In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue. In 2015 he’s thought quite mean — at least by some people. And as a result, a movement to replace his holiday with a politically correct one is picking up steam.
War of the Worlds, Independence Day, Invaders from Mars… The idea of advanced alien creatures targeting our world for conquest has long been the stuff of science fiction. But this fantasy could become fact, warns famed physicist Stephen Hawking.
“If aliens visit us, the outcome could be much like when Columbus landed in America, which didn’t turn out well for the Native Americans,” Professor Hawking recently told El País. “Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonize whatever planets they can reach,” he continued.
Hawking, long a prophet of (possible) doom who has warned that man could author his own demise by creating uncontrollable artificial intelligence (AI) or just via good old-fashioned human aggression, has been speaking of the possibility of extraterrestrial invasion since at least 2010. And when Hawking, a wheelchair-bound cult figure who suffers from Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), says something, people listen.
Few people take moral stands today that could land them in prison, but Kim Davis (shown) is an exception. The Rowan, Kentucky, county clerk has made national news by refusing to issue marriage licenses to anyone — homosexual or straight — since the Supreme Court’s unconstitutional June Obergefell faux-marriage ruling. And now Davis has doubled down, defying courts that have ordered her to resume issuing licenses, even though the Supreme Court has just decided not to support her position. In explaining why she is unbowed, Davis says that she’s acting “under the authority of God.”
“Robot-human marriage is not about robot rights; it is about the right of a human to choose to marry a robot.” Upon reading the preceding line, one could wonder, “Is this not satire? Has a careless click of the mouse landed me at the Onion?” But the quotation is actually from Slate and was written by one Gary Marchant — a Lincoln professor of emerging technologies, law, and ethics at Arizona State University.
During the marriage battles of the last decade, the institution’s defenders warned again and again of the slippery slope, of how rubber-stamping faux marriage (“gay marriage”) would lead to the acceptance of polygamy, inter-species marriage, and beyond. And faux marriage apologists said again and again that this was nonsense. But as I pointed outrepeatedlyover the years, the latter have not redefined marriage, as they’ve been accused of doing. They have “undefined” it; they have, unwittingly or not, removed all boundaries. And something without a definition is nothing — thus does an undefinition exclude nothing.
Apparently not even making The Stepford Wives a reality.
Torture, pain, beheadings, the murder of children…. If God exists and is all good, how could He allow such suffering and evil? This is a common question, and a lament often an impediment to faith. It also was addressed recently on the Savage Nation radio show, where host Michael Savage — exhibiting his versatility and talk virility — will sometimes broach that certain thing we’re supposed to discuss even less than politics. His answer to the question was contained in his newsletter and is:
I actually believe that God has no effect on a moment-by-moment basis or a person-by-person basis.
If I did, then I’d have to stop believing in God.
If I were to believe that God controlled everything on earth, then I’d have to believe that God is evil.
I believe God is not omnipotent. He is omnipresent.
That’s what saved me from atheism.
It certainly is good to have an answer that saves one from atheism, but is the above the answer?
God undoubtedly doesn’t micromanage our lives, controlling matters on a moment-by-moment basis; this reality is called His “permitting will” in theological circles, as opposed to His “ordaining will.” But why is God, as some might say, so “permissive” (He isn’t, really)? There is an answer, but before addressing it let’s examine the matter of God’s omnipotence.
When someone describes his location and says he’s right or left, the obvious answer is “Of what?” It’s interesting that we never ask this in politics.
This could occur to one given the recent headlines after U.K.’s May 7 election, in which the Tories defied pollsters and won a resounding victory. Business Insider wrote, “Liberal Britain just got slaughtered,” while the Independentlamented, “Election results: Britain has become a bluer, looser and less liberal country.” Note that while blue in the U.K. is the color of the “conservatives,” in the United States it’s the color assigned to the liberal Democrat Party — and this similarity is fitting. This brings us to the Telegraph’s Tim Stanley, closer to correct in his election analysis in writing:
The number of Christians has declined precipitously in the United States during just the last seven years, while atheists have almost doubled their share of the population. So discovered the Pew Research Foundation via a massive study involving more than 35,000 Americans.
Those identifying as Christian lost almost 8 points in population share between 2007 and 2014, declining from 78.4 percent to 70.6 percent. In contrast, the religiously “unaffiliated” now comprise almost a quarter of the U.S. population, with their share increasing 6.7 points from 16.1 percent to 22.8 percent. Within that group are atheists, whose population share rose from 1.6 to 3.1 percent; and agnostics, whose share grew from 2.4 to 4.0 percent.
Freedom of religion is a right treasured by many Westerners. But then there are those people who want freedom from religion — and atheism point-man Richard Dawkins is among them. In fact, not content just purging faith from public institutions, the biologist turned irreligious bad boy is now taking aim at families. Writes the Independent:
Richard Dawkins has called on schools to protect children from being indoctrinated by their religious parents.
The renowned evolutionary biologist and atheist argued that parents were given too much power over their children’s educations, and that it was time to give more rights back to the individuals themselves.
“There is a balancing act and you have to balance the rights of parents and the rights of children and I think the balance has swung too far towards parents,” he said.
“Children do need to be protected so that they can have a proper education and not be indoctrinated in whatever religion their parents happen to have been brought up in.”
Dawkins’ comments were made prior to a talk at Trinity College Dublin late last month while being interviewed by the Irish Times, which, providing more detail, writes, “Warning against the ‘power of childhood indoctrination,’ he said it was futile debating with people who put the Bible ahead of scientific evidence. ‘You have to write off those people’ but you can try to convince younger people to avoid superstition, Prof Dawkins said.”
Echoing these sentiments were his co-speaker at the college event, physicist Lawrence Krauss, who was also interviewed by the Times and said that parents “don’t have the right to shield their children from knowledge.” Kraus continued, “That’s not a right any more than they have the right to shield their children from health care or medicine. And those parents that do that are often tried and imprisoned when they refuse to allow their children to get blood transfusions or whatever is necessary for their health. And this is necessary for their mental health.”
There is much to criticize in Dawkins’ position. As a simple point of fact, it is a falsehood to say that the “balance” of rights has “swung too far toward parents”; in reality, recent decades have seen a steady erosion of parental rights.
This isn’t to say these “rights” have generally been reassigned to children; this won’t happen because we universally recognize that, as immature beings, children lack the judgment necessary to successfully negotiate the world on their own. Left to his own devices...
It doesn’t require stupid people for the utterance of stupid things — just smart people embracing stupid ideology.
In the wake of advocating a counter-terrorism plan mercilessly mocked by critics as a jobs-for-jihadists program, State Department spokesman Marie Harf has provided more comedic-commentary gold. Downplaying the threat posed by Islamic jihad while a guest on MSNBC’s Morning Joe Wednesday, she said we faced “a lot of different extremist threats.” And she finally had an answer for critics wondering where the supposed Christian terrorists are:
Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army.
“Who’s that?” you ask?
You’re not alone. Harf said on Wednesday, “I don't remember people talking about that as much anymore.” And there’s good reason for this. The group is “almost defunct,” as American Thinker’s Rick Moran put it, and Kony himself is said to be extremely ill.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…” These words are probably the best known in the Declaration of Independence, but perhaps not by CNN anchor Chris Cuomo (shown). Either that, or he simply doesn’t believe them. Because while debating the constitutionality of faux marriage Thursday morning, he said that our rights do not come from God, but man.
Toward the end of a passionate exchange with Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore in which the latter asserted that rights cannot be a product of man, Cuomo made his remark, saying, “Our rights do not come from God. That’s your faith, that’s my faith, but that’s not our country. Our laws come from collective agreement and compromise.”
Thomas Jefferson, who wrote the Declaration of Independence, might be surprised to hear this. And there may be some who’d lament that the Founding Fathers didn’t have Chris Cuomo around to set them straight before ol‘ Tom put pen to paper. But others might note that Cuomo’s opinion was a very shallow statement that gets at some very deep issues.