Playing Chikin

The chicken sandwich chain Chick-fil-A is owned by devout Christians who close their stores on Sundays and give lots of money to Christian causes.  The company gave some free sandwiches to a meeting of a “pro-family” group.  Since that group opposes gay marriage–even though Chick-fil-A has not said anything about that issue–some bloggers are calling for a boycott.

This is an especially big deal on university campuses, where Chick-fil-A has a presence.  Peter Wood sees the efforts to boycott the chain and to kick it off campus as symptomatic of some other trends in higher education:

Because of Chick-fil-A’s support for pro-family causes, it has recently run afoul of some gay bloggers who have called for a boycott of the restaurant chain. And as The New York Times reports, “Students at some universities have also begun trying to get the chain removed from campuses.”. . .

Students, of course, are well within their rights to criticize the company and to circulate petitions, and Chik-fil-A is well within its rights to support pro-family causes even as it pursues business opportunities on college and university campuses.  . . .I don’t see a free-speech issue emerging in this controversy. But I do see another instance of aggressive intolerance in higher education towards those who uphold traditional social values.

So far as I can tell, no one has accused Chick-fil-A of discriminating against gays and lesbians in its employment practices or its customer service. The incident that sparked the boycott campaign was a Pennsylvania Chick-fil-A restaurant’s provision of sandwiches and brownies to a marriage seminar put on by the Pennsylvania Family Institute—a group that opposes gay marriage and has been characterized by activists as anti-gay. The seminar in Harrisburg is “The Art of Marriage:  Getting to the Heart of God’s Design.”

Presumably Chick-fil-A contributes to other groups that hold similar views. Does that really provide a sound reason to those who favor gay marriage to drive Chick-fil-A off campus?I think not. The campaign is unwise because it seeks to punish and stigmatize those with whom the protesters disagree. The ideal of the campus as a place where people debate their differences by means of rational arguments and well-vetted evidence has been on a downward trajectory for decades. Kicking Chick-fil-A off campus is a reductio ad absurdum of the now-common tactic of roaring at your supposed opponents. The company, after all, isn’t busy on campus promoting an anti-gay marriage agenda. It’s just selling chicken sandwiches.

Protests like the one aimed at Chick-fil-A are partly or even mostly attempts to exhibit the power of the protesters. That aim has nothing to do with winning the argument—is gay marriage a good social policy or a mistaken one?—and everything to do with controlling the narrative. Only those who agree with the protesters are granted a legitimate voice hereafter. Roar loud enough and you may intimidate the target, but that’s of less importance than pumping up excitement among followers and creating a secondary wave of self-censorship among others who correctly surmise that it is dangerous to disagree.

via Is Chick-fil-A Anti-Gay? – Innovations – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Do you think gays are overplaying their hand?  They get legal rights, civil unions, in many places since they have the moral high ground same-sex marriage.  Do they need to persecute people who do not agree with them?

HT:  tODD

Obamacare struck down more completely

Once again, a federal judge has ruled that the Health Care Reform law is unconstitutional.  But this time the judge has struck down the whole bill.   From conservative attorney Ken Klukowski:

The federal court in the massive 26-state challenge to ObamaCare on Monday held that the health care law’s individual mandate is unconstitutional. And, even more importantly, the judge accepted the argument in my court brief that the mandate cannot be separated from the rest of this 2,700-page legislative monstrosity, and struck down the entire law.

Roger Vinson, of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, the judge presiding over this case, did so because of a single word: Severability.

A single law usually contains many different provisions. Lawmakers know that if someone challenges the constitutionality of a statute, they often challenge only one or two provisions of it. So lawmakers usually try to make sure at least part of their law will survive.

The process of striking down only part of a law is called “severability.” Therefore Congress almost always inserts a severability clause, saying that if part of the law is struck down, the remaining provisions continue in full force and effect.

Congress did not insert a severability clause in ObamaCare. So even though only a couple provisions of the health care law are being challenged in the Florida case—those two provisions being the individual mandate aka the requirement that every American has to buy insurance and also the sweeping expansion of Medicaid—the issue arises that if a court strikes down either of those provisions, it might strike down the entire statute.

via FoxNews.com – ObamaCare Unconstitutional — Why Judge Vinson’s Ruling Is So Important.

It will take the Supreme Court to end the litigation and make a definitive ruling.   But isn’t this an example of the carelessness with which this law was written, leaving out a severability clause?.

Debunking Muslim takeovers by birthrate

It is widely said that the high birthrates of Muslim immigrants will eventually give them majority status in Europe.  Not going to happen, according to researchers.  Actually, the Muslim birthrate throughout the world is declining, though not as much right now as with native Europeans.  But the growth of the Islamic population in Europe will be too small to make much of a difference:

Senior researcher Brian Grim said: “Across the next 20 years, we’re only seeing a 2 percent rise in the total share of Europe that is Muslim. We’re projecting that the growth rate is slowing. So this rise is very very modest. It’s a relatively small share of the overall population in Europe… There’s no real scenario that we’ve looked at that this ‘Eurabia’ scenario would come to be.”

Alan Cooperman, associate director for research, said the percentages of Muslims in some European populations would rise from 3 to 5 percent to between 6 and 10 percent by 2030. “Those are substantial increases but they are very far from the ‘Eurabia’ scenario of runaway growth,” he said. “We do not see either wordlwide or in Europe runaway growth. The growth rates are slowing.”

via Will Pew Muslim birth rate study finally silence the “Eurabia” claim? | Analysis & Opinion |.

We’ll be a cell of a greater organism

What some people expect will happen, from a review of another book:

In “Why the West Rules, For Now,” his excellent and amusing survey of the last 70,000 years or so of human history, Ian Morris discusses an event we can look forward to in 2045: the Singularity, “effectively merging carbon-and-silicon based intelligence into a single global consciousness. . . . We will transcend biology, evolving into a new, merged being as far ahead of homo sapiens as a contemporary human is of the individual cells that merge to create his or her body.”

via Sherry Turkle’s meditation on technology, “Alone Together”.

And all of us cells will be united, by, what, Facebook?

This, of course, is basically the premise of Gaia worship, which says that we already are all just cells of the organism Earth.  It also makes a great worldview for totalitarianism.

The union of the human and the machine is a goal transhumanism.  As Timothy Leary was dying of cancer, he dreamed of someday being able to download his consciousness into the internet, giving him everlasting life.  If everybody does that, we could dispense with our bodies altogether and all be one.

Is this the beginning of a new religion?  Does anyone know how seriously people, especially in the tech world, are taking this?  The Singularity.  Coming in 2045.   Put that date on your calendar.

Christianity Today Book Awards

Have you read any of these?  If so, please report.

2011 Christianity Today Book Awards | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction.

Are there any other books with a Christian theme that you think deserves to belong in a list like this?

A new nation

After years of civil war and genocide, in which the Arab Muslims of the north brutalized the African Christians of the south, a new nation has been born.  In accord with an armistice agreement, the people of southern Sudan voted for secession.  With 99.57% of the vote.

The new country, South Sudan, is set for sovereignty within six months.  It will be one of the poorest nations on earth.  And yet it sits atop vast amounts of oil.  By terms of the agreement, the oil wealth has to be shared with the north, but it needs to be developed first.

This is a country that’s worth pulling for.  And praying for.

It’s official: South Sudan set to secede with a 99.57 percent vote – CSMonitor.com.


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