Archive for September, 2011

The Mythical Hero of the Right

Guess who said this: Rather than talking about putting up a fence, why don’t we work out some recognition of our mutual problems? Make it possible for them to come here legally with a work permit. And then, while they’re working and earning here they can pay taxes here. And then when they want to go back, they can go back. Open the borders both ways. If you guessed Ronald Reagan, award yourself a cookie. He said in during a debate with George H.W. Bush during the 1980 election. And this was what Bush said about it: Read more

Sekulow: Constitution Will Be Amended to Add Sharia Law

Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice went on the 700 Club to tell their credulous followers that radical Muslims are going to amend the U.S. Constitution to impose Sharia law on America. With a straight face. Sharia law is a real situation in the United States. You have leading Imams that are considered moderate saying Sharia law is compliant with the U.S. Constitution, and the reason the reason they say that is because they know the constitution can be amended through a process, so that’s what they mean by Sharia being compliant with the U.S. Constitution. Sure, you amend it to comply with Sharia law. So that’s why they say that…We’re seeing it play out right now and it’s horrifying. Read more

Pope Wants Christians to Gang Up on Secularists

Pope Benedict thinks Christians should put aside their differences to fight the real enemy: Us. All faiths have to work together to stanch the tide of secularism sweeping the world, warned Pope Benedict XVI on Friday (Sept. 23) during the second day of a tour through his native Germany… “The most urgent thing for ecumenicalism is, namely, that we can’t allow the push of secularism to force us, almost without noticing, to lose sight of the major similarities that make us Christians, and which remain a gift and a challenge for us,” the pope said. Read more

Happy Blasphemy Rights Day

I almost forgot that today is International Blasphemy Rights Day, probably because, for the first time in a few years, I’m not speaking anywhere as part of the day’s festivities. I was invited to speak at the University of Illinois but I had to turn it down because I had another engagement a few days later that I would need the time to prepare for. Alas, that later event got postponed and now I wish I’d accepted the invitation. I actually have video of the “stand up skeptic” presentation I did last year for CFI Michigan for the occasion but I haven’t taken the time to get it converted and uploaded to Youtube. Anyway, happy International Blasphemy Rights Day!

Douthat on Capital Punishment

Russ Douthat of the New York Times has a badly argued post about the death penalty in the aftermath of the Troy Davis execution. First, he says that Davis should have been given a new trial. Obviously true. But then he says this: I strongly agree with death penalty critics like Will Wilkinson that the general decline of capital punishment in the United States over the last three centuries is a sign of moral progress. (It’s a very good thing that we aren’t hanging people for property crimes any more.) But it seems to me that there’s a real moral difference between reducing the application of the death penalty because we’ve decided that certain uses are inherently unjust (which is what drove the decline of executions for most of American history) and eliminating its use entirely because we’ve decided that our legal system isn’t competent to implement it (which is part of what’s driving the decline of the death penalty at the moment). The former trend represented a genuine revolution in how we treated the guilty; the latter trend just reflects our anxieties about possibly executing the innocent. Read more