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August 18, 2005

Commentaries

David Klinghoffer
Unintelligent Design

Hostility toward religious believers at the nation’s museum

The Smithsonian Institution is a national treasure of which every American can legitimately feel a sense of personal ownership. Considering this, I'd imagine widespread displeasure as more Americans become aware that senior scientists at the publicly funded Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History have reportedly been creating a "hostile work environment" for one of their colleagues merely because he published a controversial idea in a biology journal.

The controversial idea is Intelligent Design, the scientific critique of neo-Darwinism. The persecuted Smithsonian scientist is Richard von Sternberg, the holder of two PhDs in biology (one in theoretical biology, the other in molecular evolution). While the Smithsonian disputes the case, Sternberg's version has so far been substantiated in an investigation by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC), an independent federal agency.


Ben Shapiro
Why the ‘Chickenhawk’ argument is un-American: Part I

Who is qualified to speak on matters of national security? According to the American left, only pacifists, military members who have served in combat and direct relatives of those slain in combat or in acts of terrorism. The rest of us -- about 80 percent of voters -- must simply sit by silently. Our opinions do not matter. You want disenfranchisement? Talk to the political left, which seeks to exclude the vast majority of the American populace from the national debate about foreign policy.

The bulk of the left in this country refuses to argue about foreign policy rationally, without resorting to ad hominem attack. The favored ad hominem attack of the left these days is "chickenhawk." The argument goes something like this: If you believe in any of the wars America is currently fighting, you must join the military. If you do not, you must shut up. If, on the other hand, you believe that America should disengage from all foreign wars, you may feel free not to serve in the military.

Related coverage: Jawa Report


Larry Elder
After Roe v. Wade, then what?

...in a post Roe v. Wade world, what happens?

USA Today conducted a state-by-state analysis. Their analysis expects 11 "conservative states" to immediately pass laws prohibiting abortion. But those "conservative states" only had 122 abortion providers in 2000, less than 7 percent of the nation's 1,819 abortion providers. "Most of those 122 providers (65) are in Texas," writes USA Today. "If pro-choice forces can hold on to Texas (not unlikely, given the feisty Democratic minority's tendency to flee to Oklahoma to deny the Legislature a quorum when its members are miffed) we're down to 57 providers. If the Democrats controlling the Alabama and Arkansas legislatures decided to act like Democrats, not Dixiecrats, that total could fall to 36."

That leaves eight "conservative states" with only 36 abortion providers between them -- an already difficult proposition for any woman seeking an abortion in those states. In six of them -- Mississippi, Kentucky, the Dakotas, Missouri and Nebraska --a woman cannot find an abortion provider in 97-98 percent of those states' counties. In other words, as it stands now, conservative states reduce abortion to almost non-existence, so a post-Roe world, at least in those states, changes little.


Ben Stein
Religion and Politics

Lately, there has been much gnashing of teeth in the media and on liberal talk radio about Protestant preachers urging their megaflocks to get involved in the fight against abortion on demand. There has also been a good amount of muttering about Republicans using churches to promote the vote--up or down--on a few of President Bush's nominees to the federal bench. And of course, there is ever more screaming about what secret plans the new Pope might have for controlling American Catholics in their views on abortion and homosexuality.

All of this, it is darkly hinted, is a violation of the Constitutional bans on the Establishment of a religion, a new and sinister development in political life, and a threat to the Republic.

What foolishness. Who was was leading the marchers heading towards the Pettus Bridge in ( or near ) Selma, Alabama forty years ago during the heyday of the Civil Rights movement? Ministers and nuns in clerical garb. Who was there in Birmingham? Again, men and women of the cloth. What was the greatest political/moral figure of the twentieth century in America? A Protestant minister, Martin Luther King, Jr.

Who was leading us from the pulpit, sounding out fury at the seemingly endless Vietnam war? The Reverend William Sloan Coffin, a minister of the Gospel. Who was at all of the anti-war marches? Ministers and priests and rabbis. No one was complaining about that, for some reason.

Who thundered against slavery and urged on the Civil War? Henry Ward Beecher and other men of faith in the north.

This is what has always been going on in political life in America. The political is the moral. And the moral is the political.

Men and women of faith have always been involved in political/moral issues as long as there has been politics and as long as there has been religion.

Posted by Danny Carlton at August 18, 2005 09:11 AM

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