We live in a disoriented time. Everything if reversed. There is no balance. It afflicts all sides of every debate.

Have you noticed how nice many people seem these days, at least on the surface? Perhaps this is a new trend. Clerks, hotel workers, waitresses, and those who answer the phone (when a human actually gets on) seem very schooled in politeness. "Perfect." "Not a problem."

That's very good; we'll be judged, among other matters, on how we have treated people.

At the same time, rudeness on the internet -- if not outright viciousness, hostility, vulgarity -- are a staple of blogs and article comments, including on Catholic sites, no matter the topic.

Everyone is at everyone else's throat. There is the caustic tone of TV and radio shows.

Earth to "Christian" commentators: Christianity is about love.

Which is it? Are we getting nicer or nastier? Is the niceness only on the surface?

Folks head for church and on the way have no qualms about cutting another car off or hogging a lane.

Churches have casino outings.

There is a news story one day about a school tossing a kid out for praying during class while the day before was an article about a school that has all the girls kiss each other like lesbians for a lesson on "tolerance."

Where is the outrage? (Does anyone take action -- or do we just spout off on Twitter?)

Some of the disorientations are truly grave.

Liberals loudly proclaim their concern for young victims of abuse -- pushing forward stringent punishment -- but have no problem with abortion, in some cases late-term abortion: killing children.

Those who oppose the death penalty are silent when news comes of a doctor who was snipping the spines of partially-born (and sometimes fully born) babies  and tossing them in a shoebox (in at least one case, alive; one baby born at the clinic in a toilet bowl was seen frantically trying to swim).

A president shows what seems to be authentic emotion when kids are killed at a Connecticut school and appears to be devoted to his own two daughters -- but attends a Planned Parenthood gala and says, "God bless you" to a group that provides more abortion than any other organization.

There are many others examples.

This is true disorientation.

We call homosexuals "gay" while studies have shown that gay youth are four times more likely to commit suicide and the Suicide Prevention Resource Center estimates that between thirty and forty percent of such young people, depending on age and sex groups, have attempted to kill themselves (prayer need).

There are those on the other side who oppose abortion but are gung-ho when it comes to the violence of war. There are those who are pro-life but turn their eyes to pollution that harms the unborn (and children). There are Christians who have decided that Christianity favor the rich. There are those who are against violent crime but not against the sale of machine guns.

We attend church and later watch a movie that's lewd or has actors using the Name of Jesus as a curse word.

We denounce anyone speaking about the sin of homosexuality as committing a "hate" crime while naked lesbian protesters are allowed to humiliate a bishop by pouring water over his head (as he prays).

Cops hand us tickets for not using a seat belt on their way to protecting abortion clinics.

At the airport, an elderly woman is separated for special surveillance while a Middle Eastern woman wearing a burka (or a man with a turban) glides through security.

Christian shows feature preachers awash in money, cosmetics, and flashiness -- when Christ said said it was the poor of spirit who were blessed (and warned about the eye of a needle).

Prosperity -- not charity -- is preached.

A selfless religion has been skewed into selfism.

We Christianize materialism.

One huge international corporation based in the U.S. and responsible for contamination issues from Agent Orange to DDT now controls aspartame sweeteners and ninety percent of all patents for genetically-laden crops and is the largest producer of agricultural seed (all but forcing farmers to use its products). Companies known for toxic chemicals -- and for disasters involving those chemicals -- are now feeding us.

And so it is.

And so it is because as a society we no longer pray.

Collectively, we are exhibiting a symptom of mental illness called "irrationality." The lone voice of reason has been the Vatican.

Prayer puts us in touch with God. The radio and television too often put us in touch with the Prince of the Power of the Air, who is also the prince, if you'll excuse this extreme notion, of insanity.

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