Importing illiberalism

David Harsanyi asks, referring to the technical word for free societies, “Why is it that so many of the same people who are skeptical about exporting liberalism (count me as one) are perfectly content with the idea of importing illiberalism?”

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A call to repeal the Second Amendment

In a piece for Rolling Stone, Drexel constitutional law professor David S. Cohen calls for repealing the Second Amendment.  He argues that the right to keep and bear arms “is outdated, a threat to liberty and a suicide pact.” [Read more…]

Orthodox Church will have its “Vatican II”

The “Great and Holy Council of the Orthodox Church” will be held in Crete, June 16-27.  The Council, which will be attended by the leaders of all of the world’s 14 Orthodox bodies (though two are threatening boycott),  is being described as the Orthodox equivalent of “Vatican II.”  The issues to be taken up will reportedly include ecumenical relations, how to handle marriage to someone who is not Orthodox, problems of ethnic identity, achieving greater unity, and dealing with various contemporary questions.  After the jump, a story from a Catholic site with an interview of a key Orthodox player.

Orthodox readers, can you tell us more about this?  This wouldn’t have the authority of the early church councils, would it?, since it isn’t “ecumenical.”  But how would this fit in with its “conciliar” theology?  Do you expect the council to take up issues that are roiling the Western churches, such as homosexuality, gender issues, etc.?  Is the council likely to “modernize” Orthodoxy, as Vatican II did to Roman Catholicism?

UPDATE:  Five church bodies are refusing to come, including the biggest one, the Russian Orthodox Church.  So nearly half of the world’s Orthodox churches representing a majority of Orthodox Christians won’t be there.  For a good discussion of this disunity, including the big issue of the conflict between Russia and Constantinople for leadership in Orthodoxy, go here.  (HT:  Joe & McCain)

UPDATE: The Council will go on as planned, despite the absence of the Russians.  The Serbian church decided to attend after all, so only four will be absent.

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Transgendered men in women’s sports

The sports world obediently accepts the new cultural mandates about gender.  That means transgendered men can now compete, as women, in women’s sports.

Consider this case study:  Fallon Fox is a man who has transitioned into being a woman.  He, now called she, competes in women’s mixed martial arts.  Fox has so far beaten–and beaten up–5 women, having lost only one match in a technical knockout.  Here is an account of Fox’s last fight:

During Fox’s fight against Tamikka Brents, Brents suffered a concussion, an orbital bone fracture, and seven staples to the head. After her loss, Brents took to social media to fuel the controversy surrounding Fox’s perceived advantage: “I’ve fought a lot of women and have never felt the strength that I felt in a fight as I did that night. I can’t answer whether it’s because she was born a man or not because I’m not a doctor. I can only say, I’ve never felt so overpowered ever in my life and I am an abnormally strong female in my own right,” she stated. “Her grip was different, I could usually move around in the clinch against other females but couldn’t move at all in Fox’s clinch…”

Is this kind of competition fair?  Are those of you who are sympathetic to transgendered individuals OK with this?  And can’t you wait to see how this plays out in the Olympics, which has opened women’s sports to men who have not had “gender-reassignment surgery,” just hormone treatments?

After the jump, a picture and a link to a discussion by J. Douglas Johnson. [Read more…]

Thoughts about the Orlando shootings

Liberal commentators on the Orlando shootings are downplaying Islamic terrorism as a factor to concentrate instead on the need for gun control laws.  Some are even blaming Christians!  The reasoning is that no evidence has of yet turned up that ISIS planned and ordered the attacks from Syria.  Therefore, this is a “lone wolf” act of domestic terrorism by an American who hated gays and could easily procure firearms.

But modern terrorism employs the technique of “leaderless resistance“; that is, decentralized terrorism.  ISIS has sent out a call to attack the United States, specifically the state of Florida and killing gays.  So an American Muslim took up the task.  (And this is not the first time.)  There is no need for central planning when you can summon terrorists scattered all over the world.  What makes a person “ISIS” is pledging allegiance to the caliphate and operating in its name. That is exactly what Omar Mateen did.  So this was, in fact, an ISIS attack.

UPDATE:  Some of you commenters have chastized me that my “thoughts about the Orlando shootings” don’t say anything about sympathy for the victims.  Of course I have sympathy for the victims!  What happened to them is horrible and must never be tolerated.   I thought I conveyed that in my original post about the shooting.  My revulsion for this killing of gay people is why I am trying to think through how we might stop this sort of thing from happening again, which is the subject of this particular post.

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Millennials and vocation

Barna has done a study of the millennial generation’s attitude towards work.  Most do not see their careers as central to their identities (unlike Baby Boomers).  Rather, their jobs are there to fund their personal interests.  And yet, Millennial Christians are more likely than Baby Boomers to see their work in terms of “calling” (a.k.a. “vocation”).

The study discloses many fascinating paradoxes.  The purpose of vocation–namely, loving and serving one’s neighbor (not oneself)–seems to be somewhat missing.  As is the sense that vocation exists in the here and now, that whoever your neighbors are now defines your vocation.  “Calling” is something they hope for in the future.  Millennials do have a strong emphasis on wanting marriage and family, which is also a vocation, in addition to just work.  But still, I give them credit. [Read more…]


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