Category Archives: Religion and Culture

Words Have Meaning: Discrimination in a Post-DADT World

A writer at the Engage Family Minute blog begins his post with an appropriate question:

How exactly is discrimination defined, and what constitutes discrimination?

As has been noted here before (“Of Bullies, Bigots, Homophobes: The Changing American Vocabulary“), it is not uncommon for people or groups to appropriate terminology — or even twist semantics — to support their cause.  Prior discussions have already covered several: homophobe, bigot, bully, tolerance, and Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s use of “rape”.

“Discrimination” was also briefly mentioned, though it has again surfaced in incorrect usage (at least by its traditional definition). In short, it bears reminding that in order to discriminate, one has to act. By themselves, thoughts, beliefs, and words cannot be discriminatory — again, by definition.

An example:  The Catholic Church discriminates when Read more

ACLU Lauds Bill to Allow Abortions in Military Facilities

Update: Respected Christian leader John Piper agrees with calling Obama’s statement “blasphemous.”


The ACLU is applauding the Military Access to Reproductive Care and Health (MARCH) for Military Women Act, which would allow US military facilities to conduct abortions if paid for privately.

This sentence pretty much summed up the ACLU position:

It’s not hyperbole to say that overturning the ban on privately-funded abortions on military bases can save lives.

Yes, they actually said killing innocent children “saves lives,” but in the current culture that shouldn’t be too surprising.  The Baptist Press noted President Obama said pro-life laws — which are an effort to protect children — are “impeding progress.”

“After decades of progress there’s still those who want to turn back the clock to policies more suited to the 1950s than Read more

Of Bullies, Bigots, Homophobes: The Changing American Vocabulary

Over the past two or three years, words that once held specific meaning have been “appropriated” by ideologies, interest groups, or even just ignorant websites and misused — misused to such an extent people seem to be forgetting “that word doesn’t mean what you think it means;” at least, it didn’t.

One of the first was the Latin suffix –phobia, which was eventually used as a tool by the homosexual advocacy movement to brand its opponents “homophobes.”  The fact their opponents didn’t have a phobia about homosexuality was irrelevant.  A “phobia” brings with it a negative connotation, and the name-calling had the intended effect:  Opponents of the imposition of the homosexual agenda were forced to defend themselves; the argument changed to one of labels rather than positions.  Pastor Greg Laurie recently addressed the semantics, saying “homophobe” was a useless term:

I hate the word ‘homophobic because I can just as easily come back and say ‘well, you’re biblophobic to say I’m homophobic.

Others have latched onto the semantic trend, resulting Read more

Media Ethics Questioned after Atheists Fund Reporting

Writing at TheBlaze, Billy Hallowell raises questions about the ethics of the Religion News Service (RNS) after he describes their decision to accept funding from an activist atheist — without publicly acknowledging they had done so.

The Stiefel Freethought Foundation (SFF), a hub for the atheist movement, has given $65,000 [to the Religion News Service] over the past two years to help fund coverage of non-believers and the so-called “freethought” movement. The organization, run by atheist millionaire Todd Stiefel…, has a very clear goal of organizing atheists, while spreading and advancing non-belief.
 
Under a section entitled “Accomplishments in 2011,” the [SFF] site reads, “SFF donated $50,000 to Religion News Service to bolster its coverage of freethinkers with a series of news, investigations, feature stories and photos.”

Hallowell says “most” news organizations would find this relationships “suspect,” and questions if the donation might influence the tone of reporting:

Taking money from a special interest group in the faith sphere causes one to wonder how rigorously — or honestly — the subject of atheism was explored.

If this sounds familiar, it should.  Hallowell is referring to the issue raised here regarding the RNS reporting of Kimberly Winston, who has written veritable “press releases” for atheists.  These articles have included stories on the atheist counter-Christian “Rock Beyond Belief” organized by atheist Army SGT Justin Griffith, which was an event Read more

Homosexuals, Christians Agree on Opposition to Plural Marriage

In a somewhat strange interview on NPR, the host of Tell Me More spoke with an advocate of homosexual marriage (Jonathan Rauch) and an opponent of it (the ADF’s Austin Nimocks).  The point was to argue whether or not the acceptance of homosexual “marriage” necessarily leads down a path that will eventually accept plural marriage.

Many people criticized the logic of opposition to homosexual marriage, so it was almost comical to see Rauch’s reasoning for opposing plural marriage.  In short, it results in unattached, sexually frustrated males:  Read more

The Avengers on God and the US Military

The Christian Post reviews The Avengers and makes an interesting observation about the faith of the rising leader of the group, Captain America:

When Thor shows up and takes Loki, Iron Man goes after him. Cap begins to follow but is urged not to because “these guys are basically gods.” In response, Cap makes a fitting statement for his character and era that I’m amazed Hollywood allowed: “There’s only One God, Ma’am. And I’m pretty sure he doesn’t dress like that.”

The fairly long review goes into great depth on the character of Steve Rogers, noting the value of his morality and integrity, and how it is his strength of Read more

House Bill would Repeal Johnson Amendment

The US House of Representatives recently introduced HR 3600, a bill that would repeal a portion of the IRS 501(c)3 code commonly known as the Johnson Amendment:

The Johnson Amendment was passed by Congress in 1954 [and] states that entities who are exempt from federal income tax cannot:

Participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of – or in opposition to – any candidate for public office.

This portion of law has been used as a tool to prevent churches Read more

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