Here’s today’s tasty tidbits, heavy on law and on religion today:
Wednesday was the 19th anniversary of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, a highwater mark for Supreme Court blovating and grandiosity (and this is true as a matter of constitutional law even if you agree with the outcome). Since few readers are ConLaw wonks, I’ll just link to Ed Whelan’s critique and selected gaseous quotes from this target-rich zone.
Speaking of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s foremost friend of feticide in the Courts, there’s a remarkably successful multi-state political effort to defund it, including more stings from LiveAction. This video (which should speak for itself, unless you’ve been living abroad lately) is especially relevant to Hoosier readers:
Now let’s see if the shoe fits the other foot: can you believe that the Obama Administration is actually threatening to cut off $4.2 billion in Medicaid funds to 99% of Indiana Medicaid patients just because the state has cut funds to a provider preferred by just 1% of the state’s Medicaid recipients?
The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (not idiots like the 9th Circuit) have upheld the Obamacare individual mandate 2-1. Conservative blogger Matt Franck thinks the dissent and majority are both excellently written and reasoned.
Ilya Somin at the Volokh Conspiracy tacitly agrees that the opinions are notable, but thinks the majority position especially radical since it expressly postulates that Congress can regulate economic inactivity under the Commerce Clause. Several other pieces at the Volokh Conspiracy are worth reading as well; the guys over there are serious legal scholars, one and all, and not homogenous.
Robert P. George asks: If opposition to SSM is bigotry, then is President Obama, who as of yesterday had not recanted his 2008 “opposition,” (1) a bigot or (2) lying about his opposition? He’d like to hear how the opposition-is-bigotry “progressives” would answer.
Any takers? Will he announce an epiphany on the subject the Wednesday after the 2012 elections (suggested by Tom McClusky, senior vice president of Family Research Council Action)?
In my younger days, a common dodge of the intellectually lazy was “It doesn’t matter what you believe so long as you’re sincere.” I thought, and still think, that is about as false as you can get. It doesn’t matter what you believe so long as you’re insincere.
If you’re insincere, you’ll default to consumerism or some other form of Babbitry. If you’re sincere, it will make a difference in how you live — and if you’re sincere about an evil ideology or religious sect, the difference will likely be for the worse.
While I’m encouraged to see a few articles this week (here and here) assuring us that Islam is, or soon will be, benign, I’m more reassured that the writers do not merely mean that most Muslims in the West will, in due course, be seduced by The Mall along with the rest of us, becoming secularized and insincere. I’m waiting for confirmation, I guess, in the form of some really hairy-chested, testosterone crazed and charismatic ÜberMuslim who fiercely and persuasively (to his co-religionists) supports pluralism and full civic rights and participation of other faiths in Muslim-majority lands from the pages of the Koran. Maybe he (or she — is that hoping for too much?) will emerge.
Better yet would be the emergence in Christendom of a powerful and sincere revival, so that no longer will a pious Muslim think “drunken and dissolute pornographer” when he hears “Christian.”
“Why do Godders have so many kids?” asks Peter Berger at The American Interest blog Religion and Other Curiosities:
What, I think, needs special explanation is intended parenting among people who have ready access to contraception (and, if that fails, abortion), and who may have every expectation that their children will grow up into adulthood. This is a stipulation that pertains to most people above the underclass in developed societies. As I write the next paragraph, I am thinking of reasonably affluent, college-educated, American Evangelicals I know.
I will venture a hypothesis. Religion has always given its adherents a sense of living in a meaningful universe. This protects individuals from what sociologists call anomie—a condition of disorder and meaninglessness. Religion, by the same token, gives a strong sense of identity and confidence in the future. More than anything else that human beings may do, the willingness of becoming a parent requires a good measure of confidence in the future.
I detest utilitarian or instrumentalist arguments for “religion,” and Berger’s not doing that here. I suspect his hypothesis is correct, though “confidence in the future” is not what I think of when I think of the eschatological goofiness of TV-type evangelicals.
“Albanian Riviera”?! A vacation destination?! (From the New York Times, so it may count toward your monthly freebies)
A generic Republican beats Obama 46% to 42% in a Rasmussen poll. Ann Althouse goes on, very briefly, to note why Obama is not terrified.