Federalizing gay marriage

Not long ago, advocates of gay marriage were saying that since marriage laws are set by each state, gay marriage is an issue for individual states to decide.   Some, more socially liberal states, might approve same sex marriage, while socially conservative states wouldn’t have to.  But now the authority of states to set marriage laws and the solution of allowing diverse practices are both being taken away, as courts are ruling that same sex marriage must be legalized everywhere. [Read more…]

Income equality?

The Democrats’ big new issue is “income inequality.”  What they are referring to is that wealthier people are benefiting more from the current economic growth than those with lower incomes and that there is a growing economic gap between the two.  The Democrats want to address this with such policies as raising the minimum wage.  But surely adopting those policies, which might be worth doing, would do little to make incomes “equal,” would it?

If the problem is “income inequality,” asks Kathleen Parker, is the solution “income equality”?  Is the idea really to work towards everyone having the same income?  If that were to happen, would that be a good thing? [Read more…]

Top Biblical archaeology finds of 2013

Archaeologists keep digging up interesting discoveries.  Christianity Today lists the top 10 finds in Biblical archaeology of the past year. [Read more…]

Satanism is having a Reformation

The group that is trying to erect a statue of Baphomet next to the Ten Commandments at the Oklahoma state capitol represents a new strain of Satanism.  It isn’t just about black masses, occultism, and deliberate acts of evil.  The new Satanism is allying itself with atheism in an attempt to destroy traditional religions.  And yet just as the atheists are having a schism, so are the Satanists, with orthodox devil worshipers complaining that the new groups are not real Satanists.  So reports Joseph Laycock at Religion Dispatches, excerpted after the jump.

Think of it as an atheist Reformation, with a greater emphasis on spreading the bad news, replacing ritualism with a personal faithlessness, and de-emphasizing damnation by works.

[Read more…]

When your mother is your sister

A 58-year old woman in Utah is serving as a surrogate mother for her daughter.  The woman had already gone through menopause but she took a treatment of hormone shots to get herself back into the child-bearing mode.  So far, the pregnancy is going well, and the baby will be born in February.

The baby, a girl, will thus have two mothers.  One will be her grandmother and the other will be her sister.

What do you think of this?  Wanting a baby is a commendable desire and the Bible is sympathetic to women plagued by being “barren.”  If a woman wants to have a baby but can’t, due to fertility problems, do you acknowledge any limits as to what doctors or society or she herself should do to make that happen? [Read more…]

Dog whistles vs. smiley faces

In the context of a discussion about  “income inequality” (we’ll discuss that later), Kathleen Parker talks about political rhetoric and the different styles of each party.  Republicans, she says, use “dog whistles,” using loaded terms (big government!  tax-and-spend!  anti-family!) to summon the true believers.  Democrats use “smiley faces” to cover up unpleasant truths with positive emotions (“reproductive freedom” for late-term abortions).

Those are my examples.  What are some others on both sides? [Read more…]