ALS Ice BucketStudents and staff at Las Cruces Catholic Schools planned to participate in the latest good-hearted craze — the Lou Gehrig’s disease ice bucket challenge — until the Catholic Church said no. Ah, beware sayeth the ignorant tight-ass club (i.e., Catholic demigods), for embryonic stem cell research, requires the destruction of the pre-born. Thus from a Catholic perspective, it’s inherently unethical and violates fundamental human rights. Accordingly to archdiocese spokesperson Dan Andriacco, “… it’s a well-established moral principle that a good end is not enough. The means to that ends must be morally licit.”

Remember, using stem cells is one factor in most of America’s suffering. Several years back, Catholic TV’s Mike Voris deduced the cause of all our financial problems is from abortion, or ‘child murder.’ Never mind all the corruption, dysfunctional system or maybe bad leadership, it’s all because of abortion.

Just as Mr. Vori’s reasoning for why abortion is the crux of all our problems is idiotic, so is the Catholic repudiation of the ALS ice bucket challenge.  It’s so stupid it hurts.

But hey, there are more pressing issues. The Cathedral of Christ the King in Buckhead of Atlanta slated renovations on a newly acquired rectory for its parish priests, i.e., one bishop and three priests, at a cost exceeding $2 million. This comes on top of Archbishop Wilton Gregory, who moved into a new, 6,196-square-foot home, for cool couple million. Gregory’s Tudor-style mansion stretches nearly 6,400 square feet, includes two dining rooms and a safe room. Spending close to five million on residences that house a couple of people is insane.

So how did Gregory justify dumping this kind of cash into homes versus, let’s say, an ALS ice bucket challenge? Well, according to Gregory, having these elite digs allows him to ‘smell of the sheep.’ Gregory feels this home will have the pope’s blessing.

“He (the Pope) wants his bishops to engage with his people,” he said and “… allows for larger groups to visit; the grounds also are good for cookouts and other outdoor activities.” In this way, said Gregory, he can follow the pope’s admonition to “smell like the flock” — to be close to parishioners.

Good luck in getting invited to any barbecue.

On a funny note, Samsung disregarded the ignorant tight-ass club and shook things up a bit by placing the Galaxy S5 under the ice bucket in its latest commercial. “I am the Samsung Galaxy S5. This is my Ice Bucket Challenge,” the phone says in its British Galaxy S-Voice. “Gosh that’s freezing. I nominate the iPhone 5S the HTC One M8 and the Nokia Lumia 930.” The joke, of course, is that none of those Samsung rivals are water resistant phones.

ALS is about living today. Studying and practicing spirituality is more than just stacking kanjur tenjur (religious texts) in one’s house. For one to live only in books, religious doctrine and piety, Biblical texts aren’t going to help us. What most strict religious people miss is that Christ and Buddha didn’t rely solely upon scrolls, textbooks or books; they lived in love. Likewise, we need to learn, practice and live in love. Once we learn and practice the form of love they gave, we will flourish and increase.

Anyone can become like the Buddha, because we all have the Buddha nature in our mind – that pure, untouched and undamaged human mind. I would rather live in love during an ice bucket challenge than await for a barbecue invitation from some highly arrogant and ignorant bishop.