This blog started out as a companion piece to my book, Musings from the Christian Left (excerpts of which can be found in the July 2004 link) and to support a planned radio show. Now, its simply a long term writing project from a Christian Left Libertarian perspective (meaning I often argue for liberty within the (Catholic) Church, rather than liberty because the church takes care of a conservative view of morality.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Fostering Families

The Washington Post is running a series on families in "the system" because the parents use drugs or drink. Both the daughter and mother are placed in facilities.

I have a modest suggestion. Find a setting where the entire family, including the father, is fostered as a group. After detox is completed, the assumption should be made that the family should be reunited, and this should happen sooner rather than later. This allows professionals to mentor the recovering parents as parents. A holistic approach might also make sure that the parents are literate to a level required to function in society, giving them a place to live, food, health care and a little money while they take their skills to the next level.

In the end, we will get functional families and the temptation to adopt out the child if setbacks occur will be greatly diminished.

A New Strategy for Group Homes

The Post reports today that group home spaces for the mentally disabled in Northern Virginia are hard to come by. This is not surprise, since government agencies can only go so far.

We have long advocated more involvement by the faith based sector. Catholic Charities seems to have a way of cutting through the red tape when necessary and raising needed extra funds. Perhaps it is time to ask them and for Charities to proceed without being asked.

Real America

E.J. Dionne writes in todays Washington Post about how "Real America" has moved. He particularly mentions our little slice of the world.

Now the conventional wisdom sees Republicans in danger of becoming merely a Southern regional party. Isn't it amazing how quickly the supposedly "real America" was transformed into a besieged conservative enclave out of touch with the rest of the country? Now religious moderates and liberals are speaking in their own tongues, and the free-thinking, down-to-earth citizens in the Rocky Mountain states are, in large numbers, fed up with right-wing ideology.

E.J., its good of you to notice.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Baby Cheney

Ruth Marcus writes in yesterdays Washington Post about the upcoming birth of the Vice President's grandchild to his lesbian daughter, Mary.

I'll ignore the easy quip about father figures and butchness and get right to the meat.

Mary Cheney is correct about the fact that she is married already. Marriage comes from God and the people involved. Churches and societies only witness them and give them goodies. The lagards will eventually catch up - its a demographic certainty as the more uptight die off.

The second, more important issue, concerns fatherhood. It has nothing to do with Gay Marriage. If conservatives would drop their oppossition to giving welfare benefits to intact families and end the incarceration of drug users and small time dealers, this crisis of fatherhood will go away. Unless someone is a raging alcoholic or addict, a little pot use will not make them a bad father any more than a few glasses of wine or a cocktail will. If conservatives demoan the assault on fatherhood, they should look in the mirror first.