Thursday, August 26, 2004

Campaign Trail: Day 9
Though the campaign wheels are still turning, I have not been doing much campaigning personally. I am under the weather -- another sinus infection. The last few days in Oklahoma City were very windy, kicking up dust and other allergens, and that usually means a nasty reaction from my sinuses. The unique matter of this episode is that I am not sure if my sinus reaction was from Oklahoma wind or the hot air of my opponents!

Now to another matter. Some questions have been raised by a certain "Swift Gondoliers for Truth," who cast doubt upon my presence in Italy for theology studies from 1995-2000. One of their most scurrilous charges is that I learned what I know about cappuccino from long hours in Starbucks. How laughable. Folks, Starbucks is good, but it is not authentic cappuccino. Leave it to Americans to take something good -- a decent, reasonably-sized cup of coffee in Italy -- and develop it into these enormous personal irrigation systems, kept in large paper cups that impede the enjoyment of the frothed milk, which sticks to the sides! My friends, this cuts right to the heart of an issue of this campaign: Bigger is not always better. One of my opponents is proposing that we, Catholics, follow the non-denominational Christian model of the mega-church for our Catholic parishes. To follow this pattern is to jeopardize the entire parochial structure. There is a reason why the Catholic Church has always found its incarnation at the most local of levels. Catholic churches are not designed, by nature, to be enormous, self-sustained cities. Don't be fooled.

But back to these Swift Gondoliers for Truth, and the notion that I may not have spent two summers in Venice in common labor. I wasn't aware that I needed someone else to remember my history for me. Their claims are as murky and fabricated as the very foundations of Venice itself! Folks, this is revisionist history if I have ever seen it. And what disturbs me the most is that some of my campaign workers have discovered that one of these gondoliers is also a catechist in the religious education program at the parish of an opponent. Does that sound like a conflict of interest to anyone else?

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