Review of a sophistical piece, i.e., a piece whose logic is transparently specious.

“He told us the crucifix represents helping others..."

Submitted by frlarry on Sat, 06/11/2011 - 00:00
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It would, I'm sure, be fascinating to do a survey of the faith of the people we employ as teachers in our Catholic schools. Hearing a teacher in a Catholic school claim that the Resurrection never happened has to be almost as shocking as hearing a priest or a bishop make that claim. Apart from the obvious point that St. Paul makes in 1 Corinthians 15:12-20, that if Christ didn't rise from the dead all of Christianity is lame, the politically correct efforts of a teacher in Canada to metaphorically resuscitate the dead body of Christ were truly, truly pathetic:

Two heresies are better than one?

Submitted by frlarry on Thu, 03/17/2011 - 15:10

That seems to be the motivation for many mergers of what the Church calls "ecclesial communities.1" One of the more interesting mergers from an historical point of view is the union, in 1961, of the American Unitarian Association (which consisted of ecclesial communities united in the belief that God is not trinitarian, except for more conservative sects such as the Jehovah's Witnesses) and the Universalist Church of America (which consisted of ecclesial communities united in the belief that everyone will eventually go to heaven) to form the ecclesial community of Unitarian Universalism.

Non-Ecclesial Christianity and Secular Catholics

Submitted by frlarry on Thu, 02/10/2011 - 15:50

Let's prescind, for the moment, from the recognition that the phrase "non-ecclesial Christianity" is an oxymoron, and consider the demographics and beliefs of those who describe themselves as Christian, but without belonging to any given ecclesial community (much less belong to an actual church). To consider this, I will appeal to a study by a Protestant polling organization known as the Barna Group. See "Christianity Is No Longer Americans’ Default Faith."

"Let's head 'em off at the pass!"

Submitted by frlarry on Wed, 01/19/2011 - 20:52

The typical line uttered by an extra in a grade-B Hollywood oater calling for a posse to intercept horse thieves, cattle rustlers or bank robbers that have so far eluded capture could equally apply (with a modest grammatical alteration) to progressives determined to derail the Republican Congressional effort to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (al PPACA). The ongoing debate regarding Gov. Sarah Palin's role in the spawning of mass murdering nut jobs having temporarily subsided, the Obama Administration's Secretary of Health and Human Services, the ever indefatigable Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, recently proposed an apocalyptic scenario should the PPACA ever actually be repealed.

No earmarks or rampant earmarks, a false dilemma

Submitted by frlarry on Thu, 11/11/2010 - 09:58

The control freaks in Congress are presenting a false dilemma on earmarks. Although it is technically accurate that if Congress gives up earmarks, government bureaucrats will be the ones who decide how program money is spent, there are alternatives that avoid the obvious abuses. Consider:

The progressive's secret: the Faustian bargain.

Submitted by frlarry on Mon, 11/08/2010 - 14:26

It's obvious from recent history that the progressives seek to purchase the votes of Hispanics through "comprehensive immigration reform" that, of course, includes some version of amnesty and open borders, conditions that ensure the growth of chaos in the country they are fleeing to in order to escape chaos. What is less obvious is that progressives have been trading in political wampum to buy class loyalty for a very long time. Consider the following:

The murky term "emergency contraception"

Submitted by frlarry on Tue, 07/06/2010 - 15:01
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There are three major drug types used in "emergency contraception," today. They are levonorgestrel, the more notorious mifepristone (the principal active ingredient in RU-486) and, now, ulipristal acetate (the principal active ingredient in "ella"). All three drugs act to prevent implantation of an embryo. The latter two, mifepristone and ulipristal acetate, also abort an existing implantation in medically approved doses. All three are abortifacients by any reasonable definition, but only the latter two are recognized legally and medically as abortifacients.

The issue? The meaning of the word "abortion." In common usage, an abortion is the termination of a pregnancy. Medically, pregnancy happens when an embryo successfully implants in a woman's uterus (or in another channel, such as a fallopian tube, and in this latter case it is referred to as an ectopic pregnancy). (Uterine implantation is referred to as a normal pregnancy.) However, the normal gestational life cycle of a human embryo is aborted by all three drugs, whether the use of the term "abortion" is medically approved or not. There is no significant difference in the life and death of the embryo.

In my humble opinion, the term "contraception" (whether "emergency" or not) should be reserved for "the intentional prevention of conception. This is how the term, a combination of "contra" (or against) and "ception" (or taking)1 originated.

Progressives - 21st century masters of euphemism, but flunkees at basic math

Submitted by frlarry on Sat, 03/27/2010 - 09:56

Senator John Kerry, not satisfied with the negative baggage clinging to the phrase "Cap and Trade," has come up with a new term for his signature piece of legislation.  He now calls it "Reduction and Refund."  Progressives, in general, have proven to be masters at papering over the unpleasantness of their proposals with euphemistic terms.  Forcing people to purchase health-care coverage according to federally-mandated specifications is referred to as "establishing the right to health-care coverage."  Removing any restrictions on abortifacients and ensuring their universal availability, even to minors, and making abortion readily available from conception until birth (or, should I say, completed birth), is euphemistically referred to as "making sure the full range of reproductive services is available to all who need them." Beelzebub himself could not put a better spin on mass murder.

Pro-life, pro-choice, or somewhere in between?

Submitted by frlarry on Tue, 02/16/2010 - 14:33

There's been a lot of references recently to so-called "social moderates." Depending on who he or she is speaking to, any given politician might refer to themselves as a "moderate" or as "committed {conservative|liberal|progressive|libertarian}," etc., and even though these two types of expression are theoretically compatible, their usage in the context of campaign speeches is not.