Forgetting the fact that Mr. Benen apparently wants to put a religious test on who can serve in congress and forgetting his seeming ignorance concerning Christianity’s history and science. I suggest he buy a copy of How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization (my review here no wonder the left hates Western Civilization so much but I digress).
I’ve already made my point in this post about the Bible and science:
In our science we basically have educated guesses in pursuit of truth. As time and our knowledge expands our guesses become better and more informed but in the end a lot of it is still a guess, yet these guesses are a million times better than Moses would ever be able to make. If our science would be beyond Moses, how much more beyond him would be the actual methods of how God works explained on a scientific level?
It is my opinion that God gave Moses the answers that were truthful, but also in a way that he and his people, bronze age humans could understand and grasp. Like at the waters of Massah and Meribah he didn’t give him a thesis on Hydrogen and Oxygen atoms combined to create water, he didn’t give a geological explanation of how steams wear down soil and cause erosion, he provided the water.
It doesn’t matter for example if the entire world was flooded in Noah’s time, or if it was an individual continent, or just a country the size of Iraq or whatever. In the understanding of Noah it was the world, and in the understanding of Moses it was the world. It makes it no less the action of God nor do the lessons drawn from it change. It is no different than trying to explain to a 3 year old how something works, you tell him the truth but in a way that he can grasp it.
Now as I said Science is a question of our best educated guess, but many people try to use it as a club to attack Christianity in general and the Bible in particular as Stacy puts it:
Having spent quite some time studying the arguments over evolution, it has for many years struck me that while the scientific priesthood of neo-Darwinian orthodoxy in astrophysics, paleontology and anthropology often disagree vehemently over their own theories and interpretations, they are united by one major agreement: The Bible is wrong.
On that point, they are quite fanatical, and one need not debate fanatics. Merely demonstrate that they are fanatics — occasionally point out their more obvious errors, provoking their predictably intemperate responses — and you will discredit them in the eyes of reasonable people.
I think people often confuse “natural selection” and survival and the fittest, which is certainly scientifically sound and full blown evolution the creation of one species from another.
The second has several problems the biggest of which for me is the math.
Here is what you need for evolution of that nature to work:
- You need some kind of mutation.
- Said mutation needs to be a beneficial mutation so it doesn’t increase the likely hood of the creature caught by a predator.
- You need a mutation that doesn’t prevent breeding with a similar creature
- The result of that breed must carry said mutation so it has to be dominant trait
- Continual breeding has to take place so that dominant trait spreads until all members of the species without that dominant trait disappear.
- Repeat until an amoeba becomes Snooki from Jersey Shore.
Now think about the mathematical odds of each of those steps and imagine the development of a claw from a fin. Think of NOTHING else, just that single development. What would the mathematical odds of each step taking place? How many times would the dice have to fall a particular way for that to happen just for that step to take place? What are the odds of such a thing happening by chance and not just by chance, but over and over again for every species that is out there?
Is that possible, sure. I believe in God, with such a God something like this is very possible, what I find amazing is that those who are so vehement in denying the existence of God are willing to bet their reputations on a process that mathematically is so unlikely that they’d never bet real money on it.
I submit that if you believe in Evolution you almost HAVE to believe in God because the odds of such a process taking place without him are so slight as to be nil.
Or to put it another way. You can have God without evolution, but considering the odds involved I submit you can’t have evolution without God.
Now is it really important? Not really, It’s an interesting scientific discussion and like anything such scientific discussion you go where the evidence takes you. We keep researching, we find clues and make assumptions based on them, test them, and repeat. That’s fine. Religion of course doesn’t need to explain the nuts and bolts of how a universe is created, it’s primary job is to save souls. These goals aren’t mutually exclusive and we need to remember what science and religion’s purposes are:
Man didn’t need God to provide him a science text, man can write those texts himself. Man did need instruction on the salvation of his soul. God provided that and still provides it through Scripture, prayer, the Church and Tradition. We can take advantage of those things provided or not. It’s totally up to us.
I await to see Steve Benen’s piece attacking the scientific ignorance of Islam.
If the biggest issue you have to worry about is a Chicken Sandwich, then you aren’t oppressed.
Secondly the idea that if you don’t support Gay Marriage makes you “anti-gay” is nonsense. Under that definition the entire country and world was Anti-gay from almost the start of recorded history till a 4-3 supreme court ruling in Massachusetts.
Thirdly when Gay people are slaughtered in Islamic countries for their simple existence might I suggest that you have your priorities mixed up.
Fourthly as Gay marriage has lost at the ballot box in even California and Maine (why do you think advocates have worked so hard to block a vote in Massachusetts) you apparently think the entire country is by your definition “anti-gay bigots”. The only exception being the media.
The only point I’ll give you is this. the Gawker guy is right about one thing, the Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich is THE best chicken sandwich out there, but Chick-fil-A is pretty good (I’ve only had one during my Atlanta Trip last year).
Get a life, if you don’t want to eat at Chick-fil-A, eat somewhere else.
Oh and there are a lot more Christians than non-Christians in the country. If you choose to boycott a Christian company for supporting Christian positions, I suspect quite a few companies that support your view can be targeted in reverse with a whole lot more fervor.
Update: Speaking of things the Gay Right’s community might focus on instead:
The new imam at the Ground Zero mosque and cultural center believes people who are gay were probably abused as children and that people who leave Islam and preach a new religion should be jailed.
Abdallah Adhami’s remarks on homosexuals, religious freedom and other topics have brought renewed criticism of the proposed community center and mosque near the World Trade Center site, which purports to be an inclusive organization.
Adhami, in a lecture on the Web site of his nonprofit, Sakeenah, says being gay is a “painful trial” caused by past trauma.
I’m sure we will see the Gay Left go after this with the same furor that they go after Chick-fil-A.
A person my age or older would be familiar with the term “Shotgun Wedding”. The idea being that a man who got a girl pregnant would be forced by the father of the girl, Shotgun in hand to the altar for the wedding. That line of thinking is in keeping with the idea Stacy McCain advanced about the the economics of love. Roxeanne DeLuca in comments also advanced this very Judeao-Christian idea:
These days, men think there’s just women you sleep with, that’s it. And pardon me if I think that, as a WOMAN, I should have the grounds to say, “If this isn’t emotional for you, if you could do this with any woman, or any woman with the right equipment and the right attitude, then I don’t want it from you.”
As it is, though, we’re expected to act like prostitutes, without the benefits and without the emotional reserve. When sexually loose women are “nice girls”, or tell you that they are, men WILL expect ALL nice women to be sexually loose.
The 60’s revolution ended this bigtime and some are still paying the price but there is one thing about this way of thinking that needs to be pointed out.
The entire idea of the shotgun wedding or the threat of the shotgun wedding is to protect the women and restrain the man. The idea being the man might think twice before trying to be a player if he know that it means he will have to follow through.
In this age of contraception and abortion those restraints are gone and the feminists of the left cheer this abandonment of the traditional Judeao-Christian meme as a triumph for women no matter the result.
There is however another side of the coin that the feminist left isn’t too loud in condemning.
Afshan Azad, 21, who played Padma Patil, a classmate of the teenage wizard, in the blockbuster Hollywood films based on JK Rowling’s children’s books, feared for her life during the three-hour ordeal, Manchester Crown Court heard.
She was punched, dragged around by her hair and strangled by her brother Ashraf Azad, 28, who threatened to kill her after he caught her talking on the phone to her Hindu boyfriend on May 21 last year, the court was told.
During the row at the family home in Longsight, Manchester, which also involved her mother and father, she was branded a ”slag” and a ”prostitute” and told: ”Marry a Muslim or you die!”
Note the cultural difference here. The threats are not against the man, they are against the woman. The threat of violence is not against the man for the advances, it is against the woman. Either way the Judge hearing the case decided to make a statement about violence against women:
Judge Thomas added: ”This is a sentence that is designed to punish you for what you did and also to send out a clear message to others that domestic violence involving circumstances such as have arisen here cannot be tolerated.”
And so he sentenced the guy to….for six months after he pleaded guilty to the assault.
This is attempted murder, and he’s only getting six months? Azad’s case is well known throughout the world due to her celebrity status, however, this is occurring to young Muslim girls throughout the world who are deemed too “Westernized” or a betrayer to Islam.
Some on the right have highlighted this kind of thing, the left…not so much. Why the difference in reaction to the Judeao-Christian cultural norm and not the Islamic one? Why is one a sign of repressive patriarchy and the other just a cultural difference and any objection Islamaphobia?
It’s a good question and I’d love to hear the answer.
So as a very Catholic anti-abortion guy where is my post full of outrage? There isn’t one.
To me this is no different from the thousands of abortions that are done every day. To me, the outrage isn’t that this doctor is out there, the outrage is that hundreds of others are killing children every day and are considered pillars of the community as Roxeanne said:
When Ruth Bader Ginsburg writes that partial-birth abortion (performed by delivering the baby in the breech position, stabbing it in the head with scissors with the neck lodged in the cervix, suctioning its brains out, and then delivering the corpse that had been alive moments earlier) is a constitutional right, she sanctions the murder of babies who have already been born – because those babies are no more human, no more special, than the ones who are fair targets.emphasis mine
It brings to mind a scene from the Great Escape:
Ramsey: I have to point out one thing to you, Roger. No matter how unsatisfactory this camp may be, the high command have left us in the hands of the Luftwaffe, not the Gestapo and the SS.
Bartlett: Look, sir, you talk about the high command of the Luftwaffe, then the SS and the Gestapo. To me they’re the same. We’re fighting the bloody lot. There’s only one way to put it, sir. They are the common enemies of everyone who believes in freedom.
To me there is no difference between this guy and the folks in Worcester who do Abortion legally with support from the government and our friends on the left. It’s important to prosecute this man to the fullest extent of the law but as Bob Belvedere says:
For the past one hundred years there has been a stealth revolution occurring in America and one of the fallouts of this silent and insidious upheaval has been the deaths of millions of babies.
Until we stop that revolution or help our friends on the left understand what they are doing it will not stop.
Abortion is the third pillar of the three great American evils that the democratic party has supported. The first was Slavery, the second was Jim Crow and the third is Abortion (Ironically all three target blacks and/or minorities). The day will come when people shake their heads wondering what folks were thinking for abortion in the same way they do on the others.
“My mom left me at home when I was 14 with a credit card and a box of condoms and the keys to the car and said, ‘Don’t get pregnant and don’t drink and drive'” she explained. “I had to be responsible for myself.”
Think about that for a moment. Here is your 14-year-old daughter and your parenting consists of negative rules that are in effect positive permissions as follows:
- Spend what you want
- Have sex with whatever guy you want
- Drive where you want to go
- Drink what you want
This is what we call in the Italian Catholic world the “Parenting is such a drag and I don’t want to do it.” method.
I’m sure this young lady does well financially but I’ve got to tell you I really would be mortified if either of my sons brought this young lady home. It’s certainly possible that she might rise above that nonsense but I think I’d be very worried about her raising my grandchildren.
We are not rich, my 17 year old son doesn’t have his permit yet (as his grades don’t yet warrant it but this report card might change that) My 18 year old son was given a copy of my credit card and writes me a check each month for what he spends. My boys have the combination of the very Catholic influences of my now 86 year old mother (who retired when they were 1 and 3 perfect timing for me) and my three basic rules that I’ve been drilling them with since before they were teens:
- No Booze
- No Drugs
- No Sex
Whenever I would leave the house I would say: “What are the rules?” I’ve asked them this question in front of their friends. They know these rules. And they choose and keep their friends accordingly. Kids coming into this house KNOW that if I find drugs with them they are out and the cops are called.
Answer me this: I don’t know if they will ever make anything near what that young lady makes and there is no guarantee that they will turn out in better shape in the long run that this woman, but tell me. Which ones do you want parenting your grandchildren?
If you are going to be a parent BE A PARENT, raise your children and take charge.
You will find it the most rewarding thing you do.
The myth that “you can’t stop your kids from doing X” is just that, a myth. It’s an excuse to not parent. Where would the Jets be this week if they bought the “You can’t stop Brady” stuff? Those Judeo-Christian values and rules were rejected by the 60’s generation had the expected result.
In only two generations the social ills that had been dodged to a great extent are now common.
All of this has happened in my lifetime. If you are 60 or above you have seen this change in front of you. Can you honestly say this cultural change was worth it?
In the long run the right thing is usually the smart thing. If you don’t want to do something because it is “right” according to people you don’t like, then do it because it is smart.
But you can read about it here:
In a stunning ten-page declaration recently submitted to the Los Angeles County Superior Court, veteran attorney Donald H. Steier stated that his investigations into claims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests have uncovered vast fraud and that his probes have revealed that many accusations are completely false.
Counselor Steier has played a role in over one hundred investigations involving Catholic clergy in Los Angeles.In his missive Mr. Steier relayed, “One retired F.B.I. agent who worked with me to investigate many claims in the Clergy Cases told me, in his opinion, about ONE-HALF of the claims made in the Clergy Cases were either entirely false or so greatly exaggerated that the truth would not have supported a prosecutable claim for childhood sexual abuse” (capital letters are his).
Mr. Steier also added, “In several cases my investigation has provided objective information that could not be reconciled with the truthfulness of the subjective allegations. In other words, in many cases objective facts showed that accusations were false.”
I would have thought something like this might have gotten a headline for two but nope the first time I hear about it is when I’m checking out this story at Lisa Graas on a different subject (Andrew Sullivan and excommunication a good read btw), where I found this tidbit from October that I missed as well:
…in a report titled “Sexual Victimization in Juvenile Facilities Reported by Youth” released earlier this year, a federal Bureau of Justice Statistics survey found an astonishing 10.3 percent of more than 26,000 youth held in state-operated and other large juvenile facilities complained of a “sexual incident” involving facility staff in the previous 12 months.
A few years ago, The Associated Press examined sexual abuse of students by public school teachers. Although reporters couldn’t quantify total complaints, they did discover “more than 2,500 cases over five years in which educators were punished for actions from bizarre to sadistic.” Perhaps more disturbing, “The AP investigation found efforts to stop individual offenders but, overall, a deeply entrenched resistance toward recognizing and fighting abuse . . . . In case after case the AP examined, accusations of inappropriate behavior were dismissed,” while “deals and lack of information-sharing allow abusive teachers to jump state lines, even when one school does put a stop to the abuse.”
In other words, school districts were engaging in the same sort of institutional treatment of offenders that characterized a number of Catholic dioceses in the 1960s, ’70s and early ’80s, and which did so much to damage the church’s reputation.
Well that must be nothing compared to what’s going on in the church today right?
In 2009, by contrast, a total of only six “credible” allegations were lodged against U.S. Catholic priests or deacons for sexual abuse of a minor occurring that year, according to statistics gathered by Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate. That’s in a church with more than 41,000 priests and 17,000 deacons. Assuming the clergy will never be staffed entirely by saints — what profession is? — this figure may be about as low as it is likely to go for such a large organization.
that works out to about .58 per 1,000 clergy.
And Lisa has even more interesting numbers in a post from last month.
The newspaper that most attacks the Catholic Church on this issue is the New York Times. According to Laurie Goodstein, “Decades of Damage; Trail of Pain in Church Crisis Leads to Nearly Every Diocese,” New York Times, January 12, 2003, Section 1, p. 1., based on their survey, 1.8 percent of all priests ordained from 1950 to 2001 have been accused of child sexual abuse. The Associated Press found that approximately two-thirds of 1 percent of priests have charges pending against them.
Let’s compare this to Protestant ministers.
According to Philip Jenkins, Pedophiles and Priests (New York: Oxford University Press), pp. 50 and 81, between .2 and 1.7 percent of priests are pedophiles. Among the Protestant clergy, the number is between 2 and 3 percent.
How about Jewish Rabbis?
According to the Awareness Center, the Jewish community is by no means exempt.
How about Public School Teachers?
According to Daniel Wishnietsky, “Reported and Unreported Teacher-Student Sexual Harassment,” Journal of Ed Research, Vol. 3, 1991, pp. 164-69, in New York City alone, at least one child is sexually abused by a school employee every day.
This will never make the national news because as the leading opponent of both Gay Marriage and Abortion in the nation (along with opposing the hook-up culture etc etc etc) the Church is and remains the leading opponent of liberalism embraced by the MSM.
While the rest of us on the right pick apart Colman McCarthy over this Washington Post column Robert Stacy McCain decides in a brilliant bit of counter programing to tackle the issue that has sadly been ignored, namely the best tactics to ahem; stimulate the economy of the movie industry:
The question of what it takes nowadays to get people to go to the multiplex and pay $9 to see a movie they can catch a few months later on HBO or Netflix is a perplexing question for Hollywood. But when a chick says to her boyfriend, “Hey, you want to go see a ballet movie?” it’s kinda helpful if she can follow that up with, “You know, the one with the Natalie Portman lesbian scene.”
He then follows up 20 paragraphs on the cultural history of the “lesbian scene” in print and film including this gem:
It would be a worthwhile project for some “cultural studies” grad student to go through the 1971-79 Penthouse archives and count how many girl-on-girl pictorials they published. And you could probably get a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to do that research.
The irony of course being that you likely could get a grant from the NEH for such research and this is precisely the type of scholarship that our Mr. McCarthy would prefer our kids in college study as opposed to ROTC and the like.
This is usually the hit starved season for bloggers but Stacy knows that the phrase “natalie portman lesbian scene” will generate hits for years to come in search engines not yet invented to shore up his slow days. Why comment on the news of the day when you can make a long-term investment that will guarantee you hits and page views forever?
Update: Nothing like an Instalanche to start the new year, between the 63 (so far) at my party and this it’s quite a start. Don’t forget to tune into WCRN AM 830 tonight at 9:30 for DaTechGuy on DaRadio with DaScienceGuy and Barbara Espinosa of American Freedom. And remember two weeks from tonight Glenn will be my guest on the show (Jan 15 9 p.m. ) Mark that on the calendar! Listen live here. And if you are a business or a blogger looking for hits, you can’t do better than that for a draw.
48 hours ago I commented on a post at the Volokh conspiracy on incest saying this:
The fact that a respected lawyer is actually making the case tells me this is already coming down the pike.
And 48 hours later here comes the news from Europe:
The upper house of the Swiss parliament has drafted a law decriminalising sex between consenting family members which must now be considered by the government.
There have been only three cases of incest since 1984.
Switzerland, which recently held a referendum passing a draconian law that will boot out foreigners convicted of committing the smallest of crimes, insists that children within families will continue to be protected by laws governing abuse and paedophilia.
If you are surprised by this you just haven’t been paying attention.
Way back in the early days of the Blog I talked about Gay Marriage and Richard Cohen’s self=righteous hit piece:
Personally on a religious level I can’t support gay marriage but this is not a valid argument for a non-religious person. On a non-religious level it seems to me you can not rationally say that gay marriage is ok and should be legal without also allowing either polygamy and incest between consenting adults. Both have a longer and more accepted cultural history worldwide.
And PLEASE don’t give me the “ick” factor argument about these other things being accepted. Ick is just an argument about culture. It is the same argument that one would have heard concerning gay marriage less that 20 years ago. It is particularly galling when gay people are subject to state sponsored murder in places like Iran and ick is invoked beside Islam.
(1) Should it be illegal, and, if so, exactly why? Is it just because it’s immoral? Because legalizing incest would, by making a future sexual relationship more speakable and legitimate, potentially affect the family relationship even while the child is underage (the view to which I tentatively incline)? Because it involves a heightened risk of birth defects (a view I’m skeptical about, given that we don’t criminalize sex by carriers of genes that make serious hereditary disease much more likely than incest does)?
(2) Given Lawrence v. Texas — and similar pre–Lawrence decisions in several states, applying their state constitutions — what exactly is the basis for outlawing incest? Is it that bans on gay sex are irrational but bans on adult incest are rational, and rationality is all that’s required for regulations of adult sex? Is it that bans on gay sex don’t pass strict scrutiny (or some such demanding test) but bans on adult incest do? Is it that Lawrence rested on the fact that bans on gay sex largely foreclose all personally meaningful sexual relationships for those who are purely homosexual in orientation, whereas incest bans only foreclose a few possible sexual partners?
Go and read his whole point but let me say that a Judge named Antonin Gregory Scalia saw this coming a mile away as did an awful lot of us. When I made the argument saying that you can’t logically ban polygamy while allowing gay marriage in a discussion on Center of Mass podcast this year my host insisted that it was totally different.
This is a republic. If the people who support gay marriage can move enough of the public in the individual states or on a national level to support it in an actual vote then the more power to them. That is how a republic works. With the media’s help they are well on their way to doing so, but let the people vote for it and if you win, you win. If your argument holds water it should be capable of doing so and you should be able to make that argument stick.
Take out the word gay marriage and enter anything you want instead and the argument holds. The fact that a respected lawyer is actually making the case tells me this is already coming down the pike. And let me leave you with some John Nolte in terms of changing the culture with the help of the media:
And this is how cinematic propaganda works. Whether the filmmaker’s motivations are good or evil, the idea is to get decent and thoughtful people to start second guessing themselves as they’re enveloped in the dark and held captive by the powerful sound and fury of the moving picture. First we’re led to identify and sympathize with a particular character, then that character does something designed to challenge our belief structure
None of this is a bug. It’s a feature.