Wednesday, 10/23/13

    1. Fecundophobia
    2. Halloween and other springboards
    3. Freedom of Religion/Freedom of Worship
    4. Honor your father and mother
    5. Pigs get fat; runts get trampled


Mollie Hemingway takes to the pages of the Federalist Society with an overdue look a a social toxin: Fecundophobia: The Growing Fear Of Children And Fertile Women. The title may be ponderous, but the story isn’t.

First example is about Philip Rivers, “An Intense Weirdo,” who showed some decontextualized enthusiasm when he team to a two-possession lead inside two minutes.  (He apparently is a quarterback, reported to be a position in a game called “football,” that I think I may have bothered with in my mis-spent youth.)

“And he’s also about to have his seventh kid.” Whoa! That’s weird.

But it really isn’t fecundity they fear. What’s intensely weird about Philip Rivers is that he’s had them all with one woman, to whom he is married! How weird is that in the sports world?

ESPN Magazine, in a four-question interview with Rivers, included this one: “Six kids? Regardless of your profession, it’s impossible to be a good parent to six kids. Not enough hours in the day.” Yes, there’s a question mark in there, but does that really qualify it as a question?

Far commoner, and apparently not weird at all, are the jocks who sire small villages with multiple dams.  No problem having 12 pups by 8 dams, or 11 pups by 10 dams, and not being able to remember all their names. Nope. That’s good parenthood because each dam has a smallish number to raise (at least by this particular sire).

What terrifies them, I think, is that Phillip Rivers has an intact family. The children are being raised by biological parents. They won’t be on welfare unless they’re disabled. They’re probably being brainwashed with religion and other evils instead of being taught dependence on government.

And they’re outbreeding all the “right thinking” people! (May their tribe increase!)


Richard Mouw reflects on Halloween:

My parents were Evangelicals, but they always enjoyed Halloween. My father was a pastor, and he and my mother would put on a yearly Halloween party for the young people’s group at our church …
None of that would play well today in evangelical congregations, where—at the end of October, at least—a “Christ against culture” spirit takes over for a week or so …
I wonder about this each year. And I typically get asked as Halloween approaches what I think about the way the day gets celebrated …
What has changed since my childhood? Well, for one thing, in those days witches and warlocks were fictional characters. Today Wicca and neo-paganism are a fairly visible presence in the religious marketplace. More significantly, Halloween is no longer mainly for kids. It has become an adult festival as well—identified in many minds as an opportunity for a bit of Dionysian abandon.
And then there is the more general adult fascination, as evidenced in popular prime-time TV, with the subject matter traditionally associated with Halloween: zombies, ghouls and vampires.
So, do those recent changes mean that Christians should avoid Halloween? I’m ambivalent ….

That’s just introductory, though. The real meat comes after that.

(Mouw is really easy to distill: just take the first sentence or two from each paragraph.)


Despite some infelicitous phrasing in the article about him, it’s clear that Eric Metaxa is onto something:

We have also confused the terms freedom of worship with freedom of religion. So, what is the difference?
Freedom of religion allows us to take our faith into the public square as we leave our corporate worship settings. “The founders have said that we can and should do that,” adds Metaxas. “That means we can exercise our faith freely in the workplace, or wherever we are.”
Freedom of worship allows us to worship within the confines of the church building. However, that freedom is not valid outside of that church building. Furthermore, that means that whatever views you have on the hot-button social issues, such as abortion or same-sex marriage must be kept within the walls your home or your church building.
“They have freedom of worship in China, and they had it in Germany in the 1930s. Today, that is we have—freedom of worship. So today, we are slowly privatizing our faith because of this great misunderstanding,” says Metaxas. “Once we leave our homes or our churches, we are expected to accept the secular humanist view of everything.”
This privatization of our faith is believed to be an outward sign of a loss of religious freedom. The publicity of faith is what Metaxas and countless others believe to have made our country great.

In his latest book, Seven Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness, Metaxas gives examples of people—more specifically, seven men—who changed their culture because they exercised freedom of religion.
“When Christian voices are stifled, salt and light are removed from the culture. We see Jackie Robinson exercise his faith on the baseball field and was instrumental in the civil rights movement. And, of course, Wilberforce and Bonhoeffer did what they did because they publicly exercised their faith,” Metaxas points out.
In all of these cases and countless others, faith played a role in expanding freedom, blessing the nation, and ministering to the outcast.


China is growing old before it has grown rich. Doing what governments do, in a maneuver that has special valence in a country that so recently was deeply traditional, the law in China obliges children to support their parents.

The United States growing old as the engines of prosperity falter and wealth disparities balloon. And I’ve seen a definite and rather sudden increase in efforts to invoke our own filial support laws.

I’m not going very far out on a limb to say “expect this trend to continue.”


SolarCity’s second-quarter filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission notes that the company’s “ability to provide solar energy systems to customers on an economically viable basis depends on our ability to finance these systems with fund investors who require particular tax and other benefits” (emphasis added).
The company’s base is a 30% federal tax credit that accrues to investors who provide upfront financing for the rooftop panels that SolarCity installs for customers at no charge. Customers “lease” the panels from SolarCity by paying for the solar power they generate, which is priced below their utility’s retail rate.
Customers, however, must sign a contract agreeing to cede “any and all tax credits, incentives, renewable energy credits, green tags, carbon offset credits, utility rebates or any other non-power attributes of the system” to SolarCity. The tax credits are passed on to its investors, which include the venture-capital firms Draper Fisher Jurvetson, DBL Investors and Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management LLP.

(Allysia Finley: How Government Is Making Solar Billionaires) I like the concept of solar energy, but this kind of elbowing his way to government’s pig trough has increased Elon Musk’s net worth (via heavily-subsidized Tesla and Solar City) by $5 billion in 12 months.

But Medicaid? Eees outrage! Ees welfare!

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“The remarks made in this essay do not represent scholarly research. They are intended as topical stimulations for conversation among intelligent and informed people.” (Gerhart Niemeyer)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.