Libertarian candidate opposes 2nd Amendment liberties

As we blogged about (here and here), Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson is dismissive of religious liberty, which he dismisses as a “black hole.” His running mate, Bill Weld, is weak on the 2nd Amendment liberty to own a firearm.

Weld said that an AR-15 is a “weapon of mass destruction.”   Furthermore, he said, pistols are “even worse.”  (Than weapons of mass destruction?)  He called for restrictions on both kinds of firearms.   [Read more…]

Are Christians the powerful or the marginalized?

In the course of a post on why so many evangelicals are supporting Donald Trump, S. D. Kelly tosses off an observation that explains much about the current controversies between Christians and secularists.

Secularists tend to see Christians as “the powerful”; that is, in postmodern parlance, those who are in a position of power and privilege who oppress “the marginalized,” those who lack power and privilege.

But Christians tend to see themselves as “the marginalized,” oppressed by the cultural elite who exclude them and exercise their power against them.

Thus, when a Christian baker refuses to participate in a gay wedding, the secularists see the Christian heteronormative establishment discriminating against marginalized and oppressed gay people.

While Christians see secularists–who control the culture, the entertainment industry, the educational establishment, the government, and the law–imposing their sexual ideology on those with traditional Christian values and punishing them for their minority religious beliefs.

This explains much of the rhetoric, argumentation, and high feelings on both sides.  Are these just two irreconcilable perceptions?  Or can we make an objective case for one side or the other?  Does realizing these different perceptions suggest other ways of addressing these controversies? [Read more…]

Empiricism, common sense, and flossing

First we were told that we should avoid food that is high in cholesterol; then we were told that such food doesn’t get into the blood so it doesn’t matter. We were told to avoid eating fat; now we are told that fat can be good for us. Sometimes coffee has been described as harmful and sometimes as helpful.  Drinking alcohol used to be considered unhealthy; now we are told it’s good for the heart.

But there has always been an eternal healthcare verity:  Be sure to floss.

Now that maxim too is under assault:  Researchers are now saying that there is little to no evidence that flossing actually works.

Read the story excerpted and linked to after the jump, and then consider what I say afterwards, how this may reflect a bigger intellectual issue:  the difference between valid deductive reasoning and empirical proof. [Read more…]

The Libertarian candidate on religious liberty

Is Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson someone social conservatives could vote for as an alternative to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton?  Well, check out what he says about religious liberty, which he describes as a “black hole,” a liberty outside the bounds of his kind of libertarianism. [Read more…]

Japan flirts with World War II ideology again

Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party has just won a 2/3 majority in both of its houses of legislature, enabling it to amend its Constitution, which had been imposed by the United States after World War II.  The party wants to change the Constitution because it enshrines “the Western European theory of natural human rights,” including the freedom of speech.

Many in the party, including the Prime Minister, belong to a group that believes Japan was in the right during World War II.  These lawmakers want to rebuild Japan’s military capacity and to return to worship of the Emperor. [Read more…]

Donald Trump and Nietzsche

In a discussion of Donald Trump’s theology, Christian conservative Peter Wehner observes that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s worldview–with its emphasis on power, strength, and winning and its constant putdowns of the weak, the unattractive, and “losers”–is that of the anti-Christian philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.

[Read more…]