Victory for human rights in New York

In a bit of all-too-rare good news, the New York legislature has voted to extend equal protection of human rights to gays too. The governor of New York signed the bill into law late Friday night.

Kudos to Gov. Cuomo and the 33 legislators for having the courage to stand up for human rights in the face of intense bullying and threats from the bigots.

XFiles Weekend: The Christian war on secular culture

(Book: On Guard, by William Lane Craig. Chapter 1: “What is apologetics?”)

In this week’s installment, Dr. William Lane Craig addresses the topic, “Why Is Apologetics Important?” As I mentioned last time, apologetics is important because God’s failure to show up in real life leaves Christians without an objective basis for their faith, and therefore they have no alternative but to rely on the works of men like Dr. Craig. But that might be a bit blunt for a book intended to encourage Christians to keep believing, so he offers three other reasons instead.

  1. Shaping culture.
  2. Strengthening believers.
  3. Winning unbelievers.

Here’s how Dr. Craig introduces point number one:

We’ve all heard of the so-called culture war going on in American society. Some people may not like this militaristic metaphor, but the truth is that a tremendous struggle for the soul of America is raging right now… Secularists are bent on eliminating religion from the public square. The so-called New Atheists, represented by people like Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens, are even more aggressive. They want to exterminate religious belief entirely.

He forgot to say add atheists are the reincarnation of Adolph Hitler, but I’m sure that was just an oversight.

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Chuck Colson on losing rights

Chuck Colson has a column at townhall.com in which he explains why, in his opinion, the religious right is losing the right to speak out against the things they don’t believe in. It’s more honest than he intends.

David Woodward is a political science professor at Clemson University—one who has first-hand experience on how dangerous it can be to speak out in favor of traditional values: He almost lost his job over it.

In 1993, Woodward was asked to testify about the political power of homosexual groups in American life. He agreed to serve as an expert witness for the state of Colorado, which was fighting to defend the recently passed Amendment Two, which made it illegal to give protected status based on sexual orientation.

There, in a nutshell, is the heart of the problem: Christians are not just speaking their minds, they’re using their voice to try and pass legislation that goes beyond mere speech to actual, legalized oppression of those they disagree with.

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Letter to a secular nation

Writing for Townhall.com, Mike Adams makes one of the sillier arguments I’ve seen in a while, in attempted rebuttal of Sam Harris’s Letter to a Christian Nation. In particular, Adams seems offended by Harris’s remarks about the hate mail he got after writing The End of Faith.

[Harris] has this to say about the worst of it:

The most hostile of these communications have come from Christians. This is ironic, as Christians generally imagine that no faith imparts the virtues of love and forgiveness more effectively than their own. The truth is that many who claim to be transformed by Christ’s love are deeply, even murderously, intolerant of criticism.

Such a statement would be alarming to Christians were there not a fundamental logical error involved. One way to grasp that error is to imagine me starting a book with the following:

The most hostile of my communications have come from homosexuals. This is ironic, as homosexuals generally imagine that no lifestyle imparts the virtues of love and tolerance more effectively than their own. The truth is that many who claim to be liberated by alternative lifestyles are deeply, even murderously, intolerant of criticism.

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Sharia envy?

Chuck Colson weighs in on the Archbishop of Canterbury and his proposal that British law cede some of its jurisdiction to Islamic courts based on sharia law.

At first I thought the Archbishop misspoke.But it turns out, no. He calls this “supplementary jurisdiction” unavoidable. He compared it to accommodating Christians in areas like abortion or gay adoption.

With all due respect to the Archbishop, there is no such parallel. The only thing that is unavoidable here is his failure to see sharia as it is practiced in the real world, as opposed to in seminars.

In a way, Colson is right. Muslims are only asking for Islamic principles to be applied to other Muslims, whereas conservative Christians are trying to get their sectarian principles imposed on everyone regardless of religion. But there are parallels, even if Colson can’t see them.

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Bush foreign policy “a bomb”: Chuck Colson

George W. Bush, America’s born-again Christian president, with God’s help and conservative Christian support, is pursuing a foreign policy that has even staunch conservatives like Chuck Colson dismayed and alarmed:

Last month, the president announced his intention to sell Saudi Arabia some of our most sophisticated weapons. This is a bad idea, and you should let your representative know it right away…

[T]he Saudis do not need this kind of “persuasion.” They already have a good reason: Their oil is controlled by a Shiite minority that Iran, also Shiite, could exploit.

Then there is the nature and actions of the Saudi regime. Defense expert Frank Gaffney, Jr. reminded Washington Times readers this week of what the deal’s proponents hope they will forget: The Saudis are not a “reliable ally” of the United States.

The Saudi government funds and operates “mosques, madrassas, and Islamic centers” in the United States and elsewhere. These institutions spread the Salafist, or Wahabi, version of Islam practiced in the kingdom—the same kind that prohibits the practice of Christianity, that lets girls burn to death rather than letting them exit a burning building in their pajamas.

What’s more, it is the version of Islam that inspires bin Laden and other extremists and seeks to dominate other, more moderate, versions of Islam and destroy non-Muslim nations like ours. Without Saudi petro-dollars, Salafism would be confined to the Arabian peninsula.

We ought to recall also that Saudi Arabia has never recognized Israel’s right to exist. While it is difficult to imagine what good JDAMs would do against al Qaeda or the kingdom’s restive Shiites, it is easy to imagine how they could be used against Israel.

Or us, for that matter. It is common knowledge that Saudi security and intelligence forces contain al Qaeda sympathizers. Saudi intelligence files were found on al Qaeda computers in Afghanistan. It is not a stretch to imagine some of these weapons finding their way into terrorists’ hands and not unreasonable to fear that these weapons might one day be used against us.

But what’s a little terrorism between oil buddies like Bush and the Saudis, eh?

D’Souza on Bush’s “honesty”

Actually Bush Didn’t Lie, or so claims right-wing spinmeister Dinesh D’Souza.

Two leftist organizations have released a study that claims that the Bush administration lied about Iraq. Somehow I think we’ve heard that one before.

And of course, if people have known since 2002 that Bush was not telling the truth about Saddam’s alleged “weapons of mass destruction,” why, that must mean we’ve already debunked the people who were saying so. Yeah, that’s it, we’ve heard this one before, so it’s OK to ignore. We’ll just assume that it’s been dealt with.
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