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Category: politics

Jan 21

The Courage of Their Convictions: Jared Lee Loughner, James Jay Lee and the Power of Belief

We live in a curious time. Good people who are otherwise sane entertain the notions that Lee and Loughner embraced and acted on. Over against those notions they have some memory of the bloodsport of the 20th century and are keen to avoid it a second go around. What they don’t ask is: “Maybe it isn’t just one particular application of these beliefs that ought to be discredited… maybe the beliefs themselves should be chucked?”

To illustrate.

Let us imagine that someone believed that all people with red hair should be killed because they aren’t really people. You talk to him. He’s a perfectly pleasant fellow. Very sane. “So, you aren’t going to actually kill any red haired people or advocate that others do?” you ask him. “Of course not,” he says. That’s a relief, of course. “Why believe it if you won’t carry it out?” you persist. “That would be horrible. I would feel terrible,” he says. “Hmmm,” you might say, “Perhaps the fact that you are deeply uncomfortable with wiping out those with red hair is because even though you say they aren’t people, in fact, you think they are. Why not then dispense with your belief that they aren’t really people?”

Something very much like this is at the root of much thinking among secular humanists. They don’t really believe what they’re saying. If they did, we’d all be in a lot of trouble and they’d probably go a little nuts.

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Jan 20

What Does Atheism Become?

About five years ago I published a collection of essays that is no longer available for purchase. The collection is titled after the essay below. It is not, as far as I know, something I’ve published elsewhere. I was thinking of it recently and decided it should be dusted off. It seems as relevant today as when I first wrote it.

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That Which Atheism Becomes

Some might say that I just like to argue. The truth is that I believe that ideas have consequences and some consequences are more severe than others. Arguing, or more precisely, debating, these ideas helps everyone on all sides of a position understand a position better. In theory, if you could of got Bin Laden to sit down to have a nice debate you could of aroused for him some of the critical consequences of his beliefs and demanded that before he acted on them he had a much firmer basis. According to many Muslims, such a basis does not exist. I will leave that issue to them to sort out. But Bin Laden does have this going for him: he takes a belief to its rational conclusion. There are many dangerous beliefs out there that people consider harmless simply because they aren’t taken to their rational conclusion.

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Jan 07

Apologetics is the Answer to Abortion and Euthanasia and other Life Issues

Apologetics ministries tend to focus on issues such as God’s existence or the fact of the resurrection or the Bible’s reliability. These are all very important. Indeed, they bear directly on the issues at hand- for if there is no God, it obviously follows that we cannot be made by him in his image. Further, Jesus suffering, death, and resurrection on behalf of a fallen human race is an emphatic testament to how much God himself values each human life. Dispense with these, and there are ripples down the line.

There, however, is where I wish to make the point: there are ripples down the line.

Somewhere I read once that in the 1700s they went after God. In the 1800s, they went after Jesus. In the 1900s, they went after Man. The sequence is logical, rational, and predictable. One would like to think that they can dispense with God without there being practical effect, but the 1900s have shown otherwise.

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Dec 15

Barna Reflects on 6 ‘Megathemes’ Killing the Church

HT Lenny Esposito Not too long ago I created a website called The Death of Christianity.  Its intent was to distill into one place my thoughts regarding the crisis facing the church today.    These thoughts have developed after almost 20 years of Christian apologetics, but I bring to bear numerous studies to show that my …

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Nov 19

Bubblegum and Suckers a short children’s story for adults

Bubblegum and Suckers

A Children’s Book for Adults

(Illustrations to come?)

Copyright 2010, Anthony Horvath, All Rights Reserved

I originally wrote this almost a full year ago but it seems to remain relevant and even though the ‘Father’ alluded to in the last paragraphs is drawing closer (ie, the last election), it is my view that he has not yet quite arrived.

Bubblegum and suckers, fudge and cookies for all! This among other things was their rallying cry and no one can cry louder than seven and eight year olds deprived of supper and sleep. A sleepy populace heeded their call and thought that a little youthful vigor might be just what the country needed. A fresh wind to blow on stale and intractable issues was needed and every other sort had been tried: but not children. Not, that is, until now.

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Nov 18

Social Issues and Economics Go Hand in Hand

Worldnetdaily.com published a column I wrote.  Read the whole thing. Apparently, a letter has been written to GOP leaders by conservative homosexuals and some tea-party activists requesting that the GOP lay off its traditional pro-life stance. That would be horrible for many reasons. One reason: In actuality, de-emphasizing life issues is a threat to conservative …

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Nov 04

On Heroes and Dignity and Slavery

A friend of mine posted something recently that I thought really hit the nail on the head. I have pasted it below for your reading pleasure.

I would like to add my own thoughts to what she calls the “Katrina Problem.” Our reliance on ‘heroes’ also has an impact on our own perception of ourselves. There are a lot of people out there who, in the name of love, stoop low to help others. When you do this often enough in an all encompassing and pervasive way, the people cannot help themselves any longer. (You could ask: So, did you really help them?). When people can’t help themselves, they become demoralized. When you tell them over and over again that they can’t help themselves, and constantly reach in to ‘help’ them, all you’ve done is strip them of their dignity and enslaved them- to you. If we want free men and women in this country we must actually treat them as free men and women. When we help them, we must not enslave them. And, as Americans, we must ask ourselves how much of the ‘help’ we are receiving actually has the net effect of enslaving us…

Here is my friend’s post….

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I watched a special on Katrina a while ago–all this crazy behind the scenes footage of what was going on in the streets while all of that was happening. People laying and dying on curbsides. Bodies floating by. People gathered into the big arena and not given enough food or supplies. People stuck and no one helping them. I tried to imagine how it would feel. How helpless. And how confused I would be at why no one was coming to help. Where was the government or the armed services? It would have boggled my mind if I had been there.

I know that scads of people blamed President Bush’s administration for this because most people don’t realize that he kept asking the governor to let the armed services come in and she kept putting him off.

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Nov 03

The election should make me happy, but it doesn’t

It was only two years ago that the great mass of swing voters, so called independents and moderates, scurried over like lemmings to vote for Obama and the Democrats. That any of them might have been surprised at what Obama and the Democrat congress actually did hints at a serious problem. No doubt many of these people voted against Obama this year- but did they do it because they have more carefully deliberated on their principles and the lessons of history?

I think it is clear that many of them did. Nonetheless, I am certain that a lot didn’t, and the fact that millions and millions still happily cast their lot with Obama and his socialist-by-another-name agenda shows that many people didn’t really move at all.

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Nov 02

Christians in the Voting Booth should First Not Steal

Just posted this on my blog at Christian Post.com In this election season it seems like there is a fair number of the American electorate that needs to be asked:  “What is it about ‘Thou shalt not steal’ that you don’t understand?” Now, there is little use putting this question to secular humanists and atheists.  …

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Oct 07

Knights of Contention Semimonthly Philosophical Free for All

Those who know me know that I like a good scrap. Well, I thought it would be fun to host a bi-weekly event where people from across the spectrum of thought can get together and converse in a chat/voice conference format on topics of interest and importance.

So, I have set aside the second and fourth Tuesday of every month, at 9:30 p.m. CST, to hold this discussion. Expect each session to go from 90 minutes to 2 hours. Allowed to speak: atheists, theists, cynics, skeptics, knuckleheads, and the rest. Basic rule: behave as though you were in a public diner with friends and people they brought along but are strangers to you. It’s a little ambiguous, but if you can’t be courteous in your passionate discourse, we just won’t allow you back.

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Sep 15

A Warning to the Tea Party to Resist the Urge to Tinker

Obama has been on a tear, raging against the Republicans that they are the ‘party of no.’  From a recent speech: “There were no new policies from Mr. Boehner. There were no new ideas. There was just the same philosophy that we had already tried during the decade that they were in power — the …

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Sep 10

A Nation Held Hostage to Islam

I just posted this column at The Cypress Times and in the meantime, contributor Kathy posted her own post here at Sntjohnny.com which I thought had a lot of good points. Click on her link to read what she had to say. Click ‘read more’ below to finish reading my column.

This thing down in Florida where a pastor of a congregation not much bigger than my thumbnail has threatened to burn korans has reached the heights of absurdity. Pastor Jone’s one long publicity stunt has paid off in spades. It has attracted all kinds of attention. Even Obama has noticed, and given how hard it is for a commoner to attract his eye, that’s really saying something. But maybe not. President Oblivious seems to have a keen eye for potential beer summits or things touching on Islam.

Now, Interpol has announced this warning:

LYON, France – INTERPOL has today issued a global alert to its 188 member countries following the request of Pakistan’s Minister of the Interior, and its own determination, that if the proposed Koran burning by a pastor in the US goes ahead as planned, there is a strong likelihood that violent attacks on innocent people would follow.

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Aug 09

Making Lessons out of Lemons

The problem is that once one goes down the road to taking action in the cause of the ‘public good,’ or as the US Constitution puts it, the ‘general welfare,’ there seems to be no objective place to stop and desist taking action. Moreover, the actions taken tend to accrue over time so that today government at every level- local, state, and federal- has reached into every area of American life. I say ‘every’ on purpose and deliberately, for I am hard pressed to think of any part of my life that isn’t regulated somehow by some government somewhere in some measure.

However, even if we should stop and discover one or two that have been overlooked at present, my general point is that if history is any guide, even these will fall to the regulators at some point. Since it never happens that these impositions- for our own good- are rarely, if ever revoked, we can say with nearly perfect certainty that a day is coming when every little endeavor we engage in, no matter how trifling or miniscule, falls under the legislating eye of the Omni-Benevolent Government.

Thus, a little girl’s lemonade stand necessarily falls under the purview of inspectors.

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Aug 01

On Anne Rice’s Quitting of Christianity

In fashioning this response, I am in the difficult position of trying to respond to Anne’s position with only facebook status updates and past history to rely on. Readers (especially if that reader is Anne herself) will forgive any wrong inferences. With that important caveat out of the way…

The difficulty in dispensing with the Church and keeping Christ is that it is impossible and can’t be done. I’m not going to go Cyprian on you (“He who does not have the Church as his mother…”) because I think he was making a different point. Christians are not united by creed but by Christ, a person. You can step away from denominations and congregations but if you really stepped outside of the Church, you’d step out of Christ, because the Church is his body. (Eph. 5, 1 Cor 12:12-27, esp. 27).

The 1 Cor passage mentioned above is relevant in its own way because Paul points out that just because the foot says to the hand, “I am not the body because I am not a hand” the foot does not, in fact, cease to be part of the family. So long as Anne is in Christ, her declarations about not being part of the Church are no more than that- declarations. And what of those she would disassociate herself from? Is it her conviction that they are not in Christ? I doubt she would go that far. But if she thinks some Christians have been, well, asses, not even in this case can the hand say to the ass, “You are not part of the body,” for every body still has an ass!

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