More Stuff on Gangstas

***A note concerning terminology: there is a difference between 'gangsta' and 'gangster.' The former is an expression of a spirited person, someone who is "cold-blooded," "ice-cold," who doesn't crack under pressure. The latter is a member of the mob or a genre of films like Scarface, starring Al Pacino with machine guns and cocaine. They're not unrelated, but they're most certainly not synonymous. Please, more stuff on gangstas. That’s serious. A real sense of what’s important, and a composure … [Read more...]

The New Evangelization Needs Profanity

So a Pharisee invites Jesus over to his house for dinner. Check out what transpires, from today's Gospel: The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal. The Lord said to him, "Oh you Pharisees! Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil. You fools!" Damn. Move over, Kobe Bryant: Jesus is the real OG --- Original Gangsta. Jesus was crazy.In many ways, I think he was crazier … [Read more...]

Vote Local, Not Loco: Subsidiarity and Voting

Politics makes us crazy. As true as it may be, the statement should be qualified. National politics make us crazy. Sanity is the exception to the insane rule on the national stage. But not on the local one. Partisanship always dissipates, and many times disappears, at the local level. If this is true, then there should be something deeply unsettling about it. It is reminiscent of my ridiculous post on the exploitation of Catholics by the both national parties. While we get black-out drunk --- … [Read more...]

Faith and Food

Holy Cross Catholic Church, Minneapolis, MN

Happy Year of Faith, everyone!On Monday, I think I raised some eyebrows when I expressed my fear of Latinos becoming "white." For the record: as proud and attached as I am to my Texican Hispanic heritage, I wouldn't mind being any number of other ethnicities --- so long as they're Catholic. (As I've pointed out, until recently, Catholics have been excluded from being considered white.) My fear is not principally racial; it is cultural and religious.Catholic culture is what I treasure and … [Read more...]

We Be, Big Pimpin’ Catholics Down in US of A: The Democrat and Republican Exploitation of Catholics

Certain anti-Catholic Protestants like to claim that the Catholic Church is the "Whore of Babylon," from chapters 17 and 18 of the book of Revelation. Outrageous as it is to think this, there may be some substance to the claim if we substitute the Apocalypse of John with Jay-Z's perverse and misogynistic song, Big Pimpin'. The American Catholic Church is certainly not the Whore of Babylon, but, on the American scene, many of her members have become whores to another Imperial pimp: the American … [Read more...]

Martha and Mary on Anxiety

I've always considered the story of Martha and Mary as being about the two paths of spiritual life: the via activa and the via comtemplativa. Depending on my mood and spiritual fancy, the story either comforted or bothered me. Oftentimes both. Today was different: Father's homily was about anxiety. Martha's problem was not her activity; it was anxiety that Jesus was correcting. "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things." This interpretation rings true to me. Anxiety. I'm th … [Read more...]

Was Columbus White?

On another side of this holiday, we find another lesson: a lesson about whiteness.Columbus Day is often treated, on both sides, as the day that so-called white people discovered/conquered (see my previous post) non-whites.This is mistaken: in 1492 "white people" hadn't been invented yet. The invention of Whiteness didn't happen for several hundred years later.In the British colonies and Whiggish United States, Columbus --- and all of Spanish and Italian culture --- would never … [Read more...]

The Politics of Language on Columbus Day

The two Spanish words that summarize the predominant reading and counter-reading of Columbus Day are descubrimiento and conquista.Descubrimiento refers to that the word 'discovery' points to in English. It emphasizes the subjective experience of Columbus, Spain, and, by extension, Western Europe. Colonialism. When this subjective experience is glorified and placed into a colonial mythology, it becomes Columbus Day as we know it.Conquista refers to what the English word 'conquest' gets … [Read more...]

Evangelizing the Evangelized: A Love Letter

Dearest Church,The Year of Faith is almost right on top of us. Don't you just love these goofy "years" we celebrate and observe together, on the somewhat arbitrary declarations of our popes? I sure do. There is nothing more serious than doing something arbitrarily, which begins to unlock the mad, Augustinian genius of faith: we know because we believe, not the other way around. In the days and months to come, expect lots from me on this Year of Faith stuff.But first, nostalgia:I … [Read more...]

Hola! Waves, Oceans, Tragedy

The huffing "h" sound  in the Spanish word 'hola' is silent, as a general rule. Except when it follows and combines with the letter c, creating the fourth letter of the Spanish alphabet: ch. Ch makes the sound of chocolate, nachos, and chocolate nachos. RoCHa. Cha. Not ca. The h isn't silent in my last name.Back to 'hola': the silent h makes it sound exactly like the word 'ola' --- wave.In English, a "wave" can be a sign, a gesture. A greeting or goodbye.  An hola. The physical gesture c … [Read more...]


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