“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?
"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."
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.
New on American Thinker – There’s No Reason Libertarians and Gay Conservatives Can’t Support Michele Bachmann
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.”
"Even the pro-life movement has embraced the Left’s antipathy toward children." Say What?! – UPDATED With Unhinged Response
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.
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.
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.
Around the Web
A Madison teacher tells her second- and third-graders that Scott Walker’s actions are basically like racial segregation. There’s no other word than evil for someone who tries to make small children, who are much too young to understand the issues behind this debate, hate another human being over reasonable policy disputes through vicious, preposterous lies that no sound-minded adult could possibly believe in good faith.
Thaddeus McCotter is officially in the presidential race. I’m withholding judgment, but given how underwhelming the rest of the GOP field is, I’m certainly willing to be won over if he’s got what it takes.
Robert Stacy McCain lays the smack down on a richly deserving scumbag with a history of defaming conservatives. If Taylor was sincerely worried about right-wing bloggers who aid America’s moral debasement, he could have started with the pro-choicers. No need to make stuff up.
Glenn Beck says he’s not playing the game anymore, and is ready to revolutionize the news and information system. Or something. I’m still skeptical that adding a subscription fee to what he’s basically already doing is going to do anything but decrease the number of people he reaches, not increase it.
Fox News Channel’s temporary post-Beck show, “The Five,” sounds really, really lame. “Hey, let’s throw together the C-listers we’ve got hanging around the studio anyway and call it a show!” (With apologies to Greg Gutfeld.)
New on NewsReal – Justice or Revenge? The Morality of Celebrating Osama bin Laden’s Death
My latest NewsRealBlog post:
Most of the nation is still celebrating the elimination of Osama bin Laden, the monster behind one of the worst days in American history. Some are relieved bin Laden can no longer aid the jihadist cause; others take pleasure in knowing the suffering he caused us has been partially repaid.
But at least one voice is having none of it. At the Huffington Post, “specialist in transformational change” (whatever that means) Dr. Pamela Gerloff writes that celebrating bin Laden’s death is mentally unhealthy and geopolitically dangerous:
“Celebrating” the killing of any member of our species–for example, by chanting USA! USA! and singing The Star Spangled Banner outside the White House or jubilantly demonstrating in the streets–is a violation of human dignity. Regardless of the perceived degree of “good” or “evil” in any of us, we are all, each of us, human. To celebrate the killing of a life, any life, is a failure to honor life’s inherent sanctity.
Plenty of people will argue that Osama Bin Laden did not respect the sanctity of others’ lives. To that I would ask, “What relevance does that have to our own actions?” One aspect of being human is our ability to choose our own behavior; more specifically, our capacity to return good for evil, love for hate, dignity for indignity. While Osama Bin Laden was widely considered to be the personification of evil, he was nonetheless a human being. A more peaceable response to his killing would be to mourn the many tragedies that led up to his violent death and the thousands of violent deaths that occurred in the attempt to eliminate him from the face of the Earth; and to feel compassion for anyone who, because of their role in the military or government, American or otherwise, has had to play a role in killing another. This kind of compassion can be cultivated, as practitioners of many different spiritual traditions will attest […]
It is hard not to think that some of the impulse to celebrate “justice being done” may also contain a certain pleasure in revenge–not just “closure” but “getting even.” The world is not safer with Osama Bin Laden’s violent demise (threat levels are going up, not down); evil has not been finally removed from the Earth; the War on Terror goes on–so any celebration must be tempered with the sobering fact that much work still needs to be done to establish peace.
There’s a lot to unpack here, most of it awful. But first, for the sake of fairness and decency one fair point must be acknowledged: If we truly recognize the intrinsic worth of all human life, we have to recognize that even the worst among us have souls, warped and polluted though they may be, and be careful not to think casually of any killing—even just and necessary killing, as bin Laden’s death clearly was. Now, I’d be lying if I told you I haven’t found some satisfaction in the confidence that Osama now knows the afterlife isn’t quite what he expected, but I also have to admit those thoughts don’t live up to the standard my Savior has set for me.
So we shouldn’t take pleasure in exacting bloody vengeance, but there is another aspect to the celebration that is entirely appropriate.
Hope in the Face of an American Holocaust
The whole problem with growing up and becoming intellectual is that we stop making the fundamental connections that children innately make. We stop being able to see the threads of evil for what they really are. We watch evil morph, change the colors or characteristics of its stripes, and we are fooled. Again and again mankind is fooled into embracing evil’s new form, even while decrying those who perpetrated evils past.
The child sees clearly the common threads. The child can connect an evil father with an evil slaver. The child can see that the evil which ensnared Anne Frank is the same evil that Martin is railing against. The child discerns that a Jewish life is the same as a black life is the same as a white life is the same as a young life is the same as an old life. The child could easily, with no prompting whatsoever, see a sonogram and tell you it’s a baby. The child does not dissemble and rationalize and wish for convenient ignorance.
To paraphrase Martin, dehumanizing one human being dehumanizes every human being. And dehumanizing leads inexorably to more and more dehumanizing. The line between who is on the legal list of those who can be treated as property to be disposed of becomes more and more blurred. Until doctors are killing live infants with scissors slammed into the backs of their tiny heads. And intellectualized adults can try to explain the difference to a child who knows better.
There are many lessons in Bernard Nathanson’s life for those of us who recognize the worth and dignity of all human lives and who seek to win hearts and change laws. Two in particular stand out for me.
First is the luminous power of truth. As I have written elsewhere, and as Nathanson’s own testimony confirms, the edifice of abortion is built on a foundation of lies. Nathanson told those lies; indeed, he helped to invent them. But others witnessed to truth. And when he was exposed to their bold, un-intimidated, self-sacrificial witness, the truth overcame the darkness in Nathanson’s heart and convicted him in the court of his own conscience.
Bernie and I became friends in the early 1990s, shortly after my own pro-life writings came to his attention. Once during the question-and-answer session following a speech he gave at Princeton, I asked him: “When you were promoting abortion, you were willing to lie in what you regarded as a good cause. Now that you have been converted to the cause of life, would you be willing to lie to save babies? How do those who hear your speeches and read your books and articles know that you are not lying now?” It was, I confess, an impertinently phrased question, but also, I believe, an important one. He seemed a bit stunned by it, and after a moment said, very quietly, “No, I wouldn’t lie, even to save babies.” At the dinner he and I had with students afterward, he explained himself further: “You said that I was converted to the cause of life; and that’s true. But you must remember that I was converted to the cause of life only because I was converted to the cause of truth. That’s why I wouldn’t lie, even in a good cause.”
The second lesson is this: We in the pro-life movement have no enemies to destroy. Our weapons are chaste weapons of the spirit: truth and love. Our task is less to defeat our opponents than to win them to the cause of life. To be sure, we must oppose the culture and politics of death resolutely and with a determination to win. But there is no one—no one—whose heart is so hard that he or she cannot be won over. Let us not lose faith in the power of our weapons to transform even the most resolute abortion advocates. The most dedicated abortion supporters are potential allies in the cause of life. It is the loving, prayerful, self-sacrificing witness of Joan Bell Andrews and so many other dedicated pro-life activists that softens the hearts and changes the lives of people like Dr. Bernard Nathanson.
May he rest in peace.