Monday, August 28, 2006

Misled or Misleading?

According to ABC News, Republican Katherine Harris has made “comments which she clarified Saturday in the Florida Baptist Witness, the weekly journal of the Florida Baptist State Convention, which interviewed political candidates and asked them about religion and their positions on issues.”
U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris told a religious journal that separation of church and state is "a lie" and God and the nation's founding fathers did not intend the country be "a nation of secular laws." The Republican candidate for U.S. Senate also said that if Christians are not elected, politicians will "legislate sin," including abortion and gay marriage.
WOW!...what a remarkable display of misunderstanding—of both the Bible and the US Constitution.

Is Harris simply misled, is she pandering to the Religious Right or both?

Friday, August 25, 2006

A Point That Bears Repeating

Norman Geras of normblog hit the nail on the head with his post entitled Non-speech is free:
It's one thing to criticize apologists for terrorism. It's quite another to demand of anybody that they speak out about terrorism (or about anything else) as a condition of being 'tolerated'. This is what Ginny Dougary does apparently demand:

If the Muslims who choose to live in our society, with all its so-called tempting freedoms, do not protest against those who wish to destroy it, then how can they expect our tolerance?

The short answer is that they can expect that, and more, as being your fellow citizens and as human beings with the same rights as you have. These are not conditional upon any statements you might like them to make.
The long answer is too long and, quite frankly, ought to be unnecessary. That is, the right to speak or remain silent is one of our most basic inherent rights. Therefore, tolerance of such liberties is simply what the citizens of a free society owe one another. Why is this so difficult for some to understand?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

A chip off the old block?

As my oldest son Kelsey prepares to enter high school, I’m reminded of myself: a stubborn, individualistic teen-ager. I was above average, but certainly not the smartest, most motivated kid in class; some of those kids were, however, my closest friends.

But back to my son: from our library, he recently borrowed Ayn Rand’s The Romantic Manifesto: A Philosophy of Literature. I’ve not read it, but I own Rand’s For the New Intellectual: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, in which Kelsey has expressed interest.

I mention that because Jonathan Wilde points to something from: From the Archives that I (and probably you as well) can identify with:
There is one sure way to ruin a smart kid. If you take a smart, hurt kid, and give him anything by Ayn Rand, all hope is lost. I haven’t read any Rand, so I can’t argue content with anyone. But I can tell you how Rand works as a black box. You put a hurt, smart kid through Rand, and you get out an insufferable, pleased-with-himself Libertarian.