By Ben Johnson, LifeSiteNews
Not a single nation in the 40 countries surveyed by Pew Research Center said abortion is morally acceptable.
By Ben Johnson, LifeSiteNews
Not a single nation in the 40 countries surveyed by Pew Research Center said abortion is morally acceptable.
By Bill Muehlenberg
There are several truths you can usually count on when we think about the culture wars. One of them is that perversion tends to generate more perversion. Those pushing a particular vice, immorality or perversion tend to push other ones as well. The more the merrier it seems.
And those into unrighteousness and degradation also seem to want to drag children into their world of filth and perversion as well. It is not enough to let immorality and filth reign supreme amongst adults, but these folks also seek out children, dragging them into their sordid world.
Examples of this are easy to come by, and they demonstrate just how far down the moral drain our Western cultures have gone. It is as if there are moral sinkholes swallowing up entire cultures and societies. Or to alter the metaphor somewhat, all over the West we find examples of moral quicksand engulfing individuals, groups and entire nations.
Two recent examples of what I am talking about are worth examining. The first comes from the US. It involves one perverse group (baby killers) trying to get teens hooked on another perversion (bondage and sado-masochism). Hmmm, birds of a feather obviously.
One report on this explains: “Riding the wave of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ — and other pop culture ‘trends’ — Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE) has released a video promoting and celebrating bondage and sadomasochism for teens (BDSM).
by Ben Conroy, Iona Institute
'Unbelievably, talks on sexual abstinence are still delivered to post-primary school students by external agencies. A spokeswoman for an organisation called Pure in Heart was interviewed last week on RTÉ’s Today with Seán O’Rourke.“Her message was it’s good to be pure and abstaining from sexual activity until marriage is the best option. Listeners, who texted in their views, were largely in favour of chastity education, thought teaching about purity was 'refreshing', and Catholic schools were entitled to promote Catholic views on sexuality. They are not.”
Catholic schools are simply not entitled to teach the Catholic view of sexuality? One would think that such an extraordinary claim might require some justification, and Dr Jones duly takes us through the guidelines around the Relationship and Sexual Health Curriculum, and in the process manages to make the single most irritating sex education argument in the book. She quotes the guidelines:
By Paul D Miller, Public Discourse
Christians have nothing to fear and everything to gain from good social science. It provides a way to talk normatively about human flourishing in terms that are intelligible, legitimate, and persuasive to those outside the community of faith.
How can Christians make arguments that are persuasive to those who do not share their most basic presuppositions? That is the quandary in which Christians—and Jews and Muslims—find themselves as public discourse is increasingly framed, mediated, and policed by people for whom religion is not simply incredible, but irrelevant. This dilemma is not new, but it has sharpened significantly as Christians struggle to articulate reasons for supporting marriage as the union of man and woman to a secular culture that suddenly discovered it had no reasonable grounds to agree with them anymore.
The traditional Christian response, and one that some thinkers have tried in recent years, is to frame arguments in terms of natural law. The effort, on the surface, made sense. Because we understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be objectively true and applicable to all persons regardless of time or culture, the moral guidelines to which it gives rise are similarly objective and universal. This is natural law: a universal moral code inscribed in creation, applicable across time and culture, and accessible by reason. Because God has written the natural law on the hearts of all mankind, all people—Christian and non-Christian alike—can discern it (though, of course, not perfectly, and not without training and education). Natural law and reason should be a common language with which to talk to others who do not share our belief in revelation.
But Christians have not exhausted the resources available for speaking in terms intelligible, legitimate, and persuasive to those outside the community of faith. There is another such a way. It's called social science.
By John Bingham, Telegraph
People who attend a place of worship such as a church, mosque or synagogue regularly are less likely to commit petty crimes, a study by criminologists has found
Going to church or another place of worship regularly can actively help keep people on the path of righteousness, a criminological study has found.
Researchers questioned more than 1,200 young people anonymously about whether they had secretly committed sins ranging from faking a sick day from work or failing to pay for a short journey on public transport to serious crimes such as assault or vandalism.
As part of a wider poll which asked the participants about their views on a range of other issues they were also asked whether they attend a place of religious worship such as a church, mosque, synagogue or temple and, if so, how often.
The participants, who were all aged between 18 and 34, were asked whether in the last 12 months they had been involved in any of the following activities: littering; skipping school or work; using illegal drugs; fare dodging; shoplifting; music piracy; property damage or violence against the person.
The results were weighted to take account of social factors such but overall showed a clear relationship between regular attendance at a place of worship and having a lower likelihood of committing the offences listed.
by Paul Stark, National Right to Life
By Melanie Phillips
Anyone seeking evidence of how the western mind is snapping shut and how insult is steadily replacing evidence and reason need only watch this instructive altercation on BBC TV’s Newsnight last night. Ostensibly a discussion about the efficacy or otherwise of drug courts, it fast descended into a row between actor and self-confessed former drug addict Matthew Perry and journalist Peter Hitchens over the nature of drug addiction itself.
Hitchens argued that addiction was not, as is almost universally assumed, a disease over which the sufferer has no control but a form of willed self-indulgence which drug users could end if they really wanted to do so enough. A controversial proposition, indeed, and surely one of which few have previously been made aware.
But Hitchens did not encounter scepticism and a reasoned counter-argument. Instead, an incredulous Perry scoffed at him as ‘Santa’ and frothed that his argument was crazy, ‘as ludicrous as saying Peter Pan was real’. All of this, however, merely served to highlight the fact that when asked for evidence to support his claim that addiction was an illness Perry could not do so, resorting instead to the lame response that ‘doctors say it is’, that he himself was proof of his own argument and that addiction was an ‘allergy of the body’ (eh?)
Even if they don’t agree with Hitchens, fair-minded people can surely recognise that he nevertheless won that bout hands down. Not that you’d think so from Twitter, where hundreds of people have been piling in against him ever since. What arguments do they use? None. What is their evidence? Nothing. All they do is express amazement at how bonkers/vile/extreme/stupid/ignorant Hitchens is, and their outrage that he is allowed onto TV at all. And they think they are being clever.
by Peter Hitchens, Mailonline
The BBC last Tuesday got excited about two reports – one said that attitudes towards sex had become much more ‘fluid’- or, as we would once have said, more promiscuous. In short, lifelong faithful marriage is dead. One major BBC commentator openly expressed pleasure at one aspect of this report.
The other document said that gang-infested neighbourhoods are now seeing levels of sexual violence as bad as those in war zones. Girls as young as 11 are being raped.
Sue Berelowitz, the Deputy Children’s Commissioner, complained that many simply would not accept that this was happening, saying there was a long way to go ‘before the appalling reality of sexual violence and exploitation committed by children and young people is believed.’
There’s also a long way to go before people (especially the BBC) will see any connection between the state-sponsored destruction of strong married families, and the growth of gangs and the cruel exploitation of the young and weak. These follow naturally from our moral collapse.
From Voice for Justice UK
In a society that has lost God, evil will flourish. Whatever we may prefer to believe, mankind is not naturally ‘good’, and over the last few centuries we haven’t noticeably advanced spiritually, mentally or emotionally. In fact, if current research on cognitive development is to be believed, since the arrival of the internet, the reverse is true!
What’s indisputable, however, is that men and women have within themselves the capacity both to trawl the depths of hell, and ascend to the highest heavens – by virtue of the simple fact that we are spiritual beings in a physical body. But the reality is that we are ‘small’ spiritual beings who, during our time on earth, have to grow. And, sad but true, without help, we seem not just susceptible, but even predisposed, to evil. More than that, to paraphrase St Paul, the good that we want to do, we don’t – though we seem very handy at doing the evil which in anyone else we cheerfully condemn.
And so in Western society today – which by and large boasts that God is only for the emotionally crippled and intellectually challenged – we see sexual abuse of all kinds proliferating, pornography spreading like an ebolic virus, drug and alcohol dependency rates climbing through the roof, and a determined assault on the right to life at both its beginning and end, with half of all conceptions ending in abortion, and the elderly growing increasingly fearful of going into hospital. VfJUK humbly suggests that these, and associated, plagues are because we have ‘lost’ God, in his place deifying consumerism, secularism, and self-fulfilment. And the Church, sadly, far from being the bulwark against chaos, sin and evil that it’s intended to be, has become complicit in this. By attempting to make the gospel culturally relevant, it has only strengthened the moral vacuum in which these evils flourish.
From Fr Ed Tomlinson's Blog
[...] Whereas Christopher has a rather baroque literary style, his brother writes soberly and directly. His fundamental theme is this: though the atheists claim just the contrary, the collapse of Christianity carries in its wake dire consequences for civilization itself. Peter Hitchens was a foreign correspondent in Moscow during the waning years of the Soviet Union, and he experienced a culture in deep crisis. There was political corruption of every type on every level of the system; there was widespread drunkenness; abortions far outnumbered live births; and a suspension of common courtesies—exchanging common signs, holding doors, etc.—was everywhere in evidence. How does one begin to explain this almost total ethical collapse?
Peter Hitchens argues that it followed ineluctably from a conscious and brutally enforced Soviet policy in regard to religion. From the earliest days of the regime, that is to say, even before the rise of Stalin, the Soviet government launched a systematic attack on religion, especially Russian Orthodoxy. Priests and nuns were, in great numbers, put to death or arrested, and the few that were allowed to live were consistently harrassed, mocked, and humiliated. Furthermore, religion was constantly pilloried as “unscientific” and “backward,” the stuff of crude superstition and pre-modern mythology. And religious instruction was strictly disallowed in the educational system. In fact, it was routinely characterized as a form of child abuse, a poisoning of the minds of the young.
Peter Hitchens suggests that there there is a clear causal relationship between this brutal anti-religious strategy and the civilizational breakdown that was universally on display in the Soviet Union by the early 1990’s. This is precisely because the moral matrix that one tends to take for granted is in fact a consequence of certain very basic religious convictions, including and especially, the belief in God as a guarantor of moral absolutes. Once God has been jettisoned, or at the very least marginalized, morality becomes relative. And once morality is relativized it devolves, finally, into a function of oppression, the behavioral system instituted by and for the powerful.
by Michael Cook, MercatorNet
[...] Huxley was not conventionally religious. But from the 40s on, he became interested in mystical experience. (His book The Perennial Philosophy is an anthology of texts culled indiscriminately from Hindu, Buddhist, Sufi and Christian sources.) He found that drugs helped and he was an early adopter of mescaline and LSD. As he lay dying in California in 1963, he asked for an injection of LSD.
He should have known better. He had already shown in 1932, in Brave New World, that drugs and pneumatic, loveless sex were unsuccessful attempts to evade existential anxieties. Nonethless, Huxley’s yearning for something permanent beyond the flux of the visible world made him an acute critic of 20th century materialism.
Set 600 years in the future, Brave New World depicts a society which is contented, peaceful and prosperous. Materially speaking, it is a paradise. But social harmony has been purchased at a high price. With a few exceptions, its citizens are mere drones whose humanity is leached away by free and abundant sex and a drug called soma which dispels depression. “One cubic centimetre cures ten gloomy sentiments,” is the government’s slogan. In this environment, religion and politics are irrelevant.
Sex has been uncoupled from reproduction and babies of different intellectual castes are produced on assembly lines and raised in "hatcheries and conditioning centres". The lower ranking castes are cloned with Bokanovsky's Process, which produces up to 96 children from a single embryo. Families do not exist and an omnipotent paternalistic state cares for everyone.
Brave New World’s political framework is characteristic of the 1930s. With the impressive industrial and military success of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, writers like Huxley and George Orwell assumed that totalitarianism was all but inevitable.
by Steven Glover, Mailonline
John Wesley, the 18th century founder of Methodism, must be whirling in his grave in the chapel in the City of London that bears his name.
Wesley was ordained in the Church of England before starting the movement that led to the creation of the Methodist Church.
In his sermons, he encouraged people to work hard and to save, and warned against the perils of gambling and drinking.
For many years Methodist ministers had to take the pledge not to drink, and persuaded their congregations to do the same.
The Methodists were a major force in the Temperance Movement in the 19th century. They were associated with probity, restraint and moral rectitude.
Now we have a Methodist minister, the Reverend Paul Flowers, who wolfs down hard drugs such as cocaine and crystal meth. He also looks (or has done so) at gay porn on his laptop. Oh, and he has reportedly paid for rent boys in a Manchester hotel, allegedly charging the cost of his room to his bank.
That bank was, of course, the Co-op, of which Mr Flowers was a negligent chairman as it sank down the plug-hole.
It has since emerged that he was so unqualified for his £125,000-a-year job, and so incompetent, that he did not have the faintest idea as to what its total assets were.
November 11th, 2013 Jill Posted in Morality Comments Off
By Peter Saunders, CMF
The Old liberalism had its roots in the radical biblical criticism of the 19th century. Old liberals doubted core Christian doctrines like the incarnation, Christ’s death and resurrection, his ascension and second coming, the authority of Scripture, justification by faith, the day of judgement, the sovereignty of God, and so on.
The New liberalism is actually orthodox on these things. New liberals will gladly tick the boxes of the church creeds and the doctrinal basis of the Evangelical Alliance and many of them know their Bibles well.
They are liberal not on what we might call the core beliefs of Christianity, but on ethics. They would argue that ethical issues are in the category of what Paul, in passages like 1 Corinthian 8 & 10 and Romans 14, called ‘disputable matters’.
‘Disputable matters’ are things on which Bible believing Christians can legitimately disagree whilst remaining in fellowship with one another. If you like they are in the same category as debates about the timing and amount of water to be used in baptism, the modus operandi of the Lord’s supper, the sequence of events around the return of Christ, forms of church government and the place of Israel.
I see this view as a revival of what in a previous generation was called ‘situation ethics’.
By Hilary White, LifeSite News
Sir James Munby, president of the Family Division of the British court system has said that only “secular” judges can serve a “multicultural” society, and that judges must not “be swayed by Christian values.”
“A secular judge must be wary of straying across the well-recognized divide between church and state,” Munby said in a speech to the first annual conference of the Law Society’s family law section in London.
In a speech in London last night, Munby disparaged “Victorian judges” who promoted ‘virtue and morality.” Such judges discouraged “vice and immorality” while maintaining a “very narrow view of sexual morality.”
“Happily for us, the days are past when the business of judges was the enforcement of morals or religious beliefs,” he said.
He praised the “disappearance, in an increasingly secular and pluralistic society, of what until comparatively recently was in large measure a commonly accepted package of moral, ethical and religious values.”
Munby said modern judges had in a sense displaced Christian clergy, whom, he said, have relinquished their prior position as the “defining voices of morality and of the law of marriage and the family.”
Anthony Ozimic, communications manager of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), told LifeSiteNews that this is not the first time Munby has “used his position to give succour to the idea that the move away from Judeo-Christian morality represents progress.”
Read also: Sir James Munby – High Priest of Secularism from Cranmer
by Kenneth W. Kemp, Public Discourse
We don’t need to know that God exists to know good from bad. It is enough to know human nature—what kind of being we are and what kind of actions will bring us to fullness of being.
By Jonathan Petre and Paul Cahalan, Mailonline
The Archbishop of Canterbury has criticised energy companies for imposing huge price rises that will hammer struggling families.
Justin Welby said power giants had a ‘massive’ moral duty beyond squeezing customers for maximum profit, and challenged the firms to justify their huge increases in bills.
The Archbishop, himself a former oil executive, said he understood the anger over apparently ‘inexplicable’ rises and called on the companies ‘to behave with generosity and not merely to maximise opportunity’.
He hit out after British Gas announced a 9.2 per cent hike, despite parent company Centrica recording a £2.7 billion profit last year. Other suppliers are expected to follow suit. Speaking exclusively to The Mail on Sunday, Britain’s most senior cleric said that rises which would add an average £123 a year to bills were ‘a huge moral issue’ for energy firms.
Archbishop Welby’s comments will heap pressure on the Government to get tougher on the industry. Energy prices have become a major political issue, with Labour accusing the Government of failing to tackle ‘rip-off’ companies, while Ministers have said consumers should switch to better deals and even wear jumpers to keep warm.
By Gillan Scott, God and Politics in the UK
Towards the end of September we had another ‘persecuted Christian’ story make the news. It related to the case of Dr David Drew who was dismissed from his role as a consultant paediatrician at Walsall Manor Hospital in December 2010. Prior to this he had sent an email designed to motivate his department which had included a 16th-century prayer by St Ignatius Loyola. He had prefaced the prayer, called ‘To give and not to count the cost’, with the words: ‘I find this a personal inspiration in my frail imperfect efforts to serve my patients, their families and our department.’
[...] By virtue of the existence of sexual difference, sexual intercourse is an action that men and women can choose to perform. By virtue of the nature of the human body, conception is not an action that men and women can choose to perform. Instead, it is an effect that is caused by the chosen action of sexual intercourse.
A re-action is also able to be an action. So too, an effect is also able to give rise to an effect – an effect can be a cause. The action of sexual intercourse, by virtue of its nature, causes the effect of conception. The effect of conception causes the effect of parenthood. Between action and re-action lies time. Between cause and effect lies time. Between the action of sexual intercourse and the re-action of conception, there lies time. But between the cause of conception and the effect of parenthood, there lies no time.
Sexual difference is the hand that allows us to push the first domino – sexual intercourse. Sexual intercourse pushes the second (final) domino – conception. Since there is a second domino, there is a domino for the first domino to miss (not conceive) – sexual intercourse SOMETIMES pushes over the domino of conception. Since there is a final domino (conception), there is no domino for the second domino to miss. The falling of the domino of conception gives rise to one last re-action – parenthood. Conception ALWAYS causes parenthood. When a woman falls pregnant, a man and a woman fall into parenthood.
The act of sexual intercourse is divisible from its purposed effect – conception. But the act of conception is indivisible from an end effect – parenthood. As a relationship, parenthood is physically real. As such, it can only ever be defined correctly in one way: parenthood is a permanent, exclusive sexual union between one man and one woman, which exists in relation to the body of their child (conception). Parenthood exists in relation to conception, and conception exists in relation to sexual intercourse. This means that sexual intercourse itself is an action that, by its very nature, is able to bring about an outcome of permanence and exclusivity. The name given to the relationship that exists in relationship to sexual intercourse is Marriage. Since conception exists in relation to sexual intercourse, parenthood exists in relation to marriage. And since parenthood is sexual, permanent, heterosexual and exclusive, the relationship that exists in relation to sexual intercourse (Marriage) is simultaneously and unavoidably sexual, permanent, heterosexual and exclusive.
By Carson Holloway, Public Discourse
President Obama's assumption that he should punish Syria for a moral, but not legal, transgression undermines international law.
Law is inevitably informed by morality, but it is not the same thing as morality. When we forget this, when we insist that what is wrong must be unlawful, or that it must be lawful to punish every wrong, we undermine the rule of law.
Robert Bolt teaches this lesson memorably in A Man for All Seasons, his play about the life and death of Sir Thomas More. In a key scene, More, then serving as the Lord Chancellor, has just dismissed a young associate, Richard Rich, who has revealed himself to be an informant for More’s political enemies. All of More’s family members present urge him, on various vaguely moral grounds, to arrest Rich; but More, on legal grounds, insists just as strongly that he will not.
More’s daughter Margaret admonishes him that Rich is a “bad” man. More responds that “there’s no law against that.” Roper, More’s son-in-law, observes that being bad is contrary to God’s law. “Then God can arrest him,” More responds, using humor to remind this earnest, not to say fanatical, young man that God’s law and man’s law are not simply the same, and that violation of God’s law is not necessarily grounds for arrest by human political authorities. More’s wife Alice says with disgust: “While you talk, he’s gone.” More’s rejoinder: “And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law.”
September 20th, 2013 Jill Posted in Morality Comments Off
By J C von Krempach, JD, Turtle Bay & Beyond
A few day ahead of the national elections in Germany, the leftist-ecologist “Green Party”, which has imbitions to replace, as part of a coalition with the Social Democrats and the extreme-left Party “Die Linke” the centre-right Government led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, is again confronted with revelations concerning its role as the political mouthpiece of openly paedophile lobbies.
Of course, it is well known (and never was a secret) that the Greens are the political movement that is more active than any other group in promoting homosexuality as a “normal” and socially acceptable lifestyle. But it somehow had fallen into oblivion that this agenda was from its very beginning deeply entangled with the paedophile lobby. And this entanglement was by no means accidental. The promotion of both homosexuality and paedophilia simply was part of a larger project: a cultural revolution that sought to establish all rules concerning sexuality, hoping that this “sexual revolution” would lead to a complete destruction of the existing culture and thus open the way for the construction of a completely new society. The fundamental approach was to turn sexual fulfilment into the supreme value of modern society, and to claim that legal restrictions to sex are no more socially acceptable. The simple message was: every form of sexual activity should be licit, except where physical violence is involved. By logical necessity, this agenda included the legalization of what was euphemistically called “loving relationships between adults and children”. How could it have been otherwise?
It is no wonder then that paedophile groups were one of the most active constituencies of the Green Party when it was founded in the early nineteen-eighties. The demand to remove all legal barriers for sex between adults and children was several times openly mentioned in the Party’s programmatic statements, for example ahead of the regional elections in North-Rhine-Westphalia in 1985.