Archive | Politics

Supreme Court strikes down “buffer zones” outside abortion clinics

The Supreme Court just ruled that “buffer zones” outside abortion clinics restrict the free speech of sidewalk counselors wishing to persuade women not to have abortions. The decision nullifies a Massachusetts law that creates such zones. The court overturned the law in a unanimous 9-0 ruling. So far, so good.

There is another side to this ruling, however, that is not so good. The Court refused to recognize that the Massachusetts law unfairly targeted pro-life speech in particular. For this reason, Scalia issues a scathing opinion. He writes: Continue Reading →

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Heads-up about Supreme Court on Hobby Lobby

It is very likely that the Supreme Court will issue its verdict this week in the Hobby Lobby Case (aka, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc). When it comes down, the court’s decision has the potential to be the most consequential religious liberty case in our lifetimes. It could set the trajectory for religious liberty—for good or for ill—for generations to come.

What’s at stake? Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate requires certain employers to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs. That means that some Christian and other pro-life employers will be forced to violate their consciences or face crippling fines from the government.

I have no idea how the Court will rule on this. Will it be a decided on first amendment grounds? Or will be on statutory grounds? I really don’t know. I don’t have confidence in Chief Justice John Roberts, simply because he whiffed it so badly in his last at-bat on Obamacare.

Whatever happens, it’s likely to carry implications for religious liberty that go far beyond Obamacare. Can the government use its coercive power to force citizens to violate their consciences? The Court will tell us the answer to that question very soon. Stay tuned.

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The Daily Beast says SBC resolution is “harmful to the idea of democracy itself”

At The Daily Beast, Jay Michaelson excoriates the resolution on transgender passed by Southern Baptists earlier this week. His article is riddled with factual errors, not the least of which is the fact that he seems not to have read the actual resolution. Instead, he quotes from an early draft containing elements that did not end up in the final resolution. To wit, there’s nothing in the resolution about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, but Michaelson criticizes it as if there were. Continue Reading →

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A movie that makes abortion funny

Louise Melling describes the new movie “Obvious Child” as a romantic comedy that tries to make abortion sympathetic and funny (view trailer here). Melling writes:

In it, main character Donna has an abortion after a drunken one-night stand. But unlike most other characters who grapple with this question, Donna doesn’t torture herself. She makes the decision without angst, guilt, or extenuating circumstances. And like millions of American women, Donna follows through, then moves on with her life.

A movie about an experience this common – nearly one in three American women will have an abortion in their lifetime — shouldn’t feel so revolutionary. But it does.

Melling goes on to opine on the continuing stigma attached to abortion. Melling seems perplexed that after decades of feminist propaganda, people continue to feel an inexplicable moral repugnance towards abortion. Melling thinks that this is a sad state of affairs—given our post-modern enlightenment—and that movies like “Obvious Child” help folks to see that abortion really should not be a big deal at all. In fact, we might do well to laugh about it. Continue Reading →

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Will gay marriage destroy the GOP?

David Lampo serves on the national board of the Log Cabin Republicans—a group within the GOP that supports legal gay marriage. Lampo has a provocative piece in Politico today titled, “Gay Marriage Will Destroy the GOP: If conservatives don’t embrace the inevitable, they’ll become irrelevant.”

His argument is simple. Courts are overturning state bans on gay marriage all over the country (which is true). A majority of Americans now support gay marriage (which is true). Young people across the country overwhelmingly support gay marriage (which is true). Support for gay marriage is on the rise even in the red states (also true). Republicans cannot win general elections if they continue to defy the majority of the electorate on this issue. Lampo concludes: Continue Reading →

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Where Same-Sex Marriage Stands in the 50 States

NBC News has a report explaining where same-sex marriage stands in the United States. There is good bit of information in this article, but I think this is the key line:

Since last summer’s Supreme Court ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act and Prop 8, two historic marriage cases, not a single state marriage ban has survived a federal court challenge.

This of course does not bode well for states that have lawsuits still pending. Those states are Utah, Oklahoma, Nevada, Texas, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan.

The ground is moving beneath our feet. Read the rest here.

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More on the difference between Sterling and Eich

Yesterday, I wrote a short piece for The Federalist arguing that the NBA was right to ban Donald Sterling but that Mozilla was wrong for firing Brendan Eich. I also argued that this is not a self-contradictory position because the two cases are not analogous. You can read my argument here.

Today William Saletan has an excellent rundown of the differences between Sterling and Eich. It is a long list that puts to rest the notion that these two cases are in any way analogous. I highly recommend this one.

I would add one other item to the list of distinctions—one that you will not read in a secular publication but one that every Christian must acknowledge. We must reject categorically the suggestion that racism is the moral equivalent of support for traditional marriage. On the contrary, promoting racism is evil. Promoting traditional marriage is not. They are anything but equivalent. That is what the Bible teaches whether everyone recognizes it or not. Anyone who misses that fundamental distinction has missed the point altogether.

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Sarah Palin’s sacrilegious remarks to the NRA

Sarah Palin delivered a speech to the National Rifle Association on Saturday in which she said that America needs leaders who would put the “fear of God” into our enemies. Because America has leaders who are afraid of offending our enemies, America has become weakened. At the 7:16 mark in the video below, Palin says,

Oh, but you can’t offend them, can’t make them feel uncomfortable, not even a smidgen. Well, if I were in charge, they would know that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists.

Okay, yes that’s bad. It is impolitic—but worse—it is irreligious. But maybe she just got caught up in the moment and let her rhetoric get out in front of wisdom. Perhaps if given a second chance, she would do things differently. Maybe she would recognize the sacrilege of comparing Christian baptism to torture and walk back those comments. Continue Reading →

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Why not three or more in a marriage?

Perhaps you have already read about the polyamorous “throuple” of lesbians who have “married” and who are expecting their first child. If you support gay marriage, on what principle could you possibly oppose the “marriage” of three or more people? Robert George’s brief analysis is spot-on:

The story of a female throuple in Massachusetts (with a baby on the way) provides further confirmation, as if any were needed, of the proposition that “ideas have consequences.” Once one has abandoned belief in marriage as a conjugal bond (with its central structuring norm of sexual complementarity) in favor of a concept of “marriage” as a form of sexual-romantic companionship or domestic partnership (“love makes a family”), then what possible principle could be identified for a norm “restricting” marriage to two-person partnerships, as opposed to polyamorous sexual ensembles of three or more persons?… No one has been able to answer the question or meet the challenge.

He’s absolutely right. Read the rest here.

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