Banning the Lord’s Prayer video

This video was made by the Church of England to help publicize a new prayer website. A cinema advertising firm was paid to show it as one of those advertisements that run before the previews. But then the advertising company banned the video on the grounds that it might offend some people.

Interestingly, though, the British public is now up in arms over the decision. Not just church leaders, but the Prime Minister, politicians of all parties, and representatives of those expected to be offended, including Muslims and atheists. Even the new atheist author Richard Dawkins is speaking out against the ban.

But enjoy the video for its own sake and as a Thanksgiving prayer.


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CNBC moderators lost the debate

Pretty much everybody agrees with the conclusions on our liveblog that the CNBC moderators of the Republican debate did an embarrassingly horrible job.  Even usually liberal observers–such as Time, NPR, and Politico–are saying so.  For a colorful account, see the British take in the London Daily Mail.

It wasn’t just that the questions were hard, or even biased.  Everyone expects that.  It’s that the questions were trivial (casting aspersions on Rubio for cashing in a $67,000 IRA?  Asking Jeb Bush his position on taxing fantasy football?), insulting (asking Trump if he is a “comic book” candidate?), and not fact-checked (one moderator cited information that he himself had had to retract earlier!).  And yet, the Republican candidates, individually and as a whole, scored big against them, with both indignation and wit.

After the jump, a good summary from the usually liberal Daily Beast, with this deck:  “From silly and inaccurate questions to just plain awkward interruptions, Team CNBC stumbled in Boulder—and was absolutely clobbered by the Republican presidential field for it.” [Read more...]

Child abuse as cultural relativism

The New York Times has published a piece condemning the U.S. military for ignoring cases of child sexual abuse in Afghanistan.  And yet, a few years earlier, the Times published a piece praising military briefers who told the troops to ignore the custom of “boy play”–older men taking young boys on “Love Thursdays” to use them sexually–on the grounds of cultural relativism.  Read Mollie Hemingway’s expose of the Times, linked and excerpted after the jump. [Read more...]

The Carly Fiorina challenge

During the last presidential candidate debate, Carly Fiorina–who has jumped to second place in the polls–posed the following challenge:

I dare Hillary Clinton [and] Barack Obama to watch these tapes. Watch a fully-formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking, while someone says, ‘We have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.’ This is about the character of our nation.

The media and abortion apologists have come back saying that those images are not on the videos and accusing Fiorina of lying.  But Glenn Stanton says that they are, giving the video clip segments to prove it. [Read more...]

A journalist’s experience in Vietnam

The German Lutheran journalist Uwe Siemon-Netto, a friend of mine, has written Duc:  Triumph of the Absurd, a Reporter’s Love for the Abandoned People of Vietnam, a memoir of his days as a Vietnam war correspondent, telling of his affection for the Vietnamese people, describing his harrowing experiences, and going on to indict the way the U.S. government and the media handled the war.  The audio book has been released by New Reformation Publications.  It’s a gripping story.  [Read more...]

Hackers enforcing morality?

So the Ashley Madison site, designed to hook up people who want to commit adultery, was hacked, leading to the release of data about some of the website’s 30 million customers (including already disgraced “family values” activist Josh Duggar).

This has created some indignation about the hackers’ “public shaming” of would-be adulterers.  But the fear of public shaming has kept people in line across all cultures for millennia, enforcing the external morality that is necessary for social order (a.k.a. “the first use of the Law”).  The internet has promised to get around that with total secrecy and anonymity, but the web isn’t as secret and anonymous as people assume.

So do you consider the Ashley Madison hacks to be egregious violations of privacy, or a fitting outing of cheating husbands and wives? [Read more...]