Unlocking the iPhone

The Justice Department and Apple Computer are locked in a bitter legal battle in the FBI’s desire to unlock the iPhone used by the San Bernadino terrorists, both of whom were killed after their attack.  The FBI, understandably, wants to see who else might be in the terrorists’ network.  Surely, in the name of fighting terrorism, Apple should simply unlock the phone–right?  Well, it isn’t that easy.

My iPhone has a four-digit code that I have to enter every time the screen goes black.  When I got the phone, the guy at Verizon sternly instructed me that a user has six tries to enter the correct code.  If the wrong numbers are entered, eventually the phone is disabled and everything on it is erased.   A pang of fear shoots through me every time my big fingers hit the wrong numbers.

So if the FBI tries to unlock the terrorists’ phone–since it can’t get the correct numbers from the users, who are dead–they will likely instead cause the phone to erase everything they want to know.  So the government wants to coerce Apple into developing a way to get into the phone anyway. [Read more…]

Lutheran tribute to the 21 Coptic Martyrs

A year ago this week, ISIS beheaded 21 Coptic Christians in Libya. I’m pleased that the president of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod issued this video tribute to these martyrs of the Christian faith.  (Note the new icon that commemorates the martyrdom.) But aren’t the Copts heretics?  Read my discussion after the jump.


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American ISIS supporter tells of his plan to attack a church

A Muslim from Dearborn Heights, Michigan,was arrested for planning to attack a church in the Detroit area.  His remarks about his dreams and motivations are especially telling:

“If I can’t do jihad in the Middle East, I would do my jihad over here.”

“It is my dream to behead someone.”

Is it time for churches to implement security plans?  Or would that show a lack of faith that God would protect them, according to His will?

[Read more…]

Small Terror

In the course of a larger essay on the world’s political woes, David Brooks points out that all of the major acts of terrorism have had the effect of creating a cultural climate of anxiety, suspicion, and insecurity that he calls “small terror.” [Read more…]

Outlawing visits to websites

ISIS and other jihadist groups are using the internet to spread their message and recruit new members.  To combat this, Eric Posner, a prominent law professor from the University of Chicago, says that we need to put limits on freedom of speech.  Specifically, he proposes in Slate that we make it illegal for anyone to visit or link to or point other people to jihadist websites.

Again, note the syndrome:  Our security is at risk, so eliminate civil liberties!  Fear as the pretext for doing away with freedom. [Read more…]

The death of relativism?

Can the West keep up its postmodernist ideology of relativism–that there is no moral truth and that all cultures are equally valid–in the face of ISIS terrorism?  Andrew Klavan thinks not. [Read more…]


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