Chris Heard: “Interpreting Genesis 1 ‘literally'”
This is, rather, a plea that we follow Augustine and divest ourselves of the notion that interpreting a text literally means taking it as an historically accurate account of things that happened in time and space. If the text isn’t an historical narrative, then treating it as an historical narrative is not properly a literal interpretation. Now, I realize that discerning an author’s intention in this regard can be tricky — but not as tricky as you might think, if you attend to ancient genre conventions.
Lawrence Pintak: “Journalistic firebombs in the Middle East”
Ryan and his defenders rely heavily on the Catholic principle of subsidiarity, which Morlino defines as: “the problem at hand should be addressed at the lowest level possible — that is, the level closest to the people in need.” The federal government is so far removed from people on the ground, they argue, that it cannot possibly be responsible for addressing problems associated with poverty. That’s only true, however, if institutions at lower levels actually have the capacity to meet those needs. And that’s far from the case. As we discussed earlier this summer, each and every religious congregation in America would have to spend an additional $50,000 annually just to cover the proposed cuts in one federal nutrition program.
It’s likely the same reason most Western news organizations haven’t republished the topless Kate Middleton pix. Or why most US newspapers do not show dead soldiers. Or why, as I write this, I have told the head of my college’s NPR network that we will not publish the name of an underage rape victim, even though state law gives us the legal right. Such restraint does not damage our journalism.
Gary Longsine & Peter Boghossian: “Indignation Is Not Righteous”
Those who engage in these fallacies believe that becoming indignant, or refusing to question a particular belief, are virtues. In other words, one should become indignant, and not becoming indignant indicates a moral flaw in one’s character; one should refuse to question privileged beliefs, and persistence in questioning represents a character defect.
… Righteous indignation undermines civil discourse and often corrodes efforts aimed at reasonable compromise. When righteous indignation is invoked, conversation stops and violence may begin. For the indignant party, reason may be suspended. Righteous indignation muddles thinking, elevates emotional reactions to primacy in the discourse, and displaces its alternative: impassioned, reasoned, thoughtful analysis.