Welcome to my World & a Disclaimer

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Welcome to my little space in cyberspace where my alternate universes of baseball, faith star trek, history and a host of other subjects juxtapose themselves intersecting in sometimes homorous, sometimes serious and hopefully always interesting ways.

A little about me…

I’m a Navy Chaplain and Priest in the Apostolic Catholic Orthodox Church which is a North American expression of the Old Catholic Church and tradition. I’ve been in the military 34 years and have been a Priest for 19 years. I’ve been married to my extremely long-longsuffering wife Judy for 32 years. If it wasn’t for Judy I would probably be in a lot of trouble, she is the control rods in my nuclear reactor.

I struggle with faith and belief a lot after returning from a tour in Iraq in 2008 with a terrible case of PTSD, and lately diagnosed mild-TBI. I write a lot about those struggles because they are a huge amount of the person I have become.

God speaks to me through baseball.  My favorite authors include Father Andrew Greeley, Roger Kahn, David Halberstam, Max Hastings and James McPherson. I am a Fan of the San Francisco Giants, Norfolk Tides and Baltimore Orioles.  Religiously I am a moderate Priest belonging to the Apostolic Catholic Orthodox Church which is of the Old Catholic tradition and a big fan of the Second Vatican Council and a member of the Church of Baseball, Harbor Park Parish.   I am passionately progressive in terms of both religion and politics, some might even call me a total liberal and they would not be far off, despite that I am a patriot, I love my country and have sworn an oath to defend the country and the Constitution, all of it for 34 years.

I am a Navy Brat and grew up on the West Coast where my dad taught me to love the game of baseball.  My family hails from Huntington West Virginia, I was the first one born out of the state.  I Since joining the Army we have lived all over the place and I have been to much of the world.  We have spent the majority of our time stateside in the South.  I’m a graduate of California State University at Northridge, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary where I came our Anglo-Catholic prior to the Fundementalist takeover. I hold a Doctor of Ministry Degree, I completed a second Masters in Military History in 2010. I did a one year Clinical Pastoral Education Residency at Parkland Memorial Hospital, I am a graduate of the Marine Corps Command and Staff College and the Joint Combined Warfighting School at National Defense University.

My friends include conservatives and liberals, Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians and Independents; Christians from across the spectrum, Catholic and Protestant, Orthodox and Evangelical, Social Gospel and Fundamental, Charismatic and anti-Charismatic, Latter Day Saints, Seventh Day Adventists, Oneness Pentecostals, Particular Baptists, Calvinists, Wesleyans, Premillenial Dispensationalists, Amillenialists, Jews, Moslems, Buddhists, Hindus, Pagans and Wiccans.  Heterosexuals, Homosexuals, anti-Homosexual activist and Pro-Homosexual activists, pro-Lifers and pro-Choicers, militarists and pacifists, capitalists, socialists, environmentalists, industrialists; progressives, traditionalists, white, black, Asian and Hispanic, people from Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Korea, Japan and China, India, and Central America, Mississippi and Manhattan, California and Carolina, Dallas and Detroit.   Doctors, lawyers, priests, rabbis and imams; Protestant ministers, labor leaders, teachers, preachers, pundits, poets, politicians, professors and prosecutors; bureaucrats, technocrats, kleptocrats; geeks, freaks, sailors, jailers, whalers, runners, gunners, fighters, riders, sky divers, scuba divers, truck drivers; guitar players, ball players, naysayers; free thinkers, beer drinkers,  thrill seekers and Methodists.

On this site you will find a plethora of pernicious posts on subjects far and wide. I write a lot about the Civil War and the Battle of Gettysburg as well as many issues dealing with social, political and religious issues. Of course much has to deal with baseball, since the Deity Herself speaks to me through baseball as well as history, religion and a bit of this and a bit of that.  The are over 2100 articles on the site, so take your time, pick a category and have some fun, laugh, cry and ponder the musings of Padre Steve, the Passionate Moderate. Please take the time to browse the site.  Make comments and let me know how you found me.

Oh and a note on comments….

I pretty much allow comments, evn those that I disagree with on this site and try to be respectful of those who make them. I do not accept spam comments.  The spam filter is pretty good and I do look through the spam folder just to make sure that a legitimate comment did not end up there.

Now on rare occasion I do not approve a comment that is not spam.  This is simply because the comment is so off the chart and the author refuses to contact me when I ask them to clarify that I say the hell with it and disallow the comment.

As for comments that I disagree with and allow I do try to be respectful even if I think that the person who made the comment is an asshole.  Many times I will post a response to such a comment and at that point if I have deemed the commenter a total idiot or asshole might use sarcasm and humor to belittle them as I have on some rare occasions.

If you want me to respond personally by e-mail let me know in your comment, otherwise my response will remain in the comment section.

So feel free to leave a comment, I am actually honored when someone bothers to drop a note, even if they think that I am a heretical asshole who is bound for Hell. As to being an asshole, I can live with that, same with the title “heretic.”

And a disclaimer:

The views presented on this site are purely those of the author. They are personal views and not those of the United States Navy, the Department of Defense, the Apostolic Catholic Orthodox Church, Major League Baseball or anyone else that I associate with the occasional exception of my Papillons, Minnie Scule and Izzy Bella.

Blessings on you all,

Padre Steve+

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35 responses to “Welcome to my World & a Disclaimer

  1. Kathy Seabolt

    Hi Padre Steve,

    I am a mid-life lady law student who found your blog researching military wills. I am also the daughter of a cold-war era Navy carrier pilot suffering from Alzheimers. A Navy Chaplain provided my only religious instruction growing up, when we were stationed at NAS Willow Grove during Vietnam.

    I am writing a thesis paper on the privilege of the military will, from Julius Caesar through today. I am particularly interested in your observations of young people facing mortality in your role as a Chaplain.
    Would you be willing to have a brief conversation or email exchange with me about this topic? I would really appreciate it.

    Thanks in advance for your interest.

    • padresteve

      Kathy

      I can try, will be glad to see if I can provide what you are looking for. It if funny how many Navy brats I run into out here.

      Blessings

      Steve+

  2. Tom Way

    Hi there,

    just looking at your site. My 86 year old father was a member of the USMC in WWII. He was in the 2nd division, third bttn, K company, third platoon. Saw action on Guadalcanal and was severely WIA on Tarawa. Thanks for keeping the history alive.

  3. Jerry the Usher

    Steve,

    Just wanted to say Hi! Hope all is well with you and yours.

    Jerry

  4. Joe C.

    Padre Steve,
    I tripped over your site while researching something else, and have really enjoyed your musings. Solid, logical stuff with a touch of humility. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Then I saw you are a SF Giants fan and, well, that sealed the deal. I’ll keep checking back. And thank you for your service, especially to those of ours that are in service.
    Joe Costamagna
    Santa Rosa, CA

    • padresteve

      Joe
      Thanks for the kind words. Giants fans have to stick together huh? Hope the guys can outlast the Padres and Rockies. I would love to see them win the NL West and hopefully go farther than that.
      Blessings,
      Padre Steve+

  5. Nice redesign Padre Steve. I like the resource links to the Weimar and Pearl Harbour too. I’ll vote for 14 point type, as white on black actually looks smaller than it actually is. Aside from that, how’s figuring out WordPress going? You can reply directly to email if you prefer.

    Cheers!
    David

  6. I tried emailing this comment to the cox.net address, but it was returned.
    The redesign does look nice, but I find white text on black background very difficult to read. Another blogger who went to 14 pt found it actually exacerbated the problem, as the starkness of the contrast increased with increased font size. He ended up going to a dark charcoal background with lightly grayed text.

    I do have old eyes, so I may not be the best judge. But I’ve enjoyed reading your blog on a regular basis, and the change does make it difficult.

    • padresteve

      That’s odd. Sorry to take so long to get back to you. I’ll have to look at what options gives for font. I think that I am using the font that they provide for regualr paragraphs. I’ll take a look and see what I can come up with. Thanks and blessings
      Steve

    • padresteve

      This template gives white, black, red and brown options for the background. I got tired of white from my last template, I don’t like brown and thought that red would be too hard on the eyes

  7. Pierre Lagacé

    Hi,

    I found your blog through this…

    http://en.wordpress.com/tag/hms-glorious/

    I’m Pierre Lagacé.
    Read the three articles I wrote about someone who was looking for her great-grandfather Raymond Roberts who died on June 8, 1940.

    God works in many ways.

  8. Liz P

    Hello! My name is Liz and my Dad was in the USN for 20 years. From him not only do I have his love of History, but I also have his wanderlust as well as his love of learning. I born and raised Catholic but left in the wake of scandal that rocked the parish I grew up in. Since then I am a member of the Church of Christ. I was wondering what is the “Apostolic Catholic Orthodox Church”?

    • padresteve

      Liz. Thank you for your kind words. It sounds like your dad was quite a man. In answer to your question the ACOC is a Church of the Old Catholic tradition. The Old Catholic Church began as the Catholic Church in the Netherlands and was officially formed in 1870 as a separate denomination leaving due to the First Vatican Council proclaiming Papal Infallibility. Blessings, Padre Steve+

  9. Brian P. Smith

    Hi Steve, I really like your pages and we probably have a great deal in common: military service (I am former USMC), faith, history, and baseball…at least. This evening I watched a terrific little docu-drama on the military channel called “Commanders At War”. This episode was a very well done dramatic synopsis of the Battle of Kurtz from the commanders perspectives – von Manstein and Zhukov. Later, I jumped on the web and was scanning through Google images of von Manstein and also Guderian and fell upon your wonderful blog! BUT the real reason I decided to drop you a line is that I wanted to share a terrific new book with you called “The House that Ruth Built” by Robert Weintraub. I believe it’s brand new or fairly new. I figured any baseball fan and historian would love this book, as I really did. It tells the story of the rise of the Yankess (no, I’m not really a Yankee fan but they are so relelevant arent they?) in 1923. The tale of an epic season, their first World Series championship coinciding with their first season in their new stadium. Larger than life figures like John McGraw, Col. Jacob Ruppert and the nearly forgotten Cap Huston (Huston was co-owner of the Yanks in ’23 – I didnt know that – he is the man who truly built Yankee Stadium…had a deep background in civil engineering and construction). And of course, larger than all of ’em – The Babe. This is an excellent book. I would not hesitate to put it right up there with both of David Halberstram’s classics “Summer of ’49” and “October 1964” (and that’s good company for any baseball book). I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

    Brian Smith
    Oceanside, CA

  10. Padresteve,
    In looking up my fathers name online I stumbled onto your online entry. I can’t say I remember you burying my dad but there were so many people there and many events of that day have left my memory. Just wanted to say God bless you,
    Kim (Boyd) Goodlavage

  11. Toby Humphry

    Padre Steve

    I’ve sent you an email (to padresteve@cox.net) and hope that you will reply when you have time.

    Toby Humphry

    • Hello Chaplain Steve,
      Please clarify what you mean by “…Deity Herself speaks to me…” found on the Welcome to my World section. Is your god female? — Please elaborate. Thank you!

      Pancho

      • padresteve

        Pancho
        Thanks for the question. Actually the term “The Deity Herself” is borrowed from Fr Andrew Greeley’s Bishop Blackie Ryan character in his Bishop Blackie Ryan mystery novels. I use it to get under the skin of men that don’t like women in any real kind of authority and what better way than to refer to God in that manner. It is kind of a light hearted thing on my part. Apart from that I am orthodox in my view of the Christian Godhead.
        Blessings
        Steve+

  12. Hi Steve! I’m Lisa with TLC Book Tours. Last year you reviewed Wounded Giant for my partner, Trish. I have a couple books coming up on tour that I’d like to run by you for possible review on your site. One is a baseball book and the other is a narrative non fiction title about the race between American cities to host the United Nations after WWII. I can’t find your email address here, so perhaps you could email me about it? Thanks! ~Lisa

  13. Jan

    After reading your welcome introduction I am made aware that you are one false teacher/preacher.
    Sicko!

  14. Steve,

    I found you just a simple search of military posts on wordpress. After a quick look, I feel that I am reading my own words. I didn’t know I have a brother from another mother out there, thank you.

    I can’t wait to discover more from you. My only problem is that I can only follow you once and not multiple time. Ha ha.

  15. Ian Stewart

    Hello Padre Steve,
    I stumbled onto your blog while doing some research on Smedley Butler. As a retired Army tanker (23 years) and a capital “L” liberal (hey, I live in Vermont – what else could I be?), I found your posts interesting, insightful and from a kindred spirit.
    May I ask a couple of biographical questions?
    – You were a chaplain in the Army and now, the Navy. How did that happen?
    – I believe I read that you were, at first, an Episcopal priest and due to your “liberalism” was invited to pursue other interests by your bishop. At one time, I was a practicing Episcopalian and found the church to be quite liberal (female priests, Rites I and II, gay bishops, etc) and not conservative at all. As your blog says, you seem quite moderate so I’m a bit confused. How is it your bishop asked you to resign?

    If either of these questions are too personal, please decline to answer and accept my apologies in advance.

  16. Padre Steve,
    You were mentioned in a HuffPost article about widespread “moral injury” among veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The article had a link to your blog, and I look forward to spending significant here reading and hopefully healing. I am not a veteran but I am a traumatic brain injury survivor, something in common with far far too many veterans. I hope to find motivation in your blog, something to get me off my butt and moving again.

  17. Padre Steve,
    I just became aware of your blog via a post you made of the group “Warships of the World” on Facebook. I am not a veteran but have always been a fan of the military, military history and just history in general. What I have seen/read so far I have been very impressed with and look forward to reading more of your postings. I do particularly enjoy the various Star Trek references you have sprinkled n your commentary. I too relate a lot of life experiences to thoughts and ideas that come across in Gene Roddenberry’s creation. LLAP!

  18. Dear Padre Steve, you have a mighty fine blog here. What a great mix of Christianity, history, naval service and Star Trek. If I didn’t have my blog then I would have tried to write yours but no doubt in no way as good

  19. Bill Downs

    Good morning Chaplain,
    My name is Bill Downs and I’m a retired Navy Chief Boatswain Mate. I stumbled upon your web-site as I was doing some research for a fellow veteran on his father’s ship (USS Parrot DD-218). As I began reading some of your “musings” on religion and other topics I quickly learned that we have a lot in common (including the lack of hair). I enlisted in the Navy in 1966 at the tender age of 17 and after a very disappointing first enlistment (I was on two sub-tenders USS Bushnell AS-15 and USS Canopus AS-34) I exited the service in 1969. However, it didn’t take long before I realized that the Navy had developed some very strong ideals in me about life and how things should be done and I re-enlisted in 1973. I had acquired a wife and son during my tour of duty in CIVLANT and when I began my second enlistment I was assigned new construction on the USS Kalamazoo AOR-6. My new wife and sone had never been exposed to navy life and they soon realized that I would be spending a majority of my time away from them and out on the big pond.

    I won’t bore you with the next 22+ years I spent on active duty, but since my retirement in 1989 I have spent the last 25 years being a poster child for the service I love (I have been told that I need to add some clothing to my wardrobe that doesn’t say “NAVY” on it). I went back to school after retiring and received my degree in Communications from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. After working for a printing company in Stevens Point for 13 years I retired again (now I’m just tired) and have spent the majority of my time playing golf, writing, and serving as the Public Relations Officer for our local AMVETS Post and American Legion Post.

    I will check back often to read more of your musings and I only have one criticism of what I have read so far. You really need to use your spell check and grammar check more often. Some of the musings have a few errors that I’m sure you would have caught if you had done some proof reading, or ran spell/grammar check. Other than that, I am fairly close to many of your beliefs and all though I have not been a member of any established religion since I was 13, I was raised as a Babtist by my parents and have benfitted from many of those teachings.

    Have a great day Padre!
    Bill Downs BMC(SW) USN-Ret.
    email: bdowns48@yahoo.com

    • padresteve

      Bill,
      Thank you so much for you kind words and comments. I also thank you for your service. My dad retired as an Aviation Storekeeper Chief from the USS Hancock in 1974.
      It is nice to see the things that we have in common too!
      Blessings my friend!
      Peace
      Steve+

  20. Padre Steve — While I’ve been out of the services for years, I often watch AFRN-TV where I recently saw your story. I appreciated what you had to say. Thank you, for your service and your words of encouragement to vets everywhere. — Tom Darby

  21. Pingback: Padre Nuestro « Paving the Road Back

  22. Padre Steve you have an image of HMS Electra sailing past as HMS Hood blows up. I would like to use the image in an exhibition but do not know where it comes from. Please could you forward any info you have to I can seek the owner of the copyright for its use. Thank you
    Adrian Campbell-Black British Defence Attache Jakarta

    • padresteve

      Adrian, I found it online quite a while ago. I do not know the author. However, I have a friend in the UK who knows all things related to Hood. I will ask him. Send me your contact info via the e-mail contact on my page and I will put him in contact with you.
      Blessings,
      Steve

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