I was watching Truths that Transform this week, and during the social action part of the program, his organization and a spokesperson for Concerned Women for America talked about the threat to free speech that hate crimes and hate speech laws pose, especially to churches that want to preach about the immorality of homosexuality. Below, I present their argument, which I mostly agree with, with the caveats I mention.
But here’s the executive summary: Hate crimes laws are redundant with existing laws that cover those same crimes, can demand punishments out of proportion with the crime, and are Trojan horses for ushering in hate speech laws which threaten the free speech of opponents, usually to liberal social policy, by erroneously equating disagreement and moral criticism with hate.
Having grown weary of being called hateful for every conservative stance I take, I suddenly realized that liberals call their opposition on almost every issue “hateful.” It’s an epidemic! And WHY do they do this? I surmise that two things are going on – one, it is easier to make ad hominem attacks than make logical counter arguments, but secondly, and more importantly, they are victims of The New Tolerance, which mistakes every moral judgment for hate.
One interesting example that author gives of liberal inconsistency in this matter is the infamous Piss Christ painting. Paint Christ in a jar of piss, and leftists call that free speech. But paint a homosexual in a jar of piss? Unthinkable. Offensive. And you know what? It probably is. But only the OPPONENTS of the left are hateful in almost every stance.
While reading a recent critique of the new Atheism in The Noise of Reason, I discovered a hidden gem of history – the story of Liberal, Missouri.
Liberal, MO, named after the Liberal League in Lamar, Missouri (to which the town’s organizer belonged), was started as an atheist, “freethinker” utopia in 1880 by George Walser, an anti-religionist, agnostic lawyer. He bought 2000 acres of land and advertised across the country for atheists to come and
“found a town without a church, [w]here unbelievers could bring up their children without religious training, ” – and where Christians were not allowed. His idea was to build up a town that should exclusively be the home of Infidels…”a town that should have neither God, Hell, Church, nor Saloon.” Some of the early inhabitants of Liberal even encouraged other infidels to move to their town by publishing an advertisement which boasted that Liberal “is the only town of its size in the United States without a priest, preacher, church, saloon, God, Jesus, hell or devil.” (from Atheism and Liberal, MO)
Well, how did that little experiment turn out? It’s more incredible than you could imagine.
Today on Truths that Transform, Dr. Frank Wright, President and CEO of the National Religious Broadcasters, gave a simple and straightforward, if not simplistic speech about how truth is resisted and suppressed, or what he calls “the politics of opposition.” I’ve summarized below.
I have just finished reading James M. Arlandson’s 8-part series on Christianity and Pacifism, and it is fantastic. It does a great job of explaining the Christian stances on such questions as “Can Christians join the military or law enforcement?” (YES) “Is the Church ever to be militant?” (NO) “In times of extreme persecution, can Christians form armed militias?” (YES, if they protect all people, not just their own), and many more. I highly recommend the series below.
One of the problems with the descriptors “fundamentalist” and ”neofundamentalism” is that they carry different meanings among different groups. This causes confusion when such things are discussed. Below, I propose three different definitions of neo-fundamenalism, depending on who’s asking.
Losing a loved one is a painful event. But we also don’t want to lose the clear memory of who they were. There are a few things you can do to honor and remember those who are no longer here.
1. Give in their name
- Remember the noble causes they supported and give something in their name. It is common to donate in such a way that a permanent remembrance is created, like a park bench with their name on a plaque.
There are a mix of noble and ignoble reasons why conservatives oppose the global warming initiatives. Of course, the ignoble one is that many are more concerned for short term economic prosperity and holding on to power and the status quo than long term environmental safety. However, there are the more ‘noble’ reasons why conservatives oppose the modern panic over global warming:
- Unsubstantiated Claims of Certainty: Conservatives [believe they] can smell pseudoscience and unsubstantiated claims built on faulty assumptions a mile away. The same overreaching overconfidence that we see in the evolutionist camp plagues the environmentalists. No matter how much they protest that their science is definitive, it is clearly incomplete. They just haven’t made their case well enough even if they are right. They appear to be jumping the gun for ideological, rather than scientific reasons.
One of the points at which I disgree with my fellow conservatives is on the "point of personhood" of an embryo. While the standard evangelical and Catholic point of view is that the embryo is a person with rights beginning at fertilization, I think we should legally define it at some later point, perhaps around 4-6 weeks into gestation. At that point, the fetus has a heartbeat and brainwaves, and should logically be protected by law.
As I have been reading some of Wm. Gallston’s works, I found an interesting 2004 essay he wrote entitled RELIGIOUS PLURALISM AND THE LIMITS OF PUBLIC REASON. One of the things that he discusses is that Jewish tradition doesn’t give the fetus personhood until 40 days. I feel vindicated.
American Vision, one of my favorite home-schooling, Christian world view sites, has a good summary of why institutional atheism leads to a type of theocratic totalitarianism. Of course, this sort of statement will automatically cause the logic circuits in the atheists brain to fry, and they will probably immediately and uncontrollably start ranting about how “atheism can’t be theo-anything because there is no God in atheism,” but in my summary below, whenever the author I am summarizing writes ‘theocrat’ (he’s being purposely provocative), just substitute ‘autocrat.’
Yesterday I had lunch with NeoFundamentalist, who is actually a pastor here in my area. We talked about the history of fundamentalism and evangelicalism, modernism, and the mistakes made in each camp. Discussion also turned to how to fix these doctrinal and practical mistakes, and NF has obviously thought about this more than me. Today, I see that he has put some of it into writing in a good post entitled NeoFundamentalist, Remonstrans, and the Culture of Criticism. I’ve excerpted a few main points below, but you can also just go read the thing yourself.
I’m sure I’m sounding like a broken record, but as long as I get significant feedback and engagement on this issue, I will address it, because I believe that neo-fundamentalists, while carrying the excellent traditions of their forefathers, are also carrying over their errors, and I don’t want these errors to re-infect the ‘growing’ part of the church (evangelicalism and charismatic/pentecostal churches). I’ll be responding to the comments of Jim, from the post Why do I even visit hyperfundy sites?
- Part I: The Tripartite Makeup of Man – Introduction
- The Tripartite Man – Spirit and Soul
- The Tripartite Man – The Progress of Salvation
- The Tripartite Man – Spirit : Intuition
- The Tripartite Man – Spirit : Conscience
- The Tripartite Man – Spirit : Communion
- The Tripartite Man – Soul
- The Tripartite Man – Body
- The Tripartite Man – A model for social reform