Dear Secular Humanist: Please Keep Your Religious Views about Abortion out of Politics!

In our country, there is a general feeling that only positions backed by actual fact should drive public policy.  ‘Religion’ is perceived to be the realm of personal opinion.   Even Christians tend to accept the view that people are allowed to have their opinion, but they aren’t allowed to impose that opinion on others.   The result is that many Christians refrain from acting ‘politically’ because they see their own beliefs as nothing more than ‘mere opinion.’

Secularists tend to be people who have dispensed with ‘religion’ altogether, and like to think that they are entirely ‘fact driven.’

When these ideas collide, we observe something very curious:  secular humanists conclude that they can advocate for anything that they want in the public sphere, because nothing they believe is ‘religious, ‘ while distinctly Christian viewpoints are forbidden from entering the public domain, since those will be, by definition, ‘religious.’  And again, even Christians gravitate to that view.

This tends to lead to debates and discussions and policy proposals that take the ‘facts’ of the secularists as the starting points.  We are expected to proceed on their terms.  And why not?  Surely without the ‘religious’ component, those ‘facts’ are as close to actually being real descriptions of the world as one could get, right?

But what if ‘religion’ and ‘fact’ are not opposites? Continue reading

I Can See the Next Holocaust From My House

Anthony Horvath is a contributor at Laigle’s Forum, Christian apologist, pro-life author and speaker, and publisher.  To learn more about his latest project aimed at combating the philosophies discussed in the essay below and how you can help, click here.


Tina Fey, impersonating Sarah Palin, joked, “I can see Russia from my house.”

I can see the next holocaust from my house, and it is no joke.

In the decades leading up to one of the most horrific chapters in human history, the leading lights of the day openly discussed bringing about those horrors.  Eugenics was posited as the rational position of all intelligent, well-meaning individuals.  In journals, newspapers, academic conferences, public health offices and elsewhere, they talked about sterilizing people with or without their consent, segregating them from society, or even exterminating them.  And that was in America.

In a book written in 1920 by two German experts and applauded by American experts, it was argued that it was allowable to destroy the ‘life unworthy of life.’

Who was regarded as ‘life unworthy of life’?  The handicapped, the disabled, the diseased, the mentally ill, the ‘feeble-minded.’  Really, just about anyone the experts decided was ‘unfit’ could be deemed ‘unworthy of life.’  When eugenics morphed into the Holocaust, many of its proponents quietly went to ground.  Some asked ‘What went wrong?’ but few arrived at the right answer.

Fast forward sixty years.  Enter Julian Savulescu.

You probably don’t know who Julian Savulescu is, just as your average American off the street in 1910 wouldn’t have known who Charles Davenport was.  You probably don’t know who Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva are, just as your average American in 1920 wouldn’t have known who Alfred Hoche and Karl Binding were.

But you may recall a few months ago when two ‘ethicists’ quietly submitted an article in an ethics magazine arguing that the logic of abortion does not cease after the child has fully exited the birth canal.  For all the reasons that abortion on demand was justified, so too, the two ‘ethicists’ Giubilini and Minerva argued, was infanticide.  Of course, they preferred to call it ‘after-birth abortion.’

I hope that nobody misunderstands me:  Giubilini and Minerva were correct in their analysis.  If they are to be faulted for anything, it is for stopping at the newborn.

When people heard about this article there was outrage, and not a little of it spilled over onto the journal that printed the article in the first place.  That journal was “The Journal of Medical Ethics.”  Flabbergasted, the editor defended the publication of the article, saying:

“As Editor of the Journal, I would like to defend its publication. The arguments presented, in fact, are largely not new and have been presented repeatedly in the academic literature and public fora by the most eminent philosophers and bioethicists in the world, including Peter Singer, Michael Tooley and John Harris in defence of infanticide, which the authors call after-birth abortion.”

Yes, that is quite right.  The arguments presented were not new, and have been ‘presented repeatedly.’

He continued, “What is disturbing is not the arguments in this paper nor its publication in an ethics journal. It is the hostile, abusive, threatening responses that it has elicited. More than ever, proper academic discussion and freedom are under threat from fanatics opposed to the very values of a liberal society.”

This embattled editor of a renown journal of medical ethics is named Julian Savulescu. Continue reading

What is the proper response to killing newborn children because they are a burden to a family… or society?

From Anthony Horvath’s blog.


Just a few weeks ago, The Journal of Medical Ethics published an article titled “After-birth abortion:  why should the baby live?

In it, the authors Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva argue that the same arguments that justify abortion of the fetus on demand likewise apply to the newly born.  Here is the abstract:

 Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus’ health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.

None of my regular readers will be surprised that anyone could make such an argument.  Neither will anyone who has been paying attention to trends in secular humanism.  Indeed, there isn’t much new in this article.  Peter Singer has suggested killing a child up to the age of two would not be immoral and has gone even further and advocated that the whole human race sterilize itself, making this the last generation.  Singer’s view is really just following Giubilini and Minerva’s arguments to their logical conclusion… and it is here important to note that Giubilini and Minerva are themselves just taking atheistic arguments to their logical conclusions.  But it isn’t new, so if you are shocked by their argument then you need to wake up.  You need to pull your head out of the sand, or whatever dark place it is currently lodged.

In defense of publishing the article, the JME folks actually rely on the fact that it isn’t new material:

As Editor of the Journal, I would like to defend its publication. The arguments presented, in fact, are largely not new and have been presented repeatedly in the academic literature and public fora by the most eminent philosophers and bioethicists in the world, including Peter Singer, Michael Tooley and John Harris in defence of infanticide, which the authors call after-birth abortion.

Later, the JME editor makes the following point:

 The authors provocatively argue that there is no moral difference between a fetus and a newborn. Their capacities are relevantly similar. If abortion is permissible, infanticide should be permissible. The authors proceed logically from premises which many people accept to a conclusion that many of those people would reject. (emphasis mine)

This is important, because it is not speaking to the reaction of those like myself who reject the premises, but to those who accept the premises but do not draw the- logical- conclusion.  I do note the irony of all the conversations I have with liberal secular atheistic humanists that their arguments amount to precisely such conclusions, with them arguing vehemently that it does not.  I ask them, are you smarter than trained bioethicists who are published in peer reviewed journals?  Your good heart prevents you from adopting despicable conclusions, but if you were consistent, you would.  Unless you wish to remain a hopeless mishmash of ridiculous and contradictory ill-thought out beliefs and intentions, you either need to be as brave as Giubilini and Minerva, or Peter Singer, Cass Sunstein, Jacob Appel, etc, or else you need to chuck your premises and start over.  May I suggest Christianity?

But none of these mentioned have really shown the full measure of bravery.  Peter Singer, as I already mentioned, called on every citizen of the world to sterilize itself… voluntarily… because if we were really honest with ourselves, we’d concede that no human life has enough joy to outweigh the sufferings we experience;  we ought to sterilize ourselves for the good of the absent future unborn- those who are spared suffering by our collective decision to deny them existence.   Again, for their own good.  But if he had been truly brave, Singer would have chucked the notion of ‘voluntary’ and advocated for the mandatory sterilization, or summary execution, of every human alive right now.

Similarly, Jacob Appel has argued that if the fetus is just cells that have bubbled up like cancer inside a mother’s belly, to be ejected for whatever reason she so chooses, she also ought to be able to hawk the aborted baby parts… excuse me, aborted fetal parts… and make some cash.  The JME editor asserts that the novel argument this article makes is the connection to economics, but really Appel (among many others) have in fact already made that argument.  But though Appel elsewhere argues that doctors should be able and willing to ‘terminate’ children born with birth defects, without even concern for the parents’ will (again on ‘suffering of the child’ grounds), he is not willing to argue that humans everywhere should be put down and farmed for their organs.  We are all just a pile of cells, you know.  Likewise, Appel does not suggest that if doctors or state deem that a particular human is suffering too much, or a burden on society’s resources, the state should step in and kill them.

These are all conclusions that logically derive from premises which many people accept.

Each of these cases will have some strained reason why it should not apply to every human and the authors of this study are no exception.  They admit:  “Both a fetus and a newborn certainly are human beings and potential persons, but neither is a ‘person’ in the sense of ‘subject of a moral right to life.’”  I find this statement interesting because I have had numerous arguments over the years with liberals fighting me tooth and claw that the ‘fetus’ is definitely NOT a human being OR a potential person, and here we have those assertions simply granted.  The authors say, “We take ‘person’ to mean an individual who is capable of attributing to her own existence some (at least) basic value such that being deprived of this existence means a loss to her.”

On this view, logically, the moment that we sedate Giubilini and Minerva, they cease to be ‘persons.’  No longer ‘capable of attributing basic value’ to their existence, because they lack consciousness, we ought to be able to morally do with them whatever we please.  I suppose that every night when we fall to sleep, on this view, we cease to be persons.  Here is a defense for the murderous robber who shoots the residents to death in their sleep:  they weren’t persons, anyway;  I can’t even be accused of stealing what belonged to them, because they were not a them at all.”

This may seem absurd, but that is because you have a sliver of goodness in your heart, not because it is irrational.  It is quite rational.  If you were willing to bravely accept the conclusions of the premises that are ‘widely accepted,’ even by you, then you would conclude just the same.  In response to such an argument, one can imagine Giubilini or Minerva quickly inserting some new nuance to their definition of ‘person,’ and it is there that I believe we stumble across the fundamental premise that much of the rest follows from.  Remember what they said:

We take ‘person’ to mean an individual” … Never mind all the rest that follows after that.  The driving premise is on the ‘we.’  The fact that Giubilini and Minerva believe that they can craft their notions of ‘person’ out of their own heads is the core problem.  It is not even worthwhile arguing about the validity of their particular definition;  the mere fact that they believe they are permitted to do so is the problem.  You may not like their postulation, but if you believe that there is no God, you consequently must believe that we humans are the sole arbiters on what is ‘human,’ what is ‘potential,’ and what is ‘person.’  That makes their opinion just as valid as yours.  It makes Hitler’s just as valid as yours, too.  But there we go again, being brave and consistent again.

The very minute you accept the premise that humans decide who is worthy of human life, and when, you open the door for all the logical consequences that follow.  The only way to avoid those consequences is to reject the premise.  All the rest is just soft-headed, soft-hearted, attempts to escape the aspects of the worldview that you find disgusting.  But that’s the thing:  other humans may not find it disgusting.

If you were brave and consistent, you’d accept that asking ‘why should the baby live’ is just one station on the way to the final question, “why should anyone live?”

I know why it is not taken to this extent, and it has nothing to do with a refusal to see that it is the logical conclusion.  It is cowardice, not imago dei, that prevents these people from taking the argument to its rational end.  We note that Singer, Sunstein, Appel, Minerva, Giubilini, etc, always manage to structure their arguments so that the ones to be eliminated happen to be those who cannot defend themselves.  Let me put it this way.

I gave the example of the murderer justifying his murders based on the fact that his victims were sleeping, and therefore not persons.  Giubilini and Minerva might say, “Yes, but obviously, if we woke them up we could ask them if they could ‘attribute to their existence (at least some) basic value.”  True;  just as if we waited for a couple of years, all the ones that they agree are really humans would certainly do likewise.  So, that argument cannot hold.  The murderer may use this argument to justify his actions after he was caught, but, even if he believes it to be true, is not going to rely on it when busting into homes.  Why?  Because the time frame between sleeping and coming awake can be very short.  He is very likely to find that the homeowner wakes up, and what may happen then?

The reason why these people do not extend their arguments to apply to all people is because they know that as soon as people find out, or as soon as it is discovered they are acting on it, something very dire could happen.

Giubilini and Minerva observe that children born with Down Syndrome and other severe disabilities are “often reported to be happy.” But they continue,

“Nonetheless, to bring up such children might be an unbearable burden on the family and on society as a whole, when the state economically provides for their care.  On these grounds, the fact that a fetus has the potential to become a person who will have an (at least) acceptable life is no reason for prohibiting abortion.  Therefore, we argue that, when circumstances occur after birth, such that they would have justified abortion, what we call after-birth abortion should be permissible.”  (italics theirs, bold, mine)

Now, my daughter has spina bifida, and the state of Wisconsin picks up most of her medical bills.  I think that would qualify as the ‘state economically providing for her care.’  Now, on the view of Appel and others who believe that the state and doctors should move in and euthanize children in such situations (Appel even specifically uses spina bifida children to make his case), there may come a point when they frankly concede that the burden has become ‘unbearable’ to the state, even if not to the family.  Now, they do not believe this, but that is not because of logic or reason.  They do not ‘believe’ it because they know that if they show up at my doorstep to try to remove my daughter from my care in order to ‘euthanize’ her, they will be met with extreme prejudice.  This is the only reason.

Historically, we observe that when States have adopted the views of these people, but the States do not fear their own people, they have no problem taking this logic to its full and final end.  That is the history of the 21st century.

The editors of the JME bemoan the hostile reaction that their publication of this article received.  They say:

What is disturbing is not the arguments in this paper nor its publication in an ethics journal. It is the hostile, abusive, threatening responses that it has elicited. More than ever, proper academic discussion and freedom are under threat from fanatics opposed to the very values of a liberal society.

Well, actually, this sort of response is quite normal from people who sense that on the arguments put forward, every person- whether they can ‘attribute to themselves basic value’ or not- is in the cross-hairs.  My problem with the ‘hostile, abusive, threatening responses’ is that this implies to me that these people were surprised at what is being talked about, quite seriously, in our ‘ethics’ journals.  They really shouldn’t be surprised.  Nor is the right response to threaten.  The right response is… open your eyes and understand what is going on around you, call for and demand the funding of every organization that advocates for such things, vote out of office every liberal- ASAP, while you still can and it still matters- even if this means one or two of your pet social programs may get cut;  raise your children to be wise and discerning, and unbending when it comes to the protection of life.  People like this must be opposed and resisted at every turn.  Period.  And if ever there comes a day when you are deprived of your ability to effectively defend yourself and your family- watch out.

As a final note, recall this from the JME editor when he said that “proper academic discussion and freedom” was “under threat from fanatics opposed to the very values of a liberal society.”

Here you see the editor himself characterizing these viewpoints as the ‘values of a liberal society.’  Did you know that ‘the values of a liberal society’ are perfectly compatible with the frank and academic discussion of the snuffing out of the newly born? How about that, eh?

Far from merely a different point of view that good people can honestly differ on, liberalism is drenched in death from beginning to end, especially where it is devoid of any belief in God, or some other ‘definer’ of humanity that stands over humans themselves.  Did you see how they wish to openly discuss the killing of newly born children and the classification of such as ‘after-birth abortion’ on the basis that doing so was in line with ‘proper academic discussion and freedom’?

This is precisely how their ideas are discussed, but I disagree that these ideas should be ‘refuted’ in an academic sense.  All of the horrific proposals of the Nazis and communists were first put forward in academy journals where ‘proper academic discussion and freedom’ was allowed.  Therein, it was seriously discussed what to do with the dysgenic, the morons, the feeble-minded, the negro problem, the Jewish problem, and so on and so forth.  Can you imagine today, looking back on recent history, that someone would suggest that in response to a serious discussion over how best to eliminate Jews from the gene pool, the proper thing to do would be to do, as the editors of JME suggest, and submit your counter-argument to them to consider publishing, providing you make “such a case coherently, originally and with application to issues of public or medical concern”?

What monstrous absurdity that would be.  Providing an ‘answer’ in that sense would be tantamount to accepting the premise, which is that the elimination of Jews is a proper thing for freedom-minded, liberal people, to discuss dispassionately.  If their next article concerns the proper methods of skinning people alive, does it really make sense that our counter article will, with perfect sterility, suggest that, while everyone has their own opinion, your opinion is that skinning people alive might be necessary if there was a sufficient public need, but there is demonstrably no such need?  That’s what they think is the appropriate reaction?

They are insane.  And that’s putting it as nicely as I can.

They are openly talking about the killing of newborn children for all the same reasons why people have abortions;  that is, not just because the child might have a disability, but also because it may be an economic burden, such as “a woman who loses her partner after she finds out that she is pregnant and therefore feels she will not be able to take care of the possible child by herself.”  This, they euphemistically wish to call an ‘after-birth abortion,’ but there is no logical reason such thinking could not apply to each and every one of us who, one never knows, may become “an unbearable burden … on society as a whole, when the state economically provides for their care.”

Think about that the next time you ponder the wisdom of universal health care.

 

Newsflash: Robin Hood Steals from Himself to Give to the Poor!

The commandment is:  “Thou shalt not steal.”

Most people believe that this commandment represents sound morality, even if they are not Christians.  Nonetheless, it seems that this moral precept is forgotten once we start talking politics.  And no wonder:  Americans have been making up ‘right and wrong’ for themselves for quite a while.   Obviously it was only a matter of time before it seeped into our national mindset.

A good example of this in action is the current attempt by the Democrats to extend the payroll tax cut, ‘paying for it’ by having the ‘rich’ pay their ‘fair share.’

That we are talking about theft becomes clearer when one considers exactly what the ‘payroll tax’ is.  We are talking about the portion of one’s income that goes directly into Social Security.  Your contributions, in turn, ensure that when you retire, you will be able to draw a steady check.

Now, the liberals tend to target the rich to fund a variety of their favorite programs, and many of those times there ostensibly is some ‘public’ benefit of them.  For example, we might put public infrastructure, such as roads and bridges, in this category.  Usually, though, the program favors smaller, special interest, populations.  The appearance of a socialistic transfer of wealth from the rich to the poor becomes more profound the more targeted the program.

But the funding of the payroll tax cut by the rich really takes the cake.  It is one of those few instances of a government service where the individual directly benefiting from the service is also the one funding it.  Heck, it might be the only example of such a thing.

To have the rich pay for the payroll tax cut is to ask them to directly fund the retirements of the rest of the population, in a direct and transparent manner.  The ‘99%’ are demanding that the ‘1%’ pay for a service that only the ‘99%’ will benefit from, without themselves contributing a dime.  There is no ‘public’ benefit; the ‘special interest’ group just turns out to be exceptionally large.

This is stealing.

Stealing is wrong.

Therefore, this is wrong.

The real kick in the pants here is that while the ‘poor’ and ‘middle class’ are getting behind the highway robbery of their ‘richer’ countrymen, they are actually robbing their future selves.  Since the amount of your contribution is correlated with how much you receive in your retirement account, by continuing to not pay the payroll tax, you are decreasing the amount you will ultimately receive. Continue reading

Implications of the Jaffe Memo for Christians in Society

[This is adapted from a much longer essay by Laigle’s contributor Anthony Horvath, which can be read here. Anthony is a pro-life speaker and the president of Wisconsin Lutherans for Life.]

Former Planned Parenthood clinic director Abby Johnson has set the pro-life blogosphere on fire with her posting of the ‘Jaffe Memo,’ a memorandum written by Frederick S. Jaffe, former vice-president of Planned Parenthood.  Jaffe apparently was in charge of PP’s population control agenda.  The memo was written in 1969.

The memo appears to be legit but I haven’t been able to find its original source.  Read it.

This memo has all sorts of blood chilling suggestions- blood chilling if the culture of death does not run through your veins, that is.  Ideas on controlling world population include:

  • Fertility control agents in the water supply
  • Encourage women to work
  • Require women to work and provide few child care facilities
  • Compulsory abortion of out-of-wedlock pregnancies
  • Compulsory sterilization of all who have two children- except for a few who would be allowed three
  • Discouragement of private home ownership
  • Allow certain contraceptives to be distributed non-medically
  • Make contraception truly available to all

Some of my more predictable readers will go through that list and their eyes will simply glaze over for most of it.  With their eyes in a fog as they instinctively declare the above as merely an instance of “Godwin’s Law” but their blood started boiling when they saw on the list “Encourage women to work.”

Dear God, who could be against that? And who could be against making contraception available to everyone?  Clearly, this blogger is a bigot.

I included that item in order to make a very important point. Continue reading

Building on Cain’s 9-9-9 Plan for Radical Change

The following was posted by Laigle’s Staff writer Anthony Horvath at his blog:

I understand that Cain’s 9-9-9 plan is just phase one in a more powerful overhaul, but I am leery about any plan that cannot be attained within a single term of the presidency.  Moreover, we cannot count on the legislators to get behind it, or sustain it once it gets going.

So that’s a pickle, right?  There pretty much isn’t a plan out there that can be rolled out within a single term with the assurance that the legislative branch will implement it as proposed (and not load it with 2,000 pages of caveats).

So what to do?

Suck it up and vote for Herman Cain.

And consider a different plan that actually tackles these issues head on and effectively ensures that the plan comes to fruition.

The plan is simply this:  deny the Federal government the right to collect individual and corporate taxes, period.  Instead, the Federal government would collect funds from the states.  The states in turn would be in charge of collecting the taxes that would then be sent along to the Federal government.  How the states collect that revenue would be entirely up to each individual state.  Each state would be assigned an ‘amount due’ based on some kind of objective and reasonable criteria, like for example, on a per capita basis and a calculation of that state’s particular burden on the Federal budget.

Read the whole proposal

Christianity and Libertarianism and the Consent of the Governed

Originally Posted here by Laigle’s contributor Anthony Horvath


“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed Declaration of Independence


The last few months I’ve seen some strident statements of opposition against libertarians by conservatives. I’m on several email lists where I’m seeing such commentary and of course its on the web, as in this example. I personally didn’t detect a huge uptick in libertarian sentiment, but alright. I describe myself as a ‘constitutional libertarian’ and in explaining why I hope that I can shed light on what I believe are the true reasons for a rise in libertarianism- among Christians in particular. I can’t speak for them all, of course, but I think I recognize in some of their commentary some of my own thinking.

So, to begin with, let me make two important observations. First of all, when one thinks ‘libertarian’ one might immediately think licentious. However, the two are not identical terms. This leads to the second observation, the direction by which one arrives at libertarianism greatly impacts the flavor of that libertarianism. There can be no question that there are a great mass of individuals, who calling themselves libertarians, really are just people who wish to engage in whatever depravity that they want, with no one to tell them otherwise or worse- stop them. By my observation, the people coming from this direction are really your typical atheist secular humanist progressive who is perfectly happy to foist as much government as people can bear onto themselves and others- in the form of nationalized health care, eg- just so long as they can have sex with whatever and whomever they want and smoke whatever happens to come across their path.

However, someone coming at ‘libertarianism’ from the other direction, say, from a Christian perspective and a conservative, is not looking for a reason to misbehave. This is why I led off with the John Adams quote. ‘Moral and religious people’ will continue to be ‘moral and religious’ whatever freedoms or restrictions are placed on them by the government. I might say: “Libertarianism was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the [government] of any other.” There are any number of forms of government that can work with a ‘moral and religious people.’ For an amoral or immoral or anti-moral or non-religious or anti-religious people, no kind of government is going to work for the long haul. Continue reading

Conference Calls for Defense of Family through Film and Culture

Anthony Horvath, a contributor at Laigle’s Forum, is the Executive Director of Athanatos Christian Ministries which in turn is an apologetics organization with a unique bent:  it aims not just to defend the Christian faith through evidence and argumentation, but by influencing the culture through the arts.

Their second annual online apologetics conference has a more narrow emphasis:  a defense of Biblical marriage and the family through film, video, and movies.  After all, the family is constantly being undermined in our movies and sitcoms.  Homosexuality is being normalized right beneath our noses, and with it gay ‘marriage.’  The defense will have to be mounted not just at the political level, though.  We’ll have to fight fire with fire.  And, as it happens, Christians were never supposed to abandon the arts to secularists, anyway.

Please take the time to check out the conference home page:  http://onlineapologeticsconference.com/

Since the conference is held online, you can participate from anywhere around the world.  We look forward to seeing you there.

More info:

Keynote:

(Topics, if listed, are tentative)

  • Gene Edward Veith, Jr. Provost and Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, and columnist for World Magazine.  Website.  Topic:  “Cultural Apologetics.”

Others:


“A picture is worth a thousand words.”  Whether this is good or not, it is the reality.  Today, attitudes and beliefs are often shaped by the things we see and the movies we watch.  For some Christians, this would prompt them to consider withdrawing altogether from our media rich society.  However, movies, music, art, and literature are all expressions of human creativity- and humans, though fallen, still are made in the image of the Creator God.  Our artistic endeavors bear witness to our created nature and therefore have the potential to open eyes, hearts, and mind to the nature of the Creator.

Read the Rest

I Wish the GOP was the Party of No

by A.R. Horvath

Obama has been on a tear, raging against the Republicans that they are the ‘party of no.’  From a recent speech:

“There were no new policies from Mr. Boehner. There were no new ideas. There was just the same philosophy that we had already tried during the decade that they were in power — the same philosophy that led to this mess in the first place: Cut more taxes for millionaires and cut more rules for corporations.”

If only this were true!  If only the GOP were eschewing new ideas and holding tenaciously to the perfectly good old ones!  If only.   Not that I am conceding Obama’s argument, here.  Either he is an idiot or we are- or he thinks we are.  The Bush tax cuts had nothing to do with the housing bubble.  Barney Frank (D) and Chris Dodd (D), did, and let us remember that this ‘inherited’ recession came only in the last few months of an 8 year term.  Shame, shame, Mr. Obama.  But I digress.

As the candidate field shapes up for the 2012 presidential election there is an opportunity to lay bare the fatal flaw in GOP ‘conservatism’ in the hopes that maybe something can be done about it.   Let me be clear, this isn’t a new development.  The problems began decades ago- even before we were born.   To help me get at what I’m talking about, let me begin with what may appear to be another digression.

Much talk has been made about Sarah Palin’s intelligence and education and her suitability to be president of these united states.  And this on the conservative side!  Have we ever wondered why we need our presidents and politicians so sophisticated?

We perceive that a high level of sophistication is necessary because the issues that our politicians will have to grapple with are so hugely complex that on no one of them could the president get away with saying, “this is above my pay grade.”    The underlying assumption, however, is that these politicians are going to have to actually navigate these hugely complex issues.

Therein lies the problem.  Constitutionally speaking, precious little is supposed to be done by the Federal government.  There shouldn’t be a thing called social security.  Or a department of education.  It shouldn’t require three doctoral degrees to balance out how taxation and distribution impacts the whole economy.  In short, the reason why ‘intelligence’ is needed in government these days is because we all take as our working assumption that the job of our politicians is to tinker, tinker, and tweak.

Now, this is to be expected from the Democrats.  Continue reading

Telling Muslims what they need to Hear (Koran Burning)

This article was posted several days ago but is being cross posted here.

This thing down in Florida where a pastor of a congregation not much bigger than my thumbnail has threatened to burn korans has reached the heights of absurdity. Pastor Jone’s one long publicity stunt has paid off in spades. It has attracted all kinds of attention. Even Obama has noticed, and given how hard it is for a commoner to attract his eye, that’s really saying something. But maybe not. President Oblivious seems to have a keen eye for potential beer summits or things touching on Islam.

Now, Interpol has announced this warning:

LYON, France – INTERPOL has today issued a global alert to its 188 member countries following the request of Pakistan’s Minister of the Interior, and its own determination, that if the proposed Koran burning by a pastor in the US goes ahead as planned, there is a strong likelihood that violent attacks on innocent people would follow.

Adding to the gravity of the matter, it says,

“September 11 is a day when the world should come together to redouble our efforts to prevent and fight terrorism, not a day when any individual, especially an American, should engage in provocative acts that will give terrorists propaganda intended to convert September 11 from a day of remembrance, to one of recruitment for terrorists and others inspired to attack the US and other western targets,” stressed Secretary General Noble.

Now, as near as I can tell, most Americans think burning the Koran is wrong. There is some wonderment about how there can be no constitutional doubt about the right to build a mosque near the World Trade Center site but no similar proclamation from Mr. Constitution about this man’s right to burn it if he wanted. I read something from Randall Terry about the Old Testament burning of idols but as a friend pointed out, generally it was one’s own idols that were being burnt. Israel was ordered to be pretty hard about idols in its territory, for example, but Israel was not ordered to march on the rest of the world in a purge. You know, like the Muslims think they are supposed to do.

I personally think burning the Koran in this way is wrong for reasons of principle. I am humored, though, that the objections that have been made by our leaders claim also to have principle in mind- the principle of protecting American soldiers and citizens overseas- manage to ignore the elephant in the room. Very simply, if Americans and other ‘innocent people’ are put at risk by Muslims around the world because some dude down in Florida sets fire to a book, there is something seriously unstable about these people. Seriously unstable.

Which leads me back to the Interpol announcement, warning that this ‘provocative act’ will help in the recruitment of terrorists. So let’s get this straight. Some guy in Florida sets fire to a book or two, or two hundred, and some thousands of guys all over the world begin plotting how to blow up disco halls, cafes, trains, etc, and begin sharpening their knives to ensure only the finest beheadings? Do I have that about right?

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