Shades of 2012! The previous Republican ticket just reappeared from the mists of the past to issue pronouncements about 2016. The ex-VP nominee, Rep. Paul Ryan, said the expected: He isn't running. The Crystal Ball was so sure of his non-candidacy that we didn't even include him anywhere in our seven tiers last month, to the consternation of some readers.
The presidential half of the '12 ticket, however, had a very different declaration to make. The newfound willingness of Mitt Romney to "consider" a third candidacy for the White House stunned many observers; privately, Romney was said to have all but affirmed to some chief backers that he'd be on the ballot again.
Surprise was a reasonable reaction. Romney had repeatedly disavowed any desire to put on his running shoes again, noting that he had had his chance and telling The New York Times a year ago: "Oh, no, no, no. No, no, no, no, no. No, no, no." Eleven no's — and it turns out they still didn't add up to a durable Sherman-esque declaration. more >>
As Islamists continue to kill innocents, they provide more fuel for the oft-made atheist claim that religion is evil. Atheist Richard Dawkins condemned the recent attacks in France by tweeting, "No, all religions are NOT equally violent. Some have never been violent; some gave it up centuries ago. One religion conspicuously didn't."
Dawkins is right that some religions and religious people have consistently perpetrated evil. Atheists often use this fact to support atheism. However, the existence of evil turns out to be a bigger problem for atheists to explain than for theists. The kind of evil Dawkins and the rest of the civilized world abhor doesn't disprove God—it disproves atheism.
While it's commonly thought that only theists have to explain the existence of evil, the truth is every worldview does. Eastern pantheistic religions try to get around the problem by denying that evil even exists. Evil is an illusion, they say (and according to them, so are you!). Theists say evil is real and try to explain how evil and God can coexist. Atheists tend to be caught in the middle. In one breath they are claiming there is no good, evil, or justice because only material things exist—we are just material molecular machines "dancing to the music" of our DNA (as Dawkins himself put it). In the next breath they are outraged at the great injustices and evil done by religious people in the name of God. more >>
A Virginia school district has decided to scrap a policy that allowed it to interrogate Christian homeschool teenagers and their parents about their religious beliefs.
Last November Douglas Pruiett and his wife received a letter from Goochland County Public Schools about updated procedures to the district's requests for religious exemptions for homeschool students.
Under the updated rules, once a child turns 14-years-old, the district requires that homeschool parents reapply for a religious exemption to public education. more >>
The anti-Islamisation movement Pegida gathered record numbers of people in rallies this week in Germany, following the terror attacks in France that left 17 people dead. Larger counter-demonstrations for unity have accused the movement of harboring anti-immigrant xenophobia, however, and some asylum-seekers have spoken out about fears for their safety.
The Independent reported on Wednesday that a record 25,000 Pegida supporters gathered in Dresden, while more anti-Islamisation rallies are scheduled for Cologne. The campaign has spoken out against mass immigration into Germany, particularly by people coming from Muslim countries, who Pegida says are changing the country's culture and having a negative effect on society.
The terror attacks carried out in Paris last week by Islamic extremists who targeted satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo for publishing cartoons of the Muslim prophet Muhammad have escalated tensions to a notable high. more >>
In the Bible is a remarkable statement: "'Vengeance is Mine,' says the Lord, 'I will repay.'" This means that God's honor is not up to us to defend in the ultimate sense---not that we should not lovingly, graciously speak out when we can, if He is dishonored.
But this is a huge difference between the Christian and the Islamist. The Islamist is the radical Muslim committed to Islamic superiority and willing to kill for it. In effect, the Islamist says, "Vengeance is ours. We will repay."
It was Islamists that engaged in the infamous slaughter in Paris at the cartoon magazine offices. more >>
Yesterday morning, I awoke to discover you spoke to me directly on your nationally syndicated, award-winning talk show. I was stunned and humbled because I believe you are such an incredibly gifted comedian with a God-given gift to entertain and make people feel genuinely valued. You also have a megawatt smile that simply makes people feel happy.
You concluded your remarks to me and the audience by saying, "The only way I'm trying to influence people is to be more kind and compassionate with one another." That's one of my goals as well, and in that same spirit, can I appeal to you to consider some thoughts although we share different worldviews? more >>