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Web Exclusive | Salvo 45

Saving Truth on Human Sexuality

How Does Christianity Differ from Other Religions On Homosexuality? It's Probably Not How You Think by Terrell Clemmons

. . . "Sorry if this is off topic," the young woman stammered into the microphone, "but, um, I've searched for answers and I can't seem to find any, so I thought I'd come tonight and ask you guys. Where does Christianity, if it does at all, differ on homosexuality as opposed to other religions, and if so, how?" Her quivering lips and trembling hands revealed the magnitude of struggle it had taken just to voice the question. The auditorium fell silent as all eyes turned to Abdu Murray, who had just taken part in a university open forum on major world religions. . . . "There are only so many worldviews to choose from," he began. And none of them would provide an answer that unconditionally validates her humanity. None, that is, except for one. But before getting to that one, he surveyed the others. . . . ►►►

Department: Parting Shot | Salvo 45

Mommy Nearest

The Priority of Motherhood by Marcia Segelstein

. . . Our culture needs to encourage and support women who put their children's needs ahead of their own, at least for a time. "The truth is," Komisar writes, "we can do everything in life, but not at the same time. We cannot raise healthy children if we are not there for them emotionally and physically." Society used to value motherhood instinctively. How could motherhood not be important? As C. S. Lewis said, "Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work." . . . ►►►

Feature: Headquarters | Salvo 45

The Lights by Which We See

Science Is Knowledge by Reasonable Faith by Regis Nicoll

. . . The materialist operates on the belief that "nature is all there is," that no supernatural or noumenal world exists. The word "belief" signifies something that is not scientifically proven. In fact, this foundational assumption is neither scientifically proven nor provable because, given that only natural explanations are allowed, materialistic science depends on the very premise it is trying to demonstrate. Thus, like all worldviews, scientific materialism is founded on a faith statement. But faith is not limited to materialism's foundation; it forms part of the ideology's superstructure as well. . . . ►►►

Department: Person of Interest | Salvo 42

These Irish Eyes Don't Blink

Phelim McAleer & Ann McElhinney: Journalists Worthy of the Name by Terrell Clemmons

. . . In the end, the wheels of the Pennsylvania justice system consigned Kermit Gosnell to life in prison without parole. The challenge for Phelim and Ann became how to tactfully but truthfully document the manifold unsettling realities of this case. Thorough professionals, they interviewed officials from the local police, the DEA, the FBI, and state oversight boards, along with clinic staff and former patients. Ultimately, Ann decided to write a book about the case, in addition to making the film. "It's disturbing that this story isn't widely known," she explained. And there were aspects of the case that wouldn't end up in the movie, but that should be recorded. "People should know these things," she said, her Irish brogue accentuating the conviction. . . . ►►►

Department: Collateral Damage | Salvo 32

Sexual Insanity

From Wilhelm Reich to the Vagina Lobby in Two Easy Steps by Terrell Clemmons

. . . Eight years after the Pill received FDA approval in 1960, Pope Paul VI published the encyclical Humanae Vitae. It predicted four ramifications of widespread contraceptive use: an overall decline in moral standards, a rise in infidelity, a decline in male respect for women, and the coercive exertion of reproductive control by governments. Reactions to the encyclical ranged from polite disregard to outright contempt. But time has proved Paul VI dead right on all counts. "Forty-plus years after Humanae Vitae," writes Mary Eberstadt, "there are more than enough ironies, both secular and religious, to make one swear there's a humorist in heaven"—at least, she noted soberly, for those who take their humor dark. . . . ►►►

Department: Basic Training | Salvo 40

The Good Life

It's to Know, Serve & Love the Truth by James Altena

. . . What is a life well lived? What is an exemplary life—a life that I would wish to strive for, to emulate, to have others remember as worthy of admiration? What principles ought to guide me in living such a life? At the Christian university where I teach, every freshman must take an introductory liberal arts course that reflects upon this question. Typically, the initial essays I get in response are self-centered: life is all about "finding happiness," "living your dreams," "pursuing your passions." Why does no one ever mention being virtuous, or faithful, or living to serve others? Since I ask all my students to answer this question, I thought it right that I, too, should answer it. I hope my response will give my readers occasion to pause, to pose this question to themselves, and to answer it worthily. . . . ►►►

Department: Reconnaissance | Salvo 32

To Those Who Wait

You Can't Have It All by Mark Oshinskie

. . . Perhaps most fundamentally, the willingness to postpone conception until one's late thirties is based on the culturally encouraged but mistaken notion that women and men are equal in all ways, including biologically. Laws and cultural messages can foster notions of gender equality, but biology does not conform to these notions. Though it seems paradoxical to say it—perhaps because they were so widely touted as boons to women—synthetic birth control and abortion have placed women at a great disadvantage relative to men. . . . ►►►

Department: Basic Training | Salvo 41

Improbably So

Fine-Tuning Is Unlikely, but Unlikely Things Happen All the Time by Tim Barnett

. . . This response may have some rhetorical force, but it makes a fundamental mistake. To expose the error, let me give you another illustration. Imagine your best friend has been murdered and the lead suspect is on trial. In fact, DNA evidence puts the suspect at the scene with the murder weapon in hand. As a result, the defense attorney turns to the jury and says, "The DNA evidence makes it highly unlikely that my client is innocent. But unlikely things happen all the time. For example, for you to exist, your mom and dad had to meet, fall in love, and have sex at just the right time. . . . Would any jury accept this response? I think we would have to say no. But why wouldn't they accept it? It is because there is a better explanation; namely, that the suspect really is the killer. . . . ►►►

Feature | Salvo 41

Eye Openers

Eight Common Factors for Atheists Changing Their Minds About God by Matt Nelson

. . . The factors that lead to faith are diverse, and every former atheist has walked a unique path to God. When Cardinal Ratzinger was once asked how many ways there are to God, he replied, "As many ways as there are people. For even within the same faith each man's way is an entirely personal one." Of course, the future pope was not endorsing the view that "all religions are equal" but rather that there seems to be a unique combination of factors, or steps, that moves each convert towards belief in God. . . . ►►►

Column: Headquarters | Salvo 38

Doctors Delusional

Transgender Disorder & Really Bad Psychiatry by Boris Vatel

. . . Lacking diagnostic means that produce quantitative evidence of a person's condition, such as blood tests, or unambiguous visual data, such as what one sees on a microscope slide or an MRI image, the field of psychiatry relies on a complex set of mental constructs for its notions of normality and pathology. However, inherent to that set of mental constructs is the notion that there is such a thing as verifiable, objective reality. To suggest that there is no such thing as objective reality, or that reality is less important than what one wishes it were, renders the entire concept of psychiatric disorder invalid. In fact, the only way to accept the transgender phenomenon as psychiatrically normal is to say that, as a measure of reality, physical evidence is subordinate to what a person believes about or wishes for himself. And on that logic, we have no basis for calling anyone delusional. . . . ►►►

Department: Logistics | Salvo 42

God & the Gaps

A Response to Data-Free Models for Origins by Hugh Ross

. . . By resting their case for nonbelief on Christians' inability to refute every imaginable non-empirical (non-evidence-based) hypothesis for our universe and life, some nontheists present us with an impossible challenge. What they demand would require complete knowledge not only of the physical universe but also of everything that could conceivably exist beyond the universe. The problem here is obvious. Given that our powers of investigation are constrained by the space-time dimensions of the cosmos, no human mind nor any device created by human minds can ever assemble a complete database cataloging all the properties of the universe, let alone what lies beyond. Our inability to ever gain absolute proof, however, does not mean that we cannot access adequate practical validation of the need for a Creator. . . . ►►►

Column: Person of Interest | Salvo 36

Marriage Matters

An Interview with Patrick Fagan by Marcia Segelstein

. . . Patrick Fagan is the founder and director of MARRI, the Marriage and Religion Research Institute (see Allied Front). MARRI studies the impact of marriage, family, and religion on society. Once a practicing psychologist, Dr. Fagan moved into the field of public policy as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Family and Community Policy at the Department of Health and Human Services under President George H. W. Bush. He recently announced the launch of Marripedia, an online social-science encyclopedia that makes research related to family, marriage, sexuality, and religion accessible to the public. Dr. Fagan spoke with us about what makes for a healthy society, the importance of what he calls "the two great loves," and what he sees as a growing crisis for men. . . . ►►►



Salvo 45

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