Lacking any sense of proportion

Mark Steyn tells about a dad who asked his 15-year-old son to hold his beer for a second so he could take a picture.  Whereupon he got busted by the cops for giving alcohol to a minor.  Mr. Steyn puts his finger on a problem in law enforcement that, I would add, is also a problem in politics, public discourse, and the culture in general:  The lack of  any sense of proportion. [Read more...]

Religious compromise as “the price of citizenship”

Michael Avramovich gives us useful details about that New Mexico Supreme Court case we blogged about that ruled that a Christian photographer had to shoot a gay commitment service (New Mexico doesn’t even have gay marriage!) against the dictates of her conscience.

In the account, we hear from the judge, who puts forward a new legal principle that, if it becomes a precedent, would essentially end religious liberty in this country.  The judge said that compromising one’s religious beliefs is “the price of citizenship.” [Read more...]

Making churches pay taxes

We should make churches pay taxes. So say two recent articles.  Matthew Yglesias of Slate says that tax breaks force citizens to, in effect, fund religions they disagree with. Also, tax breaks don’t improve church productivity, since upgrading the building and other things churches spend money on won’t necessarily save more souls.  Also, eliminating the non-profit tax break would allow churches to proclaim their moral convictions more forthrightly and to endorse political candidates, which he thinks is perfectly appropriate.

Then Dylan Matthews of the Washington Post, expressing agreement with Yglesias, counts just how much tax breaks for churches cost the government and, following the assumption that all money belongs to the government so that not taking someone else’s money is an government expense and a giveaway, he concludes that “You give religions more than $82.5 billion per year.”

After the jump:  The links and excerpts giving their arguments.  Can you answer them?  Or are they right? [Read more...]

A Constitutional convention?

Conservative pundit Mark Levin has written a book entitled  The Liberty Amendments (which debuted at #1 on Amazon) which calls for a Constitutional convention to propose amendments that would rein in the power of the federal government.  (Under Article V of the Constitution,  2/3 of the states could call such a convention.  That would mean 34.  It would take 3/4 of the states to ratify any amendments that were proposed.)

The idea is picking up supporters from Rush Limbaugh to Senator Tom Coburn, from Tea Party activists to Conservative think tankers.  And efforts are being organized to sell the notion to state legislators.

After the jump:  A list of Levin’s proposed amendments, an excerpt from a review discussing them, and thoughts from me.

What do you think of this idea?  Would it work?  Should it?  Could it get the support of enough states?  What do you think of the individual amendments he is proposing? [Read more...]

Photographers must shoot same-sex weddings

Advocates of gay marriage and even opponents who grudgingly accept its inevitability say that it won’t affect Christians and other people who have moral qualms about homosexuality.  But religious exemptions apparently only apply to churches and not to religious individuals.  It looks like the anti-discrimination laws are going to force individuals and businesses to go along with gay marriage despite the dictates of their conscience.  Or so says the New Mexico Supreme Court in ruling that a photographer has to shoot gay weddings even though he has religious objections to them. [Read more...]

Obama administration defends government-sponsored Christian prayers

The Supreme Court is hearing a case that will decide whether or not it is constitutional for a city council to begin with an explicitly Christian prayer.  Surprisingly to both sides, the Obama administration has filed a brief defending the city council being sued and arguing that the government should not determine the content of someone’s prayer. [Read more...]


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