Square Pegs

In which life fails to conform to easy answers.

Easy targets for the englightened and sophisticated

The director and co-producer of Angels and Demons have carefully avoided showing Muslim characters in a negative light.  This while making two movies depicting the Catholic Church as anti-reason, anti-science and riddled with hypocrisy.  Maybe it’s simple hatred of Christians, or maybe it’s because they know that offended Catholics won’t be bombing their homes or slitting their throats.  In any case I won’t be paying money to see any movie made by either of them again.

May 5, 2009 Posted by | Intolerance, Media | Leave a comment

The real wave of hate crimes not on the radar

House Democratic Leader Steny Hoyer argued that [hate] crimes “terrorize entire segments of our population and tear at our nation’s social fabric.”

via U.S. House votes to expand ‘hate crimes’ laws.

Riiiight.  So where are the multitudes of incidents of crimes against people because they are somewhere in the LGBT spectrum?  Oh I know, there is Matthew Shepard.  But that’s a questionable example of a hate crime no matter how many times we are told it was one.  And the fact that he is referenced so often strongly implies that it was the exception rather than the rule; apparently there have been no further cases that can be spun as hate crimes in the years following.  Until this, but as sad as the death of the teen was, it seems more a result of dishonesty by both parties, and you can’t outlaw dishonesty.  (Well, I doubt Congress can anyway.)

On the other hand, there has indeed been a wave of hate-fuelled violence across the US, but one that has mostly escaped the notice of Washington and the national media.  The wave is one of arson and vandalism of churches.  It has been going on for several years and is widespread.  Searching the Web for mentions of this in the national media is difficult, although stories in local media are abundant.  The evidence is ample, but our media watchdogs aren’t connecting the many, many dots.  Perhaps that would violate their meme which has it that Christians are the perpetrators of intolerance, not the victims of it.

As more recent examples, there was quite a rash or church burnings and vandalism in nearby Lewiston, Idaho.  (Strangely, although local media covered the story at the time, the stories now appear to be missing from their Web sites.)  And the arsonist of Sarah Palin’s church was apparently seeking a body count.  Apparently the guardians of tolerance and diversity don’t see a problem here.

Personally, I am now an outcast at work because I gave the wrong answer to the question, “Do you support gay marriage?”  More and more I’m coming to the conclusion that “tolerance and diversity” are not things the secular left actually believes in; it seems they merely invoked those things while they lacked the political power to criminalize dissent.  No need to claim slippery slopes; this is in fact what has happened in Canada and Western Europe.  The US is just a few years behind.

I see something even more sinister at work than the possible prosecution of Christians for confessing what God says about same-sex relationships.  The push for gay marriage and protecting gays from “hate crimes” like people failing to endorse their lifestyles also seems to be part of a broader push away from democratic pluralism and the British tradition of the rule of law and toward a more French-style polity in which the government decides what rights to give to the citizens.  And what the government gives it can take away, which is why the French version resulted in a Reign of Terror while the American Revolution, which appealed to inalienable rights conferred by the Creator, did not.

As I told a coworker, I think it’s foolish for the LGBT minority to make “political might makes right” their argument, because it could well turn against them, especially if they succeed in divorcing these issues from any regard for a transcendant Creator who is the source of morality.   But the majority, as usual, is more occupied with American Idol than with the principles that underlie a civil society and how they might be undermined.

May 1, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Faith and science, with credibility

Francis Collins, former Director of the Human Genome Project, has a new project: the BioLogos Foundation.  It seeks to explore issues at the nexus of faith and science but from a positive standpoint.  While this endeavour will probably come under fire rather quickly from fundamentalists (both the religious and the atheist varieties), Collins speaks with a level of credibility that you don’t find with people like the young earthers or Richard Dawkins.

April 30, 2009 Posted by | Christianity/Religion, Science & Medicine | Leave a comment

Demons in the details

This Rock Answers Angels & Demons’ False Charges – Catholic Answers Forums.

In which Carl Olson exposes some of the phony claims (regarding both fact and purpose) in Dan Brown’s next shovelful.

The phoniest aspect, in my mind, is Brown’s protestation that he wants peaceful coexistence between faith and science even while making all sorts of false accusations and vicious stereotypes against Christians.  He is a cheap propagandist who whines when  his revisions are examined critically, and those in the media who promote his work are helping promote slander and hatemongering.

April 29, 2009 Posted by | Christianity/Religion, Media | Leave a comment

When answers to questions are predetermined

Report: Democrats Refuse to Allow Skeptic to Testify Alongside Gore At Congressional Hearing | Climate Depot.

Hardly a marginal scientist by the look of it.  I also predict that Congress, like MSNBC, will pretend to know nothing about the Manhattan Declaration.

April 24, 2009 Posted by | Science & Medicine | 1 Comment

Pluralism in the toilet?

FOXNews.com – Groups Spar Over Massachusetts Transgender ‘Bathroom Bill’ – Local News | News Articles | National News | US News.

Yet another example of how the rights and security of the majority must yield to the demands of a small minority to have their feelings about their identity affirmed.

Perhaps, as Fr. Neuhaus feared, America’s experiment in democratic pluralism is failing.

April 7, 2009 Posted by | Pluralism under assault | Leave a comment

Raising the Bar on public input

The public comment period will end 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, April 9, thirty days after President Obama formally announced his intention to rescind the Health and Human Services (HHS) regulations in the Federal Register. A source within the HHS has told CatholicAnew.com that a handful of comments received after the cutoff may be considered.

via Last Chance to Ask Obama Administration to Retain Conscience Protections for Pro-Life Doctors | Catholic Exchange.

The requirements for sending comments ensure that pretty much only legal scholars can provide input.  So when only a few thousand (and that’s optimistic) comments are received, opposition to the measure can be dismissed as a fringe position.  Then it will be open season on health care providers who refuse on the basis of conscience to perform abortions.  Perhaps they think that after a few of us are made examples of, most will cave.  And what a display of pragmatism-over-ideology this will be in addressing the chronic shortage of health care providers!

This is Obama’s idea of putting aside partisan differences and being the voice of the people rather than of special interests?  But I guess this is what the USA gets for electing a President on the basis of feel-good slogans, or for its blind acceptance of the two-party approach to politics where the only choices are Bad and Worse.

April 7, 2009 Posted by | Pluralism under assault | Leave a comment

Go back to your homes, citizens

An Italian scientist predicted a major earthquake around L’Aquila weeks before disaster struck the city on Monday, killing dozens of people, but was reported to authorities for spreading panic among the population…

[T]he head of the National Geophysics Institute dismissed Giuliani’s predictions.”It is useful to underline that it is not in any way possible to predict an earthquake,” it said, adding that the agency saw no reason for alarm but was nonetheless effecting “continuous monitoring and attention”.

via Reuters AlertNet – Italy muzzled scientist who foresaw quake.

The relationship between definitive pronouncements and science has always been a rocky one, especially when the definitive pronouncements are made by scientists.

Which reminds me… Are eggs good for you or bad for you this week?  I can never keep that straight.

April 6, 2009 Posted by | Science & Medicine | Leave a comment

Values clarification

Commenting on the keep-the-Times alive movement, [New York Times executive editor Bill] Keller said: “Saving the New York Times now ranks with saving Darfur as a high-minded cause.”

via Michael Calderone’s Blog: Keller: Times will be ‘left standing after the deluge’ – POLITICO.com.

Riiiiight.   Because the careers of a handful of American leftists is worth as much as the lives of several hundred thousand Africans…

April 2, 2009 Posted by | ARRRGH! | Leave a comment

Like deja vu… with one exception

‘[T]he physical abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse of priests.’ So common is the transfer of offending teachers that it is called ‘passing the trash.’

via Errors or Lies? | Catholic Exchange.

I’m awaiting the daily-for-months news coverage of this, the spate of hundred-million-dollar lawsuits, and the late night comedians’ jokes characterizing all school teachers as molesters…

March 27, 2009 Posted by | Current Events, Media | Leave a comment

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