A Fluke of Logic…

Everybody’s going on about Sandra Fluke’s “testimony” before Congress (and let’s be honest: it was a Democrat press conference, of which the sole purpose was to change the narrative in Washington from “Obama violates the First Amendment” to “Republicans hate women.”), and, of course, about Rush Limbaugh’s apology for calling her a bad name.

Aside from the whole question of Rush questioning her questionable sexual mores (why again does she need all those contraceptives?), I want to point out a flaw in Fluke’s logic:

Fluke believes that Georgetown University (a private, Catholic institution) should be required to pay for her contraceptives. The Obama Administration agrees with her, which is what the law purports to do, in violation of the Catholic Church’s doctrinal stance on contraceptives.

The goal behind all this is not to ensure that everyone gets health care, but to ensure that everyone gets government provided healthcare. This is about the government takeover of the healthcare industry, which is why so many on the left have advocated for a single-payer system (“Like what they have in Europe!” – ie: government mandated and provided healthcare at taxpayer expense).

But this is where things get a little murky, and where the flaw in Fluke’s logic lies: What the government pays for, the government controls. Either by restricting it or regulating it, the government dictates behavior based on the simple fact that the government is paying for it. Now we could divert into an argument of Who the government is (We the People), but for now, let’s accept the fact that some bureaucrat in Washington gets to set the policies that dictate the behavior for those who are on the government’s dole.

We’ve seen it with Welfare and Food stamps (can’t buy beer or cigarettes with Food Stamps), Section 8 housing, and more recently with the lunch menu at the schools in Los Angeles (courtesy of Michelle Obama’s crusade against other people’s bad habits. She, of course, can indulge in all the barbecue ribs she likes while her husband sneaks away for a cigarette break).

What the government funds, the government controls.

Do you want the government controlling your sexual activity? If the government has to pay for it, vis a vis “free (ie: taxpayer funded) contraceptives,” then the government has the right to control how it’s money (our money) is being spent.

Oh it won’t happen right away. Liberals are masters of incrementalism, after all. But every time I think about tax-payer funded contraceptives, I’m reminded of the red sash in the Anti-Sex League of Orwell’s 1984. And this is the great irony, because it will be Liberals who will bring an end to sexual liberation precisely when they figure out how expensive all this fornication really is. It won’t just be childcare that we’ll be paying for, but also protection against STD’s and everything else.

Those who throw off the fetters of God put on the shackles of men.

Whatever happened to “Get the government out of my bedroom?”

Reactivating the blog…

I haven’t touched this blog in a while, mostly due to the fact that I didn’t fully think it through when I started it – and that I wasn’t all that familiar with “blogging” to begin with – but also due to the fact that I’ve been busily writing and publishing books, and blogging about it on my other wordpress blog: MichaelJScott.wordpress.com.

Still, every time I log in, I keep seeing the title “Thinking Faith” languishing up there next to my writing blog, patiently awaiting some attention.

And given the fact that there’s still plenty that rankles me in our current culture, I’m going to give this another go. No promises, just random thoughts spewed into the universe.

Should Veterans Be Memorialized With Cross?

It’s been a while since the case against the Mount Soledad Memorial crossMt Soledad Cross was settled by the Supreme Court against the now deceased Philip K. Paulson and for the War Memorial, saying, “The Court finds the memorial at Mt. Soledad, including its Latin cross, communicates the primarily non-religious messages of military service, death and sacrifice. As such, despite its location on public land, the memorial is Constitutional.” Now, of course, the ACLU is at it again. Only this time, they’re going after the 7-foot tall Mojave Desert Cross on essentially the same grounds as that of the Mt. Soledad complaint.

The Washington Times reports today that Mr. Peter Eliasberg, counsel for the southern California chapter of the ACLU, has argued against the Mojave Desert Cross, saying, “People of every faith have fought and diedMojave Desert Cross for this country. Yet we will have veterans divided about the idea of how you reflect the sacrifice of American veterans. For us to choose the principal symbol of one religion that says Jesus is the Son of God and He is divine and say that is an appropriate way to reflect the sacrifice of people who don’t believe that … is excluding by its very nature.”

I have several different, nearly conflicting, thoughts on all this. 1) is the cross of Jesus (which, let’s be honest, all crosses today represent, in practical terms.) an appropriate symbol for war veterans – no matter who they are or what they fought for? 2) yes, the cross is exclusionary, but is that a bad thing? and 3) do we really want to argue that the public sphere ought to be void of religious symbols?

I’m not sure the cross is an appropriate symbol. Certainly it represents sacrifice, calling to mind Jesus’ words in John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” But do we want to equate the sacrifice of military veterans with the sacrifice of the Son of God? I think it tends to rob the cross of its meaning to do so. On the other hand, I do see the graveyard cross less as a symbol of sacrifice than as a symbol of hope – because through the sacrifice of Jesus, those who died may yet live again.

Secondly, yes the cross is exclusive. By definition, it is a symbol of Christianity. And maybe that is offensive to Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Pagans, and Atheists. So what? When was it that any of these religions was ever asked to bend over backwards to avoid being offensive to Christians? Yes, the minorities of Jews, Pagans, and Atheists have been oppressed by Christians – but they’ve also been oppressed by the other majorities as well. It happens to minority ideas. Only Christians have a conscience about it, though. The whole notion of tolerating beliefs which are different from yours is a Christian notion (if it were genuinely Hindu, then we wouldn’t see the riots in India where Christians and Muslims are being killed by mobs of radical Hindus now, would we?). It doesn’t derive from any other faith. And its derivation from even Christianity is questionable as it is. I guess what bothers me is that the argument is only made with respect to Christianity. Only Christianity is to be silenced so that others might speak. Yet given that it is the faith perspective of the bulk of people who’ve made sacrifices on behalf of this country, it does not follow that all faiths should be given equal expression. Let the other beliefs give equal pay for equal expression. The right to speak is paid Arlington crossesup in blood. This is why the Holocaust memorials will always be distinctly Jewish in flavor. They should be. But where Christians have died, then Christianity ought to be honored.

But really, ought we to expect our public spheres to be completely naked – void of any and all religious content?  This reading of the Establishment clause is a grevious interpretation of the first amendment – one which is clearly foreign to the intent of the founders and early leaders of this nation, as evidenced by the sheer number of expressions of faith in our founding documents and memorials.  The mere presence of faith does not equate to an establishment of religion, even if that presence is initiated, paid for, and maintained by the federal government.  Promotion of religion and establishment of the same are not equal.  No, the federal government must never establish religion – thereby allowing the free exercise of faith in matters of conscience.  But yes, the government ought to promote religion – particularly the one religion which is responsible for the formation and very foundation of our government.  Christianity is that religion.

Muslim countries clearly understand this – eagerly deriving their laws from the Qu’ran and promoting their belief without reservation or apology.  This nation ought not be ashamed of our heritage of faith, either.

When Is a Marriage Not a Marriage…?

When it’s a Gay-Marriage.

New Hampshire is swiftly moving toward becoming the sixth state to legalize so-called “Gay Marriage,” following on the heels of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Maine, and Iowa (by judicial fiat only). Of course, the ever-so-popular Governer of New York David Patterson has indicated he wants New York to join the pack, but there hasn’t been a lot of action beyond these words – given that New Yorkers would rather he focus on the budget, on reducing New York’s excessive tax burden, and doing something to draw business and people back to the State.

In New Hampshire, The Washington Times reported on Thursday, May 21st, that the legislation to enact into law what was once listed as a psychological disorder in the DSM II (and still should be, truth be told).

There are three fundamental problems with ‘Gay Marriage.’ The first of these is that it is a non-sensical term. An oxymoron. There is no such thing as ‘Gay Marriage,’ because the term marriage only includes relationships between a husband and a wife (or wives in some cultures.).

Abraham Lincoln once asked, “If you call a cat’s tail a leg, how many legs would it have? The answer,” he said, “is four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.” Neither does calling relations between two men or between two women ‘marriage’ make it so.

Part of the problem with this whole mess is the state’s involvement in marriage in the first place. There is currently no compelling reason for the government to be sanctioning relationships one way or the other. Doing so crosses into the realm properly assigned to religion and community leaders (but not governmental leaders). Were marriage handled on the local level and religious level, then this issue would die on the vine.

The second problem with ‘Gay-Marriage’ is that it opens the door to other relationships seeking State sanctioned sanctity; including incest, bestiality, pedophilia (NAMBLA is watching all this very carefully.), and polygamy. I have to wonder if the State of Utah is looking over the decisions regarding polygamy, or if the Latter Day saints are reconsidering some of their peculiar doctrines.

But by far the most serious problem with ‘Gay-Marriage’ is that it further obfuscates the fact that homosexuals are suffering from a psychological disorder – really a sinful addiction – and need our help. Time that could be spent learning how to improve reparative therapy techniques is instead being wasted defending their need. That some previous models of treatment haven’t worked is no proof that homosexuality is either innate or immutable – merely pernicious and difficult. Given its nature as an addictive behavior pattern, it ought not surprise us that even former homosexuals (and I speak of those who’ve managed to leave the lifestyle through such groups as Exodus International, among others) still face temptations. Recovering alcoholics still face temptation to drink. That doesn’t mean we ought to condone alcoholism, merely because it is a habitually destructive behavior. Much less so the inherently destructive ‘gay’ lifestyle.

By enacting ‘Gay-marriage,’ legislators (and courts) are sentencing thousands of individuals to a pointless, destructive despair, offering them no hope they can ever change and become normal – even if they wanted to.

Should Speaker Pelosi Resign?

The big fiasco these past weeks is Nancy Pelosi equivocating on whether or not she knew of the waterboarding techniques used by Central Intelligence Agents at GITMO before 2003. Her latest attempt – accusing the CIA of lying to Congress – was roundly denounced by CIA Director Leon Panetta.
Nancy Pelosi
Leave it to the AP to rally to her defense. Pamela Hess of the Associated Press has released a new article entitled “More errors in CIA interrogation briefing list”, which calls into question the CIA’s accuracy on who attended what meeting and when. A careful read of the article does turn up errors in the CIA’s brief, but it fails to answer the critical question: Has Pelosi lied when she said she didn’t know about the waterboarding?

Republicans, still smarting from the loss of the Presidency and both houses of Congress, are loaded for bear, seizing the opportunity to begin hacking away at the majority piecemeal, if necessary. Democrats are divided over whether to rally around or distance themselves from the Speaker – who made difficult decisions based not on principles of human rights, but on principles of political expediency.

Of course, objecting to the waterboarding would not have been politically expedient when she was briefed. Opposing President Bush at such a time might have cost them political points, preventing the eventual ‘win’ of Congress and the White House.

Frankly, I believe whether or not Pelosi resigns as Speaker is irrelevant. Both sides routinely shade the truth when it suits them politically. What is surprising about Pelosi’s actions is her rush to lie, to defend her inaction on the subject of torture. After all, when did political expediency not serve as a justification for any ethical breach? As Aeschylus said, “In war, truth is the first casualty.”

Hello and Welcome!

Here is the first post of what I hope will be a fun and even (dare I say it?) fascinating forum for faith, facts, fictions, and fulminations on Church, God, Culture, Politics, Tech, and Current Events. I look forward to hearing your comments and feedback, and ask only that you keep it clean and considerate for other readers.

My aim is to post daily, with a break on Sundays.

That said, I don’t anticipate actually starting this effort in any serious way until next week (ie: Monday, May 25, 2009 – Memorial Day). The rest of any posts here will be rambling efforts to set up the blog, get it looking like I want it to, and in general making things ready until I can start in earnest. So, stay tuned!