Friday, April 24, 2009

It is! It isn't!

Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., the Congressman who introduced the bill, claimed the bill posed no danger to Christian free speech, saying that it "only applies to bias-motivated violent crimes and does not impinge public speech or writing in any way." Section 10 of H.R. 1913 states: "Nothing in this Act, or the amendments made by this Act, shall be construed to prohibit any expressive conduct protected from legal prohibition by, or any activities protected by the free speech or free exercise clauses of, the First Amendment to the Constitution."

. . .

The danger posed by the "hate crime" legislation to Christian ministers was confirmed when Congress considered practically identical legislation in 2007. Then, Rep. Artur Davis, D-Ala., admitted during a hearing on the measure that it could be used to prosecute pastors for preaching the biblical perspective on homosexuality, given the perception that it may have "induced" a later hate crime.

So you won't be prosecuted, unless someone feels like prosecuting you. Sounds great.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Thailand protesters trade governments

I am indeed no expert on Thai affairs. However it does seem that when a country is somewhat evenly divided between two political viewpoints, the best solution isn't to protest both sides as illegitimate. With any acceptance of the rule of law comes the occasional (or not so) acceptance of laws which are not your own.

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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Philosophy or feeling good about yourself?

Socrates talked. The assumption behind his approach to philosophy, and the approaches of millions of people since, is that moral thinking is mostly a matter of reason and deliberation: Think through moral problems. Find a just principle. Apply it.

. . .

Today, many psychologists, cognitive scientists and even philosophers embrace a different view of morality. In this view, moral thinking is more like aesthetics. As we look around the world, we are constantly evaluating what we see. Seeing and evaluating are not two separate processes. They are linked and basically simultaneous.

I'm not sure that Socrates was talking about what people do, but rather what people ought to do. But hey why think when you can just feel and call it moral?


A most happy Passover to all

I will sadly be a limited participant due to Triduum and Easter obligations.


Monday, April 06, 2009

Wiling Buyer for Chametz

In anticipation of Pesach... I bring you JFA's oddly amusing arrangement of Dayenu. And if you need a buyer for Chametz, just inform Squach and I'm sure we can make the proper arrangements.

Honoring what dishonors you

If I had known, I would have asked "Are they having her [Condi Rice] speak our of the competence of her office or are they heaping honors on her?" If the former, I would have no objection, just as I would have no objection to Obama speaking at Notre Dame. Part of the mission of a university is to engage with the movers and shakers, not to retreat from the world. But a Catholic University, while it has an obligation to engage with those who act in high office (such as Presidents and Sec'ys of State) has no obligation to prostitute itself by according high honors to public officials who advocate policies repugnant to the Catholic Faith.

It would seem obvious that you don't want to make a business out of honoring those who would shut you down given half a chance. I suppose it's possible that the administration at ND considers themselves insufficiently Catholic to fall under any of the various legislative measures being discussed. If so then I would argue it's best to stop calling it a Catholic school. Better to have words with meanings, I like to be able to talk about things, which can become difficult when people make up new things for existing words.

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