Author: Lisa Graas
•9/30/2002 07:24:00 PM

Rolling Stone gives Tom Petty's new album a good review and readers seem to like it too. Think I'll buy it.
Author: Lisa Graas
•9/30/2002 06:59:00 PM

Question of the Day Can someone explain to me why suicide bombers have killed far fewer children than well-trained and well-equipped, American-backed Israeli troops? Hmmmmm. Could this be intentional?
Author: Lisa Graas
•9/30/2002 06:53:00 PM
Big Israel Guns Backfire. Israel unwittingly contributes to the Yasser Arafat re-election campaign. I shake my head in disbelief.
Author: Lisa Graas
•9/30/2002 06:44:00 PM


I was encouraged by an interview with Israeli journalist Gershom Gorenberg in Mother Jones. More than 500 Israeli soldiers have refused to participate in the occupation in joining a movement called Courage to Refuse.

~Love from Lisa~
Author: Lisa Graas
•9/30/2002 05:23:00 PM
I laugh at my illness often. Personally, I deal with my illness quite well. I am in treatment and my medication works well for me much of the time. Unfortunately, not all people who have this illness are like me. Many of them do not respond well to medication and are physically UNABLE to "lighten up" due to chemical processes in the brain. A 20% suicide rate sets Bipolar Disorder and Depression apart from other illnesses. You are speaking of using one's willpower. The opinion that you have about bipolar disorder is one of the myths that many people believe. Popcak is a professional. Your comments do not bother me nearly as much as his do even though yours are much more blatant. He should retract his comments. ~Love from Lisa~

Author: Lisa Graas
•9/30/2002 05:14:00 PM
Received in email

Yes, Bipolar Disorder is serious. So is every other affliction,
particularly if you are the one suffering from it. I still think people
should lighten up and not get so all-fired sensitive and "offended" by some
humorous piece that means no harm. Letting yourself get offended instead of
keeping a sense of humor is one more way of allowing the affliction to have
control over you.

Thomas B. Tucker
Author: Lisa Graas
•9/30/2002 04:22:00 PM
Received in email:

He should have left off the "disorder" part.
Author: Lisa Graas
•9/30/2002 04:02:00 PM

How Serious Is Bipolar Disorder?
Author: Lisa Graas
•9/30/2002 03:16:00 PM
I'm trying to fix the comments links. Please email your comments to me if you have something to say.

Thomas Tucker writes:

Lisa- your comments block is not working so I am responding to your post by
e-mail. I think you shouldn't be so thin-skinned. Popcak is clearly joking
in a satirical way. We could all be sensitive to any number of comments
every day of our lives but we shouldn't be. Lighten up and recognize that
there is no malicious intent.
And, if you can't step back and see that you ARE being overly sensitive,
then ask around for others' opinions. And don't post anything on your blog
that anyone else could in turn be sensitive about- you'll find that that's
well nigh impossible.


Thomas. I would agree with you if not for the number of people who read his commentary and if not for the particular profession that he is in. The margin of error is MUCH too high to be acceptable. Try searching "Catholic Bipolar Disorder" at Google or anywhere else. You know what comes up? Popcak's commentary. Go to websites made by bipolar people and what do you see? Twenty percent of bipolars commit suicide. A close friend of mine who is bipolar and the mother of a toddler shot herself in the head. We don't need this kind of garbage. I am being overly sensitive? Have you ever seen the movie "Misery"? It's a Stephen King movie. Do you think that James Caan's character was being "overly sensitive"? Is my analogy incorrect? If you think it is not then you obviously don't know anything about this illness.
~Love from Lisa~
Author: Lisa Graas
•9/30/2002 11:24:00 AM
A reader writes in regard to my comments about Mr. Popcak's
Catholic Bipolar Disorder

I think bipolar implies swinging between two extremes, and I think it can be used in a way that doesn't include a clinical diagnosis. It's clear to everyone that he's not talking about a mental disease.

Yes, "bipolar" can imply swinging between two extremes, but Mr. Popcak says "Bipolar Disorder" and has "diagnosed" it and isn't he in the field of psychotherapy or something? It has HUGE implications about real people who HAVE Bipolar Disorder. It is clear to everyone that he is not saying that Mark Shea and other Catholics whom (he says) are behaving "irrationally" have Bipolar Disorder. What is not clear to everyone is that irrationality is not always present during the manias and depressions of someone who has Bipolar Disorder. This is extremely damaging to the public image of Bipolar Disorder and it can be damaging to the physical persons of people with Bipolar Disorder who live with people who do not understand it. It is a debilitating illness and it is a widely misunderstood illness. Mr. Popcak's comments are damaging because they assist in the propagation of myth.

It is true that people with this disorder are sometimes very irrational. I experience psychosis myself, and that is precisely why I am cut to the quick by Mr. Popcak's comments. I hope he will retract them. After my initial post, I emailed him via his blog site where the comments appear. He emailed this morning to say that my message had not come through and asked that I resubmit it. I did so. I have not heard from him yet.

~Love from Lisa~

Author: Lisa Graas
•9/30/2002 09:54:00 AM

Thanks to Mark Shea for posting my blog on his blog.
You can see the more "meaty" stuff on his website here.
Buy Mark's books here.

Author: Lisa Graas
•9/30/2002 03:46:00 AM
Mr. Popcak, I do not appreciate it.

I can't believe I am seeing this. I can't believe I am reading this. How many times have I heard my fellow Catholics sing the praises of this man? What is this?? This man is a professional? This man is pastoral? This man is ..... who is this man, exactly? Mr. Gregory Popcak has seen fit to opine extensively on what he refers to as "Catholic Bipolar Disorder." Mr. Popcak, I speak to you as a Catholic with Bipolar Disorder. The official diagnosis is Severe Mixed Episode Bipolar I Disorder with Mood-Congruent Psychosis. It's not funny and it is not anything like what you portray it to be. Neither euphoria nor depression are properly characterized as exclusively "irrational" states. Do you know how many wives get crucified due to such thinking? Neither do I, but I know of at least one who does.

How do you feel, Mr. Popcak, about being one of a large group of people who perpetuate "little" things like this which result in ignorance about this disorder which, in turn, leads to spouse abuse in "not-so-exceptional" marriages? I'm sure this is not your intention at all. I am sure of this, however the characterization fits.

Another thing that has me upset about this is the implication that Bipolar Disorder is inconsistent with Catholicism and/or holiness. No further comments on this point. I just can't handle that one. It's too painful.

I feel as though I've been stabbed in the back.

~Love from Lisa~

Myths About Mental Illness | Myths and FAQs about Mental Illness | Myths and Facts | The Mercurial Mind: Living with Bipolar Disorder

Author: Lisa Graas
•9/30/2002 03:06:00 AM
Thanks to Enetation for the comment scripts and great looking template.

Author: Lisa Graas
•9/29/2002 11:05:00 PM
Leila Miller sends this via email.
"Mark Shea shares a very good observation today"
.... Now I see Catholic converts arguing with critics of their
faith, of course. What I don't see is this odd need to linger around the old
neighborhood throwing stones through the allegedly shattered windows of an
allegedly discredited Church. Indeed, what typically marks Catholic conversion
stories such as Thomas Howard's, Scott Hahn's, Steve Ray's or virtually any of
the wave of recent conversion accounts is gratitude for their
Protestant roots. Virtually all of them have nothing but good things to say
about their Protestant backgrounds even while they are contentedly Catholic.
But there is a curious assymetry between these guys and people who leave the
Catholic Church and then start writing polemics against it or lingering on
boards to do battle with it. For these folks, there seems to be nothing
about the Catholic Church. There also seems to be a peculiar need to
proclaim one's "liberation" from it, while simultaneously remaining in a weird
form of unconscious bondage to it. It sticks in their craw. I want to ask such
people why they are lingering about the Church throwing rocks and not actually
embarking on their new and glorious life in Christ that they keep telling me
they have while they are spray painting "The Pope sucks!" on every BBS they
can find....

Author: Lisa Graas
•9/29/2002 06:49:00 PM
Playgrounds for Palestine

Author: Lisa Graas
•9/29/2002 01:01:00 PM
Falwell and Amazon

Okay, this time I'm going to have to agree with Jerry Falwell (partially). In World Net Daily I found an article by Falwell condemning the sale by of a book that one reviewer says may reveal the "positive aspects of a healthy boy/male [sic] relationship." [Huh?] You're right, Jerry. The promotion of pedophilia as a healthy lifestyle choice is sick.

Now I'm wondering if there will be press coverage of this to rival that on pedophilia in the priesthood. If American Catholics (and the rest of the world) scarfed up Catholic teaching as greedily as they scarf up books at Amazon (LOL) and if the Catholic Church were a profit-driven business, what on EARTH might the press be saying if the Church began to promote pedophilia as a healthy lifestyle choice? I shudder to think of the possiblities! How comforting to know that the Church is protected from teaching error in matters of faith and morals despite Satan's attempts to destroy Her image and Her members. Amazon has no such protection as we can plainly see in the appearance of all manner of viewpoints in the Amazon inventory. The Church has always taught that lust is gravely evil.

Amazon would do well to adopt policies more in keeping with morality, but alas, this is America, right Jerry? The Founding Fathers chose to have a nation wherein the people would not be subjected to any monarchy, be it benevolent or malevolent. Has Amazon thrown out the baby with the bathwater? Nope. At least, not Constitutionally speaking. I hate to burst your bubble, Jerry, but Amazon's position on this, legally speaking, is sound, despite the lack of morality here.

What we (you, me, everybody -- sarc off) need is a theocracy, you see? You know something of the concept. We've heard you argue that we shouldn't take God out of our law. The only way to have peace is to allow God to rule over our country, right? You want God in our government. I hate to break this to you, but you are actually arguing here for America to become a Papal State, and hey!! I'm with you!! Let's do it! :-) Let's have everyone follow the SAME LAW! What a concept!

Alas, I am a realist and understand that most people will not accept the Kingdom of God, so I will have to be grateful that God has provided that I may become a citizen of His monarchy despite the distorted political shapes my American government morphs itself into. God is so good.
~Love from Lisa~

Author: Lisa Graas
•9/28/2002 08:47:00 PM
Flag of Palestine

The Origin of the Palestine-Israel Conflict should be required reading for every British and American citizen. This booklet is linked on Al - Bushra, Arab-American Roman Catholic Community and was published by Jews for Justice in the Middle East. It is an easy to read account of major events in the history of the relationship between the Palestinian people and Zionists. Zionists are a political faction and in no way should be deemed to represent the entire Jewish population or even a majority of Jews. Many Christians, including Jerry Falwell and many other Protestant American evangelists, are Zionists. We have the power to stop this madness in the Holy Land. Let us stop this nonsense of blaming Islam. Let us stop the nonsense of blaming Arabs. Let us work with the Arabs for a COMMON GOAL and that is to rescue the people of Palestine from the crimes of the Israelis. Please read this online book. It will only take a couple of hours and your eyes will be opened. Note, again, that it is published by Jews for Justice in the Middle East. Thanks. ~Love from Lisa~

Author: Lisa Graas
•9/28/2002 07:06:00 PM

The bad news? According to a USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll in March, 2002 -- 75% of Catholics "favor allowing Catholic priests to marry and continue to function as priests". Twenty percent were opposed and five had no opinion.

The good news? The poll numbers are almost exactly the same as they were in 1993 when the same number of Catholics were asked the same question. Seventy five percent favored allowing priests to marry, 21% were opposed and 4% had no opinion.

So, at least the scandal has not changed American Catholics' views about celibacy, right? This is great news, right? Great news! But, wait a minute. Seventy five percent of Catholics favor allowing priests to marry??? Whoa. How disappointing. So, no one can be celibate? No one can go without sex? If I fall prey to a disease that renders me incapable of having sex then I should.....end it all? Come on, PEOPLE!! Let's get with the program!!

I've decided to take my own little poll to see how accurate this USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll really is. I would also like to hear what anyone has to say about it. Send me an email Lisa Graas if you dare, or if you care, but NOT if you swear.
Take the poll

Author: Lisa Graas
•9/28/2002 03:12:00 PM
Author: Lisa Graas
•9/28/2002 10:07:00 AM
Got Blog? I got blog. I had no idea what blog is until I went to Catholic apologist Mark Shea's blog site. I left still not really knowing what BLOG IS..... but over time, I have learned some things. I don't know exactly, but HERE I AM. I still don't know what it is but I think it might just be better than email. Time will tell.