Monday, February 2, 2009

Greetings, Our Word World!

By Ray

Greetings, Our Word World! Mitchell, assiduously pounding away at his keyboard finishing up the Great American Novel, has promised me an invitation to the big bash his publisher will be throwing when the book comes hot off the press. And a dozen signed first editions for my retirement endowment. In return, I will have to, now and then, pop in and enchant you folks with some of my bits of infinite wisdom. I do have a lot stored up. Some of it's a bit rusty, though.

I don't know a lot about NASCAR races or classical music but I've watched my share of the former and do enjoy listening to the latter far more than what is classified as popular music. But I've been a pretty quiet reader of Our Word, not commenting much as of recent.

Much of my time is usually spent generating and editing news items relating to the Catholic Church originating from Minnesota and vicinity for posting on my blog, Stella Borealis ("Star of the North"). It's tough getting juicy gossip out of priests used to observing, under threat of papal excommunication, the "seal of the confessional."

But I do have opinions. Just ask my family: boy, do I have opinions. And much of them are political in nature, being a lapsed DFLer from way back. I used to be fairly active and well known in my Senate District, but times changed in the early 80s and I became a political eunuch, leaving the DFL, but not wanting to become a Republican, either.

Two incidents drove me from the DFL. At one endorsing convention for the State House and Senate, candidates are asked to introduce themselves and then undergo interrogation from the hundreds of delegates (mostly employees of governments, social service agencies, members of labor unions, volunteers for political candidates, etc.) before the voting. One man stridently asked the candidates, "What is your opinion on abortion and how radical are you?"

You see I was a timid, frightened pro-lifer in those days and wouldn't dare mention that to my political friends as I enjoyed their company and feared losing it. But that question struck home for me that the DFL party was no place for me any more. It was about the same time that I was reverting back to the Church after having been away, mostly out of laziness, for over 20 years.

The second incident was at a monthly meeting of the Executive Committee of my Senate District, of which I was some kind of member. It was announced that the Hennepin County Executive Committee had rejected the slate of delegates that we had elected to a county endorsing convention. It wasn't representative. You see we had "too many women delegates." It seems that quotas had been established. Qualifications were no longer important. That straw broke the camel's back. [To be continued...]

[Editor's note: Thanks, Ray! Welcome aboard, and thanks again for agreeing to be a guest contributor. You can look forward to Ray's opinions each week at Our Word; in the meantime be sure to check out Stella Borealis for the latest Catholic news in the upper Midwest.]

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