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.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Clint Eastwood and My Two Empty Chairs


Dear Blog Visitors:

Anyone who knows me well is fully aware that Clint Eastwood is my all-time favorite filmmaker.  He has experimented with just about every subject matter in his story-telling and his long-time film crew is notable for giving Clint’s movies a certain look and feel.

 
While many conservatives are claiming Clint as one of their own, as a result of his highly publicized appearance at the Republican National Convention, I see his endorsement of Mitt Romney based on one primary issue – namely, the high unemployment rate in the United States.  I will address this issue in a moment.

Immediately following Clint Eastwood’s appearance at the Republican National Convention, I commented on my Facebook page that his routine with an empty chair was somewhat painful to watch.  It was obviously non-scripted, and I wasn’t sure where Clint was headed with his remarks to Barack Obama, who was imagined sitting in the empty chair.  I believe that Clint actually likes the president, judging by positions on a variety of issues that they both share.  So, I was a little uncomfortable over the fact that Clint may have left the impression that he abandoned his legendary stances for rights associated mostly with the Democratic Party.

 
At the heart of Clint’s criticism of Barack of Obama was the issue of jobs.  If I had an opportunity to speak with Clint prior to the convention, I would have advised him not to bring this issue up, because the reality is that presidents can’t create jobs.  At best, presidents can work with the leaders of the House and Senate, in an effort to create an environment that is conducive to employers creating more jobs.  However, in recent years, we have seen a highly dysfunctional Congress, with approval ratings as low as 18%.  So, if there is to be blame over the issue of jobs, Barack Obama should not be a target, since he has faithfully tried to get both the House and Senate to dialogue on matters relating to our high unemployment rate.

Another issue that was briefly mentioned by Clint Eastwood was the war in Afghanistan.  To be fair, President Obama inherited both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars from his predecessor, George Bush.  My personal belief is that if we had kept our focus on Afghanistan, we would have accomplished more in the way of defeating the Taliban.  By diverting our attention to Iraq, in light of intelligence that proved to be faulty, we allowed the Taliban to regroup.  So, we are now faced with the difficult choice of either withdrawing or maintaining a military presence.  I believe that President Obama is acting prudent in this delicate matter.

Clint Eastwood remains my favorite filmmaker.  Following his appearance at the Republican National Convention, I was quoted on a local TV newscast.  I mentioned the fact that although I felt uncomfortable with Clint’s empty chair routine, I nevertheless recognized that he has some liberal leanings that are evident in some of his movie themes.  For example, the issue of the ‘right-to-die’ debate surfaces in MILLION DOLLAR BABY.  In LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA, Clint tells the story of this bloody battle from a Japanese perspective.  Furthermore, in some of Clint’s westerns, most notably, THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES, he was one of the first directors/actors to treat Native American Indians in a sensitive manner.

In addition to some of the liberal subject matter in Clint Eastwood’s movies, he was recently quoted concerning his support of same-sex marriage.  Similarly, I am in support of this issue.

 
I hope Clint doesn’t mind the fact that I borrowed his empty chair routine, and utilized a similar context in a video I made, in which I am addressing the Speaker of the House and the Majority Leader of the Senate, represented by two empty chairs.
  As the presidential campaign moves forward, I hope there is more substance, and less rhetoric.
Peace to all,
Ray
 

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