The war on parents in Canada, Germany and New Zealand

Everyone is complaining about men not wanting to be responsible and get married these days, but no one is paying attention to the incentives that cause men to stay clear of a relationship that is completely regulated by the state. Men don’t want to be coerced to do things.

The problem with the political left is that they never understand what incentives they are creating when they start controlling private interactions between individuals. Take a look at the stories below and ask yourself: is this going to make men and women want to marry and have children?

In Canada:

A Quebec youngster has used the courts to avoid parental discipline in a “landmark” case. The 12-year-old girl, who is too young to be named, went to court to force her father to overturn his decision not to allow her to go on a school trip. Her father had decided to ground her after he found out she had posted photos of herself on a dating website against his wishes.

The sixth grader then took her father to court, arguing that his punishments were too severe.

Madam Justice Suzanne Tessier of the Quebec Superior Court ruled today that denying the girl permission to go on the school trip was an excessive punishment. The girl’s lawyer, Lucie Fortin, said, “She’s becoming a big girl” and described the school trip as “a unique event in her life”, the Globe and Mail reported.

In Germany:

A homeschooling family in Southern Germany spent six hours in a grueling German Family Court session this week with the hopes of regaining custody of their six homeschooled children, who have been held in state custody since January. After the long and confusing session, the Gorbers regained custody of their 3-year-old son. The judge, meanwhile, retained custody of five other Gorber children now being kept in foster care and youth homes pending a court-ordered psychological evaluation of the parents. The court did allow increased visitation for some of the children up from one hour every two weeks that had been permitted since the children were seized in a surprise raid by the youth welfare office (“Jugendamt”) and police.

In New Zealand:

Green MP Sue Bradford’s controversial child discipline bill was tonight passed by Parliament, with only seven MPs voting against it.

The bill removes from the Crimes Act the statutory defence of “reasonable force” to correct a child, meaning there will be no justification for the use of force for that purpose.

But it doesn’t even work because it targets law-abiding people only! (Just like gun control!)

It’s very much like the Democrat party’s complaints about outsourcing. The left caused outsourcing with their interventionist war on “the rich” and “greedy corporations”. We need to move away from noble-sounding intentions fueled by the need to feel superior, and talk about actual incentives and actual effects of policies.

Sex education and taxes

Laura posted on the state interfering with parents’ right to educate their own children about sex:  (CP link)

No, we generally are not in favor of sex ed at school.  If “comprehensive” sex education included what it did when I took it in the early 80s – basic human anatomy, puberty, tab A fits into slot B, birth control methods include the following… even in the conservative evangelical circles I run in, few would object.  That’s all stuff we tell kids at home after we opt them out of sex ed at school- along with the main message of “Don’t do this; it’s not time in your life yet for this.”   What we object to is the attitude that teen sex is normal and inevitable and we should quit squawking about it.  We object to schools teaching bizarre sex practices like fisting.  We object to the theory that teenagers are mindless bags of hormones who can’t be expected to control themselves.

…Our teens are political pawns for the left.  They’re helpless victims of our [= parents’] prudery, children that the government needs to provide for at every turn with health insurance and free college tuition (but don’t deserve an adequate secondary education except when it’s time to raise taxes),  socially and technologically savvy enough to make their own entertainment and political choices free from our censorship,  mature and wise enough to choose abortion (but not give birth), and 18 year old babies who need to be protected from sneaky military recruiters and beer.   The rallying cry may be “it’s for the children!” but the only really consistent position I see in the left is that parents do not know best; government does.

Laura also posted on how socialism takes money away from the family:

When we charge people more to earn money via income taxes, regulations, and similar means, history has proved time and again that people earn less money.  Whether that’s by choice, where people like me purposely throttle back our income in order to pay fewer taxes, or by government fiat, where government takes more money from businesses, the bottom line is that productivity goes down and everybody, including the government, gets less money out of the system.

By the way, I notice that Laura has a new post up at Hot Air’s Green Room, (CP link), on how families can send the socialists a message by cutting off their supply of money, legally. She runs a business, so she knows what she is talking about.

Further study

Recently, I blogged about the myth of “dead-beat Dads”. And about how the feminist state’s discrimination against male teachers is negatively impacting young men. And there is my series on how Democrat policies discourage marriage: Part 1 is here and Part 2 is here and Part 3 is here.

Assessing Bart Ehrman’s case against the resurrection of Jesus

Let’s start by listing some of Bart’s debates, and then we can take a look at his argument.

Bart Ehrman’s debates

  1. William Lane Craig vs. Bart Ehrman. The full transcript of the debate is here, so you can follow along with the video.
  2. Mike Licona’s first debate with Ehrman (audio, video).
  3. Ehrman’s debate with Peter Williams on the UK-based Unbelievable radio show.
  4. Ehrman’s debate with Dan Wallace
  5. Ehrman’s second debate with Licona can be ordered here for $10. Review is here.

Here’s William Lane Craig’s opening speech against Bart: (in 12 parts)

Part 1 of 12:

Part 2 of 12:

Bart’s argument

Bart Ehrman has a standard case based on 1) manuscript variants and 2) David Hume’s argument against miracles. Basically, he says that because the massive number of manuscripts contains a massive number of minor disagreements (see below), that the Bible cannot be trusted and therefore we can’t know whether Jesus rose bodily from the dead.

In Ehrman’s debate with Peter Williams on the UK-based Unbelievable radio show, and in Ehrman’s debate with Dan Wallace, Ehrman lists the 4 worst problems caused by the invariants:

  1. the woman caught in adultery (John 7:53-8:11) is a late addition not present in the earliest manuscripts
  2. the long ending of Mark (Mark 16:9-20) is a late addition not present in the earliest manuscripts
  3. Jesus was angry and not compassionate when he healed the leper (Mark 1:41)
  4. that Jesus died apart from God, and not by the grace of God (Hebrews 2:9)

I personally dislike that story in 1), because I think a lot of feminized Christians like it because they do not want to have their happiness diminished by moral judgments. They misunderstand this passage to support self-serving moral relativism and postmodern hedonism. Or worse, anti-capital-punishment. Eww.

This Bible verse is a favorite of all the liberal “Christian” women I’ve met. I’ve noticed that they are terrified of moral judgments and they don’t like to have to do anything for God, like study apologetics. I don’t like that. So I say: throw the girly-verse out! If you want a good verse that shows that Jesus liked women, you should be reading the woman at the well story. Or the women witnesses to the empty tomb.

Regarding 2), I like that long ending because it’s more useful from an apologetics standpoint. So I do care about this invariant, and I just don’t use that ending when I debate. For 3), I prefer angry Jesus to compassionate Jesus. And for 4) I really don’t care. It’s Hebrews! It’s not like it’s Mark or 1 Corinthians 15.

Ehrman’s argument against miracles is really just David Hume’s argument against miracles, which even non-Christian scholars, like John Earman, have defeated at the highest level here:

So, one can easily see that Bart Ehrman’s case is silly and amounts to nothing in a formal debate on the resurrection. If you want to understand why he is selling so many books, just like Dan Brown, you need to understand that people want space to invent a Jesus that they like. Bart gives them that space by fueling their skepticism of traditional Christianity.

Responding to Bart Ehrman with the minimal facts

Bart seems to be under the misapprehension that Christians argue for the resurrection by assuming the whole Bible is inspired. But we don’t. We use a minimal facts case where each fact had to pass a battery of standard historical tests for the genre of historical biography.

We come up with a list of minimal facts like this list:

  • the burial narrative
  • the empty tomb
  • the appearances
  • the early belief in a bodily resurrection

We argue that the bodily resurrection is the best explanation of these facts, and we refute all naturalistic explanations of these minimal facts like these:

  • Jesus wasn’t really dead
  • Someone stole the body
  • The appearances were hallucinations

One other thing that may be of interest is British scholar N.T. Wright’s case for the resurrection, based on the changes introduced in the belief and practice of the first Jewish converts to Christianity.

Further study

For further study of Licona and Ehrman, I would recommend the book “The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus”, by Gary Habermas and Mike Licona on the resurrection, which is the best introductory book you can get on how to argue the minimal facts case.

If you like Lee Strobel’s interviewing style, then you can’t go wrong with this book, “The Case for the Real Jesus” and his earlier book “The Case for Christ”. All the Lee Strobel books are excellent, the best books that a beginner can get – the ground floor of apologetics, so to speak.

If you prefer books featuring debates between opposing scholars, check out William Lane Craig against Gerd Ludemann here, (audio of their re-match is here), William Lane Craig against John Dominic Crossan here, (audio of the debate is here), or N. T. Wright against John Dominic Crossan here, (audio of the debate only is here).

Gary Habermas, (has dual doctorates from Oxford and Michigan State) is also a good source.

He debates a Duke University professor here: (one of my favorites)

Two Views on the Resurrection: Dialog with Dr. Joel Marcus, Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins at Duke University Divinity School
PART I (8MB) :|: PART II (8MB) :|: PART III (8MB) [MP3 files]

And he responds to Dan Brown’s fictional novels here:

Cracking the Da Vinci Code
PART I (8MB) :|: PART II (8MB) :|: PART III (5MB) :|: PART IV (5MB) [MP3 files]
Lecture given at the 4th Annual Worldview Apologetics Conference
April 21-22, 2006, Seattle, Washington

Hugh Hewitt demolishes MSNBC’s Larry O’Donnell

I was browsing over at my buddy Muddling’s blog and I found this amazing story. (He finds, without fail, the best stories!)

Hugh Hewitt does a great interview, the best in the business. He’s interviewed tons of people in the mainstream media over the years. This time, he interviews Larry O’Donnell. This is a must listen. I feel like I should put in a policy on the blog that no citations of left-wing journalists will be permitted.

Excerpt:

HH: What was the last book you read about terrorism?

LO’D: The last…I don’t think I’ve read a book about terrorism.

HH: Ever?

LO’D: No.

HH: About al Qaeda?

LO’D: No.

HH: About…how about the mullahs in Iran?

LO’D: No.

HH: I’m just stunned.

LO’D: Well, I’ll tell you, I’ve read Bob Woodward’s books about the accounts inside the Bush administration from what they were doing from the day they got sworn in, okay?

HH: You’ve never read a book about terrorism?

LO’D: There is no, there is absolutely no evidence, and I defy you today, Hugh,

HH: Larry, you’ve never read a book about terrorism?

LO’D: I defy you to point to me, point to me a citation of one memo or one meeting that Dick Cheney was in where he says anything about al Qaeda.

HH: Larry, I’ve got to go lie down. I really do. Do you think you’re a well-informed MSNBC, by MSNBC standards, do you think you’re above the grade of people on that network?

LO’D: That’s a trick question, Hugh.

Good Lord, it’s his job to know about these things. Where is he getting his news stories? Daily Kos? Firedog Lake? Feministing?

Now Hugh asks him to substantiate an assertion that he made:

HH: You said people have been prosecuted for exactly this. Did you mean for waterboarding?

LO’D: Yeah.

HH: Who?

LO’D: Well, we’ve done it, you know, this country has prosecuted that, that, torture method before.

HH: When?

LO’D: Um, I don’t know, what’s…I think it is was…umm, I don’t know. I…you know, I’ve…I know that we’ve done it, and I don’t have the research in front of me as to exactly when we’ve prosecuted who for it and which conflict.

Hot Air has a link to the transcript and MP3 podcast.

The Media Research Center has some admissions about media bias from the lefties themselves.

Friday night funny: Evangelism, names, unions and capitalism

First video here, for those of you haven’t seen this.

He loves apologetics, too.

He played cornerback in the NFL, and I played cornerback in high school. For one year. Back-up bench warmer.

Second, a video from the BBC here: (H/T Jill Stanek)

And a cartoon from IMAO.us on capitalism:

Commenter ECM sent me this video from Double Plus Undead:

Yeah, these are the kind of people that Obama is kow-towing to now. Newsflash! Democrats are not good people, which is why we shouldn’t be subsidizing their poor decisions with our money. It just encourages them, like feeding racoons.

Three funny Christian videos are here. (H/T Commenter ECM)

Happy Friday!

UPDATE: One more from ECM: Lightbulbs or dimwits! These are pretty funny!

Atheist explains why Christians ought to evangelize him

Here’s a neat video from a normally mean atheist, named Penn. Since I don’t own a TV, I have no idea who he is, but this is a thoughtful talk. Penn does not expect Christians to act like atheists in public.

From this, we learn two things:

  1. Making fun of atheists on the Internet is one thing, but if you have atheists that you relate to in person, be nice.
  2. Some atheists are grown-ups. They admire authentic, consistent Christianity, boldly expressed.

I will be surveying Christians soon to see why we don’t do what Penn says, and I’ll publish the results.

By the way, blogging is light today, because I had to work on a guest post for someone.

If you haven’t read any of my mentoring posts, you can read some of those to keep busy!

Mentoring

Apologetics advocacy

The challenge of postmodernism

My testimony is here, in case you missed it.

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

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