I’ve often been struck by the way Matthew’s genealogy highlights King David’s infamy: “to Jesse was born David the king. And to David was born Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah” (Matthew 1:6). Bathsheba’s entire identity is swallowed up by David’s sin. Unlike the other three women in the list, her name is not even mentioned. She is called “the wife of Uriah”—as if Matthew wishes to invoke all the horror of David’s murderous cover-up that led to his marriage to Uriah’s wife. It is a sadness in the account, not a celebration. Continue Reading →
There is a fascinating interview between Charlie Rose and Bill Maher making the rounds. Bill Maher is no friend of Christianity. In fact, he’s an infamous opponent. Nevertheless, he has the intellectual honesty to acknowledge the obvious. He pushes back hard against Charlie Roses’s suggestion of a moral equivalence between Christianity and militant Islam. The exchange is captured above, but here’s the heart of it: Continue Reading →
The Washington Post has a first-person account of a 14-year old Yazidi girl who was kidnapped by militants and “awarded” to an ISIS commander. Her tale begins with her account of being kidnapped by ISIS troops. She writes:
The militants divided us by gender and age: One for young and capable men, another for girls and young women, and a third for older men and women. The jihadists stole cash and jewelry from this last group, and left them alone at the oasis. Then they placed the girls and women in trucks. As they drove us away, we heard gunshots. Later we learned that they were killing the young men, including my 19-year old brother, who had married just six months ago.
You can read the rest of her harrowing tale here. She ends up escaping from her captors and being reunited with her father. But I can’t help thinking about the countless others who have not escaped. They simply disappear into the desert never to be seen or heard from again. Some executed. Others raped and subjugated. Who will tell their stories? Who will mourn for them?
Rod Dreher reflects on the recent expulson of InterVarsity from the University of California system. Dreher indicates that this is only the beginning, and he offers a sobering word about the conflict that is upon American Christians for holding to a biblical sexual ethic. We are not in persecution now, but it does seem to be on the horizon. He writes:
Look, this is coming. This is the new world. This is post-Christian America. You will hear the Law of Merited Impossibility people yelling that this will never happen, but when it does, you people will deserve it, to try to shout down your concerns, and to hide from themselves the illiberal truth of what they’re doing. But it’s happening, and you had better get ready for it, and get your children ready for it, because the people driving this thing believe so strongly in their own virtue. Error has no rights.
Read the rest here.
Wendy Davis became a household name about a year ago during her filibuster for abortion rights in the Texas State legislature. Even though her filibuster ultimately failed, she nevertheless became a pro-choice superstar and a Democratic candidate for governor. She has recently published a memoir in which she reveals that she herself has had two abortions. She had the second abortion during her 2nd trimester after finding out that the baby had a serious brain abnormality. In the book she describes the aftermath. MySA reports,
After getting several medical opinions and feeling the baby they had named Tate Elise “tremble violently, as if someone were applying an electric shock to her” in the womb, she said the decision was clear.
“She was suffering,” Davis wrote.
The unborn baby’s heart was “quieted” by her doctor, and their baby was gone. She was delivered by cesarean section in spring 1997, the memoir says.
Davis wrote that she and her then-husband, Jeff, spent time with Tate the next day and had her baptized. They cried, took photographs and said their good-byes, she wrote, and Tate’s lifeless body was taken away the following day.
“An indescribable blackness followed. It was a deep, dark despair and grief, a heavy wave that crushed me, that made me wonder if I would ever surface. … And when I finally did come through it, I emerged a different person. Changed. Forever changed,” Davis wrote.
Who could have predicted that terrorists groups like ISIS would overrun Iraq if America pursued a precipitous withdrawal of troops? It turns out that this result was entirely predictable and was in fact predicted by previous commander-in-chief in 2007. In a remarkably accurate warning, President Bush said this:
I know some in Washington would like us to start leaving Iraq now. To begin withdrawing before our commanders tell us we’re ready would be dangerous for Iraq, for the region and for the United States. It would mean surrendering the future of Iraq to Al Qaida. It’d mean that we’d be risking mass killings on a horrific scale. It’d mean we’d allow the terrorists to establish a safe haven in Iraq to replace the one they lost in Afghanistan. It’d mean we’d be increasing the probability that American troops would have to return at some later date to confront an enemy that is even more dangerous.
All of this has happened and is happening right now. (HT: Brit Hume)
Peggy Noonan has a sobering column in today’s Wall Street Journal about the threat that ISIS poses to a war-weary United States. I encourage you to read the whole thing. When you do, don’t miss this part:
One of my fears in the early years of the Iraq war was that if it proved to be the wrong war—if no weapons of mass destruction were found, if sustained unrest showed Saddam Hussein was the garbage-pail lid who kept the garbage of his nation from spilling out—it would mean that at some time in the future when America really needed to fight and had to fight, she would not. I feared the war’s supporters would be seen to have cried wolf, and someday there would be a wolf and no one would listen. Now there is a wolf.
Continue Reading →
I just read one of the most morally confused (and indeed asinine) things I’ve ever seen on the New York Times editorial page. The author is a professor named Michael Boyle, and he argues that we must not call the ISIS terrorist group evil. Why? Because the times don’t call for moral clarity. President Bush had moral clarity, and look where that got us–a decade of war. For this reason, Boyle argues that we should avoid describing ISIS as a “cancer” like President Obama did earlier this week. Such language keeps us from seeing the world as it is.
This is the logic of appeasement. It’s very similar to the moral indifference of Western democracies that led to the rise of the Nazis and the rearmament of Germany after World War I. And we cannot go that route again. There really is such a thing as evil in the world. In a culture of pluralism, we may have difficulty agreeing on how to define the good, the right, and the true. Nevertheless, there are times when all of our pluralistic sensibilities are overcome by an unambiguous display of wickedness. It happened on 9-11. And it happened again when ISIS beheaded James Foley. How can someone be so resentful of the last president that he would refuse to see that?
No one is served when we bury our heads in the ground and pretend that ISIS is anything less than one of the most morally repugnant regimes on the face of the planet. Maybe our statesmen will disagree on the best way to address this threat. But can’t we all agree on what they are. They are evil. The only reasonable and moral response is to say so and oppose them.
Max Boot argues at Commentary Magazine that is it time to annihilate ISIS. In light of recent atrocities—which are now becoming too numerous to count—it is hard to disagree that ISIS deserves to be completely and utterly destroyed. I don’t pretend to know what the best strategy is to make that happen, but here’s what Boot writes:
“What is needed now is not strongly worded condemnation of Foley’s murder, much less a hashtag campaign. What is needed is a politico-military strategy to annihilate ISIS rather than simply chip around the edges of its burgeoning empire. In the Spectator of London I recently outlined what such a strategy should look like. In brief, it will require a commitment of some 10,000 U.S. advisors and Special Operators, along with enhanced air power, to work with moderate elements in both Iraq and Syria–meaning not only the peshmerga but also the Sunni tribes, elements of the Iraqi Security Forces, and the Free Syrian Army–to stage a major offensive to rout ISIS out of its newly conquered strongholds… Now it is simply a matter of resources and resolve on the part of the U.S. and its allies.”
Read the rest here.
(HT: John McCormack)
Jennifer Lahl was recently interviewed by ABC News about women who regret being surrogate mothers. A surrogacy agreement is when a woman agrees to carry and give birth to a child for someone else. In some cases, the pregnancy occurs through in vitro fertilization so that the baby is genetically unrelated to the woman who carries the child. In other cases, the woman who carries the child becomes pregnant naturally or artificially so that the child is genetically related to the woman who carries the baby. Usually, a woman agrees to receive a sum of money in exchange for being a surrogate. Continue Reading →