New Prager University Video: Separation of Church and State

The latest from Prager University:

“The Separation of Church and State.” Probably no phrase has had more impact on American history in the last fifty years than this one. Where did it come from? Who coined it? And, what does it mean? Distinguished law professor, John Eastman, has some surprising answers.

New Prager University Video: What Matters Most

The latest from Prager University:

What’s the most important thing you can have? Is it money? Is it love? Is it happiness? Or is it something else? Best-selling author and nationally syndicated radio host Dennis Prager has the answer. It may change the way you look at and, ultimately, lead your life.

New Prager University Video: "If Good and Evil Exist, God Exists," w/ Peter Kreeft

Prager U’s latest course: “Is there such a thing as objective morality? If there is, does that suggest a moral law giver? Peter Kreeft, distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Boston College, takes on these critical questions and offers some challenging answers.”

New Prager University Video: Do You Have Free Will?

From Prager University:

Do you have free will? Do you have the ability to shape your own destiny? Is there a difference between your mind and your brain? Or is free will just a convenient delusion? Are you really just a product of physical forces beyond your control? Best-selling author an acclaimed theologian Frank Pastore frames the debate the outcome of which may reshape the way you look at your life.

"We can lie to women all day long about the excitement of the hook-up culture, but it’s far better to tell women the truth, even though the word ‘slut’ stings."

That’s the conclusion of Cassy Fiano at PJ Media, who in two paragraphs, does more good for teen girls than all the “comprehensive” sex-ed programs in the country put together:
The worst part of the obsession with sluthood? The harm to women. For starters, one in five women currently have herpes. Rates of chlamydia among women have also skyrocketed, with almost three times as many women infected as men. HPV, a disease which can cause cancer, is so prevalent now that at least half of all sexually active adults have been diagnosed with it at some point. According to the CDC, of the 12,000 women who get cervical cancer each year, almost all of them are HPV-related. The effects are even worse on younger girls. Sixty-three percent of teens who have sex wish they didn’t. The Heritage Foundation did a study and found that 8,000 teenagers are infected with an STD daily.
As a woman, how is it better to close our eyes and bleat “empowerment!” about women being sluts? It’s harmful, degrading, and even the feminists advocating for sluthood admit to feeling used, cheap, and worthless. It may seem harsher to call someone a slut, but far better for us to stop glorifying sluthood as if it’s some kind of acceptable lifestyle than to praise women for it. What’s the better choice in the long run for women? To lie to them about the greatness of being a whore, or to be honest and call sluts what they are? Believe it or not, slut-shaming serves a purpose.
Read the rest of it, including some valuable background on feminists’ open promotion of sluthood (their word), here.

New on American Thinker – There’s No Reason Libertarians and Gay Conservatives Can’t Support Michele Bachmann

My latest American Thinker post:
Whenever conservative candidates demonstrate their electoral viability, sensationalistic denunciations of said conservatives as beyond the pale are sure to follow. Last weekend, Michael Smerconish declared that Rep. Michele Bachman (R-MN) has “lost a young conservative” named Ben Haney by signing the Iowa Family Leader’s Marriage Vow, which suggests homosexuality is a choice. And that’s not all:
In 2004, at the National Education Leadership Conference, you said of the gay lifestyle: “It’s a very sad life. It’s part of Satan, I think, to say this is gay. It’s anything but gay.”
Then there’s your husband, Marcus, who obtained his Ph.D. by virtue of a correspondence course. He runs a mental-health clinic but, according to Politico, is not registered with any of the three state boards that certify mental health practitioners. (Minnesota is one of the only states in which you can practice mental health without a license.) Last year, when asked during a radio interview about parenting homosexual children, he said:
“We have to understand: barbarians need to be educated. They need to be disciplined. Just because someone feels it or thinks it doesn’t mean that we are supposed to go down that road. That’s what is called the sinful nature. We have a responsibility as parents and as authority figures not to encourage such thoughts and feelings from moving into the action steps. . .”
Marcus Bachmann has denied that his clinic engages in attempts to “pray away the gay,” but ABC’s Nightline recently aired an interview with a man who said that, at age 17, he sought help from Bachmann & Associates and: ” path for my therapy would be to read the Bible, pray to God that I would no longer be gay.”
First, some fact checking: According to the Minneapolis StarTribune, both Marcus Bachmann and interviewer Penna Dexter say the “barbarian” quote referred to children, not gays: “We believe that children are born with a nature that inclines them to challenge and break rules, and that it is thus the parents’ responsibility to guide their children along good and productive paths.” Further, Dr. Bachmann hasn’t denied that he advises gays to pray for sexual conversions; he simply clarifies that it’s “not a special interest of the business and would only be attempted at the client’s request.” However foolish or distasteful gays find such services, let’s keep in mind that they don’t affect anyone who doesn’t choose to utilize them.
As for the “is homosexuality a choice?” debate, I’ve mostly ignored it since it’s irrelevant to public policy—gay Americans would still deserve equal protection of their natural and political rights even if homosexuality was 100% optional, and there would still be powerful reasons to resist the redefinition of marriage even if everyone agreed that sexual orientation was set in stone from conception onward. That said, I suspect homosexuality is substantially predetermined because, as Haney says, “If you could simply choose who you were sexually attracted to, wouldn’t you choose the path of least resistance?”

"Even the pro-life movement has embraced the Left’s antipathy toward children." Say What?! – UPDATED With Unhinged Response

This RedState post has a powerful, important message about the devaluing of children in American culture. Which makes it all the more lamentable that the author, Rob Taylor, chose to muddy the water with a ludicrous smear of the pro-life movement:
Even the pro-life movement has embraced the Left’s antipathy toward children. Our most ardent advocates of life accept the idea that giving birth out of wedlock ruins the mother’s life, or that a teen mother who chooses not to abort is dealing with her “mistake.”


Children are not mistakes. They are not burdens or obstacles to our personal fulfillment. When we degrade childbirth and parenting, as imperfect as many situations are, we give license to the degradation of our children by a spoiled, selfish and resentful public. So often children are abused because the people surrounding them have been taught to hate them. We have all been taught that children stop you from living life to the fullest, they anchor you to a meaningless existence. Then we are aghast when that resentment is manifested?


[…]


What good is defunding Planned Parenthood in a society where Casey Anthony has fans and groupies that send her gifts? Our food banks are empty, our foster system is full and our neighbors are raping their children. We need to do more than “like” pro-life videos on Facebook to fix this.


We need to embrace the love of life that the Left, and especially the “pro-choice” movement, has been so successful at perverting. It is not our own lives we need to love, but the loves of the weakest among us. We need to convince everyone that children are a gift and that means doing more than saying so in forums or to other pro-life advocates. We need to show people we believe that.
This, of course, isn’t the first time Taylor has picked a disingenuous fight with various conservatives. Or the second. Or the third. Or the fourth. As I challenged him last time he accused pro-lifers of not caring about unwed mothers:
Regarding single mothers, nobody on the Right argues that they should be disregarded. But what many conservatives *do* argue – that single motherhood isn’t a good trend, and that children need mothers AND fathers – is a message that conservatives cannot afford to lose sight of.

“Where is the pro-life movement when a woman doesn’t have an abortion?”

If you were more familiar with the movement you’re lecturing, you’d be able to answer that question yourself. The pro-life movement devotes at least as much time and energy to supporting adoption and crisis pregnancy centers as they do legislatively combating abortion.

He didn’t answer the challenge at the time. He does so for RedState’s commenters, though—badly. RedState’s commenters, particularly rightwingmom52, jerry39, and powertothepeople, do a great job refuting him, pointing out that he can’t actually substantiate this alleged epidemic of mother- and baby-hating pro-lifers who never bother to get off the couch.

This is a pattern with Rob Taylor, and I can’t help but wonder what motivates it. I initially thought it was mainly irrational personal animosity toward the individuals and groups he targets, but now I’m beginning to wonder if his two offensive RedState posts – first arguing that both sides of the aisle contribute to America’s moral decay, and now calling out both sides for devaluing America’s children – don’t point to another motive. Perhaps, in a variation of David Frum’s twisted approach to politics, Taylor has determined that his message will be taken more seriously if he cultivates a reputation as an equal-opportunity critic, and that it’s worth a lie here and there just to meet his conservatives-behaving-badly quota. (Speaking of which, isn’t it suspicious that he bashes pro-lifers who don’t do enough, but doesn’t have anything to say about actual pro-choicers on the Right?)

But that’s not how it works. Dishonesty—any dishonesty, for any reason—just corrupts the message and marks the messenger as someone not to be trusted or relied upon. Frum destroyed his own reputation on the Right, and now Rob Taylor threatens to do the same. Which is a shame, because again, parts of Taylor’s message needs to be heard. But until he owns up to his misdeeds and adopts a genuine commitment to honesty and fairness, he’ll continue to be his cause’s own worst enemy.  
UPDATE: Taylor has a response in RedState’s comments, and it’s a doozy: 

Odd. You’re attempting to smear me with this unhinged rant about how I’m Frummian while ignoring that I did indeed point out a national campaign featuring Bristol Palin that claimed babies ruin lives. Perhaps you were too busy copying and pasting a large part of a blog post I’ve seen somewhere else and passing it off as an original comment (to prove my dishonesty) to actually read anything I wrote. The fact that the post was on your vanity website makes this that much sadder.

David Swindle assures me we know each other – that we “worked together” at NRB. But since my work at NRB consisted of sitting in my home office cranking out essays and collecting checks from the mailbox you can see how I wouldn’t really remember the people I “worked” with. And of course you could see why I’d ignore someone I’ve never heard of. But since you apparently have “challenged” me to something or the other let me respond here:

Kevin – I don’t know you, I don’t care about you and I’m not interested in you or conflict between us you have dreamt up. I write opinion pieces here for a certain audience and they get it. Other people won’t. This is life and if you want to think it bothers me that people get upset and call me names on the Internet or claim I’m not a real conservative or whatever have fun. Whatever helps you sleep at night.

If you want to “debate” me you could – but you don’t. You prefer to wait until it’s obvious I’m bored with the piece and have moved on to drop in and take your shot. If you wanted to make a point about the issue you could – but you really don’t have one except some personal animosity based on the fact I barely interested with you when we both collected checks from the same people. This is important because it illustrates my point.

You could have spent the last week collecting food for food banks or helping charities or even if you were just going to sit at a computer you could help get the word out about missing children. Instead you’ve been trying to get my attention. Why? Why aren’t you volunteering with children? Why aren’t you a Big Brother? Why aren’t you helping others instead of giving a crap about what some guy you’ve never met said on the web?

Because you don’t believe in doing those things. It’s that simple. You’re not pro-life. You might be anti-abortion but you’re not pro-life, you don’t care about the life or the culture. You care about getting retweeted and being stroked by other shut-ins than you do about the culture of death America has produced. That’s what I’d like to see change.

This tirade has no rational relationship to anything I’ve actually said. Taylor just keeps digging the hole deeper, lacking even the good sense to realize that pretending to know what his critics do or don’t do offline is a dead giveaway to his dishonesty. It’s really something to see how little regard the man has for his own reputation.