Sunday, August 31, 2014

Abortions Are For Convenience

There has been a very skillful public relations campaign form the powerful abortion lobby in this country to justify abortion.  That lobby has two major elements: intense ideological support from the Left who value radical individualism over all else, and significant financial backing from the beneficiaries of what is now a multibillion-dollar industry.  In fact, abortion is the most common elective surgical procedure currently performed in the U.S.  And 93 percent of all abortions in the United States are birth control (convenience) abortions.  They have nothing to do with rape, incest, health of the baby, or health of the mother.

Dr. Norman Geisler & Frank Turek, "Legislating Morality," p.149

Saturday, August 30, 2014

If You Are A High Achiever, You Must Be "Privileged"

To think of some people as simply being higher achievers than others, for whatever reason, is a threat to today’s prevailing vision, for it implicitly places the onus on the lagging group to achieve more — and, perhaps more important, it deprives the intelligentsia of their role of fighting on the side of the angels against the forces of evil.  The very concept of achievement fades into the background, or disappears completely, in some of the verbal formulations of the intelligentsia, where those who turn out to be more successful ex post are depicted as having been “privileged” ex ante.

Thomas Sowell, Intellectuals and Society, p.411

Friday, August 29, 2014

Majority Doesn't Mean Truth

As ten millions of circles can never make a square, so the united voice of myriads cannot lend the smallest foundation to falsehood.

Oliver Goldsmith,  cited by David A. Noebel in Understanding the Times, p.24

Thursday, August 28, 2014

You Can't Avoid the Damage From Pornography

Whether you buy [pornography] or not, you will be greatly affected by those who do.  The aesthetic and moral environment in which you and your family live will be coarsened and degraded. . . . 

The externalities of depictions of violence and pornography are clear.  To complaints about those products being on the market, libertarians respond with something like “Just hit the remote control and change the channels on you TV set.”  But, like the person who chooses not to run a smelter while others do, you, your family, and your neighbors will be affected by the people who do not change the channel, who do rent the pornographic videos, who do read  As film critic Michael Medved put it: “To say that if you don’t like the popular culture, then turn it off, is like saying if you don’t like the smog, stop breathing. . . . There are Amish kids in Pennsylvania who know about Madonna.”  And their parents can do nothing about it.

Can there be any doubt that as pornography and depictions of violence become increasingly popular and increasingly accessible, attitudes about marriage, fidelity, divorce, obligations to children, the use of force, and permissible public behavior and language will change?  Or that with the changes in attitudes will come changes in conduct, both public and private?  We have seen those changes already and they are continuing.

Robert H. Bork, Slouching Towards Gomorrah, p.151, 152

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Diversity is a Crippling Weakness

Perhaps the most sinister and dangerous lie the left has beaten into the brains of unthinking Americans is that there is strength in diversity. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Diversity, as the first syllable in the word implies, divides. It does not unify. It fractures, debilitates, and diffuses. Energy that could be harnessed through unity of purpose and values is frittered away.

America became the greatest nation the world has ever known – freer, stronger, more prosperous, more stable – for one reason: an unshakable commitment to common core values and standards. That’s not diversity, that’s unity.

At the time of the founding, 99.8% of the population of our fledgling nation was Christian. And 98.4% of the population was Protestant. It is no exaggeration to say that the Protestant faith, particularly its moral values and its work ethic, made America what it became.

This fundamental spiritual unity also created a fundamental moral unity. Everyone agreed that the moral standards enshrined in the Ten Commandments were to be America’s guiding moral code.

We all worshiped the same God, the Creator God revealed on the pages of Scripture, and rejected spiritual counterfeits. We recognized the importance of language that was free from profanity. We recognized the importance of honoring parents. We affirmed the importance of marriage as the union of one man and one woman and stressed the importance of fidelity to the marriage covenant. We treated murder as a capital crime, punished theft, and punished perjury.

It was this common faith in Christianity and its Savior and our common adherence to a transcendent moral code that made America what it became. Our strength was not found in our diversity but in our unity.

When people migrated to America, regardless of their ethnic background, they came willing to embrace these transcendent values and leave behind customs and values that were contrary to these bedrock American principles.

Racial diversity is a strength only if it is subsumed under an overarching unity of values and purpose. Racial diversity at the expense of cultural unity, however, Balkanizes and divides. . . .

Because American unity is based on spiritual oneness (Christianity) and moral oneness (the Ten Commandments) all races and colors are welcome here if they embrace these fundamental values and are willing to become Americans rather than hyphenated Americans.

Our cultural unity is fraying to the point where the thread that ties us together is at its snapping point. Indeed, it may have frayed beyond repair. The one thing we can know is that those who are seeking to bring us back to spiritual and moral unity are doing the most important work any American can do.

Bryan Fischer, Diversity is Not a Strength But a Crippling Weakness, at Barbwire, 8/27/14

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

They Hate Christianity Because of Sex

For many, this all-consuming obsession with denying God, Judeo-Christian values, and our own immortal souls centers on one thing only.  Do you know what it is?  Do you know what the source is for most of the hostility we see toward Christianity in today’s culture?  It doesn’t have to do with Jesus Christ’s admonition that we must love one another, feed the poor, or comfort the sick.  No one is threatened by those things.  Rather, at the root of so much loathing toward Christianity and the Bible is what they have to say about sex.

David Kupelian, How Evil Works, p.42

Monday, August 25, 2014

Gun Control Doesn't Stop Gun Crime

As gun control laws were made ever tighter in Britain toward the ned of the twentieth century, murder rates rose by 34 percent, while murder rates in Canada and the United States were falling by 34 percent and 39 percent, respectively.  Britain, with its strong anti-gun ideology among the intellectual and political elites, was an exception to international trends.  Meanwhile, Americans’ purchases of guns increased during this same period, gun sales surging “to a peak in 1993 of nearly 8 million small arms, of which 4 million were handguns.”  Far from leading to more murders, this was a period of declining murder rates in the United States.  Altogether, there were an estimated 200 million guns in the United States, and rates of violent crime have been lowest in those places where there have been the highest incidence of gun ownership.  The same has been true of Switzerland.

Yet none of this has caused second thoughts about gun control among either the American or British intelligentsia.  In Britain, both ideology and government policy have taken a negative view of other measures of self-defense as well.  Opposition to individual self-defense by law-abiding citizens extends even beyond guns or imitation guns.  A middle-aged man attacked by two thugs in a London subway car “unsheathed a sword blade in his walking stick and slashed one of them” — and was arrested along with his assailants, for carrying an offensive weapon.  Even putting up barbed wire around a garden and its shed that had been broken into several times was forbidden by local authorities, fearful of being sued if a thief injured himself while trying to break in.  That such a lawsuit would be taken seriously is another sign of the prevailing notions among British officials, operating in a climate of opinion created by the British intelligentsia.

Thomas Sowell, Intellectuals and Society, p.285

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Beware of the PTA

The PTA…now does not even bill itself as an educational association for parents, but rather as “children’s advocacy” organization run by parents in conjunction with teachers.  Indeed, it has become the parent-volunteer arm of that union behemoth, the National Education Association.  Not that the PTA was ever particularly dedicated to heeding local parent constituencies in the matter of educational policy; the organization was formed more than a century ago for purposes of “parent education” by the wealthy, prominent, “progressive” women known today as the foremothers of the turn-of-the-century “social reform” movement.

Dana Mack, The Assault on Parenthood: How Our Culture Undermines the Family, p.273-274

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Wedding Dress

To my readers:
While this blog is normally for fairly short, thought-provoking quotations, now and then I might find something a wee bit longer but still thought-provoking.  Today’s entry is because I’m cleaning out files and came across this article from the “Lutheran Woman’s Quarterly,” Winter 1993.  It’s an excellent analogy, written by Jeanette Haberstock, who at the time was a teacher from Yorktown, Saskatchewan.  Enjoy.


Betty and Sally were lovely, vivacious teenagers.  They recently became interested in boys.  At first it was shy admiration.  Boy-girl friendships developed, and soon they began to date.

Betty had a good time dating.  There were always fun things to do, and she liked being young.  Boys respected her and enjoyed her company.  In her early twenties, Betty found that special guy, the one she knew she would want to marry.  Their love blossomed.  Sure enough, he “popped the question.”  An engagement ring was on her finger and wedding plans began.

Betty and her mother spent hours choosing just the right dress.  Betty was thrilled with the exquisite gown and hung it in the closet.

From time to time, her fiancĂ©  Bob asked to see the wedding dress.

“Why don’t you dress up in your gown and show me how beautiful you look,” he suggested.  Betty was firm in her refusal.

“But, why not,” he continued.  “We’re getting married soon; it won’t hurt for me to have just a peek.  I’m curious.  After all, you are my bride, and I love you.”

“That’s just why I won’t show you.  I love you enough to not want to spoil your anticipation.  That’s part of the excitement of our wedding day.”

Bob loved Betty enough to abide by her wish.  As he stood at the altar and gazed at his approaching bride, he knew it was well worth the wait.  She was gorgeous, and she was all his!

Betty felt wonderful in her beautiful, white gown.  She only had eyes for her beloved groom.  She knew, with gratitude, she had saved this day for him, and they would spend a lifetime loving one another.

Sally, too, enjoyed her dating days.  Her mind immediately turned toward marriage when she had her first real boyfriend.  She approached her mother with a confidential request, “I want to buy a wedding dress.”

Her mother was astonishes, “You’re too young to get married, Sally.”

“It may not be for a while,” Sally assured her, “but I want to be ready just in case.”

No matter how here mother tried to discourage her, Sally insisted and finally got her way.  They depleted her special savings account and found a most beautiful wedding dress.  Sally stored it in her closet until the day she would wear it.

One day Sally took her boyfriend to her room.  He caught a glimpse of the gown in the closet.

“May I see it?” he asked.

“No, you’re not supposed to see it,” she said, embarrassed.

But her boyfriend kept on begging until she finally agreed.  “Okay,” she said, “but just this once.”  She let him have a quick look, and then put it away.  

The next time they were in her room, he thought again of the dress.  “Could I see it one more time?” he asked her lovingly, “it’s so lovely.”

Since it was no longer a secret, she took it out of the garment bag and even let him touch it.

The next week he urged her to wear the dress for him, so he could see how she looked.  It took a while to convince her, but she finally gave in, because he was so sweet about it.  How beautiful she looked!  He openly admired her as she gazed at her reflection in the mirror.  Time after time she put on the wedding dress for her boyfriend.  

One day he didn’t call or stop in.  A few days later she saw him with another girl.  Sally was devastated.  She had shared something so special with him, and he deserted her for someone else.

When Sally got over her broken heart, she began dating again.  This time she showed her new friend the dress after their first few dates.  It wasn’t long before she was wearing if for him.  One day they had a serious argument while she was wearing the gown.  The result was a rip in the dress, and a relationship that ended in bitterness.

Sally had man more boyfriends.  Each saw her in the dress.  By this time the gown had lost its newness and charm.  It became soiled and worn.

Finally Sally met the man she wanted to marry.  They fell in love and planned their wedding.  She wore her gown many times for Sam.

As the day approached, Sally asked her mom if she could by a new gown for her wedding.  

“Remember, it was your idea to get your gown early,” her mother reminded her.  “The money is spent, and the dress is soiled and torn.  You’ll have to get it dry cleaned and repaired.  You have no other choice.

The dress looked almost new as Sally came down the aisle and approached her beloved groom.  However, Sam looked a little bored as he watched his bride wear the same dress he had seen so many times.  Sally lacked some of the exuberance she hoped to feel.  She silently wondered why she had spoiled this most precious moment of her life.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Cougars Are Not Wicked

If we got here by a process of unaided materialistic evolution, then we are not significantly different from animals, and everyone knows that animals do not have moral choice.  We do not punish a cougar for snatching a rancher’s sheep for dinner.  That is what cougars do.  We may find a way of protecting the farmer’s assets but we do not consider the cougar wicked.  If we are qualitatively animals, then mugging little old ladies is just what some people do.  Labeling their actions as wicked makes no sense, and you cannot punish humans who have done nothing wicked any more than you can punish cougars.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin, America's Real War, p.52

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Open Mind?

The cult of an open mind is a way of camouflaging the poverty of an education which has no view of life to communicate.

M.  C.V. Jeffreys,  cited in “An A - Z of Christian Truth and Experience,” by J. Graham Miller, p. 21

Monday, August 18, 2014

Why We Need Property Rights

The ultimate consummation of the legal trends toward reducing property rights as restrictions on government action came with the 2005 case of Kelo v New London, in which the Constitution’s provision that private property could be taken for “public use” was expanded to mean that such property could be taken for a “public purpose”.  While a public use would include such things as the government’s building a reservoir, a bridge, a highway or some other such facility, “public purpose” could mean almost anything -- and in the Kelo case it meant confiscating people’s homes to turn the property over to developers who would build various upscale facilities.

Thomas Sowell, Intellectuals and Society, p.280

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Are Morals Relative?

People cannot function for even a few hours without making moral evaluations.  This holds true even for those who insist that morality is relative.  The famous atheist Bertrand Russell once expounded his theory that good and bad have no objective validity — then minutes later fiercely denounced someone for being “such a scoundrel!”  Ironically, moral relativists often even pride themselves on being morally superior to others.  After all, they are tolerant and non-judgmental.  They are not like other people who are insufferably bigoted and close-minded and deserve the harshest condemnation.  Every group draws a line in the sand somewhere that allows them to feel morally superior, like the Pharisee in Jesus’ parable who thanked God he was not like other people (Luke 19:11).  Moral relativism may claim to be about tolerance and humility, but in reality it often fosters a highly moralistic, condemning attitude.

Nancy Pearcey, "Saving Leonardo: A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals, & Meaning,"  p.43

Friday, August 15, 2014

American Children Are Over-Medicated

While the empirical evidence for this contention is slim, the biological model of mental illness has been widely accepted in both the medical and educational communities, and it has serious repercussions for how we deal with antisocial behavior in children.  Once it is assumed that the causes of all mental disorders must be physiological, it naturally follows that the prescribed cures should be physiological as well.  Accordingly, Dr. Koplewicz champions drug therapy for children with behavior problems, seeking to fix their supposed brain abnormalities through psychiatric medications.  He dismisses worries that doctors might overmedicate children.  “I actually think we’re not medicating kids enough,” he told one interviewer.

Peter Breggin views Koplewicz’s comments at the White House conference as a prime example of what is wrong with the biological model of psychiatry.  Insisting on reducing every thought and behavior to its material basis, the biological model goes against both common sense and empirical research.  Referring to Koplewicz’s claim that absentee parents and childhood trauma (presumably including physical and sexual abuse) play no role in causing mental disorders, Breggin says he was “shocked that anyone in the mental health field would dare deny the mountain of clinical and research evidence that confirms the devastating effect of broken relationships and traumatic events on the lives of children.”

Yet Koplewicz is not a fringe figure, as his prominent role at the White House conference attests.  Nor is he alone in thinking that Americans do not medicate their antisocial children enough.  During the past decade [1997-2007], the number of children receiving psychiatric medications in the Untied States has skyrocketed.

John G. West, "Darwin Day in America: How our politics and culture have been dehumanized in the name of science," p.98

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Why the USA is Coming Apart

By moral standards a society is held together.  When moral standards loosen, a community or nation begins to come apart.

Robertson McQuilkin, An Introduction to Biblical Ethics, p.37

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Group Rights Trump Individual Rights

Political, economic, and religious freedom can only exist where there is liberty and freedom of the individual.  Group rights that determine a person’s rights on the basis of belonging to a given ethnic or racial group, as presently advocated by multiculturalists and by affirmative action laws, nullify the rights of the individual.  Group rights greatly reduce the freedom of the individual in that his rights stem only from the group; if he does not belong to the group, his rights are curtailed.

“Individual rights and group rights,” says Balint Vazonyi, “are mutually exclusive; we cannot have it both ways.”  Ethnicity, race, sex, or party affiliation today increasingly determine the person’s rights.  This is reminiscent of Hitler, who once said, “The individual is nothing.  The group [the Nazi Party] is everything.”  When group rights get the upper hand, gone are the “unalienable rights” given to the individual by his Creator so admirably expressed in the American Declaration of Independence.  Indeed, the great documents of freedom…know nothing of group rights, and neither does Christianity.

Alvin J. Schmidt, Under the Influence: How Christianity Transformed Civilization, p. 259

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Power and Danger of the Psychobabblers

Mental health practitioners in conjunction with the mental health advocacy community and the pharmaceutical companies appear to have gained control over conceptualization of mental illness.  Because of the power we have given to "experts" to redefine deviant behavior as medical problems, our lives are increasingly controlled by a medical elite.  Dr. Paul McHugh is among the few psychiatrists who have decried this development.  As he says, "Whether treating the bored little boy in a crowded classroom, the oppositional teen, or the overworked and angry adult, today's psychiatrists are like 'mental cosmetologists' ever ready to chemically normalize any example of human psychological diversity that exceeds the current limits of social tolerance."

Last year [2001], doctors wrote more than 96 million prescriptions for serotonin reuptake inhibitors, a class of antidepressants including Paxil.  The practice of medicalizing deviance has encouraged the dangerous fantasy that life's every passing imperfection can be clinically diagnosed and alleviated, if not eliminated, by pharmacological intervention through pushbutton remedies.  Practitioners like McHugh, at the risk of being called "old fashioned," maintain that a model focusing on growth, maturity and responsibility is the only rational response to the disease model of deviance that threatens to diminish us all.

Anne Hendershott, The Politics of Deviance, p.63

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Erosion of Property Rights

Those who take this dismissive view of property rights not only promote their own vision but often also filter out the opposite vision of property rights, or distort it as just a defense of existing “entrenched wealth,” so that much of the public does not even learn what the issue is, making the question of how to resolve the issue moot.  Once property rights are reduced by verbal virtuosity to simply a special benefit for a privileged few, these rights are then seen as less important than benefits to the larger society.  It follows from this that property rights must often give way in clashes with other rights, when the issue is posed as opposing courts’ exalting “property rights over human rights” or posed as property rights versus “the public interest.”

Such arguments, however, make sense only within the framework of the vision of the anointed.  Otherwise, there is no clash between property rights and human rights because (1) property itself has no rights and (2) only human beings have rights.  Any clash is between different sets of human beings.  Property rights are legal barriers to politicians, judges or bureaucrats arbitrarily seizing the assets of some human beings to transfer those assets to other human beings.

Those who see surrogate decision-makers with both the right and the duty to make “income distribution” more equal or more just see property rights as a barrier that should not stand in the way of that over-riding goal.  As the ideas of the Progressive era intellectuals became dominant in the law schools and in the courts during the second half of the twentieth century, property rights have been eroded by judicial decisions, and the ability of government officials to over-ride the rights of property owners has been justified on grounds of a greater public interest, supposedly for the benefit of the less fortunate.  However, here as elsewhere, because certain notions fit the vision there has been remarkably little attention to whether they also fit the facts.

Thomas Sowell, Intellectuals and Society, p.279

Friday, August 8, 2014

Life Begins at Conception

But now we can say, unequivocally, that the question of when life begins is no longer a question for theological or philosophical dispute.  It is an established scientific fact.  Theologians and philosophers may go on to debate the meaning of life or the purpose of life, but it is an established fact that all life, including human life, begins at the moment of conception.

Dr. Hymie Gordon, professor of medical genetics and physician at Mayo Clinic, as cited by Norman Geisler & Frank Turek in, "Legislating Morality," p. 156

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Materialistic Societies Decay

Societies with strong spiritual values tend to generate economic value and expand. Societies with too materialistic values ultimately fall into disrepair and decay.  Those that have tried to abandon religious or theological support for moral values, which are the key to self-government, have generally declined into despotic deprivation.

Economist Warren Brookes, "The Key to Well-Being," The Washington Times, 12/25/89, p.D1, cited by David A. Noebel in Understanding the Times, p.15

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Morality is Essential for Good Government

Morality is an essential soil for free and democratic government.  A people addicted to instant gratification through the vicarious (and sometimes not so vicarious) enjoyment of mindless violence and brutal sex is unlikely to provide such a soil.  A population whose mental faculties are coarsened and blunted, whose emotions are few and simple, is unlikely to be able to make the distinctions and engage in the discourse that democratic government requires.

Robert H. Bork, Slouching Towards Gomorrah, p.142

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Importance of Property Rights

Property rights are seen in radically different terms by those with the tragic vision and those with the vision of the anointed.  Those with the tragic vision of human flaws and failings see property rights as necessary limitations on the power of government officials to seize the belongings of the populace, whether for their own use or for dispersal as largesse to various constituencies whose political or financial support the politicians seek. ... Those who founded the United States of America, and wrote the Constitution, saw property rights as essential for safeguarding all other rights.  The right to free speech, for example, would be meaningless if criticisms of the authorities could lead to whatever you owned being seized in retaliation.

Economists have seen property rights as essential to (1) keeping economic decision-making in the hands of private individuals -- that is, out of the hands of politicians, and (2) maintaining incentives for private individuals to invest time, talents and resources, in the expectation of being able to reap and retain the rewards for their efforts.  However, those with the vision of the anointed, in which surrogate decision-makers are better equipped than others to make wise decisions, see property rights as obstacles to the achievement of various desirable goals through government action. Property rights simply protect those individuals fortunate enough to own substantial property from the greater interests of society at large, according to those with this vision.  Professor Laurence Tribe of the Harvard Law School, for example, said that property rights represent simply an individual benefit to “entrenched wealth.”

Thomas Sowell, Intellectuals and Society, p.278