The World Keeps Changing: Time for Others To Keep Pace With It

SnowChange is a four letter word for many. Most of us like things the way they are especially if we are beneficiaries of the status quo. Those seeking change are looked upon as disruptors who want to take something away from us. It is always a small group that wants to bring about the change; the great majority frowns upon it if it may affect them.

I thought of this as I read the news that the Pope has set up a group which will  study making women deacons. When I was young I never knew the Catholic Church had deacons. My association with the word deacon came from my incarceration at Camp Wing in Duxbury where I learned the following verses of a song that all the campers would sing: “Oh, the deacon went down, to the cellar to pray, and he prayed all night, and he prayed all day, oh the deacon went down to the cellar to pray – he prayed all night and he prayed all day I ain’t gonna grieve my Lord no more” Then somehow the following verse was added: “Oh you never get to heaven — in a leaky boat – cause the gosh darn thing – it just won’t float . . . “

One article on the Catholic Church suggests the use of deacons started to decline in the Third Century and went out of use in the Fifth Century. That the idea of restoring them came up 15 centuries later in the Twentieth Century during the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) but it was not until the middle of the 1970s that the idea began to be put into effect and the use of deacons again became part of the Church. This was necessitated in my opinion due to the decline in the number of men being ordained. Deacons are defined as “a clergy one rank below priest. They are ordained ministers who can preach or preside over weddings and funerals, but cannot celebrate Mass.”

Reading about this I understood how hard it is for change to come about especially in such ancient institutions as the Church. Americans not familiar with the ponderous aspects of the Catholic Church. They would know that the Church does not believe women should be priests, which might baffle them, but to not even let women be deacons would certainly bring them up short. I suppose they would ask “what is there to study?

Or put another way what harm could come about to the Church if women did some of the tasks that were reserved for men?  I suppose there is always the “slippery slope” argument; if you let women become deacons then why shouldn’t you let them become priests. I suppose to explain the Church would have to have a good reason.

Here is an article which discusses it. It seems after cutting through the clutter the real reason why women are not ordained as priests is that they never have been. Change is hard, many will oppose it, so no one seems interested in taking on the chore to bring it about.

Which brings me to an article about the organizers of the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day parade. They are suing Boston Mayor Walsh alleging he strong armed them into letting LGBT groups march in their parade. They are seeking an injunction against him doing it in the future. At least they are not asking for a rerun of last St. Patrick’s Day parade which would exclude the LGBT groups.

I humbly suggest we examine what happened as a result of the LGBT groups marching last March which seems an appropriately named month for a march. Do you recall what happened the next day and for days after as a result of them being allowed to march? If I suggested nothing different from would have happened if they did not march, would you agree? So what harm came from them being included in the parade?

I understand the parade organizers have the Constitutional right to decide who can be in their parade: they control the message. Unfortunately, like it or not when they exclude the LGBT community they looked like old-time bigots with a hostility to gays. I’ve heard the arguments proffered to suggest otherwise but most people believe it is hostility to the gays is the reason they keep them out.

The exclusion of LGBT groups puts a taint on the parade. Why are the organizers going to court seeking to do this when they have let them march and no adverse consequences have come from it. Is it not time to understand the LGBT message, whatever it is that they wish to make, can no longer be hidden from view?

Is it worth having the parade a symbol of bigotry? Do we have to go through more litigation and complaints? Haven’t times changed since the Supreme Court decision in 1995 supporting the right to exclude the LGBT groups?

There’s a song many of us know. The words are: “If you’re Irish come into the parlor, there’s a welcome mat for you.” It does not say if you are Irish and not gay — it welcomes all. That should be the message of the Saint Patrick’s day parade. It must welcome all Irish and all others. It should be a day for all to enjoy as the winter begins to release its clutch on all of us, not just the straight part of the community.

“Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, further westwards, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling too upon every part of the lonely churchyard where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.”


  1. Stalinism?

    Are you using Issac Deutscher’s definition? Maybe, Robert Payne’s? What is it you mean by the term Stalinism? What’s Professor Duke opine about Stalinism? Definitions are important. Double speak is encouraged.

  2. John King McDonald

    ” The argument is never really about just the gays marching in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade ” … John K.McDonald. 🙂

    That ” Picture ” is isolated out of a matrix of class, social, economic, cultural and myriad other … contingent realities . In South Boston, a strong community with its unique peninsular and ethnic prejudices, these contingencies included certainly Forced Busing . A feeling of being misunderstood and socially derided as some sort of Underclass by the larger Society fostered intransigence in the face of a… ” Change “… that had become the rainbow banner of ” Inclusiveness ” that included everyone except those ” Southie Bigots . ”

    I understand and empathize with the Parade caretakers. In retrospect though, the wisest route would have been to include … The Gays …..quietly, and in a decorous and respectful way, in the Parade. May John Hurley be always understood as anyone but a.bigot. RIP John

  3. No one should keep pace with bad ideas. Bill is right on this issue. You are mistaken. Reread the Supreme Court decision and the excellent book on this issue. The Bill of Rights protects individual expression. Government is prohibited from coercing conformity with it’s view. Dissent is protected. No one can be compelled to adopt ideas they disfavor. The Veterans just want to be left alone, unmolested by politically influential groups, the media and politicians with an agenda. 2. There is a monument to the 230 brave young men from South Boston who died fighting the Nazi menace during WW2. Part of that evil enterprise was composed of the Brown Shirts who were led by two LGBT types in Ernst Rhome and Heinie. Maybe that is why they don’t want LGBT in their parade. It demeans the memory of those who gave the last full measure of their devotion to our country. 3. Anyone who disagrees with me is engaged in hate speech.

    • NC:

      1. I mentioned the decision and understand its impact. If you have a right then you must stand up for it. Unfortunately the veterans failed to do this so how can they be heard to complain.

      2. How many of those 230 brave young men from South Boston were gay? Don’t the organizers want to recognize their contribution to the nation? Perhaps leaders of the enemy were gay but don’t you think some of our leaders likewise were gay. The truth is by not including gays you demean the memory of all those gay warriors who died for our country.

      3. As far as some are concerned anyone who disagrees with them is a bigot or as you say engaged in hate speech. Yet we prefer people be allowed to engage in hate speech rather than have the government decide what speech they can engage in. The organizers of the St Patrick’s day parade – some veterans which makes me wonder why they run the parade – don’t want gays in their parade. No one is forcing them to have them. They volunteered to let them march this year – they had a Supreme Court decision telling them they did not have to do that. Having agreed, and the world still spun on its axis, it seemed all was fine.

      Now they want to re-run the parade. If they don’t get that what damages are they looking for? How do they show any damages? Or, are they looking for the judge to tell the mayor not to interfere with their parade in the future? I don’t think they’ll get that since they already have that from the Supreme Court. It is like asking the court to order the mayor not to interfere with your ability to walk on the streets of Boston.

      My point was that the gays marched and letting them march again is no big deal. There are greater issues facing us like the future of America – who knows by next March 17 what the state of our country will be under Hillary?

  4. Nice piece of prose.

    The parade organizers shouldn’t be so flinty. The Irish in Ireland have no trouble accepting gay folks as part of the community. Something in the immigrant experience soured the American Irish. As their backs narrowed, the flint started to show.

    Grandfather Akmet, rahimallah, believed that the American Irish had a deep mean streak running through them. He observed that when the new world Irish had no ethnic, racial, or, sectarian, outsider, to punish, they’d fall upon the the weakest among themselves.

    Grampa Francis, always called “Red,” from the green side of the family, possessed a marvelous hoard of ready epithets for any race, or, creed, other than Irish Catholic. He could start a riot just by talking.

    I loved them, both.

    • Khalid:

      It is true that in Ireland there is no problem with the acceptance of gays. It is also true in my experience that many Irish are gay despite the difficulties that entailed being part of the Irish community in America. At one time it was best hidden but in the present day none of that matters. MLK sort of pointed out the direction by telling us it is the content of the character and not the other accidents that matter.

      I think I mentioned this before but in conversation (one of the very few I had with my taciturn grandfather Connolly) I suggested the Brits were very bad to the Irish and he said sternly: “The worst people to the Irish were the Irish.”

      Grandfather Akmet was a wise man. It is true that there was the mean streak in the Irish which of all the ethnic groups seemed to fight each other rather than cooperate. I’m sure grandfather Francis was of the belief that “God made the Irish” and someone else made the others. Both were right.

      • Both Khalid and Matt are wrong. Gays always marched in the St. Pat’s Parade: witness openly gay City Councilman David Scondras and others who marched without incidence. The issue was: Do the Parade Organizers have the right to exclude banner-carrying “gay-pride” groups? Simply put, why force St. Pat’s Parades to celebrate “gay-pride”? It’s absurd. The Left chose St. Pat’s Parades in NYC and Boston as part of their anti-Catholic jihad. Their intent was to alter the traditional messages of of those century-old parades. The leftist press and leftist politicians supported the forced inclusion of unwanted contingents and unwanted banners (unwanted messages; unwanted ‘speech”) in traditional parades, and they did so by calling the traditionalists “bigots”. The real “bigots” were those who opposed traditional values.
        Matt and Khalid urge us to get in sync with “modernism”; others see leftist progressivism leading us down the tubes.

        • Why Jihad? It’s just an Arabic word that means “to make an effort.” Explain to me what you believe jihad to mean. Definitions are important. What does being a leftist, and/or a progressive mean to you? Where does anti-Catholicism fit in? Communication is important.

  5. Matt, not all change is progress.
    – I remember when those who opposed forced busing, affirmative action, quotas, etc., were called bigots. The Courts themselves have drastically whittled down those once grandiose social experiments. (ex: race is only “one factor” in admissions; neighborhood schools are back in vogue)
    – Today, liberals often call those who support traditions “bigots.”
    – If you oppose Hillary or poke fun at Pocahontas you’re called a bigot, a sexist, an anti-feminist.
    – If you oppose Illegal Immigration, Abortion on Demand, NARAL, Planned Parenthood, you’re called a bigot, a sexist, an anti-feminist.
    – Liberals like slurs.
    – You do understand that the US Supreme Court unanimously (9-0) stated that parade organizers alone determine what contingents march and what banners are displayed. For one-hundred years South Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day Parades ran well without gay-pride contingents.
    – Mayor Marty Walsh did recently brow-beat parade organizers (shouting at them), coercing them to admit the gay pride groups, in clear violation of the Supreme Court’s decision.
    – What’s wrong with having traditional parades (St. Pat’s, Christmas, Easter, Columbus Day, Veterans Day) without radicals labeling them “bigoted”? If some parades want to admit gay-pride groups, let them. If some don’t, let them. This is America. Freedom of expression. Freedom of association. Remember?
    Remember, in 1996, after the Veterans won their unanimous decision, over one million spectators showed up to welcome back the Veterans’ version of a traditional St. Patrick’s Day Parade, despite the Boston Globe repeatedly calling for a “boycott” of the 1996 parade. The 15,000 marchers and one million spectators weren’t bigots and they were not intimidated by liberal name-calling.
    – For the Government (Judiciary or Mayor’s Office) to attempt to alter the expression of a parade isa clear violation of Free Speech and Free Association rights. As one justice said, “A parade is a pristine form of expression.”
    – We don’t want government in the business of altering our expressions, do we?
    – Look at it another way: You know that annual Israeli Day Parade? Should the Mayor insist that PLO flags be displayed? Inclusiveness is not always a virtue.
    – We know that it is un-American for the government to alter expression or to force association; one justice called it “irreparable injury” to even delay the exercise of one’s free speech rights. Mayor Walsh clearly was trying to alter the expression of the Veterans’ parade.

    • Bill:

      You make lots of good points. You are right about the history of the parade and the right of the parade organizers to decide the message and the need for the government not to infringe upon the message of any group. You pointed to the numbers who came in 1996 but in 2016 there were similar numbers despite the inclusion of the gays.

      You are right that those who practice values that have persisted through the centuries have been called bigoted because of their unwillingness to give up what they believed in favor of the latest flavor that comes along. I agree that the PLO should not be forced into a parade celebrating the founding of Israel. I also agree no mayor or judge would force that to happen unlike what happened in the St Patrick’s situation.

      My point is that the parade has given the gays the chance to march and nothing adverse resulted. No one forced the parade organizers to do this because they could not be forced. They knew they did not have to do it for after all they had won a Supreme Court victory stating that they did not have to do it.

      They are now complaining, much too late in my opinion, that they were forced to include gays. The time for complaining was back before they folded their hands. They allege the mayor “shouted” at them so they gave up their hard fought victory? I suggest it is too little too late to now complain.

      I believe that the issue of gays being included does not amount to much now. As I suggested lets move forward and not try to go backwards. Is it the intent of the parade organizers not to included gays in the 2017 parade? If that is the case then they can go ahead and do it which I suggest takes away from the celebratory nature of the day. I fail to understand what remedy they now look for. The judges won’t order that the calendar be turned back and we pretend it is March 17, 2016 again and the parade be re-run without gays. Are they looking for an order telling the mayor not to shout at them again? They need no order telling the mayor not to interfere with their message since they already have that.

      The parade organizers gave up their right to protect their message when the mayor pressure them. The question is having done that have they given it up for all time.

      I agree with you that there is nothing wrong, in fact it is an American right, to decide what message you will convey in a public forum. I do not want the government in the business of altering our expression. But if you have a right you have to stand up for it. If you don’t, as we have seen with the parade organizers, you should not be heard to complain.

      I am saying if I was running the St. Patrick’s day parade I would include any group that celebrates St. Patrick whether gay or straight, black or white, tall or short, as long as the message reflected the celebratory nature of the event. I am suggesting that by not including the gays the organizers look like bigots in this day and age. It is up to them to decide who they want and what their message will be and what they want to look like.

      You point out that

      • Matt, inserting “gay pride” banners in a St. Pat’s Parade is a discordant note. I’d recommend the Vets limit expression to the celebration of Veterans and St. Patrick, and Irish traditions.
        2. Mayor Walsh so brow-beat the Veterans, that one Organizer quit and the others caved in under the Mayor’s political pressure. The mayor later called up and apologized for him intemperate behavior, but the harm was done.
        3. The Parade does not exclude people who want to celebrate St. Pat’s Day. It excludes people who want to promote other political agendas, e.g. “gay pride.”
        4. You see no harm, it inserting a discordant message; I see irreparable harm in altering a person’s speech or an organization’s speech. The Mayor twisted arms and used to his political office to alter the Veterans’ speech. Un-American!

        • Matt, a unanimous Supreme Court said that the Massachusetts Judiciary acted “without any lawful authority” in forcing the Gay Pride group into the Veterans’ Parade. About 20 Massachusetts judges abused their power and office to force the Veterans to alter their speech. So, too, the Mayor appears to have abused his office and power to alter the speech of the Veterans.
          It is no slight thing in America for government to compel speech.
          The Veterans should say, “To hell with political correctness!”

  6. Will the Mayor of All Inclusiveness create a bogus group to demand that supporters of Right to Work laws be allowed to march in the union organized Labor day parade? It should not be hard to find city employees willing to aver that they do not want to pay union dues. If asked Comrade Marty would prove selective in his devotion to Inclusiveness.

    The bigots in the ongoing dispute over who can march in the St. Patrick’s Day parade are those Stalinists who demand to impose their values on all others in their gatherings. Diktats kill tolerance and subvert expressions reflecting diversity. The old song has no verse, “I’m Irish, I’m barging into your parlor….”

  7. John King McDonald

    ” A picture held us captive ” reflected Wittgenstein.”… ” And we could not get outside it, for it lay in our language, and language seemed to repeat it to us inexorably. ” … LIVING WITH THE DEVIL – A Meditation on Good and Evil… by Steven Batchelor.

    Reading this : Wittgenstein suggests perhaps that when we employ concepts to fix and isolate REALITY we are always at a disadvantage with the limits of language’s … ” Picture This !!! ” … seductive capabilities. Theologian Paul Tillich said ” The demonic is the elevation of something from conditional to unconditional existence.” We create an Entity : we refuse to accept that Nature is by its nature contingent and impersonal. It is the quantum tautology. We cannot escape that we cannot get truly outside our existence in order to describe it. When we isolate to describe ; we describe our isolation.

    So, This is a general cautionary note in regard to reading concise analyses like the one above, well-rendered verbally and thoughtfully reasoned . They can only ” Picture . ”

    This is very powerful stuff though. Is the James Bulger ” Picture ” as it has been painted and lovingly touched up in embarrassing contingencies by the Agency the REALITY? Only God knows, One supposes. And God has taken THE FIFTH . 🙂

  8. Matt
    Thanks for the breakdown of whats going on with local law enforcement in a response on another post. Curious, what aspect of law enforcement among the New England area would you say has a direct pipeline to organized crime? In other words what section of law enforcement would you suggest one apply to if they have an interest in working against organized crime in area New England area.

    I often thought, and this is because of the media drive behind Bulger and Flemmi, that Salemme kind of flew under the radar in a strange way. No books written about him, no? One thing I cant wrap my head around is why is it that men like Bulger, Flemmi, and Salemme are NOT afraid of jail (specifically the prospect of getting raped and possibly gang raped). Also so many inmates get murdered in prison too, no? I understand that Bulger, Flemmi, and Martorano were tough guys because they used guns to murder but in prison one doesnt have guns to use so are they such tough fighters they feared no man?

    Whats your estimate month that Salemme goes to trial?