Monthly Archives: March 2013

Homosexuality, Abortion, and Thoughts on Tolerance

Homosexuality, Abortion, and thoughts on tolerance

Some quotes:

“My colleague Helga Kuhse and I suggest that a period of twenty-eight days after birth might be allowed before an infant is accepted as having the same right to life as others.”

“Rats are indisputably more aware of their surroundings, and more able to respond in purposeful and complex ways to things they like or dislike, than a fetus at ten or even thirty-two weeks gestation.”

“The calf, the pig, and the much-derided chicken come out well ahead of the fetus at any stage of pregnancy, while if we make the comparison with a fetus of less than three months, a fish would show more signs of consciousness.”

“Characteristics like rationality, autonomy and self-consciousness…make a difference. Infants lack these characteristics. Killing them, therefore, cannot be equated with killing normal human beings.”

Stephen Pinker, from Rethinking Life and Death and Writings on an Ethical Life

“No one is born gay. The idea is ridiculous. Homosexuality is an adaptation, not an inborn trait.”
-Camille Paglia, lesbian activist

In a recent report by the Australia Institute titled “Mapping Homophobia in Australia, “we are told that 62 percent of evangelical Christians are homophobic.  The evidence?  People were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with the statement, “I believe that homosexuality is immoral.”  If they agreed, they were classified as homophobic.  Basically, there was no moral engagement of the complexities surrounding human sexuality, proclivity, or disposition, but merely a label used to brand an entire class of people with the supreme shame:  intolerance.

Again:  Millions call themselves “pro-choice” (which we know is an intellectual pose for pro-abortion) in the matter of abortion.  But that is coherent for them, and why?  Well, namely, because to them the idea of abortion is a morally neutral subject, and therefore the choice is devoid of moral significance except for its availability to the sovereign freedom of the individual will.  Is it any wonder that through science we can help to generate life in the womb, and through the same science can kill a child about to come from the womb, with no moral differentiation?  Its all about relative choice and opinion.  Autonomy.

Once again, we turn to the social critic Camille Paglia for a stinging indictment of the modern homosexual movement:

“For gays to demand that sincere Christians cease lobbying Washington about the increasing liberal drift of government policy shows colossal historical amnesia.  For pity’s sake, it was the flamboyant, thunderous activism of evangelical Protestant ministers in the 19th century that powered the abolitionist movement and led to the end of slavery in the United States.  (Of course, these massively documented facts were concealed in Steven Spielberg’s Liberal Hollywood Lite version of “Amistad.”)…

Similarly, eloquent Protestant ministers like Martin Luther King Jr. And Jesse Jackson have been central to the modern Civil Rights Movement, which secured voting rights for African Americans and opened the way to the election of a rising number of black politicians at the local, state and federal levels.  So gays should quit whining like female dogs (obscenity removed) about Southern Baptists exercising their constitutional right to free speech about homosexuality, which is indeed condemned by the Bible, despite the tortuous casuistry of so many self0interested parties, including clerics.  I have been warning and warning for years that the insulting disrespect shown by gay activists to religion—which has been going on for 20 years virtually unchecked on TV talk shows, with their biased liberal hosts—would produce a backlash over time….

As a libertarian, I believe that government must stay out of our private lives.  As an atheist, I believe that government has no business sanctifying the unions of some persons (heterosexuals) but not others (homosexuals), particularly when certain benefits (such as employer-sponsored spousal health-insurance) flow to one group only.

As a scholar, however, I am troubled by the provincialism and amorality of the gay male world, when compared to the vastness of philosophical perspective provided by orthodox religion—or even by ancient paganism, which honored nature.  And as a lesbian, I’m sick and tired of the gay rights movement being damaged by the cowardly incapacity for self-examination of many gay men.”

What I find to be odd is what Ms. Paglia calls the colossal historical amnesia.  I also find it interesting that civil rights are somehow equated with homosexual rights.  This is clearly a pose.  Now, the left and specifically the homosexual camp, is quick to lump all conservative Christians in with Westboro Baptist Church; however, if I lumped all gays in with child molesters would that be “tolerated?”  No.

Let us explore for just a moment some of the virtues of Secular Humanism or Atheism (which are for all intents and purposes, the virtues of the left and of the homosexual movement).  Take the idea of the individual self-worth or the idea of anti-slavery.  These are clearly ideas that the left hold dear.

Now, the idea of self-worth is very important; however, is this purely a virtue of the left?  When we look back into ancient civilization, we see the emergence of our culture from both Jerusalem and Athens.  Let us first look at Athens.  Take the Greeks and comb through their society and you will be hard pressed to find evidence for the importance of the individual.  We are all aware of the parents taking the sick child out on the hillside and depositing it there over night, only to return in the morning to see if it had lived.  This wasn’t even the crime.  The crime was that the great thinkers of the day, namely, Plato and Aristotle, knew about this, and treated it with an unwavering equanimity.  You could say it was a way of life.  Look at the Romans—if parents had a daughter and preferred a son, they could discard the daughter and try again.

What is specifically Christian or Western about the idea of self-worth?  Well, namely, the idea of treating others the way you would like to be treated.  It wasn’t until Jesus arrived on the scene and began to preach His message of unconditional love that the idea of self-worth became a virtue embraced by mankind.  The secular, reason-based Greeks did not discover this.  I posit that it was brought into the world via Jerusalem and not Athens.

Now what about the idea of being anti-slavery?  Well, this is not difficult to sift through if one has even a requisite understanding of history.  Until the 19th Century, slavery was a worldwide institution.  Orlando Patterson, the anthropologist points this out in his writings, as does Eugene Genovese.  Slavery needed no defenders, and why?  Well, because it had no critics.  Now, the left will say things like, “Christians are responsible for slavery in the United States.”  They have devoted long books to the subject.  Those books require many pages for a reason.  It takes a lot of ink and a lot of paper to do that much history revising.  The truth is, Christianity, and specifically Christianity of the evangelical stripe were responsible for the beginning of the abolitionist movement.  The idea that one should not rule over another man without his consent is from Christian doctrine.  This was eventually incorporated as the framework of our Democracy in the United States.

I think however; we can learn a lot about the slavery issue by studying the debates between Lincoln and Douglas.  Lincoln took the anti-slavery position, while Douglas took the liberal, “pro-choice” position.  Basically, Douglas said, you should let the states choose what is good for them.  Leave their autonomy intact.  At one point, Douglas even said he was “personally opposed” to it.  At the same time, Douglas was hesitant to impose his moral views on the new territories.  Lincoln basically said, if Negroes are like hogs, then the pro-choice position is right.  He then went on to say that if they were human beings, that it would be grotesquely evil to treat them like hogs, to buy and sell them as merchandise.

It is interesting that many “pro-choice” advocates do not like to be called “pro-abortion.”  They say they are instead, personally opposed.  Well, if you ask them for a reason why they are personally opposed, the answer is predictable.  There is only one reason to be personally opposed to abortion.  One would be opposed only if they felt that the fetus was more than simply a random collection of cells—in fact, they believe it is a human being.

Is it a hog or a human?

Richard Dawkins has been quoted as saying “With respect to those meanings of “human” that are relevant to the morality of abortion, any fetus is less human than an adult pig.”  Well this is telling.  Here is a man of the left at least being honest.  If only they all we so honest.

Why does the left push the issue of abortion?  Well, because they know it is important if they are going to continue the culture of sexual promiscuity.  If men and women are going to engage in indiscriminate sex, there are going to be mistakes.  There must be a way to clean these up.  A baby conceived out of one of these encounters is viewed as an unwanted guest.  The left will grant the women full autonomy and control over the life of the baby, even to the point of executioner.

Factor in politics, and the mystery deepens. It seems bizarre that many who claim the political virtue of compassion are champions of abortion rights. These people are able to cry tears for just about every vulnerable group in the world. They feel the pain of the seals, they grieve over sex trafficking in Asia, and they are worried about the plight of children in Darfur. They react with genuine indignation and mobilize to take action. Why, then, do the unborn persons in their own communities not usually inspire a similar compassionate response? No other liberal principle of compassion, self-worth, equality, or love is allowed to get in the way of the principle of autonomy.  It is difficult to find a liberal  liberal.

Another principle that the left would claim as their own is acceptance or compassion.  They distort this word to mean tolerance.  Now, the Christian understanding of tolerance goes as follows: “I am morally opposed to your behavior and I fully disagree with it because the Bible condemns it; however, I do not feel the government should interfere in your personal life, so who am I to interfere with your personal life as long as your behavior doesn’t affect me or my family in any way?”  This is a textbook example of tolerance.  It isn’t exactly fun.  It basically means, “gross, but I will live with it.”

Let me show you how tolerance has been distorted by the left in their effort to redefine morality and specifically, traditional views:

In a much-quoted line, Leslie Armour, professor emeritus of philosophy at the University of Ottawa, writes, “Our idea is that to be a virtuous citizen is to be one who tolerates everything except intolerance.”  Now this is ridiculous.  This is a self-defeating statement.  However, no one said that the left was philosophically grounded.

The United Nations Declarition of Principles on Tolerance (1995) asserts, “Tolerance…involves the rejection of dogmatism and absolutism.”  Well, this is brilliant!  So they reject absolutism and dogma, yet they seem to do so in an absolute way…and the very fact that they penned this statement seems to indicate that they hold to a view doesn’t it?  So they claim A and –A at the same time.  They are in a sense holding on to a one-ended stick.  Is that even possible?

Thomas A. Helmbock, executive vice president of the national Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, writes, “The definition of the new tolerance is that every individuals beliefs, values, lifestyle, and perception of truth claims are equal…There is no hierarch of truth.  Your beliefs and my beliefs are equal and all truth is relative.”  Really?  Well, is that statement true?  How can he prove that?  If truth is up to the individual, then why did he even write down his thoughts?  What is the point of reading?  Further, if truth really is relative, then how do we distinguish between Hitler and Mother Theresa?  How do we know good from evil?

No wonder the left sees no problem with any form of promiscuity.

My final quote comes from our current president.  This is a frightening quote that I think puts into context where we are now as Americans:

“We must be careful not to mistake absolutism for principle.”—Barrack Hussein Obama

Aside from being philosophically self-defeating, this statement is telling.

He is saying there are no absolute standards, except for the principles of those in power.  Now, if this is true, then what if Hitler were in power?  If a usurpatory government was in control, the citizenry could do nothing, because there would be no objective standard by which to compare the leadership to.  Secondly, he assumes a status like divinity to make a statement such as this.  Kant said, “From the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made.”  How can a man know principle from absolute?  If God has given absolutes, who are we to demolish them and create principles in their place?

Well, this is the telling part.

Nietzsche was perhaps the father of modern atheism.  What I appreciate about him though was his honesty.  He basically said that if humanity could kill God, that soon after traditional morality would disappear.   I think we live in a time in which society thinks they have killed God.  They see the Christians that are still vocal as vestiges of a day gone by.  As Nietzsche pointed out in his poem, The Madman, our Churches and Sanctuaries are tombs and sepulchers to a dead deity.  Why?  Because man has killed God.

Now, God isn’t dead.  However, to many who live among us—they are dead.       

 

Evangelical or Fundamentalist? Dont ask a Secularist

        While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart.

-St  Francis of Assisi

When secular liberals say “fundamentalist,” they usually dont mean “fundamentalist.” As George Marsden points out (Understanding Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism, William Eerdmans Publishing, Grand Rapids, 1991, p. 1), fundamentalism is a TINY subset of of American Protestantism. Today liberals frequently use the term to try and discredit a much larger group–Evangelicals. Many liberals for example, routinely describe George Bush or Mike Huckabee as fundamentalists although they call themselves evangelical. The term evangelical is not a denominational term. It refers to many different types of Protestants who share an emphasis on a personal experience of God and a desire to proclaim the teachings of Christ. In the 19th Century, evangelicals were the ones who were in the forefront of the antislavery movement and the temperance movement. Evangelicals today include Northerners and Southerners, whites and blacks, Presbyterians, Baptists, and Methodists. According to pollster George Gallup, approximately one in four Americans fits the definition. These are the people that the liberals and left want to dismiss as fanatics, theocrats, enemies of reason, and “outside the mainstream.

It is incredibly difficult for a liberal to sustain these charges against evangelicals!  Take for example the denunciation that evangelicals are a danger to the democratic process because they only argue positions grounded in “blind faith” rather than reason.  While this is certainly true that Conservative Christians do take much of the Bible on “faith,” it is an incredible charge to say that the evangelical works with a total disregard for “reason.”  What factual evidence does the liberal have to support such a charge?  None.  The fact that the Christian derives his or her position from faith, however, doesn’t mean he cannot give reasons for that belief.  To suggest otherwise without evidence is absurd, and intellectually dishonest.  If a Christian learns not to steal or murder or dishonor his parents from the Ten Commandments, can it logically follow that the Christian has no rational or coherent basis for these convictions?  One almost gets the feeling that the term “rational” or “of reason” is a synonym for “modern liberal.”  Since when did they get the monopoly on logical and coherent thought?  Never.  In book by a former Clinton cabinet official, Robert Reich (appropriately titled Reason), the claim is made that it is an obvious corollary of reason itself that government should regulate “public” conduct like insider trading and executive pay, but not “private” behavior like abortion and gay marriage.  Once you agree with Reich about his distinction between the public and private domain, his conclusion seems obvious.  But Reich never stops to consider that his premise is hardly uncontroversial!  Many conservatives would argue that abortion and gay marriage have public consequences no less significant—some would say far more significant—than insider trading and corporate pay scales.  Thus there is no logical necessity, no mere operation of “reason,” that propels one to Reich’s conclusions.  In identifying liberal policy with reason itself, Reich is either deluding himself or adopting the juvenile tactic of dismissing his opponents simply by labeling them “unreasonable.”  Reason, in this usage, comes down to “what I and my liberal friends think makes sense.”

Well, the argument is then made by the left that evangelicals and “fundamentalists” are intolerant people who want to foist their views of morality on the rest of society.  Is this true?  Well, as a wise philosopher of the left once said, that depends what your definition of ‘is’ is.  We need to clarify what tolerance is.  Tolerance does NOT mean approval.  Whoever says it does is lying to you.  The concept of tolerance implies disapproval.  Tolerance basically says, “I don’t like this, I find it reprehensible, my ordinary instinct is to suppress it, but I will put up with it.”  So how about an example:  If an evangelical Christian said: “I consider adultery and homosexuality morally reprehensible, and I do not think society should condone such actions, but at the same time I do not which society to interfere in the private lives of people…” this is a textbook example of tolerance.   The left would call this bigotry.

Is there a valid reason to object to conservative Christians applying their religious and moral beliefs to the political debate?  Well, no.  Every group does it, from the evangelicals, to civil rights activists, to the antiwar protesters.  They all try to convert their moral principles into law!  In a democratic society, no group can “impose” its values without winning a sufficient number of allies to its cause.  Imposing values through assent is what democratic politics is ALL ABOUT.  After all, don’t laws that outlaw racial discrimination force individuals, whether they buy into it or not, to conform to a code of behavior?  The Conservative Christian who applies his or her biblical convictions to morality are no more violating the Constitution than Martin Luther King did when he applied the same biblical principles to the cause of civil rights!

The founders of classical liberalism advocated three types of freedom:  Economic freedom, political freedom, and freedom of thought and belief.  These are the freedoms protected in the Constitution and essentially the only role of the government!  Many contemporary liberals want to add a new type of freedom to the list—moral freedom—or perhaps a better way of saying it would be—freedom from morality—or freedom from the chains of morality.

Want to know how that story turns out?   Read “The Madman” by Nietzsche.

Combat

The topic of weaponized Drone Strikes on American citizens NOT engaged in combat in the United States has created a debate recently, most prominently seen by Senator Rand Paul’s brilliant 12 hour filibuster on the floor of the Senate.  He asked of the Obama administration a simple question.  Is it constitutional for the President of the United States to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?  You would think a question like this would be eagerly answered by a ‘liberal’ President who embraces Human Rights issues like they are his personal mission; however, to this hour, we have still not heard from the President himself.  We have however, heard from Attorney General, Eric Holder—not that his answer helps much.

Attorney General Eric Holder wrote Sen. Rand Paul,R-Ky., to confirm that President Obama does not have the authority to kill an American on U.S. soil in a non-combat situation, Obama’s spokesman announced today.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney quoted from the letter that Holder sent to Paul today. “Does the president have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on an American soil?” Holder wrote, per Carney. “The answer is no.”

Paul said that was good enough for him. “I’m quite happy with the answer,” he said during a CNN interview. “I’m disappointed it took a month and a half and a root canal to get it, but we did get the answer.”

Carney added that, “if the United States were under attack, there were an imminent threat,” the President has the authority to protect the country from that assault.

You have to parse every syllable with these Chicago guys.

First, with the statement made by Eric Holder ” “Does the president have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on an American soil?”–“The answer is, no.”–This has some philosophical implications.  By affirming that the non-combatant is safe from weaponized attack, what about the one engaged in combat?  According to this definition, the Obama administration is warranted in their ability to inflict bodily harm on one engaging in combat.  Well, the next logical question is, “what constitutes combat?”

What is exactly implied by the words “engaged in combat?”  Well, let’s look at the word ‘combat’ itself.

Combat
1. To oppose in battle; fight against.
2. To oppose vigorously; struggle against.

So it all depends on the use of the term combat. Combat: Struggling against. Wouldn´t combat be applicable to people vigorously opposing the President´s policies then? If so, we´re right back where we were.  In fact, could a terrorist be defined merely as someone who is in opposition to the President’s radical positions?  DHS seems to say, “yes.”  Does this bother you?    It should.

Among those listed as potential terrorists by the DHS are:

  1. Groups rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority,
  2. Groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.
  3. Those facing real estate foreclosures, unemployment, and the inability to obtain a credit card
  4. Those who support 2nd amendment rights
  5. Returning war veterans
  6. Individuals who support 3rd party candidates—specifically like Ron Paul
  7. Individuals who hold to Christian teachings that oppose abortion, illegal immigration, or federal taxation
  8. Individuals who stockpile more than 7 days of food
  9. Individuals who store weatherized ammunition

Many of these positions or activities are in opposition to those that the Obama administration would put forth for the American people to follow.  This can be interpreted as a “struggle against.”  IN fact, I openly admit I oppose VIGOROUSLY to the Obama administration on nearly EVERY policy he has enacted and am implicated by all nine of the criteria on the above list!  Am I a terrorist?  Am I guilty of engaging in combat against the government of the United States?–according to this list–YES!

I do not personally think the question is about Drones.  I think the question is about power.

Remember the famous words.  “It depends what your definition of ‘is’ is.”  This President can choose to define ‘combat’ however he wants.  Who is there to stop him?  The DHS is calling Christians terrorists—they get away with it.  No one stops them.

The real questions are these:  “When (in the course of peacetime or war) does the President of the United States have the authority to order the killing of American citizens, at HOME or abroad?”  “Who determines what constitutes a significant threat, and who SPECIFICALLY is defined as a combatant, and what are the actions and conduct that are consistent with the character of a combatant?”  These questions need to be answered, or at least a variation of these questions.  Simply stating, “Non combatants will not be targeted” isnt good enough.  Combatants as defined by the DHS are not military soldiers in many cases–they are just “terrorists” because they oppose the liberal position.

I love the reference in 2 Timothy 2:3  to being a “good soldier” for Christ.  It is interesting to see the use  of the word soldier here, or stratiwñthv from the Greek.  However, even here, soldier refers to a Champion–a winner.  This refers to someone who knows his place in the kingdom of God, who follows the command of the leader, and subits his will for the will of the one in charge.  This will ultimatley place him in the position of being a champion.  It does not mean one is a soldier in the sense of picking up a gun and fighting.  Same goes for the word combat–Yes, it can mean to fight with violence; however, you can combat someone with ideas, with words, and even with love or kindness.

This is a dispicable display of the domineering will of our leader being pushed onto the rest of us–without any regard for the Constitution, Moral Law, or ethical guidelines that he should consider when making decisions.