New on NewsReal – Are Social Conservatives "Statist Control Freaks"? Not So Fast

My latest NewsRealBlog post:

This weekend, NewsRealBlog’s Lori Heine objected to Ann Coulter’s recent column attempting to tie WikiLeaks enabler Bradley Manning to the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. Today, she responds to several critical commenters. I’m not terribly interested in revisiting DADT right now—my position is that I’ll defer to military experts on what changes should be made to the current policy, but I insist that the decision be based on military criteria alone, not political correctness or kowtowing to the whims of the radical gay Left.  Lori argues her position well, and successfully refutes several of her critics.
However, I must take issue with the way she conflates social conservatism with statism:

One form of fun of which big-government statists on the social Right never seem to tire is the purity game.  True believers must toe the line and never stray from it, even one jot or tittle.  “You are no conservative,” another commenter harrumphed at me.  Since this person evidently thinks only the big-government, control-freak statists on the social Right are the “real” conservatives, then according to his definition of course I am not.  Nor would I ever want to be.

What I am is a former Leftist progressive who has come to the conclusion that libertarian conservatism is – for a wide variety of reasons – the right direction for America to take.  The relentless and childish tug-of-war of the past few elections has convinced me that the Left and the statist Right are actually as alike as Tweedledee and Tweedledum and that they are, together, pulling the country apart.  Just as Leftists view any liberal who believes in small government and individual initiative a heretic, so do those on the Right who view anyone who does not share their fantasies about Granny Government and her all-powerful magic wand “not a real conservative.”

What I think of the “purity game” is no secret, either, but here I want to consider this talk of “big-government, control-freak statists on the social Right” who believe the government has an “all-powerful magic wand.”

Maybe I just missed them, but I’m struggling to recall a significant number of examples of this nefarious social-con variation. To be sure, there are a select handful of individuals who come to mind—for instance, Joseph Farah and Peter Sprigg—but beyond that, I don’t know how any significant, respected portion of the social conservative movement fits the bill.

Read the rest at NewsRealBlog.

Ben Stein vs. Richard Dawkins

Ben Stein’s documentary Expelled sounds eye-opening, and if this observation for Mariano at Atheism Sucks is any indication, it sure will be:

Now on to Prof. Dawkin’s ID promotion. Mr. Stein’s interview with Prof. Dawkins is something to behold—a feast sights and sounds, I assure you. For instance, Prof. Dawkins asserts that people feel liberated and relieved when they realize that God does not exist. Mr. Stein asks him how he knows that, he is after all speaking with an empirical scientist. Prof. Dawkins responds that he receives letters from people to that effect. To which Mr. Stein states that there are some 8 billion people in the world and asks, “How many letters do you get?” This is funny and even embarrassing but think about it: the sorts of letters that Prof. Dawkins receives to that effect are of a very particular sort having been written by people who were motivated to contact him in order to either thank him, or buddy up to him, or congratulate him, etc. This certainly constitutes a biased sample. This sadly short segment is peppered with Prof. Dawkins making authoritative pronouncements only to be asked how he knows that and being forced to admit that he does not.
Finally, he is asked how life could have originated presuming that God does not exist. He begins to explain Darwinian Natural Selection but is asked to back up to how life began in the first place. Taking a page straight out of Francis Crick’s atheist escapism playbook—he proposes Directed Panspermia. He lucidly explains, beyond any obscurity, that alien civilizations could have developed to the point of gaining the ability to seed life on earth. This is a theory for the intelligent design of life on earth. What then is the next logical question? How did life originate on that alien world? Prof. Dawkins explains that he believes that it was through Darwinian mechanisms.

RIP, Johnny Hart

Johnny Hart, the cartoonist behind BC, died Saturday at 76.

Though not my favorite comic (that honor would go to Dilbert), BC was always a charming, amusing strip. On my wall, I have one of Mr. Hart’s Sunday strips, which features the following poem:

There once was a preacher named Charlie D
Whose degree was in Christianity
But he chose to take up botany
So he sailed aboard the
HMS B
A fox of a man on a dog of a ship
Allowed his Christianity to slip
And concocted a ‘theory’ while at sea
Designed to make monkeys of you and me.

Rest in peace, Johnny Hart.