The Empire Strikes Back

05-29-2021Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

The past four or so years there was an unusual calm in the Middle East and for a change the US didn't enter new military conflicts or wars. And now almost on cue, hostilities broke out between Israel and Gaza.

Part of the calm was due to the Abraham Accords and the stopping of US funding to the Palestinian territories. The Accords between Israel and several Arab countries were done without consideration of the question of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. It seemed the Arab nations were happy to not have to deal with the issue and get drug into the never-ending failed Peace process and move things forward for a change. Along with US funding being cut off, the Palestinian authorities realized they were losing support.

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The Year that Was

05-22-2021Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

A new bill working its way through the Illinois legislature would allow that state to keep non-public schools closed same as public schools during a Pandemic or health emergency. In other words, if Public schools don't open neither can you. You may think this is a matter of Public Health, keeping school environments safe and healthy, but you would be wrong. It’s really about dragging private and parochial schools down to the same level as Public schools. Specifically, during the Pandemic most private and parochial schools remained open for in-person learning while the Public schools were closed. This was an embarrassment to the Public schools and it also caused a drop-in enrollment as many parents moved their students to private, parochial or home schooling. The new bill basically would never allow that egg-on-face to happen again.

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Our American Gulag

05-15-2021Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s, The Gulag Archipelago, first published in English in 1973 is now available in an abridged version that I highly recommend. In it, Solzhenitsyn describes how the omnipresent Soviet apparatus of repression infected every aspect of Russian life including the labor camps, prisons, uprooting and extermination of entire groups of people, the secret police and how the state ruled all-powerfully, degraded and brutalized just about everyone. But it also is the story of tremendous moral courage and how many individuals and small groups refused to be corrupted, violate their conscience and chose to stand against the state’s soul crushing tactics. So much of the resistance was not grand scale coup attempts but small, quieter acts of defiance or refusal to cooperate that allowed individuals to keep their moral compass intact.

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COVID Conflict Round 2

05-08-2021Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends, Since the Pandemic began it seems we’ve become characters in the Mad Max Film: Beyond Thunderdome or maybe the Matrix or we are all participants in the Truman Show. Either way, “we don't need another hero, we don't need to know the way home, all we want is life beyond the Pandemic.” Still it drags on. And just like in Thunderdome, “two men enter one-man leaves” the fight is still on! Welcome to COVID-19 Conflict Round II.

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When Boys Become Girls

05-02-2021Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

When a parent sees their child struggling, they try to find out the cause of the struggle. And when the struggle is beyond normal childhood growing pains, a parent often seeks out guidance from others (parents can often get lots of sound advice from other parents who have traveled the same path) including professional assistance. Such would be the case when your child tells you they are the opposite gender from their biological gender.

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