August 19, 2018

Friends,

I’m writing these notes on July 21. I have to put together at least three bulletins before I go on vacation on August 5. So whenever I have a few moments and the spirit moves me, I sit down and decide what’s on my mind and/or what I would like to share with you. On a lighter note, I’m listening to Malt Shop Memories on a CD player. I have many 50s, and 60s CDs. Right now, it’s “A Thousand Stars in the Sky” by Kathy Young and The Innocents. If I gave you a list of the songs to follow, it would bring back a million memories. Also right now there are two people on my “I’d love to meet them” list: Pope Francis and Mookie Betts. Both of these men, in very different ways, are an inspiration to me.

Getting a little more serious: The President of the United States (POTUS) this week was asked who he would like to face in the next presidential election. When asked about former Vice President Joe Biden, he welcomed the challenge, reminding us that he (Biden) was a 3-time loser, and that former President Barack Obama had “rescued him from the garbage heap.” I’m not convinced that President Trump is capable of complimenting others for their achievements. Even if he disagrees with other political affiliations, he could respond by speaking about their personal achievements or inner goodness. Joe Biden has both. Our former President, Barack Obama, was always a gentleman and a scholar. He spoke with dignity and respect about his friends and enemies. This was not a sign of weakness, but he always knew he was heard, and was therefore being a role model in a society that feasts on division.

I realize how adamant President Trump’s followers are, and they have every right in this country to support the candidate of their choosing. At the same time, I do not believe that degrading and demeaning other human beings verbally or by “tweeting” brings us to a higher level. We were always taught that we should set the bar high for those coming after us. These past two years have been very challenging and depressing for many wonderful, patriotic Americans. Every day, we are confronted again and again with news that the President has offended someone, some community, or some country. I’m not necessarily referring to political decisions, but just the everyday communications that are part of the responsibilities and privileges that accompany those holding the highest office in our country.

Some people thrive on controversy. I am not one of them.

Enjoy Life!

Fr. Coyne

 

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