Saturday, 14 April 2007

Bad Journalism

Read this. This title gives the impression (which the Times may have sought) that immigrants to the United States are becoming agnostics or atheists. Nothing reported in the story, however, suggests that a single person has abandoned theism (belief in God) as a result of moving to the United States. What may have changed—for some people—is church membership, or, more trivially, church attendance. Neither is essential to theism. Perhaps the Times doesn’t like the fact that almost all Spanish-speaking immigrants are devout Christians. The more Hispanics we allow into this country, the more religious it becomes.


Here is the start list for tomorrow’s Paris-Roubaix. The winner will be . . . German/Swiss Steffen Wesemann.


It’s pretty clear from this story that there are people out there who will vote for Hillary Clinton simply because she’s a woman. This licenses people to vote against her simply because she’s a woman (or, put differently, to vote for her male opponent simply because he’s a man). Progressives can’t have it both ways. Either sex is relevant or it’s not. If it is, then people may vote against Hillary simply because she’s a woman. If it isn’t, then those who vote her for her simply because she’s a woman are acting wrongly. Steel yourself for stories about the legions of men (and women) who refuse to vote for a woman for president. The subtext will be that they’re biased or bigoted. Don’t expect any stories (at least in The New York Times) about the legions of women (and men) who vote for Hillary simply because she’s a woman.

Gore Gets Gored

See here.

Fred Thompson

Keep your eye on this guy.

Michael Liccione on Naturalism

[N]aturalism is a dogma entrenched in secular academia today every bit as much as theism was in medieval Catholic universities.

(Michael Liccione, “Natural Religion,” review of Is Nature Enough? Truth and Meaning in the Age of Science, by John F. Haught, First Things [February 2007]: 39-42, at 42)


Will Nehs sent a link to this story about Pope Benedict XVI’s new book on Jesus. I haven’t read the book, and almost certain won’t, but the phrase “the cruelty of capitalism” jumped out at me. Capitalism is the greatest engine of prosperity this world has ever known, or is ever likely to know. It makes philanthropy possible. (Poor people don’t make good philanthropists.) It is the only economic system that is compatible with individual liberty, which I am sure the Pope believes to be a great good. The poor would be much worse off without capitalism than they are with it, as any student of history knows. What’s cruel about that? Does it even make sense to speak of a system (or economic arrangement) as being cruel? People are cruel; systems aren’t. Systems don’t exploit people; people exploit people. The Pope should be criticizing people, not economic systems. Those who have much, and especially those who have much through good fortune rather than hard work, arguably have a moral obligation to share. This is what Peter Singer has been arguing for more than three decades, and he didn’t need any religious premises to do it. Criticizing the system that allows people to accumulate wealth is silly. Gooses, golden eggs, and all that. But, as I say, I haven’t read the book, so I shouldn’t be too harsh on the Pope.


If this isn’t the best album ever made, then I’m a boa constrictor‘s niece.

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

I’m a white, prudish suburban woman with the requisite huffy indignation for all things racist and sexist. Yet I watched Don Imus most mornings. It often made me squirm, but I could justify the puerile banter as being another part of urban culture that I just didn’t get. So I was ready to defend Mr. Imus because of the platform he provided for in-depth, high-caliber interviews.

When I saw the young women of Rutgers, I was shamed as I have never been shamed before. I suddenly saw my very real contribution to our racial divide. Indifference. I’d been willing to dismiss the denigration of African-Americans and women because it’s become common and because it suited me.

And I learned the true meaning of grace and courage from those young women.

Thank you all for showing me that I have much work to do.

Lisa Wilson
Yarmouth, Me., April 13, 2007

Note from KBJ: There could be no better example than this letter of white guilt, which is exploited by race hustlers such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. What a great country!

A Year Ago