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Rhett Segall

Joined: Nov. 15, 2011

Bio:

I’m 67 years old. I have a MA in Religious Studies from Manhattan College. I’ve been teaching high school theology for 45 years. Presently I’m teaching moral theology at Catholic Central H.S., Troy N.Y. to 11th graders. I set up VonH value philosopy right at the beginning of the course.


Most recent posts by Rhett Segall:     (See all of them)


fired for pregnancy

Feb. 15 at 8:39am | Comments: 10 | Most recent comment: Feb. 25 at 5:07pm

I’m wondering what the Personalist Project thinks about the following situation: A non-married teacher in a Catholic school is fired when her pregnancy becomes evident. Given that the fired teacher had signed the morality clause in her contract it seems she has no legal recourse. But I’m wondering about the prudence of the firing. In the Diocese of Albany where I teach it is against policy to expel a student who gets pregnant. “Pregnancy is...

Women in combat.

Jan. 25 at 10:46am | Comments: 4 | Most recent comment: Sep. 20 at 8:00pm

The US military will now allow women to participate directly in combat. I think this is indicative of the erosion of gender appropriate roles in society. Allowing for appropriate exceptions, it is important for the wellbeing of society that men be involved more than women in actions meant to protect others. Soldiering is an example par excellence of such an action. Women, on the other hand, should be given a preference for those actions meant to nurture others. Home making...

Obama’s Empericism

Jun. 27 at 7:58pm | Comments: 4 | Most recent comment: Jun. 30 at 8:37am

An article in Crisis magazine, “What’s Behind the Mandate?” by Gerard Bradley unmasks the Obama Administration’s fundamental empiricism on two fronts—the ontological and the existential. Ontologically Bradley notes that Obama’s asserts that those who want to place limitations on the availability of contraception, abortion and same sex marriage,  base their opinion on religious convictions which, as such, are subjective and cannot be validated by objective measures and so consequently...

Purity of Heart, Part 2

May. 25 at 2:56pm | Comments: 3 | Most recent comment: May. 28 at 7:33am

Jules: I’ve finished reading K and listening to your presentation. Some reflections on part 2: K’s insistence that for suffering to be meaningful the sufferer must not lose the will to happiness is of vital importance. I think it meets two strong dangers. One is a sadistic trend inherent in human nature (Freud called this tendency "Thanatos" after the Greek god of death). The second danger is from the puritanical strand in Christianity which sees the...

Response to Kierkegaard’s Purity of Heart

Apr. 28 at 11:01am | Comments: 4 | Most recent comment: May. 10 at 9:29pm

Thank you Jules for presenting in a very clear way the first 7 chapters of Purity of Heart.I also read the chapters. Here are some reflections. The section on not forcing the good is very insightful and of capital importance. Respecting the organic process of growth is a critical quality in one's endeavors to be creative. To have this respect towards development necessitates patience on the part of the creator. I think the connection Kierkegaard makes between...


Latest comments by Rhett Segall:     (See all of them)


Re: Immigration: Impediments to the Conversation

Jul. 24 at 9:45am | see this comment in context

David:

I think your assesment is fair.

I think it is important that government is alert to these necessities ahead of time. This foresight should include educating one's nation to its responsibility to share its goods with those in need. The Biblical story of Joseph's prudent husbandry of Egypt's goods is most applical here.

 Do you remember Tolstoys story "How much land does a man need?" I think the principle behind that story, i. e. we must shape our priorities in  light of death, is applicaple here too. How much do we really need in this statu viae? For the Christian death is a passage not a termination.

Shalom,

Rhett

Re: Tenderness and gallantry

Jul. 23 at 9:43am | see this comment in context

Thanks Katie. I love this anecdote and the photo. I eagerly await Alice's memoirs! I regularly reread "The Soul of a Lion", her bio of Dietrich. I understand Dietrich's memoirs may be published-can't wait! In the same genre I regularly reread Edith Stein's "Life in a Jewish Family". My experience in reading these and similar works is that I'm entering into the stuff of life.

Shalom,

Rhett

Re: Immigration: Impediments to the Conversation

Jul. 21 at 11:13am | see this comment in context

Finding the best word is important. E. g., inclusive language can help a person avoid a patriarchal mind set. In the document “Strangers No Longer”, already referred to in these exchanges, the terms refugee and asylum seekers are used so I’ll stick with them.

By the way, the document is very clarifying and balanced in presenting the principles applicable to the border crisis.

I would also refer to Jesus parable of the Good Samaritan. Note the bursting through of social barriers by the Samaritan: this person needs help that I can give. Second, note that he elicits help from the Inn keeper. Thirdly, note that he doesn’t neglect personal obligations-he continues on his journey.

Today’s New York Times does give examples of the leadership needed in this crisis. Governor O’Malley of Maryland says “It is contrary to everything we stand for as a people to try to summarily send children back to death.” And Mayor Stephanie Miner of Syracuse wrote to President Obama offering shelter in her city for the children.

Re: Cardinal Dolan disappoints

Jul. 16 at 3:20pm | see this comment in context

This ongoing analysis for the sake of insight is important. The sharing of anecdotes is, literally, moving.

From a perspective of Christian humanism the televised reaction of some of the protestors was deplorable. Here is what I think Cardinal Dolan was referring to. I think faces of hate are never welcome

Prudence has to govern what kind of help and how we can best help the desperate ones.

Is permanent sanctuary a misplaced kindness? Prudence calls for a statemanship that deals not only with the symptoms but also with the causes of this influx.

Once Jim Forrest was bemoaning the fact that the soup lines never seemed to stop.  Dorothy Day said to him

 "Jim, pass out the soup."

Immediately there are hungry hearts and  bodies that need to be fed., There are terrified youngsters that need a smile.

Re: Modesty and misogyny

Jul. 11 at 10:50am | see this comment in context

If things are done before their time or in the wrong place or with the wrong people then they are done without discretion. The result will be utterly counter productive. That organic development, which DvH so often stressed, will be lacking. The exposition of important things needs the proper context in order to be nurtured. “Do not cast your pearls before swine” Jesus said. Anne Dillard, the novelist, tells how her love of butterflies led to a terrible experience. When she was young she found a cocoon. To hasten the process of development she put a lit candle under it. She was delighted as the cocoon began to break open and apparently a butterfly began to emerge. But she was horrified when she realized the speed up process brought forth a butterfly without wings. The Spanish have this maxim: “No mates la mariposa.” –Don’t kill the butterfly.

What flows from this is the question with its underlying modesty principle:  “Is what I am revealing appropriate under these circumstances.”?  I think this can be a guideline for modesty in dress. 

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