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Some Things Said… (Jan 06) (3)

Gay ‘marriage’ ban struck

Baltimore — A Circuit Court judge yesterday ruled that Marylands 33-year-old ban on same-sex “marriage” is unconstitutional.

In issuing her ruling, Judge M. Brooke Murdock imposed a stay on it pending an anticipated appeal — and preventing a rush to the altar by homosexual couples.

The ban had been challenged by 19 homosexual men and women who filed suit against court clerks in Prince Georges, Dorchester, St. Marys and Washington counties and Baltimore. The clerks had denied the homosexuals applications for marriage licenses, citing the 1973 law. –from an article by S. A. Miller in The Washington Times 01.21.06

Catholic Islamic schooling?

An Islamic campaign group has called for a Catholic primary school to be based on the Muslim faith. The Campaign for Muslim Schools said 90 per cent of pupils at St Alberts Primary, in the Pollokshields area of Glasgow, are Muslim, yet children are having to take part in Catholic rituals like saying the Lords Prayer and attending mass.

Osama Saeed, co-ordinator of the alliance of Glasgows main mosques and Muslim organizations, said he could see no reason why the main faith of the school should not change. He said: “Clearly the parents of that area find a faith school, even if it is of another denomination, preferable to a secular one. But surely it should be possible for them to have one that is relevant to their own faith. To move towards this would be a fantastic example of good faith – in more ways than one – on the part of the Church.” –from a posting found at 01.12.06

2005 Quote of the Year:

Reporter Brian Ross: “Mary Mapes was the woman behind the scenes, the producer who researched, wrote and put together Dan Rathers “60 Minutes report on President Bushs National Guard service, a report which Rather and CBS would later apologize for airing…

Ross to Mapes: “Do you still think that story was true?” Ex-CBS producer Mary Mapes: “The story? Absolutely.” Ross: “This seems remarkable to me that you would sit here now and say you still find that story to be up to your standards.” Mapes: “Im perfectly willing to believe those documents are forgeries if theres proof that I havent seen.” Ross: “But isnt it the other way around? Don’t you have to prove theyre authentic?” Mapes: “Well, I think thats what critics of the story would say. I know more now than I did then and I think, I think they have not been proved to be false, yet.” Ross: “Have they proved to be authentic though? Isnt that really what journalists do?” Mapes: “No, I dont think thats the standard.” –ABCs Good Morning America, 9 November –as found at The Patriot, No. 06-01, 01.04.06 and elsewhere.

Another great quote, and I think he means it!

Our television show will have a message, but without getting into the tanks, the guns, the killing and the blood. –Hazim Sharawi, host of a new children’s show for the Hamas television station in Gaza.

Canadian Report Touts the Benefits of Polygamy

A report compiled by three law professors at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, recommends that the countrys law banning polygamy be eradicated for the good of women and children, Yahoo News reported.

The study, done at the request of the Canadian Justice Department and Status Women of Canada, said the law should be changed so that women could obtain spousal support and have clear inheritance rights.

Martha Bailey, chief author of the study, said keeping polygamy illegal serves no good purpose. “Why criminalize the behavior?” she said. “We don’t criminalize adultery. In light of the fact that we have a fairly permissive society, why are we singling out that particular form of behavior for criminalization?”

Glenn Stanton, senior analyst for marriage and sexuality at Focus on the Family, said Baileys comments show how Canada has started down the very path gay-marriage advocates said would never happen.

“What is remarkable is these are precisely the same arguments that same-sex marriage advocates make,” he said, “and they also laughed when marriage-defenders say they could lead to polygamy.” –from Focus on the Family 01.16.06

Jaffa on Intelligent Design

To the Editor of the Wall Street Journal:

My friend Jim Wilson is behind the curve of controversy in his flat endorsement of the decision of a Pennsylvania federal judge who “struck down efforts of a local school board to teach “intelligent design” as part of the curriculum, along with Darwinian evolution. “What schools should do” Wilson writes, “is teach evolution emphasizing both its successes and its still unexplained limitations. Evolution, like almost every scientific theory, has some problems. But they are not the kinds of problems that can be solved by assuming that an intelligent designer (whom advocates will tell you privately is God) created life. There is not a shred of evidence to support this theory, one that has been around since the critics of Darwin began writing in the 19th century.”

But intelligent design does not necessarily imply a designer. Aristotle says that whatever can come to be by art—i.e. by intelligent design—can come to be by chance—i.e. without a designer. There is, incidentally, nothing in the Darwinian theory of evolution, that excludes the possibility that this is the way that God created. Evolutionary theory is itself neutral towards the different possible answers to the question, Why is there evolution? Is not the discovery of the evolutionary process itself an achievement of evolution? Is not the movement of the evolutionary process from the lower to the higher, e.g. from single celled organisms to the higher primates, and, eventually, to man, a purposeful process? Are not the intermediate stages instrumental to the final stages? Is this not a definition of intelligent design?

We are reminded that, in the Creation story in Genesis, after God had finished, he said that the work he had done was “very good.” But no one, not even God, can look upon a work as good, without having had a previous idea of what constituted goodness. The idea of goodness—what Plato would call the idea of the good—must pre-exist any work called good. To call a work good, whether that accomplished by God in Genesis, or that accomplished by Darwin in the Origin of Species, implies a pre-existing design. It does not of itself however imply a designer. Evolution, if true, was as true before discovered by Darwin, as afterwards. The goodness God discovered in his handiwork must have been good before he created, or he could not have called it good afterwards. Unless the theory of evolution itself is the account of an intelligent design, culminating in a being capable of discovering the theory of evolution, it would be meaningless. Whether this intelligent design is the result of chance, or of an intelligent designer, is an entirely different question. Whether or not one regards the inquiry into this question as scientific, such an inquiry must form part of any education worthy of mans being, whether as a being created in the image of God, or as the being that emerges as the final fruit of the evolutionary process. –by Harry V. Jaffa, as posted in The Wall Street Journal 01.03.06. Professor Jaffa is a distinguished fellow at the Claremont Institute. He is Professor Emeritus of Government at Claremont McKenna College and the Claremont Graduate School.

Goodbye to All That

Christine Rosen’s complaints about Christian fundamentalism are mainly aesthetic ones.

When educated Americans heap scorn on Christian fundamentalism, they generally do so out of almost total ignorance, having not bothered to know any fundamentalists or put forth any serious effort to learn about their faith. So there is something refreshing about Christine Rosen’s “My Fundamentalist Education.” Ms. Rosen spent her elementary years in the Keswick Christian School in St. Petersburg, Fla.–a school, one assumes, fairly representative of the independent, nondenominational Bible-believing schools that seem to be everywhere these days–and knows whereof she speaks…

But it is hard to know, among Christian schools, precisely how typical Keswick’s approach to education was. As Ms. Rosen mentions–and this will surprise many readers–fundamentalism is not the same thing as evangelicalism, although unfortunately she defines neither one. (Fundamentalists historically have put greater emphasis on the inerrancy of the Bible.) Keswick disapproved both of Jimmy Carter and Jim Bakker, and readers will want to know why. It also looked askance at the Pentecostal, Assemblies of God and “charismatic” churches with which, to the author’s mortification, her own mother became involved.

Needless to say, Keswick’s convictions were not those of many other professing Christians, much less of the secular world, so conflict was inevitable…

Twelve years old then but in her early 30s today, Ms. Rosen is a vivid writer with an enviable memory for the revealing detail. But what she remembers about her Keswick years suggests that her biggest objection to fundamentalism and fundamentalists was less moral and theological than aesthetic. Keswick mothers, she writes, “were women with home permanents, not salon coiffures, and they wore vinyl mock-croc pumps and polyester-blend dresses from Sears.” Teachers, both male and female, were also partial to polyester. The female musicians who performed at the school smelled of Aqua Net, and the missionaries who came to share their stories invariably had “out-of-date clothes” and “badly cut hair.”

The pews in the school chapel were “upholstered in an unfortunate pea-green color,” and the Good News Bible Club that she joined met “in a musty, decaying house painted in a disturbing lime green color.” The “old, disheveled lady” who hosted the club “served stale cookies and tepid Juicy Juice.” This woman also “had the sort of girlish crush on Jesus that only a disappointed spinster who’d spent too many years leading children’s Bible studies could nourish.” She read to the children with her Bible balanced on her knees and her “thick socks rolling down her legs.”

Sometimes these unattractive and unsophisticated people could also be downright embarrassing. The local Jehovah’s Witness missionary had a “strange smell,” for example, and one of Keswick’s Bible teachers was a legless Vietnam veteran “whose biblical knowledge was impeccable, but his nonscriptural musings were infected with malapropisms.” He said “reprehend” when he meant “comprehend.”

Such descriptions may well be accurate, and they also betray the extent to which social class can influence religious beliefs–one’s own and one’s attitudes toward those of others. Only on the penultimate page of “My Fundamentalist Education” does Ms. Rosen acknowledge that her Keswick experience “gave me a profound respect for my fellow human beings”–not evident from her descriptions of them–and afforded her serious academic benefits. The peculiar rigor of the school’s approach, for example, “taught me the value of reading, the usefulness of memorization, and the importance of speaking and writing clearly.”

…As it is, “My Fundamentalist Education may be regarded, because of its unkind tone, as another salvo in that struggle, which is probably not what the author intended. –excerpted from an article and review by Alan Pell Crawford, appearing in The Opinion Journal at and in The Wall Street Journal 01.04.06.

Article contributed by Richard Vandagriff and Mark Zaveson

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