Posts Tagged ‘judgment’

I was watching some news for a bit. I felt like being nauseous, and the news is usually the best way for me to accomplish that.

The last thing I looked at was the story of the disabled man being tied up and beaten in Chicago. One news reporter mentioned that if this case is “raised” to the level of a hate crime, the four attackers could face up to 30 years in prison. Most of you have probably seen the news report but here is a link to what happened.

Chicago beating

As I watched the video, and read the report, I wondered something about hate crimes. Is not “hate” the motivator behind all crimes? People love to jump on the “No Hate” band wagon for their favored group. But is one group any more important then another? Politicians fight and babble over gun control. We can take the gun out of someone’s hand, but until the hate is taken out of the man’s heart, there will be no change. If not a gun, then some other weapon.

So we as society have decided how much hate constitutes a hate crime. And what if I disagree with the measuring rod? Does that make me a hater? Am I as guilty as the attackers in the video if I don’t agree with someone?

You are by now thinking this post ridiculous. Maybe it is. Just seems to me that it is just fine for me to hate, as long as I hate the same things you do. Just don’t let my hate leave the boundaries set by society.

But wait…what if we lived in a world with no hate, no violence, no crime, etc. Oh wait, that would be called heaven. I’m not there yet, but watching the news often makes me wish I was.


Read Full Post »

Vatican City, the smallest independent state in the world, is approximately 110 acres in size – a country within a country. Surrounded by high walls, security check points checking passports and many policia, it was very clear we were going into another country. Our tour guide was great, and once again, he was Wendy’s and my personal guide so I had every opportunity to ask as many questions as I wanted to (and I tend to ask a lot).  He took us everywhere using ramps and elevators while he pushed my wheelchair along. I felt extremely spoiled (which was nice for both Wendy and me). The central palace courtyard was beautiful and filled with well maintained gardens and sculptures. The original courtyard is now bisected by the Vatican Library. One modern and interesting sculpture we saw in the upper courtyard was a piece done by Arnaldo Pomodoro which consists of two concentric spheres, one inside of the other. The inner sphere represents the earth and the outer sphere represents Christianity. The picture I took doesn’t do it justice but you can at least see it. We also went all the way to Rome to see a Maine pinecone!  The Pigna, a large Roman bronze pinecone (originally part of a fountain).

Leaving the courtyard we started down the very long Vatican Library. This walk led us through the many centuries of Popes, the summer palace, and ended by entering the Sistine Chapel. The very long walk down through the summer palace main corridor, known as the Library, was filled with beautiful paintings, sculptures, artifacts, marble columns and walls that can no longer be made because the red and yellow marbles have been quarried out, and even Moon rocks donated to the Vatican from President Richard Nixon. The surrounding gardens were beautiful and also contained centuries of history. And exiting the end of the summer palace, we entered the Sistine Chapel. Pictures in school history books certainly do it no justice. And the two pictures that Wendy took (before we were told not to), shows none of the splendor we saw. Michelangelo, the most famous of artists that worked on the chapel, painted the 12,000 sq ft ceiling between 1508 and 1512. The ceiling, and especially the entire back wall which depicts The Last Judgment, painted between 1535 and 1541, is considered by many to be Michelangelo’s crowning achievement. Describing everything in detail is impossible, but all four walls and the ceiling work together to create an account of man from creation to God’s final judgment. Now for all of you art scholars out there that may know this, I did not, if you look at the famous fresco of The Creation Of Adam which dominates the center of the 65 ft. high ceiling, you will see behind the image of God a banner in the shape of a bisected human brain. At that time any dissection of the human body was taboo. Our guide told us that Michelangelo did that intentionally which represented the mind of God put into His creation of Adam.

Retracing our steps back through the summer palace we saw an incredible spiral staircase. It is designed with two spirals, one for going up and the other down. This use to be the primary entrance from the street so I was very glad when our guide brought us to an elaborate elevator complete with seats in it! Although the “down” aspect of the spiral could have been great fun in my wheelchair!

When we left Vatican City, we met up with the rest of our group and headed to our hotel for the night. By now we had been awake for about 30 hours and needless to say all of us were getting sleepy. We ate a delicious dinner in a large banquet room at the hotel and then gladly retreated to our rooms for much needed rest. But even then, eager for the next day when we would see the Roman Coliseum.


Read Full Post »