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HolyGround >> Catholics slam Boehner for tax cuts


5/12/11 5:02 PM
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Grakman
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 What say you Holyground on the involvement of the church and politics? Should the church have the right to dictate to members of Congress or the President policy at risk of excommunication or censure if they do not comply?

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/05/12/catholic-professors-slam-boehner-gop-budget-cuts/
5/12/11 10:44 PM
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the rooster
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that's ridiculous. the govt is bankrupt. It is immoral to print money that doesn't exist (which creates inflation which hurts the poor), and take money from one group of people and give it to others who didn't earn it. That's stealing.

If the whole economy implodes those professors will be eating dog food with all othe other former producers in our society.

we take in over 3 trillion in tax revenue. We don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem.

Also boener is not saying that people shouldn't give. If the govt stopped providing sub par charity, and the church was agressive in teaching charity, we could go back to a good samaritan society rather then a socialistic notion of charity.
5/13/11 12:45 PM
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inlikeflynn
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Rooster, what do you think came first? Did the church step back and leave a void that the government stepped in to fill, or did the government "push" the church out? I honestly don't know the answer to that. Maybe a little of both.

Anyway, I heard a Christian talk show host argue against universal health care because it took the glory of taking care of people from God (through the church) and gave it to the State. I thought it was a bad argument because currently the church isn't getting the job done. Furthermore, I'm not sure how the church would fill that role even if it wanted to.
5/13/11 12:51 PM
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inlikeflynn
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the rooster - we take in over 3 trillion in tax revenue. We don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem.


This is something that is said often by conservatives (and I don't disagree), but the problem comes down to what to cut? You can address all the discretionary spending you want but unless you address defense, social security, and medicare you aren't going to solve the problem. Who has the political balls to address that?
5/13/11 1:52 PM
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the rooster
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inlikeflynn, I think it was a combination. I think elites and humanist as well as cons and sincere politicians have viewed part of the role of the state to be an agency of the christian ethics or as a replacement.

As our culture fundamentally changed, so did the expectations of our citizens.

As far as what to cut? If I was benign dictator I would cut any unconstitutional spending. Whether it's medicare, medicaid, obamacare, NPR, Planned parenthood, whatever. I'd only allow spending for those things explicitly allowed and give the money back to the people. We are a charitable country. People will give to those causes and needs close to their heart and that they view as something they can change or influence.

Ultimately people also have to take personal responsibility for their actions. An adult should not have a child if they cannot provide them with shelter, medical assistance, food and education. these are the fundamental responsibilities of a responsible citizen. Feed your kid, put clothes on their back, put a roof over their head, if they are sick, pay the doctors bill.

If not, don't have a baby.
5/13/11 2:14 PM
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inlikeflynn
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the rooster - Ultimately people also have to take personal responsibility for their actions. An adult should not have a child if they cannot provide them with shelter, medical assistance, food and education. these are the fundamental responsibilities of a responsible citizen. Feed your kid, put clothes on their back, put a roof over their head, if they are sick, pay the doctors bill.
If not, don't have a baby.


I am a big believer in personal responsibility, but here is where it gets difficult. It isn't the kids' fault. As a society, are we willing to let children go hungry because their parents are irresponsible?
5/13/11 2:41 PM
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the rooster
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No. I don't accept the premise that the govt is the only institution that can prevent all children in the US from going hungry (or being abused, or being cold, or without medicine) and that we have to have an enormous amount of our income confiscated, used for internal maintenance of their agencies, lost or stolen and then the remainder handed out to some parent(s) who are supposed to make sure it's used for the kids.

And I frankly don't think that is why we are about to go bankrupt as a country...because we have a massive crisis of children who are without food, medicine, a wii or x-box ;-) etc.

My mom and dad had 300.00 bucks in their pocket when they got married. They had 6 kids and neither had college education. We ate great. Mom made low cost staple foods (eggs, beans and rice, oatmeal, meatloaf, soups and breads, etc). We were never hungry.

We didn't go out to eat at McDonalds every other meal. We didn't get a bunch of Christmas toys. We didn't get designer clothes, etc.

But we were, by God's grace, self reliant.

5/13/11 3:09 PM
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Robert Wynne
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"Ultimately people also have to take personal responsibility for their actions. An adult should not have a child if they cannot provide them with shelter, medical assistance, food and education. these are the fundamental responsibilities of a responsible citizen. Feed your kid, put clothes on their back, put a roof over their head, if they are sick, pay the doctors bill.

If not, don't have a baby."




Amen!

5/13/11 3:18 PM
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Grakman
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Empires always collapse under their own weight. We have over 1000 military bases around the world, a quarter million troops stationed overseas, we give biillions of dollars away in foreign aid to countries of questionable loyalty, not to mention human rights violations, we give unemployment benefits to people for months at a time with little in the way of checks and balances to make sure they are you know, actually looking for a job, pork projects for constituent districts, ad nauseum.  Arguing about cutting defense or entitlement is like arguing whether we will use a cup or a spoon to bail out the Titanic.
5/13/11 3:58 PM
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the rooster
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grak, good post. but cutting defense and entitlements will help us.
5/13/11 4:06 PM
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inlikeflynn
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Grakman - Empires always collapse under their own weight. We have over 1000 military bases around the world, a quarter million troops stationed overseas, we give biillions of dollars away in foreign aid to countries of questionable loyalty, not to mention human rights violations, we give unemployment benefits to people for months at a time with little in the way of checks and balances to make sure they are you know, actually looking for a job, pork projects for constituent districts, ad nauseum.  Arguing about cutting defense or entitlement is like arguing whether we will use a cup or a spoon to bail out the Titanic.



Actually, arguing about cutting the stuff that Congress is currently arguing about is like your Titanic analogy. Cutting defense and entitlements are the ONLY way to make a difference.
5/13/11 4:39 PM
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Grakman
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I was emphasizing the OR part - asking which of these, defense OR entitlements - is like the spoon or the cup, when we should be talking about evacuating the boat, using bilge pumps and manning the life boats lol. Everything has to go, stripped to the bare minimum.

5/13/11 4:50 PM
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toelocku
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Jesus believed in uni-healthcare...

Mat 8:16 And evening having come, they brought to him many demoniacs, and he did cast out the spirits with a word, and did heal all who were ill,

Notice that? ALL ALL ALL!

Are we our brothers keeper? Becoming forgetful of the 'least of these'? You guys who believe in Thomas Jefferson over Jesus Christ need to get with the program(pun intended).



Act 4:32 and of the multitude of those who did believe the heart and the soul was one, and not one was saying that anything of the things he had was his own, but all things were to them in common.


The problem is that the Church has spent its money on everything but what we are told to spend it on...iow...the 'widow/fatherless'...aka...THE POOR.

Instead you spend it on MILLION DOLLAR houses for 'pastors', and the buildings the church owns worldwide ALONE is the biggest aspect of wealth on the planet. Its LAUGHABLE in 14Trillion dollar economy that the poor are asked to do as much as is asked of them here in the USA.

Luke 12:48 ...and to every one to whom much was given, much shall be required from him; and to whom they did commit much, more abundantly they will ask of him.

you constitution worshipers are part of the problem not the solution.

waaaah...billionairs have to buy 9 jets instead of 10...waaaah. what a joke!





5/13/11 4:54 PM
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toelocku
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those damn old and disabled people who do they think they are?

how dare they ask tbe so called christians to DO WHAT WE ARE SUPPOSED TO DO.

let them eat cat food

-HG 'conservatives'...

5/13/11 5:05 PM
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Grakman
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Edited: 05/13/11 5:06 PM
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 toelock, what does that have to do with what the government is supposed to do? I must have missed all those passages where Jesus told the Romans and Herod to institute health care programs for the poor. 

What does the Constitution have to do with the way church spends funds? You can rightly criticize the church I suppose if you want to talk about mismanagement of funds, but that has nothing to do with Jefferson or the Constitution. Apples and oranges my friend.
5/13/11 5:11 PM
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inlikeflynn
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Wow, am I actually going to agree with toelocku? To a point. To be fair, I don't think the majority of people who don't want government filling that role aren't against taking care of the poor/elderly. They just think there are better, more efficient ways. I think that they need to do a better job proving that assertion, though.

I do get tired of hearing people blame the poor for our financial predicament, as if they are the ones making the decisions.
5/13/11 5:19 PM
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toelocku
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Edited: 05/13/11 5:26 PM
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we are our government in this dem republic and its never wrong to do good EVEN IN THE CONTEXT OF CIVIL GOVERNMENT. <br /><br />I point out the constitution worshipers(the same one that endorses slavery) put it before what God says. <br /><br />My point was that without the government in this country the old and disabled would STARVE to death while the 'church' is in multimillion dollar buildings singin 'God bless America'. <br /><br />btw...there is MORE THAN ENOUGH 'fat of the land' here in America that the poor need not die for greed, which is what will happen with your type of thinking. <br /><br /><br /><br />
5/13/11 5:21 PM
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toelocku
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inlikeflynn?-?Wow, am I actually going to agree with toelocku? To a point. To be fair, I don't think the majority of people who don't want government filling that role aren't against taking care of the poor/elderly. They just think there are better, more efficient ways. I think that they need to do a better job proving that assertion, though.

I do get tired of hearing people blame the poor for our financial predicament, as if they are the ones making the decisions.

Yes they do...see Ron Paul...he's the 'star' of the tea party.
5/13/11 5:27 PM
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toelocku
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btw..Jesus paid His taxes.
5/13/11 5:29 PM
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inlikeflynn
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"Yes they do...see Ron Paul...he's the 'star' of the tea party."

What do you mean?
5/13/11 5:49 PM
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Grakman
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Edited: 05/13/11 6:34 PM
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Edit to restate another way:

Explain how Jesus paying taxes tells us how we should vote and or which party we should support? Government currently funds abortion, war and the industry to support it. Is it ok to tax citizens only if the government redistributes the funds to the poor and pays for healthcare? 

If a taxpayer does not want his money to be taken and used for programs that he does not support, can you see Jesus going to the man's house and taking his money and or property by force or installing a force of tax collectors to collect and distribute money taken by force or threat of incarceration? 

Our government is funded primarily by the collection of income tax. Failing to pay income tax can land one in prison. Some states are funded by property tax. Are you aware that as long as there is a property tax that you can never truly own property, it is only leased to you by the taxing authority? So is it ok for the government to seize property and income for redistribution per the goals and aims of the government? If yes, what if the government spends that money on programs that you do not support, is it ok for them to throw you in jail if you do not want to pay? 

From what you read of Jesus in the Gospels, is this a policy you can see Jesus supporting? 


 
5/13/11 6:51 PM
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the rooster
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I believe we should help the poor. It starts at home with naked, newly born babies. Take care of them. That's what we should be teaching everyone. Love yours. And love others.

No one is against helping those truly needing help.

Just whether the the corrupt state is the best vehicle.
5/13/11 7:02 PM
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TheStewedOwl
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Grakman -  What say you Holyground on the involvement of the church and politics? Should the church have the right to dictate to members of Congress or the President policy at risk of excommunication or censure if they do not comply?


Well, the original article cites "dozens of Catholic professors" as the ones urging Boehner to take those actions, so they really don't speak on behalf of the Catholic church (and in fact, are likely to be among the most liberal voices in the church, as they tend to push for and end to priestly celibacy, an end to Pope Bednedict's ban on the entry of homosexuals into the ministry, the ordination of women, etc. etc.) Most of the people cited aren't even priests or deacons.

The issue goes from the other end of the political spectrum as well, of course. Many trad Catholics ask why Pelosi, verious Kennedys, and other far-left Catholics are partaking in the Eucharist if they are also supporting abortion on demand. I recognize that American politicians should vote in accordance with both their conscience and their constituents' wishes, by whatever formula they work that out, but probably shouldn't seek to wrap themselves in the mantle of Catholic culture to gain votes if they are also supporting partial-birth abortion.

Not all liberal Catholics support abortion, obviously. Martin Sheen is pretty far-left but has been open about his opposition to abortion, and has even raised grandchildren that his sons didn't want after he talked them out of aborting their kidss.


5/13/11 7:19 PM
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TheStewedOwl
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toelocku - 

The problem is that the Church has spent its money on everything but what we are told to spend it on...iow...the 'widow/fatherless'...aka...THE POOR.

Instead you spend it on MILLION DOLLAR houses for 'pastors', and the buildings the church owns worldwide ALONE is the biggest aspect of wealth on the planet. Its LAUGHABLE in 14Trillion dollar economy that the poor are asked to do as much as is asked of them here in the USA.



The Church's money has been given to it by people who knew what it would be spent upon. I personally believe that charity should be a prime goal, but we are also commanded to honor and worship God.

"Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, 7 a woman came up to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head, as he sat at table. 8 But when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, "Why this waste? 9 For this ointment might have been sold for a large sum, and given to the poor." 10 But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, "Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. 12 In pouring this ointment on my body she has done it to prepare me for burial. 13 Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her." (MT 26:6-13)

If you believe, as I do, that the body and blood of Jesus is literally present in the tabernacle, we should honor and glorofy God by creating a special setting, just as the greatest art and music in history have been created to honor Him.

It's also appropriate that the vessels made to contain the Eucharist be made of gold, but you should know that those cups are only a thin coating over base metal, otherwise junkies would be breaking into every church in America. They don't cost that much.

Here's some good comments from an apologetics website:

1) The Catholic Church always has been, and remains, the largest charitable organization on the planet, by a *wide* amount. Much of the Vatican's wealth has been donated to it by the great artists of the world for the glorification of God. Even that art which has been commissioned by the Vatican was still done for the glorification of God, because as Christians, we realize that the things of this Earth are fleeting. We give our best to God, but in the end, money doesn't really mean anything. It's our relationship with God. Jesus is saying in the passage from Matthew above that one can honor God with fine things AND help the poor at the same time.

2) The people actually living at the Vatican are not living a magnificent lifestyle. In fact, the pope's apartment is quite modest. It consists of just ten rooms. The layout includes a vestibule, the library, a small studio for the papal secretary, and the pope's private studio, from which he blesses the crowd every Sunday. The other rooms include the pope's bedroom, the medical studio (which has surgical equipment, in case he's attacked, just like Air Force One has), his private chapel, a small living room, a dining room and kitchen. Further, the pope does not actually *own* any of this. It's no different than asking the question of whether the President of the United States lives in too much opulence because he gets to use the White House, Air Force One, Marine One, Camp David, and so on. All of these things serve a purpose, and NONE belong to him. They belong to the people, which let him use it.

3) The Vatican also serves as a museum for many of the world's great treasures. As such, it protects them in museums. In reality, these objects have *no* objective value, because they cannot be sold. For example, let's say the Vatican was to give up all of it's wealth. How, precisely, would you sell off the Sistine Chapel? Is there really anything else you can do with it? You can't give it to a private collector, or build a Starbucks, or something. That said, let's do an experiment. Let's say that the art that it WOULD be possible to sell at the Vatican is worth, say, a trillion dollars. That would indeed be a large sum of money. Now, let's sell it all and donate the money to the poorest one-third of the world. The Catholic Church would then be able to give those two billion people exactly... $500. That's it! Now, while the average income of those 2 billion impoverished people is around $300 per year, and while this would help them for a very short time, in about a half a decade, they would all likely go right back to being poor, and the world would have lost access to many of the world's greatest treasures, as they'd be in private hands. Is the United States of America fabulously wealthy because it has the treasures of the Smithsonian Institution? I mean, wouldn't it be better if they sold off all of those artifacts and donated the money to the poor? Of course not.

) You must also remember that while Vatican City is an independent nation, most tiny countries like Monaco, Luxembourg, and Lichtenstein are *far* wealthier due to their tremendous banking industries, and they are comparable in size... Granted, the Vatican is probably slightly more wealthy than Andorra, and I'll grant that it is definitely more wealthy than San Marino. That said, even many tiny Caribbean nations are wealthier than the Vatican. In fact, it operates on a budget smaller than Harvard University. It simply happens to have an abnormally large amount of museums.

You also must remember that the Vatican has only been a tiny principality since around 1860. Before then, the Vatican was part of the "Papal States", which was a fairly substantial nation, consisting of much of the middle of Italy. It was probably larger and wealthier than Belgium, The Netherlands, and Luxembourg put together. Much of what remains was inherited from this much larger, more substantial state. It could never afford to build such buildings today.
5/13/11 7:22 PM
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TheStewedOwl
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This is typical of all European nations. For example, the French government did an investigation into insuring the palace of Versailles a few years back, as it is such an important national heritage site. After various insurance agents looked at it, they determined that Versailles is uninsurable, and it's value is $0. Why? Simply put, if anything were to happen to the palace, it would be irreplaceable. The building is so expensive, that if even a fraction of it were to be destroyed, it would be impossible to replicate without bankrupting the whole of France. Now, does this mean that France is irresponsibly wealthy? Not at all. It's simply a part of it's cultural heritage. ALL relatively old countries have this problem. It has nothing to do with the Vatican per se.

5) The Vatican, like many great churches, dates to the late Middle Ages / early Renaissance. A cathedral was actually one of the best investments a medieval town could make. Despite their great expense, a large cathedral could take hundreds of years to complete. It could become an industry unto itself. Large cathedrals employed thousands, and generated huge amounts of highly skilled jobs... jobs that were sorely lacking in the period. When the cathedral was complete, they would still need to be maintained, so many workmen would still remain. The pilgrims that would come to visit the cathedral needed to be fed, clothed, and housed, and this provided a virtual tourism industry, bringing in much needed revenue to both the church and the community. Churches were also the *only* medieval centers of learning, and every major university in Europe split off from a cathedral. If you had a cathedral school in your town, opportunities for trade would skyrocket, since learning about math, geography, cartography, astronomy, business, and law was all required by merchants. Further, most towns only even needed to have one large church, since there were no denominations. Everyone was Catholic, so all the effort could go into one splendid building rather than many smaller ones. Almost all medieval cities with a cathedral were FAR better off than their counterparts without them. This is why the cathedral is often called the greatest innovation of the Middle Ages.

6) There is an old legend (which is probably true) that in the late 10th century Grand Prince Vladimir, seeking a national religion to help unify his lands and peoples, sent out envoys to inspect the various faiths of the surrounding nations. Accordingly, they attended the Muslim rites of the Bulgars, the Catholic mass of the Germans, and the Orthodox liturgy of the Greeks. When they returned and were questioned by their Prince as to which of the religions they thought the best, they answered boldly that whereas they found neither joy nor glory in the ceremonies of the Bulgars and the Germans, when they entered the sanctuary of the Greeks, they did not know whether they were in heaven or on earth. “For on earth,” they explained, “there is no such splendor or such beauty, and we are at a loss how to describe it. We only know that God dwells there among men, and their service is fairer than the ceremonies of other nations. For we cannot forget that beauty” (the Primary Chronicle). Vladimir accepted their testimony, and the Russian Orthodox Church (which in 1988 celebrated its Millennium) was born.

The amount of money spent on ceremonial items, even with their high cost, is only the tiniest, tiniest fraction of the Church's budget. These items have a high up front cost, but usually last for hundreds of years. For example, in 2007, the Vatican had a budget of just 236 million Euros. (A little less than the US public university I went to school at). The city-state, which has a separate budget, had just a 6.7 million Euro surplus. Vatican financial investments brought in another 1.7 million Euros (they were hit hard by the economy). It had 36.3 million Euros in real estate investments. Their media operations LOST 14.3 million Euros. The Peter's Pence collection (the worldwide donation from parishoners that goes to the Vatican's budget) was 50.8 million Euros, including a single donation of $14.3 million dollars. Most of this money doesn't go to charity; this is the money that directly goes to the operation of the Vatican, with the exception of Peter's Pence, which is used to respond to natural disasters. Of this budget, much goes to restoration, the pope's travels, day to day operations of the Vatican, operation of the museums, and so on. Only a few million dollars every year goes to new wardrobe and new liturgical items. Frankly, the Vatican doesn't need many new things, when it has so many wonderful old ones.

Now, compare this to the Vatican's charitable operations. In the US *alone* in 2007, Catholic Charities brought in over $3.6 BILLION dollars. Worldwide donations were far higher yet. Catholic Charities in the US is so large, that only the federal government provides more services. In some areas, Catholic Charities actually *surpasses* the government itself (and keep in mind, the country is only 22% Catholic, but Catholic Charities is open to all). It spends billions a year to help people in developing countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. It spends millions per year spreading the Catholic faith in the media and with missionaries (and much of that *does* come from the Vatican budget mentioned above). And... none of this takes into account donations that are given by local parishoners to their local parish, which are indeed used for the maintenance of the Church, but also go to stock food pantries, help immigrants, and fund Catholic schools, which have their own separate budget. Given what a *TINY* amount of money goes to the splendor of the Church... no, it doesn't bother me at all. It's literally a drop in the bucket. I think its wonderful, and I think the Vatican has it *just* right, though I respect everyone's opinion to disagree.



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