Andrew Sullivan covers some of the debate going on between Daniel Dennett and Lord Winston. The debate topic is: “Is Religion a Threat to Rationality and Science?” Read the rest of this entry »



April 23, 2008

Well, my unannounced and rather lengthy sabbatical from writing is, hopefully, over. School is winding down and I will make a pointed effort to regularly get new content up on the blog. thanks for the patience.

The Black Pat Robertson

March 16, 2008

I don’t want to give any more coverage to leftist hate-monger Jeremiah Wright than is good for him, but I feel obligated to ask this question. Exactly what is the official media policy towards people who use religion to propagate their own loony political views? I think we need to get something in writing here. I sense a lot of duplicity and pandering.

Andrew Sullivan says it is only “incumbent” on the media to give equal coverage of all the good things Wright’s ministry has accomplished. I agree; the only problem is, the media doesn’t do that with weirdo evangelicals like Pat Robertson. I don’t think I’ve seen Mr. Sullivan, Time Magazine, or any other major news outlet devote an article to the great things the 700 Club has done for people. Mr. Wright would be a first, and a fair question is why does he deserve to be a first?

Those who say race has nothing to do with this have their heads six feet in the sand. Wright is getting preferential treatment because he is so heavily entrenched within the “Black religious experience.” Note Sullivan’s choice of words: “intemperate,” rather than the favorite adjective of the Robertson attack squad, “intolerant.” One means a guy just gets too angry sometimes; the other means he’s a jerk with bad beliefs. I think either of those words would do fine, but they need to appear on both sides.

Either this kind of talk, coming from a white evangelical or a black community leader, is wrong and hateful, or it isn’t. I think it is, so why equivocate on terms?

Obama spoke on his faith, church, and pastor yesterday:

The pastor of my church, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who recently preached his last sermon and is in the process of retiring, has touched off a firestorm over the last few days. He’s drawn attention as the result of some inflammatory and appalling remarks he made about our country, our politics, and my political opponents.

Read the rest of this entry »

Obama’s church

March 14, 2008

A lot of controversy, bubbling here and there, over Barack Obama’s church has been brewing in the media. Comments by pastor Jeremiah Wright and other troubling aspects from Trinity United Church of  Christ has put the church under a far amount of scrutiny. I want to look for a second at what the church says about itself via its website, and evaluate under the auspices of a New Testament theology. Read the rest of this entry »


March 14, 2008

I’m cutting my scheduled hiatus by two days and returning today. A big thank you to Ben and Lance for their invaluable contributions.


Need one say more?

Get this. The Southern Baptist Convention has decided to combat global warming.

Southern Baptist Leaders Take Unusual Step of Urging Fight Against Climate Change
NEW YORK (AP) — In a major shift, a group of Southern Baptist leaders said their denomination has been “too timid” on environmental issues and has a biblical duty to stop global warming.

The declaration, signed by the president of the Southern Baptist Convention among others and released Monday, shows a growing urgency about climate change even within groups that once dismissed claims of an overheating planet as a liberal ruse. The conservative denomination has 16.3 million members and is the largest Protestant group in the U.S.

Read the rest of this entry »

By its very nature, the death penalty is a tough thing to sell.  It puts the life of the accused in the hands of his peers.  Anytime it is done, you can be sure that decision will be highly contested.   As a result, the question has moved more from a legal one (for the Constitution clearly states that life can be deprived, if due process is given) to an ethical one: is it ever morally permissible for human beings to take life?   

The New York Times came out with an article today concerning the use of the death penalty that says it’s not.  More and more cases, the Times says, are coming before federal juries in the State of New York as prosecutors continue to request civic action.  The problem is, juries are refusing to sign off on the matter.  This sentiment has been paralleled by Supreme Court, which last year issued stays on behalf of all death row inmates, pending the adjudication of a Kentucky case stemming from this incident:

“Ralph Baze is on Kentucky’s death row because in January 1992 he used an SKS assault rifle to ambush a sheriff and his deputy when they arrived at his house to arrest him.

He shot the sheriff three times in the back. The deputy returned fire until he ran out of bullets. When the lawman tried to retreat, Mr. Baze shot the deputy twice in the back. As the deputy lay on the ground bleeding, Baze walked up to him and shot him in the back of the head.”

One must ask themselves the question: had the deputy been able to kill his assailant then, would it have been morally justified?  The answer is yes.  Justice demands retribution; he would have been justified in protecting himself.  And while some argue violence begets violence, it can also been an incentive to refrain from breaking the law.

For the wise parent does not spare their child the rod.  They teach them, rather, that their bad choices demand equally strigent punishments.   The consequence, in effect, becomes a deterrent for future bad behavior.  And younger siblings who observe the reformed behavior of the older are more likely to follow their example, both out of love and fear of retribution. 

While the death penalty is highly contested, it must still be an option left on the table.  The taking of life is a terrible thing, but if taking the life of a guilty man bears even the small hope of saving an innocent, so be it.  To remove the option altogether would be entirely irresponsible on the part of our Federal Government.  It would be an affront to justice herself.

An Introduction

March 10, 2008

Good morning readers.  My name is Ben Shepard, and I will be filling in for Sam during his absence this week along with Lance.  Very briefly, I plan to attend the University of Louisville this fall as either an English or History major.  After that, I plan to pursue a post-graduate education in Constitutional Jurisprudence. 

I like to be upfront with my readers so any bias cannot be said was intended to mislead or misinform.  Therefore, I’d like to clarify a few issues.  Modernly, I identify myself with the Republican Party.  I did not actively support McCain during the primary season, but this November, my vote will be cast for him out of necessity rather than any earned allegiance.  Historically, however, I consider myself a Strict-Constructionist and, in some measure, a Jeffersonian-Democrat.  The federal government was enumerated powers by the Constitution for the sole reason that it was not to overextended the said powers; and that government is best which governs least.

All this being said, I hope that you enjoy the following week as much as I will.  Thomas Paine once theorized: “It is but seldom that our first thoughts are truly correct…” and in consequence of such, I am counting on you, the reader, to promote and intelligent discussion on the issues.  Do not forgo your intellectual and political duty, and remind me not to forgo mine, either.

 God Bless.