Did nun jab the #BringBackOurGirls campaign?

Call me crazy. (I know: Who would ever do such a thing?) But if you asked me how I’d expect a nun to respond to the  heartless and heartbreaking abduction of more than 200 Nigerian school girls, the terrorist act that spawned the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, I’d probably expect her to pray without ceasing.

AP Photo: Former President Bill Clinton poses with Sr. Rosemary

AP Photo: Former President Bill Clinton poses with Uganda’s Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe

If you told me that the nun in question was a humanitarian activist who had been named a “CNN Hero” and one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World,” I’d definitely expect her to use her influence to rally worldwide support for the return of the girls.

If you told me that Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe of Uganda, who has worked tirelessly to end violence and sexual exploitation, appeared on American television to raise awareness of what she says is a crime that is committed throughout the world, I wouldn’t be surprised. But if you told me that she made a violent threat against the show’s host, I’d tell you to check your facts. Here they are:

No Laughing Matter

Sr. Rosemary’s interview with Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert started innocently enough. He asked her response to critics who claim that hashtag campaigns such as #BringBackOurGirls are ineffective. She defends it, but says that we must do more to keep these incidents in the spotlight.

So far, so good—until two minutes, 18 seconds into their chat. Colbert tells the renowned nun that he is saddened by the mass kidnapping. Then, presumably to prompt a response from her that would touch the hearts of millions who might feel detached from acts of inhumanity in foreign lands, Colbert asks: “How does that affect my life? Why should I be sad for something that is happening thousands of miles away when there are things at home to be sad about?”

Sr. Rosemary’s response was not what I expected:

“If you cannot be sad because it is happening in Africa, which is part of the humanity, I would feel like jabbing you.” ~Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe

Rewind the tape! Were Sister’s bold proclamation and boxing gestures a joke? This is Comedy Central, after all. Frankly, if it was a joke or a rehearsed skit, it was in poor taste, given the gravity of the cause she was promoting.

“Really? You—a nun—would punch me?” he asked, looking incredulous.

“Oh, yah. I would jab you!” she responded.

“Am I allowed to punch you back?”


“How is that fair?” Colbert protested.

“Because I’m going to punch you—and I would win!” she boasted.

Shut my loud mouth. Apparently, she was planning a knock-out punch. Stunning.


There are so many disconnects here, I don’t even know where to start. OK, I lied: Let’s start with the teachings of the Prince of Peace, whom the influential Sr. Rosemary has proudly represented since 1976.

Among those teachings is this little scene: Yeshua/Jesus is instructing his disciples how to respond when Gentiles reject their “good news” message. Did he say, “Knock some sense into them until they agree!”

No, according to Matthew 10:14, he told them, “Whoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when you depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.” In other words, keep it moving, Brother—and oh, by the way, this applies to you, too, Sister.

The #BringBackOurGirls Campaign Takes It on the Chin

#BringBackOurGirls advocate Sr. Rosemary threatens to punch Stephen Colbert

Credit: Huffington Post

Please tell me under what circumstances can those who call themselves followers of Jesus justify violence of any kind? It is a leap beyond irony that Sr. Rosemary threatened an act of violence while protesting an act of violence. If you don’t think the way she wants you to think, she’ll punch you. Perhaps she took a jab at the #BringBackOurGirls campaign instead.

No one has to be reminded of the Church’s long and gruesome history of winning converts to Christianity through ultimata, violence and murder. We wish we could forget.

Obviously, that diabolical history still has a faint heartbeat. But then, as now, this behavior completely violates Yeshua’s teachings. It also give Christianity a black eye, providing graphic evidence that Christians are not always Christlike. If they choose to act in ways that are not loving, patient, forgiving and compassionate, why don’t they call themselves something else?

When I was a Girl Scout, I learned never to do anything while wearing my uniform that would disgrace scouting, my troop or my scout leader (my mom). The same is true for those who wear any type of uniform, which made the scene of a nun throwing jabs a bit surreal, if not disrespectful.

The issue of whether a hashtag campaign such as #BringBackOurGirls is effective tactic has now taken a back seat to a more pertinent question: Does punching those who don’t get on board with the campaign bring closure to this episode for the girls and their parents? Does it align the Church with those who seek world peace or send the institution careening back to its terrorist past? In the name of all that is holy, please put down your dukes, Sister Rosemary.

The Law of Attraction and my brand new iPad: How it manifested

According to Law of Attraction dictates, if we are to attract what we desire in life, we must to think about our desired object a lot, believe deeply that we will unquestionably receive it, and feel as excited now as we will when we receive it. In other words, we must raise our vibration to the level of the desired thing and it can’t resist us; it will naturally be drawn our way.

I’m not sure at what level a penthouse condo, S-class Mercedes, complete healing from an incurable disease or a famine-free life vibrates, so how does one match it? I also haven’t a clue how much time I must think about something before it actually materializes. On last week’s post about the Law of Attraction, a frustrated commenter mentioned that she’d been following the LOA dictates for years, and had concluded that she must be doing something wrong because she wasn’t materializing her desires.

If it doesn’t work, it means that I didn’t work it

Really. She thinks she’s the problem. Are we now blaming the victim rather than the misleading interpretation and misguided application of the Law of Attraction?

It appears to be very natural for us to give credence to the written word—particularly if it’s popular in our culture. Never mind that the words often contradict each other or they tell us to expect things that are implausible. We blindly believe in the expected outcomes, even after our lives and the lives of everyone around us fail to produce the predicted outcomes.

Cashing in on spiritual law

One thing was predictable to the producers of “The Secret” movie and other copycat media: human behavior. Humans crave control, and they would be magnetically attracted to a playbook that gives them the instructions to control their outcomes.

As for the millions who received no return on their investment, the response is typically: They must not have followed the steps correctly. They didn’t really, really believe in their heart of hearts that they could actually receive their desired outcome. Consider this: Maybe their “happy” frequency wasn’t high enough to attract that new home or complete reversal of terminal illness. Or, as someone recently told me, perhaps they simply didn’t believe that they deserved it. If we don’t believe it, it’s not going to happen.

Commercialized Law of Attraction’s Achilles’ heel

And that brings us to the Achilles heel of the commercialized version of this very spiritual law: surprises and disappointments. Not one enthusiast who has earned money espousing the virtues of LOA can prove or even claim that things always happen according to their dominant thoughts, visualizations of their desired objects or situations, beliefs in a certain outcome or emotions our beliefs about that outcome. Like everyone else, the only time they experience a deep disappointment is when they did all that and things didn’t materialize the way they envisioned.

If we follow their claims to their logical conclusion, what they’re saying is that if things never cross our minds and we don’t expect them, they will never manifest. Have these enthusiasts ever been surprised—pleasantly or unpleasantly? Of course. Will they stop trying to sell us material that insists we can do things to control every outcome? Probably not because humans predictably believe—and buy—without thinking.

Laws produce the same outcome for everyone. Otherwise it’s merely a possibility. But who’s going to pay for a book or a movie about that? Tell ’em it’s an ancient “secret.”

Bless their hearts, they found a way to commercialize karma–and in doing so, created some of their own because they know that nobody anywhere ever has gotten everything he or she wanted. If it was a law, everybody would. Laws produce the same results 100% of the time–whether they are spiritual laws or physical laws.

The Law of Surprise

The Law of Attraction denies the existence of surprises and disappointmentsI know: Maybe we should call it the “Law of Surprise.” After all, the outcome is the same for everyone: Whenever it happens, it’s unexpected. Always.

Such was the case earlier this week when I attended a seminar and entered a drawing to win an iPad. Everyone in the room wanted that iPad. I know that because when they asked prior to the drawing whether anyone had not yet registered, no one raised a hand.

The iPad wasn’t the only prize. There were three lovely mugs and several vases of flowers. I literally tried to become invisible during those drawings: I already have an enviable collection of mugs. Some are collectors items. So, no more mugs, please. And, since I was going to a meeting immediately after the seminar, I didn’t want to lug a vase full of flowers with me, either.

My eyes were still avoiding the front of the room when I heard the words “iPad” and “Pat Arnold” in the same breath. I was stunned! I’m one of those people who never wins anything really cool, and I had no expectation of breaking my streak.

But I did. Now, as my daughter squealed when I surprised her with an iPad at Christmas a couple of years ago, “My Apple Universe is complete!” And it happened while I was focused on what I didn’t want. Imagine that.

The physical realm does not control the spiritual realm

Here’s the thing: The Law of Attraction is a spiritual law. It applies exclusively to the spirit realm, just as physical laws exclusively apply to the physical realm.

Spiritual and physical laws also are not interchangeable. For example, physical law restricts physical beings and objects to one place at a time, no matter how much we desire to be in several. Spiritual law has no such restriction; invisible spirit can be everywhere at once.

Let me phrase it another way for those who believe that we are spiritual beings having a temporary physical experience: LOA applies to the invisible, immortal you: the soul that is temporarily wearing a human body costume. The law does not apply to the costume.

Your costume, which is limited both in nature, power and life span, has no ability or authority to successfully trump, direct or place demands on the spiritual realm, or manipulate spiritual laws for its benefit. But many have tried.

We may be confused, but LOA isn’t

The spiritual Law of Attraction says whatever you put out, you get back; what goes around comes around. Spiritually, it is simply another word for “karma.” Many confuse karma with punishment; but karma is merely the natural reciprocal for every action, including the good we do. That’s why LOA is also called the Law of Reciprocity.

Unlike the physical world, in the world of spirit, balance is always maintained. Scripturally, it’s been expressed as “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”—a bit graphic, but I think they wanted us to get the point. The way I express it is: “Whatever you do will be done to you.” Some might find that a bit graphic, too, depending upon what they’ve done.

From the Balcony of Life, there’s a bigger picture and broader context than is visible to those on stage. From here, it appears that our karma is not always balanced while we are playing a certain role and wearing a particular body costume. That is why so many of us tend to think that life is unfair. But our actions don’t stick like glue to the body costume that we’ll eventually slip out of. It sticks to us—as immortal souls.

That is the Law, and we should think about that before doing something to someone that we would not want done to us. Because it will.

Who’s directing the show?

Manifesting my shiny new iPad was the perfect punctuation for last week’s post about humans’ egoic belief that we control everything, including spiritual laws. I view my unexpected gift as a hat-tip and a wink from the Universe. (Thanks so much for the encouragement to continue speaking the truth from the Balcony of Life!)

How does LOA explain my unexpected windfall? It can’t, because what happens in life is more than the physical eye can see and the physical brain can comprehend—or control. I was simply lucky that day. That’s always a possibility.