Thursday, August 27, 2009

Will the Kennedy Catholics always be with us?

Some thoughts from Fr. Robert Sirico:
James Joyce once remarked that the Catholic Church was “Here comes everybody,” and while I relish the experience of being part of a Church rather than a sect, a Church in which there are a host of matters on which faithful Catholics can disagree, I also recognize that there are some defining issues from which are derived the very sense of a shared identity. From my own life and in my pastoral work, I understand that not everyone lives up to the demands of the faith all the time. Graham Greene’s famed “whiskey priest” in The Power and the Glory was the prototype of an essentially good, yet flawed man.
Yet there are some matters so grave that they go beyond mere flaws and work to diminish or even fracture an identity. I fear that this will be part of Ted Kennedy’s legacy, notwithstanding his other personal weaknesses.
What might the face of the Democratic party, indeed American politics, today look like if Ted Kennedy had, instead of reversing himself, maintained the unflinching stance of his late sister Eunice in her consistent defense of vulnerable human life
— whether that of a mentally handicapped child or sister or an infant in the womb? Instead, the senator took the dubious advice of certain Boston Jesuits to abandon that tradition and hence those most vulnerable.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Give me a break, we've seen this all before

Federalist lawyer and husband of the late and much eulogized 911 victim, Barbara Olson, is now on board to argue the case for same sex-marriage before the Supreme Court.
How does this happen? Ask the chippy, young, 4th wife Lady Booth Olson (yes, that's really her name).
We've seen it all before. The old widower and the younger woman. Except look at this, the admittedly irregular church-goer, 61 year old Olson marries his "4th Wife" a year after Barbara's death. No. 4 is a young, blonde, tax attorney from Kentucky who supported the Obama election campaign.
Here is what Olson said to the LA Times:
You eventually remarried, to a lawyer named Lady Booth, a Democrat and Obama supporter. Has she influenced your political thinking? Well, she thinks that she has! She's working on me. It's important to be surrounded by people who think differently than we do. We don't learn anything if we surround ourselves by people who think the same way we do.
Um, isn't it more important to surround ourselves by people who's thinking is motivated by the Truth. 61 years old and Ted hasn't bothered to get the answer to that famous question, "What is Truth?"
In so many ways, everything about this whole case, from the lawyer to the Prop 8 hearing, says it all about the present state of America.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Apropos

Watch carefully then how you live, not as foolish persons but as wise,
making the most of the opportunity, because the days are evil.
Therefore, do not continue in ignorance, but try to understand what is the will of the Lord.
Ephesians 5:15
Second Reading for the 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Obama Administration and Abortion

The amazing Fr. Z hits the nail on the head:
"Say you want to eliminate, just for example, slavery. You stand up in public and make speeches especially to, for example, the student body of the fictional William Willberforce University. You protest that you are going to do your best to reduce the number of slaves.
At the same time, you are working through international agencies to pressure anti-slave countries to expand slavery laws. You then decide that you will work to reduce the number of slaves by expanding slave owners rights.
This is all hypothetical, of course."

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Whole Foods health plan

Today's WSJ op-ed:

At Whole Foods we allow our team members to vote on what benefits they most want the company to fund. Our Canadian and British employees express their benefit preferences very clearly—they want supplemental health-care dollars that they can control and spend themselves without permission from their governments. Why would they want such additional health-care benefit dollars if they already have an “intrinsic right to health care”? The answer is clear—no such right truly exists in either Canada or the U.K.—or in any other country.

Rather than increase government spending and control, we need to address the root causes of poor health. This begins with the realization that every American adult is responsible for his or her own health.

Unfortunately many of our health-care problems are self-inflicted: two-thirds of Americans are now overweight and one-third are obese. Most of the diseases that kill us and account for about 70% of all health-care spending—heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes and obesity—are mostly preventable through proper diet, exercise, not smoking, minimal alcohol consumption and other healthy lifestyle choices.

Recent scientific and medical evidence shows that a diet consisting of foods that are plant-based, nutrient dense and low-fat will help prevent and often reverse most degenerative diseases that kill us and are expensive to treat. We should be able to live largely disease-free lives until we are well into our 90s and even past 100 years of age.

Health-care reform is very important. Whatever reforms are enacted it is essential that they be financially responsible, and that we have the freedom to choose doctors and the health-care services that best suit our own unique set of lifestyle choices. We are all responsible for our own lives and our own health. We should take that responsibility very seriously and use our freedom to make wise lifestyle choices that will protect our health. Doing so will enrich our lives and will help create a vibrant and sustainable American society.

—Mr. Mackey is co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market Inc.

Paglia on Palin and the Brave New World

As a libertarian and refugee from the authoritarian Roman Catholic church of my youth, I simply do not understand the drift of my party toward a soulless collectivism. This is in fact what Sarah Palin hit on in her shocking image of a "death panel" under Obamacare that would make irrevocable decisions about the disabled and elderly. When I first saw that phrase, headlined on the Drudge Report, I burst out laughing. It seemed so over the top! But on reflection, I realized that Palin's shrewdly timed metaphor spoke directly to the electorate's unease with the prospect of shadowy, unelected government figures controlling our lives. A death panel not only has the power of life and death but is itself a symptom of a Kafkaesque brave new world where authority has become remote, arbitrary and spectral. And as in the Spanish Inquisition, dissidence is heresy, persecuted and punished.
-from August 12, 2009 Salon
Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. And now for something completely different...
Perhaps Paglia would like to revisit the "authoritarian RC church" by approaching "Caritas in veritate":
"Charity in truth, to which Jesus Christ bore witness by his earthly life and especially by his death and resurrection, is the principal driving force behind the authentic development of every person and of all humanity. Love — caritas — is an extraordinary force which leads people to opt for courageous and generous engagement in the field of justice and peace."