Santorum to oppose abstinence

Presidential hopeful Rick Santorum took a bold step today by announcing that his campaign is now opposed to the traditionally conservative position on abstinence. Speaking outside the Women’s Reproductive Health Center in Albany, NY, where he was helping to counsel prospective patients on their imminent damnation, Santorum said, “The conservative movement has been in favor of abstinence for a very long time, but I think that’s a mistake. In fact, I’d go as far as to call it a leading cause of the moral decay that has gripped our nation and led to equal rights for gays and other forms of apostasy.”

[Read more…]

Conservative trust in science in sharp decline

From the color-me-surprised department comes news of this study showing a very clear trend towards anti-science hostility among conservatives and/or people who regularly attend church.

Relying on data from the 1974-2010 waves of the nationally representative General Social Survey, the study found that people who self-identified as conservatives began the period with the highest trust in science, relative to self-identified moderates and liberals, and ended the period with the lowest.

A whole major subculture adopting hostility towards science as one of their major tribal identifiers. This won’t end well.

In bed with the Church?

They say that politics makes strange bedfellows, but this one seems a bit stranger than most.

David Coburn, the openly gay spokesman of Great Britain’s U.K. Independence Party, claims that Prime Minister David Cameron is “picking a fight” with the religious community over same-sex marriage, insisting that pushing such legislation “shows a lack of toleration towards others who look on marriage as a holy sacrament between man and woman.”

Coburn and UKIP made their opposition to the same-sex marriage legislation known last week, arguing that civil unions are a superior alternative that would not hinder religious freedom.

via the Christian Post.

Allowing everybody the same rights is a lack of tolerance? I suppose it is, in the same way that allowing McDonalds to sell hamburgers shows a lack of tolerance for vegetarianism.

[Read more…]

My years in the pro-life movement

So Doonesbury is taking on the medical rape bill this week, and there’s all the associated uproar you’d expect. Maybe now would be a good time for me to reminisce about my experiences as a pro-life advocate.

This was back during my evangelical Christian days, of course. As a conservative evangelical, I was automatically pro-life, almost without thinking. And yet, I did think too, which got me into a bit of trouble. Creationism was the biggest factor that ultimately made me question my faith, but my pro-life experiences made no small contribution to that outcome.

[Read more…]

At last the GOP makes sense

The democratic process relies on the assumption that citizens (the majority of them, at least) can recognize the best political candidate, or best policy idea, when they see it. But a growing body of research has revealed an unfortunate aspect of the human psyche that would seem to disprove this notion, and imply instead that democratic elections produce mediocre leadership and policies.

The research, led by David Dunning, a psychologist at Cornell University, shows that incompetent people are inherently unable to judge the competence of other people, or the quality of those people’s ideas. For example, if people lack expertise on tax reform, it is very difficult for them to identify the candidates who are actual experts. They simply lack the mental tools needed to make meaningful judgments.

As a result, no amount of information or facts about political candidates can override the inherent inability of many voters to accurately evaluate them.

via People Aren’t Smart Enough for Democracy to Flourish, Scientists Say – Yahoo! News.

Don’t laugh, this explains a lot about the Democrats, Libertarians, and Tea Party too.

Oh boy

As grieving parents, family and friends try to deal with the tragedy of the Chardon High School killings, at least one commentator is cackling with glee. For Todd Starnes of (where else?) Fox News, the killings give him the perfect opportunity to ask, “Why is school prayer only allowed during tragedies?

As police try to make sense of the senseless, the school superintendent called on people to pray.

It was a wise decision.

But perhaps lost in the chaos is the irony that in American public schools – people are not allowed to pray.

Liberals have successfully banished God from the classroom, replacing Him with the manmade god of secularism.

Yes, those darned liberals and their support for liberal handgun access. Oh wait, no, sorry, handguns are real, and aren’t really a liberal thing. Let’s blame an imaginary response by an imaginary God to an imaginary ban on people praying. Because everybody knows that if you don’t let God into the classroom, He gives handguns to emotionally unstable kids and tells them to go kill people—even when He’s not really banned from school.

Who said it?

Here’s a bit of a riddle for some of you. Who said the following?

I don’t want to go to a trade war, I want to beat China. I want to go to war with China and make America the most attractive place in the world to do business.

Need a hint? He also said this:

I do not want to make black people’s lives better by giving them someone else’s money, I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money.

[Read more…]

Protecting religions

Ed Brayton writes:

But there is an inherent danger in having the government decide which religions deserve protection and which do not, which are “legitimate” and which are not, especially since all religions are ultimately illegitimate. On the other hand, it seems absolutely clear to me that Scientology was created for the sole purpose of being a swindle, a con, a way to make money. I don’t think that’s true of other religions, even if they all do have adherents who find a way to get rich from it. It’s a very tough issue for me.

He’s right, it’s a tough issue. I suggest making a distinction: a free society should protect religious belief and religious speech, but religious institutions should not receive any more protection than any other organization. In other words, it should not be legal to discriminate against individuals for having or promoting religious beliefs, but religious institutions should not receive any additional benefits not available to other institutions or organizations.

In particular, religious institutions should not be exempt from accountability with respect to their constituents. If they make promises to their adherents that involve being paid or otherwise compensated for things, then they should be just as accountable as any other institution for delivering what they promised. And in cases where it’s disputable whether or not they kept their end of the bargain, the consumer should have the benefit of the doubt. The religious institution received tangible benefit from the consumer, and should therefore be obligated to prove that it provided tangible benefit to the consumer, or face appropriate breach-of-contract penalties.

Yeah, I know, I should also wish for a pony while I’m at it. But the first step in fixing a broken system is determining what a working system would look like.