A few weeks ago, I started a post that was going to be my opinion on one thing that was happening in the world. Instead, the post turned into a mish-mash of of opinions on several recent items I had been thinking of. Could I write a big post about each item? Yes. Do I think you all would want to read all of these longer posts? Maybe. So I present another post full of this and that.
Last week I read this piece on Vice.com about Pope Francis. I’ve been struggling lately with my faith because of family. My younger daughter is a lesbian and was just married a little under two weeks ago. The wedding was beautiful and I wish the two ladies a life full of love and happiness. My problem came in when I wondered what the Church would say about my “condoning” such a union.
I am overwhelmed with love for the new Pope who is willing to reach out to those other Church leaders have shunned. I have less of an issue with teachings that may make me uncomfortable when I listen to Pope Francis speak on these issues. I truly think it will all be okay eventually. Little movements in an institution that is centuries old are really giant steps.
Paying College Athletes
Pretty sure this issue is going to be around for a long time. Also pretty sure that the movement to a more equitable sharing of revenues will take possibly as long as movement in an institution as large as the Catholic Church. The NCAA has a power grasp and does not want to give up its power. I am sure someone squirmed when conferences and individual independent schools – think Notre Dame – negotiated their own broadcast contracts. I am sure this discussion of paying student-athletes is making many people squirm. The key to money for student-athletes is to have the money come from the NCAA – after all, who says if a student-athlete is eligible to play or not – as they have the money. Individual schools may not.
I read a great piece in the University of Buffalo Spectrum regarding student-athletes and paying them. I encourage you all to look at this piece. I also encourage you all to look at the things the NCAA is spending time on currently. A lot of its investigations are about violations and student-athletes getting money in ways that may affect their eligibility.
The Spectrum piece talks a lot about not having money for food over summer. I want you to consider these points. Most coaches tell student-athletes when they can schedule classes and when they cannot. While all college students like to take Fridays off, it is almost a necessity for a college athlete. Teams travel and sometimes that means leaving campus as early as Thursday to get to the location of a Friday evening competition. Most college students prefer afternoon classes. These are generally not an option for an athlete. That is practice time. You can’t have a regular class if you are suppose to be at practice. On top of all this, classes with labs are dangerous to schedule. Labs are too difficult to make up if you miss one.
Yesterday, or the day before, Starbucks asked – you’ll note I didn’t say laid down an edict – customers to stop carrying guns into stores in states where there are open carry laws. This may stem from customers feeling uncomfortable but I doubt it. In an open carry state, you most likely are use to seeing people with handguns. This is totally a Starbucks culture item and not a bad move. I have to say that I am in favor of screening prior to gun purchases but I do not think taking all guns off the market is going to stop the problems the US has with guns. Starbucks is a private business. As such, Starbucks is within its rights to ask customers to not carry a weapon into stores.
Is this going to stop me from going to Starbucks? No. Is this going to have a ripple effect in society? I don’t think so. Starbucks has tried lots of culture-based items in stores. I did not see a lot of other businesses following suit.
The Navy Yard Shooting
Once again, the US has experienced a mass shooting. This time is slightly different in that it occurred on a secure Navy facility. What is the underlying similarity between this horror and others? Mental health! Seriously! If our lawmakers would spend more time discussing how to improve the mental health system in our country, we would have less issues with mass shootings. If you look at recent mass shootings, there have been mental health undertones in all.
My prayers go out to all that have ever been effected by a mass shooting, including those in my own community. While the American Civic Association shooting was four and a half years ago, it is still very fresh in the minds of those in the Greater Binghamton area.
What issues are in your mind this week?