Do foreigners have constitutional rights?

constitution-1486010_640The Supreme Court has taken up a case that will decide whether or not foreigners–even those outside of American soil–have constitutional rights.

On the one hand, how could they?  Non-citizens cannot have the same privileges as citizens.  Foreigners in this country will be treated according to this country’s laws, which means no one will be allowed to mistreat them.  But how can a nation’s laws be applied outside its borders?

On the other hand, doesn’t the Declaration of Independence say that human rights are universal?  They are “inalienable,” not granted by a government but “endowed” by God.

The case, Hernández v. Mesa, has to do with a border control agent shooting a rock-throwing teenager who was on the Mexican side of the border.

So what do you think?  Do foreigners have constitutional rights?  Is there a difference between constitutional rights and human rights?  Explain. [Read more…]

The fall of the gay right-winger

Milo_Yiannopoulos,_Journalist,_Broadcaster_and_Entrepreneur-1441_(8961808556)_croppedConservatives used to have moral qualms about homosexuality, but Milo Yiannopoulos had become a right wing celebrity.  A strong supporter of Donald Trump and defender of the alt.right, Yiannopoulos enflamed college campuses with politically-incorrect mockery of feminists, leftists, and speech codes.

The militantly gay Yiannapoulos was an editor for Breitbart News and was invited to give a keynote address at CPAC, the big conference and pep rally for conservative activists.

But a tape turned up in which Yiannapoulos defended sex between adult men and 13-year-old “boys.”  He later insisted that he was opposed to pedophilia, but in the tape he defines pedophilia as sex with young children.  He considers sex with adolescents who have reached puberty as fair game.  (The law doesn’t consider it that way.)

So CPAC cancelled his appearance, his publisher cancelled a book deal, and he has resigned from Breitbart.

[Read more…]

Parents who regret having children

8667992858_ef623594a5_zA new category of victims has emerged in feminist and other progressive circles:  “regretful parents.”  These are mothers and fathers (but mostly mothers) who are coming out about regretting that they had children.

This “breaking of a taboo” against admitting the feeling seems related to the attempt to normalize abortion.  Not wanting a child is portrayed as valid and liberating, even after the child is born.

Ironically, regretful parents insist that they still love the child.  Even as they wish that he or she didn’t exist.

As Alexandra DeSanctis points out, this movement shows profound confusion about parenthood, love, and life in general.  As if “having a child is valuable only as long as it is rewarding.”

[Read more…]

What the Reformation did for preaching

Evangelical theologian Timothy George has written a fascinating and illuminating post entitled “How the Reformation Recovered Preaching.”

Prof. George shows not only historical facts about how the Reformation put the sermon back into the worship service.  (Before, sermons were only given on special occasions, and often outdoors instead of in the sanctuary.)  Drawing deeply on Luther, He also explores the theology of the sermon, which is a “sacramental event.”

Read highlights after the jump.

(Painting by Lucas Cranach, Altarpiece at St. Mary’s Church, Wittenberg.  Reproduction by Torsten Schleese (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.)

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Intersectionality

identity-795260_640If you are going to understand and navigate the complexities of oppression, victimhood, and political status hierarchies, you need to understand the concept of “intersectionality.”

The conventional categories of identity politics are race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, class, age, etc.  In each of these categories, some identities are privileged while others are discriminated against.  But a particular individual exists within multiple categories and thus holds multiple identities.  Each identity has its own place on the spectrum of privilege or discrimination hierarchies.  They “intersect,” and so a person’s “intersectionality”–that is, the particular combination of identities–defines his or her position on the socio-political hierarchy.

A black man who is heterosexual and middle class is oppressed because of his race, but his sexual orientation and social class are privileged.  A white woman who is lesbian and working class is privileged for being white, but her sex, sexual orientation, and social class make her oppressed.  A black, transgendered, lesbian, working class woman is more oppressed.

With intersectionality, you may be privileged, but you have areas in which you are oppressed.  Or if you are oppressed, intersectionality helps you to see that there are people even more oppressed than you are.

Intersectionality theory offers a complex calculus for calibrating how oppressed a person is, and thus who has the highest moral high ground within a group of leftists.  This explains a lot, as I get into after the jump.

 

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Starving patients to death

starvation_by_ivnkadsyra-d4f57bcEuthanasia laws have a way of expanding.  Once a society accepts the concept that sick people should be “put out of their misery,” the benefit can be applied ever more broadly–to those who are not terminally ill, just depressed; to people who cannot give consent; to the mentally handicapped; to children.  What begins as a humane-sounding way to end heart-breaking suffering, to be used only in rare and carefully defined cases, turns into something ever-more brutal.

Oregon legalized assisted suicide in 1997.  A new law would allow caregivers to deny food to those who have written an advance-care directive allowing for non-treatment.  Not just intravenous nutrition, but actual eating and drinking, even if the patient is hungry and wants to eat. [Read more…]