Miscellaneous Footnotes to Earlier Posts: Feminism, Racism, Prayer

Miscellaneous Footnotes to Earlier Posts: Feminism, Racism, Prayer December 9, 2015

Miscellaneous Footnotes to Earlier Posts: Feminism, Racism, and Prayer

I don’t care to devote entire posts to these topics because they are basically footnotes to earlier posts on these subjects.

First, a couple months ago I decried the “exoneration” of the Cleveland, Ohio policeman who shot twelve year old Tamir Rice. The video is there for everyone to see. I have seen it several times myself. I don’t see how anyone can view it and not be sickened. A child is standing in a public park and a police car swoops up next to him and a policeman jumps out and shoots him dead.

The “exoneration” was offered by some “experts” hired by the district attorney’s office. They said the policeman had reason to fear for his life. I did not believe that—based on the video I saw.

Now the Associated Press is reporting that three experts who examined the video frame-by-frame say that Tamir had his hands in his pockets when he was shot and that the time between the police car’s arrival beside him and the shot that killed him was one second. California-based shooting expert Jesse Wobrock is quoted as saying “The scientific analysis [of the video] and timing involved do not support any claim that there was a meaningful exchange between [the policeman] and Tamir Rice before he was shot.” (AP December 6, 2015)

A grand jury is still investigating. I will say, for myself, in my opinion, if the policeman involved is officially exonerated by the jury or the charges are officially dropped, this will be one of the worst travesties of justice in modern American history and will vindicate those who claim that deadly racism is still a problem in our American justice system.

Second, according to this week’s news reports women will now be admitted to all combat roles in all the branches of the U.S. military. This is, of course, a cause of great celebration for those who want full equality of women and men in every area of life. But there is still an obvious inconsistency that signals lack of equality. Young women still do not have to register with the Selective Service as do young men. Where are the voices of the feminists, the National Organization of Women and others, insisting that women match men in responsibility as well as ability? All the reasons traditionally used to exempt women from registering with the Selective Service are now overcome. It is simply sexism, this time in favor of women, that keeps them from having to do that. (I am personally opposed to military conscription, but so long as men must register, so ought women to have to register. Those who have good reasons for being exempted from a draft, if that should ever happen, would receive them—as do men.

Third, According to a report posted at the web site of the American Cancer Society on October 21, 2015, a scientific study has concluded that “Cancer patients with strong religious or spiritual beliefs report better health.” And that “reporting” is not merely subjective; it is shown that cancer patients who pray or meditate do better overall than those who do not. At the same time, another book is published by a noted atheist arguing that religion itself is dangerous to life and well-being. (David Silverman, Fighting God [Thomas Dunne Books, 2015])

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