Down Syndrome and the Washington Post

Submitted by frlarry on Mon, 11/17/2008 - 16:56
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The Washington Post has recently written two articles on the rearing of children with Down Syndrome. "A Leap of Love," dated November 9th, was written by staff writer Michael Alison Chandler. That article describes both the experiences of families who beget children with Down Syndrome and those who choose to adopt such children. The latter case motivates the title of the article. The second article, "Expecting Longer Lives With Greater Risk, Reward," dated November 10th, was written by staff writer Fredrick Kunkle. This article focuses on the challenges of parents whose Down Syndrome child stands a major chance of outliving them. Down Syndrome adults are described as only partially independent, at best. (Of course, every adult is only partially independent, at best, but that doesn't seem to have entered the discussion.) Furthermore, the article points out, Down Syndrome adults are more vulnerable to Alzheimer's than those in the general population.

Identity Formation in Our Post-Modern, Materialist Culture

Submitted by frlarry on Mon, 11/17/2008 - 15:30
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Since commercial messages became such a pervasive element of our culture, we have evolved a sense of identity that tends far more to the material. This has been a largely unconscious, or subliminal, process. It is so much a feature of the cultural landscape that it affects everything we think, say and do. Even when we think in terms of spiritual need or spiritual growth, we tend to cast the expression of that need or growth in highly material, self-serving terms. This has had a lasting negative impact on our society's culture, politics, economy, etc., as it has had a lasting negative impact on our souls.

Fr. Neuhaus on the coming Kulturkampf

Submitted by frlarry on Sun, 11/16/2008 - 19:58
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The term "Kulturkampf" is not an invention of Otto von Bismarck, the Chancellor of Germany in the 1870s, but it describes the efforts of the Chancellor to oppose, among other things, the influence of the Catholic Church in Germany during that period. The principle measure taken came to be known as the Kanzelparagraph.