17 May, 2007

Yolanda King

Yolanda King, actress and speaker, dies at age 51
Associated Press
May 16, 2007

Yolanda King, daughter of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., greets children as she signs books after her presentation in January 2005 at WSU's Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum. Hundreds of people turned out to hear King's message of diversity. (Joe Barrentine The Spokesman-Review)

ATLANTA — Yolanda King, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s eldest child who
pursued her father’s dream of racial harmony through drama and motivational
speaking, collapsed and died after making a speech. She was 51.

died late Tuesday in Santa Monica, Calif., said Steve Klein, a spokesman for the
King Center. The family did not know the cause of death, but relatives think it
might have been a heart problem, he said.

“She was an actress, author,
producer, advocate for peace and nonviolence, who was known and loved for her
motivational and inspirational contributions to society,” the King family said
in a statement.

Former Mayor Andrew Young, a lieutenant of her father’s
who has remained close to the family, said Yolanda King had just spoken at an
event for the American Heart Association. She was helping the association raise
awareness, especially among blacks, about stroke.

Young said she was
going to her brother Dexter’s home when she collapsed in the doorway and “they
were not able to revive her.”


13 May, 2007

Pope Benedict XVI as Political Puppeteer

JSYK* As a non-practicing Catholic, I want to first state that my opinion hereafter has nothing to do with resentment for mistreatment by nuns in grade school or any such nonsense. (*Just so you know)

It is my theory that Pope Bene is trying to divide the Catholic Church. He is drawing hard lines and making no apologies for it. I don't agree with the Church's position, but I do know where that line is drawn. This is why I am non-practicing. I cannot imagine that there will not be a break in the Church because of this hard line.

I am concerned however when Pope Bene uses his papacy to influence American Politics. As if we did not have enough trouble with the drug companies, NRA, and our own home grown 'religious right', now the Pope is talking about ex-communication for politicians whose views are at odds with the church's teachings on abortion. Maybe the separation of church and state thing eludes him. This is a frightening predicament.

It puts me in the mind of the Salem witch hunts. No, there was no sarcasm there. I could just imagine Catholic politicians having to face their local Diocese after every vote. Talk about influence.

Again, I understand the theory, but to put it into practice is dangerous. There are people everywhere who compromise their personal values in order to do their jobs. It would be wrong of me to judge other peoples lives based on my values and belief systems. It is wrong to set 'Catholic-ly correct policy' for everyone whether Catholic or not. If a politician decides that it is OK for his constituents to have abortions that is not the church's business. If that politician decides his mistress should have an abortion, then that is another matter altogether.

I don't want Pope Bene influencing my politics. So now what, are we going to have to know every one's religion before we can vote for them? Are there some people who will have a problem having to disclose such information?