Thursday, May 4, 2017

A Priest to Respect: Meet the Catholic Priest Whose Twitter Puts Trump to Shame

Here's an exclusive article from Vanity Fair magazine about a priest who "gets it." He seems to totally understand what  Christianity should be. And it's not the kind that the current Administration is expressing. Christians should applaud this man who stands up for their religion to set it straight and re-claim it from extremists. If you're a Christian -you should follow him on Facebook and Twitter. Just look at this interview. 

Meet the Catholic Priest Whose Twitter Puts Trump to Shame

On his active social accounts, Rev. James Martin, S.J., preaches that Jesus disapproves of the Muslim ban, the Mexican wall, and United’s decision to toss that doctor off the plane.



Rev. James Martin at the Cherry Lane in New York City, 2010.

Photograph by Thos Robinson.
Donald Trump’s presidency has put a lot of liberals in an apocalyptic mood, and Rev. James Martin is here to help. At a time when the term “conservative Christian” feels increasingly redundant, the New York City–based Jesuit priest’s Twitter and Facebook accounts offer a refreshingly progressive, if scrupulously Catholic, perspective on the news of the day.
   So while he’s not about to sing the praises of Roe v. Wade, Martin is perfectly willing to slam Gitmo as “American apartheid,” the Muslim ban and the Mexican Wall as “manifestly unchristian and against the Gospel,” and Trump’s environmental policy as “the opposite of Catholic social teaching.” As for United Airlines’ decision to beat up a passenger who wouldn’t give up his seat, Martin said that highlighted “the morality of capitalism and the ills of the corporate culture.”





"It's hypocrisy to call yourself a Christian and chase away a refugee or someone seeking help." Pope Francis. Let all who have ears listen



Little wonder, then, that he’s picked up over 100,000 followers on Twitter and half a million on Facebook. “My social-media strategy has changed not a bit,” he says. “It’s the world that’s turned. I think it makes what I’m saying seem more radical, but it’s always been the same message.”
That message aligns very closely with the one espoused by his fellow social-media-savvy Jesuit, Pope Francis, who earlier this week tapped Martin to serve as consultor to the Secretariat of Communication—Vatican-ese for “P.R. consultant.” “I am really on board with the way he’s proceeding and what he’s focusing on,” Martin says of Francis. “I think it’s fantastic.”
Martin, who also serves as an editor at large for the Jesuit-run America magazine, spoke to Vanity Fair in the lead-up to Easter about what the Gospels can tell us about politics in Washington, Rome, and beyond.
Vanity Fair: Those of us in the media joke about “hot takes,” where you weigh in quickly on a topic that everyone’s talking about, but you do a legitimately good job of that. What’s your approach to covering the news?
Rev. James Martin, S.J.: People are hungry naturally for a moral perspective. That’s their conscience desiring some kind of moral compass. The Gospels are always relevant, and Jesus’s way of looking at something is my way of looking at something. There are some questions that cry out so much for a Christian perspective that, when you find them, they take off on social media.


TWEET:   James Martin, SJ



Using this tragedy in this way is reprehensible.


But there are different ways of looking at the Gospels. How would you describe the Jesuit perspective, specifically?
That Jesus’s message is essentially one of love, mercy, and forgiveness, and that his approach was radical inclusion. He was in particular concerned with the marginalized, which is why I’m concerned with the marginalized.
Do you find that people are more receptive to your social-media ministry than they were before Trump was elected?
Yes, I think that’s accurate.
Do you have a sense of why that is?
Yes, it’s because a lot of the issues that are being talked about are moral issues. How we treat refugees and migrants, how we treat the poor, how we treat the sick, how we treat people in other countries, how we treat the environment. These are all moral issues that were in the news before, but people feel more strongly about them since the last election.
Do you think people in Blue America are also looking for a religious authority that they can relate to?
I would say, not to put too fine a point on it, that the religious authority they can relate to is Jesus. That’s the authority that I’m bringing them. When Jesus talks about welcoming the stranger, he couldn’t be any clearer.
But different Christian groups have totally different interpretations of a story like that, don’t they?
Sure, but that’s always been the case. The parables were interpreted different ways even in Jesus’s time. I would say this: there are certain stories and passages that are open to interpretation. There are certain stories and passages that are not. Jesus could not be any clearer in Matthew 25 where he says, “If you don’t welcome the stranger, care for the sick, and help the poor, you’re not helping, welcoming, or caring for me.” You cannot be any clearer.
Now what that means and how that plays out is up for interpretation. The fact that we do need to welcome them, and help them, and care for them is not up for interpretation.
The rest is politics, I guess.
I want to be clear about this: I am not a political person. I am very careful about not mentioning even the words Republican or Democrat. I try not to mention names of politicians, because it’s wrong for a church to take sides. If preaching the Gospel has a political effect, then so be it.
What about Vatican politics? You’re aligned with Pope Francis, but even within the Vatican he has conservative rivals, at least one of whom is said to be close with Steve Bannon. How does that work?
The Holy Spirit gives us different popes for different times. John Paul, Pope Benedict, and Pope Francis are very different kinds of people. It’s O.K. that they have focused on different things. That said, I’m rather shocked that some people who consider themselves traditionalists and who said in the past that any disagreement of any sort with the Pope is tantamount to dissent are now disagreeing all over the place. It’s rather ironic, to put it mildly.
What’s your social-media diet like? Any guilty pleasures?
I follow Elizabeth Windsor, the fake Queen Elizabeth account. And KimKierkegaardashian. That’s a mix of Kim Kardashian and the Danish existential philosopher Soren Kierkegaard. Those are the two that make me laugh.
What would you say to people who have had a crisis of faith over the past few months?
Well, I would say our faith does not rest on Donald Trump. He was not nailed to the cross, put in the tomb, and raised from the dead after three days. That’s the first thing. Focus on the essentials.
The second thing is to look at the Easter message, which is an appropriate thing to talk about this time of year, as a sign for us of what God can do. I think the message of Easter is that life is stronger than death, love is stronger than hatred, and hope is stronger than despair.
I often invite people to consider the disciples on Good Friday and on Holy Saturday who were terrified, despairing, and cowering behind closed doors because they could see nothing good coming from this. What Easter Sunday shows us is that there are always surprises in store for us. Nothing is impossible with God.
I often say to people who thought that the church could never change, that the way the church was run would always be the same: “Look at Pope Francis.” How can you doubt that the Holy Spirit is at work in a powerful way?
I thought Saint John Paul and Pope Benedict were excellent popes. Pope Francis is doing something new. This is what God does on Easter. God does something surprising. The God of surprises is one of my favorite ways of looking at God.

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

Great Books by our friends

Great Books by our friends
Check out these great books (yeah, Rob's are in there, too)

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next

Podcast of Rob's 50 min. interview on Paranormal Filler Radio 7/13/14