Abortion Clinics Closing at Record Rate

The pro-life movement is winning some major victories on the ground.  The result is that abortion clinics are closing in record numbers. [Read more…]

“A mind not a material process”

Intelligent Design scholar Stephen Meyer has a new book out, Darwin’s Doubt.  Emily Belz of World reports on a talk he gave in New York City in which he says that various scientists, from a purely secularist point of view, are challenging Darwinism and proposing alternative theories.  The issue, he says, is the growing evidence that the data in the universe points to “a mind not a material process.” [Read more…]

Defining who gets Constitutional rights

A Senate committee approved a “media shield” bill designed to protect journalists from having to reveal their sources and giving them protection from government surveillance.  In doing so, the bill defines who gets to be a journalist.  To get these protections, you have to be a paid, professional employee of a recognized news organization.  Bloggers aren’t protected.  I might be because of my past work for World Magazine.  But not, presumably, Matt Drudge, who has often broken stories from confidential sources, including President Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky.

Beyond this particular law is a bigger question.  The Constitution guarantees freedom of “the press.”  Is that to apply only to professional journalists?  Or to those who own printing presses, namely, newspaper companies and publishing houses?  At the time of the Constitution, individuals like Ben Franklin–who could hardly be considered a professional news reporter– ran their own printing presses, printing their political opinions and commenting on the news of the day.  The internet in effect allows just about everybody to have their own printing press.  Shouldn’t freedom of the press extend to what you write on a blog or your FaceBook page?

And might other Constitutional rights be restricted by defining who they apply to?  Isn’t this already happening in the way some are construing civil liberties?  “You have the right to keep and bear arms.  That is, you have the right to join the National Guard and to keep your arms in the local armory.”  “You have freedom of religion.  No one will stop you from going to church, and we won’t make your church pay for morning after pills.  Just don’t act on your religious beliefs in the way you run your business.”  “You have freedom of speech, which entitles you to use pornography.  But don’t criticize homosexuality in public.” [Read more…]

13 die in Washington shootings

A gunman killed a dozen people in a Navy office building in Washington, D.C. The shooter, who was also killed, was a contractor named Aaron Alexis.  He does not seem to be an Islamic terrorist.  At first, authorities said there were three gunmen, but the word now is that there was only one.

Still, there are lots of questions about this attack.  For example, how did Alexis, with his history of mental illness and run-ins with the law, get his security clearance that allowed him to work at the complex?  How did he get his gun–some reports have said a shotgun and others an assault rifle–through security?  And how did he wreak such mayhem in a military facility bristling with armed guards?  This incident at the Naval Yard is the second mass shooting at a military installation in the Washington, D.C., area, after the massacre at Ft. Hood.  Why are our military installations so vulnerable to this kind of attack?

UPDATE:  Two members of our church work there.  They are OK, but I don’t know anything else.  That really brings it home.

[Read more…]

An Explanation of the Divine Service

Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL, has in its pew racks a laminated explanation of the liturgy.  The Brothers of John the Steadfast has arranged with Bethany to make this resource more widely available.  It’s posted here, and my understanding is that anyone can download and print it freely.

I’ve reproduced it after the jump.  Those of you interested in or curious about Lutheran worship–there have been questions at this blog about what the “divine service” entails–can get a good sense of what it is and why it is. [Read more…]

Cohabitation requires too much commitment?

The number of unmarried couples who are just living together skyrocketed in the last decades of the 20th century.  But since 2000 the cohabitation rate  has stalled.  Experts are saying that one reason may be that living together has become so common that it has become traditional, rather like marriage.  And, like marriage, living together is perceived as requiring too much commitment. [Read more…]