Freedom vs. the Secular Seminary

Freedom vs. the Secular Seminaryby Christopher Chantrill –
Little did I know, when contrasting conservative freedom and liberal liberation, that a poster-girl for liberation was presenting herself at the Altar of the Victim, the remarkable Sandra Fluke, the toast of our Democratic friends. For Ms. Fluke’s belief system suggests to her that she cannot have access to her sexuality unless a big institution provides her contraception. Moreover, since she is a law student with a degree in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Cornell, she is evidently well into a professional career in liberation activism.

Conservatives scratch our heads at the activist university and its characteristic products like Ms. Fluke. But we are fools. The university has seldom been an institution of higher learning devoted to science and disinterested scholarship. More often it has been a seminary. When young Fred Vincy, son of a Middlemarch merchant, went off to the University of Cambridge in around 1830, it was to study to be a priest in the state Church of England. [Read more...]

How to Win the Marriage Debate

Defend Marriage Orthodox wedding by Selwyn Duke –
The big news on the culture-war front is a federal court’s striking down of Proposition 8, California’s constitutional amendment protecting marriage.  In a two-to-one ruling, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit wrote, “The people may not employ the initiative power to single out a disfavored group for unequal treatment and strip them, without a legitimate justification, of a right as important as the right to marry.”

Now, I’m not sure why the judges mention a “disfavored group,” as if singling out a “favored” one for unequal treatment would be okay.  As far as I know, the 14th Amendment, on which the court based its ruling, doesn’t offer equal protection to only those the current fashions deem “disfavored.”  Thus, I think this is an example of emotionalism influencing a ruling and its language, sort of as if a judge sentenced a defendant and, adding an adjective, announced him as “stupid” Mr. Smith.  Calling a group “disfavored” is similarly a subjective judgment.  This is not the only thing the judges were subjective about, however. [Read more...]

Olympia Snowe’s Pro-Abortion Voting Record

Olympia Snowe Pro-Abortion Abortion Advocate

Olympia Snowe (Republican)

The consistent pro-abortion voting record of Republican Senator Olympia Snowe (US Senator from Maine, 17 years in office) with respect to the rights of the unborn, represents a radical departure from the Orthodox Christian Church moral teaching on the Sanctity of Life in the womb. Her sustained abandonment of these critical Christian principles and her wholesale disregard for the safety and well-being of the unborn is shameful. Listed below is a brief overview of Senator Olympia Snowe’s votes on supporting multiple pro-abortion and pro partial-birth abortion Bills while in office.

2008 – Voted NO on defining unborn child as eligible for SCHIP.
Congressional Summary: To require that legislation to reauthorize SCHIP include provisions codifying the unborn child regulation. Amends the definition of the term “targeted low-income child” to provide that such term includes the period from conception to birth, for eligibility for child health assistance. [ Reference: Bill S.Amdt.4233 to S.Con.Res.70 ; vote number 08-S081 on Mar 14, 2008 ]

2008 – Voted NO on prohibiting minors crossing state lines for abortion.
Congressional Summary: To increase funding for the vigorous enforcement of a prohibition against taking minors across State lines in circumvention of laws requiring the involvement of parents in abortion decisions consistent with the Child Custody Protection Act.   [Read more...]

What Kids Now Learn in College

Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager

by Dennis Prager –
Save your money. Here’s a list of the lessons they’ll be taught.

As high school seniors throughout America will be receiving acceptance letters to colleges within the next month, it would be nice for parents to meditate on what they are getting for the $20–$50,000 they will pay each year.

The United States is no better than any other country, and in many areas worse than many. On the world stage, America is an imperialist country, and domestically it mistreats its minorities and neglects its poor, while discriminating against non-whites.

There is no better and no worse in literature and the arts. The reason universities in the past taught Shakespeare, Michelangelo, and Bach rather than, let us say, Guatemalan poets, Sri Lankan musicians, and Native American storytellers was “Eurocentrism.”

God is at best a non-issue, and at worst, a foolish and dangerous belief.

Christianity is largely a history of inquisitions, crusades, oppression, and anti-intellectualism. Islam, on the other hand, is “a religion of peace.” [Read more...]

In the Face of Secularism, It is Time for a New Defense of Christianity

New Defense of Christianity by Michael Terheyden –
In the Face of Secularism, What is needed is a Defense of the ancient yet ever new faith which sets people and Nations free
The Obama administration’s unconstitutional mandate regarding birth control coverage reminds us that we live in the age of secular humanism, when many people no longer believe religious faith is reasonable or important.

The message this administration sends to Christians is that our faith is bad for modern society, and we will no longer be allowed to live according to our beliefs in this nation. Therefore, as we prepare to enter into the deepest mysteries of our faith this Lenten season, perhaps it would be helpful if we compare the reasonableness of our faith with secular humanism.

The renowned Catholic theologian Germain Grisez provides us with excellent information on this subject in Volume 2 of his book, Living A Christian Life. This article was inspired by the excerpts in the section on faith which focus on secular humanism’s claim that Christianity is not rational, scientific or tolerant. But before I proceed, I want to be clear about how I use the term “secular humanism.” [Read more...]

Obama’s Unholy War Against Christianity, Not Islam

American Spectator - War Against Christianity by George Neumayr –
The more illiberal a religion, the more liberals tend to like it. Western liberals who propose no place for God in the public square can usually be counted on to excuse non-western religions that impose a false and dangerous one upon it.

The explanation for this apparent contradiction goes beyond the childish and self-hating affinity of western liberals for all things non-western. The deeper reason is western liberalism’s attachment to irrationality. Having ruptured a once-harmonious relationship between reason and religion in their own culture, western liberals can’t seem to stop themselves from championing similar ruptures in alien ones.

By different routes of irrationality, western liberals and militant Muslims arrive at the same spot. Western liberals reach it by a distorted “reason” without faith, militant Muslims by a distorted “faith” without reason, with each imbalance producing its own culture of death: abortion and euthanasia in the west, jihad in the east. [Read more...]

They Have Islamist Fanatics, We Have Secularist Fanatics

Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager

by Dennis Prager –
The Muslim world is threatened by religious fanaticism. The Western world is threatened by secular fanaticism.

Both seek to dominate society and to use state power to do so. Both seek to eliminate the Other — for Islamic fanatics, that means non-Muslim religions and secularism; for secular fanatics, it means Christianity and virtually any public invoking of God. The Islamists impose Sharia law; the American Civil Liberties Union and the left generally impose secular law. The Taliban wiped out public vestiges of Buddhism in Afghanistan; the ACLU and its allies seek to wipe out public vestiges of Christianity in America — as it did, for example, in Los Angeles County, when it successfully pressured the County Board of Supervisors to remove the tiny cross from the county seal. A city and county founded by Catholics — hence the name “The Angels” — was forced to stop commemorating its founders because they were religious.

This fanaticism has been on display most recently in the state of Rhode Island. This past Christmas, the governor, Lincoln Chafee, renamed the state Christmas tree a “holiday tree.” Though Christmas is a national holiday, for the secular fanatic, anything Christian — or, as we shall see, anything that relates to religion or God — must be banned from public life. [Read more...]

America: The Living Portrait of Dorian Gray

America Freedom Creed Truths - God Bless America by John Jalsevac –
The song “God Bless the USA” is often still sung at commemorative events surrounding national days of remembrance, like the Fourth of July or Veterans’ Day.  But, like with “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the true meaning behind the vaunted words of this American doxology has been lost.  More importantly, the claims made in Lee Greenwood’s timeless anthem are no longer accurate.

Public religious expression has been squelched in the last century, violating “free exercise” of faith in the deepest sense and ending America’s status as a nation that unreservedly recognizes freedom of religion.  In one recent exhibition of this new anti-religious zealotry, the Department of Defense (DoD) ordered that Bibles no longer be available to injured personnel at Walter Reed Medical Center.

Priceless civil liberties like “privacy” have been abolished via anti-terrorism measures that neither sought amendment nor claimed constitutional legitimacy.  New legislation promises to permit “indefinite detention” of American citizens, effectively abolishing the right to trial and ending habeas corpus rights.  The legislation classifies America as a “battlefield” in the apparently limitless and never-ending “War on Terror.” [Read more...]

The War on Christmas

War on Christmas by Mark D. Tooley –
The multiculturalist Left wants to dilute Christmas into a vacuous, stern celebration of Winter, divorced from culture and religion. Not content with banning crèches, trees and carols, anti-Christmas zealots are often even threatened by Santa Claus. The transcendent authority behind Christmas, even in its commercialized form, is an unwanted challenge to the Left’s preference for all authority vested in the state and its secular clerisy.

Fox News has delighted in lampooning the ongoing absurdities of the “War on Christmas,” which sometimes even include banning green and red from classrooms. The American Family Association, a para-church group, has also challenged the anti-Christmas campaign by affirming companies that affirm Christmas.

Naturally the Religious Left is troubled by this defense of Christmas, especially by Fox News or conservative Christians, both of whom it despises. So the Religious Left has decided that the cultural defenders of Christmas are instead betraying Christmas by actually promoting commercialism. [Read more...]

Let’s Keep Christmas Commercialized

Merry Christmas Defend Christ in Christmas by David Chilton –
Every year about this time, there rises a hue and cry about the “commercialization” of Christmas, accompanied by impassioned pleas to get back to the “real meaning” of the celebration. Too much time and money, we hear, are spent on the public side of the holiday — the hustle and bustle of shopping, the lavish decorations, and the often insincere displays of seasonal piety. Meanwhile, the true spirit of Christmas gets left behind. Some even argue that all public displays of Christmas are inappropriate.

Every Christmas season seems to spawn a new series of lawsuits charging that the First Amendment is imperiled by the appearance of manger scenes on civic property, or by the singing of carols by the local high school choir. I recall hearing a spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union claim that the very message of Christmas itself was being violated by any public recognition of its existence. What we need, he said, is to remove Christmas from public life completely, and allow it to become once again a private, personal expression of religious sentiment and family values. [Read more...]

Even Christians taking Christ out of Christmas

War on Christmas, Christmas and Christ Censored by Mark Steyn –
Christmas in America is a season of time-honored traditions – the sacred performance of the annual ACLU lawsuit over the presence of an insufficiently secular “holiday” tree; the ritual provocations of the atheist displays licensed by pitifully appeasing municipalities to sit between the menorah and the giant Frosty the Snowman; the familiar strains of every hack columnist’s “war on Christmas” column rolling off the keyboard as easily as Richard Clayderman playing “Winter Wonderland”…

This year has been a choice year. A crucified skeleton Santa Claus was erected as part of the “holiday” display outside the Loudoun County courthouse in Virginia – because, let’s face it, nothing cheers the hearts of moppets in the Old Dominion like telling them, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus – and he’s hanging lifeless in the town square.” Alas, a week ago, some local burghers failed to get into the ecumenical spirit and decapitated him. Who are these killjoys? [Read more...]

Immortals: An Epic Tale of Good vs. Evil

Immortals An Epic Tale of Good vs. Evil by Mark Tapson –
More and more, Hollywood has alienated audiences with its messages of moral equivalence and its clichéd insistence on casting corporate capitalists, the CIA, and Christian hypocrites as the bad guys in thrillers, action movies, and even horror flicks. It seems that the only genres in which fed-up moviegoers can still find old-fashioned faceoffs of good versus evil are some comic book adaptations like Captain America: The First Avenger and sword-and-sandal epics like Gladiator and 300.

That timeless confrontation of light and darkness is the explicit theme of the recent stylish, spectacular 3-D action adventure Immortals, from the unique dreamscape imagination of Tarsem Singh. Singh is a former director of music videos, best-known for his video of the REM song “Losing My Religion” and the nightmarishly surreal Jennifer Lopez film The Cell .

Immortals is set more than a thousand years before Christ in a mythic Greece overseen by Zeus and the other gods from their perch on Mt. Olympus. On earth below, the power-mad butcher King Hyperion, played by Academy Award nominee Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler) leads his dark army on a rampage across the land in search of the Virgin Oracle (Freida Pinto of Oscar winner Slumdog Millionaire). [Read more...]

They Mean Well. Really?

Road to Hell Good Intentions Liberals Leftists by Victor Volsky –
For the life of me, I can’t figure out why conservative pundits, even such stalwarts as Rush Limbaugh, when discussing the virtually inexhaustible supply of liberal follies and blunders, hasten to express their confidence that the perpetrators are “well-intentioned.” Why do conservatives hew mindlessly to the conventional line that far-left radicals are necessarily high-minded and motivated by the best of intentions? Why aren’t liberals challenged when they generously absolve themselves of any wrongdoing on the grounds of their good intentions?

“Good intentions cannot compensate for evil works,” advises the Torah (Hebrew Matthew 3:1); “[b]y their fruits ye shall know them,” avers Scripture (Matt. 7:16). St. Francis de Sales warned that “Hell is full of good intentions or desires.” Shakespeare wrote, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Sir Jonathan Sacks, chief rabbi of Great Britain, in his writings discusses “the tragedy of good intentions.” [Read more...]

Fields: When Manly Virtue Died

Manly Virtue in Danger by Suzanne Fields –
Cultural forces are driving men away from traditional responsibilities

These are difficult and perilous times for boys. A distorted culture has robbed them of virtue against which to measure themselves. The good once associated with masculinity in a patriarchal society has been tossed out with the bad. This, alas, is the era of feminist ascendency.

Manhood is more easily mocked, satirized and derided, or exposed for its villainy, exploitation and criminality than held up as an ideal for boys to aspire to. We’ve always had rogues, rascals and villains, but until now, we’ve also had a base line, a common denominator, of what it means to be a man. Male-female cultural distinctions, once blurred, are disappearing. [Read more...]

The Emperor’s New Clothes, Breaking the Spiral of Silence

Chuck Colson

Chuck Colson

by Chuck Colson –
Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” researchers Rob Willer, Ko Kuwabara and Michael Macy devised a set of ingenious experiments that showed how distressingly easy it is to make people go against what they believe to be true.

One of the experiments involved wine-tasting, in which participants evaluate both the wine and one another’s wine-tasting skills. The participants were given three samples of wine. In reality, all three samples were from the same bottle. One had even been tainted with vinegar!

Before they delivered their evaluation, they listened to other participants, who were plants, who praised the vinegar-laced wine as the best. Half of the participants went against their own taste buds and joined in praising the vinegary concoction.

Even more interesting is what happened next. Another participant, who was also a plant, told the truth about the wines. But when it came time for the participants to evaluate each other, some of them were permitted to do so confidentially, and the others had to do so publicly. [Read more...]