The NHL and Natural Law

I have a problem with the NHL. It is now June, and the Stanley Cup Final has just begun. (In case you care, and you probably don’t, the L.A. Kings lead the series 1-0 over the New Jersey Devils.)

My problem with the NHL is religious in nature. The Catholic Church teaches that

The “divine and natural” law shows man the way to follow so as to practice the good and attain his end. The natural law states the first and essential precepts which govern the moral life. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1955)

Natural law is present in the heart of each human being and established through the application of correct reasoning. As Cicero wrote,

For there is a true law: right reason. It is in conformity with nature, is diffused among all men, and is immutable and eternal; its orders summon duty, its prohibitions turn away from offense….To replace it with a contrary law is a sacrilege; failure to apply even one of its provisions is forbidden; no one can abrogate it entirely.

Here, then, is the source of my problem with the NHL: ice melts in June.

By extending the Stanley Cup Playoffs into the late spring and early summer, the NHL does not conform with nature. For if they did, the players would drown (or they would be playing a perverse form of water polo).

No wonder why nobody really cares about the NHL playoffs.

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Does Jesus Have a Quarterback Rating?

Full disclosure: I am a Chicago Bears fan, and I am still hurting from the Bears 13-10 loss in overtime to the Denver Broncos. So I am not too happy with Tim Tebow right now. (Although, I did like him when he played for the Florida Gators, but that’s probably because I was a fan of Urban Meyer and the Gators.)

Yesterday, I read a wall post on Glenn Beck’s Facebook page:

I don’t know anything about sports. And I don’t presume to know everything God’s currently working on. But here’s what I do know: more people are thinking about God today because of Tim Tebow. Not because he’s winning games – but because he’s a man of unusually exceptional character & a Godly man. We need more like him!

 At first glance, I have to agree with what Mr. Beck had to say (which, again in the interest of full disclosure, never sits well with me). We do need more people like Tim Tebow who love God with all their heart, with all their soul, and all their mind. (Mt 22: 37) Indeed, as the psalmist says, “Let all the peoples praise you, O God, let all the peoples praise you.” (Psalm 67)

But we also need more people who love their neighbor as themselves (Mt 22: 39), and recognize the poor, the vulnerable, and the marginalized as their neighbors: “Amen, I say to to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Mt 25: 40)

What I find interesting about the attention given to Tim Tebow’s public expression of his faith, is this: Why does it take the public display of a celebrity’s faith to encourage us in ours?

Why do we not pay attention God’s presence in the love between husband and wife, between mother and child? Why do we not pay attention to God’s presence in the sympathy expressed between brothers? Why do we not pay attention to God’s presence in the compassion of a nurse when she comforts someone who was just diagnosed with cancer? Why do we not see God’s presence in the pure joy of a dog’s wagging tail?

We ignore the simple and the mundane. We seem to prefer to celebrate those with high status, fame, and wealth. We prefer celebrity over humility. We prefer ostentatious displays of faith to remind of us God’s presence, while ignoring the ubiquitous signs of God’s love in life’s banality.

In one of St. Francis’ prayers, he says, “Pure and holy simplicity confounds all the wisdom of this world and the wisdom of the body.” (A Salutation of the Virtues) If we keep our eyes looking up to those of high station, we will be disappointed, for they have other concerns:

One day the trees went out to anoint a king over themselves. So they said to the olive tree, ‘Reign over us.’ But the olive tree answered them, ‘Must I give up my rich oil, whereby gods and human beings are honored, and go off to hold sway over the trees?’ Then the trees said to the fig tree, ‘Come; you reign over us!’ But the fig tree answered them, ‘Must I give up my sweetness and my sweet fruit, and go off to hold sway over the trees?’ Then the trees said to the vine, ‘Come you, reign over us.’ But the vine answered them, ‘Must I give up my wine that cheers gods* and human beings, and go off to hold sway over the trees?’ Then all the trees said to the buckthorn, ‘Come; you reign over us!’ The buckthorn answered the trees, ‘If you are anointing me in good faith, to make me king over you, come, and take refuge in my shadow. (Judges 9: 8-15)

So let us not focus too much on Tim Tebow. Let us not crown another celebrity king. Rather, let us turn our hearts to the least among us, showing solidarity with the least of our brothers and sisters.

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.” (Mt 5: 5) Let us then imitate the meek and not Tim Tebow.

Let’s Go Hawks!

The Blackhawks are down 0-3 to the Canucks in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Tonight is a must win for the Hawks.

I was planning to go watch the game with a friend of mine at Bannerman’s Sports Grill. But I have a conflict. My Church is celebrating Tenebrae as part of its Holy Week schedule. So, here I am, face to face with a spiritual dilemma:

Do I go to Church, or do I go and watch the Blackhawks in a pivotal Game 4?

In defense of watching the Blackhawks game, may I present the following argument:

  • There will be just as much praying at the bar (such has, “Dear God, please let the Hawks win!”) as there will be at Church;
  • These prayers will be held in common, and didn’t Jesus say, “Wherever two or more gather in my name, I will be there?”
  • Therefore, going to Bannerman’s is just like going to Church.

Besides, Jesus must be a hockey fan: “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ …When someone strikes on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well.” (Mt 5: 38, 40) Does that not sound like Jesus is describing a hockey player? (Well, had Christ witnessed a hockey game, He probably would have said, “seven teeth for a hockey puck.”) And if someone can pole dance for Jesus, can’t I watch hockey for Jesus?

I took a long look at myself in the mirror. What do I see? Do I see a die-hard hockey fan, wearing a Blackhawks sweater and a goalie’s mask, or do I see Jason Voorhees?

Taking off the mask and sweater, and returning the machete back to the tool shed, I decide to head to Church.

My guess is that Jesus is a New Jersey Devils fan, anyway:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have?” (Mt 5: 43-46)

The sacrifices I make for my faith.

Pax et bonum.

I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar

I have often been ridiculed for being in touch with my feminine side. I always considered that as a complement.

com-ple-ment (n) Something that completes or makes perfect; either of two parts needed to make whole

In this masquerade of life, I sometimes feel that I should go as a woman. If you have ever watched Monty Python or Bugs Bunny, dressing-up in drag is not only liberating, but hilarious! (Besides, I have great legs.)

And after reading a recent post by Scott Adams, the creator of the Dilbert cartoon, I am even more comfortable with my feminine side:

“The reality is that women are treated differently by society for exactly the same reason that children and the mentally handicapped are treated differently. It’s just easier this way for everyone. You don’t argue with a four-year old about why he shouldn’t eat candy for dinner. You don’t punch a mentally handicapped guy even if he punches you first. And you don’t argue when a women tells you she’s only making 80 cents to your dollar. It’s the path of least resistance. You save your energy for more important battles.”–Scott Adams

But equal pay for equal work is one of those important battles.

May I propose an alternate, more radical strategy: When a woman tells you she’s only making 80 cents for every dollar made by a man for equal work, you should lobby for equal pay! Speaking at the fifth annual meeting of the Colloquium of University Presidents on April 4th, U.N. Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon echoed this strategy when he said that unless we “come together on the path toward a better, more prosperous and harmonious world, we cannot claim we live in a harmonious world.”

Now, I recognize that men are, by their very nature, better than women at doing certain things….like farting. And women are naturally better at doing other things….like thinking.

God created Adam
from a clod of clay.
Recognizing Adam’s flaws,
God created Eve,
And turned Night into Day.

I now understand why women are lesbians. If I was a woman, I’d be a lesbian too.

Read More: http://www.comicsalliance.com/2011/03/25/scott-adam-sexist-mens-rights/#ixzz1J3gmqGPf

Go Zips!

Congratulations, Zippy! You have been nominated for a “Stony!”

While the clandestine Nominating Committee normally does not disclose the criteria by which it considers potential nominees, memos recently released by WikiLeaks indicate that  the marsupial mascot of The University of Akron received the nomination for the following reasons:

  • In 2007, Zippy went undefeated to win that year’s Capitol One National Mascot Challenge
  • Zippy is a kangaroo named after “Zippers,” Akron’s original nickname. Zippers is also a pair of rubber overshoes.
  • Zippy’s favorite food is a stadium hot dog.

One leaked memo–written by a member of the Nominating Committee identified only as Qoheleth–was particular enlightening:

Vanity of vanities! All things are vanity! What profit has a team in victory? Is not the sweet taste of victory forgotten with first drop of defeat? Does not the laurel that crowns a champion wither and die? A new champion is crowned when the old one dies, and with the new champion does his fame reside! All this is vanity!

In a separate memo initialed by a “D. Duck,” the Committee concluded:

Kangaroos are herbivores….However, Zippy’s favorite food is a hot dog….A meat-eating marsupial named after rubbers? That’s despicable!

The Nominating Committee condemned the unauthorized release of the documents:

The anonymity of the Committee members, the criteria by which We consider potential Nominees, and the secrecy of Our proceedings are necessary to obfuscate the fact that the Sisyphus Awards are meaningless. Awarding a meaningless award attaches meaning to meaningless actions, thus highlighting–and celebrating–the absurdity of the human condition.

The Nominating Committee is considering legal action against WikiLeaks. However, several legal analysts from the venerable law firm of Dewey, Cheatem, & Howe speculated that it would be difficult to prove that the leaked documents caused any real damage. After all, the Nominating Committee is a fictional organization; the “Stony” is an imaginary award; and the documents in question, technically speaking, do not exist. Such a story would not gain much traction outside of The Onion or Fox News.

Two Weeks in a Row!

March 7, 20011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

HADES (March 7, 20011)–The Nominating Committee for the Sisyphus Awards announced today that Bob Burnham of Bartlett, IL has been nominated for the March 13, 2011 Sisyphus Award for his actions at Zylstra Harley Davidson in St. Charles, Illinois. This is Mr. Burnham’s second nomination.

Mr. Burnham’s righteous indignation at being excluded from an upcoming Women’s Garage Night was a moment that truly reflected a bizarre moment which left the Nominating Committee wondering in unanimity, “What the <EXPLETIVE>?!?!”

The Women’s Garage Night will offer women motorcycle enthusiasts a chance to check out the latest bikes–such as the Superlow XL883–motorcycle maintenance and repair tips, as well as manicures, massages, and wine tasting.

When told of his nomination, Mr. Burnham was somewhat surprised. “What’s wrong with wanting to get my nails trimmed and a massage? Screw the motorcycles, that’s Cathy’s thing; I just want to go for the wine!”

His wife Cathy, commented, “Have you seen his finger nails? He really does need a manicure. I really wish they were offering pedicures too!”

Each week, the Nominating Committee selects several nominees for a Sisyphus Award. The winner is then selected by popular vote from among the nominees. The Nominating Committee would like to wish Mr. Burnham the best of luck when the polls open later this week.

Drill, Baby! Drill!

Summary: Northwestern University psychology professor John Michael Bailey arranged a live-sex demonstration for his human sexuality class, a demonstration that closely resembled a scene from Monty Python’s Meaning of Life. Professor Bailey has thus been nominated to receive the March 6, 2011 Weekly Sisyphus Award.

TRANSCRIPT

BOB BURNHAM: Today, Professor John Michael Bailey of Northwestern University received a Weekly Sisyphus Award nomination for arranging a live-sex demonstration on the campus of Northwestern University. However, the decision to nominate the controversial psychology professor has drawn both praise and condemnation. Here to discuss his nomination are Candy Rush, an adult film star who has appeared in such movies as Spin Cycle and Open House, and Joe the Plumber, the metaphorical working-class American. Thank you both for coming.

CANDY RUSH, adult film star: Thanks for having me. It’s been a pleasure.

JOE THE PLUMBER, the metaphor: Glad to be here.

BOB: Candy Rush, let me start with you. You objected to Professor Bailey being nominated–receiving this nomination. Do you think that this demonstration was educational?

CANDY: Absolutely. My understanding is that the students were shown a video on female orgasm. The presenters thought the video was unrealistic, and, I can tell you, speaking as–working as–an adult film star, as an entertainer in the industry, the orgasm on the video was probably fake.

BOB: Joe, I see you shaking your head. You disagree with Ms. Rush? Was this educational?

JOE: Sounds like pornography to me. If this is what qualifies as education–I mean, if this is what going to college is about–then I bet I must have something like a  Master’s degree from the Admiral Theatre. I think I can tell when a woman is faking it–

CANDY: I doubt it.

BOB: I’m sorry, but that’s all the time I have for you today. But before you go, I have a final question for you, Ms. Rush: If I wanted to get my wife a sex toy, should I go to Lover’s Lane or Lowe’s?

 

 

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