My World of Religion, Politics, Entertainment and Social Issues

If you are visiting my blog, expecting to see 'Toward a Progressive Catholic Church,' I have changed my title to reflect my wide assortment of interests. Having retired from my secular job, I hope to devote the rest of my life to my hobbies, ministries and perhaps a part-time job that makes good use of my communications skills. This blog will be designed to address my multi-faceted interests.

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Location: Rochester, New York, United States

I have an M.A. in Theology and an M.Div (Master of Divinity) from St. Bernard's School of Theology and Ministry. I am currently a media consultant and promoter of classical music. I am also certified as an officiant by the Federation of Christian Ministries for baptisms, weddings and funerals and minister independently of the Rochester Diocese. My life has encompassed many interesting paths: broadcasting, free-lance writing, video-production, music, ministry and a secular job in government. In addition to this blog, I have a YouTube site at www.youtube.com/priestray and I have a Facebook page.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Civility Needed in Public Discourse






Dear Blog Visitors:

I was both fascinated and delighted with the cover photo on the latest edition of Time Magazine. It depicts former President Reagan and current President Obama standing together in a friendly pose. If Ronald Reagan were alive today, my sense is that he would have eagerly posed for such a photo with our current president.

As mentioned in a prior blog post, I have become somewhat of a centrist in my politics, whereby I tend to favor conservative fiscal policies and liberal social policies.

When I ran for public office in 1983, I was endorsed by both the local Republican and Conservative parties. Since then, I have become a Democrat, but still hold onto conservative fiscal principles.

I wonder how much of what recently occurred in Arizona was fueled by the lack of civility in our public discourse. When we turn on our television set, we are bombarded with what amounts to hate speech and vicious verbal attacks from the left and right of the political spectrum.

In this blog post, I am appealing to those in political office to embrace the virtues of both former President Reagan and President Obama. We need more compassion and less hatred in American politics.

I have included the referenced Time Magazine photo above, in addition to a newspaper photo that goes back to 1983 (the year I ran against Rochester's popular mayor). Although Mayor Ryan and I had some differences, we treated each other with civility and respect throughout the campaign. In fact, I attended his victory party, and he in turn sent me a very nice letter.

Peace to all,
Ray

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Remembering Ronald Reagan







Dear Blog Visitors:

As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ronald Reagan, I find that all my memories of him are indeed positive. He was a genius concerning his ability to bring opposing sides together toward a common cause or goal.

During the period of Reagan's presidency, I was an active Republican, which included running against Rochester's popular Democratic mayor in 1983. After Reagan left office, I switched my enrollment to the Democratic Party. If I were to describe my political philosophy today, it would be fair to say that I am a fiscal conservative and a social liberal, which places me somewhere in the middle of the political spectrum. Many with similar leanings were often referred to as 'Reagan Democrats.'

I thought I would share a few Reagan mementos with you. Most noteworthy is the personal letter I received from him, following my writing a song in his honor. It is pictured above. (You will need to click on it for an enlargement.)

Many historians have accurately attributed the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe to two primary individuals - Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II. Both men worked tirelessly toward world peace, and heaven knows, we can certainly use voices of reason today.

In closing, I will simply say (posthumously): Happy Birthday Ron!

Peace to all,
Ray