"Schadenfreude" is a German word that means "taking pleasure in other's misfortune." Why German is the only language in the world with its own word for this, I don't know, but it does make me all the more glad that I am Polish.

20 January 2006

Check out MySpace

Hey everybody, just alerting you to my sweet MySpace profile. You can find it at


That is all I have right now. Thank you.

07 December 2005

On the issue of gay priests...

In this week's (Dec. 12) Time magazine, there is an excellent opinion piece on the back page concerning Pope Benedict's decision to bar gay men from pursuing the priesthood. As a result of this act, men who have had persistent homosexual tendencies (as opposed to transient ones, which are OK, and which I never knew existed, Thanks Pope!) for more than three years, as well as men who "support the gay culture" (whatever that even means) can not enter the seminary, and if they are already in the seminary, they can be booted out.
First of all, I would love to know what the difference is between persistent homosexual tendencies and these so-called "transient" ones. Previous Vatican regimes have said that homosexuality appears to be innate, so I don't understand how then that a person can experience transient homosexual tendencies, if in fact their sexuality is innate to them. I certainly don't experience transient heterosexual tendencies, nor have I heard of any straight person that does, so this concept does not make sense to me. Look, you're gay or straight...unless you're bi, so what's with the semantics?
Second, this proclamation does not in any way affect gay men (even those out of the closet) who are already priests. They are fortunate enough to be "grandfathered" in, their jobs are safe. The hypocrisy here, I think, is astounding. The justification for this proclamation in the first place, according to the Vatican, is that gay men are a threat to "priestly life" and have "problems in the psychic organization." Well, if gays who want to become priests have these problems, shouldn't gays who are ALREADY priests have these problems as well? Apparently not, using the Vatican's logic.
It seems to me as if this proclamation doesn't really have anything to do with gay men. Rather, I think this is a direct result of the sexual abuse scandal that has been rocking the Church for the past several years. Pope Benedict is scapegoating gays for the conduct of the truly sick men who have used their positions of authority and ministry to abuse young boys. Well, I got news for you, Pope-man, if you think getting rid of gays from the priesthood is going to end pedophilia amongst the men of the cloth, you are sorely mistaken. Not only are you not addressing that problem at its source (the root problems involved here are for another post, but the only role homosexuality played in those scandals was that the children abused ended up being boys, and not girls), there's no telling how many great men you will prevent from becoming great priests.
Take, for example, Fr. Mychal Judge, mentioned in the Time article. He was the chaplain for the NYFD, and on 9/11, Fr. Judge died helping his firefighters clear the rubble of the fallen World Trade Center. Fr. Judge also happened to be openly gay. There is a truly moving photograph in the center of the article of a dead Fr. Judge, still wearing his Roman collar, being carried off by his firefighters. Fr. Judge, aside from being a true American hero, was also a true disciple of Jesus Christ. He performed the greatest act of all, he laid down his life for his friends. Pope Benedict, I would love for you to try and tell those firefighters who knew Fr. Judge, who were consoled by Fr. Judge in times of despair, that he had "a problem in the psychic organization." Ohh, how I would love to see you try, Pope Benedict, because I think those firefighters would laugh in your face, if you're lucky. They could just as easily punch you in the stomach for disrespecting a man they new and loved. Fr. Judge was no less of a priest because he was gay, he was a great priest because he took to heart the message of Christ, and it was ultimately his faith that led to his demise. Under the new rules, men like Fr. Judge wouldn't even get let in the door of the seminary. At a time where now, perhaps more than ever, the Catholic Church needs priests who will be true examples of Christ's message of love, needs strong moral leadership from its priests, needs priests like Fr. Judge, those men would be denied that chance, all because they woke up one day and realized, in the same way that all of us straight people realized our sexual identity, that they are gay.
I hope you've given a lot of thought concerning the ramifications your decision will have on the Church, Pope Benedict, because they are very serious ones, indeed. I hope you've thought about the priest shortage we have in this country, and how your new rule is only going to make it worse. I hope you thought about those New York City firefighters. But something tells me that you didn't.

27 October 2005

Reaction to the White Sox' Championship

Hello folks, welcome to my first real post on my blog. Up to this point I have basically been too lazy/busy to post on here, but now that I have some free time/will power, you'll finally be graced with my opinions (try and contain your excitement, please).

Those of you who know me know that I'm a big baseball fan, and that my allegiance lies with the Chicago Cubs in particular. While we've gone without our World Series title since 1908, we've always had the satisfaction of knowing that the Cubs are, at the very least, the #1 team in Chicago. Well, that's no longer the case. Chicago's other, less important team has just won the World Series, and many Cubs fans could not be more shagrined. Can you blame them? The Cubs have the glamour, have the fans with money, have the media coverage (the Cubs are owned by the Tribune Co., who also own the Chicago Tribune newspaper and WGN), but those blue-collar, beer-swilling, salt-of-the-earth types down on the South Side have the title. It's just not fair, is it? Well, of course it is. The White Sox played great baseball all year long, saving their best for the playoffs, and so this World Series title is more than deserved. Congratulations, White Sox, you're the champions of the world. Cubs fans, get off stage, it's someone else's turn right now. Suck it up and deal with it. White Sox are champs, we gotta wait until next year.

The End of the Cubs' World, right? Wrong. While it no doubt stings for us Cubs fans to see those Sox parade around with their World Series trophy raised high above their heads, this is really a blessing for the Cubs. Now they have some competition for the hearts of Chicago, and a little competition never hurt anybody, right? Of course it didn't. The Cubs gotta take their city back, gotta steal the Sox' thunder. How are they gonna do that? Well, they have to win a title of their own now. They certainly can't do that with the team they put out there last year. They need some players other than Lee and Ramirez who can hit the ball with any consistency, and the middle relief platoon of Wuertz/Ohman/Wellemeyer was less than reliable. If the Cubs are gonna steal the Sox' thunder, they're gonna have to go out and be aggressive with free agents and trades. In years past, a complacency related to their higher status in Chicago has no doubt affected their decisions when it came to getting good players, but now the fire has been lit under the Cubs' management's collective ass, having to turn on TV and watch those hated Sox dance around and spray each other with champagne, and so I think Cubs fans should expect an aggressive offseason, followed by an improved 2006 Cubs team. Beating the Cardinals is going to be tough, as always, but with the right offseason personnel moves, a playoff berth is well within reach, and who knows, a World Series title of their own could be well within their sights. Baseball is in a curse-busting mood right now, so why not us? Let the Sox have their fun now, but next year is a clean slate. Next year is when we look to take Chicago back. Let's go CUBS!!!

07 July 2005


Hello everyone, this is my (Ben Colwell's) blog. For now, I am only on here to post on other people's blogs, but eventually I'll be making regular postings about whatever I feel appropriate. Please, stay tuned.