New York Times Op-Ed agreeing with Judge Roy Moore?

I was reading an Op-Ed in The New York Times this morning about Alabama’s legal battle over gay marriage and was stunned to read this paragraph (underline mine):

Since the United States Supreme Court will rule on gay marriage in June, it’s easy to dismiss the Alabama court’s ruling as quixotic. But it raises a real issue: not what state courts can do, but rather what they should do. Because state and federal courts operate on entirely separate tracks, the state court’s position that it need not follow lower federal court rulings is technically correct. Yet if our judicial system is to function smoothly, both court systems must, from time to time, refrain from exercising their legal discretion to ignore the other’s handiwork.

Don’t ask me to weigh-in on the legal analysis. I’m not prepared to do that in a way that could either gainsay or confirm the argument presented here. Still, I have been under the impression that a federal court’s ruling always trumps that of a state court. The law professor who wrote this piece says that is incorrect, even though he believes state courts should ordinarily defer to federal court rulings. Read the rest here.

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Do Liberals Stifle Intellectual Diversity on Campus?

NPR hosted a fascinating debate at George Washington University on this proposition: “Liberals are stifling intellectual diversity on campus.” All four debaters were liberal, but two of them argued in favor of the proposition (Greg Lukianoff, Kirsten Powers) and two of them against (Angus Johnston, Jeremy Mayer). Students in the audience were polled before and after the debate about their agreement with the proposition. This allows everyone to see what people’s views were coming in and whether they were persuaded to adopt a different view as a result of the debate. Here are the results:

Continue Reading →

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Ana Marie Cox, having come out as a Christian, goes on “Morning Joe”

Ana Marie Cox wrote a compelling testimony several days ago titled “Why I’m coming out as a Christian.” She is a liberal/progressive writer, and she shares that she has been most reluctant to announce her new found faith for fear that Christians won’t accept her. Happily, she reports that the opposite has happened since her article came out. Watch above. Continue Reading →

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Should I attend the wedding of a gay friend or family member?

The March issue of Christianity Today has a forum titled: “Should I attend the wedding of a gay friend or family member? The invitation will come soon enough.” The article includes three respondents—two Roman Catholics (Eve Tushnet and Sherif Girgis) and one Anglican (Lisa Severine Nolland). Girgis and Nolland contend that Christians have a moral obligation not to attend same-sex weddings. Tushnet argues that “it’s best to show up.”

I’m with Nolland and Girgis on this one because attendance at a wedding is not like attending a concert, where attendance suggests nothing about your own views on the proceedings. A wedding is a public recognition of a union, and those in attendance are there to help celebrate and add their assent to the union. There is a reason that the traditional ceremony includes the bit about “let him speak now or forever hold his peace.” The witnesses are not merely spectating. Their mere presence implies their support of the union. Because our Lord has told us not to celebrate or approve sin (Isa. 5:20; Rom. 1:32), Christians should not attend gay weddings. Continue Reading →

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The SBC will look different this summer

This post is a bit of inside baseball for all my Southern Baptist readers. I just learned that our annual meeting will be quite different this June. Pastor Ronnie Floyd will preside over a revamped program that moves all convention business, resolutions, and seminary reports to Tuesday morning and afternoon. Tuesday evening through Wednesday will have a focus on ministry and mission. Wednesday afternoon will feature the convention sermon as well as a panel discussion on “The Supreme Court and Same -Sex Marriage: Preparing Our Churches for the Future.” Panelists include Albert Mohler, Russell Moore, and others. You can look at an overview of the schedule below.

This year’s meeting will be in Columbus, Ohio on June 16-17. I hope to see you there! Continue Reading →

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How has “The Breakfast Club” aged after 30 years?

John Hughes’ classic “The Breakfast Club” turned 30 this year. To put this in perspective, we are as far removed now from “The Breakfast Club” as the “The Breakfast Club” was from James Dean’s “Rebel Without a Cause” (let that one sink-in, GenXers).

Daniel Drezner asks in The Washington Post how “The Breakfast Club” has held up after three decades. Drezner says that he watched “Rebel Without a Cause” in 1985 and found it completely outdated and unrelatable as a teen-angst drama. He wondered if that’s how teens would view “The Breakfast Club” now. So he decided to watch “The Breakfast Club” with his 14-year old son to gauge whether the movie still communicates now as it did back then.

What happened? His son was genuinely engaged in the story and with the characters, and he watched right through to the end. But his son also thought much of it to be laugh-out-loud corny. Some of it has aged well, and some of it… not so much. You can read the rest of it here.

Over the years, my wife and I have re-watched some of the iconic films from our teen years—”The Breakfast Club” among them. What always strikes us is not so much how dated the movies are but how much we have changed since the time when we were originally engrossed by such films. The big drivers of so-called “teen angst” don’t seem so big 30 years on. Also, after you get some years under your belt, you find that the easy immorality and self-regard endemic to the whole genre doesn’t wear well in real life. You’ve seen too many friends and loved ones wrecked by those things to be enthralled by them like you were 30 years ago.

In short, as you grow up, so do your tastes. Yes, there are still some things to appreciate. But it is impossible to watch these films with the same eyes that you had 30 years previous. What once put stars in your eyes now often leaves a tear. And that is a good thing.

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Researchers claim same-sex couples may soon be able to produce biological children together.

This seems kind of important. PhillyMag.com has the story:

Researchers at Cambridge University and Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science say they have discovered a way to “create human egg and sperm cells from the stem cells in the skin of two adults.” Which means, for instance, an egg can be created from the stem cells of two men, and sperm cells can be created from the stem cells of two women… Researchers in the study say that we could be seeing same-sex couples producing children together in as little as two years.

Read the rest here. Continue Reading →

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If everyone consents, why not “50 Shades” or incest?

At this point in our culture’s sexual devolution, the only recognized boundary on sexual expression is consent. If two or more persons are of age and if all parties agree to a given sexual activity, then that activity is deemed acceptable—no matter what it is. Any attempt to suggest moral obligation beyond consent is treated as repressive and as a throwback to puritanical austerity. That’s simply where we are right now as a people.

Certainly Christians would agree with our secular counterparts that consent is a necessary moral condition for sexual expression. No one disagrees with that. The problem we have is with the suggestion that consent is the only necessary condition. Nevertheless, our culture has been experimenting with the “consent only” norm for many decades now. How is this working out for us? Is it really true that anything consenting adults agree to is acceptable? Continue Reading →

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Sam Allberry to speak at Southern Seminary, March 4

I’m really excited to welcome Sam Allberry to the campus of Boyce College and Southern Seminary next week. It’s a one-day only event in which he will be delivering a series of messages on “Homosexuality and Ministry.” The talks will focus on how to do faithful gospel ministry among those who are same-sex attracted. Sam Allberry has shared his compelling story in his watershed book Is God Anti-gay?, and he will be fleshing-out those themes in his talks on campus. The event is free for students and their families and will be held next week on Wednesday, March 4. For more information about the schedule and meeting room, visit here.

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