The NFL’s corruption

Brutal bullying.  Murder charges.  Rape.  Suicides.  Scrambled brains.  Just another week in the NFL.  Pulitzer Prize winning sportswriter Thomas Boswell loves professional football, but he is dismayed at what the NFL has seemingly become.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised.  Of course the game creates a market for “mean jocks” and criminal-types.  The notion of the athlete as a role model may be outmoded in today’s sports culture.  Can or should anything be done about all of this?  Consider Mr. Boswell’s catalog of corruption after the jump. [Read more...]

Euthanasia for kids

Belgium is considering a law that would extend “the right to euthanasia” to children, so that they could request their own deaths.  The Washington Post story about this, excerpted after the jump, gives a grisly survey of existing euthanasia laws.  It also quotes an Archbishop who, of course, opposes the proposed law, but on the grounds that it is unnecessary:  Doctors can instead use “palliative sedation,” in which patients are drugged unconscious, whereupon they can be allowed to starve to death.

Palliative sedation?  Why is this not euthanasia?  How can this be a pro-life alternative? [Read more...]

What Legalism & Licentiousness have in common

An objection being made to Tullian Tchividjian’s op-ed piece in the Washington Post that we blogged about yesterday (and that came up in our discussion too) is that legalism just isn’t the problem in the church today.  Rather, churches are rife with licentiousness.   Too much preaching of grace and forgiveness can encourage people to keep sinning.  We need more preaching of the Law to encourage people to act morally.

Actually, though, both legalism and licentiousness are different forms of self-righteousness.  The legalist thinks to earn God’s favor by his rectitude.  The libertine does whatever he wants with no guilt to hold him back.  Both are antinomian, denying their condemnation under the Law.  Both reject the Gospel because they think they don’t need it.  Neither has faith.  (Since good works are the fruits of faith, if you don’t have good works, you need more faith, which means you need more Gospel.)

That’s the way I see it.  After the jump, read Rev. Tchividjian’s response. [Read more...]

Duty and Vocation

Reflecting on the beards of the Red Sox made me think about the Victorians and a concept that was a major preoccupation of that era but that is hardly talked about anymore today:  Duty.   This is not the same as virtue or morality.  Rather, it is the obligation associated with a particular vocation.

The duty of a husband is to be faithful to his wife, support her, and protect her.  The duty of a soldier is to obey orders, remain at his post, and hazard his life for his country.  The duty of a worker is to do a good job, etc., etc.

Significantly, the place in Luther’s Small Catechism that teaches about vocation, giving the Biblical teachings about “the various holy orders”–such as pastors and laity, rulers and citizens, husbands and wives, parents and children, employers and workers–is called the Table of Duties. 

After the jump is William Wordsworth’s “Ode to Duty,” in which the pioneering Romantic poet writes about how he is sick of living just for himself and how he craves “the spirit of self sacrifice.”  Maybe our culture will get to that point. [Read more...]

Self-interest vs. ideology

Is it better in the realm of politics to stand on principle or to pursue self-interest?  Most of us would probably say the former.  But Robert J. Samuelson argues that self-interest is superior, even morally, to following an ideology, which breeds conflict, governmental paralysis, and the demonization of opponents.

Mr. Samuelson shows that the left and the right are both fixated on ideology and that their rhetoric and tactics are pretty much identical to each other.  After the jump, you can see how he makes his case. [Read more...]

The casino-government complex

More and more states are not only legalizing gambling, they are cashing in on it, raking in lots of revenue through mutually cushy deals with big casinos.  Michael Gerson discusses the problems with what he calls “the casino-government complex.” [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X