Infant morality

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Christians who don’t believe in baptizing infants generally hold to the notion of “the age of accountability.”  This means that children below a certain age (which varies) do not really sin because they don’t know what they are doing and therefore are not accountable.   After they reach that point, they can understand their sinfulness, repent, and make a “decision” for Christ.

An article in the evangelical publication Christianity Today recounts some fascinating experiments that show that infants do, in fact, have a moral sensibility.

I don’t know that these experiments can address the question of “accountability,” but they do show that infants are not blank slates, to be programmed as we will.  Rather, they are complex human beings with an innate sense of right and wrong.

And thus, we Lutherans say, they are good candidates for baptism.

FURTHER THOUGHT:  These experiments also provide evidence that the Law is “written on the heart” (Romans 2:15), rather than morality simply being a social construction, as is often assumed today.

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Trump’s jeopardy

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You never want to be the subject of a federal investigation.  Even if they can’t pin the crime they are investigating on you, they can convict you for your conduct during the investigation.  Remember Martha Stewart?  She was investigated for an illegal stock sale.  But there wasn’t enough evidence to prove that.  Nevertheless, she was sent to prison for obstructing the investigation.  Same with Scooter Libby, who was investigated for leaking information about CIA agent Valerie Plame.  That couldn’t be proven.  But Libby was convicted for lying to an FBI agent during the investigation.

David French is a major conservative critic of Donald Trump, but he doesn’t think he colluded with the Russians.  As an attorney, though, he warns Trump that he needs to be careful.  Offering to testify under oath about Come, for example, was not wise.  French brings up the Stewart and Libby examples and discusses the areas in which Trump is vulnerable.  No attorney, he observes, wants a client “who won’t stop talking.” [Read more…]

Amazon will buy Whole Foods

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Amazon.com has announced that it is buying the Whole Foods grocery chain for $13.7 billion.

Commenters are saying that this will help Amazon.com sell groceries on-line.  At the news the stock of traditional grocery stores, including Costco, have plummeted.

But the draw of Whole Foods its organic offerings and the attractive atmosphere of the store?  I don’t know that Whole Foods–with its high prices and its high social status–would work if customers shopped privately without the social dimension of shopping.

Maybe Amazon will keep the bricks-and-mortar concept, but Whole Foods has been losing money and its new owners are probably planning a technological solution.

Would you buy groceries on Amazon?  Would you ever come to the point of never going shopping for anything, just having everything delivered?  Wouldn’t you sometimes want to leave your house? [Read more…]

“Hell is other people” vs. Heaven is other people

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In his play No Exit, existentialist thinker Jean Paul Sartre said and portrayed that “Hell is other people.”

In a post that deals with the question of eternal punishment and the alternative views of universalism and annihilationism that we have been talking about, Lutheran writer Nathan Rinne develops the idea that, no, Hell has to do with isolation from others, while Heaven is about eternal communion with them.

Photo of a scene from Sartre’s No Exit, by KsKal (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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There may be adverse aspects to each of our rights

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Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) was one of the Congressman at the baseball field attacked by the “progressive” gunman.  He was asked the inevitable question about whether the incident changed his mind about “the gun situation” in America.

That is to say, you Republicans support the Second Amendment right to keep and to bear arms.  Now here you are getting fired upon by a man with a gun.  If he wasn’t able to get a firearm, no one would have been hurt because the attack would never have taken place.  So now, since you and your colleagues were victims of gun violence, are you ready to embrace some sort of gun control?

The congressman’s answer was masterful and definitive.  See what he said after the jump. [Read more…]

Liberalism’s obsession with language

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Camille Paglia is a feminist, a leftist, a lesbian, an atheist. . . .And yet she is a harsh critic of today’s feminists, leftists, gays, and atheists.

A new interview with her in the Weekly Standard offers some fascinating takes on Donald Trump (whom she defends), Democrats (whom she criticizes), Transgenderism (which she says is impossible), and Islamic terrorism (which she accuses liberals of whitewashing).

After the jump, a sample, giving her response to a question about why liberals are so squeamish about criticizing Islam.  This gets into a further discussion about political correctness and what happened to the left.  “Today’s liberalism,” she says, is “all about reducing individuals to a group identity” and “defining that identity in victim terms.” [Read more…]