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The Gods of Liberalism Revisited

 

The lie hasn't changed, and we still fall for it as easily as ever.  But how can we escape the snare?

 

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Friday, September 08, 2006

Civility to the Point of Being Ineffective

I read an interesting piece at Catholic World News today regarding a recent call by Rapid City Bishop Blase Cupich for civility in the ongoing abortion debate in South Dakota.

I don't necessarily disagree with Bishop Cupich, but at the same time, my thoughts are more in line with those expressed with this piece at CWN:

Superficially judicious, this call for even-handedness concedes the only important point to the wrong team before the debate begins.

The writer makes this statement because while there are some issues where each argument has merits, there are other issues where one side is completely right and the other side is completely wrong. In the instance of abortion, that is not to say that women's issues such as pregnancy difficulties, rape and others are not worthy of consideration, merely that if the unborn child is indeed human life (and I believe there is more than enough evidence to support that conclusion), then the preservation of life trumps all other considerations.

I absolutely believe there should be a basic level of politeness in the exchange, primarily in that there shouldn't be baseless ad hominem attacks, nor lying or distorting the facts, etc. We can disagree on the interpretation of certain facts but many times certain facts are undeniable, and to attempt to do so is to distort reality.

But at the same time I believe in calling things what they are. I don't believe in pussy-footing around issues, and if something is evil then it deserves to be called what it is. Someone who is earnestly mistaken or misguided is one thing, but someone who purposefully denies the truth or tries to excuse evil also deserves to be identified for what they're doing.

The Bible is filled with examples where God's people were not afraid to call a spade a spade. Stephen was one, and Jesus himself was another (calling people snakes and hypocrites and anything else their behavior earned them). So the notion that anyone, especially Christians, are supposed to just sit on the sidelines and smile benignly at evil are is not only wrong, it constitutes a moral failure.

As Barry Goldwater once said, "Moderation in the face of evil is no virtue." I would go one further and say that it's also a sin. There are some things that are so important, and some errors that are so wrong and damaging that they deserve an emphatic response. Anything less is cowardice and sin by omission.


Civil Disagreement

It is not a bad thing to disagree. Disagreements are how amicable compromises are found. My wife and I have a strong disagreement on the virtue of football. She hates it so I … turn down the sound. Okay maybe that’s not the best example, but you know what I mean.

For the past few days I have spent some time attempting to reason with visitors on some of the more extreme left-wing blogs. It is amazing how quickly liberals abandon reasoned argumentation and simply resort to personal attacks when confronted with the truth. It is sad, really. Civil society doesn’t seem to exist on the other side of aisle.

William F. Buckley is the perfect example of what is needed. Buckley is truly one of my heroes and will always be the “Patron Saint of the Conservatives” to me. I can’t ever recall having a disagreement with him, until now. Buckley is against the war in Iraq, and against deep foreign entanglements in general. He makes a good case for his point of view (few can compete with his reasoned mind) and he does it without bashing those that disagree with him. He also concedes to compelling arguments and points out some of the fallacies of those that agree with his basic view. There is no mindless rambling with WFB, just logical arguments. Though we may disagree, I respect his intelligence, his candor, and his opinions. Once again, the left could learn a great lesson from Bill Buckley, but they’re too busy screaming insults to actually listen.


Most Rape and Incest Victims Don't Want Abortion

An aticle on the Committee of Women Pregnant by Sexual Assault (WPSA) points out that most rape victims (70%) choose life for their child, regardless of who the father is or how the child was conceived.

Check out my post at VoteYesForLife.com to find out more...


Test Raises Questions about Terri Schiavo

An LA Times report reveals brain imaging tests of a woman in a vegetative state indicates she had certain " mental activity virtually identical to that of healthy people."

Sophisticated brain-imaging techniques suggest that a young woman in a vegetative state five months after a traffic accident had some mental functioning, even though she was unable to physically respond to her environment, British researchers report today.

The woman's brain showed mental activity virtually identical to that of healthy people when she was addressed in complex sentences and when told to imagine activities such as playing tennis, the physicians reported in the journal Science.

While this report also desperately tries to diminish the tie to the murder of Terri Schiavo (probably because a bunch of the people involved in this story proudly advocated her murder), it points even more strongly to the contention that our legal system presided over the murder of a woman in Florida last year.

The woman in this test had no physical response at all when the tests were done. Terri Schiavo, however, was able to make sounds as she tried to talk, able to facially show a negative reaction to something, able to laugh, able to smile, able to follow a balloon as it was moved...

Yet so many people somehow incredulously said, "Ah, she's just a vegetable. Let her 'husband' get rid of her."

Why does our culture try so hard to kill people we consider "inconvenient?" What does that say about us?


Thursday, September 07, 2006

YMCA A "Christian" Organization?

Yes, you might not believe it, but the YMCA stands for Young Men's Christian Association.

Chuck Colson brings out what many of us have observed in recent years about the YMCA: most of the time, people look at the YMCA and "just see a swim and gym."

Some are working to put the "C" back in the YMCA, which is what Colson's piece is about. I know at least two good folks in the Rapid City YMCA who have been earnestly working to do the same.

But it’s an uphill fight. At the YMCA convention, ideas like posting Bible verses on the wall or maintaining a prayer request box met with disapproval from many. Dick Blattner of the Hollywood, Florida, YMCA, complained, “I respect your religion. But when I see posters and placards on the wall that reflect Christian principles, I feel left out.... It offended me, and I don’t think it’s right for the Y.”

Only in today’s hypersensitive society could a leader in an organization with Christian in its name be offended by Christianity. But it reminds us what happens when Christians sell out our core principles and abandon our worldview for the sake of “success.”

The folks in the Rapid City YMCA that I mentioned face the same kind of resistance mentioned in Colson's piece.

Opponents of the "C" often cite inclusiveness and how that is somehow required for success. But as Colson's piece points out (from somebody who pointed it out a long time ago), "how is it successful to gain the world and lose your soul?"


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

War on Poverty Was a Failure

Why did Jesus tell us that we would always have poor people in society? Maybe because in this fallen world, there are always going to be people who find themselves in an unfortunate set of circumstances...and even more who make poor moral choices (drinking, gambling, poor work ethic, etc.) that have an effect on their economic well being.

Human Events features an excerpt from "Rebuilding America:"

From the moment the Great Society conceived of the War on Poverty, it was a bad idea to believe that we could eliminate poverty by allowing a government bureaucracy to distribute massive amounts of public money to the poor. In the antipoverty efforts of the last four decades, we have witnessed one of the largest income redistributions from the taxpayers to the poor that the world has ever seen. Still, we have not eliminated poverty. Why should we believe that continued or expanded, new, and "improved" government programs, spending more trillions of dollars, will ever achieve more?...

Perhaps President Reagan was right—if we do not reinforce family structures, we will never eliminate poverty. Maybe he was also right in arguing that government welfare programs actually destroy the family structures of those Americans remaining in poverty since the start of the Great Society. Reagan's vision was that no amount of dependence upon government bureaucracy could ever substitute for the fundamental values only a family can instill in a person.
You can keep handing a man a fish every day...or you can teach him to fish (how to make moral choices that are in his own self interest, instill a good work ethic, and then NOT MAKE IT EASY FOR HIM TO IGNORE ALL THIS).

Why does the Left insist on always falling back on the same old failed socialist ideas?


Acceptable Discrimination

Dr. Walter Williams has an interesting column today entitled "What's discrimination." Here are a few excerpts:


There's so much confusion and emotionalism about discrimination that I thought I'd take a stab at a dispassionate analysis. Discrimination is simply the act of choice. When we choose Bordeaux wine, we discriminate against Burgundy wine. When I married Mrs. Williams, I discriminated against other women. Even though I occasionally think about equal opportunity, Mrs. Williams demands continued discrimination...

I've sometimes asked students if they believe in equal opportunity in employment. Invariably, they answer yes. Then I ask them, when they graduate, whether they plan to give every employer an equal opportunity to hire them. Most often they answer no; they plan to discriminate against certain employers. Then I ask them, if they're not going to give every employer an equal opportunity to hire them, what's fair about requiring an employer to give them an equal opportunity to be hired?...

Common sense suggests that not all discrimination should be eliminated, so the question is, what kind of discrimination should be permitted? I'm guessing the answer depends on one's values for freedom of association, keeping in mind freedom of association implies freedom not to associate.

On a related topic, I've always wondered why liberals are so intolerant. After all, tolerance is one of their holy doctrines. Yet they continue to be so intolerant of my intolerance. Maybe tolerance doesn't extend to all things? And if not, why is intolerance of sin, error and evil wrong?


 
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