I was recently asked by a Facebook friend to help him evaluate a YouTube video Putting Faith in Its Place This movie is essentially a rebuttal to the Judeo/Christian view of natural law, common sense, traditional morality and the knowability of God. The movie uses the analogy of a closed cube as an example of how we cannot know what is inside the unknowable. Here are a couple of excerpts from my comments to my friend that you might also find helpful.
There is an old axiom: “The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior,” which causes me to ask an obvious question about the “public option” for healthcare: Are there any examples of other “public options” that might be predictive models for what we might expect from another government-run program? And what happens to the field of health care when the same battles that have gone on over religious expression in public schools and other government sponsored activities, break out there?
Well, I guess we all finally know where we stand. We shouldn’t be confused any longer. The definition of words such as change, disinformation, mob, transparency, security-threat, healthcare reform, and fiscal responsibility seems pretty clear now. I don’t think we need to wonder any longer what our newly elected government officials (and all their respective unelected czars) mean when they talk about such things.
In all the media hype and hoopla over last week’s “Beer Summit” something has been conspicuously missing. The glaring omission: The event’s purpose as expressed by the person who called the meeting to order in the first place.
I was recently asked in an email exchange if perhaps I was bit of an alarmist (Or perhaps the implication by the writer was that I am just dead wrong) in my persistent rants about the state of affairs in the contemporary academy. “After all”, said my pen pal, “My personal experience as well as that of my kids hasn’t been as anti-truth and as adversarial to intellectual freedom as your writing suggests.” Here is a quick response as I offered it to my questioner in case y’all (That’s conjunctive slang – an Okieism if you will - for “any of you) care to join in on the fun.
Sometimes absurdity is the best teacher. Like a firm slap, it can shock the senses. Like the alarm on your nightstand, it can break the power of nightmares, awaken us from illusion, arouse us from dreams and call us back to reality. The ridiculous juxtaposed with the rational can indeed be a most effective tool in showing the clear difference between the two.
Oh, but we shouldn’t stop here. We would need to conclude our conversation with the Holy Grail of human development theory: The Plus-One Concept. This shibboleth tells us that all growth is incremental. Moral development is realized in sequential steps rather than broad leaps. To misdiagnose the “starting point” is to miss the whole point. As educators we must assume that all students are dualistic, black and white thinkers. If we are to honor the “plus-one concept” our goal must be to first assess the present developmental stage of the pupil and then to challenge these students to abandon their childlike affection for absolutes and move up one rung on the developmental ladder and, thus, embrace multiplicity as the next natural phase of life.
In the debate over human cloning we would be wise to remember Richard Weaver’s 1948 axiom: Ideas have consequences. All ideas lead somewhere. Question: Where will human cloning inevitably lead? (more…)
I am speaking out about President Barack Obama’s statements regarding staffing practices for faith-based organizations. I am very concerned. From the beginning the President has made it explicitly clear that he advocates government imposed hiring standards for religious colleges and other faith-based organizations. Such State intrusion cannot help but lead to government control of what ideas can and can’t be taught on our campuses. The bottom line is that State imposed hiring practices and the corresponding truncation of religious expression should cause all universities that are Christian, Jewish, or otherwise religious, to be concerned for their very existence
There is a story we all know. It is about a young man who left home some time ago. Early on he spent his days traveling to the places of his wildest dreams. He spent his nights pursuing his own way and doing what he wanted. But in the end he spent countless private moments wishing he could just go home. Listen with me, if you will, as I recount this young man’s tale.
Once there was a prominent rancher who had a son. Even though this son was very well cared for and had everything he needed he approached his father one day and said: (more…)
Our humility must be in ourselves. We must remember that our Creator “laughs at the wisdom of man,” that “our wisdom is no better than His foolishness” and finally that “we sometimes tend to think we know all we need to know . . . but sometimes our humble hearts can help us more than our proud minds…”
We are now making eye contact with a man who is tragically trapped and confused. Embarrassed eyes tell us of one who is ashamed of his duplicity and humiliated by calling for “change” in racial relations while yet being willing to “change” his racial identity by “changing” the color of his skin. We see a man who sings of a utopia - where all human beings are naturally beautiful, but yet this is a man so uncomfortable with his own appearance that he is willing to “change” the created and natural to the contrived and plastic through the use of surgery.
Words mean something. As human beings we stand alone in our use of language as our primary method of communication. We debate and we argue. We make speeches and we deliver sermons. We teach lessons. We pontificate, we preach, and we proclaim. We espouse liberal and conservative agendas ad infinitum. Our “bigger ideas” are framed and defended with emotion, passion, anger and indignation. We have confidence in our words and we resist any attempt of to co-op, twist or manipulate their meaning. We defend our words with tenacity. If they deceive we call them lies. If they embolden we call them inspiring. If they make promises we call them contracts. Words indeed mean something and history shows that they have the power to build nations, define religions, inspire revolutions, defend what is true or even hide what is false.