From ‘hatchet man’ to Christian Apologist

On April 21st , an eighty-year-old Charles Colson passed from this life.

Alongside C.S. Lewis and Francis Schaeffer, Colson will go down to history as one of the foremost apologists of the 20th century.

The author of more than 30 books, he pursued a relentless schedule of traveling and speaking.

His Prison Fellowship Ministries helped to reach millions of prisoners with the gospel and to bring prison reform to the United States.

He built a program for training lay leaders in worldview thinking, called Centurions.

Through the Colson Center website, he sponsored and published research on how the Biblical worldview relates to everything from literature to food.

His BreakPoint radio commentaries have inspired millions of Christians to think more deeply about their faith and how it relates to current events.

He worked to bring reforms in the U.S. criminal justice system, as well as spearheading work in prisoner rehabilitation.

When Christians of the late 20th and early 21st century were becoming confused by postmodernism and the emergent church movement, Colson brought Biblical clarity.

In the 90’s, he teamed up with Richard John Neuhaus to spearhead ecumenical work between evangelicals and Catholics, culminating in a joint statement of faith titled, ‘Evangelicals and Catholics Together: Toward a Common Mission.’

In 2009 he was the principal writer and driving force behind another ecumenical statement, known as the Manhattan Declaration. This called on believers from the three main branches of Christendom not to comply with rules and laws permitting abortion, same-sex marriage and other matters that go against their consciences. Continue reading

Women in the Draft

American women could be drafted into the military and forced to go into battle, according to what some lawmakers are saying.

In 1973 the United States discontinued the draft, moving to an all-volunteer military force. However, things could change if there is a showdown with Iran and the American military runs out of man-power. If there is another military draft, it is likely that the United States military would not merely be seeking man-power, but also woman-power.

This is a concern raised by Ron Paul in the last of the Republican debates. He expressed concern that, given the character of America’s wars, the government could conceivably find itself in a situation where they would have to call a draft and, given the push for equality, it is likely that a future draft would apply to women as well as men.

Already numerous politicians are arguing that women should be conscripted to military service in any future draft. For example, Senator Chris Dodd has commented, “I think if you’re going to have registration it ought to be across lines here. You don’t just ask one gender to bear the responsibility. So in my view that [drafting women into the military] would be the fair thing today.”

Former Senator Mike Gravel has argued similarly, stating,Of course women should go into the draft if we have a draft. They should register also. What’s the difference?”

Because our society has been pushing the agenda of equality and androgyny for so long, it has become politically correct to deny that there is any difference between men and women. Hence, Senator Gravel’s comment,What’s the difference?” However, there is a huge difference between drafting men for mandatory service and drafting women.

In our current voluntary system, the women who choose to become soldiers tend to already be those who possess the characteristics of strength and toughness. However, it would be wrong to expect all American women to put themselves in that situation, not least because this would violate the conscience of many Christian women who hold views about role differentiation.

Moreover, compulsory military service for females would also be unsafe, given that the God-given male instinct to protect women could easily lead to compromised battlefield scenarios. Given the fact that women who are captured in battle can be raped and sexually abused, common sense says that the pro-woman position is to protect them from the horrors of battle. However, this is one of those topsy turvy issues in which those who have the best interests of women in mind (and therefore to confine any future draft to males) are being accused of being anti-woman.

Gender Switchers Enforce Older Stereotypes

In some of my recent posts I have explored the strange phenomenon of gender neutrality. For example, see my posts,

Despite this feverish push gender neutrality under the banner of gender equality, the older binary notions still persist very strong, and emerge in some unexpected places. Some VERY unexpected places.

In February 2012, the UK paper The Telegraph reported that a five-year-old boy named Zach is being raised as a girl. After his parents came across Zach pretending to be girl, his parents took him to a controversial doctor who specializes in ‘gender, identity issues.’ Sure enough, little Zach was diagnosed as being a girl trapped in the wrong body. His parents now dress him in pink and approach him (her?) as a girl. Zach’s mother, Theresa, commented: “Experts told us that although he had a male body, his brain was telling him he was girl. He just wants to be like a little girl and he’s very happy with his long blonde hair, pink and red bedroom, and a wardrobe full of girl’s clothes…” Nor is this merely an isolated case. In 2011 the Tavistock Clinic, Britain’s the national body for Gender Identity Disorder, diagnosed 139 children as having the condition, seven under the age of five.

Given the plasticity of children’s brains, it is inescapable that this behavior on the part of the parents will cement in the child’s mind what might otherwise have been simply a passing phase. But what interests me more, however, is what this tells us about gender stereotypes. Notice that as soon as the parents were told “Your five-year-old son is actually a girl trapped in a man’s body”, out came all the old gender stereotypes: long hair, pink bedroom, etc. Why are these older gender typecasts deliberately invoked in cases like that of Zach where they can function to subvert a child’s birth-gender, yet vigorously denied in cases like that of little Sasha Laxton, who lives in a gender-free home? Perhaps it would help if Zach went and spent some time living in the gender free household of Sasha.

Human Engineering: The New Frontier for Climate Change

For Salvo 14 I wrote an article about population control as the new solution to climate change, titled ‘Baby Freeze  Is Population Control the New Solution to Global Warming?‘ I just read an article today which suggests that population control may not, in fact, be the final frontier for climate change. Some academics are now suggesting that the key to battling climate change is not to reduce the human population so much as to change it, to modify human beings to be the sort of people who cooperate with climate change plans.

“If it is so hard to change the climate to suit humans, why not alter humans to suit the changing climate, philosophers from Oxford and New York universities are asking.”
Thus opens a revealing article published by the Sidney Morning Herald, titled, ‘Final frontier of climate policy – remake humans.

Those who have watched the video I posted on Transhumanism will know that plans to genetically modify human beings are already afloat, which is why these new climate change proposals should strike us as really spooky. In the article Catherine Armitage summarizes the content of a forthcoming paper published by Matthew Liao of New York University and Anders Sandberg and Rebecca Roache of Oxford University. Here’s what Armitage writes about the paper, which is set to be published in the academic journal Ethics, Policy & Environment. Continue reading

Gender Discrimination is sometimes good!

Things like racism, agism and sexism all hinge on the axiom that it is wrong to discriminate. However, Anthony Browne has written an interesting little book about political correctness in which he argues that discrimination is sometimes not only necessary but positively good. The book is titled The Retreat of Reason and is reviewed by me here.

Browne showed that gender discrimination is not only accepted in many instances, but many times is necessary, laudable and defensible. Gender discrimination simply means treating a person differently than you would if that person were a different sex. For example, when a man dates a woman he is, in a sense, ‘discriminating’ since he would not offer the same treatment to members of his own gender category, assuming he is a heterosexual. In short, there are many cases where men and women are unequal, and these are diversities to be celebrated rather than inequalities to be lamented. The real question, therefore, is not whether something is a case of sex discrimination, but whether it is a case of justifiable sex discrimination. Browne writes:

“Young men pay higher rates for car insurance than young women and older men, because young men are, on average, more dangerous drivers than young women and older men. A young man who is a safe driver is thus discriminated against because of the characteristics of other people in his age and sex group….Anti-discrimination campaigners may publicly declare that all discrimination on the grounds of sex should be outlawed, but they are unlikely to agree that all men should have the right to use women’s toilets, that men should be allowed to go to women’s gyms, or to demand overturning the right of women’s clothes shops to refuse to employ men….Men pay smaller pension contributions than women for a given level of private pension, for the simple reason that, on average, they have shorter lives and so on average claim less….The various forms of rational discrimination that are widely accepted are not often called discrimination – although that is clearly what they are – because accepting that some discrimination is actually essential to the working of a society would undermine the public acceptance of a ‘zero tolerance of all forms of discrimination’. The war on discrimination would become meaningless if there were general public awareness that actually some forms of discrimination are needed.”

 

DHS Report: Loving Liberty and Hating Abortion Linked to Terrorism

In discussing the notorious Frankfurt School in my Salvo feature ‘The Illusionist’, I pointed out that the genius of this movement was its ability to convert the newfound confidence that post-war Americans had in their country into a force for sabotaging society. The strategy involved a clever redefining of fascism as an extreme right-wing heresy. According to this narrative, Nazism had been the outgrowth of a society entrenched in capitalism. (“Whoever is not prepared to talk about capitalism should also remain silent about fascism,” commented sociologist Max Horkheimer.) Cultures that attached strong importance to family, religion, patriotism, and private ownership were declared virtual seedbeds of fascism.

Theodor W. Adorno

What I didn’t have time to point out in the article is that the apex of the pseudo-scientific sociology of the Frankfurt School was Theodor Adorno’s book The Authoritarian Personality, written in 1950, after his move from Columbia to Berkeley. The book reported and evaluated a study of American society in which various individuals were polled using a questionnaire. Their answers indicated how well they scored on “the F-Scale.” F, of course, stood for fascism.

The purpose of the study was to identify and analyze the profile of the “Potential fascist character.” However, as Daniel Flynn pointed out in his discussion of the study in Intellectual Morons, “what the authors took to be signs of fascism were merely indications of conservatism.” Sometimes the participants were simply asked whether they agreed or disagreed with certain statements. One statement was, “Now that a new world organization is set up, America must be sure that she loses none of her independence and complete power as a separate nation.” Those who answered that they agreed with this scored a point on the F-scale. Continue reading