Pushing back against “born this way”

Postmodernists are opposed to “essentialism,” the notion that ANYTHING is innate or predetermined.  Thus I have found it interesting that when it comes to homosexuality, the prevailing argument is that this condition IS innate and predetermined.   I have been waiting for signs that postmodernism is on its way out, and this seemed to be a significant development.  But now it seems that postmodernists are pushing back against Lady Gaga’s assertion that we can all say “I was born this way.” … Read more

Gay marriage & totalitarianism

We have discussed gay marriage in terms of theology and morality.  Now let us consider it in political terms.   What kind of government is it that takes to itself the power and the authority to make such a radical change in the institution of marriage?   George Weigel makes the connection between gay marriage and totalitarianism: As analysts running the gamut from Hannah Arendt to Leszek Kolakowski understood, modern totalitarian systems were, at bottom, attempts to remake reality by redefining reality… Read more

And now, the gender-free pre-school

In Sweden, a government-run pre-school is refusing all gender categories in their dealings with children, to the point of avoiding personal pronouns: On the surface, the school in Sodermalm – a well-to-do district of the Swedish capital – seems like any other. But listen carefully and you’ll notice a big difference. The teachers avoid using the pronouns “him” and “her” when talking to the children. Instead they refer to them as “friends”, by their first names, or as “hen” -… Read more

Where is the John Adams memorial?

Alexander Heffner in the Washington Post raises something that I have long called for: When President Obama ponders tough decisions at the White House, he may join the cadre of presidents who have sought inspiration in the Truman Balcony’s stunning vista, gazing at the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial, which commemorate our first and third commanders in chief. But there’s a man missing from this presidential panorama. Where is John Adams, our feisty second president and lifelong American patriot?… Read more

The genderless child

A Toronto couple is raising their baby to be genderless, refusing to identify the child either as a boy or a girl, so that he or she can choose his or her own sexual identity. The baby, named Storm, is now 4 months old.  This article explains how the parents are managing this:    Parents keep child’s gender secret – Parentcentral.ca. But I thought we were supposed to believe that sexual identity is not a choice, but rather an innate… Read more

The Atlanta cheating scandal

It’s not the students who cheated in Atlanta.  It’s the teachers.  And the principals: Prosecutors are weighing whether to file any criminal charges against 178 Atlanta teachers and principals who state investigators said had cheated on standardized tests to inflate student scores. The cheating in 2009, found in 44 of the 56 Atlanta public schools examined, was prompted primarily by pressure to meet targets in a data-driven environment, a statement released by Governor Nathan Deal’s office said. “A culture of… Read more

The end of the Hapsburg dynasty

The line that gave us most of the Holy Roman Emperors–including Charles V, before whom Luther confessed his faith at the Diet of Worms, who was presented the Augsburg Confession, and who battled the Reformation with the sword–is now extinct. The eldest son of the last ruler of the Austro-Hungarian empire has died in Germany at the age of 98. Otto von Habsburg was born in 1912, as the heir to the empire, but it collapsed at the end of… Read more

Atheocracy

Denver bishop James D. Conley offers a potentially useful new word: In our day, those “decrying the Christian religion” have seized the captain’s seat in America—in the academy, the media, the government and courts. The result is a kind of publicly enforced religious indifferentism, or what recent Popes have called “practical atheism.” The Constitution insists that no religious test shall ever be required for public office. But our society, in effect, now imposes an “irreligious test.” To take part in… Read more

A liberal tea party?

Liberals are afflicted with tea party envy.  According to leftist political theory, populist movements–grassroot uprisings of the masses–are supposed to advance the agenda of the left.  But in America most populist movements lean right.   So Democrats are trying to organize a tea party of their own: At last weekend’s Netroots Nation gathering in Minneapolis, liberal activists expressed frustration that they lacked the political power or media focus given to the conservative tea-party movement. Former White House environmental official Van Jones… Read more

Pollution cures global warming

Climate scientists–the established ones, not the renegades–have found that global surface temperatures did not rise from 1998 to 2008, despite heightened carbon emissions, and they have been trying to figure out why.  Now they are saying the temperature drop is anthropogenic, the result (like they had been saying of global warming) of pollution, just a different kind: Smoke belching from Asia’s rapidly growing economies is largely responsible for a halt in global warming in the decade after 1998 because of… Read more

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