On SCOTUS and same-sex “marriage”

June 26, 2015

I was contemplating what I could say in response to today’s travesty of a ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States, which legalizes same-sex “marriage” in all 50 states. I decided two things: there’s nothing 1) I can add to the conversation that hasn’t already been said by better commentators, and 2) given that I’m sitting comfortably in a country that has had legal same-sex “marriage” for the past decade, I’m really not in a position to be offering critiques to the U.S.

So, instead, I’ll just refer back to a post I made almost two years ago on the topic. God himself established the institution of marriage along with its attendant social and theological significance. Five judges, or even nine, have no authority to alter its parameters.


Tossed to and fro

May 18, 2015

Michael Coren has crossed the Tiber. Again. He first converted to Roman Catholicism as a young adult in 1985, then converted to evangelical Christianity in the early 1990s, then returned to Rome in 2004. Now, he has announced that a year ago he left the Roman church again and began worshipping with the Anglicans. (If this trend continues, he is due to re-convert to Catholicism in approximately 2024, by which point his personal swimming lane in the Tiber River will be marked off with pool ropes.)

The reason for Coren’s departure from Rome is all too predicatable these days, as he notes in an op-ed published Saturday in the Toronto Star:

I gradually came to embrace the cause of same-sex marriage, more liberal politics and a rejection of the conservative Christianity that had characterized my opinions and persona for more than a decade. . . .

The change was to a large extent triggered by the gay issue. I couldn’t accept that homosexual relationships were, as the Roman Catholic Church insists on proclaiming, disordered and sinful. Once a single brick in the wall was removed the entire structure began to fall.

In other words, like so many, he’s capitulated to the spirit of the age, and it looks like he’s found a church that won’t challenge his assumptions: “I quietly and privately drifted over to an Anglican Church that while still working out its own position on many social issues, is far more progressive, open, relevant and willing to admit reality.”

Not that it’s difficult. The Anglican Church of Canada has been drifting toward the left on this issue for years. Currently ten dioceses are authorized to “bless” same-sex unions, including the Diocese of Ottawa where I live. The 2016 General Synod will vote on whether to authorize same-sex “marriages.” Meanwhile, Canon XXI of Anglican church law, as well as the marriage ceremony in the Book of Common Prayer, still presuppose that a marriage consists of a man and a woman.

If you go to a wedding ceremony, you are likely to hear such biblical passages as Genesis 1:26-28, Genesis 2:15-24, or Ephesians 5:21-33 read. Marriage is not merely a license for guilt-free sex. It is a powerful symbol of the relationship of Jesus Christ and his church. That’s why, notwithstanding whoever the world says can be married, within the church a same-sex “marriage” is a theological absurdity. It would be interesting to know what Bible verses about marriage are going to be read at Anglican same-sex ceremonies.

I viewed Coren’s TV show from time to time and have read some of his books, and found them worthwhile. But this bouncing back and forth from Roman Catholicism to Protestantism and back again every decade is symptomatic of a deep spiritual immaturity. His denominational affiliation is driven by his current likes and dislikes; he is the very definition of one “tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes” (Ephesians 4:14).

Pray for Michael Coren that he finally grows up in his faith and stops swimming.


Scrubbing the Sin List

April 17, 2015

My latest post for Faith Beyond Belief is up.

In the aftermath of Indiana’s RFRA law, while no one is calling for the lions, some secular thinkers are calling for Christian silence: for example, NYT columnist and gay activist Frank Bruni recently wrote that Christians need to take homosexuality off the “sin list.”

(Read “Scrubbing the Sin List.”)


The Vegan Monologues, at a dinner theatre near you

October 7, 2014

And now, this: California-style, weapons-grade moonbattery courtesy of one Kelly Atlas, under the auspices of an animal-rights group calling itself “Direct Action Everywhere”.

This utter loon walks into a restaurant, where coincidentally the PA system is playing “My Girl,” and delivers a monologue about her girl: “I have a little girl. She was very abused for her entire life. She was terrified. . . . And she was hurt and abused her entire life because of this establishment and because of establishments like it.” And so forth.

Of course, as the weepy, blonde monologue progresses, it is eventually revealed that her “little girl” is actually a chicken named “Snow” whom Kelly apparently “rescued” (read: stole) from a commercial farm or some such place. Kelly’s lachrymose jeremiad continues, bemoaning the fate of Snow’s “sisters”: “And right now their eggs and their milk and their bodies are on plates inside this restaurant, and that is so unfair to them!” she wails.

Behold the certifiable delirium that is the modern animal-rights movement:

Direct Action Everywhere writes, on their Web site, explaining why they engage in “direct action”:

The passion of the movement for animal liberation is unmatched. Many of us have cried countless tears of pain, as we have heard, seen, and even felt the oppression and violence imparted on our non-human sisters and brothers.

Of course, they don’t really believe this, and they say so: the hashtag in the YouTube video title is #DisruptSpeciesism. If a chicken truly is my brother or sister, then eating him might be racism or sexism, but it isn’t speciesism. Direct Action Everywhere doesn’t want to stop animals from eating other animals. If they really believed humans and animals were brethren, they’d try to stop animals from eating meat, or they wouldn’t try to make humans stop eating meat, against their nature. Their aims contradict their presuppositions, and so their message is incoherent as well as risible.

As I wrote a few months ago, “there is a significant categorical and moral difference between human beings and animals. One is made in the image of God, and the rest are a gift of God for our use (Genesis 9:3).” Snow isn’t made in the image of God, and it’s going to take a lot more than a crocodile-tear-jerking homily from a flaky Californian to convince me I can’t turn her into delicious chicken tenders.


Friday in the wild: October 3, 2014

October 3, 2014

I haven’t done a Friday in the Wild for a few weeks, so while it might look like I’m playing catch-up, it is in fact a doozy of a week. Lots of interesting stuff to share. So, without further ado:

Come Reason posted this about the rise in relativism in Christian youth:

This kind of thinking is how tyranny is born. If one cannot tell another his actions are evil, then they will continue until those that would dare to oppose immorality are themselves labelled as immoral. . . . And now, the kids we send to college hold not the belief that they cannot stand their moral ground, but that they should not stand their moral ground, because to do so is itself an immoral act!

[Read The Epidemic of Relativism Among Christian Youth]

Woe unto anyone who declares woe unto anyone.

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Friday in the wild: August 8, 2014

August 8, 2014

In this week’s edition of Friday in the Wild, our focus is on the ongoing ebola outbreak in Africa&mdash: particularly, the response to Ann Coulter’s column this week, titled “Ebola Doc’s Condition Downgraded to ‘Idiotic’,” in which she writes, in part:

Whatever good Dr. Kent Brantly did in Liberia has now been overwhelmed by the more than $2 million already paid by the Christian charities Samaritan’s Purse and SIM USA just to fly him and his nurse home in separate Gulfstream jets, specially equipped with medical tents, and to care for them at one of America’s premier hospitals. . . .

If Dr. Brantly had practiced at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles and turned one single Hollywood power-broker to Christ, he would have done more good for the entire world than anything he could accomplish in a century spent in Liberia. Ebola kills only the body; the virus of spiritual bankruptcy and moral decadence spread by so many Hollywood movies infects the world.

Coulter’s argument is a utilitarian one: the right thing to do is the one that maximizes the good done to the greatest number of people. Dr. Brantly’s time and effort (and Samaritan’s Purse’s dollars) are, supposedly, better spent on home soil where they will bring a better return on investment. But Christian missions are not founded on a utilitarian worldview, but on a Christian one: the glory of God and his Son, Jesus Christ, through obedience to his great commission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19)—not just movie moguls in the United States. Coulter’s column is not only utilitarian and cynical, but it smacks of xenophobia as well.

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Blurred lines, part 2: You and me, baby, we ain’t nothing but mammals

July 11, 2014

(Two weeks ago, I posted an article titled “Blurred Lines,” about the eroding of the male-female “binary” and the clash of biblical and secular worldviews. That article was originally posted at Faith Beyond Belief, and contained two parallel arguments. I removed the second argument for brevity and relevance. Had I known what last week would bring, I could have kept the whole article intact and just changed the news stories at the beginning.)

Last week, Texas teenager Kendall Jones was the target of an Internet lynching after photos of herself with African big-game animals, which she had shot, went viral. For her part, Ms. Jones claims that some of the animals were tranquilized for the purposes of research or veterinary treatment, and that the ones she killed either provided food for the locals or aided conservation. For my part, I believe her (on that last point, specifically—as far as I’m concerned, the others require no defense): coming from Northern Ontario where hunting and fishing are popular pastimes, in my experience the most devoted conservationists are hunters. Ducks Unlimited, for example, is dedicated to preserving waterfowl habitats. It was founded by, and primarily supported by, hunters: not merely because they want to preserve their hobby, but they also love nature and want to protect it. Conserving wetlands ensures not only a good supply of ducks to shoot, but has the side benefit of protecting other species that live there as well.

Nonetheless, hordes of easily angered Internet slacktivists descended upon Ms. Jones, demanding (successfully) that Facebook remove the pictures from her page—though a “Kill Kendall Jones” fan page was allowed to exist for a few days longer. Some folks have started online petitions to have her banned from hunting in South Africa or Tanzania, even though her kind of hunting is legal and generates revenue. The usual death threats were issued via Twitter, and one liberal douchebag is even offering $100,000 for nude pictures of her. Mike Dickinson’s apparent rationale is that “hunting” nudie pics of Ms. Jones is the moral equivalent of her hunting animals. (The Web site of this alleged, self-proclaimed Congressional candidate is currently disabled. I wonder why?)

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