A Man’s Word: In Business and Personal

Herself has asked me to re-engage with the blog here, as it might keep me from kicking the dirt and fussing about the local, national, and international umbrella of unfairness that seems to be infecting our culture.  To those readers and passers-by who peruse these pages occasionally in the interest of finding something direct, honest, and pragmatic – I thank you for your interest.

The fact is that Cowboy Papist has been quite busy generating family income which unfortunately has come to a sudden halt about a month ago.  Being out of work from the summer of 2010 to 2011 had given Cowboy Papist a different view of life – staring in the face of poverty can shake you up!  But God be praised, we landed some consulting work through the late summer to winter when a close professional friend recruited us to join a new startup.  After 75 days of learning their business and sales model, their products and services, and efforts to build a pipeline of business for them . . . they ran out of money and let this here cowboy go.

Head on down the road, they said – thank you for your service.  Nope, no severance pay, no emergency funds to help you get through the next month or two.  Nothing – only a befuddled friend who is so embarrassed that he has stopped calling for a while.  This is what happens when people go into business with the best of intentions and simply start enjoying the perks of spending their money and forget that they’ve given their word to do whatever it takes to make a start-up be successful.

Which brings us to the point of this brief post, (I will honestly make a stronger effort to be more consistent with my writing – many Catholic issues are explicitly all around us with a need for direct, honest and pragmatic observation), . . . ahem, where were we?  Oh, yes, which brings us to the point of this brief post . . .

Cowboy Papist has danced in the corporate offices for many years, donning our Justin boots and Wrangler jeans on the weekends while working in  a suit and tie monkey suit during the week making many persons and companies many millions of dollars.  Large corporations are focused on the revenue benefits for shareholders, senior executives, and shareholders.

Working with startups, which is much more fun, requires significant faith in the executive team, the folks providing the funding, and the willingness of everyone to do their jobs to the best of their abilities so the clients are successful.  Successful clients make for happy startups.  But when the executives are just pretending to be conscientious decision makers and are really just playing with their money, incompetent leadership and bad business decisions are the result.  People lose their jobs, then their homes and cars, marriages suffer, all amidst the siren call of our culture to hide in the dark with drugs and alcohol.

All because people cannot do what they say they will do; simply cannot be honest with those around them.  It’s been an issue in business for centuries and the source of many dramatic novels and films.

C’mon people – don’t say one thing and do another, especially when it will hurt someone.  Just don’t do it.  We’re all generally good people who care to some extent about our neighbors, (though we all need to improve here), so when you say you’re going to do something and others are depending on you to follow through, take care of your business and do the right thing.

Maybe you’ll feel better about what is going on around you, your family will admire you and follow your example, and we’ll all pay it forward and get along a bit better than we have over the last 4-5 years.  Or at least we can get more positive activity into our economies and slow the rising price of gas!

Yes, Cowboy Papist will figure out a way to keep Eddy in oats and hay, and get to a couple of team ropings this summer while figuring out how to pay the rent and keep diesel in the tank.  While we struggle to trust in God, the saints and martyrs teach us to embrace our cross for the great glory of Jesus Christ.  It’s a struggle, and it isn’t easy; but it’s what we’re call to do for Him, our friends, and our family.

And may our Lord bless little wee Teagen; she sure does make her Grandma happy!

 

 

Posted in Culture, Personal | Tagged ,

Religious Freedom: Nothing More – Nothing Less

As many have noted already, this HHS mandate is nothing more than the Obama administration believing they represent the truth and the Church must conform to its “accommodation.”.  Our former bishop here in Denver, Archbishop Charles Chaput OFM Cap., summed it up best in a Feb. 12 Philadelphia Inquirer columnn when he called the mandate ‘insulting.’  Here’s his wrap up which is worth considering:

“In reality, no similarly aggressive attack on religious freedom in our country has occurred in recent memory.  The current administration prides itself on being measured and deliberate. The current HHS mandate needs to be understood as exactly that.  Commentators are using words like “gaffe,” “ill conceived,” and “mistake” to describe the mandate.  They’re wrong.  It’s impossible to see this regulation as some happenstance policy.  It has been too long in the making.

“Despite all of its public apprehension about “culture warriors” on the political right in the past, the current administration has created an HHS mandate that is the embodiment of culture war.  At its heart is a seemingly deep distrust of the formative role religious faith has on personal and social conduct, and a deep distaste for religion’s moral influence on public affairs.  To say that this view is contrary to the Founders’ thinking and the record of American history would be an understatement.

“Critics may characterize my words here as partisan or political.  These are my personal views, and of course people are free to disagree.  But it is this administration — not Catholic ministries or institutions or bishops — that chose the timing and nature of the fight.  The onus is entirely on the White House, which also has the power to remove the issue from public conflict.  Catholics should not be misled into accepting feeble compromises on issues of principle.  The HHS mandate is bad law; and not merely bad, but dangerous and insulting.  It needs to be withdrawn — now.

Remember to pray for our bishops, priests and religious.  And do something about it!  Call your political representative and voice your opinion.  For as Dr. Peter Kreet recently wrote using a quote of Edmund Burke, “If you love your children or your country, you must take sides in the war.  Neutrality is not an option in wartime.  For ‘the only thing that is needed for the triumph of evil is that the good do nothing’ (Burke).”

Posted in Opinion, Politics | Tagged , ,

The Issue is Religion Freedom

Well it’s obvious that the major media outlets are attempting to change reality to one that better suits their ideology; according to the media, it’s all about birth control and not freedom of religion.  Here’s just a couple of examples:

Liberal Catholics who supported Obamacare now upset over contraceptives

Boehner: Congress to overturn birth control policy if Obama does not reverse course

Of course, in the articles they point to THE ISSUE: “House Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday accused Obama from the floor of the House of attacking religious freedom by not exempting religious-affiliated organizations.”

As Cardinal designate Archbishop Timothy Dolan wrote in the Wall Street Journal a few days ago titled, “ObamaCare and Religious Freedom.”  The point here is Religious Freedom.  Our culture simply seems to struggle to understand that the Church teaches the truth through it’s bishops.  One is  free to practice what the Church teaches, or not.  Not a difficult concept.  Yet the truth is, well, the truth.  It cannot change. 

Fact is, the Obama administration, through its faux catholyc HHS Secretary Sebelius, is attempting to dictate norms to the Catholic Church in America.  That’s just today – imagine what will happen tomorrow or in the future if this is allowed to stand.  The US Government could dictate to any entity how it should think, believe, and conduct it’s business no matter its own principles.  The US Government could decide what principles are important and what are not.  Today it’s Catholics, tomorrow it’s parents, or . . .

A well-known author noted just a few days ago how the Nazi Party in Germany instituted similar dictates to its citizenry that was simply accepted without much of a fuss:

“In the beginning, it always starts really, really small.  We need to understand as Americans — if we do not see this as a bright line in the sand — if you’re not a Catholic, if you use contraception — doesn’t matter.  Because eventually, this kind of government overreach will affect you.”

The remarkable irony here is that the POTUS wouldn’t consider doing something similar to Muslims here in America, . . . at least not yet.  But if given its way, it surely will.

Posted in Catholic, Culture, Politics | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Late Again!!

So, here it is February, and this here Cowboy Papist ain’t wrote much again! What’s the deal!

Fact is, December was crazy with job interviewing that encompassed cross-country travel,  new granddaughter showing up a bit later than her due date, film-maker son crashing on his way home for the holidays which resulted in time, energy and money to get him a new ride, new phone, etc., etc.  Then there was the holidays!  So, the Missus and Cowboy Papist were a bit busy.  Fortunately, the new year started with everyone healthy, happy, and on track for making progress.

The new job is excellent to date, but travel has been difficult with numerous trips and conferences that have taken up much time.  But the new employer and my new peers are wonderful folks with a real concern for helping a few higher educators offer a fully complete program to adult learners who otherwise might have to spend far too much money for their education, or else blow it off!  So we’re excited to get going and help the post secondary customers take advantages of exciting new ways of learning!

And that, by way of a poor excuse, is why Cowboy Papist is late again with the regular postings.  Wrote up a post late last night on an iPad2, only to have the draft get messed up for some reason due to our inexperience with the Apple iOS.  Sorry if anyone caught that mess; we’ve learned our lesson!

So, needless to say, our Catholic ways seem to be under even greater threat than the last time there was a post from Cowboy Papist!  The POTUS and his administration have finally admitted to us in a very explicit way that they want to replace all religion in America with their ‘religion’ – the ‘Government Run by Democrats Knows What’s Best for You’ religion.  Or, we guess, secularism!  Yea, right!

Can’t you just hear those knuckleheads in the White House, . . .

“We don’t need no stinkin’ Catholic Church – what does it know?  Aren’t those doctrines and dogmas designed to be changed in order to be popular?  Don’t the latest polls tell us Catholics need to be told their bishops don’t know nuthin’!  Now they got no choice but to change cause we passed a law!  They’ll stop talking down about abortion and birth-control and embrace our new religion!”

So, pull your belts in an extra notch – we’re going for a ride!  These events were in His plan all along, for as K-Lo (Ms. Kathryn Lopez, a favorite!), referred today in a quote from the late Fr. John Hardon, “The essence of love is to suffer willingly for the one you claim to love.  God became man to suffer with a human will.”

Ain’t that the truth!  No one said being a follower of Christ was going to be easy, and to suffer for His Church willingly is the essence of our love for His Church.  It’s time to face these ‘politicians’ who, no matter their party, wish to replace our Church with their secular flavor of the day.  The definition of politics may be compromise, but tolerance and compromise isn’t a virtue, as our favorite Archbishop of Philadelphia has said!

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Winning the Culture War

Tom Crowe over at CatholicVote.com has a great post discussing Dr. Peter Kreeft and his advice on how to ‘How to Win the Culture War: A Christian Battle Plan for a Culture in Crisis.  This is a common subject from Dr. Kreeft who’s speeches on the culture wars is a favorite of many who enjoy honest, direct and pragmatic advice.  Here’s a video of his talk which he gave at Christ the King Chapel at Steubenville:

Mr. Crowe has done us a service by offering a summation and an acronym, PHONEYS, that helps us to identify those ideas that Screwtape and his peers in Hell will attempt to continuously feed Catholics in order to keep us from Christ and Salvation:

  1. Politicization of the faith so that secular politics becomes the end and faith the means;
  2. Incessant “Happy talk” that only serves to distract or delude us from the true destruction of society around us;
  3. Organizationalism,” by which the Church is seen as a business or organization first and a distant second (if at all) as a community, family, mystical body;
  4. Neo-worship,” or worship of things new at the expense of the old, in particular the rejection of things “pre-Vatican II”;
  5. Egalitarianism,” manifested most especially in modern feminism, with the awesome quip, “calling those people ‘feminists’ is like calling cannibals ‘chefs.’”;
  6. Yuppydom,” which is essentially selling out to the fads of the times rather than holding God as God;
  7. Spirituality,” in which Christians seek salvation, or at least affirmation, while recoiling at the thought of suffering—they want Christ without the cross.

One great result that our bishops have just instituted, our new Missal translations, have resulted in a focus on liturgy and words which we believe will help combat several of these ideas.  Emphasizing that our fads and political correctness can’t hold a candle to God and that a return to updated Latin translations brings us closer to Christ.

Enjoy Dr. Kreeft!

Posted in Catholic, Culture | 1 Comment

Outlaw Race / Gender Based Abortions: For Now

Hat Tip to Trent Franks, (AZ-R), from The Daily Caller from earlier this week:

Arizona Republican Rep. Trent Franks once again is pushing to outlaw abortions that are due to an unborn child’s race or sex, with legislation that would punish medical providers who perform abortions, or accept funding for abortions, based on those criteria.  According to Franks, a ban on these types of abortions is needed because minority babies are aborted at five times the rate of white babies and, based on a 2008 report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S. Census data shows that certain populations have ‘son-biased’ ratios due to “sex selection, most likely at the prenatal stages.

I know all of the explosive dynamics related to anything connected to abortion, but this should be something that all of us can find some common ground on,” Franks told The Daily Caller. “That is my hope.”

. . . The congressman makes no bones about the fact that he hopes that legislation like this will one day help lead to the end of all abortions.  He does, however, note that the idea of discrimination is something that people can rally around.

People will say I have a greater agenda — and they are right — I hope for a day when all children, regardless of race or color, all children because they are children will be protected,” he said.

But right now regardless of what the long term impact of this might be the short term impact is very simple: Can we not agree that aborting a child based on a child’s race or sex is wrong?

This is the proper character for a Catholic politician.

UPDATE:  Fox News has picked up on this issue and the new bill being introduced by Rep. Trent Franks

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Black Friday: Never Again

From Fr. Longenecker at Standing on My Head:

“Has anybody else glimpsed the irony? Black Friday everybody gets up early and goes to pay homage to the great American idol– Mammon.  Yet we call it ‘Black Friday’.  Do we call it Black Friday because all the businesses go for a few days into the black rather than running on credit?  I dunno and don’t much care.  The irony is that people go running out to buy their gadgets and trinkets (and they go in great crowds) which they think will make them happy and it’s called Black Friday.

“Jump forward a few months and we remember the worst thing that ever happened–that mankind killed the Son of God who loved them–and we call this Friday ‘Good’.  The irony continues because in our society more and more people neglect Good Friday and worship on Black Friday.  In fact, the reason they neglect Good Friday is because they worshiped another god on Black Friday. You cannot serve both the Son of Man and Mammon.

“So welcome to the great Christian country America–where on Black Friday the Christians–like everybody else–spend hundreds of dollars for goodies while they give Jesus–Good Friday.”

Herself took the initiative and went out at midnight on Black Friday to investigate a new TV at a nearby Best Buy; she was shocked at the trash, vulgarity, and anger from most of those standing in line.  One women yelled to anyone who would listen that she “was armed” and no one was going to get to ‘her’ stuff.  Our lovely and pregnant daughter in law visited Walmart at about the same time and was pawed and pushed, then stuck in the crowds for a couple of hours.

Fortunately, our grand-baby wasn’t harmed.  Never again will our family take such risks.

Should business and profits supersede common sense?  Is saving a few dollars on more stuff worth the risk to body and soul?  We all must work to end this superficial religion called secularism once and for all.

Posted in Culture, Personal | Tagged | 1 Comment