Mr. Matthew McConaughey was awarded the Best Actor in a Leading Role Oscar Sunday night for his performance in the AIDS-themed movie Dallas Buyer's Club. Almost immediately his acceptance speech sent social media ablaze with condemnation. Why? Because he talked about God too much. Or, he did not talk about God the right way. Or, the fact that he was thanking God for opportunities that may have included acting in raunchy movies.
I am no particular Matthew McConaughey fan. A Time To Kill was a decent turn, though Samuel L. Jackson carried that movie and the supporting cast was very strong. I will never see Magic Mike. I have only seen parts of Sahara, but–cards on the table here–McConaughey will never get my attention when sharing the screen with Penelope Cruz.
Just sayin'. more >>
An important and historically uncontroversial religious freedom bill died in the Georgia state legislature yesterday, the latest such bill from around the country to become a tragic victim of rush to judgment and colossal misunderstanding.
In an all-out effort to kill the legislation, opponents performed impressive feats of logical jujitsu to label Georgia's Preservation of Religious Freedom Act-and its supporters-as un-American, pro-discrimination and anti-gay: first, by suggesting that the bill was akin to controversial proposals levied in Kansas and Arizona (it's not); then, by peddling wild and unsubstantiated claims about the bill to any and all who would take them at face value.
Ardent voices in national media outlets declared the legislation would allow "restaurateurs and hoteliers [to] turn away same-sex couples" or permit pharmacists to deny therapy to HIV/AIDS patients. Others said it would "open the door to state-sanctioned discrimination against gays and lesbians." Prominent Georgia businesses also played along, asserting that the law, if passed, would "cause significant harm to many people" and even "result in job losses." more >>
Secular humanists like to sneer at religious folk for our stubborn insistence upon seeing God's hand at work in the world. We call "providence" what the materialist sees as a random unfolding of events. We see a blessing where the nonbeliever sees nothing more than the mundane workings of physics or biology. This mentality has insinuated itself into virtually every facet of contemporary culture, and its impact on bioethics has been particularly tragic. Human life is no longer considered to be sacred, and human dignity is no longer viewed as something inherent and inalienable. According to today's materialist values, human life is only worthwhile and dignified when it meets a certain standard of vigor and utility. If you don't measure up, then your life doesn't really matter.
Unborn children with chromosomal defects like Down's syndrome are one of the unfortunate groups adversely impacted by this new ethic. Because so many people now view children as a "choice" rather than a blessing, a disabled child is often viewed as an unwanted and – thanks to ever advancing medical technology – avoidable burden. National Public Radio recently ran a story celebrating the advance of precise prenatal testing for birth defects like Down's syndrome. As reported by First Things, the tone of NPR's coverage was unequivocally celebratory. "The story quoted physicians who lamented that inaccurate tests can mislead a woman into 'terminating what would actually have been a normal pregnancy.' With prenatal certainty about trisomy 21, the doctors said, women won't accidentally abort normal children."
Well praise the Lord and pass the forceps! Thanks to science for liberating would-be parents from the burden of raising a disabled child. Everyone knows that parenting a normal child is difficult enough. Why would anyone choose to have a child that will require so much extra time, effort, and attention for so much less return on investment? After all, there are no world famous neurosurgeons with Down's syndrome. No professional athletes or CEOs or movie stars. Just disabled people with limited capacities that often require a lifetime of hands-on support. Better to simply discard the "damaged goods" and try again for perfection. more >>
The Southern Poverty Law Center's "Hatewatch" fails to use objective criteria in determining which organizations should be labeled a "hate group," George Yancey, professor of sociology at the University of North Texas, finds in a new study, "Watching the Watchers: The Neglect of Academic Analysis of Progressive Groups," published in the January issue of the journal Academic Questions.
SPLC's list dubiously lists Family Research Council as a hate group while ignoring anti-Christian groups that use similar rhetoric, which demonstrates that the list is more about mobilizing liberals than providing an objective source for hate groups, Yancey argues. SPLC has escaped critical analysis of its work in academia because of a liberal bias among academicians, the study additionally claims.
SPLC's Hatewatch has become the definitive guide among some scholars, authors and media organizations to what is, or is not, a "hate group." Conservatives have long criticized the list for labeling social conservative organizations, such as Family Research Council, as hate groups. more >>
Twelve years ago, Rick Warren released his book The Purpose Driven Life. People were told every person in every church should read this book. Everyone needs to know why we are here on earth, and this book provided the answers. More than 32 million copies were sold.
Today we're living in a different time, and there is need for a different resource so that once again, millions can be helped but in a much different way. May tens of millions respond because time really is running out-yet it's not too late.
Last week a video was released entitled, Is Gay Okay? 10 Things Everyone Needs to Know. I submit to you that this is a video every person in every church needs to view. Everyone needs to know the most important issue Christians face today and the answers to the questions surrounding it. more >>
An hour or so before the Justice Conference was set to kick off its first main session, I stepped outside of the Orpheum Theatre to soak in one last bit of warm Los Angeles sun and "fresh" air. The red badge dangling from my neck caught the attention of a nearby elderly Hispanic man with smudges on his face, who inquired, "You a tourist?"
I've called the L.A.-area my home for the past 9 years, but I suddenly became acutely aware of how out-of-place I must have looked to this man. Inside the theatre, I was just one of the many hipster-looking young adults who gathered together because we knew that calling Jesus our Savior also meant some sort of tie with justice. Outside of the theatre, I was a tourist - a foreigner - disconnected with the downtown L.A. surroundings and its impoverished residents.
While the Orpheum Theatre was noted by the Justice Conference's website as "one of L.A.'s most venerable landmarks," the truth was that we were located less than two blocks away from Skid Row, an area synonymous with poverty and homelessness. While stories of international injustice boomed from 12-foot high speakers, we were sitting just steps away from factories in the Fashion District with "sweatshop-like" labor conditions. more >>