The new religiosity

TheWitch-no2

An academic journal published an article by a scholar arguing that if there is “trangenderism,” in which a person’s sexual identity is determined by an individual’s choice, then there also needs to be “transracialism,” in which a person’s racial identity is a matter of an individual’s choice.  Though the article is impeccably liberal, it brought out the “outrage mobs,” who forced both the journal editors and the scholar to do penance for their sins.

At the end of a discussion of this particular case, Nathanael Blake draws some close parallels between the “outrage mobs” and a particular kind of religiosity, one that is all about purity and language taboos, but lacking a concept of grace or redemption. [Read more…]

Americans’ moral beliefs

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Gallup has released its latest study of Americans’ moral beliefs.

Gallup’s Values and Beliefs poll has been taken each year since 2001, so that it is possible to track changes.

Some two-thirds of Americans see nothing wrong with sex between unmarried couples (69%), homosexual relations (63%), and having a baby outside of wedlock (62%).

Despite this sexual revolution, the vast majority of Americans still strongly disapprove of adultery, with only 9% considering it “OK,” a number that has changed little over the years.

Only 43% consider abortion to be moral, a number that has also been stable since 2001.

For the numbers on these and many other issues, as well as data about the values that have changed, go here.

The summary report, excerpted after the jump, observes that no issues have shown change in a conservative direction.

While it is true that most Americans consider themselves conservative politically, conservatives too are mostly liberal when it comes to morality.

 

Painting:  Moses with the 10 Commandments by Rembrandt [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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“The way of life” vs. “The way of death”

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“I believe that as an abortion provider, I am doing God’s work.”  So says Dr. Willie Parker, an abortionist who insists that he is a Christian.  New York Times columnist  Nicholas Kristof, in profiling him, claims that the conservative Christian consensus that abortion is murder is a late development, that the Bible doesn’t address the issue and that evangelicals often approved of it until just a few decades ago.

The estimable Dr. Al Mohler refutes all of this.  He admits, though, that one of Kristof’s points is valid:  Many evangelicals did approve of abortion or take a “moderate” position on the topic.  This was true even of the Southern Baptist Convention and Christianity Today up through the early 1970s.  (I believe anti-Catholicism had something to do with this.  I’m curious too if there is a relationship between a church’s stance on abortion and its position on infant baptism–do any of you know?)

At any rate, Dr. Mohler says the anti-life position of many evangelicals up until Roe v. Wade was unconscionable.  But that soon evangelicals returned to the historical Christian position on the topic.  (I believe Francis Schaeffer had a big influence on this.)

As for the historical Christian position, there is no doubt about that.  After the jump, I excerpt from Dr. Mohler’s essay quotations from the early church, which addressed abortion explicitly and in depth. [Read more…]

Assault on pro-life doctors

8928257201_d2ce02e317_zThe Hippocratic Oath specifically forbids physicians from committing abortion or euthanasia.  So that oath isn’t used much in the medical profession any more.  But doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals in the United States can still refuse to perform abortions on the grounds of conscience.

But now a concerted effort is underway to eliminate that conscience provision.  Lawmakers, professional organizations, and medical ethicists are considering making it a requirement that doctors do whatever their patients request.  “Personal morality has no place in medical practice.”

Under the proposed changes, a pro-life obstetrician must either perform the abortion or arrange for someone else to do it.  Or go into a different specialty.  Or leave the medical profession.

Wesley J. Smith reports on what is happening, linked after the jump, focusing on a recent article in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine. [Read more…]

Fox News co-president is ousted

512px-Fox_News_Channel_logoFox News has been a successful conservative-leaning news network.  But it seems to be coming apart.

First, its president Roger Ailes lost his job for sexual harassment.  Recently, the same charges brought down its biggest star, Bill O’Reilly.  And a group of black employees is suing Fox for racial discrimination.

Now Bill Shine, the co-president who succeeded Ailes, has lost his job, reportedly for not taking action when all of these complaints came up during his watch.

The owner of the network, Rupert Murdoch, and his sons who have taken over the business have fired Shine, with possibly more changes to come.

Are we seeing the end of conservative news? [Read more…]

Sexual harassment brings down Bill O’Reilly

512px-Bill_O'Reilly_at_the_World_Affairs_Council_of_Philadelphia_(cropped)Fox News sacrificed its top-rated program by firing Bill O’Reilly for multiple charges of sexual harassment.  The same charge earlier brought down the head of Fox News, Roger Ailes.

Other conservatives have recently been brought down by sex scandals, including the governor of Alabama.  Here in Oklahoma, a state legislator was ousted for sexual harassment after doing things like making his executive assistant go with him to strip clubs.

What can explain such behavior?  I know, original sin.  But surely simple decency, good manners, and common sense–the first use of the law–can restrain at least the most grotesque external expression of our inner lusts.  What these men were accused of doing is certainly not “conservative” behavior.  And it hurts the credibility of conservatives everywhere.

Photo, Bill O’Reilly at the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia.jpg: World Affairs Council of Philadelphia derivative work: Karppinen [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons [Read more…]