Lepanto

Wednesday, October 7, 2009 \PM\.\Wed\.

ourladyoflepanto

     White founts falling in the Courts of the sun,
     And the Soldan of Byzantium is smiling as they run;
     There is laughter like the fountains in that face of all men feared,
     It stirs the forest darkness, the darkness of his beard;
     It curls the blood-red crescent, the crescent of his lips;
     For the inmost sea of all the earth is shaken with his ships.
     They have dared the white republics up the capes of Italy,
     They have dashed the Adriatic round the Lion of the Sea,
     And the Pope has cast his arms abroad for agony and loss,
     And called the kings of Christendom for swords about the Cross.
     The cold queen of England is looking in the glass;
     The shadow of the Valois is yawning at the Mass;
     From evening isles fantastical rings faint the Spanish gun,
     And the Lord upon the Golden Horn is laughing in the sun. Read the rest of this entry »


Pro-Life Freedom Ride

Wednesday, October 7, 2009 \PM\.\Wed\.

I haven’t written much recently, as I have been busy trying to find employment. I plan to get back to it soon enough.

For now, I wanted to share this video, by Priests for Life and Dr. Alveda King, promoting an upcoming Pro-Life Freedom Ride in the spirit of the original during the civil rights movement.

http://www.priestsforlife.org/video/index.aspx?flv=alvedafreedomride

I’ll be praying for their success.


Football Player Flagged For His Faith After Touchdown Celebration

Wednesday, October 7, 2009 \AM\.\Wed\.

Most football fans can relate to scoring a touchdown.  Especially when seeing your favorite team or player score one youChris Johnson flagged for praying or celebrating too much jump up and give high-fives, chest bumps, or take shots of your favorite spirits.

Well in the NFL, or what is sometimes called the “No Fun League”, this past Sunday Chris Johnson of the Oakland Raiders went to his knees and claimed he was giving thanks to God after intercepting a pass for a touchdown.  He was immediately flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for excessive celebration.  Chris Johnson claims it was because he made a religious display while celebrating the touchdown.

I’m of a different mind when it comes to celebrating touchdowns.  The town I grew up in playing football as well as how I practice my faith I generally frown upon celebrating in the end zone.  The way I look at it is that it’s your job to score points.  I don’t chest bump my colleague each time I turn on my computer at work?!  I don’t high-five the secretary for each message she hands over to me?!

It’s your j-o-b to intercept footballs and run them back for touchdowns.

Read the rest of this entry »


American Catholic: One Year Retrospective

Wednesday, October 7, 2009 \AM\.\Wed\.

As Donald noted yesterday, it’s been a year since we started here at The American Catholic. I know we’ve all been pleased both at the quality of the writing from the team as a whole, and also from the interest from our readers.

Looking back over the last year, we put together a list of some of the our favorite posts.

A Can of Worms: In Praise of the Latin Mass Joe Hargrave

Apologia Pro Libertarianism Sua Blackadder

Are Pro-Lifers Stuck with the Republican Party? John Henry

Becoming A Father, A Polical Manifesto Tim Shipe

Catholic Chaplains Series Donald McClarey

Catholic Teachings on Economic Life Eric Brown

Catholics Teaching, Homosexuality and American Life Eric Brown

Cocaine, Cardinal Ocampo, and the Drug Wars Tito Edwards

Delayed Adulthood, Preliminary Thoughts Joe Hargrave

Don’t Adulterate the Adultery Ryan Harkins

Fides Quaerens Intellectum Eric Brown

Generations & American Catholicism John Henry

Moral Simpletons Joe Hargrave

Nationalism and the Problems of the Middle East DarwinCatholic

Partisanship and Empty Rhetoric Ryan Harkins

Pro-Life Movement: Democrats Need Not Apply Tim Shipe

Redistribution of Wealth: A Catholic Perspective Joe Hargrave

Send Me Your Poor DarwinCatholic

Should Catholics Own Guns? Ryan Harkins

Socialism, Catholicism and the Common Good John Henry

Staying Rooted in Parish Life DarwinCatholic

The Old School Date Tim Shipe

The Poor You Will Always Have With You Ryan Harkins

The Vatican’s Rifles DarwinCatholic

Uncomfortable Thoughts on the Declaration Blackadder

Were the Apostles Socialists? Blackadder

Women Priests in the Catholic Church Eric Brown


The Obama Administration and Freedom of Speech

Wednesday, October 7, 2009 \AM\.\Wed\.

George Washington-Freedom of Speech

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The Founding Fathers left no doubt which freedoms they held most important.  They inserted them into the First Amendment to the Constitution.  Freedom of speech and of the press come right after freedom of religion.  These freedoms, and all the others set forth in the Constitution, are the birthright of all Americans and a precious example to the rest of the world.  That is why I am bemused by the manner in which the Obama administration appears to be indifferent to attempts to undermine freedom of speech and of the press at the UN.

Hattip to Instapundit.  In an article here at the The Weekly Standard, Anne Bayefsky, writes about the Obama administration signing on to a freedom of expression resolution.

“The new resolution, championed by the Obama administration, has a number of disturbing elements. It emphasizes that “the exercise of the right to freedom of expression carries with it special duties and responsibilities . . .” which include taking action against anything meeting the description of “negative racial and religious stereotyping.” It also purports to “recognize . . . the moral and social responsibilities of the media” and supports “the media’s elaboration of voluntary codes of professional ethical conduct” in relation to “combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.”

Read the rest of this entry »


Re-evaluating American Health Policy: A Catholic Democrat’s Perspective (Part II)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009 \AM\.\Wed\.

Dr. Peter Pronovost is a distinguished physician known for his efforts to decrease the frequency of deadly hospital-borne infections. His remedy to the problem is surprisingly simple: a checklist of ICU protocols that directs physician sanitary practices (e.g. hand-washing). Hospitals that have put Pronovost’s checklist into practice have had immediate success, reducing hospital-infection rates somewhere between (estimates vary) well over a third to a whopping two-thirds within the first few months of its adoption. Yet as the story goes, many physicians have rejected this solution and Pronovost has struggled to persuade hospitals to adopt his reform.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nearly 100,000 American deaths are caused or contributed to by hospital-borne infections. Blood clots following surgery or illness are the leading cause of avertable hospital deaths in the U.S., which by the most liberal estimates might contribute t o the death of almost 200,000 patients annually. Given such a hideous fact, why exactly does a doctor need to travel about and emphatically seek to persuade other medical institutions to adopt, in effect, a cost-free idea that could save so many lives?

How is that an industry which stridently decries the high cost of liability insurance or the absolute injustice of our tort system(which does need reform) need such petitioning to embrace such a simple technique to save thousands of lives? Moreover, in the United States it is not unheard of for a whole business to shut down due a single illness from some suspicious food—yet, we tolerate the killing-via-negligence on such a grand scale in our hospitals? Medical mistakes and institutional carelessness do not qualify as some must-be-accepted inevitability.

This reality has been almost entirely been neglected in the discourse on health care reform. Beyond the structure and financing troubles of our medical system, the institutional practice and governance of hospitals are in need of severe criticism. For example, in what alternate dimension does the peculiar scheduling of hospital work shifts in any way benefit the patient? A few weeks at the hospitals virtually guarantees a never-ending string of new personnel assigned to one patient’s care. If this can be avoided, should it not? It seems quite reasonable to presume that passing patients off from doctor to doctor, or nurse to nurse, might increase the chance of someone making a mistake? The effect of changing such a seemingly small problem could be huge. Or, take for example, the “sanitary” environment of hospitals in general, which contribute to the nearly 100,000 annual American deaths. Anyone who has ever worked in “corporate America” or in a large building in general might note that the trash is picked up once daily. Is it any different in a hospital? It takes some sort intellectual schizophrenia to insist on ICU sterility in a building if one has not the slightest care over how many times trash (never mind what is in it) is picked up in a day.

Any array of complaints about institutional malpractice must lead to the inevitable question: how is it that the most technologically advanced medical institutions in the industrialized world miss out on a just as modern, just as recent, revolution of quality control and customer-service that has pervaded every other consumer-based industry?  The answer to this question is telling. Read the rest of this entry »