What is a dog worth?

If a dog is killed through someone’s negligence, is the owner entitled to compensation for just the monetary value of the animal (usually not much) or also for the “sentimental value” that come from the owner’s emotional attachment to the pet?  After all, family heirlooms–such as your grandfather’s watch or a piece of jewelry that has been handed down from generation to generation–can have a claimed value greater than the material cost.  Why not a family pet?

The Texas Supreme Court just ruled on this matter.  What do you think it ruled?  What do you think it should have ruled?  Think about that, then after the jump read about the court’s decision and George Will’s account of the case.  Do you agree with what he says about it? [Read more…]

Stephen King on Intelligent Design and God

Stephen King is the living master of horror fiction and a pretty darned good writer by any standard.  NPR has an interesting interview with him on the occasion of his new novel, Joyland (which sounds like a good one), in which he affirms his belief in Intelligent Design. [Read more…]

Two kinds of funerals

Funerals being on my mind lately, I offer you an essay I wrote that was published in  Table Talk.  It is entitled “A Tale of Two Funerals.” [Read more…]

Women are main breadwinners in 40% of households

A new Pew study has found that women are the main breadwinners in 40% of American households.  Much of this is due to the rise in single-mothers, but an increasing number of wives just earn more than their husbands.  Read the details after the jump and contemplate the cultural implications. [Read more…]

Making the arrangements

My heart isn’t in blogging today.  I’m certainly not in the mood to complain about the culture, worry about politics, or pick theological arguments.  Death gives a different kind of perspective, an eternal perspective, that, for all its hurt, is  healthy for me to consider. With my mother, my brother, and my sister, we have been “making arrangements” for my father’s funeral Friday.  [Read more…]

100,000 Christians per year die for their faith

Statistics about the number of Christian martyrs today:

A top Vatican official has said around 100,000 Christians are killed every year for reasons linked to their faith and pointed to the Middle East, Africa and Asia as the biggest problem areas.

Monsignor Silvano Maria Tomasi was quoted by Vatican radio on Tuesday as saying that the figures were “shocking” and “incredible”.

Tomasi said Christians were also forced to leave their homes and see their churches destroyed in some parts of the world, and were often subjected to rapes, kidnappings and discrimination.

The Vatican official made particular reference to the kidnapping of two Orthodox bishops near Aleppo in Syria last month.

Religious freedom is beset by “sectarianism, intolerance, terrorism and exclusionary laws,” he said, while also pointing to exceptions like Bangladesh where he said rights are protected.

Another senior Vatican figure, the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Mario Toso, said recently that discrimination against Christians “should be countered in the same way as anti-Semitism and Islamophobia”.

via 100,000 Christians die for faith every year: Vatican.

Interesting last sentence.  Is there even a name for this?  Anti-Christianism?  Christophobia?