Saturday, June 29, 2013

All Around the web - June 29, 2013

Public Discourse - Same-Sex Marriage and Religious Freedom, Fundamentally At Odds |

After all, if redefining marriage to include same-sex couples accords with justice and moral truth, there is no good reason for the new legal order to make room for “conscientious” religious dissenters, for clearly their consciences are malformed and unworthy of respect. Thus the fate of religious freedom, for scores of millions of Americans, stands or falls with the fate of conjugal marriage itself.

Some astute observers have noticed the dimensions of the problem and called attention to it. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty filed a brief in both marriage cases now pending in the Supreme Court, arguing that the Court should not interfere with democratic legislative processes in this field, because only such processes can result in public policies that will prevent church-state conflict in the future. The brief describes many of the problems I will discuss below, but in the end I think it is too hopeful that same-sex marriage and religious freedom may be reconciled by lawmakers to any significantly greater extent than by judges.

Two groups of prominent religious liberty scholars (one led by Robin Fretwell Wilson, the other by Douglas Laycock) have written letters (such as this one from Wilson’s group) to state legislators and governors considering same-sex marriage bills, imploring them to include various statutory provisions that would afford some protection to religious freedom. Both groups have signally failed to achieve much, if any, meaningful accommodation of religious freedom in the recent legislative enactments of same-sex marriage in New York, Minnesota, Rhode Island, and Delaware.

The victorious legislators either do not see the conflict, don’t care about it, or actually welcome its arrival, relishing the further victories yet to come over the “bigotry” of religious dissenters. The last of these possibilities may be the likeliest, as Robert P. George suggested nearly a year ago here at Public Discourse. If so, our situation is dire indeed.

Mark Driscoll - 7 Reasons Why Sports Are Good For Kids |
  1. They put down technology. Kids need more exercise and less time eating junk food, drinking pop, and sitting down playing video games, surfing the Internet, or watching television.

  2. They learn to submit to authority. Having a coach who you have to obey is a good life lesson that prepares a child to submit to authority at school, work, and church. Kids who do not respect authority are destined for misery.

  3. They learn to work hard. In sports, you have to learn to try your best and persevere through difficult circumstances. This helps build character, fortitude, and the kind of stick-to-itiveness that life requires if you want to succeed at anything from marriage to career.

  4. They learn to play by the rules. One of the first things you learn in any sport is the rules. Once you know the rules, you have to learn to play by them or be penalized by those enforcing them. People who never learn to play by the rules make bad believers and good inmates.

  5. They learn to be on a team. Few activities force a child to work things out with others, think about someone other than themselves, and be part of something bigger than themselves. Being on a team encourages kids to mature in all of these areas. Good teammates learn lessons about being good family members, church members, and company members.

  6. They learn how to win. Being a humble winner who does not gloat and belittle the loser is hugely important.

  7. They learn how to lose. Everyone loses. Learning how to lose without blaming others, giving up, quitting, or pouting is a vital life lesson.

Erik Raymond - Why Church Membership |

1. Church Membership is Biblical
2. Church Membership is Historical
3. Church Membership is Practical
4. Church Membership is Theological

Eric Metaxas - Coming to a Vending Machine Near You |

Now, if you’re like me, you were somewhere between depressed and outraged in hearing this. My 14-year-old daughter can’t go on a field trip without my permission, but soon she'll be able to legally buy the morning-after pill without my knowing anything about it. Even 11- and 12-year-old girls will be able to pick up Plan B along with their candy bars and lip gloss at the neighborhood drug store.

What's next? Selling abortion drugs in junior high vending machines? (“No way!” you say? Well, they’re already in college vending machines. But maybe I'd better not give them any ideas.)

Even President Obama, the most abortion-minded president we've ever had, said that there ought to be an age limit on this Plan B. As he noted in 2011, the reason Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius insisted on an age limit was because “she could not be confident that a 10-year-old or an 11-year-old going to a drugstore should be able . . . to buy a medication that potentially, if not used properly, could have an adverse effect.”

But if the President knows this drug is potentially dangerous, why did he abandon the fight to protect our daughters? Frankly, I've known ten-year-olds who haven't mastered the art of putting the lid back on a tube of toothpaste. And yet Judge Korman and President Obama are going to trust these kids to carefully read the instructions on a potentially dangerous drug, and take it properly? Are they kidding?

Thom Rainer - Four Ways Churches Break Attendance Barriers |

1. Create new groups
2. Create new worship services
3. Create new venues
4. Have a major event

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