This was one of those photos that spoke to me. I had no idea at the time what I was capturing, I was just snapping away. And then when I was editing there was a kind of funky irony to a street sign indicating a crooked road in front of a church. Are we to assume the path to true piety is crooked? Or am I being jaded?
A friend and I were discussing religion today. More specifically Catholicism. He asked me if I went to church regularly. (We are both Catholic) I said no and that honestly I had not even picked a church to attend in Chester County since I moved out here. He asked me if I missed church and I said, honestly, no. (And understand this friend of mine is a little right of Attila the Hun as far as conservatism and religion go.)
Ok not a nice thing to admit, but I am totally conflicted about the Catholic Church, especially given all the issues in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. As an adult who is free thinking I have a hard time with why it is I should believe in a church that allowed so many predators and pedophiles of children to roam around unfettered. When I was a child I never knew priests like this existed. I went to church, to Sunday school. I believed. Maybe it’s that whole thing about when you are a child you believe with a child’s innocence. (Of course that is why I am glad there are non-profits out there now like Justice4PAKids.)
(Ok so I mean no disrespect for the Mennonite Church. I just like to photograph fire and brimstone as well as amusing religious signs. Just thought I would say that on the record.)
Anyway, we got into this whole deep and slightly esoteric discussion about faith and faith based lifestyles and how people should go to church more and how the world would be a better place if people went to church more.
Ideologically, yes, perhaps. But we live in the real world, right?
So I am a Catholic, I have my faith, but am conflicted by my church and the actions of said church. How do I resolve that? Do I pretend questions don’t exist?
And then there is the whole thing of joining a new church. How do I pick one and will I feel like the new kid transferring into school if I go to mass at one of them? I have already had a couple of years of that new kid in town feeling, and well it was much easier to deal with when you are a kid because I think we are just more flexible when we are younger.
But some days my brave new world is daunting. You know because it’s new. It’s exciting and happy and all sorts of positive and amazing things, but some days it is like being the new kid in school. It took me a year before I actually recognized someone in a grocery store. So the idea of all eyes on the newbie in the church pew is so utterly unappealing.
When it comes down to it, how do I even go about choosing a church? I thought about checking out Saints Peter and Paul on Boot Road. But then, one day driving by I saw all these extremely disturbing anti-abortion signs along their property line facing the road. I might be Catholic but I believe in a woman’s right to choose no matter what that choice
is. What I believe is right for me personally is not something I feel I could foist on another woman. Nor do I believe things like this belong on either a political platform or a pulpit. So to say I dislike these signs is a bit of an understatement. (Don’t even get me started on the pro-life billboards!)
Of course the other thing is the whole idea of living in faith based world. Do we live with faith as part of our world or is it supposed to control our world? When I see websites or articles about “faith based investing” for example, I have to wonder. Will I next see faith based grocery shopping ?
My other issues with religion these days? Birth control and religious beliefs and what are they going to allow their employees to have as far as health insurance related to that? Should we sit idly by while the rights of millions are dictated by the beliefs of a few?
How do I join the beliefs of traditional religion to the modern world in which I live? I still consider myself to be a person who believes in God and has faith. But I don’t know what to do with the rest of it. How can I still be Catholic if I question so much about my own religion, for example?
Of course there is also the whole thing of meeting some people in recent years who professed to be oh so godly, so pious. Quite literally holier than thou. They were as mean as snakes to some and do the whole “bless your heart” thing to most.
“Bless your heart” is basically a Southern Idiom as I know it and considered pejorative. When you meet these official “bless your heart” types they will smile to someone’s face and stab them in the back before they are turned around, and well to me it is a sad commentary on humanity.
So are we more politically correct to be faith based, or is it a marketing tool of lobbyists and way too conservative for me personally political groups (or aspiring politicians)?
Faith based by definition is “affiliated with, supported by, or based on a religion or religious group”. We live in a country founded on religious freedoms, so how does that compute?
What kind of God are we supposed to believe in? Allowed to believe in? Is religion supposed to be gentle and all enveloping or punishing? Is religion supposed to be a private belief system or a political platform?
So many questions.
I know truly religious and pious people who do amazing things and then there are the others who use religious beliefs as judgment, i.e. how people stack up against their moral high road to nowhere fast.
The Daily Numbers: 2 to 4 years in prison for Upper Chi parents who let their malnourished kids live in deplorable conditions. 5 and 7, ages of two children found barefoot and filthy in backyard of home.6 Philly police officers rounded up this morning to face federal corruption charges.30 youths from the Darby Fresh Start Program who decided to throw a prom for Mayor Helen Thomas. Well done, kids.1 of 2 guns found in the apartment of Mercy Fitzgerald shooting suspect Richard Plotts was nearly a century old.1 acre of ground near MacDade Boulevard and Kedron Avenue that will be sold by the township to aid in redevelopment.2 lane, 2-way road now back on track for the long contested Third Street Bridge span in Media, after the borough decided not to appeal a judge’s ruling.650,000 dollars for the project from the state, with another $75,000 from the county.1991, when Dottie Kornafel started working for Aston Township. She’s retiring.70 point dip for the stock market yesterday.35 percent of Americans described as in deep debt.23 conclusions in an NTSB report on that train derailment last year in Paulsboro, N.J. The report blamed the train’s engineer and also faulted the response by emergency responders.0 bail for the 2 suspects charged in fatal carjacking that left 3 children dead in the Tioga section of Philadelphia.8 shutout innings tossed by Cole Hamels last night in 6-2 Phils win over Mets.3 straight wins for Hamels, to raise his record to 6-5.6 hits, 0 runs and 8 strikeouts for the red-hot Hamels.14 of his last 16 starts that Hamels has gone at least 7 innings. 1.90 ERA over that time period. 2.55 ERA overall for Hamels.3 home runs hit by the Phils Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.I’ll say it again. Cole Hamels is the 1 guy on the roster Ruben Amaro Jr. should NOT deal at the trade deadline. I Don’t Get It: The Pennsylvania State Police are being sued by the Justice Department over over their fitness test. They allege it's unfair to women. I don’t get it. Today’s Upper: Kudos to the kids from the Fresh Start Program of Upper Darby, who threw a surprise prom for borough Mayor Helen Thomas. Nice gesture. Quote Box: “I was a horrible parent.’- Vincent McDonald, in being sentenced for leaving his 2 kids malnourished and living in filthy conditions.
Pardon me if I don't join the chorus tossing out hosannas about this weather. What the hell happened to summer?
Last night when I got home, I had to break out the snuggie (yes, guys, I can admit I use one, a special University of Colorado limited edition featuring the world's greatest mascot, Ralphie the Buffalo). My wife had all the windows in the sun room open, leading directly into the kitchen, and the spot where I sit at the table to eat dinner.My teeth were chattering.Look, it's the last week of July. We're supposed to be steaming, not shivering.This morning we tied a record for the low at 58, which was set back in 1981. It is supposed to recover to the low 80s tonight before nosediving again tonight.Is it too much to ask for a little heat and humidity in July and August.So much for Global Warming.
Last week we heard from Gov. Tom Corbett,
who has been criss-crossing the state doing his best Paul Revere impersonation: 'The pension crisis is coming, the pension crisis is coming.'
Actually, it's already here. And it's about to detonate in school districts across the state, straining budgets from one end of the Commnwealth to the other. To his credit, the governor has been saying so for most of his troubled first term, labeling it a 'tapeworm' in the state budget crisis and Pennsylvania's No. 1 problem.Facing a tough, uphill fight for re-election against Democrat Tom Wolf, Corbett is now making his pitch directly to the public, and trying to put it in terms they understand - their wallets. Corbett is making a direct link between rising costs for the state's two major public employee pension systems and school property taxes. In other words, the wallet of Joe Citizen.
The governor was so incensed that the Legislature ignored his call to take action on the pension crisis that he took out his pen and stripped a ton of money the pols routinely use from the state budget.The governor wants the House and Senate to return to Harrisburg to deal with the looming crisis.Tonight we'll hear from two key members of those two ruling bodies as our live-stream Internet broadcast, 'Live From the Newsroom,' talks tackles the pension crisis, along with the state budget and education funding.Joining us will be two of the most powerful men in Harrisburg, state Sen. Dominic Pileggi, R-9, of Chester, the Senate majority leader, and Rep. Bill Adolph, R-165, of Springfield, the majority chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee. Yep, they're the ones who put the state budget together.Also joining us will be longtime Haverford School Board member Larry Feinberg, who also just happens to be the founder and co-chairman of the Keystone State Education Coalition. No one has a better grasp on what school districts are dealing with in this era of dwindling funding and increased pension responsibilities.Do you have a pension question you'd like answered? Email it to me at email@example.com and I'll ask our panel.Then tune in tonight at 7 on DelcoTimes.com for a frank discussion on the No. 1 issue in the state.Don't stand on the sidelines. Get involved. Take part. I look forward to hearing from you.
Ruben Amaro Jr.'s job doesn't get any easier.
The one bargaining chip he has as the clock ticks down toward that 4 p.m. Thursday trade deadline is Cole Hamels.And Hamels certainly has been doing everything in his power to increase his value. He was lights out again last night, throwing eight shutout innings as the Phils rolled over the Mets, 6-0. It's the third straight outing in which Hamels has been all but unhittable.Last night he struck out 8 while scattering 6 hits, in the process lowering his ERA to a sparkling 2.55 Amaro will want a king's ransom for Hamels, a treasure trove of a franchise's top young prospects, and even then I'm not sure you deal Hamels.Here's one man's vote: Don't deal Hamels.Everyone else on this roster is fair game. Then build around the ace left-hander.We'll know in about 24 hours.
In 2009 I documented through photographs the last few months of architect Addison Mizner’s famed La Ronda in Bryn Mawr. The tale of La Ronda even made the Wall Street Journal back then.
Putting all the drama of the La Ronda and her demolition and the upheaval the demolition caused in Lower Merion Township and across the country aside, the saddest part of the tale of La Ronda is there was a man willing to have the mansion moved brick by brick, who was willing to buy it fairly. Only he was denied that by both the seller of the property and buyer of the property. Those people sold La Ronda to be torn down and tore down La Ronda because they could and that is kind of sad especially since they were players in the socioeconomic levels where they could actually afford to be more preservation minded.
I am not getting into some protracted discussion about property rights, what this demolition has done is leave a lasting impression on me regarding historic preservation in Pennsylvania.
Historic preservation in Pennsylvania remain a lofty ideal, but is seldom a true reality. So when you hear on rare occasions that you might not like what a developer is doing, but they are saving and preserving a historic structure on a property they bought? Well that my friends is huge and doesn’t happen very often. See ( Linden Hall post July 24 and Farmhouse Post on July 27 and Adaptive Reuse from April 2013 )
Truthfully, all these years later and salvagers are still selling bits of La Ronda. And people still write about La Ronda and what happened (reference Proper Philadelphia in 2012 )
I watched and documented the last sad few months of La Ronda, and to me it is a glaring reminder of what lip service preservation is. In 2009, Lower Merion Township Commissioners (including the current Board President Liz Rogan) did much beating of the collective breast and waxed long and poetically on how they were going to do things differently and how they were going to preserve historic assets.
Flash forward to 2014 and well, much like other places, it’s all been talk. Or political gob smacking…. take your pick. Now the William Penn Inn is under a 90 day stay of execution err demolition, which means it will inevitably come down. And that is the case even though people are saying it may have had something to do with the underground railroad (and see cool photos of the place here thanks to Main Line Media News.)
Also facing an uncertain future is the historic Odd Fellows Hall and property and United Methodist Church and property in Gladwyne. People have said for decades that there are Revolutionary War soldiers buried there. Famous Phillie Rich Asburn is buried there and heck some of my friends have all their family buried there. So Odd Fellows is in limbo. What is historic will survive if the developers who are the owners, Main Line Realty Partners, do the proper preservation. They can do the right thing if they want to. They have in the past and truthfully the partners in these projects have done beautiful work. Last I heard that Odd Fellows plan was tabled, but these same developers have now purchased another church, First Baptist in Ardmore. They also bought the United Methodist Church in Narberth Now the developers are calling themselves Main Line rebuild.
But like I said, adaptive reuse and historic preservation by developers are the exception rather than the rule.
I do not know a lot of the preservation groups throughout Chester County as I have not lived here that many years yet . I love the Chester County Historical Society and they have lots of neat stuff in their headquarters in downtown West Chester and they do fun things like walking tours.
Also worth noting is the Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust. Their 10th annual house tour is September 27th, 2014.
And if you like house tours you should also consider signing up for Chester County Day which benefits Chester County Hospital. They have preview lectures starting in September which are open to the public.
Anyway, remember the La Rondas…once they are gone, they are gone.
Thanks for stopping by today!
People often ask me what it is that bothers me about the politics in West Vincent, Chester County. See above.
Above is a letter penned by a “concerned” West Vincent resident to another West Vincent resident. I am hoping the author is not one of those “West Vincent Voices” because wow, do you think they could move on from anonymous missives like this and anonymous broad sheets on the United States Post Office wall?
The song remains the same meets Groundhog Day? Now I know these people don’t care for me or this blog, and well, good for them, everyone needs a hobby, right?
The man targeted by this latest bit of nastiness was in intensive care on one step removed from life support and these folks were running around calling him Chickenman. Until January 21st, 2014 when Chickenman posted an interesting update. Now this gentleman is the “source” of Chickenman’s “lies”. That makes me giggle because well, why let a little truth get in the way of local yokel politics, right? And if you can’t git him, well why not git his wife, right? (His wife is one of the loveliest and most genuinely nice people you will ever meet too.)
So now these people are back to penning poisoned pen letters? I hope they remember to wipe off their fingerprints, don’t you?
I am touched by their fealty to those like Farmer Supervisor to the stars Ken Miller, but seriously, wow do they blame everyone else for everything?
And speaking of the Supervisor to whom they pay their fealty, is he going to step down as Supervisor at the end of his current term? That is what the chatter has been for months, right? Being an elected official is tough, so time will tell, right?
But as for Truth in West Vincent? They need to by a clue. But again, maybe they are just hearing “West Vincent Voices”, right? After all, who else would be so deliberately unkind as to continually try to hurt one of their neighbors, right? But then again people like this love to hide behind a keyboard.
I just find it sad. Why? Because they are correct that West Vincent is an awesome and beautiful place. But by their actions the show the world that their apple has a rotten core, don’t they?
Truth for West Vincent found HERE.
West Vincent Voices found HERE – a lot of very nice content. Here is a link to the latest newsletter - West Vincent Voices July 2014 – all sorts of cool tidbits! And if you want to see some beautiful photos and learn more fun stuff about this beautiful part of Chester County, check out ThisIsWestVincent too!
Community involvement is to be commended. Sending anonymous hate mail, not so much.
When the usual predictable messaging on environmental regulations fails to resonate with voters, what’s a Republican Congressman to do? Use harsher and nuttier words to make the same point:...
The Daily Numbers: 2 suspects charged in the deadly carjacking that killed 3 children in the Tioga section of Philly. 21, age of Chester man who saw all charges against him in a fatal shooting in Darby Borough dropped by the D.A.’s office. 26, age of woman who remains in critical condition after her ex-boyfriend went on shooting spree, killing their 5-year-old son before turning the gun on himself after a police chase.20, age of Upper Darby man to a year less 1 day in an assault and robbery.16.5 million dollar renovation of Nether Providence Elementary School that is ongoing.35, age of Folcroft man who faces charges of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old teen girl in his home.15 of August, that is when a private firm will officially take over bus service in Springfield School District.46 district drivers at time the contract was outsourced.10-12 already had left the district at the time. Another 15 chose not to go to the new firm, went to other districts or retired.800,000 dollars, how much Springfield hopes to save on busing services in the next few years, including selling off their fleet of buses.70,000 dollars being spent by Garnet Valley School District for 2-way radios for the district bus fleet. 7 to 14 years behind bars for a massage therapist from Chadds Ford charged with molesting 4 patients.2 wounded in separate shootings in Chester over the weekend.205,000 dollar grant being used by Concord to install traffic adaptive equipment for the 5 intersections along Baltimore Pike from Route 322 to Route 202.8.5 billion dollars being laid out by Dollar Tree stores to buy its competitor Family Dollar.12 million dollar fine being sought by FAA against Southwest Airlines.22 point hike for the stock market yesterday.7-1 ugly loss for the Phillies last night as they kicked off a road trip in NYC vs. the Mets.7 runs on 8 hits over 5 innings surrendered by starter A.J. Burnett.2 fights in 2 days for the Eagles as training camp gets underway. Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.There are not a lot of Phillies that are sparking much in the way of interest as the trade deadline looms on Thursday. And that’s for good reason. Aside from Cole Hamels, who on this roster would you want? I Don’t Get It: Still trying to come to grips with the carjacking that snuffed out the lives of 3 children in Tioga. I don’t get it. Today’s Upper: Kudos to Charles Barkley. The former Sixers star is offering to pay for the funeral for the 3 kids. Quote Box: “We have a disease that’s killing our people.”- Golie Avajon, who coordinated fundraiser over weekend in Darby Borough to battle ebola problem in her native Sierra Leone area of Africa.
I do not own a gun. I am, however, glad that Dr. Lee Silverman does.
The good doctor, as we all now know, very likely saved lives when he pulled his own weapon and stopped Richard Plotts from doing even more damage after the troubled man pulled out a gun during an appointment with Dr. Silverman last Thursday at the Wellness Center at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital.Dr. Silverman's reaction, unfortunately, came too late for caseworker Theresa Hunt, who was shot at point-blank range by Plotts.Both Yeadon Chief Don Molineaux and Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan said they believe Silverman's action saved lives.I will not disagree with them.I don't know if I am ready to join those forces who insist that the only way to take down a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.But I am glad Dr. Silverman did what he did, even if it was in apparent violation of hospital policy. Plotts was a convicted felon who was not legally entitled to possess a gun. How's that working out for us. It is not the first time he's broken this particular law. His long criminal record includes charges of a convicted felon in possession of a gun.That's the problem with using laws to deal with the gun problem in this country.If someone wants to get a gun, they will do so. Passing a law is not going to change that.So where does that leave us?I'm not sure.Except for this. Thank you, Dr. Silverman.
I am hard-presssed to think of anything good that could possibly come from the heart-wrenching saga of three children run down by carjackers in the Tioga section of Philadelphia.
Two men now face charges in connection with this heinous act, in which they carjacked an SUV from a realtor, then careened down a road at a high rate of speed before blowing a tire and slamming into a family that was selling fruit for their church at an intersection.Three young kids were killed. Their mother remains in the hospital.It was while announcing that third-degree murder charges as well as a slew of other offenses were being filed against the two that District Attorney Seth Williams offered something of a silver lining to his tragedy.The family has been struggling with money issues to bury the children.That's when a very familiar name stepped up.We spend a lot of time mocking athletes in this town. We are tough on them when then fail. We're even rougher when it appears they are not giving their best effort. And we can be merciless when they don't care.Charles Barkley always cared. Yes, he took some heat for some things he did, including a bar altercation in which he tossed a heckler through a window, and an unfortunate in-game incident in which he spit on a little girl instead of the opposing player he was targeting. All of that was part of Barkley's passion, and we loved him for it. That passion has not eroded since he hung up his sneakers. The former Sixers great and NBA Hall-of-Famer has indicated he wants to pay for the funeral for the three kids killed in the carjacking tragedy.Barkley now works as an analyst after finishing his great career in Phoenix. But he has always held the place where he first shot to stardom close to his heart.Charles Barkley will always be Philly.He also will always be something else: A class act.
In my racket, a 'lead' is used to lure a reader into a story, a hook that hints at what lies ahead in the tale.
In terms of sports, the way we cover and write game stories has changed. The truth is most readers already know who won and lost the game when they pick up the paper.That's where we bank on the people who cover our sports beats to offer their analysis and opinion of what happened in the game. They're not exactly columnists, but it's not the traditional 'inverted pyramid' style of reporting that focused on the 5 W's (who, what, when, where, why) either.Having said that, you'll wait a long time before you read a better lead than our Phillies beat writer Dennis Deitch penned on that ugly, disheartening performance by the pinstripes in the Big Apple vs. the Mets last night.The Phillies fell 7-1 - and it probably wasn't that close.This one was over early, a fact not lost on Deitch when he tapped out this gem of a lead:"The Mets were camouflage jerseys Monday night. Before the fisrt inning was over, the Phillies were raising a white flag."Ouch! You can read the rest of Dennis' game story here
File under “barely false”: With both sides increasing their initial offers for the prized asset, multinational energy companies ExxonMobil and Chevron Corporation are currently locked in...
The national average for state share of education funding is 48%. Tom Wolf is proposing taking the state share up to 50%. During the Rendell administration, the state’s share of education...
Thomas Fitzgerald cleared this up last week, and now the Wolf campaign has an ad up refuting it. A new attack ad from Gov. Tom Corbett (R) accuses Democratic opponent Tom Wolf of hypocrisy because,...
The Daily Numbers: 5, age of child killed when gunfire erupted outside an apartment in Ridley Township late Saturday. 1 other person, the boy’s mother, in critical condition with gunshot wound.26, age of the boy’s father, who police say turned gun on himself after fleeing scene and leading police on chase.11 shell casings from Ruger 9 mm10th birthday, when Noah Lamey of Norwood got a heart transplant. Nice gift.1st and 3rd-degree murder charges formally filed against Richard Plotts, suspect in Fitz shooting.3 men busted on drug charges inside Upper Darby apartment.2 men being questioned in carjacking and crash that took the lives of 3 children in Philly.110,000 dollar reward in the case.5 people shot, 1 fatally, in North Philly early this morning.5 people in 1 family shot dead in Maine.20, age of man killed when lightning struck a beach in Venice, Calif.20 people hit by the bolt.4-2 win for the Phils over the D-Backs.2 minutes, 55 seconds, how long the review took that ruled Ryan Howard safe at the plate because the catcher was blocking his path.4 hits over 7 innings in a good outing for Phils starter Roberto Hernandez.25th save in 28 chance for Jonathan Papelbon Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.Ryan Howard had to be kidding, right? Anyone want to trade places with the first baseman? I Don’t Get It: The county had barely stopped reeling from gun violence at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital when gunfire erupted in Ridley. A 5-year-old boy was killed. Today’s Upper: Kudos to all those who rallied around young Noah Lamey of Norwood. He got a new heart in a transplant on his 10th birthday. Nice gift. Quote Box: “We never thought this would happen.”- Daneesha Hill, sister of Ridley shooting victim Shyema Washington.
The county was still reeling from the gun violence that rang out at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital when it happened again.
This time police say a domestic incident in Ridley spun out of control. A man opened fire outside an apartment,
killing his 5-year-old son and critically injuring his estranged girlfriend.The man then fled the scene and led police on chase. He eventually turned the gun on himself, taking his own life.We used our editorial page today
to talk about gun violence, and how to keep guns out of the hands of people who clearly should not possess them.But that would not have stopped the tragedy that unfolded in Ridley late Saturday night.Police say Tyrell Styles legally owned the Ruger 9 mm he used to snuff out the life of his son.So what is the answer? I don't know. All I know is that we have a problem in this country with guns. And it's time we did something about it, preferably before the next incident occurs.