High Hopes for the Pope

While I was hoping for an American pope, I’m happy that he’s from the Americas! I’m even more thrilled that from what I’ve read Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio seems more attuned to the mainstream Catholic flock than his predecessor. The new pope shuns excesses, embraces public transportation, and condones contraception (which completely goes against traditional Catholic teaching). And as a Jesuit priest he believes in fostering interfaith relationships—a huge departure from Emeritus Pope Benedict who butted heads with other faith leaders.

Cardinal Bergoglio has chosen to be called Pope Francis after St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. There was a seagull sitting atop the Sistine Chapel chimney not too long before the white smoke billowed. Apparently a sign of the good news to come. Moreover, St. Francis is the patron saint of our beautiful city of San Francisco. How much are you loving this pope already?

Many people have seen this announcement of the new pope as an opportunity to state their hatred of the Catholic Church. Everyone has a right to their own opinion. I respect that, but as a Catholic, I can’t help but feel hurt.

I get it. I have vehemently criticized the Church’s handling of the sexual abuse against our children. It disgusts me and I pray for solutions and healing.

Yes, it’s disappointing that Pope Francis is against gay marriage, but we are not all perfect. We cannot expect our leaders to be 100% aligned with our beliefs. There are a lot of things I didn’t like about Obama, but did that keep me from voting for him? Hell no! Nor did I like the fact that Bill Clinton is a philandering sex addict, but does that mean I don’t respect him? Of course not! I love Bill!!!

Truth be told, Abraham Lincoln did not believe in the equality of black and whites. But does that mean, we don’t respect him as a leader who worked toward abolishing slavery? I won’t answer that questions as I hope you’re starting to understand my train of thought and can have some compassion for all of our leaders despite their faults!

Lastly, I take huge offense to people who blanket the Catholic Church as the devil in religious form. Someone said to me offhandedly today, not intending at all to be mean-spirited, “I didn’t think there were any good Catholics.”

Are you F*ing kidding me? Catholic people give. We cook meals for the poor. We tend to the sick. We donate our time and our money. Not just Catholics, but all religions. So don’t give me that crap that Catholics aren’t good people. Just go shove it.

And finally, it perturbs me when relapsed Catholics say they no longer believe in what the Church stands for. You clearly are not going to the right church! Do not let negative publicity and poor public relations keep you from spirituality that’s right for you. You must choose to find it!

I belong to a number of different parishes, but St. Agnes has a very telling statement on the home page of their website.

 

Welcome to St. Agnes Church

INCLUSIVE

DIVERSE

JESUIT

 

PRAYERFUL LITURGIES,

WELL-PREPARED HOMILIES,

AND GRACIOUS HOSPITALITY.

 

Saint Agnes draws

WOMEN AND MEN,

YOUNG AND OLD,

GAY AND STRAIGHT,

 

To what some call

THE LAST CHANCE PARISH.

 

It is truly Catholic—

ALL ARE WELCOME!

What Would Jesus Do?

Wowzers, so much is going on! Last night was Mardi Gras. Diet, be damned, I snacked on Girl Scout cookies throughout the day and had a lovely glass of Cabernet at Maven bar/restaurant in the Haight after my acupuncture appointment. Totally counter-productive, but whatever, it was Mardi Gras!

Obama gave a terrific State of the Union. Almost makes me want to join the Congress band wagon. You go, politicians. Earn your keep and send those bills to Obama to sign. We’ve got work to do!

Have you been following the Westminster Kennel Club dog show? For someone who has never owned a dog, I am obsessed. I think the dog who won Best in Show, the affenspinscher named Banana Joe, kinda looks like me. Tiny and hairy!

Banana Joe, Westminster dog show 2013

Photograph: Frank Franklin II/AP

 

Since Fat Tuesday was last night, that means today is Ash Wednesday and the start of the holy Lenten season, the 40+ days before Easter. Originally, I thought I’d double-down on my diet, and give up sweets and alcohol since I have to do it anyway. That means no cheat days, just plain misery for all of Lent. But I thought that would only serve to make me more of a bitch so I killed that idea.

I prayed last night on what I should do, really do to make myself a better person. Because that’s what it’s all about. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s about giving up your favorite vice like ice-cream or beer. Lent is the season of being more Christ-like. If you give up say coffee, then every time you think of coffee, it should remind you of sacrifice and you should be donating the money to charity. But if every time you want a sip of coffee, you’re counting down the days to Easter when you can stand in line at Starbucks, then that’s not really appropriate.

I have been suffering from a lot of anxiety lately and I determined the best thing for me (and for those around me) is to stop constantly being so stressed out. So I’m going to give up worrying (about the refi, home sale, eating right, Ghost Baby) and whenever I feel a pang of anxiety, I’m going to ask myself, ‘What would Jesus do?’ He’d be really calm and pray. So that’s what I’m going to do. Y’all got to hold me to it now that it’s out there on the blogosphere. Don’t worry be happy.

The Weekend in List Form

Saturday

Slept in. This is a luxury I cannot fathom giving up. I have been sleeping in on weekends since I was born. I remember talking to a friend about how I sleep in until around 11am almost every weekend and he said, “What’re you like 16 years old?”

Hung out with friends and their twins. Dean’s really good with kids. I think they think he’s one of them, but just super tall.

Got car tires changed. My mechanic, the Toy Shop on Geary, is the best. If you own a Japanese car, get your car fixed at the Toy Shop. Very good at what they do, and honest with reasonable prices. I love the guys there. The only thing they don’t do are tires so we had to get those changed elsewhere.

Watched the new Skyfall movie. Entertaining. Can’t say it’s the best Bond flick ever, but pretty good. I think it’s been hyped up so much, I was disappointed.

Dinner at Mr. Pollo. I will review in another post.

Sunday

Slept in

Got my toe nails painted. Cut my own nails, filed them, then went to the nail salon across the street and had them do a french paint.

Drinks at the Phoenix. The Mission is now fully packed on the weekends. We went to 3 places in a row and there wasn’t any place to sit.

Dinner at Mission Chinese. Still, hands-down, one of my favorite restaurants in the city. Last weekend, I went to Chinatown and ate at Great Eastern which is the restaurant Obama got take-out from. I swear to God I gained 3 pounds when I weighed myself the next day. What a waste of calories, the food wasn’t even good. But Mission Chinese is good Chinese food, not that crappy stuff they serve in the bowels of Chinatown. After gorging on Mission Chinese, I weighed myself the next day bracing myself for another 3 pound gain and I swear to God I lost 2 pounds. Who loses weight after eating Chinese food? Mission Chinese–best diet ever.

Drinks at Beauty Bar. The place has turned into a major decrepit dive. Wow, won’t be going back there again.

Wine at a friend’s house. Can’t go wrong drinking wine with a friend who has hundreds of bottles at his home.

Why I Am Voting for Obama

I am an independent voter and an independent thinker. I do not align myself with any party and hence do not vote along party lines. For many years, I was a registered Republican. I have never been a Democrat. I would hate to have to choose between either party because I dislike both.

I have wavered throughout this campaign because choosing between the two candidates seemed more to do with identifying the lesser of two evils than selecting a president you can really stand behind. I can say very firmly now that Obama has more integrity and will be a better leader than Romney.

Let me preface that yes, Obama has let this country down. Absolutely, he has not fulfilled the promises of his 2008 race. But I will say that throughout his term, he has been a president who cares about the 100%, someone who stands up for women’s rights, someone who fights for immigrant rights. He cares about everyone. Moreover, Obama has continually lived a life of service in government.

Romney is a successful man who doesn’t know what else to do with his life so he’s setting his sights on the presidency. He’s made his riches. What else is the man going to do? He does not have the background to lead this country. He was governor for 4 years. That’s it. Obama has been in government since the beginning of time.

Romney will lie and do anything to get votes. Let me give you an example. Romney has changed his abortion stance so many times that Ted Kennedy called him multiple choice. Romney’s current ads feature a woman saying that Romney is in favor of abortion in select situations. Yet in the past, he has been on record for stating he would outlaw abortion altogether. Is this a man that you want to see as president? Someone who is constantly flip-flopping to garner more votes?

Let’s take another example. Romney has been saying that jobs in the auto industry are being moved to China because of Obama’s bailout. That is bullshit. Such bullshit that both CEOs at General Motors and Chrysler have publicly called him out on his lies! Read the paper, people. This guy is trying to pull the wool over your eyes. Here is a recent Ohio headline, “Romney’s GM and Chrysler ads are an insult to Ohioans.”

Romney told his wealthy donors that 47% of Americans are victims who are dependent on government. After he was caught making this disparaging remark, he said he didn’t mean it in that context, then later said the remarks were completely wrong. Which is it? Do you stand by your word or do you not? Sure every campaign is going to have a few missteps, but ‘binders full of women,’ and ‘women should have time to go home and cook dinner for their families.’ Is this man out of touch or what?! Do you think Obama would ever say, I understand that women like my wife Michelle should have time to go home and cook for me and the kids. This is one misstep too many and I am sick of it.

Whoever is elected president will have the power to appoint supreme court justices. If Romney is elected he will select ultra-conservative justices who move to overturn Roe vs Wade. Women, are you aware of this? Do you see that our rights are slowly being taken away by right-wing conservatives? Don’t let this happen. Ensure that the Supreme Court is at least a little bit balance. It is already skewed to the right.

These are trying times. There is no panacea, no president who is going to solve all of America’s problems in 4 years. But do you want another 4 years akin to George W. Bush’s presidency? My God! Please say no. Do the right thing. Vote for Obama.

Presidential Debate: Romney 1, Obama 0

Been super busy with work and haven’t had any time for extracurricular online activities like blogging, tweeting, or scouring my Facebook feed. But I did have a chance to watch the presidential debate. Wow. I was surprisingly impressed by Romney and sorely disappointed by Obama. Mr. President, how do you fail to look at your opponent during the whole friggin debate? Unbelievable how poor Obama’s performance was, both in action and in content. He failed! If his preparation for the debate is any indication of his fervor to maintain the presidency, then he deserves to lose. I was so horrified by his performance that I actually no longer care who wins the election. We are choosing between the better of the worst.

Given what happened, I was shocked at the dead silence concerning the topic among my online network. Why is that the case? Because the majority of my friends are uber-liberal Democrats. Obama could have stuttered his way through the debate and there would have been zero criticism. I guess that’s what I don’t understand. Have people become so close-minded that they blindly vote for whichever candidate regardless of capability? I prefer to assess both candidates objectively regardless of political affiliation and when there’s criticism to be had, well then I will dole it out. Silent acceptance does no one any favors. If the tables were turned and Romney had sucked, my Facebook feed would’ve blown up with scorn for the man.

I’ve heard the excuse that Obama has always been a weak debater. For crying out loud, he is a Harvard Law School graduate and the president of the United States. How do you not have effective debate skills?!?!

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