By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
The Pope Problem
Let them wed: The Catholic Church would regain so much confidence if they would just reinstate married clergy. That prohibition has less to do with theology than with church finances. And it creates a haven for pedophiles.
Corrupt church: As you read this, back in the Vatican they are tripping over themselves trying to justify one man's actions in his role as Pope and leader of a nation, and before that as Cardinal in charge of the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith (a job, by the way, he failed miserably at) and as Archbishop of Munich and Freising. But folks, let's not forget the Hitler Youth episode. This should not be the résumé of someone who aspires to be Pope.
Benedict says the true problem is a weakening of faith. Not true. The problem is a corrupt institution led by an arrogant hierarchy which is involved in predatory criminal sexual assault of minors. So far, they have pointed the finger at gays, the media, the decadence of Western society (although the crime is worldwide) and even the sexual revolution: anyone and everyone but themselves. No guilt, no how, no way.
So as the layers are peeled away as we get closer to the heart of the cover-up, what is left at the center of it all is the Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church: the Pope. Here's a thought: This Sunday and all Sundays in the future, when the collection plate comes by, instead of putting in church dollars, as my mother called them, put in a slip of paper with a handwritten note saying how you feel about the goings-on in the church.
You see, the only sound they listen to is the sound of the cash register. And when that goes quiet, maybe, just maybe, they'll start listening to you.
No fan of religion: Religion was created out of a need for organization and control. It is purely evil. If you look back throughout history, you can see that a majority of violence was over religion. Every religious person thinks theirs is the right one and that their "God" will save them from eternal damnation. Stories are nice. I used to read them as a kid myself.
But the reality is, if there is in fact a God, do you really think He would give man free will and watch as little innocent, precious children of God get raped and molested by the people who are supposedly chosen by Him? I know religious zealots' God didn't do this; people did. Yeah, I studied religion for about 18 years of my life, so I know all of your responses, but seriously, just think about it for a moment. All in all, religion is not the answer or the solution. Change is not in the hands of a spirit, it's in the hands of us.
This thing just keeps getting worse: Imagine, referring to the victims as accomplices in their own crimes.
Houston's Fun Ranking
Online readers comment on "It's (Semi-)Official: Houston Is Not That Fun a City," Hair Balls blog, by Rich Connelly, April 27:
Listing problems: This city (blog?) gets more caught up in lists than any place I've lived. Get a little more confident in yourself, Houston (Press).
We're better: I think they totally sandbagged Houston in the categories of shopping (58th — Galleria offers extremely convenient shopping), food and drink (35th — come on, the diversity and the quality of food in Houston are outstanding) and low-impact sports (52nd — we are close to the shoreline, and you can play golf year-round).
Nate the Snake
Good work: This is just the kind of dumb-assery that we've all come to love and respect. Thanks, Portfolio, for helping keep one of the best towns on the planet under the radar so all those effin' Yankees don't move down here and ruin it.
Agree to disagree: We may not be that fun, but I would say that our fun factor is exponentially growing. Perhaps our fun is too under the radar for such a list. We have a cupcake van, for God's sake!
Houston Blog Blog
Secret spots: There is plenty of gambling in Houston proper, even in downtown proper. You just have to know where to look.
Check it out: As a former Houstonian, I have heard this sort of thing for years. In spite of hating hot weather, I think the naysayers need to take a tour with a Houston fan. Art: check! Dining: check! Architecture: check! Landscaping/Plants: check! Ship Channel tour: check! Cultural arts: check! Houston built Wortham Center with private funds during a major recession.
Win-win-win: As a former Houstonian and current Austinite, I'm with WMS. Having been in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, for two weeks last October on business, I say that Harrisburg needs the attention, Houston has enough to enjoy and Austin has more than enough national list attention.
For the record
Online readers comment on "Glenn Beck, Lowering the Standards for What Makes an 'Honorary Texan'" Hair Balls blog, by Rich Connelly, April 26: