Christian Charity

From today’s Wisconsin State Journal:

“After decades of honing his musical skills, Charles Philyaw landed his dream job in 2004 as the full-time director of music liturgy at St. Andrew Catholic Church in Verona.

The church, with 1,643 adult members, was more than just a place to work for Philyaw. He and his partner, James Mulder-Philyaw, joined the parish and participated fully in the religious community.

Then in June, it all collapsed. Philyaw said he was told by the parish priest, the Rev. Dave Timmerman, that he would no longer be retained because he was living an openly gay life. He was given two weeks’ notice.

Philyaw later learned that five parishioners had raised concerns about him and his partner being so prominently involved in church activities. Bishop Robert Morlino’s office became involved, leading to his dismissal, Philyaw said.

His firing has divided parishioners, pitting friends against friends and spawning a sharp debate over Christ’s teachings. More than 100 church members signed a petition — sent to Morlino — praising Philyaw and bemoaning his dismissal. But others say Philyaw’s firing was inevitable because his employment made a mockery of Catholic doctrine.

“Absolutely, Chuck lost his job because he’s openly gay,” said Jo Ellen Kilkenny, one of the five whose inquiries triggered Philyaw’s dismissal.

She calls him a “wonderful music director” and said she feels horrible that he lost his livelihood, yet it became indefensible for him to be in a highly visible role as an active homosexual, she said.

“We are all sinners, but when you hold a leadership position, you’re held to a higher standard than people in the pews,” she said.”

Well, At Least He’s STRAIGHT And Therefore Acceptable!

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal:

Prosecutors can’t use secret videotapes of a 59-year-old Watertown minister having sex with his comatose wife while she was in a nursing home, the 4th District Court of Appeals ruled in a decision released today.

The minister’s lawyer claimed that it was just that the minister “loved his wife dearly.”

Somebody Up There Hates Us?

According to Discovery Magazine:

“A massive burst of gamma rays from a star that exploded billions of years ago reached Earth on March 19, and clocked in as the brightest burst of gamma rays ever observed, astronomers say. The blast, dubbed GRB 080319B, came from 7.5 billion light years away, more than halfway across the universe. Despite the immense distance, it would have been visible with the naked eye at dark sites on Earth for 40 seconds. Researchers say they burst was so bright because the jet of matter and energy was pointed directly at Earth.”

The Coldest Place on Earth and Beyond

From University of Wisconsin-Madison News (UW professors are part of the Large Hadron Collider Research Team):

“It’s hard to describe the LHC without superlatives. It will be the world’s biggest and most powerful particle accelerator, flinging protons around its seventeen-mile, underground ring eleven thousand times per second until they barrel headlong into one another in the most energetic particle collisions ever recorded. The accelerator’s massive superconducting magnets are even the coldest spot in the universe, aside from a few small lab experiments. At -456°F, the magnets are a mere three degrees above absolute zero, the theoretical deep freeze where all atomic motion stops — well, cold. Even outer space averages nearly five degrees above absolute zero.”


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