Separation of Church and State

San Francisco archbishop Salvatore Cordileone issued a notice Friday that he would no longer allow House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to receive Communion, an escalation of his feud with the Catholic Democrat over abortion politics. The Archbishop said that he had warned Pelosi in April that she must either repudiate her support of abortion rights or not refer to her Catholicism in justifying them.

I’m not Catholic, so I don’t know what Communion is or how big a deal not receiving Communion is. It must be serious though, because an article about it appeared on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle this morning.

But I do know that Nancy Pelosi is a United States Congressperson who holds the office of Speaker of the House of the U.S. House of Representatives. The people she represents are not all Catholics and the majority of her constituents support abortion rights. A Pew Research survey last spring found that 67% of American Catholics support pro-abortion rights politicians like Pelosi and Biden receiving Communion.

Pelosi is a politician whose job it is to represent the interests of her constituents. She is not a church leader. Archbishop Cordileone is a religious leader and is not a politician. Just as political leaders should not discriminate against or punish their constituents for their religious beliefs, church leaders should not discriminate against or punish their flocks for their political beliefs.

In fact, even Pope Francis, the leader of the Catholic Church, when asked about the effort by U.S. bishops to refuse Communion to public figures who support abortion rights, said that he never denies anyone Communion, and urged bishops to be pastors, not politicians.

And let’s not forget that one of the core principles of America is, as Thomas Jefferson wrote, the separation of church and state.

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people, which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.

To the Archbishop of San Francisco and other members of the Catholic clergy who wish to punish members of their church who don’t oppose abortion rights, I suggest you at least heed the words of your own Pope, if not those of Founding Father Thomas Jefferson.

Philosophical Fortune Cookie

Do you remember when Chinese fortune cookies were like horoscopes? They would actually give predictions of things that might happen to you in the future.

For example, about a dozen years ago I got this fortune in a cookie.

Cool, huh? At first I was really excited. But then I got to thinking about the words “three months from this date.” What date is “this date” supposed to mean?

Is it the date I opened up the fortune cookie and read the fortune?

Is it the date the fortune was printed on the little slip of paper?

Is it the date the little slip of paper was inserted into the fortune cookie (by whatever magical means they use to do that)?

Depending upon the answers to those questions, three months from “this date” may have passed long ago. Maybe I missed the window of opportunity to realize the good things that were in store for me. And that just depressed me.

But I digress. My point is that the little slips of paper inside today’s fortune cookies seem to be filled with empty platitudes, trite little clichés, and “inspirational” sayings. And since the cookies themselves aren’t all that delicious, I usually end up throwing them out without opening them whenever we get Chinese takeout.

However, last night I went out and picked up some takeout from our local Chinese restaurant and I decided to indulge in a fortune cookie that was included with the food and when I read the “fortune” it said this:

I thought that was a rather philosophical “fortune” to find inside a cookie. But it just didn’t sound like something from far eastern philosophy, so I googled it. Turns out the quote was from the late Stanford University President David Starr Jordan back in 1903.

Who knew that Chinese fortune cookie “fortunes” were made in America?

SoCS — Let Me Make One Thing Clear

I love using the daily word prompts that a number of bloggers post daily and weaving together a piece of flash fiction. In addition to my own FOWC with Fandango prompt, I frequently craft posts that incorporate prompt words from the Word of the Day Challenge, Your Daily Word Prompt, the Ragtag Daily Prompt, E.M.’s Random Word Prompt, The Daily Spur, and My Vivid Blog’s Daily Prompt.

But sometimes the bloggers behind these word prompts seem to want to fuck with us. For example, just yesterday, the Your Daily Word Prompt word was “gasconade.” Seriously? Have you ever heard of that word, much less used it in a normal conversation?

Or how about yesterday’s Word of the Day Challenge prompt word, “pareidolia”? Just rolls off your tongue, doesn’t it?

And not to be outdone, The Ragtag Daily Prompt word yesterday was “frowzy.” Come on. Frowzy?

Even I am guilty. My own daily prompt word yesterday was “per se,” which had a number of bloggers a bit flummoxed. And the day before yesterday my FOWC with Fandango word was “bodacious,” which is not that unusual of a word, but some of you, based upon a few comments, were not big fans of bodacious.

So, I want to make one thing clear. I will not jump through hoops or twist myself into a pretzel trying to write posts that incorporate such unusual, archaic words like gasconade, pareidolia, or frowzy. It hurts my head too much.

I don’t mean to offend those who chose these words, but the idea of prompt words is to inspire, not to frustrate.

So, I leave my fellow daily word prompters with this piece of advice…

Written for Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, where the word is “clear.”

FOWC with Fandango — Internet


It’s May 21, 2022. Welcome to Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aka, FOWC). I will be posting each day’s word just after midnight Pacific Time (U.S.).

Today’s word is “internet.”

Write a post using that word. It can be prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction. It can be any length. It can be just a picture or a drawing if you want. No holds barred, so to speak.

Once you are done, tag your post with #FOWC and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Please check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.

And be sure to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this prompt. Show them some love.