What Were They Thinking Wednesdays: Rev. Marcel Guarnizo

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Good Morning Toughtalkerz…Barbara Johnson arrived at The St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland to attend the funeral service of her 85 year-old mother.  At the point in the service when communion was to be issued by the Reverend or Priest whom was officiating the service, Ms. Johnson (a lesbian woman) was denied by Reverend Marcel Guarnizo.  Rev. Marcel Guarnizo…WHAT WERE YOU THINKING??  Ms. Johnson, an art studio owner and teacher from Washington, DC stood there in disbelief as Rev. Guarnizo refused not only to give her the sacramental bread and wine, but he also left the altar while Ms. Johnson was delivering her mother’s eulogy, and didn’t return.  Furthermore he refused to attend the burial and didn’t find another priest to replace him…all because Ms. Johnson is a lesbian and lives with a woman.  The Archdiocese officials issued a statement stating that the priest’s actions were against “policy” and that they would look into it as a personnel issue.  Other Catholics whom were asked said they could not recall another recent occasion when a priest has refused to administer the sacrament to a gay Catholic.  They also said the refusal by Rev. Guarnizo seemed at odds with the strong stand against denial of communion to Catholics enunciated by The Archbishop of Washington, DC’s Cardinal Donald Wuerl.  So with all of these officials stating there isn’t anything against giving communion to a gay or lesbian individual…that means the decision was all yours Rev Guarnizo.  You personalized your views and painted a broad brush over the proceedings.  You sir, turned what was already a traumatic day for Ms. Johnson into your very own soap box moment…and that Rev. Guarnizo was wrong!  You said because Ms. Johnson lives with a woman in the eyes of the church, that is a sin…and I understand that…and I’m no Priest, but I remember hearing or reading that: no sin is greater than the other.  So that means anyone who sins (in your eyes) isn’t worthy of communion?  So anyone who has been divorced…NO COMMUNION?  Anyone who has eaten a grape at the grocery store…NO COMMUNION?  Anyone who has ever used a swear word at a sporting event…NO COMMUNION?  I guess you see where I’m going with this.  If we use your standards on who should or shouldn’t receive communion then their wouldn’t be many of us “WORTHY”.  Or was that just a smoke screen to mask your real feelings about gays?  Whatever the case…your decision was wrong…and I hope the next time…if there is a next time…that you’re overseeing communion, you remove your personal feelings and just continue on with the service!!  Rev. Marcel Guarnizo…WHAT WERE YOU THINKING???!!!!!     

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It’s Monday: Kobe Bryant

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Good Morning Toughtalkerz…The 2012 NBA All Star game was held over the weekend with the game taking on it’s usual form…a bunch of dunks and no-look passes in the first 3 quarters.  Then in the 4th quarter the game always becomes more competitive with teams from the East and West trying to gain a victory over the other.  But a milestone was reached during the game, Kobe Bean Bryant, the polarizing Guard of the Los Angeles Lakers became the All-Time leading scorer (271 career points) in NBA All-Star game history surpassing Michael Jordan (262 career points).  I started to wonder out loud…is Kobe Bryant really appreciated for his accomplishments? Or have his off the floor mishaps and his career starting when it did put a damper on his achievements?  If you would go strictly by his numbers, Mr. Bryant should be considered one of the Greatest Basketball Players that has ever lived.  He is a 14-time NBA All -Star, with 4 All-Star Most Valuable Player Trophies (tied with Bob Pettit for the most in History),  a 13-time All NBA team member, and an 11-time All Defensive team member.  Mr. Bryant is also currently 5th on the all-time scoring list behind Kareem Abdul- Jabbar (38,387 points), Karl Malone (36,928 points), Michael Jordan (32,292 points), and Wilt Chamberlain (31,419 points).  This is truly some rarefied company to be in!  But yet there always seems to be a question about Mr. Bryant’s abilities.  In the beginning the discussion was always…he couldn’t win a title without former Lakers teammate Shaquille O’Neal (the two won 3 NBA Championships together 1999-2002), but he has won 2 NBA championships since Mr. O’Neal was traded.  Then it became, he is trying to be like Michael Jordan.  But I ask the question…what NBA player past or present, didn’t/doesn’t pattern their game after the greats that preceded them?  Michael had Dr. J, Magic had Oscar Robertson…they all have someone.  But with Kobe it always seems to be something else attached to it.  I believe Mr. Bryant’s career started too soon…meaning…if their was a lapse in time between his and Mr. Jordan’s career, I think most fans could appreciate him more, rather than always comparing him to Jordan.  Mr. Bryant is an excellent basketball player…and if your dislike comes from what I’ve mentioned or some other basketball rumor, or his personality, or his sexual assault case on a hotel worker in 2003 in Eagle, Colorado (the charges were dropped when the accuser refused to testify), or whatever it may be…you’re witnessing something that doesn’t come along that often.  A man that is aliening his name to some of the greatest records ever by an NBA player.  And if you like or don’t like him…you need to respect what he is doing…because greatness doesn’t come along too often folks!  And even though we have been lucky to see it twice in the last 2 decades (Jordan, Bryant), doesn’t mean that it still isn’t great!!

Friday’s Forum: The Lady Pond

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Dear toughtalker,
I have been single for quite some time, I would like to meet someone, but it just hasn’t happened.  For some reason most of the men I have been meeting have been married or somehow involved and just looking for someone on the side.  The strange thing is, I’ve been attracted to a female friend of mine lately.  She is an open lesbian, but I’ve only experimented here and there.  She has always flirted with me, but until now I ignored it because I have been interested in men.  I know my attraction may be a result of me not being interested in a man right now, but is that really a problem?  When I date a guy, you never know where it’s going to go and it’s the same thing here.  I don’t expect to be in some long term relationship with her, but you never know what happens.  Am I wrong for wanting to explore?
 
Anonymous
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Good Morning Anonymous…I would like to first thank you for submitting your letter.  Now allow me to answer your last question first.  You’re not wrong for wanting to explore and go where your feelings are taking you.  Being an adult entitles you to explore certain feelings that you may have.  But in your case I believe you’re doing it for all the wrong reasons.  It sounds like the decisions you’re making in regards to relationships are  ALL WRONG.  You state in your letter that “you have been single for quite some time and the men that you have been meeting are either married or involved with someone and want something on the side”.  And I believe you’re at a point in your life now that no matter the sex of the person (male or female), or the status of the individual (involved or married), you’re just looking for someone to fill a void.  You need to ask yourself…why is that?  Why am I the person who doesn’t feel complete unless I’m with someone?  You have to realize that having a companion won’t complete you…especially the ones that you’re choosing.  You’re just applying a temporary fix to a permanent problem…and that problem is YOU!  You have attached being with someone as your self worth…if you don’t have anyone, then you have failed or you’re not worthy….and that’s the furthest thing from the truth!  How are you really going to find a true soulmate when all you’re hiring are substitute teachers?  Allow yourself some ME time and realize that being by yourself temporarily, and having that spot vacant for a change, may just allow you to see clearly and find that one for you…instead of that one for right now!!!  HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND!!!     

Thoughts on Thursdays: Maternal Murderers

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Good Morning Toughtalkerz…I have a question…what do you think is a suitable punishment for a child who goes against their parents’ wishes and eats candy bars and lies about it?  No candy or sweets for a week?  Not allowed to go outside for a few days?  Given extra household duties? (take out trash, wash dishes, etc).  Well a stepmother and grandmother from Attalla, Alabama must have thought those punishments weren’t enough, so they ordered 9 year old Savannah Hardin to run outside around their house until she was instructed to stop.  And after 3 hours she did…and now she is dead!  Jessica Mae Hardin, 27 (stepmother) and Joyce Hardin Garrard, 46 (grandmother) are now facing murder charges in the death of Savannah…who authorities say suffered a seizure from severe dehydration and died a few days later.  An autopsy later revealed that Savannah had a very low sodium count and the state pathologist ruled it a homicide.  So now we’re left asking the question why?  Aren’t these the things that normal 9 year old precocious children do?  And who in their right mind would ever think a punishment so cruel could be inflicted upon a child?  Savannah, a third-grader at Carlisle Elementary School, was adored by classmates so much so that they have turned her desk into a makeshift memorial for her where they can write letters, leave mementos, and express their love and affection.  Mrs. Hardin and Mrs. Garrard are being held at the Etowah County Detention Center on a $500,000 cash bond..meaning neither of them will be released anytime soon.  And whatever sentence (if convicted) they receive isn’t enough in my opinion.  Parents and Grandparents are given the most cherished job on this planet, and that’s the protection of their kids.  And with all of the things that are happening in society today, if a child isn’t safe and protected by the very ones they expect to do so, then what chance do our kids really have??  JUST MY THOUGHTS PEOPLE!!!!! 

What Were They Thinking Wednesdays: Brady Quinn

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Good Morning Toughtalkerz…The Denver Broncos Football team had what some would call a really productive year (the team advanced to the Divisional round of the American Football Conference playoffs this season).  But we now know that not all of the players on the team took their accomplishments as a positive.  Brady Quinn…WHAT WERE YOU THINKING??  Mr. Quinn was recently interviewed by Mike Silver for Gentlemen’s Quarterly (GQ) magazine and was quoted saying the Broncos were “lucky” this season and he also calls out starting Quarterback (QB) Tim Tebow…disputing people’s perception of him to possess a huge amount of humility.  Mr. Quinn also goes on to state that the reason for a lot of the team’s success this year was because of poor coverage and overall terrible defense by their opponents and not really anything to do with their offense.  Mr. Quinn was listed on the depth charts at the start of the football season as second string QB and that usually means that if, for any reason, the starting QB (Kyle Orton) could not finish a game or was not performing at a level the coaching staff approved of…then the second string QB would be thrust into the starting position.  But to Mr. Quinn’s dismay it didn’t happen.  Mr. Tebow was given that opportunity and was extremely successful when given the chance.  Now Mr. Quinn feels slighted.  Mr. Quinn didn’t just stop at Mr. Tebow’s performance, he also attacked his religious beliefs stating…”If you look at it as a whole, there’s a lot of things that just don’t seem very humble to me,” he said “When I get that opportunity, I’ll continue to lead not necessarily by trying to get in front of the camera and praying, but by praying with my teammates, you know?”.  Now Mr. Quinn, I could understand you being a competitor and wanting your chance…that’s the way you should feel…but the personal attacks directed toward Mr. Tebow and his faith were…allow me to borrow a phrase from football…”out of bounds”.  And I think that’s EXACTLY where you will remain…while Mr. Tebow continues to start, perform, win…and oh yeah……..Pray!  Brady Quinn…WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!!!!      

Tuesday’s Topic: Turn Up the Music & Birthday Cake

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Good Morning Toughtalkerz…Usually new music is released for public consumption on Tuesdays and I would like to comment on two songs (well their technically remixes but I digress).  The two songs are..Turn Up the Music and Birthday Cake.  Both songs I happened to enjoy…both different but catchy in their own right.  But that isn’t what makes these two songs unique…the artists who are appear on these two songs do.  Turn Up the Music is a Chris Brown song off of his Grammy award winning album F.A.M.E…and the remix features Rihanna.  So with that being said, the song Birthday Cake is a Rihanna song from her latest album Talk that Talk…featuring who else, but Chris Brown.  This collaboration has made quite the stir on social media sites, blogs, morning drive radio, and water cooler talk.  The reason the songs have caused such fervor is this is the first time the two talented artists have appeared together on a song since Mr. Brown was arrested for assaulting Rihanna after a Grammy Awards party in 2009.  He eventually plead guilty and was sentenced to 5 years probation and had to undergo anger management classes.  The couple reconciled briefly after the incident but then called an end to their relationship shortly after wards.  I believe the banter that is going on now is what i call …”We always know what’s best for everyone else but ourselves syndrome” (it’s long, i know).  We’re always so quick as a society to comment on what someone else should or shouldn’t be doing with their lives…but if you would ever check out your own then there would absolutely be no room for you to advise anyone!  If after three years of soul searching and reaching a point in her life that Rihanna has forgiven Mr. Brown for assaulting her then why are YOU still holding a grudge?  She was the assault victim…NOT YOU!!  I know this incident may have you reliving something that happened to you.  Maybe you were a victim of domestic assault and you took your assailant back…only to realize your mistake because their behavior continued…or as a child you witnessed abuse in your household and you wished your mother had left your dad.  I’m not sure which one or if any suits you, but all of those incidents are separate…and if these two have found a way to live with it and move on…then people you should do the same!!!

Friday’s Forum: Compliments

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Dear Toughtalker
I am a female and have been with my mate for just over three years.  I love him dearly and I feel in my heart that he loves me.  BUT I’m trying to figure out how to communicate a small issue with him.  He NEVER compliments me.  I hear him say other women are beautiful, pretty, or even unattractive.  He never says ANYTHING about me!  I never hear, “you look nice today” or “dang, babe you’re hot!”.  Now let me be clear, I’m not superficial and needy.  I don’t need those affimations to feel comfortable in the relationship.  And I’m not on the verge of a breakdown or leaving him because of this.  Like I said, I love him.  But he has opinions on women, because I hear him talk about them.  What about me?  I just wish I could get a compliment here and there.  I mean, I’m a female and we ALL like compliments (whether we admit it or not).  I just want to be able to communicate it in a way that he understands so he doesn’t think I’m just being emotional or insecure.  From a male perspective, how can I get my point across?
Anonymous
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Good Morning Anonymous…Thank You for submitting your letter.  I really can’t answer your letter from a “male perspective” but I can give you my opinion on what’s taking place.  I believe in relationships we all don’t do the things we once did in the beginning.  We get somewhat comfortable and forget that the same things you did in the genesis of the relationship have to be continued throughout.  I believe your comment about he “never compliments” me is a bit of an embellishment.  I say that because I believe your boyfriend showered you with compliments in the beginning (that’s how he won your heart).  There was something that made you melt and fall in love with him.  Your letter is filled with inconsistencies…but that’s OK.  We all are inconsistent at times.  You not needing those affirmations you speak of isn’t 100% truthful as well…because if you really didn’t need or want them…would you really have penned an entire letter speaking about how you don’t want or need them?  Let’s be honest here…you stated everything else in your relationship was good…but this.  So the affirmations and the comments are what you want…and there’s nothing wrong with that!!  You needing and wanting compliments doesn’t make you superficial or needy…it makes you human!!  So how do you go about getting them?  Well try this, the next time he comments on another woman…ask him…what about me?  Ask him how he would you critique you?  Ask him if he was with his friends what would he say about you?  He might be vague because you just entered his friends into the scenario and some guys don’t like that.  So if that doesn’t work, ask him…what if you saw me in a grocery store?  What would be your thoughts?  Then let the dialog begin.  Express to him the way that you’re feeling.  Tell him how him complimenting other women and never his own woman makes you feel.  He probably never thought about it in that manner…because men usually don’t see the extras.  His actions towards you in his mind show you how attractive you are to him.  So I’m sure if you inform him of your feelings…things will change!  Just know that sometimes guys need a blueprint of what they should be doing.  They lose their way…so it’s your job to get him back on course!!  HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND!!

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