India had such a man in Gandhi, and we had a man of compassion in Lincoln.
Gandhi recognized and stated that one could well judge a country by the way it
treats its animals. Lincoln said that he was for animal rights because that is the
nature of man. I always asked the school children on President's Day -- who was their favorite president and why. Certainly, Washington was a great man and we
owe him a debt of gratitude, but for me--not only did Lincoln preserve our
nation by the handling of the Civil War and abolishing slavery, but he was a man of
compassion who embraced all life.
always liked New Jersey because my Slovak father's sister Mary settled there with
her husband to raise a family. I always considered her saintly, and seeing her
or hearing from her by letters written in Slovak, I always thanked God that
she was my aunt.
Now, I am thanking God for Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey. I had heard
some very nice things about him when he was Mayor of Newark. Catherine Gill of
Care 2 recalled some of his kind acts: "he's gone on hunger strikes to create
awareness on issues like drugs; he risked his life to save a woman from a burning
building; he opened his very own home to people who lost heat or power during
Hurricane Sandy; he has reduced his own salary on several occasions; he's given out
his cell phone number to help in-need citizens, and he is now a vegan."
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It pleased me to find out in Gill's post that Booker had become vegan in
November after 22 years as a vegetarian. In this regard as a vegan, she also calls
him a superstar activist -- extremely vocal about animal rights. He even shares news on
social media re purchasing a vegan wallet, belts, and shoes. He patronizes vegan
restaurants--inviting colleagues there for some of their business meetings. He probably
takes his lady friends there too, and though I didn't spend too much time on the
internet re his love life, I got the impression he does well in this department as well.
Re his work in Congress -he is a working member on the Homeland Security
and Government Affairs Committee. He also is keeping his spot on the Commerce Environment and Small Business committees. His concerns there are on job
creation, economic opportunities for citizens, hurricane recovery for those affected,
and addressing the hardships weighing down the middle-class families. Finally--a
legislator who cares about the MIDDLE CLASS.
There is so much more to learn about Booker from the internet, and if
anyone is looking to discredit him -- they might also find some of this as well. But then, who of us is perfect? If he has any "warts," I would still love to see "clones" of him among all
the members of Congress. He more than makes up for those who lack compassion with his
caring stances for BOTH people and animals.
It's been a few years now since our Byzantine bishop closed my beloved
parish, St. Gregory's, but I still fondly remember some of our practices. After a
liturgy of thanksgiving, the cantor would intone this sung prayer: God grant (her, him, us) many
years, many happy blessed years. And I wish that for Senator Cory Booker. May he enjoy
many happy and blessed years--trying to do good for all of us--whether we be human or