Papa Z's Views and Comments

Location: Wisconsin, United States

I am a convert to the Catholic Church after serving in ordained ministry for more than nine years in another denomination. I hold a bachelor's degree in history, a master's degree in historical theology, and another in systematic theology, and am currently working (very slowly) on my doctorate. I work in Christian Education and Formation and teach at the University level. I am blessed with a wonderful wife and eight great kids! When I'm not studying, reading, or blogging, I enjoy eating and drinking! Like Bilbo Baggins, I have been specializing in food for many years, and my table has a high reputation!

Friday, August 19, 2005


Well the so-called "BTK" killer has been sentenced to 10 life sentences. The earliest he could get out of prison is 40 years from now. Since he is 60 years old, this seems highly unlikely. An evil monster is off the streets, and the sentence seems just.

Why, then, do I write today?

It is on the subject of "Victim Impact" statements. Prior to the sentencing, families of the victims made statements in court concerning how Dennis Rader's crimes had affected them. Supposedly, such statements are to help provide closure for the families. In my experience, however, much of the time these statements merely provide a forum for angry, hurt people to hurl invective. And I truly wonder if this is healthy.

Please, please don't get me wrong. Dennis Rader is an evil monster and is getting his just desserts. My guess is, is that he is going to have a rather unpleasant time of it in prison.

I am not a shrink -- and have no desire to play one on TV -- but as someone with many years of ministerial experience, I question if such statements really bring closure, or a "cathartic moment". Rather, I have real concern for the spiritual and psychological well-being of these individuals. Do they truly aid the healing process?

I would love to hear from clergy and/or counselors on this point.

Papa Z

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Friday, August 12, 2005


A Lesson In
Objective vs. Subjective


A Martini is a Martini

Definition: A martini is a cocktail featuring gin or vodka flavored (ever so gently) with dry vermouth or blonde Lillet. It is typically garnished with a thin slice of lemon peel or an olive.


Go into your favorite restaurant. You are now likely to see an entire "Martini Menu". This menu features concoctions which are green, red, orange, blue, and brown. They feature flavors such as APPLE? and PASSIONFRUIT??? and contain all sorts of liqueurs of varying tastes, colors, and aromas!

Look, people, a cone-shaped glass does not an authentic Martini make!!! If I go into your establishment and order a Martini -- I expect a Martini -- not a "fru-fru" concoction based on the latest episode of the latest titillating sit-com!!!

Many thanks to Joe at Albenese's Road House in Waukesha, Wisconsin -- the only person I've ever met who can mix a Martini better than I can!

Papa Z

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Well, I've finally taken the plunge and have decided to try out this blogging thing for myself! We'll see how it works out!

My intent is to use this forum to share views and comments about issues which happen to strike my interest. What typically strikes my interest?
  • Religion -- I grew up in the Episcopal Church USA, and spent 11 1/2 years of my life in the Charismatic Episcopal Church -- 9 as a member of the ordained clergy. After a spiritual journey of some years, I converted to Catholicism. It's been quite a ride!
  • Politics -- I am way to conservative for my liberal friends, and suspiciously liberal in some respects, for some of my conservative friends! Some would suspect me of holding libertarian tendencies -- and they would be correct, but many libertarians would view me with deep suspicion!
  • Economics -- Let me be blunt. I am in favor of a return to the bi-metallic standard (gold and silver) which served our nation very well for 150 years. I make no apologies for this whatsoever!
  • Books -- Enough said!
  • Baseball -- You don't think that baseball is important? You might want to quit reading now! I am a lifelong fan of the Baltimore Orioles, and since moving to Wisconsin also follow the Milwaukee Brewers. My great love, however, is for the game itself. You might find some surprising opinions expressed here!
  • Food and Drink -- Isn't everyone interested? Like Bilbo Baggins, I have been specializing in food for many years, and my table has a high reputation!

Anyhow, welcome to this blog!

Papa Z

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