May 2013


Nigerian HouseIn contrast to the trend of countries and states legalizing same-sex marriage, today Nigeria voted to ban same-sex marriage in their country.  The bill goes much further than that, as well.  It also outlaws the organization of any group supporting the legalization of same-sex marriage, and criminalizes any public show of affection between same-sex couples (10 year prison sentence). Gay sex is already banned in the country, which is common in many African countries.

Newborn babyKermit Gosnell just got three life sentences for killing newborn babies in his abortion clinic because the law does not permit infanticide.  Most people, even those who support abortion, recognize that infanticide is morally wrong.  But some bioethicists disagree, and they are being increasingly vocal about it, advocating for infanticide in prominent scholarly journals. 

Recently, Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva wrote an article in the Journal of Medical Ethics titled “After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?”  This caused a stir in the press, to say the least.  In response to the outcry, the Journal of Medical Ethics has dedicated their May 2013 edition to responses, both pro and con, to the article. 

Philosopher and ethicist Michael Tooley added his voice to the mix in an article titled “Philosophy, critical thinking and ‘after-birth abortion: why should the baby live?’”  Tooley says we ought to question our basic beliefs, including the belief that infanticide is murder, and hence morally wrong.  

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In March of this year, China’s health ministry released abortion data.  Approximately 13 million abortions are performed in China every year.  That’s 25 abortions every minute!  They estimate that since 1971, ~325 million abortions have been performed.  That’s the population of the United States.  Tragic!

In the Beginning We MisunderstoodMost books dealing with the proper interpretation of Genesis 1 attempt to do one of two things: show how Genesis 1 cannot be reconciled with modern science, or show how Genesis 1 can be reconciled with modern science.  Some try to show that Genesis presents us with a young universe, while others try to show that Genesis presents us with an old universe.  Either way, it is presumed that Genesis 1 intends to present us with a scientific description of how God created (order, duration, etc.). 

In their new book, In the Beginning…We Misunderstood: Interpreting Genesis 1 in Its Original Context, coauthors Johnny Miller and John Soden argue that this presumption is false, and concordism is a misguided hermeneutical approach to Genesis 1.  Discussions over the meaning of Genesis should not be driven by scientific questions, but by literary questions.  Our interpretation of Genesis should not be determined by our views about science, but by the text itself.  Why even think that God meant to provide a scientific description of creation?  The most important question to ask is what Moses meant when he wrote the creation account, how his readers would have understood it, and what practical impact it would have for them given their unique historical situation.  How did it prepare them for the theology and religious practices they were familiar with in Egypt, as well as those they would encounter in Canaan? 

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The State of the Plate just released a report on the characteristics of tithers.  Their report is based on a five year study of 4,413 people.  They found that 

  • 77% of tithers give more than 10% (between 11-20%)
  • 70% base their tithe on their gross, rather than net income
  • 63% started tithing in their twenties or before
  • “Tithers carry much less debt than most people and are financially better off than Christian non-tithers — 80% of ‘tithers’ have no unpaid credit card bills; 74% have no car payments; 48% own their home; and 28% are completely debt-free.”
  • Only 10-25% of churchgoers tithe, which constitutes 50-80% of a churches funding.

Reasons cited by non-tithing Christians for not tithing include the lack of finances (38%), too much debt (33%), and lack of spousal approval (18%). And yet, State of the Plate found that those who tithe are “distributed almost equally across all income brackets.”  It seems that one’s personal debt may be one of the best indicators regarding their likelihood to tithe.

 

HT: Scot McKnight

ObfuscationNow that cloning is back in the media again, the media is once again demonstrating their ignorance of the science, or blatant attempt to pull the wool over the public’s eyes about what is really being done in the lab.  They either:

  1. Leave out the fact that what is produced is a human embryo (going straight from enucleated egg with the nucleus of an adult cell, directly to stem cells)
  2. Or they admit that an embryo is created, but claim it’s not a human being
  3. Or they deny that the embryo is a human clone (redefining human clone to refer to a cloned human who is allowed to be born. 

They are leaving out important details, and redefining scientific words to fit their purposes.  It’s all rhetoric and propaganda, and obfuscates the science and biology behind it. 

For the last time: somatic cell nuclear transfer does not produce embryonic stem cells.  It creates a human clone, and that human produces stem cells.  To extract the stem cells, the human clone must be killed! 

Wesley J. Smith has some nice posts demonstrating how the mainstream media continues to get it wrong: 

Same Sex Marriage Cake Tops

Lou Dematteis/Reuters

Rhode Island

On May 2, Rhode Island became the 10th state to permit same-sex marriage. The House approved the bill by 56-15 (the RI Senate approved the bill on April 24 by a 26-12 vote), and the governor signed it the same day. Same-sex marriages will be legal starting August 1, 2013. 

Rhode Island had just approved civil unions two years ago, and now the new law will replace these civil unions with marriage.  The Fox News article noted that “few couples” sought civil unions.  I wonder why they think many more will seek marriage.  What people fail to understand is that most gays do not want marriage.  What they want is social acceptance of their orientation and behavior, and permitting same-sex couples to partake of the institution of marriage is one of the best ways to accomplish this. 

Delaware

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