the spiritual rub… Jesus said anyone “who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery in their heart.” [Mathew 5:28] While giving a talk at a moral theology class at Bluffton College a number of years ago, I said, for instance, husbands and wives spend hours sitting on a couch together watching scantily clad actors in all kinds of sexual poses, and much more — on prime time TV without thinking anything of it. During the Q & A period after the talk, the professor said that when you think about this objectively, it would be like saying, to your wife, for example: “Honey, I’m going next door to look in the window at Marge for a couple hours.” What’s more, the more we watch TV fashions getting more suggestive, and more suggestive… well, life imitates art, if you will. And all of a sudden, just as one example, we have a majority of women, teenage girls, and even young children wearing tights — and thinking nothing about it! Does any of us think, for even a second, that God condones this? In fact, He might be, oh, a bit angry about it — given what his Son said. Just sayin’. So, as president, how would I impact this? As just one example, I would vocally, and regularly, support “1 Million Moms Fight for Decency” on television. What’s more, I wouldn’t have a super-model wife modeling suggestive stuff at political events. Think loose, but fashionably fitting of course, LL Bean clothes or something. Note: The Bible’s 1 Timothy 2: 8-9… “I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety…” Uh, short shorts, tight jeans with rips all over, tights in general… I mean, c’mon. Note 2: In 1917 at Fatima (a Catholic Church approved apparition), the Blessed Virgin Mary said souls were falling into hell like “snowflakes.” And the number one reason, she said: “Sins of the flesh.” That, incidentally, is the kinds of ‘sins’ I’m writing about in this post.

Nineveh moment 32… As spiritually nuts in life, as in death

Habitat for Humanity replica slum village in Americus, GA

In a news piece this morning, it was noted that with the coronavirus crisis there’s, well, more funerals in the U.S. these days. Now to pick up with the American ‘spoiled’ theme from the previous post… The average cost for a funeral in America these days (coffin, burial plot, wake and other funeral home charges…): $10,000. You read that right! On a campaign stop at Habitat for Humanity Headquarters in Americus, Georgia, we toured a replica Third World slum village (see above), then we learned that to provide an adequate Habitat house for a family of five, or more (modest ranch style home) in the Third World costs, on average: $2,000. So doing the math on this: We bury one dead American for what it would cost to build five Habitat homes in the Third World, sheltering around 25 to 35 people. Uh… The slum conditions many in the Third World live in is off-the-charts deplorable. Meanwhile, most of us in, say, lower middle class America are living like kings by comparison, both in life, and in the (cherry wood coffin) death. The late Pope John Paul II at one point said that the First World and Third World were playing out the “Lazarus the beggar and the rich guy” parable in the Bible. And in that story, it doesn’t bode well for the ‘rich guy’ in eternity. Incidentally, Pope John Paul II was buried in a simple, inexpensive, pine box — with the savings, I’m sure, going to some outreach project for the poor. It is time to realign America, both in life, and in death. Note: First Mennonite Church in Bluffton has a “Casket Ministry,” with church member “carpenter hobbyists” building caskets for $350. Often instead of funeral home wakes, First Mennonite will have a memorial service and potluck afterward with photos of the deceased, and so on, displayed all over (no wake funeral hall fees, no embalming costs…). First Lutheran Church here has a Column Burial, with drawers for cremated ashes. Cost for a drawer: $200. Average cost for cremation: $700… When you add all this up, you got, maybe,$1,250 (plus coleslaw for the potluck) — leaving $8,750 for the Habitat homes for the Lazarus’s and their families.

Nineveh moment 31… God sent poisonous snakes…

The reading at Mass today was Numbers 21:4-9. The colloquial cliff note on this is… Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt. God gave them manna (small tortilla bread like stuff) to sustain them. And it did. But, okay, it wasn’t Outback Steakhouse. So the Israelites started to complain. God, in turn, got angry. How angry? He sent poisonous snakes among the people. And some died. In short order, they repented (from coming off as spoiled) and eventually the snakes left. So… It’s the year 2020 in the First World. Instead of being happy with fans, we wanted air conditioning units, then central air, then… Instead of being content with your basic vehicle for transportation, we wanted two nicer vehicles, and then even nicer vehicles (with all the options), and then even… And yeah, after watching a few HGTV shows, we wanted a sun porch, then we wanted an add on den, and then we wanted… Meanwhile some 2 billion people live in slums worldwide. Many don’t even have bicycles with trailers to get their meager crops to market in town. And air conditioning? More than one billion people live without any electricity worldwide. And now here comes a virus into our First World midst that is ‘biting’ some of us, our loved ones, and so on. We need to come to grips with the fact that God, through the years, has chastised his people. But even more (and this will be a good kind of more), we need to understand why He’s doing it (Coming off as spoiled?), repent, and change. One could only wonder what would have happened to the Israelites if they hadn’t repented and changed. Note: And it won’t be enough to just scale back. We’ll need to take the savings to help all these other people in tough straits. For an overall template of how our administration would inspire this, and provide many more conduits into the Third World, see…

Nineveh moment 30… Global food chain idiocy…

As I type this, the coronavirus is in 180 countries playing havoc with practically everything. One of those ‘things’ is the global food supply chain. Planting is being delayed. Food import/export markets are being disrupted. Things are breaking down. So… Do we wait for the crisis to end and then rush right back at it trying to get this all up and running again? Or, well, do we realign? (The international food trade sends gigatons of carbon dioxide into the air every year, creates farm worker sweatshop conditions, if you will, in our fields and fields worldwide, and has fueled the use of massive amounts of toxic pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers to maximize profits in a global market.) So what would realignment look like in America, for instance? Our administration would work to establish local/regional markets for crops. We would ramp up, exponentially, home and community gardens, permacultures, and local Farmers Markets. We would go to “seasonal eating,” in tandem with, once again, learning the art of things like canning, and such. We would, in essence, become a lot more sustainable, food wise, in our particular regions. And speaking of sustainability, our administration would ramp up, just as exponentially, Peace Corps, and similar types of help into the Third World to help people in these countries become as sustainable as possible, food wise, as well. In addition, and as just one example, we would hold up the Common Ground Growing Project in Kimmel, Indiana, for farmers throughout the nation. Local farmers in Kimmel farm a common farm on the side with the crop going to a Food Resource Bank, which is a Christian initiative that then takes the profit and provides seeds, farm tools, irrigation equipment, animals… to 25 different Third World countries. Note: We have blindly bought into the evolution of a global food system that majorly pollutes the planet and has created a plethora of farm worker jobs (under current oppressive conditions) with little human dignity — all because we want apples (and so many other choices) year round in our well stocked First World grocery stores. Gluttony? Well, sure. Note: For a look at our outside-the-conventional-lines Agricultural platform in general, see…

Nineveh moment 29… Pop Francis yesterday: “…time to choose what matters.” photo

Yesterday (3/27/20) Pope Francis addressed the world from an empty St. Peter’s Square amidst a rain storm. The storm was quite appropriate, divine coincidence wise, to the pope’s message. He said that the world was living amidst a dark storm because of the current worldwide pandemic. Why? God is angry and is trying to urgently get our attention. Many of us, said the pope, have gone ahead at “breakneck speed”: greedy for profit, not concerned about wars elsewhere, not concerned about the plight of the immigrant… Not concerned about a “gravely aging planet” (read: global warming, vanishing species, major water pollution problems, and so on.) The pope then said we “…thought we could stay healthy in a world that’s sick.” The answer, he continued: “It’s time to choose what matters,” and get our lives “back on track.” That means, he said, we must abandon “our eagerness for power and possessions… and adopt new forms of hospitality, fraternity and solidarity.” Okay… What our presidential campaign revolves around, across-the-board, is moving Americans squarely into the paradigm the pope speaks of. We’ve researched a series of models, already in place on a small scale in America, that will get way more help to the poor of this country and the poor in the Third World. It holds out grassroots models for how to dramatically help immigrants. It champions extremely effective projects that, if replicated across the country, would go a long way toward saving the environment. And so much more. So… And all this is going to take is for Americans to heed the pope’s words. That is, most Americans will need to slow down and cut back on their lifestyles. In other words, they’ll need to sacrifice (just like they did, for instance, during World War II). The savings of money and time that are generated by this, then need to be redirected into volunteering to help, including subsidizing with money, the projects we’ve researched so they can be spread across the nation, and around the world. Note: Some 30 years ago, I started doing what the pope recommended yesterday. In my particular case, I gave up a lucrative profession, and at God’s prompting, went out into America to research the grassroots projects He seemed to be inspiring for when this shift in the country needed to happen on a wide scale basis. And that time, well, seems to be now. Note 2: These projects are thread throughout our campaign position papers and, for that matter, throughout our main campaign website in general.

Nineveh moment 28… Gassing the world?

National Geographic photos

I just read where Los Angeles is experiencing it’s third smog free week because of the whole “Shelter in Place” deal from the coronavirus. And that’s pretty much the same for the whole of the U.S. right now. With the exception of China, we’re the biggest ‘CO2 culprit’ on the planet. A corollary: You know how nuts we got when we learned Saddam Hussain was “gassing” the Kurds? During a talk at Notre Dame, I said that our First World energy gluttony, in a very real sense, is “gassing” the world. People dying of drought and famine in more arid countries now, increasing super-charged hurricanes/cyclones, climate refugees… First World moral theologians, given to heady rationalization (because they themselves are driving a lot, et. al), would say this was merely: “unintended consequences without moral culpability.” Common sense would say: “that’s crap.” Because, well, too many of us know now. Note: This coronavirus induced break in our habits, across-the-board, is giving us time to realign. Or not. If you’re looking to realign in this category, look no further than our position paper on energy, and our position paper on transportation.

Nineveh moment 27… Bourbon Street bullseye photo

It was just announced today that New Orleans is having an explosion of coronavirus cases, and its now become the most rapid growth rate in the world in fact. Experts are pointing to the extremely crowded streets of Mardi Gras there last month as the “perfect storm” breeding ground for the virus spread. And, ultimately, this could prove more deadly than Hurricane Katrina (death toll: 1,833). Let’s look at this from a spiritual angle… Catholic author Michael Brown wrote in his book The Final Hour that because of the absolute debauchery found in the Mardi Gras, found in the adult and occult shops in the French Quarter, the constant partying on Bourbon Street… with the city on the Gulf, he was surprised God hadn’t let New Orleans become the epicenter of a major hurricane yet. *He wrote that two years before: New Orleans became the bullseye for: Hurricane Katrina. We did a campaign tour along the Gulf Coast there six months after, and it still looked like a war zone. Over the years, however, everything has been rehabbed infrastructure wise, and the city, for the most part, has gone back to the same old debauchery. Now New Orleans, via Mardi Gras no less, has become the bullseye for: the deadly coronavirus. Note: While New Orleans might represent the far end of the debauchery continuum in America, most of the rest of the country is not far behind on the sin scale these days. But what’s it going to take to wake us up to that?

Nineveh moment 26… Time for a “jacked down” economy!

YES! magazine photo

The unemployment figures came out this morning, smashing the previous record in America by a lot. The previous record for a month: 700,000. This report: 3.3 million! An economics professor from New York University said this morning during an interview: “This is an unprecedented economic contraction… and we don’t want to kill the economy.” Uh, I would at least partially differ. Our campaign platform calls for simplifying and jacking down our economy considerably. For instance, we need to deemphasize (easy money) Wall Street financial speculation, complicated financial instruments, and extraneous “paper shuffling” jobs in general in America. In tandem, we would propose initial debt free stimulus to revive small town and big city neighborhood economies. In addition, using the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, we would break up the Wal-Marts, Targets, Lowe’s… as monopolies, as we would break up big national banks, and big corporate farms. To the latter, as an example, we would provide incentives to sub-divide these farms and stimulate small scale organic farms that are much more labor intensive. This would provide, for instance, jobs that are lost when a lot of non-essential “paper shuffling” jobs disappear. This corona virus crisis, this economic contraction, is allowing for a lot of the dross to be cleared from what has become, in large part, a bloated, convoluted economic system. Again, spiritual commons sense dictates that we simplify the system and go back to a decentralized orientation (“local production for local consumption”) that, for one, strengthens bonds in community. This will also cut down tremendously on transport carbon dioxide emissions. And it will “flatten the curve” (Where have I heard that phrase before?) on income inequality in the country, as some of those relatively meaningless professional jobs — that nonetheless pay well — go away. Note: For a look at our Economic Position that, I contend, aligns way more with what God probably wants for society, see…

Nineveh moment 25… “Woe to you who are filled now…”

buzz feed photo

Some restaurants in America are in danger of closing because of the coronavirus. It might be good for a number of them to close, actually. You see, we in First World America are regularly dropping $25, $35, $45… a pop at, say, Applebee’s. We’re splurging at the “All You Can Eat” buffet restaurants just as regularly. And so on… We’ve come to accept this as just a “normal” part of our culture. Meanwhile, some 24,000 people starve to death every day in the Third World. In Haiti, to quell acute, consistent, hunger pains, people there have taken to eating patties made of mud, oil and flour. While this is apparently slowly killing them, its better than immediately dying of starvation. Americans need to look at eating as a “moral act.” And we need to even this First World/Third World thing out way more than it is now. Translated: Less eating out for many of us, more economical rice and beans meals, and such, at home — with the savings going into things like sustainable agriculture projects for people in Haiti, Uganda, Biafra… Jesus said: “Woe to you who are filled now…,” I mean it wouldn’t take a moral theologian with a PHD to figure that out, huh. Note: For a look at how our administration would work to set up a Foreign Relations paradigm that would help the American public align much more with this, see…

Nineveh moment 24… Yeah, but what if it was your mother? photo

Euthanasia is creeping more and more into the countries of the world. Yet we’re not God. God is. God is the “author of life.” He determines the span between conception and natural death. We don’t. When we do (abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide…), we are putting our eternal souls at tremendous risk. The Catholic Church unequivocally teaches that, as an example, euthanasia is a “grave sin.” Yet people participate in it directly, or by voting for, say, politicians who back it (as part of what Pope John Paul II called “The Culture of Death” in America). Of course, some of the people who back the concept of euthanasia would never use it in regard to their loved ones. And then here comes this coronavirus pandemic putting the elderly, specifically, at risk all over the world. And wouldn’t you know, with hospitals being overwhelmed with elderly patients, doctors being forced to do “triage,” are now, day in and day out, having to make decisions about who they are going to allow to die — including, perhaps, the grandparents, mothers, fathers… of now tremendously anguished grandchildren, sons, daughters… who have, maybe over the years, backed euthanasia. Hopefully what’s going on now will inspire them to change their minds about this issue before it’s too late. Both for more elderly in the cross hairs of euthanasia, and before it’s too late for their own souls. For our campaign’s stance on euthanasia, and “Life Issues” in general, see…