October 12, 2005

Midweek In Blog -- October 12, 2005

This is the first in a series of weekly reviews of the blogosphere. Topics include Harriet Miers, Iraq, Darfur/Sudan, Intelligent Design, Christian Spirituality, and Smoking Bans.

Harriet Miers
Tim Chapman at Townhall's Capitol Report comments on Hugh Hewitt's rant.
Hewitt could have criticized the actions of GOP Committee staffers without resorting to comments about "grandchildren of rich donors", "copy machine staffers" or never having "worked in the private sector."

The truth is, the majority of those staffers on the committee are among the best and brightest in the Senate. In my interaction with them throughout these two nominations I have been impressed by their intellect, honor, work ethic, resumes, devotion to their bosses and devotion to conservative principle. For Hewitt to cast aspersions on them in the way he does this morning is below him.

Also, Christianity Today attempts to distill James Dobson's remarks.
Today's broadcast did not reveal that Dobson was privy to information he probably shouldn't know, and he was not part of any backroom deals as some have suggested. Dobson needed to set the record straight that he didn't have information "that I probably shouldn't know." He just had information a few days before others did.

Another good summary of the "Dobson Secret" was posted over at Parableman:
What was most interesting to me is the piece of information that hadn't been made public that Rove has now given him (Dobson) permission to reveal. He says there was a short list of potential nominees, and Miers was on it. She wasn't on some lower tier list. But the short list got narrowed down in two ways. One was that Bush really did want a conservative woman on the court...The other...from people telling Bush they weren't interested.

Iraq made progress this week in establishing a constitution. Besides suggesting we focus our attention on the December elections, Publius Pundit expresses hope:
The constant dropping of opposition to the constitution is actually becoming a trend. Shia groups like Muqtada al-Sadr’s militia and (as reported above) the largest Sunni group, the Iraqi Islamic Party, have dropped their campaign to defeat the constitution and will instead be focusing completely on the December elections. As will everybody else.

Following the New York Times publishing of Zawahiri's letter, the battle over the meaning of the letter ensued. Power Line's analysis separates the Times' interpretation from what Zawahiri really said:
Zawahiri's letter is far from being a celebration of the opportunity created by the American invasion of Iraq, as the Times implies. Instead, it is replete with evidence of al Qaeda's tenuous grip on survival.

As well, Jeremy at Parableman comments on the continual spreading of misinformation about Bush's claims that Saddam tried to get nuclear material:
Chris Matthews is on the air spreading misinformation again. He's claiming that there's no evidence that Saddam Hussein tried to get nuclear material from Africa. His evidence? There was no actual deal between Saddam and any African nation. So how is his conclusion supposed to follow? The fact that no one sold anything doesn't mean no one tried. Joseph Wilson's report confirms what the Bush Administration said, and the 9-11 Commission accepts the conclusion that Saddam tried unsuccessfully to get nuclear material, which is all Bush ever claimed.

While Katrina may have caused some devastating circumstances, Eugene Oregon at Coalition for Darfur claims that this is a way of life for some in Darfur.
For more than two years, nearly two million people have been relegated to displacement camps across Darfur, with limited access to food, water and medical attention. They live in makeshift tents that provide little shelter from the elements, and in constant fear of rape, looting and death at the hands of the Janjaweed militia.

On Common Grounds Online, an anonymous poster provided his perspective on Darfur by describing his experiences during an effort to document attrocities.
Assigned the task of documenting the atrocities occurring in Darfur, my team spent weeks in the field speaking with survivors. The very stories they told were toxic to the soul—how can they be repeated without searing the hearer as well? Innocence crushed, the fragile deliberately snuffed out, those who tried to defend their families and justice defeated in the name of a predatory God. The survivors with whom we spoke would often conclude their narrative with a silent, macabre revelation of the legacy these horrors wrought in their flesh.

Intelligent Design
In two posts, William Dembski explains how theological implications do not undermine ID as a scientific program as well as how creationists are unwilling to go in with ID. The creationism post was followed by quite a discussion.
Critics of ID are quick to label it creationism. It is therefore ironic that creationists are increasingly reluctant to identify themselves as design theorists. Creationists, both of the young-earth and the old-earth variety, tend to think ID doesn’t goes far enough and hesitate to embrace ID’s widening circle of allies, a circle that now includes Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, New Agers, and non-dogmatic agnostics. Indeed, creationists are increasingly distancing themselves from ID’s big tent.

Also, MikeGene at Telic Thoughts provides some interesting perspective on how not all ID proponents hold the same views by listing where he departs from mainstream ID and where he holds different views than those of ID critics. While he does not think ID qualifies as science yet, he also does not think that:
ID is nothing more than religious belief and an attempt to sneak creationism into the public school curricula
nor does he think
To detect design, one must first demonstrate the identity, methods, and psychology of the designer.

Christian Spirituality
Mark D. Roberts posted his second commentary on "contradictions" in the Gospels. Today he cites Craig Bloomberg's book The Historical Reliability of the Gospels and goes into an example of a supposed contradiction surrounding the healing of the paralytic. His main point:
If God chose to work through biographers who, like their Hellenistic peers, paraphrased sayings or ordered events thematically rather than chronologically, who am I to say this is wrong? Isn't that asking, not only Luke, but even the Lord to conform to the values of my culture, rather than accepting God's choice to work within the constraints of another culture?

Adrian Warnock has interviewed CJ Mahaney on his weblog regarding the upcoming release of Humility. To end the interview, Mahaney expressed this hope for his book:
John Stott has written, "At every stage of our Christian development and in every sphere of our Christian discipleship, pride is the greatest enemy and humility our greatest friend." I hope this book will assist the reader in opposing pride, our greatest enemy, and cultivating humility, our greatest friend. And I hope the book effectively reminds the reader that we do this recognizing that only one has been truly and fully humble before God, only our Savior, Jesus Christ. Only One in all of history has ever completely and perfectly obeyed Isaiah 66:2. Only One! Only Him! And He did this on our behalf, as our representative and ultimately as our substitute dying on the cross for sinners like you and me.

Smoking Bans
Maxwell Goss at Right Reason responded to Clay Littlejohn's rebuttal pertaining to Goss's critique of banning smoking in public places. He concludes there is really nothing to the rebuttal as it is largely based in a bad analogy--mining dust.
Consider two cities, Dustville and Smokeville. In Dustville there is one major industry, mining. Though it may be possible to find alternative employment in Dustville, mining is the only industry that pays enough to support a family. Moreover, most Dustvilleans are so poor that moving to another city is not a viable option. Consequently, the prospects for survival for many Dustvilleans are closely tied to the mining industry. (See here to make the example more evocative.) In Smokeville, by contrast, there is a wide range of industries, among which is the bar and restaurant industry. Most Smokevillians employed in this industry do not support families, and even those that do could generally find employment in other industries in Smokeville without too much trouble. They have a range of options not enjoyed by the residents of Dustville.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Midweek In Blog -- October 12, 2005