Many times over football has been declared America?s religion.? Maybe it is.? When I was saying mass last Sunday, the day that the New York Giants was to play the San Francisco 49ers for the NFC spot in the SuperBowl, there were lots of heavy jackets bearing the Giants? logo.? There were also plenty of remarks after the mass about where people expected to be when the game started at 6:30 that evening.? The two religions?the one I?m supposed to represent and the one symbolized by those jackets?were meshing very nicely that morning. Read More
The other night I asked one of the men here if he wanted to go with me to see a move that he had mentioned approvingly the week before.? He replied that he didn?t feel in the mood to see a movie tonight. His favorite TV program was on that evening, he was feeling a little tired, and he wasn?t sure that he even wanted to see the movie in the first place.
?Listening to you makes me yearn to be back in the islands,? I told him.? ?At least in the islands a person I was inviting to a movie would save face all the way around by making Read More
Let?s take a look at the ?crime and punishment? issue from a different point of view.? In an island society–or in backwoods hill country US–it is important to keep the peace.? Otherwise, the Hatfields start taking shots at the McCoys, or the people of one village begin slinging spears at those of another, for some real or imagined damage sustained.? To heal this rupture in the society, there has to be some compensation or pay-back for damage done.? Chuukese, and people from other islands also, sometimes adopted the young man who had killed their own son.? The killer was the payback to the offended family.? At first I found this hard to believe, but then it began to make sense. ? Read More
If casual conversation is any gauge, Americans seem to want their justice system to do one thing, and only one thing: punish wrong-doers harshly enough to teach them and everyone else a lesson.? ?Crime?doesn’t?pay? is presumably the lesson.
Two 13-year olds toss a shopping cart off a bridge and badly injure a woman?? Put them away for 20 years.? A drug dealer is caught making a deal across from a public high school?? He should get the maximum sentence for threatening young people.? Barry Bonds is convicted of perjury over steroid use?something that may be unfair but is no threat to others?? Teach him a lesson and put him away in jail.
I found myself arguing with a woman Read More