A divided church? (5×8 – 10/3/12)

Walking out of church, the presidential debate, Leonardo’s Basement, why sports teams charge groups to sing the National Anthem, and why life isn’t a Hollywood movie.


The same-sex marriage amendment is dividing members of the Catholic Church. Winona Daily News columnist Leslie Hittner writes today about walking out of church on Sunday when a prayer included the wording on the proposed amendment to the state’s constitution that bans same-sex marriage:

Then, when I got outside, I asked myself, “Where do I go from here?” Do I walk out again next week? Should I even go to church next week? Did anyone even notice what I did? If so, did they understand why? Did they care?

The Catholic Church along with conservative lawmakers would have this country change the fundamental nature of its federal and state constitutions. A basic principle of the Great American Experiment is the encoding of an evolutionary system into our defining documents. The real experiment in America — one that apparently conservatives and the Roman Catholic hierarchy do not understand — is that the built-in creative stressors that were established between legislative, administrative and judicial branches of government are a strength, not a weakness. The ongoing continuous dialogue between these three branches of government and the people is forced by our founding documents. That continuous social dialogue ensures that our system is always seeking ever better answers to social and political problems and issues. It can get messy, but it works.

Find another religion, one commenter says:

I am proud to call myself Catholic and to stand up for what the Catholic Church teaches and believes. I am proud to say that I support marriage between a man and a woman. Does it mean that I love someone who might be in a same-sex relationship less? No. I simply don’t agree it is the right way to raise a family simply because the marriage act, although designed for love, was ALSO intended for procreation (sorry folks, but it was. Plain and simple.)

I find it interesting that Mr. Hittner attends mass weekly and is even an active participant, but does not agree with many of the things the Catholic Church teaches. My recommendation to Mr. Hittner is that he find a different church, because the Catholic Church has been here over 2000 years and will not change because of how Les feels. And Les, don’t let the door hit you in the backside on the way out.

Another suggests the protests could catch on…

Good for you Mr. Hittner! Laurence O’Donnell had a very good commentary on marriage in “The Last Word” and I fully agree with what he said. I will vote no on this also. Fortunately, I have been in two churches over the last two Sundays and neither said this prayer; however, if they had I would not have said it. But if any of the priests had started preaching on gay marriage during the sermon, I had already made up my mind I would walk out. I have read too many history books depicting the atrocities committed by the Catholic Church leaving me with little or no respect for it’s hierarchy. People have called me a liberal/rebel. The most well known liberal/rebel to walk the earth was Jesus Christ.

Related: Congressional candidate Alan Quist says government shouldn’t be in the same-sex marriage debate, but should be involved in defining marriage. (La Crosse Tribune)

Meanwhile, Chris Kluwe shows the beef.


I’ll be live blogging the presidential debate here tonight (around 8 pm CT) and one of the things I’m looking for is something that’s not entirely predictable — a substantive discussion on an issue, for example.

The inner-Beltway crowd is going to be looking for the “gotcha” moment with the zinging retort that sounds as if the candidate hasn’t been practicing it for the last week.

The issues that will be discussed tonight will be the same ones that have been discussed so far in the never-ending campaign, because the people in charge of asking the questions are the same ones who’ve ridden the bus for the last four years.

But what if they weren’t? What if people — working people, not TV anchors in Washington, and not ringers already in one of the candidate camps — asked the questions? Would they be different and more valuable?

Consider, for example, this list of stories in the last few days about what candidates haven’t considered an issue in this campaign:

* Why same-sex marriage seems lost as an election issue (Constitution Daily)

* Crime not on presidential contest radar (USA Today)

* Climate Change: Presidential Campaign Fails To Highlight Severity Of Issue (HuffPo)

* Candidates Say Little On Difficult Issue Of Housing (NPR)

If you were given 30 seconds to stand in front of the candidates this evening, what would you say?

Related: Five myths about the presidential race.

And why are polls surveying more Democrats than Republicans? It’s not because people are enthusiastic about Democrats, it’s because the middle is leaving the Republican Party.


The Bus 52 people — the fivesome I profiled here weeks ago — have released another one of their Minnesota stories on their “stories from every state” tour.

Leonardo’s Basement encourages kids to build things, using their imagination.

The organization was born in 1998 out of an after-school program in a South Minneapolis elementary school. It was created by parents for the children “who wanted to stay after school to work on projects, do science experiments, go on field trips, all kinds of things that they weren’t being able to do during the school day.”


How do groups get chosen to sing the National Anthem at Timberwolves games? They pay for it, WCCO reports. Someone has to pay the salary of all the coaches who’ve been fired. The Coon Rapids kids had the good sense to do to the Timberwolves what many people have said to the team over the last few years: “not interested.”


Life isn’t a Hollywood movie. Or is it? Adam Greenberg was beaned on the first pitch he faced in the major leagues in 2005 and that was the end of his career. But the Miami Marlins gave him a chance to live his dream again yesterday, signing him to a one-day contract.

And…. action!

Bonus I: Video from the fire in Karlstad

Bonus II: A study in England says public schools are not sending any girls to A-level physics classes. None. And yet, at private girls’ schools, physics is among the most popular subjects.

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Bonus IV: The Twin Cities: Where bikes meet art…

ARTCRANK | A Film by Royal Antler from ARTCRANK on Vimeo.


The first debate between Mitt Romney and President Obama is scheduled for tonight. Today’s Question: What do you want to hear in tonight’s debate?


It’s a membership drive, so many of the programs are rebroadcasts. I’ll be on with Mary Lucia on The Current on Friday afternoon for all your membership support needs.

Daily Circuit (9-12 p.m.) – First hour: Spy and detective novelists.

Second hour: Kerri’s conversation with Daniel Silva about the latest book in his Gabriel Allon series “Fallen Angel.”

Third hour: Kerri’s conversation with Alexander McCall Smith, about his new book “The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection,” the latest installment in his acclaimed No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series.

MPR News Presents (12-1 pm): A Twin Cities speech by Kathleen Hall Jamieson, “Deception and Distraction in the 2012 Presidential Campaign.”

Talk of the Nation (1-2 p.m.) – Political Junkie: A debate preview.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – Richard Aoki was an early leader of the Black Panther Party. Unearthed documents show another role — an FBI informant. The author of a new book on government surveillance of radicals says Aoki walked both sides of militant activism in the ’60s and ’70s. He was both a front-line agitator, and a spy for J. Edgar Hoover. NPR will have the story.

MPR’s Mark Steil will report that although the crop year began and ended in drought for Minnesota farmers, in between those bookmarks things were pretty good across much of the state. Farmers are ahead of schedule with harvesting, and with continued high grain prices most farmers should make good profits this year.