This is how the world end

I have a family member who recently said to me that if I posted pictures of them on Facebook, they would stop speaking to me.  This, entirely understandable, concern stems from their conscious concern that personnel information collection by large companies has a tendency to be abused.  Once you have surrender your privacy it is nearly impossible to get back.

What made the conversation stand out to me wasn’t their “fear” of business; but that this particular family member is one that inherently trusts government to solve this (and many other) issues.  There seems to be a fundamental disconnect between the perceived danger from business and the real danger of government.

Coca-cola cannot force my soda consumption (or limit the size of my cup.)  Google cannot regulate which sites I am allowed to visit, or what the content of those sites can be.  Phillip-Morris is entirely unable to limit the extent of my free speech by defining who is, or is not, a “legitimate” reporter.  And while Facebook may want to use your personnel information to sell you crap, or profile you activities; it doesn’t have the ability levy punitive damages, listen in on any phone conversation you have ever had, or target you with a drone strike.

One’s personnel privacy should certainly be protracted, but a healthy fear of the abuse of capitalism should always be tempered with a real fear of the only institution that has the ability to use force against us.  An institution that has demonstrated time and time again that it abuses that force to the detriment of both our privacy and our liberty.

Random Excerpts from “Just Courage”

Some notes from the book “Just Courage: God’s Great Expedition for the Restless Christian” by Gary A. Haugen:

“The sin of injustice is defined in the Bible as the abuse of power – abusing power by taking from others the good things that God intended for them, namely, their life, liberty, dignity, or the fruits of their love or their labor.  In other words, when a stronger person abuses his or her power by taking from a weaker person what God alone has given the weaker person -…”

-Gary Haugen

“Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker”

-Proverbs 14:31 NRSV

In-justice is a particularly egregious evil because the sufferer (the weaker person who is being acted on) isn’t suffering because of a random unfairness, an uncontrollable act of nature or bad luck; but because of the very intentional abuse and oppression of a stronger person.

“(caring for the poor of Africa…) is not a matter of charity; it’s a matter of justice”

-Bono

“…we can give all manner of goods and services to the poor, but if we do not restrain the hands of the bullies from taking it away, we will be disappointed in the long-term outcome of our efforts.”

-Gary Haugen

Justice consists not in being neutral between right and wrong, but in finding out the right and upholding it, wherever found, against the wrong.

-Theodore Roosevelt

Violence is just different. Violence is intentional. Violence is scary. And violence causes deep scars.

-Gary Haugen

Those who prey upon the poor are not brave. They only prey upon the poor when they think they can… Most fundamentally the predators (the instigators of injustice) are afraid of the truth.

-Gary Haugen

Justice is the aura of God. It is something every human understands, even from the time they are small children, but something that doesn’t exist as part of “the world.” In a universe that has absolutely no concept of fairness; every being on this planet, regardless of race, creed, or belief, screams out for justice. Those that pursue it are considered the greatest examples of mankind. Those who die for it are considered martyrs and saints. And those who stand in opposition to it will forever be judged on the wrong side of history.

“Ultimately we can choose to be safe or brave.  We cannot be both.”

-Gary Haugen

Favorite Axioms

From the book axiom by Bill Hybels:

  1. –Find Owners not Hirelings.
  2. –Build a Boiler Fund.
  3. –Vision Leaks.
  4. –There are Dangers in Incrementalism.
  5. –Institutionalize Key Values.
  6. –Get the Right People around the Table.
  7. –Know Who is Driving.
  8. –Speed of the Leader, Speed of the Team.
  9. –Deliver the Bad News First.
  10. –Leaders Call Fouls.
  11. –A Bias towards Action.
  12. –Sweat the Small Stuff
  13. –Find the Critic’s Kernel of Truth.
  14. –Always Debrief.
  15. –Find Mentors, make Mentors (Obi-Wan Kenobi Isn’t for Hire)
  16. –What Life are You Waiting for?
  17. –Read All You Can.
  18. –Lead Something.
  19. –Admit Mistakes, and Your Stock Goes Up.
  20. –Finish Well.

I probably need to make a small comment about each of these. Doing so will help me “flesh them out” for myself and clarify them for myself. Especially considering my view of these leadership ideas are not the same as Mr. Hybels.  Hopefully I will add to this post later.

While I was Musing the Fire Burned.

There is pain, in this world, that once experienced leaves a permanent scar in our heart.  We are changed for as long as we live.  And though we walk through life, and laugh, and love; something of ourselves has been removed.

I believe, being Catholic, that when we talk about the peace of God; we are talking about that moment when God returns our hearts to the way they were before that pain.  To those who have experienced such suffering, that alone would be salvation.

Heavenly Information

I am constantly on the lookout for good on-line Catholic resources.  Yesterday (while looking up the life of a Saint on Google) I found New Advent. Its Catholic Encyclopedia is just spectacular.  It had more information about Saints in it than most “Lives of Saints” books I have read.  All cross-referenced, covering all manor of topics ranging from Alter to Giovanni Battista Rinuccini.  It even does a good job of covering the Eastern/Greek Catholics.  Easily the best Catholic resource I have ever seen on the Internet.