Recent Point Posts

The other night, I heard snippets of this congressional hearing on the radio. Martin Shkreli, who notoriously aised the price of a life-saving drug by 5000 percent, "appeared before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Thursday for a hearing on prescription drug prices." But he refused to testify or give the committee any help, only smiling when Rep. Elijah Cummings told him, "The way I see it, you can go down in history as the poster boy for greedy drug company executives, or you could change the system."

It struck me that Shkreli is the perfect example of why utilitarianism doesn't work. If we all agree that we ought to base our actions on the principle of the greatest good for the greatest number, well and good. But suppose someone as powerful as Shkreli disagrees, and you can't make him agree by the use of either carrots or sticks? What if he doesn't care how he goes down in history, or whether he hurts or helps people, or whether he changes the system? What then? To what in his nature do you appeal, if not to a universal standard of right and wrong?
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It seems strange to be writing a blog with advice for young apologists. After all, I still think of myself as young! There are many “seasoned” apologists I turn to for advice and direction that are much older and more experienced than me (don’t worry, dad, I won’t mention any names!). But since I’m turning 40 this May, I do have some insights for younger apologists that I have learned along the way.

[For more, go to Sean's blog.]
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Once again this year, Pray for the Johns Day will encourage Christians to "ask God to intervene in the lives of those who participate in and support the sexual exploitation of others -- both so that they may be halted in this evil, and redirected toward what good works they could yet do." This year, the event will be held this Sunday, February 14. To learn more and to share information with your church, go here.

And for those who haven't had a chance to see it before, here's my interview with event founder Anna Broadway about how and why the idea for Pray for the Johns Day came to her.
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Never mind the Panthers -- it was NARAL Pro-Choice America who had the worst Super Bowl Sunday. The group made themselves a laughingstock on social media with their disparaging tweet about an ad featuring an unborn baby who was desperate for Doritos. (The ad is below the cut.) With this ad, complained NARAL, Doritos was "humanizing fetuses."

Not content to be the butt of jokes and condemnation for its disregard of simple scientific truth, NARAL then doubled down by retweeting this from their Ohio affiliate about another ad: "Super Bowl Babies? Use protection, sports fans. #MediaWeLike"

You'd almost think that the advocates of baby-killing don't like babies much. (Kind of like pro-choicers demonstrated last week, with their horror over rising birthrates after Texas defunded Planned Parenthood.) It was very helpful of them to make it so unmistakably clear. NARAL may have had a bad Super Bowl night, but thanks to them, pro-lifers had a great one.

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At The Stream, Deacon Keith Fournier has an interesting take on Christian interaction in relation to this year's presidential campaign:

"Everyone is analyzing what the Iowa caucuses mean for the GOP race. The evangelical turnout was huge, and many of the candidates -- some Protestant, some Catholic -- have reached out to Christian voters, and some of them have even spoken persuasively about their Christian faith and how it informs their political views. These are positive signs, to be sure. At the same time, I am struck by how there still seems to be no consensus on Protestants and Catholics working together." Read More >
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Many have talked for years about the rapidly disappearing men in our culture. I’m not talking about guys. We’re flush with them. I mean real, grownup, well-adjusted males. Where are they?

The Catholic Diocese of Phoenix is asking the same question. Last month it released a 12-minute film, “Society’s Crisis in Masculinity,” which “seeks to create awareness of a crisis in masculinity found in today’s society.” Now, the film is heavily geared toward Catholic men and I dearly wish it wouldn’t have narrowed its audience to this one demographic. This crisis impacts all of us. Even so, there are some powerful takeaways for all men.
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Raise your hand if you have ever heard of Eritrea. Raise both of them if you can find Eritrea on a map.

Thought so.
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The indictment in Harris County, Texas, has not stopped David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress from doing their valuable work. The Stream has CMP's new video revealing Planned Parenthood's shady accounting practices for dealing with fetal body tissue.
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It may seem like an overreaction, but now and then a cultural commentator runs across a story that simply breaks his or her heart. Here's one such story that breaks mine:

"Politicizing an Icon: Anne of Pro-Choice Activism"

Because Prince Edward Island doesn't have any abortion providers, writes Brenna Clarke Gray at Book Riot, pro-choicers have started an "awareness campaign" using PEI's most famous icon: Anne of Green Gables. One of my own favorite heroines. Read More >
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The documentary "No Más Bebés," about the government-supported forced sterilization of Latina women in Los Angeles in the '60s and '70s, premiered last night on PBS. You can now watch it at PBS's website.

Here's part of a review by Sister Rose Pacatte, who blogs at Patheos:
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Two interesting stories that came out out today and yesterday:

(1) "Prominent gay rights activist backs Christian bakers in cake row" (from The Catholic Herald)

(2) "Why prosecuting the Center for Medical Progress leaves even pro-abortion activists worried" (from Live Action News, based on a story from CNN)

Regardless of what side of the fence you're on or what your personal preferences and policies are, it seems, some things just make sense.
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Is it possible for pro-lifers to rethink our paradigm and our strategy? Could it even be possible to approach the problem of abortion with joy? Kristen Walker Hatten of New Wave Feminists thinks we can do it -- and we should. Sharing her experiences at this year's March for Life, she writes: Read More >
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Leah Hickman, who was our editorial intern this summer, is doing a wonderful series called "Beautiful Stories" on her own blog, Grass People. Leah is writing about stories from books, plays, and movies that "show truth, goodness, and beauty to a world that has forgotten what those things look like." So far she's covered "The Secret Garden," "Les Misérables," "The Princess and the Goblin," and "Cinderella." Go here to start reading!
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One of my favorite presentations to do at universities, schools, conferences, and churches is my Atheist Encounter, in which I interact with the audience while role-playing an atheist. After briefly setting up my character (which involves putting on my “atheist glasses”), I then take live questions from the audience and do my best to defend atheism so Christians can see how well—or how poorly—they defend their faith.

The topic of evolution inevitably comes up. And more often than not, some well-meaning Christian will say something like: “How can you say evolution is a fact, when it’s called a theory?”

[For more, go to Sean's blog.]
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The amount of circumlocution necessary for those on the left to arrive at some of their favorite slogans is mind-boggling. Consider the talking point, repeated ad nauseaum, that religious freedom acts are "anti-gay laws." In a straightforward sense, these laws protect business-owners from being sued if a customer asks them to engage in an activity they find objectionable. They do not allow businesses to discriminate against people, but activities, messages, and events.

So how do sexual liberals arrive at the "anti-gay" slogan? Here is how it works, by way of analogy: Read More >
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