by Fr. Lawrence Farley –
Like it or not, homosexuality is not a private proclivity like other sins; it is a powerful movement, and one that now demands the surrender of Christian conscience.
Not so long ago, voices were raised and lawyers were sharpening their swords in America’s latest battle in the ongoing culture war. The owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado was threatened with a fine and up to a year’s incarceration for refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding. In New Mexico, a photographer was similarly threatened for refusing to photograph a gay wedding. In Arizona, a bill was put forward which aimed at protecting the rights of those who wanted to opt out of participating in such weddings if such participation would violate their conscience. The governor of Arizona vetoed the bill. Owners of businesses now have no legal right to decline to provide their services for gay weddings, however abhorrent the weddings may be to their consciences. [Read more…]
by Fr. Lawrence Farley –
by Peggy Noonan –
Put aside the numbers for a moment, and the daily argument.
“Seven point one million people have signed up!”
“But six million people lost their coverage and were forced onto the exchanges! That’s no triumph, it’s a manipulation. And how many of the 7.1 million have paid?”
“We can’t say, but 7.1 million is a big number and redeems the program.”
“Is it a real number?”
“Your lack of trust betrays a dark and conspiratorial right-wing mindset.”
As I say, put aside the argument, step back and view the thing at a distance. Support it or not, you cannot look at ObamaCare and call it anything but a huge, historic mess. It is also utterly unique in the annals of American lawmaking and government administration. [Read more…]
by Don Carson –
The notion of tolerance is changing, and with the new definitions the shape of tolerance itself has changed. Although a few things can be said in favor of the newer definition, the sad reality is that this new, contemporary tolerance is intrinsically intolerant. It is blind to its own shortcomings because it erroneously thinks it holds the moral high ground; it cannot be questioned because it has become part of the West’s plausibility structure. Worse, this new tolerance is socially dangerous and is certainly intellectually debilitating. Even the good that it wishes to achieve is better accomplished in other ways.
Let’s begin with dictionaries. In the Oxford English Dictionary, the first meaning of the verb “to tolerate” is “To respect (others’ beliefs, practices, etc.) without necessarily agreeing or sympathizing. 3. to put up with; to bear; as, he tolerates his brother-in-law. 4. in medicine, to have tolerance for (a specified drug, etc.).” Even the computer-based dictionary Encarta includes in its list “ACCEPT EXISTENCE OF DIFFERENT VIEWS to recognize other people’s right to have different beliefs or practices without an attempt to suppress them.” [Read more…]
by W. E. Knickerbocker –
In the essay “We Have No ‘Right To Happiness,'” C. S. Lewis tells his readers of a conversation he had with a woman who was one of his neighbors. The subject of the discussion was two neighbor couples, Mr. and Mrs. A and Mr. and Mrs. B. Mr. A had divorced Mrs. A to marry Mrs. B, who had divorced Mr. B. Mrs. A’s looks were not what they once were, one cause of which was the number of children she had borne to Mr. A. Mr. B had been disabled in the war and was out of a job. The neighbor with whom Lewis was having the conversation justified these divorces and the remarriage by saying that Mr. A and Mrs. B “had a right to happiness.”
Lewis says the neighbor who justified this behavior was “rather leftist” in her politics and a teetotaler, who would certainly not approve of a ruthless businessman whose happiness consisted in making money or of an alcoholic who was happy when he was drunk. Rather, the happiness to which this neighbor said Mr. A and Mrs. B had a right was solely “sexual happiness.” The right to sexual happiness justified breaking vows solemnly made and legally validated. [Read more…]
by Albert Mohler –
Several states are now considering legislation that would provide explicit protections to citizens whose consciences will not allow an endorsement of same-sex marriage. The bills vary by state, as do the prospects for legislative passage, but the key issues remain constant. Millions of American citizens are facing a direct collision between their moral convictions and the demands of their government.
The cases are now piling up. A wedding photographer in New Mexico, cake bakers in Colorado and Oregon, and a florist in Washington State have all found themselves in this predicament. Each now faces the coercive power of the state. They are being told, in no uncertain terms, that they must participate in providing services for same-sex weddings or go out of business. [Read more…]
by Doug Mainwaring –
A few days ago, a prominent attorney asked me a question: can religious liberty and the growing demands of government and others occupy the same space? And if not, who wins?
This is, perhaps, not quite the right question.
Dr. Hannibal Lecter, aka “Hannibal the Cannibal” in The Silence of the Lambs asked a more fitting one:
“First principles, Clarice. Simplicity. Read Marcus Aurelius. Of each particular thing ask: What is it in itself? What is its nature?”
Most pundits observing what has gone on recently in Arizona and other states regarding same-sex marriage have concluded, “We are witnessing a clash between religious and civil liberties.” While many nod their heads in agreement, this analysis is wrong. [Read more…]
by Deroy Murdock –
The Land of the Free is governed by an out-of-control egomaniac, neither bolstered by managerial competence nor hindered by the legislature’s institutional prerogatives. In the Home of the Brave, half of Congress cheers Obama’s unconstitutional behavior, while the other half grumbles and then meekly carpet-bombs his path with white flags.
America is unraveling at a stunning speed and to a staggering degree. This decline is breathtaking, and the prognosis is dim.
For starters, Obama now rules by decree. Reportedly for the 27th time, he has changed the rules of Obamacare singlehandedly, with neither congressional approval nor even ceremonial resolutions to limit his actions. Obama needs no such frivolities.
“That’s the good thing about being president,” Obama joked on February 10. “I can do whatever I want.” In an especially bitter irony, Obama uttered these despicable words while guiding French president François Hollande through Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson — a key architect of America’s foundation of limited government. [Read more…]
by Robert Carle –
California and New Jersey’s new laws banning talk therapy to address same-sex attraction in minors violate the rights of parents and children to seek counseling that conforms to their values. They also endanger First Amendment rights.
These new laws ban licensed counselors from engaging in talk therapies that reduce the level of same-sex attractions in minors for whom such reduction is a personal goal. Strikingly, these bills apply to all minors except those who wish to change their sex (“gender identity”) altogether, via hormones and surgery. Legislators in New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania are pushing for similar talk-therapy bans. Such legislation usurps the rights of parents and children to seek counseling that conforms to their values. [Read more…]
by Marc Bennetts –
At the height of the Cold War, it was common for American conservatives to label the officially atheist Soviet Union a “godless nation.”
More than two decades on, history has come full circle, as the Kremlin and its allies in the Russian Orthodox Church hurl the same allegation at the West.
“Many Euro-Atlantic countries have moved away from their roots, including Christian values,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a recent keynote speech. “Policies are being pursued that place on the same level a multi-child family and a same-sex partnership, a faith in God and a belief in Satan. This is the path to degradation.”
In his state of the nation address in mid-December, Mr. Putin also portrayed Russia as a staunch defender of “traditional values” against what he depicted as the morally bankrupt West. [Read more…]
by Joel Alicea –
“One cannot truly understand a legal argument on behalf of one client or side without thoroughly understanding and addressing competing arguments and objections,” said Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow at a recent Federalist Society conference on intellectual diversity in law schools.
Unfortunately, this foundational tenet of legal education is not realized in the nation’s leading law schools, including Ms Minow’s, where students learn a narrowly progressive view of the law from a predominantly leftist faculty. Our nation’s top law schools are failing their students, and in a country whose future will be shaped by those students, it is an urgent problem that we should demand law schools address. [Read more…]
by Kevin Ryan –
If students attend schools which are run as sexual playgrounds, is it any wonder if they fail to learn?
Over the last three decades, social scientists, educational researchers, and pundits have probed for the reason why educationally the US on the fringe of being a Third World country. In particular, why does the academic achievement of American students begin to fall off during junior high and plummet during the high school years?
The “failure theories” are many: our schools are too big; our schools are too small; our school year is too short; our school day is too long; our teachers are too dumb or too lazy or under paid; our parents don’t care; we don’t give the schools enough money. Critics endlessly opine that our students don’t have enough arts, enough sports; enough science, enough math. They don’t have enough homework; they have too much homework. What is being missed from the analyses is the teenagers’ elephant in the room, their Kim Kardashian at the Sunday school picnic: sex. [Read more…]
As reported by the Adevărul news organization, the exhumed body of Fr. George Calciu has been reburied to prevent further church scandals and punitive legal action by Andrei Calciu, Fr. Calciu’s own son. The premature sainthood claims have not been substantiated. The Romanian Orthodox Church has not issued any official statements regarding this incident.
Fr. Calciu’s body was previously dug up without the permission of his family and against Fr. Calciu’s own express wishes not to disturb his grave. Upon unearthing his mummified remains, premature claims of “sainthood” began to circulate in the mass media both in Romania and the United States. However, scandal also ensued for failing to abide by Fr. Calciu’s own testamentary provisions and ignoring his son Andrei’s instructions not to exhume the body. [Read more…]
by Dennis Prager –
The only way to understand what is happening to America in our time — and for that matter, in Europe since World War II — is to understand the left.
And one way to understand the left — and its enormous appeal to many decent people — is to understand what it learned from World War II and the Nazi experience. The lessons people draw from history go a long way toward explaining how they view the world and how they behave.
Unfortunately, virtually everything the left learned from the unique evil known as Nazism has been wrong.
The first lesson was that the right is evil, not merely wrong. Because Nazism has been successfully labelled “right-wing,” virtually every right-wing position and leader has been either cynically or sincerely characterized by the left as a danger to civilization. That is why the right is so often labelled fascist and compared to Nazis. Vast numbers of people in the West truly believe that if the right prevails, fascism will follow. [Read more…]
by Mark Driscoll –
The Old Tolerance vs. the New Tolerance
The old view of tolerance assumed that (1) there is objective truth that can be known; (2) various people, groups and perspectives each think they know what that objective truth is and (3) as people/groups disagree, dialogue and debate their conflicting views of the truth, everyone involved will have an opportunity to learn, grow, change and possibly arrive together at the truth.
The new tolerance is different from the old tolerance. The new view of tolerance assumes that (1) there is no objective truth that can be known; (2) various people, groups and perspectives do not have the truth but only what they believe to be the truth and (3) various people, groups and perspectives should not argue and debate their disagreements because there is no truth to be discovered, and to assume otherwise only leads to needless conflicts and prejudices. [Read more…]
by Tyler Durden –
A single mom in America today is better off earning gross income of $29,000 with $57,327 in net income & benefits [welfare], than earning gross income of $69,000 with net income & benefits of only $57,045.
Exactly two years ago, some of the more politically biased progressive media outlets (who are quite adept at creating and taking down their own strawmen arguments, if not quite as adept at using an abacus, let alone a calculator) took offense at our article “In Entitlement America, The Head Of A Household Of Four Making Minimum Wage Has More Disposable Income Than A Family Making $60,000 A Year.” In it we merely explained the painful reality in America: it is now more lucrative – in the form of actual disposable income – to sit, do nothing, and collect various welfare entitlements, than to work.
This is graphically and painfully confirmed, in a chart from Gary Alexander, Secretary of Public Welfare, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As quantified and explained by Alexander,
“the single mom is better off earning gross income of $29,000 with $57,327 in net income & benefits [welfare] than to earn gross income of $69,000 with net income & benefits of $57,045.”