October 19, 2005

Midweek In Blog -- October 19, 2005

This is the second in a series of weekly reviews of the blogosphere. Topics this week include Sex & Culture, Harriet Miers, Iraq, Intelligent Design, and Christian Spirituality.

Sex & Culture
Joe Carter of the popular Evangelical Outpost offered a few posts relating to sexuality and culture. The first post consists of 12 things Christians can do to be part of God's movement to redeem sexuality in our culture by rescuing it from industrialization. Among them, according to Carter, we should continuously point out:
  • Sexual intercourse is a non-verbal expression of profound commitment, openness, and trust.
  • “Good” sex is not found by following a formula...Sex cannot be measured...anymore than a good conversation can be measured by the number of words spoken.
  • Sex is intended to be viewed from the place of a first-person participant, not a third-person observer.
  • You can’t have multiple sexual partners and not become desensitized to the beauty and intimacy of marital intercourse.

In his second related post, Carter observes a correlation between Picasso's sexual ethic and his artistic style, ranging from realistic to grotesque as Picasso experienced love or lust in varying degrees.
For Picasso, the dignatas of a woman was entirely dependent on his feelings for her. When in the throes of love he could see the intrinsic worth; when in the faded glow of lust, he could only look upon her with disgust. “It must be painful for a girl to see in a painting that she’s on the way out,” Picasso mused.

Carter's third related post discussed the extent to which advertisers have taken their logic to include sex in advertising. He quotes Chuck Klosterman as saying, "They (advertisers) are actually trying to sell a lifestyle that consumers haven’t even considered as a remote possibility." In typical fashion, Carter provides various ads that serve as data for his point--polyamorous advertising is on the rise. He concludes with:
How long will it take those pushing these polyamorous ads to come to the same conclusion and realize that the public simply isn't ready for it (polyamory)?

Harriet Miers
In addition to believing that Separation of Powers would be enough to prohibit Miers' nomination, this week Paul Deignan at Info Theory concluded that Miers is pro-Roe politically, although she may be pro-life personally. How did he do so?
The analysis revolves around one appointment and one appointment only: SCOTUS justices...What has the President said on Roe? That was indeterminate but did favor the hypothesis that Bush is "personally pro-life" but politically pro-Roe...What of the President's actions? Here there is conclusive proof that Bush is pro-Roe in the nomination of SCOTUS justices.

On the other hand, SkyePuppy has concluded that she is pro-Miers. She weighed the arguments of Laura Ingraham and Hugh Hewitt and found Ingraham's wanting.
In the end, I found Hugh's arguments more compelling. Constitutional law is not rocket science. The Constitution is short and quickly read--even with all those ammendments--and it's fairly easy to understand. Since conservatives are looking for an originalist or a strict constructionist (someone who will look to the Constitution itself and not make stuff up that the Constitution doesn't say), then we don't need a nominee who has spent his or her entire career analyzing the kind of constitutional case law that determines that localized endangered toads threatened by a housing development somehow fall under the interstate commerce provisions of the Constitution.

Since the Constitution isn't that hard, and the constitutional legal establishment is starting to sound like they're suffering from some intellectual inbreeding, now seems like as good a time as any for some fresh blood to be introduced into the "family." Provided that the fresh blood is sharp and capable. Hugh has posted emails and links to blogs that have spelled out the stellar qualities of Harriet Miers.

Townhall is currently running an online poll associated with the Miers nomination. As of 12:53 AM, October 19, 65 percent of the 519 respondents vote for conservatives who are uncomfortable with the Miers nomination to urge the President to withdraw the nomination.

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted unsolicited advice for Harriet Miers with respect to answering questions on Roe. You decide if it is good advice.
Suppose Miers testifies to the following:
  1. She believes Roe was wrongly decided, and has expressed that view from time to time in conversation.
  2. Her disagreement with Roe is not based on her opposition to abortion, but rather on her opposition to judicial usurpation. The Constitution says nothing about abortion, and the idea that the Court suddenly "discovered" the right after nearly 200 years is ridiculous.
  3. She doesn't know whether she would vote to overturn Roe, because that would depend on issues relating to stare decisis that she hasn't yet analyzed, and she would not make that kind of decision without hearing the case before her, studying the authorities and the arguments of the parties, and discussing the issues with her colleagues on the Court.
Mightn't that approach solve a number of problems?

John Hawkins has a post titled "What Has Been Accomplished In Iraq? More Than You Might Think." In the midst of confusion about what was and was not said, there are some good things to notice about Iraq.
The war hasn't been easy, nor is it likely to suddenly become so because of this election, but we're moving steadily, inexorably towards a free and Democratic Iraq that's capable of defending itself from terrorists without Coalition troops on the streets. When that day comes, we'll be able to bring our troops home for the respite and victory parades that they will so richly deserve.

Hammorabi has decided that the constitution will likely pass. It can only be rejected if the majority of votes reject it or if two thirds of the votes in three provinces or more vote for no. In "The Results indicate YES vote for the Iraqi constitution", these conditions are shown to not be likely.
  • The nine southern provinces from Basra to Hila voted between 75-95% by yes.
  • Baghdad region voted by 65-75% yes.
  • The three northern Kurdish provinces voted by 70-80% yes.
  • Kurkuk and Diyala voted for 60-65% yes.
  • Ramadi is gloomy but expected to vote for no.
  • The birth place of Saddam Tikrit (Salah-aldeen) voted by 75% for no.
  • Even taking Tikrit votes in account, this (2/3 of 3 provinces vote no) will need at least another 2 provinces to say no by more than 66%. Even if Ramadi achieved this, (it) is not enough. Mosel votes were 643,000 from which until today we got the results of 419,000 ballots counted. Out of this 419,000 there is 75% voted yes.

Mary Katharine Ham, at Townhall's C-Log, has a similar post about refusing to see the good coming out of Iraq.
As Rob Anderson notes, "there's nothing admirable about using one injustice as blinders for another."

Abu Ghraib shouldn't keep liberal-minded Americans from recognizing the gains being made in Iraq for universal humanitarian causes, but I'm afraid it does-- which, now that I think of it, is just another example of cultural relativism gone too far.

Intelligent Design
Recently, Eugenie Scott has suggested introducing theology into the classroom. On Darwinian Fundamentalism, Lawrence Selden explains how Eugenie Scott's latest recommendations violate the separation of church and state.
Her final sentence makes it all too clear: Johnny, you don't have to "make a choice between evolution and religious faith." Just switch to a different religious faith! You can even stay a Christian- just switch denominations! It is so easy these days to be a good Episcopalian and buy into Darwinism hook, line and sinker. Hey, I might even write you a good recommendation if you do.

Where can you find Eugenie Scott's strategy guide? Why on a web site funded in part by the US Government, of course. Follow the link Dealing with Roadblocks & Misconceptions, and then the link Dealing with Antievolutionism. Et voila! The juicy stuff is on page 2. Establishment of religion in three easy steps, brought to you by the National Science Foundation.

Krauze over at Telic Thoughts has posted on how his ID conversations usually start. First is the question of ID's stance on common descent and then frustration because ID can't be pigeon-holed--resulting in this statement:
You’re just a bunch of fundamentalist post-modernists, quoting scientists out of context and using the Wedge to turn the US into a theocracy and send all of our jobs to Taiwan. And besides, who designed the designer?

Christian Spirituality
Ben Witherington has a great post on prayer he has called "Chrysostom, Mother Teresa, and George Herbert on Prayer". The snippet from John Chrysostom's Homily on Hebrews 14.9:
There is war in the marketplace; the affairs of every day are a fight, they are a tempest and a storm. We therefore need arms, and prayer is a great weapon. We need favorable winds; we need to learn everything, so as to go through the length of the day without shipwrecks and without wounds. For every single day the rocks are many, and oftentimes the boat strikes rock and is sunk. Therefore, we have especial need of prayer early and by night.

StatGuy at Magic Statistics offers some thoughts on St Luke the Evangelist.
Luke's unique perspective on Jesus can be seen in the six miracles and eighteen parables not found in the other gospels. He is the one who tells the story of Lazarus and the rich man who ignored him. Only in Luke's gospel do we hear Mary's Magnificat where she proclaims that God has brought down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of humble estate; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away (Luke 1:52-53). St Luke also has a special connection with the women in Jesus' life, especially Mary. It is only in Luke's gospel that we hear the story of the Annunciation, Mary's visit to Elizabeth including the Magnificat, the Presentation, and the story of Jesus' disappearance in Jerusalem.


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Midweek In Blog -- October 19, 2005