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Showing posts from 2017

Disagreement ala Thomas Aquinas

This appeared in The New York Times and should be read by anyone who thinks he has a correct opinion on one of the many topics headlining today’s cultural news—in other words, by everyone. The money quote is:
In other words, to disagree well you must first understand well. You have to read deeply, listen carefully, watch closely. You need to grant your adversary moral respect; give him the intellectual benefit of doubt; have sympathy for his motives and participate empathically with his line of reasoning. And you need to allow for the possibility that you might yet be persuaded of what he has to say.
This is really nothing new. It is the method of St. Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica. State your opponent’s position accurately and take the time to understand the support for this position before launching in to your rebuttal of his position.
This piece appeared at a very opportune time for me. I have said repeatedly I do not like to engage in Facebook comment discussions because th…

Imago Dei

There are not over a hundred people in the United States who hate the Catholic Church. There are millions, however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church — which is, of course, quite a different thing.”—Venerable Bishop Fulton Sheen
The Ruth Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening marriage and highlighting the devastating effect that broken families have on children. They are in concert with the teaching of the Catholic Church when it comes to marriage including the belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. For this reason, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has declared them a “hate group”. At no time has the Ruth Institute ever advocated violence against anyone. There is no evidence that any of their work has inspired violence. However, because the SPLC has labeled them a “hate group” Vanco, a credit card processing company affiliated with Wells Fargo, has severed their ties with the Ruth Institute and immediatel…

Do No Harm

Most of the individual health care professionals I know are virtuous men and women. They see their profession as a calling and keep the welfare of their patient front and center. The faceless bureaucrats of health care institutions, professional associations, and medical corporations, on the other hand, are often driven by factors other than good patient care.
I absolutely do not trust the pharmaceutical industry to recommend what is best for me. Merck, Pfizer, et al., are corporations with stockholders and their job is make money for their stockholders. I get that. But it means someone totally independent of these pharmaceutical companies needs to be evaluating and making recommendations about drug therapies. I have spilled a lot of ink on this blog about the HPV vaccine and the great efforts Merck expended to convince states to mandate this vaccine before there were any competing vaccines. There are a lot of concerns that this vaccine has been overhyped and its potential side effec…

Journalism, Journalism, wherefore art thou Journalism?

My newspaper habit with the Washington Post these days amounts to a quick perusal of the Sports section, working the crossword puzzle, and reviewing the Metro section. They actually do some pretty good investigative journalism on local issues. Their national and world news is so biased and sensationalized it is not worth my time. I usually read the BBC to keep up with international and national headlines and then dig deeper for items that I find interesting or pertinent.

So I was sorely disappointed to see The Post give so much coverage to DC Councilman Vincent Gray's "inspection" of a local Safeway store. Really? With all the issues facing Washington DC, Councilman Gray felt his time was best spent harassing a private business because he thinks the produce and meats are not fresh enough and the store hours are not long enough? And of course he alleges that the Safeway corporation is doing this in order to unjustly discriminate against his Ward 7 constituents.

Councilma…

Fruits of Our Labors

It has been ages since I blogged. No major story. Just never could bring myself to sit at the keyboard and share. The internet has turned much darker than when I started blogging a decade ago. I didn’t want to add to the darkness but wasn’t sure how to open the window and let in the light. There is a great deal of evil in the world that needs to be confronted. But when I address it in writing and shine a light on it to reveal its true form, it casts a shadow. And that shadow is permanent because words on the internet never really die. So while I have written dozens of blog posts in my head, none have made it through my fingers to the keyboard and resided on this virtual page. Until today.
Last week I read Back to Work by John Waters in the First Things journal. Like many of the articles in First Things, it is a longish piece that is best read slowly in a comfortable chair with a relaxing beverage in hand. Like your drink, this pieces needs to be sipped and savored. Mr. Waters points …