The qualities of gay & lesbian marriages

Sociologist Mark Regnerus discusses what we are learning about homosexual marriages, based on studies of countries that have had those arrangements for some time. [Read more…]

“The least untruthful manner”

James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, had been asked in a Congressional committee if the U.S. government was collecting data on millions of Americans.  He said, no.  But now with news about PRISM and other data mining programs, he is being accused of perjury.  But what I want to draw attention to is his defense and a great phrase he has entered into the English lexicon:

“I responded in what I thought was the most truthful, or least untruthful manner by saying no.”

[Read more…]

Luther on Learning

Thanks to Prof. Scott Ashmon of Concordia University Irvine for yet another great quote, this one from Martin Luther:

“How dare you not know what can be known?”

(Quoted in Robert Benne, “A Lutheran Vision/Version of Christian Humanism” Lutheran Forum 31 (1997): 42.)  [Does anybody know the source in Luther’s Works? Or is this one of those apocryphal sayings of Luther?  Even if so, it’s still a great line, an explosion of Christian anti-intellectualism.]

How might this principle be applied?

Over-the-counter morning-after pill for all ages

Recently, the FDA approved the “morning-after pill,” a contraceptive taken after sex, for sale without a prescription to females over 15 years old.  That created a furor from those who wanted it available to girls even younger.  The government has given up the fight, so now the pill will be sold over-the-counter to children.

Details after the jump, along with a debate over the drug.  Topics include, “does the pill cause abortion?”  (At first, the pill makers said that it stopped the implantation of a fertilized egg.  Now they are saying it simply prevents ovulation, which could take place while sperm are present.  At 89% effectiveness, though, it would seem to be working also after ovulation has taken place.  At any rate, no one seems to know exactly how the pill works or what its effects are, which seems odd in a drug sold over the counter.)  Also, “what will be the moral impact of the pill?”  What do you think? [Read more…]

Defending the Surveillance programs

Most of the discussion on this blog about the government’s program to monitor phone calls and the internet has been against it.  But some pundits, politicians, and security experts are defending the surveillance.

After the jump, I have excerpts from two journalists who defend the programs.  The conservative Charles Lane argues that, despite Rand Paul’s plans to file a lawsuit against the surveillance programs, they are, in fact, constitutional and legal.  The liberal Richard Cohen argues that the surveillance isn’t all that bad.  Safeguards are built in, and, besides, we have already given up our privacy every time we log onto Google and other online sites.

Do these arguments change your mind?  If not, how would you answer them?

[Read more…]

A Patriot or a Traitor?

Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former CIA employee who has been working with an intelligence contractor, revealed himself to be the source of reports about the government’s mass monitoring of telephones and the internet. After the jump, read about the cloak-and-dagger details from the perspective of the reporter to whom he leaked the classified information.

Do you consider him to be a traitor for giving aid and comfort to the enemy by disrupting a major anti-terrorism program?  Or do you consider him to be a patriot for exposing major threats to constitutional principles and American liberties? [Read more…]