As a father of two young girls, I am concerned with modesty in dress which today is a difficult issue for young women given the current state of fashion and lack of appropriate role models. Unfortunately, there are very few positive influences available.
While I believe it’s important for mothers to instruct girls on how to dress modestly (and the reasons why modesty is so critical) it’s not an issue that fathers can afford to ignore. Our daughters need to understand from us that there is more to the issue that simply what they should and should not wear.
One of the amusing aspects of Pope Benedict XVI’s installation as Pope this week has been the outrage expressed among secular liberals is that the Pope is, well, Catholic. As Philip Lawler notes in his column today for OpinionJournal.com:
Yes, the pope is a Catholic. Yet that unsurprising result has clearly shaken many secular liberals–and more than a few liberal Catholics–who feel that they have been somehow cheated of an opportunity. Their vindictive snarls have been prominently featured in the coverage of the new pope’s election. Benedict XVI has been characterized not merely as a "conservative" but as an "ultraconservative." Words such as "rigid" and "stern" are ubiquitous. Profiles of the new pontiff rarely fail to mention that as a teenager he was briefly a member of a Hitler Youth group (in which he was enrolled against his will) and the German army (which he deserted). When a London tabloid identified the new pope in a banner headline as "God’s Rottweiler," dozens of more respectable journalists gleefully seized on the nickname.
Woo hoo! My first title from Mind & Media has arrived, and judging by the endorsements, it’s gonna be great. As you may know, M&M distributes books to reviewers for free, with an agreement that they review the books on their web site. You can learn more about their program and sign up if you wish, here. In this case, publisher Crossway Books, has provided Total Truth, by Nancy Pearcey.
If I’ve only got 30 days to read this book, I better get going! (I don’t really – that’s just the minimum time I must leave the M&M endorsement up in the sidebar, but I’ll leave it as long as it takes me to read the book.) I thought it would be just another easy-reader paperback- no way! It’s 465 pages!
The list of endorsements is impressive- James Sire, J.I. Packer, Ted Baehr, J.P. Moreland, Michael Behe, and others.
The subtitle, "Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity" is intriguing and hints at a challenge to the status quo. All of us with a rebellious streak find such hints strangely appealing – we might even break out in that sinister grin, or maybe even the beginnings of an evil laugh (muahahahaha). Stick it to the man!
The table of contents is equally impressive – 13 chapters broken into 4 parts – it looks wonderfully academic and content-rich, which is fine with me. If I have to read any more cutesie illustrative stories, I’m gonna scream!.
Too many Christian books seem filled with inspirationally stories rather than well-organized ideas arranged in a persuasive manner. I mean, I like Guideposts just as much as anyone else, but don’t sell me a whole book with chicken soup stories without warning me that that’s all you are selling! (Oops! Got on the soapbox – down boy!) I guess it takes all types of readers, but I’m glad I got this book instead of the latest "isn’t God wonderful" pablum, if you know what I mean. Meat, baby, meat! Anyway, thanks to Mind & Media for letting me review this book. However, I warn you – I won’t be nice just ’cause it’s a freebie!
Thanks to Rob and Mark’s essays I’m going to be rethinking prayer and how I pray.
Although many tributes have been written about the Pope and his legacy, this one from Charles Colson is one of the best that I have read. Pope John Paul II should be remembered as the man who stood up for freedom in many places both before and after he became Pope. He will be greatly missed.
Here’s a chance for you to get into the history books, and maybe even get to read your entry on national radio! NPR is reviving the classic This I Believe radio series. All submissions, which are in the form of 500 word or less essays, will be archived for posterity, and some will be read on the radio! Go for it!
I’ve had it with my conservative fellows who insist on tightly linking abortion with right-to-die issues. Sure they are related. NO, they are not synonymous, nor must the decision to allow the right-to-die be instricately linked to abortion rights. Let us instead try to separately elucidate the principles that should govern our decisions at both ends of life, then look back and see where the overlaps are. Here’s my first take. You help me fill in the gaps ;). And yes, I am still a biblical Christian even if I don’t share your opinion ;)
Our general rule should be to err towards preserving life when a questionable case comes up. In all cases where we are considering refusing treatment or active termination, we must balance the value of life against the pain and suffering of the individual.
Beginning-of-Life Advanced Treatment Principles
In my post on Citizens for Reasonable Abortion Limits (CRAL), I outlined and discussed the possible principles for the beginning of life. Here are those principles (minus the discussion of each):
- In Any Pregnancy, Both Of The Parents And The Developing Child Have Limited Rights
- The Developing Fetus Has Human Rights After a Defined Point in a Pregnancy – The Point of Personhood
- Terminating a Pregnancy Based On Physical Attributes such as Gender, Race, Sexual Orientation, or Treatable Medical Conditions is Not Acceptable
- Terminating a Pregnancy for Severe, Untreatable Fetal Conditions Must Be Preserved as a Parental Right, but Not Required by Law
- Terminating a Pregnancy Based on the Means of Pregnancy (Rape, Incest, Artificial Insemination, Natural Insemination) is Not Acceptable
- Terminating a Pregnancy to Protect the Life of a Mother Must be Preserved
- Abortion as A Medical Procedure Should be Protected and Taught In Medical Schools, but Should Not Be Mandatory
End-of-Life Advanced Treatment Principles
Here are the analogs to the above principles. I am sure we could add lots of detail around this, as Oregon did around it’s Death With Dignity legislation.
- A lucid individual has the right to refuse medical treatment.
- A lucid individual has the right to assisted suicide if their condition is physically painful, untreatable, and terminal.
- If an incapacitated person has created an advanced directive regarding refusal of medical treatment or the use of euthanasia in certain types of incapacitation, this directive must be followed.
- If an incapacitated person has created an advanced directive giving authority to an agent in certain types of incapacitation, but does not specify what should be done in those cases, the agent has the right to refuse medical treatment or call for euthanasia in those cases only.
- If an incapacitated person has created an advanced directive giving authority to an agent, but the type of incapacitation in question is not specified in the directive, the agent may only authorize refusal of treatment or euthanasia if the condition is physically painful, untreatable, and terminal.
- If an incapacitated person has not created an advanced directive, their legal guardian may only authorize refusal of treatment or euthanasia if the condition is physically painful, untreatable, and terminal.
The main overlap is in cases where the patient (unborn child or sick person) fits the following conditions: if the condition is physically painful, untreatable, and terminal, then assisted suicide (for the lucid) or euthanasia (for those unable to communicate) is permissable. So what do we do if we are missing one of the above? What if the condition is
- painful and untreatable, but not terminal? Palliative care.
- painful and terminal, but treatable? HIV comes to mind. I say treatment and palliative care.
- untreatable, terminal, but not painful? If there’s no pain, let them live and hope for a treatment!
I understand that many will agree with the above if I would just back off of the euthanasia/suicide thing and just stick with refusal of treatment. Despite the fact that one is active and the other passive, they are arguably both decisions to act, letting a person die. It is not always more noble to "let nature take its course" than to have the courage to act and eliminate suffering – to not act is not virtue, but often cowardice. It’s like when liberals say we should not interfere with another culture when it is involved in severe human rights abuses because we should have the virtue to "not interfere with their values." That’s not virtue, that’s stupidity in not recognizing self-evident, objective principles of right and wrong, and cowardice in not being willing to confront another culture. I think I am covered, so fire away!