Friday, August 28, 2009

HLI Statement on Death of Kennedy

Human Life International’s Statement on the Passing of Senator Edward Kennedy
August 27, 2009

We must, as a matter of precept, pray for the salvation of heretical Catholics like Senator Edward Kennedy, but we do not have to praise him let alone extol him with the full honors of a public Catholic funeral and all the adulation that attends such an event. There was very little about Ted Kennedy’s life that deserves admiration from a spiritual or moral point of view. He was probably the worst example of a Catholic statesman that one can think of. When all is said and done, he has distorted the concept of what it means to be a Catholic in public life more than anyone else in leadership today.

Obviously we don't know the state of Senator Edward Kennedy's soul upon death. We don’t pretend to. We are told by the family that he had the opportunity to confess his sins before a priest, and his priest has said publicly he was “at peace” when he died. For that we are grateful. But it is one thing to confess one’s sins and for these matters to be kept, rightfully, private. It is another thing entirely for one who so consistently and publicly advocated for the destruction of unborn human beings to depart the stage without a public repudiation of these views, a public confession, as it were.

It is up to God to judge Senator Kennedy’s soul. We, as rational persons, must judge his actions, and his actions were not at all in line with one who values and carefully applies Church teaching on weighty matters. Ted Kennedy’s positions on a variety of issues have been a grave scandal for decades, and to honor this “catholic” champion of the culture of death with a Catholic funeral is unjust to those who have actually paid the price of fidelity. We now find out that President Obama will eulogize the Senator at his funeral, an indignity which, following on the heels of the Notre Dame fiasco, leaves faithful Catholics feeling sullied, desecrated and dehumanized by men who seem to look for opportunities to slap the Church in the face and do so with impunity simply because they have positions of power.

It is not enough for Kennedy to have been a “great guy behind the scenes” as we have seen him referred to even by his political opponents. It is also not praiseworthy to put a Catholic rhetorical veneer on his leftist politics that did nothing to advance true justice as the Church sees it or to advance the peace of Christ in this world. Every indication of Senator Kennedy’s career, every public appearance, every sound bite showed an acerbic, divisive and partisan political hack for whom party politics were much more infallible than Church doctrines. Whatever one’s political affiliation, if one is only “Catholic” to the extent that his faith rhymes with his party line, then his Catholicism is a fraud.

As the Scriptures remind us, there is a time for everything under the sun. This, now, is the time for honesty about our Faith and about those who are called to express it in the public forum. If we do not remind ourselves of the necessity of public confession for public sins such as Senator Kennedy was guilty of, then we are negligent in our embrace of the Faith and we are part of the problem. As Pope Benedict has reminded us recently, charity without truth can easily become mere sentimentality, and we must not fall into that error. A Catholic show of charity for the family must not eclipse the truth that is required of all with eyes to see and ears to hear.

Senator Kennedy needs to be sent to the afterlife with a private, family-only funeral and the prayers of the Church for the salvation of his immortal soul. He will not be missed by the unborn who he betrayed time and time again, nor by the rest of us who are laboring to undo the scandalous example of Catholicism that he gave to three generations of Americans.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Slow Dance

By David L. Weatherford

Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round,
or listened to rain slapping the ground?

Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight,
or gazed at the sun fading into the night?

You better slow down, don't dance so fast,
time is short, the music won't last.

Do you run through each day on the fly,
when you ask "How are you?", do you hear the reply?

When the day is done, do you lie in your bed,
with the next hundred chores running through your head?

You better slow down, don't dance so fast,
time is short, the music won't last.

Ever told your child, we'll do it tomorrow,
and in your haste, not see his sorrow?

Ever lost touch, let a friendship die,
'cause you never had time to call and say hi?

You better slow down, don't dance so fast,
time is short, the music won't last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere,
you miss half the fun of getting there.

When you worry and hurry through your day,
it's like an unopened gift thrown away.

Life isn't a race, so take it slower,
hear the music before your song is over.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Hippocratic Oath: Classical Version

How many doctors currently take the original Hippocratic Oath? If you want a true and meaningful health care reform, lets start with the physicians living up to this.

I swear by Apollo Physician and Asclepius and Hygieia and Panaceia and all the gods and goddesses, making them my witnesses, that I will fulfill according to my ability and judgment this oath and this covenant:

To hold him who has taught me this art as equal to my parents and to live my life in partnership with him, and if he is in need of money to give him a share of mine, and to regard his offspring as equal to my brothers in male lineage and to teach them this art—if they desire to learn it—without fee and covenant; to give a share of precepts and oral instruction and all the other learning to my sons and to the sons of him who has instructed me and to pupils who have signed the covenant and have taken an oath according to the medical law, but no one else.

I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; I will keep them from harm and injustice.

I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody who asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness I will guard my life and my art.

I will not use the knife, not even on sufferers from stone, but will withdraw in favor of such men as are engaged in this work.

Whatever houses I may visit, I will come for the benefit of the sick, remaining free of all intentional injustice, of all mischief and in particular of sexual relations with both female and male persons, be they free or slaves.

What I may see or hear in the course of the treatment or even outside of the treatment in regard to the life of men, which on no account one must spread abroad, I will keep to myself, holding such things shameful to be spoken about.

If I fulfill this oath and do not violate it, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and art, being honored with fame among all men for all time to come; if I transgress it and swear falsely, may the opposite of all this be my lot.

Translation from the Greek by Ludwig Edelstein. From The Hippocratic Oath: Text, Translation, and Interpretation, by Ludwig Edelstein. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1943.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Quote of the Day

"Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get."
-Dale Carnegie

Monday, August 10, 2009

Jimmy Buffett's Survival Skills

Jimmy Buffett, singer, surfer and storyteller, is on his 30-date Summerzcool tour through November. Here, he tells us how to impress a woman and mix his favorite drink, and why lying every day is an acceptable practice.
Interviewed by Alexandra Wolfe

What advice would you give the younger you?
To learn to play the piano when my mother wanted me to. And I wish I would have learned another language earlier. I struggle with both now. But music is the universal language; you can still communicate with a guitar and a song.

What should every man know about money?
You’ve got to be able to take it out of the equation in order to enjoy life and make good decisions. Years ago I went to Warren Buffett for advice about something, and that’s what he told me. He said, “Whether you make or don’t make this deal, is it going to affect your life? And if not, then do what you want to do and be prepared for them to say no.” I’ve used that quite a bit. A while ago I almost bit on a deal with Disney. I thought it would mean instant fortune, but they had all these things they wanted me to do. I walked away from that and it worked out.

What’s the best way to impress a woman?
I start with southern charm. Then the guitar would come in.

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received?
My old friend Herman Wouk gave me this advice: “As a prose writer, just get a page a day done and don’t try to do anything else.” That seems to work. The task of writing a big book, it takes discipline, while writing a song is so refreshing it’s like you’re skipping along like a stone in the ocean. But after writing books I’m more conscientious about what I’m saying in lyrics. I take more time making that little bit of poerty better.

How do you make your favorite drink?
It’s basically just good Caribbean rum, coconut water — the clear stuff from the coconut that you can now get in Whole Foods; not Coco Lopez — a fresh piece of lime, and lots of ice. That’s it. No bubbles, lots of electrolytes, and no hangover — if you don’t drink a gallon. How do you think all those folks survive Carnival in Trinidad for two weeks?

What one skill should every man have?
To be a good reader, because then you don’t have to be a conversationalist to be knowledgeable. I’m shy.

When is it okay for a man to lie?
For me it would be every day. I have to default to Faulkner and say, “Well, you know I’m a liar, and I make a good living at it.” I’m not going to claim the Fifth here, but I’m going to claim writer’s privilege in that we’re allowed to expand our version of the truth. I’m an embellisher.

What secrets should a man keep to himself?
I think secrets should be held for a long time, and, if you live a long and interesting life, it’s worth it to let them all out at the end. I wrote a book at 50, and I didn’t tell all the good stuff. It’s like, there are secrets to writing songs. There are secret surf spots. You keep that box of magic tricks around, and when you’re done doing your magic, then you can talk about it—purely for the showbiz aspect of the tell-all book.

What’s the handiest survival skill you have?
I’m a pretty good field medic. From my Boy Scout days I can patch people up. I can do stitches, which comes in handy in remote surf breaks.

What skill would you like to master?
I had a fleeting desire to do kitesurfing— then I saw the injury reports and the YouTube videos and I wnet, “Nah. I’m content.” Stand up paddleboarding is the last new skill I learned. Laird Hamilton gave me a lesson. It took me about an hour, and then I had it pretty good.

How should a man best face his fears?
There have been times onstage when fear comes up. You have to acknowledge that you’re scared to death and just say, “Well, here we go.”

What do you want to do before you die?
I have four things: Learn to hang ten. Go to space. Go to Pitcairn Island, where my Buffett ancestors are from. And go to Antartica.

What’s the secret to staying young?
For me it’s being in the water every day, whether it’s surfing or swimming. I look at these guys in Hawaii and they’re 80 years old in the surf break and look great. And that’s all they do. I want to be in that club when I’m that old.