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, February 06, 2011

The Need for Civility in American Politics





Dear Blog Visitors:

Ever since the recent tragedy in Tucson, we have been saturated with commentaries about the need for more civility in American politics. In this regard, I have been thinking of role models, past and present, who had a special gift of generating friendship with those they either agreed or disagreed with on social or political issues.

I am writing this on what would have been Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday. Since I have already posted a couple tributes to him during the past week, I won't be repeating myself today. However, I will simply restate that I respected his ability to be a brilliant communicator, in addition to his ability to reach across the aisle, in a spirit of friendship, to those who didn't always share his viewpoints.

Throughout much of my life, I have been immersed in a variety of political arenas. In a traditional sense, I had my day in the sun with both Democratic and Republican politics. Later in life, I became embroiled in the politics of the Roman Catholic Church, especially when I became an advocate for married priests and the rights of women. While I tried to be civil in all my interactions, there were admittedly a few occasions when things got a little testy.

Someone I greatly admired was the late Jack Kemp. I was privileged to know him when he was a New York Congressman. I was also privileged to work on his presidential campaign. Like myself, Jack was in many respects a fiscal conservative and a social liberal. Some knew Jack when he played football with the Buffalo Bills. Others knew him primarily from his days in politics. I think it is safe to say that anyone who knew Jack would readily refer to him as a true gentleman and a man who cared about all his constituents. As Secretary of HUD (Housing and Urban Development), he was an advocate for the poor and he was passionate about racial equality in America.

I have posted a couple mementos from Jack Kemp that I am sharing with you. Let us pray that American politics becomes more civil. This would be Jack's prayer as well.

Peace to all,
Ray

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