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…]

Beauty and Difficulty

Thanks to Prof. Scott Ashmon of Concordia University Irvine for alerting me to this quotation from Philip Melanchthon:

“What is beautiful may be difficult.”

(“On Correcting the Studies of Youth” in A Melanchthon Reader, ed. Ralph Keen [New York: Peter Lang, 1988], 54, 56.)

Where is this evident?  How might this principle be applied?

A Lutheran Among Calvinist Baptists

In another contribution to the “Why can’t there be Lutheran Baptists” discussion, Christopher Jackson, a Lutheran attending grad school at the Southern Baptists Theological Seminary, a haven for for Calvinist baptists, weighs in.   He says there are indeed Lutheran influences at SBTS, as well as some students converting to Lutheranism.  He then blames his fellow Lutherans. [Read more…]

Catholic evangelism

Roman Catholics have been launching a major world-wide evangelism effort.  It includes “witnessing,” knocking on doors, and sharing what Jesus has done in my life. They are adopting techniques associated with evangelicals.  Do you think Catholics might have some advantages in the competition for the “unchurched”?  Their mystical tradition could appeal to the “spiritual but not religious” crowd.  They aren’t saddled so much as evangelicals with conservative politics, which is turning off so many non-Christians.  Catholic worship will come across to lots of people as more interesting than what most Protestants do.  To those attracted by megachurches, Catholicism is the most mega church of them all.  Despite their theological differences, should Protestants welcome Catholic evangelism efforts? [Read more…]