Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Touring the Net

What did I find interesting in my normal haunts this week?

  • "Christian Carnival CCXVI (216)" is up at Crossroads: Where Faith and Inquiry Meet.

  • Different views on Obama's "Race in America" speech:
    • Rick Moran at Rightwing Nut House with "Rethinking 'The Speech'":
      Take an issue that Obama did not specifically confront yesterday. In a 2003 sermon, Wright claimed, “The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color.”

      This accusation does not make Wright, as Obama would have it, an “occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy.” It makes Wright a dangerous man. He has casually accused America of one of the most monstrous crimes in history, perpetrated by a conspiracy of medical Mengeles. If Wright believes what he said, he should urge the overthrow of the U.S. government, which he views as guilty of unspeakable evil. If I believed Wright were correct, I would join him in that cause . . . The remarks in question were not “controversial” which implies that there is room for disagreement contained in Wright’s arguments. Only a loon believes the US government created the AIDS virus to kill Black people.
    • WorldMagBlog looks at the responses/reactions to Wright's statements in "Blacks’ dilemma with Wright and wrong":
      In a Rasmussen poll released Monday, 29 percent of blacks said Wright’s comments “made them more likely to support Obama.” . . . Slate posted a survey where respondents’ reactions were charted in real time as they watched snippets of Wright’s inflammatory sermons. When sorted into different groups, respondents all reacted negatively in varying degrees — except for blacks, whose responses hovered around at least 20 percent positive (sometimes as high as 60 percent), even after the reverend said, “God damn America.”
      and, again, the HIV comment is mentioned.
  • Scot McKnight examines conservative Evangelicalism and post-conservative Evangelicalism in a series titled "Reforming"

  • Letitia at Intellecuelle responds to this inquiry
    "Christians always say that it's important to follow the 10 Commandments! But you don't observe the Sabbath. Sabbath is from Friday night to Saturday night. You still think 'Do not murder' is nonnegotiable, don't you? Jesus never told anyone that they could change the day of Sabbath. He never did. Paul never did. Then why don't you follow the fourth commandment? Why don't you eat kosher?"
    with "Christianity is Incomprehensible"

  • Edward C. Green and Allison Herling Ruark
    Green is the director of the AIDS Prevention Research Project at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, where Ruark is a research fellow.
    write "AIDS and the Churches: Getting the Story Right" at First Things
    The list of countries that have seen both changes in sexual behaviors and declining HIV prevalence is growing and now includes Uganda, Kenya, Haiti, Zimbabwe, Thailand, and Cambodia, as well as urban areas of Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Zambia, and Malawi. Many countries that have not seen declines in HIV have seen increases in condom use, but in every country worldwide in which HIV has declined there have been increases in levels of faithfulness and usually abstinence as well.
    [HT: WorldMagBlog]

  • Rick Moran tries to come to grips with "Is Capitalism and the Conservative Rationale For it Dead". He admits his ignorance of economics, but follows are very good article in trying to come to grips with the government bailout of the financial markets.
    Rewarding stupidity or ignorance is not the way of capitalism. In a perfect capitalistic society, those who make their own bed should lie in it – even if it means a company goes belly up or people have their houses foreclosed on.

    But what kind of capitalistic society would allow a multi-gazillion dollar corporation who may have overextended itself because its risk assessors got it wrong, collapse and take the entire financial system with it?
  • A few people reported on this story in the Times Online: "Royal college warns abortions can lead to mental illness".
    The Royal College of Psychiatrists recommends updating abortion information leaflets to include details of the risks of depression. “Consent cannot be informed without the provision of adequate and appropriate information,” it says.
  • Joe Carter at Evangelical Outpost points out Cracked's "7 Insane Conspiracies That Actually Happened"
    People love a good conspiracy theory. The JFK assassination plot, aliens crash landing at Roswell, the 9/11 truth movement and charges of government surveillance are all an indelible part of our pop culture landscape and are by and large, total bullshit.

    So where does your average conspiracy buff go to learn about shadowy plots that aren't pure tinfoil hattery?

    Look no further

  • Iraq at Five Years: Rick Moran with "Iraq 5 Years Gone":
    There’s no other way to say it except Bush blew it. And his incomprehensible decision not to change strategy sooner while sticking with a secretary of defense whose lies about how well things were going in Iraq echoed the worst of what the government was telling the American people during the Viet Nam war was a monumental error in judgment.
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    How to debate charitably (rules are links to more description of rule):
    1. The Golden Rule
    2. You cannot read minds
    3. People are not evil
    4. Debates are not for winning
    5. You make mistakes
    6. Not everyone cares as much as you
    7. Engaging is hard work
    8. Differences can be subtle
    9. Give up quietly