Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Monthly Reading Links

"Fifteen years ago, Ruett and Rhonda Foster were grieving parents in a courtroom. Their 7-year-old son Evan had been shot and killed by a gang member … Three young men were convicted and sent to prison. And the Fosters began performing their own sort of penance, making regular visits to local youth prisons, reaching out to troubled young men … They are still making those visits."
Sandy Banks, Los Angeles Times

"For his high school prom in 1942, Robert Clement bought a white orchid corsage in a fancy plastic box. He gave it to a female staff member who organized the dance. Others would think it was a kind gesture, that he was just a considerate young man. In truth, Clement didn't have anyone else to give it to. He liked boys. And he couldn't take a boy to the prom. Especially not seven decades ago in a small town."
Hailey Branson-Potts, Los Angeles Times

"It is time to drop the labels. They are lazy, inaccurate and often unjust. They push people away rather than draw them into conversation. They allow us to live in a fantasy world where we don't have to be confronted with the real positions of real people who may force us to look at a situation which is more complex that we would like it to be. Dealing with that complexity is difficult, messy and even risky – but it is a requirement of intellectual honesty and solidarity."
Charles Camosy, Catholic Moral Theology

"The first 'Thanksgiving' was not celebrated by the Pilgrims … It was celebrated by Spanish missionary priests a half-century earlier … The history we have been told – the history of the winners – is not untrue. But it is biased and incomplete … Without the rest of the American story, we are left with a distorted idea of American identity and national culture. And at certain moments in American history, this incomplete sense of American identity has led to grave injustices."
Jose Gomez, New York Post

"One special thing about me is that I have Down syndrome … Some people think that because I have Down syndrome I can't do what other people can do. But that is not true. Everyone can share their talents … God loves me because God made me. He made me just the way I am, and he loves me just the way I am."
Joey Kane, America Magazine

"Sometimes a police officer would find me in a state of what is termed 'camping' by the city's anti-camping ordinance … Sometimes the officers were polite, sometimes they were rude, but always they added, 'It's against the law.' As if I didn't know. As if I could do something about it. The hardships and insecurity of homelessness couldn't dampen my spirit as much as the humiliation that my city hated me. They must have hated me, since I was denied shelter and yet forbidden to live without shelter."
Paula Lomazzi, U.S. Catholic

"I end up dismissing the love shown to me because I'm too busy waiting for the moment to become a perfect, heart-shaped peg, and to slot itself in, just so. So I end up holding out, expecting love to come later in some deep, soul-bearing conversation. This can't be what extraordinary looks like, I think. But it can."
Keith Maczkiewicz, The Jesuit Post

Follow me on Twitter, @jwbidwell, for additional reading recommendations.