7 Quick Takes on 9/11, Captain America, and the Death Penalty

7qt_lyceum

— 1 —

9/11/2001

Never forget.

— 2 —

On a much lighter yet still patriotic note, I have learned that Captain America is the most Catholic superhero. (Yes, I’ve heard of Nightcrawler; he seems to be struggling with forgiveness and acknowledging that he is forgiven.)

I’ve been following the Ascension Presents video series for a few weeks. Fr. Mike Schmitz is such a great presenter that I follow basically everything he does. His argument contains references to several classic heresies, so there’s definitely some deeper theological insights within the discussion of men in tights. Check it out.

— 3 —

I was practicing the “survival dance” I mentioned a few weeks ago when I had a sudden epiphany: it’s bachata! The basic step in bachata is exactly the one James Joseph demonstrates in that video. Bachata can also go forwards and backwards, and you can add some turns along the same line (an invisible dance line; not “in the same line of thinking”).

So there’s a bonus to the survival dance: if you learn it and master it, you can also learn some other bachata moves to spice it up.

— 4 —

“Today the death penalty is inadmissible, no matter how serious the crime of the condemned. It is an offense against the inviolability of life and the dignity of the human person that contradicts God’s plan for man and society and His merciful justice, and it impedes fulfilling the just end of the punishments. It does not do justice to the victims, but foments vengeance.” —Pope Francis, Letter to the International Commission Against the Death Penalty

— 5 —

I had to go back to heavy things. I am openly against the death penalty. Although I acknowledge that Catholics are allowed to support it, I don’t think we should. Accordingly, I follow the Catholic Mobilizing Network to End the Death Penalty. It needs a less clunky name, but its goal is one I believe in.

The CMN editors recently shared a response by Dale S. Recinella addressing three common myths about why the death penalty is necessary: that it lowers the murder rate within prisons, that it is a deterrent to terrorism, and that it is a deterrent to homicide (in general and of law enforcement and judicial employees). He also offers economic data to show that executions are not less expensive than life imprisonment (both in terms of court costs and prison costs) and the theological truth that no one is beyond redemption. It’s worth reading.

— 6 —

I watch TV while I eat. Since we don’t have cable and I only follow so many TV shows, I sometimes watch YouTube videos instead. Ave Maria Press has an archive of recorded webinars, so I watched their young adult ministry roundtable from last year. The presenters made some excellent points. Having worked in ministry and been involved in various cities, parishes, and phases of my life, I am convinced that there is no cookie-cutter approach to any age-specific ministry.

The Church is great at youth ministry because it’s so much like school. We can do school. Adults aren’t always interested in school-like faith formation, though. It can be tough when you’re unmarried and don’t have children, or you’re married and don’t have children, or you’re married with children, and you get lumped in together with everyone else because you’re roughly the same age. The first group tends to like happy hour, but the third can only attend child-friendly events or ones with babysitting. Not every parish is big enough for a young adult group. Not everyone likes groups. Not every young adult is even registered with a parish (that tends to happen at marriage or the baptism of a child).

“Every parish doesn’t need a young adult group, but every parish had better minister to young adults.” —Jonathan Lewis, Archdiocese of Washington

I don’t have any solutions, but I’m glad I’m not the only one wrestling with the questions. One size does not fit all.

— 7 —

I went to a friend’s private karaoke party on Sunday, so I now have “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” stuck in my head. You’re welcome for the throwback.


For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum.



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I don’t read comic books. I do see the movies, however. Captain America gets the award for best-looking girlfriend in Peggy Carter in the recent Marvel movies/tv shows

Tony Stark – girlfriend Gwenyth Paltrow
Thor – girlfriend Natalie Portman

The various actresses who play Lois Lane – Amy Adams, Kate Bosworth, etc.
Batman is too psycho to have a girlfriend, but I will say Anne Hathaway was fetching in the last movie.

Steve Rogers – girlfriend Hayley Atwell back in the 1940s.

So I’ll give it to Captain America overall.

Although if they push the David Banner/Natasha Romanova relationship in the Avenger series, The Hulk may overtake him with ScarJo.

    Haha, yes! Everyone loves Captain America! He’s my celebrity crush, if imaginary celebrities count.

    Also, I am not ashamed to say that Anne Hathaway is one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood. She sheared off her hair for Les Miz, won an Oscar, and then got married with her short hair. And I like her movies. Wins all around.

Fr Mike! What a dynamic speaker – love it (and love the new Ascension press series too)! Thanks for posting.

(And I agree about the CMN name as well – strong stuff but long name…)

I’ve read a lot of stuff about young adult groups and talked to a lot of people that do young adult ministry and it seems like everyone is in the same boat in how they work. Honestly the most successful ones have been ones where everything is SUPER casual.

Last year my parish started casual conversations with the pastor. I wasn’t sure how long it would last as most things we tried to start seemed to fall apart but here we are a year later and still meeting. We meet once a month for dinner at a local restaurant/bar. Have drinks, food, and we can easily ask the priest anything or just chit chat about life.

I think what makes it hard is you have some people that are DYING for community and ways to meet like minded people in the faith and learn more but then you have others who are happy just attending mass and nothing else.

    The thing about super casual groups is that you never actually get to know anyone. You just get to meet a lot of people. Programs like Theology on Tap are great for seeing that there are other young adult Catholics out there, but I usually only see people I already know. The new people I do meet are the ones I never see again. :/

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