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Archive for July, 2007

Pharmacists Sue State Over ‘Morning-After Pill’ Requirement

SEATTLE — Pharmacists have sued Washington state over a new regulation that requires them to sell emergency contraception, also known as the “morning-after pill.”

In a lawsuit filed in federal court Wednesday, a pharmacy owner and two pharmacists say the rule that took effect Thursday violates their civil rights by forcing them into choosing between “their livelihoods and their deeply held religious and moral beliefs.”

“The stakes really couldn’t be much higher,” plaintiffs’ attorney Kristen Waggoner said.

The state ruled earlier this year that druggists who believe emergency contraceptives are tantamount to abortion cannot stand in the way of a patient’s right to the drugs.

The state’s Roman Catholic bishops and other opponents predicted a court challenge after the rule was adopted, saying the state was wrongly forcing pharmacists to administer medical treatments they consider immoral.

Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire, who brokered a compromise on the contraceptive rule and pressured the state Board of Pharmacy to adopt it, stood behind the regulation Thursday.

“Gov. Gregoire feels the Pharmacy Board went through an extensive public process to come to their decision, and she supports them,” spokesman Lars Erickson said.

The plaintiffs are pharmacists Rhonda Mesler and Margo Thelen, and Stormans Inc., the owners of Ralph’s Thriftway in Olympia, a grocery store that includes a pharmacy.

Under the new state rule, pharmacists with personal objections to a drug can opt out by getting a co-worker to fill an order. But that applies only if the patient is able to get the prescription in the same pharmacy visit. . . .

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Latin & Greek Study Groups

Wanna learn Greek and/or Latin by email, for free? Check out: Latin & Greek Study Groups.

Back in the 1999-2000 timeframe I took part in some Latin email learning. It’s great stuff. I highly recommend it.

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Vocation Again

From the ochlophobist:

Tom would tell me, later in the game, that as a white male, even from appalachia, I stood very little chance of getting tenured anywhere other than an Evangelical Christian college, and that I should thus change disciplines. I wandered about, eventually getting my education in the classics of the West not at an academic institution but at an antiquarian bookstore run by one of the last persons to have gotten the old european education (himself a friend and disciple of Alexander Dru), and who led me through a tutorial of the old sort during the years I worked and lived there (yes, in the upstairs of the store which was in an old church with a Torah scroll in a box at the foot of my makeshift bed, though no longer considered a Torah proper, because it had been touched by goyim). It was at that bookstore that I learned that I had little interest in academic politics and that I really did not care for the mass culture of teenagers and twentysomethings which permeates universities. I realized that what I had loved about spending time with Tom was Tom and books and ideas, and not academia. I have not looked backThese years later I find myself a coppersmith by trade turned metal shop foreman. Metal is a much more forgiving image than most human beings, though not nearly as forgiving as the saints; it occasionally can provide one with solace. In its non-ferrous forms, those with which I am most accustomed, it is buoyant at the brake with porosity that rests on whims and God’s weather. Copper gives more than it receives. At the end, for your best, you will sell a work of dull beauty, not the glitter of gold or silver, but one which is well enough pronounced, and admits more of its pedigree of earth than the precious metals. Alexander the coppersmith did much evil to the Apostle Paul (2 Tim. 4). Hopefully St. Asicus and the other coppersmith saints have done something to redeem the trade. It seems to me a human enough endeavor. Metal, especially soft metal, has its own sadness, revealed even in tears (though the common, more polite term is sweat). In the clanging and oft harsh noise of my shop, surrounded by the on their sleeves vices of those who are mostly underclass, I sometimes question myself. Was this manner of life prudently chosen? Those moments are short. Most of my coworkers are from Memphis ghettos or poor rural communities of the northern delta. They only speak narrative.

Thank God for the crooked paths he makes straight.

The ochlophobist causes me once again to visit this topic, especially in light of my previous post on work busyness that prohibits blogging.

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So, it turns out the Pope is Roman Catholic, huh.  What a shock.  I suppose the next thing we’ll learn is that the earth is a sphere and not flat.

The media must think that Rome has never declared itself the one, and only, true Church. And, of course, they are playing up the notion of how offensive this declaration must be to everyone else. ‘Cuz, gosh, we all know that the primary thing of utmost importance is to never, ever, for even a teensy weensy moment, hurt someone’s feelings.

It does, of course, seem odd that HH Benedict XVI would state it so starkly given the late John Paul II’s penchant for the use of the term “sister churches” and the “two lungs” analogy (both of which, of course, implicitly call into question Rome’s claim to be the one true, visible Church). But, that is, nonetheless, what Rome has been claiming for centuries: she and she alone is the one true visible Body of Christ.

It is interesting, given recent exchanges between myself and the blogger at Cathedra Unitatis–and my post linking the discussion at Perry’s blog–that this declaration would come out into the media when it did. But it illustrates an important point.

That point is made by the Pope himself. Orthodoxy is not the one true visible Church, because it is defective. And in what is it defective? It has apostolic succession. It has the sacraments. It teaches the Gospel. What’s missing? That’s right: allegiance to the Pope as supreme bishop of the Church.

One call talk all one wants in flowery ecumenical language. One can form and support and maintain “fraternal relations.” One can lift anathemas, and so forth. But it comes down to this one point: the Orthodox Church teaches and has always maintained that the Roman see has a place of primacy (honor, respect, some authority), but it does not have a place of supremacy. The episcopacy, for Orthodox, must be collegial, in which no single bishop rules the others, but that all come together in mutual accord. Orthodox believe that this models the relations of the Trinity, the historical and biblical evidence, and is, in fact, the life of the Church. To make one bishop supreme among all others is to distort this collegiality, with ramifications for other aspects of Christian belief.

I have found it to be the case often in the online world that Orthodox are denigrated and judged for being so abominably stubborn. Roman Catholics will say something like, “Come on! We call you sister churches. We call you the other lung. We admit you have grace. We admit you have apostolic succession. We admit you teach the Gospel. Isn’t that enough? Why hold out on this pope thing? After all, you admit to a primacy of honor. How is that different from what we ask you to join us in believing about the Pope?”

Well, is the Father supreme over the Son? Doesn’t that teach essential subordinationism? Isn’t subordinationism a heresy? Then how is it that one bishop, who partakes of the life of the Trinity along with all the other bishops, elevate himself above his brother bishops such that all must subordinate themselves to him? How is that all the bishops have one head, who is Christ, but all the bishops save Rome also have another earthly head, the occupant of the Roman See?

No, Orthodox resist on just this point precisely of the distortions it brings into the common life in Christ of us all.

For a few Ortho-blogger reactions:

Clay, over at All Saints Forum, guesses that he was wrong.
Fr Stephen, is glad that we cleared that all up.
Reader Christopher gives three cheers for clarity.
James implicitly asks, does a bear wear a funny hat? (No, wait, I’ve got the joke wrong.)

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Well, Cathedra Unitatis, to give him credit, did take notice of the post put up by Perry taking a cite from the 5th Ecumenical Council.  The discussion there is well underway now, with about 45 responses at the time of this post.

Relative to papal claims, why is this important? 

In summary, because it establishes, unequivocally, the standard of collegiality among the bishops. And it presents the Roman Pope Vigilius as issuing a dogmatic decree, retracting it, and submitting to the decision of the council.

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Which works out to about 238 or 239 pages per day.

What am I talking about? Reading the Harry Potter books (the first six) prior to the release of the final book. I normally don’t start through the books until after (sometimes well after) the release of the newest book. But given what could possibly take place in book seven, and how difficult it will be to shield myself from all the spoilers in the media, I figure I better be read up and ready to go when the seventh book is released.

For definitive insight: HogwartsProfessor.com

While we wait perhaps we can all enjoy these howlers from the Onion:
Children, Creepy Middle-Aged Weirdos Swept Up In Harry Potter Craze
J.K. Rowling Ends Harry Potter Series After Discovering Boys
J.K. Rowling Hints At Harry Potter Date Rape (video link)
New Harry Potter Film Turns Children On To Magic Of Not Reading

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Courtesy of Aaron (Dang!  I want to do the 4th with them guys next year!!)

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