- Sleep: Philosphy and Prayer.
- Most effective anti-smoking ad ever?
- Epistemic closure in sociology.
- Empty seats at the Olympics!?
- Christian Humanism.
- “A Story With Heart” indeed.
If I told you that I had a neurological disease which meant that for eight or more hours a day I lost control of my faculties, bade farewell to the outside world, and was subject to complex hallucinations and delusions – such as being chased by a grizzly bear at Stockport Railway Station – you would think I was in a pretty bad way. If I also claimed that the condition was infectious, you would wish me luck in coping with such a terrible disease, and bid me a hasty farewell.
Of course, sleep is not a disease at all ….
… Who providest us with sleep as a rest from our infirmities, and as a repose for our bodies tired by labor ….
Orthodox Morning Prayer excerpt.
“What issues get settled in a decade?”
That’s Mark Regnerus, reflecting on the oddity that in a single decade, it has become virtually unquestionable dogma, at places like the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, that adult children of parents who have same-sex relationships show no differences from adult children raised by their own parents in intact families. So he decided to dig deeper.
For his trouble, including a peer-reviewed publication of the results, Regnerus has become the subject of a 2-minute hate by freelance “Minorities Anti-Defamation Professional.” See this critique of the verbose (truthfully, you’d never read it in two minutes) complaint humbug Scott Rose filed.
I learned in law school, in a Law and Sociology class, that (1) some sociologists will prostitute themselves for a politically correct cause and that (2) most of my law school classmates, 31 years ago, thought that was just fine. I’ve been skeptical of sociology ever since, and not just sociology that doesn’t confirm my biases. The PC cause then was opposition to the death penalty (which I also oppose). Sociological evidence (or Brandeis Briefs – I can’t recall for certain) was falsified (boo!), and thus the death penalty spent a decade or so in limbo (hurray!).
The same-sex marriage Tsunami is propelled more by network TV portrayals of gays and gay families than by dubious science, but the dubious science is a major buttress of the “Hater! Bigot!” mantra. Kudos to anyone like Regnerus with the cojones to test the
bad dubious science with better science.
Empty seats at the Olympics?! What the heck? How’d they do that? Maybe Mitt was right about poor preparation. (H/T Mike Bennett on Facebook)
Brad Birzer reminds us of Christian Humanism at The American Conservative, and it’s now online.
In a world agog with labels and categories we too often leave important ideas behind. With paleocons, traditionalists, neocons, Leocons, libertarians, classical liberals, anarcho-capitalists, distributists, and agrarians, the right can be as bad as the left in its fetish for classification.
One group that defies easy definition are the women and men we might call Christian Humanists. In 1939, the New York Times gave their philosophy a lineage. “This is the theme recurring in much of the writings of some of the foremost thinkers of our day, such as the late Irving Babbitt and Paul Elmer More, and [Nikolai] Berdyaev, Christopher Dawson, and T.S. Eliot.” The newspaper of record might have added others: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and their circles in Britain, as well as philosophers Jacques Maritain and Etienne Gilson in France.
“Humanism is a tradition of culture and ethics,” proclaimed the English historian Christopher Dawson, “founded on the study of humane letters.” The moment St. Paul quoted the Stoics in his mission to Athens — “In Him we move and live and have our being” — he bridged the humanist and Christian worlds. (The line came from a centuries-old Stoic hymn, “In Zeus we move and live and have our being.”) …
As the label “Christian Humanist” suggests, these writers, poets, and philosophers defended liberal education as the only true education. The liberal arts—connecting ancient, medieval, and modern man—liberated one from the immediate problems of this earth and linked each person to a greater continuity that transcended time and space. The liberal arts leavened the reason of each person, conferring citizenship in a Republic of Letters—what Cicero and the Stoics labeled the Cosmopolis and what St. Augustine would call, in a specially Christian understanding, the “City of God.” Any other form of education merely forced a stifling conformity on a person, making him less what the Creator uniquely made him to be ….
This is the first time, and almost certainly will be the last time, I link to the “Florida Baptist Witness.” The occasion is one Trevin Wax postulating that the Chick-fil-A boycott is really about Jesus – and Christophobia.
He starts well:
If you’re like me, you’re weary of the excessive politicization of nearly everything in American culture.
Can’t we just enjoy Oreo cookies without making a statement about gay rights? Or savor a chicken sandwich without fear of being labeled a hater or homophobe?
He then descends to “same old, same old:” a Muslim could easily get away with saying the same substance for which Dan Cathy, a Christian, got his company boycotted. Yeah, yeah.
But I have an educated and usually fairly sensible secularist friend who’s been waiting for Chick-fil-A be unmasked as a Theocratic monster. He was tipped off by them being religious because they’re closed on Sunday. And religious means political. No doubt Hobby Lobby is next on the hit list.
The bigots have their scholarly enablers here, too, but this time it’s law professor Michael Dorf:
[T]he speech of businesses and their representatives can be a legitimate concern of local government for two main reasons: First, speech manifesting bias may hint at illegal conduct manifesting the same bias …
Although federal law does not forbid discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation by private firms, in many places state or local law does. Of course, it is possible for the leadership of a firm to oppose same-sex marriage and simultaneously comply with such anti-discrimination laws. And indeed, a recent posting on Chick-fil-A’s website states that the company “treat[s] every person with honor, dignity and respect—regardless of their . . . sexual orientation.”
Nonetheless, it would be reasonable for a government official to subject Chick-fil-A to careful scrutiny in order to ensure that the company really is complying with anti-discrimination laws. After all, as I have argued at length in a recent academic paper, laws forbidding same-sex marriage can reasonably be understood as conveying a pernicious social meaning—suggesting that LGBT Americans are merely entitled to second-class citizenship. Granted, it would not be fair to conclude that a firm that opposes same-sex marriage also discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation in employment or public accommodations, but it would be fair to investigate that possibility on such grounds. Other things being equal, surely such a firm is more likely to discriminate than is a firm that applauds same-sex marriage.
(H/T Rod Dreher) In other words, if you support “traditional marriage” (a vexed term, to be sure), you mark yourself for the Bigoted Terrorist Watch List. If Eliot Spitzer was still in office, I’m sure he could find something to prosecute Dan Cathy for.
My friend and Professor Dorf, it seems to me, do manifest “Christophobia” – in the sense of fear and irrational suspicion of observant, orthodox Christians – even if the free pass a Muslim might hypothetically get doesn’t.
This story is not the sort of thing for which I subscribe to the Polyface Henhouse RSS feed, but, boy, was it a nice surprise! If the story’s not true, it oughta be.
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