Tag Archives: Vanity

Two horror stories of women who put selfishness over responsibilities and obligations

Is it OK to tell women they are wrong?
Is it OK to tell women they are wrong?

This article from Life News is the kind of article that Dina loves to send me to try to break my idyllic picture of women as always right and never wrong.

It says:

In 2014, wannabe model Josie Cunningham said she was getting an abortion so she could star on the reality television show Big Brother. However, she ended up rejecting abortion and having her third child.

At that time she said, “I really thought I would be able to but I couldn’t. I’d felt the baby kick for the first time 24 hours earlier and I couldn’t get that feeling out of my head. I’d forgotten what the feeling was like. It was magical. It was like the baby was telling me not to go through with it.”

She added, “I was in the taxi driving to the clinic and felt physically sick. I was shaking. When the driver told me we were a minute away I burst into tears. I wanted to throw myself out of the moving car to get away. I had my hands on my bump and I had the strongest feeling I couldn’t let anyone take my baby away.”

Sounds very dramatic, doesn’t it? She certainly got a lot of attention at the time.

More:

Unfortunately, now the Daily Mail reports that Cunningham has aborted her fourth child because she wanted to get a nose job to further her career as a porn star.

She told Sunday People the following about her decision: “I’d had the boobs done, I had the body, but I realized that to be really successful in the adult industry I needed the face too. People can hate me – but the pregnancy was going to ruin my chance of finally making it. Next year I’ll be posing for glamour shots instead of nine months pregnant lying on the sofa with fat ankles. That’s my decision and no one else’s.”

Later Cunningham explained that her pregnancy was a “major obstacle” in her life and abortion was the answer because surgeons refused to operate on her since she was pregnant.

She explained, “I spoke to the advisor at the cosmetic surgery clinic three weeks ago and she was telling me about the different kinds of surgery. I was getting really excited. But when I mentioned I was pregnant she immediately said the surgeon wouldn’t operate on me. I was told it could harm the baby and they even recommend waiting a year even after I gave birth before having it done. I called a few other clinics and they all said the same. My heart sank but I knew what I had to do.”

Her decision to abort her child is confusing to some because in January she announced that she was pro-life. She said, “I did consider having an abortion with my third child, which I am ashamed to say. The way I saw it was that I’d rather be able to provide further for the two children I already had than not be able to provide for all three. It wasn’t an easy decision. But now I am anti-abortion, I came close to making the biggest mistake of my life.”

Although Cunningham did give birth to a healthy child last year, she bragged about her unhealthy lifestyle during her pregnancy, which included smoking 20 cigarettes a day.

She’s not the only woman who just goes crazy of her own free will. I wanted to blog about Suzy Favor Hamilton for some time, so I’ll just add her story to this post:

Three years ago, Suzy ­Favor Hamilton was best known as a three-time middle-distance Olympic runner, an all-American beauty with mainstream fame, sponsorships with Nike and promotional work with Disney, and a loving husband and daughter.

[…]Favor Hamilton, now 47, was born in Stevens Point, Wis., the youngest of five. She led a comfortable, middle-class existence and displayed a talent for running at just 9 years old. By high school, she was training for the Olympics.

[…]Favor Hamilton attended the University of Wisconsin on a full running scholarship, and there she met her future husband, Mark Hamilton, a freshman pitcher. By the time they graduated, Mark had switched to law, and Suzy had a six-year, five-figure contract with Reebok. By the spring of 1992, as she was going into the Olympic trials, she had been written up not just in Olympian magazine but Vogue, Elle and Rolling Stone. She loved the attention.

“Being a celebrity became more and more attractive to me,” she writes.

[…]Her sister, Kris, she writes, “was generous enough to make sacrifices for me, but I never thought of doing so for her because I couldn’t focus on anything but crossing the finish line first.”

[…]In 2005, she got pregnant with their daughter, Kylie. But Favor Hamilton was bored and her husband annoyed by her entitlement. To alleviate the strain in their marriage, Favor Hamilton suggested celebrating their 20th anniversary with a threesome in Las Vegas. He was dubious.

[…]“‘Flat and stale” is how she describes her life right after that trip. For Favor Hamilton, life with her husband and daughter in the Midwest was never going to be enough. She longed to be in Vegas, earning thousands of dollars, being paid for sex by rich and powerful men.

[…]“It was as if I’d suddenly ­become a teenager,” she writes. “I wanted what felt good and fun, all the time.”

[…]Within a month, Favor Hamilton was consumed with her new life in Vegas. “I was barely there when I was in Madison,” she writes. “My concern was no long­er making it easier for Mark to accept my next return trip to Vegas, but simply how soon I could get back there.” She had hooked up with a chef who bought her $500 in clothes and jewelry for sex. She wanted more of that.

[…]When Mark told her he’d probably begin sleeping with other women, she was relieved. “It made me feel even more entitled to do what I wanted,” she writes.

[…]As he opened the door, she realized the room “was full of men.” She wasn’t afraid — she was into it. “The only question on my mind,” she writes, “was how much sex, and with how many of these men.”

[…]Just a few months in, Favor Hamilton had all but abandoned her husband and child. They couldn’t compete with clients who bought her thousand-dollar meals, took her on shopping sprees, sent her for spray tans and manicures.

[…]When her daughter called her in Vegas, Favor Hamilton was annoyed.

“‘I miss you, Mommy,’ she said, tears in her voice,” Favor Hamilton writes. “I didn’t want that . . . I needed a glass of wine and some of that Vegas glamour to feel like [her alter ego] again.”

Favor Hamilton was picking up men on her own when she had a free hour or two between scheduled clients and specialized in threesomes. Her behavior was becoming wilder: She had sex in broad daylight on a golf course twice with one client.

[…]“I can’t stop, Mark,” she said. “I’ve never been happier.”

[…]And she’s not sorry for any of it.

“I cannot pretend to feel ashamed,” she writes, “for having done something I don’t think is wrong.”

I think Dina and I agree that there is a lot of bad behavior going on in the world that can be attributed to selfish, reckless, emotional behavior by women. Dina thinks that men ought to be doing a better job of setting boundaries and talking to women about morality and the likely consequences of their poor choices. Well, I hope that by talking about these two stories, I encourage all the men to be more confident about telling women “NO” when they make bad decisions.

Here is what I would like Christian men to do when confronted with a woman who is making selfish decisions that are likely to harm her and those around her in the long term. I would like them to recognize when they are being manipulated by women, which younger men are especially prone to doing. They have to learn to do without attention from women if it means not being able to analyze and judge her actions. Men also need to be very skeptical of women who invoke God leading her through her feelings. As far as I’m concerned, God should always be leading women to do things they DON’T FEEL LIKE DOING. If the woman felt like doing something selfish when she was a non-Christian (e.g. – traveling to Europe for 2 years), then it can hardly be the case now that God is leading her to do exactly what she wanted to do when she was a non-Christian. She was already wanting to do that before she became a Christian. So men need to be careful about approving a bad plan just because the woman hollers Jesus over it. A bad plan is a bad plan, and hollering Jesus doesn’t make it a good plan.

I would also like to see men understand that decisions about education, career and finances are best made by people who have degrees that led to good jobs, by people with gapless resumes, by people with high salaries, and by people with savings. I want to see men focus on getting STEM degrees, getting STEM jobs, and then saving and investing so that they have a quarter of a million dollars saved by age 30. I don’t want to see unemployed students handing out advice to women about education, career and finances when they don’t even know what they are talking about themselves. I don’t want them accepting the pronouncements of a woman about education, career and finance when her own past shows that she has made poor choices in these areas. Newsflash: if a woman is 30, unemployed and living at home with thousands of dollars of debt from a degree she has never used, then anything she has to say about education, career and finance is literally garbage. I don’t want to see you men approving of such clowning.

I also don’t want to see men praying for women’s crazy plans to succeed. If you find a woman who is uneducated, unemployed, in debt and living with her parents, then the thing to do is to encourage her to choose a plan that is reasonable likely to work on its own, not one that requires God’s intervention in order to work. In my case, I found a woman a job in a Fortune 100 company that was related to her (unused) college degree in business. It would have got her out of debt, and out of her parents’ house. Unfortunately, she turned it down because the job was “too boring and hard”. I expect the men in her life to hold her accountable for putting fun and thrills over building up a resume and investing early. Young people seem to be completely unaware of the advantages of investing early so they can retire early. I expect Christian men to be telling young women how important it is to save and invest as early as possible. I also want to see young men making moral judgments and sharing wisdom to women about the important of working, saving and investing. I want men to warn women about the delays of putting off marriage and child-bearing for too long, as well.

If even Christian men cannot speak up, then how much more cowardly and weak would non-Christian men be, especially when they are being pacified with sex? We have a crisis of masculinity, with men exchanging their leadership role in order to be liked by as many people as possible. Men have to have more courage.

We need to be able to tell women right and wrong

Disclaimer: in this post, when I refer to women, I mean young, unmarried women influenced by feminism.

I want to give several cases of women behaving badly and then make a general point about whether we are doing the right thing when we decline to criticize women for fear of offending them, and instead point the finger of blame at men, however ridiculous it is to do that.

First case – wife threatens divorce unless husband agrees to abort Down’s syndrome baby:

“When I walked into the room they all turned to me and said ‘Leo has Down syndrome,” he told ABC News. “I had a few moments of shock.”

[…]”They took me in see him and I looked at this guy and I said, he’s beautiful — he’s perfect and I’m absolutely keeping him.”

Soon Forrest walked into his wife’s hospital room with Leo in his arms.

Her reaction was unlike one he ever expected.

“I got the ultimatum right then,” he said. “She told me if I kept him then we would get a divorce.”

[…]One week after his birth, Leo’s mom filed for divorce.

Second case – woman abandons her 5-month old baby to go on a two-week partying binge:

Alena Itapova, 19, who has been nicknamed ‘Monster Mum’ in Russian media for letting baby Veronika die, tried to blame her parents during appeals but ultimately was found guilty. Russian judges refused her appeal and instead increased her sentence. Itapova claimed the baby’s death was her parents’ fault for not teaching her how to properly raise a baby.

During a trial last year, Itapova admitted to leaving her baby alone in her apartment while she disappeared for two weeks. She found her daughter dead when she returned.

Third case – a woman writing for Think Progress bemoans Republican efforts to ban dismemberment abortions:

“Immediately, when I heard the title of these bills, I had to take a deep breath and calm down,” Dr. Anne Davis, the consulting medical director for Physicians for Reproductive Health and an OB-GYN who provides abortions, told ThinkProgress. “This is a familiar tactic, similar to the other types of bans we’ve seen. It seems the strategy is to take language that provokes emotional responses and then to argue that, because there’s an emotional reaction to something, it should be illegal.”

Fourth case – Cathy Young interviews a man accused of rape and finds evidence that contradicts the accuser’s story:

Sulkowicz has said in interviews that she was too embarrassed and ashamed to talk to anyone about the rape, let alone report it; an account of her mattress protest by New York Times art critic Roberta Smith says that she “suffered in silence” in the aftermath of the assault. Yet Nungesser says that for weeks after that night, he and Sulkowicz maintained a cordial relationship, and says she seemingly never indicated that anything was amiss.

Nungesser provided The Daily Beast with Facebook messages with Sulkowicz from August, September, and October 2012. (In an email to The Daily Beast, Sulkowicz confirmed that these records were authentic and not redacted in any way; while she initially offered to provide “annotations” explaining the context on the messages, she then emailed again to say that she would not be sending them.) On Aug. 29, two days after the alleged rape, Nungesser messaged Sulkowicz on Facebook to say, “Small shindig in our room tonight—bring cool freshmen.”

Despite not being able to present the friendly Facebook messages from two days after the rape at the university trial, he was exonerated. She declined to press criminal charges. Making a false charge to the police is a crime. But she can make a false charge and carry a mattress around on campus, and get her victimhood celebrated by United States senators.

And finally fifth case, false rape accusation investigated by the police, charges dismissed because sex proven consensual.

So what’s the point of all this?

The point of all this is that I think that we are letting women getting away with too much. Instead of standing up to their poor decision-making and outright lying (in the rape cases that have been in the news lately), we coddle them and make them out to be victims, and blame the bad men they freely choose to have relationships with when they mess up their lives. They have to take responsibility for their own poor decisions, and make different decisions going forward. There isn’t enough money in the world to give them to make up for all the mistakes they are making.

When a women makes decisions in her life to drink, move away from parents, shack up with bad men, take drugs, contract STDs, vote for higher taxes and bigger government, run up student loan debts, drop out of school, get pregnant before marriage, have abortions, go on welfare, choose younger unemployed boyfriends, choosing violent boyfriends, move in with men before marriage, get frivolous divorces for “unhappiness”, put kids in non-family daycare when they are under two years old, make fake domestic violence charges, make false rape accusations, deprive children of their father, withhold sex from their husbands all the time for no good reason, disrespecting men, disrespecting masculine traits, etc. then we ought to be confident enough to tell them NO and IT’S WRONG.

We should not let them direct the conversation away from their own mistakes so they can blame others and justify continued irresponsible, selfish behavior because it “feels right” to them. Women are making really bad decisions these days, and it seems like men have lost all confidence to be able to tell them NO and IT’S WRONG. It’s so easy for a woman who is behaving badly to just find people who will agree with her and give her sympathy for her bad decisions. Men and women both seem to love to agree with women who are wrecking their lives and causing problems for everyone else around them.

We need to stop condoning and rationalizing their poor decisions. The harm that women cause is very real, and the costs for “fixing” their mistakes through government programs and charity are ballooning. In the UK, we are now seeing taxpayer-funded breast implants and IVF, in some provinces in Canada, taxpayer-funded IVF, and here at home – free contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs. We cannot keep paying for lives that are ruined by decision-making dominated by emotions, cultural standards and peer-pressure.

Just because a woman is pretty and sounds nice, that doesn’t make her exempt from the moral law. It’s not even good for a woman, in the long run, to surround herself with people (men and women) who tell her to “follow her heart” – I can guarantee that that her yes-men and yes-women won’t want to deal with the mess she creates by following her heart, when it all blows up in her face. The biggest problem I see is apparently moral Christian men being so desperate for attention and/or sex that they give up the role of being the moral leader so that the woman will prefer them to men who would hold them accountable.

My conversation with a leftist friend about basic economics and rent control

My conversation with a leftist friend about “Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy, 4th Edition“, by Thomas Sowell.

Him: I remember why I stopped reading that book when you asked me to read it.

Me: Why did you stop reading it?

Him: Because of the chapter on rent control.

Me: Chapter 3 is the chapter on price controls. It talks about rent control.

Him: I expect an economist to present both sides of rent control. He has to present the arguments for and against rent control.

Me: There are not two sides to rent control. There is only one side to rent control. He chose that because it is a clear cut example of the problems caused by price controls. Economists universally condemn rent control, across the ideological spectrum.

Him: No they don’t.

Me: The chair of the Department of Economics at Harvard University, Greg Mankiw, reports in his economics textbook that 93% of professional economists agree that rent control reduces housing supply and housing quality. It is the most agreed upon position among economists across the ideological spectrum, number one in his list of facts on which professional economists agree. And obviously they have reasons for agreeing on that, specifically the experience of trying rent control policies in different times and places. It has always failed.

Him: Somebody must like rent control, because they have it in New York city.

Me: Politicians and low-information voters support rent control. It makes politicians feel good, and it gets them elected, too – if the voters are economically illiterate enough, as they are in New York city.

Him: But what about global warming then? Isn’t the consensus against you there?

Me: There has been no global warming in the last 17 years, according to the New York Times. They were reporting on findings by the UN IPCC in 2013.

Him: The UN never said that. The New York Times never wrote that.

Me: Yes, they did. And I have the sources I can send them to you.

Him: I’ll bet you do. (walks away in a huff)

This is the relevant quote from the Greg Mankiw post from his survey of economists that appears in his textbook:

  1. A ceiling on rents reduces the quantity and quality of housing available. (93%)
  2. Tariffs and import quotas usually reduce general economic welfare. (93%)
  3. Flexible and floating exchange rates offer an effective international monetary arrangement. (90%)
  4. Fiscal policy (e.g., tax cut and/or government expenditure increase) has a significant stimulative impact on a less than fully employed economy. (90%)
  5. The United States should not restrict employers from outsourcing work to foreign countries. (90%)
  6. The United States should eliminate agricultural subsidies. (85%)
  7. Local and state governments should eliminate subsidies to professional sports franchises. (85%)
  8. If the federal budget is to be balanced, it should be done over the business cycle rather than yearly. (85%)
  9. The gap between Social Security funds and expenditures will become unsustainably large within the next fifty years if current policies remain unchanged. (85%)
  10. Cash payments increase the welfare of recipients to a greater degree than do transfers-in-kind of equal cash value. (84%)
  11. A large federal budget deficit has an adverse effect on the economy. (83%)
  12. A minimum wage increases unemployment among young and unskilled workers. (79%)
  13. The government should restructure the welfare system along the lines of a “negative income tax.” (79%)
  14. Effluent taxes and marketable pollution permits represent a better approach to pollution control than imposition of pollution ceilings. (78%)

And this is the relevant quote from the New York Times article, dated September 2013:

The global warming crowd has a problem. For all of its warnings, and despite a steady escalation of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, the planet’s average surface temperature has remained pretty much the same for the last 15 years.

As you might guess, skeptics of warming were in full attack mode as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change gathered in Sweden this week to approve its latest findings about our warming planet. The skeptics argue that this recent plateau illustrates what they always knew — that complex global climate models have no predictive capability and that, therefore, there is no proof of global warming, human-caused or not.

The author of the NYT article (a leftist) goes on to attempt to explain he is not concerned by the 17 year period of no significant warming, but the point is that the 17 year (not 15 year) period of no significant warming is A FACT acknowledged by the UN IPCC that has to be explained by those who believe in catastrophic man-made global warming. The IPCC may not like the temperature measurements, but those facts are not in doubt. The global warming crowd might make predictions about the future, but they made predictions about the past before, and we now know for a fact that those predictions (polar ice caps melting, Himalayans melting, significant global warming, etc.) were FALSE. They have been falsified by evidence, and that’s not in doubt.

Economic illiteracy is the problem

When people on the left voted for Barack Obama in 2012, they did not know based on evidence that they could keep their doctors and keep their health plans and that insurance premiums would drop $2500. They did not know it because the economic studies contradicted Obama’s words. They even believed Obama when he said that the Benghazi incident was caused by a Youtube video. Obama-supporters had a sincere belief in the words of his passionate speeches. They were impressed by the visuals of him talking to large crowds of young people. They believed him because they had feelings about him. And voting for him made them have good feelings about themselves. They felt that they were going to achieve good things by voting for this good man. They meant well, but they did not know. They did not have evidence.

Before the 2012 election, people on the right pointed to evidence from studies (like this one) showing that Obama was lying, but his supporters were apparently not interested in economic studies. They want to preserve the feelings of being good people. They want to preserve the belief that you can embrace policies that sound good, and that words that sound good will necessarily lead to good results for people who are at a disadvantage. I don’t question the motives of people on the left – they mean well. But meaning well doesn’t produce good results without knowledge of economics. In economics, policies that sound appealing to well-meaning liberals (rent control, tariffs, protectionism, minimum wage, trillion-dollar deficits) actually produce bad results for poor people. And we know this for a fact from our experience across different times and places.

If we can get people to accept the authority of our observations of policy experimentation in different times and places over and above their feelings and intuitions, then we can save this country.

Gay marriage: John Piper won’t endorse traditional marriage amendment

From the Minneapolis Star Tribune, headline: “Key Minnesota pastors opt out of marriage fight.”

Excerpt:

Two key conservative evangelical leaders in Minnesota are not endorsing the marriage amendment or directing followers to vote for it, marking the first time during debate over the measure that major faith leaders have not encouraged members to take a stand on the issue.

Influential preacher and theologian the Rev. John Piper came out against gay marriage during a sermon Sunday but did not explicitly urge members of his Minneapolis church to vote for the amendment.

The Rev. Leith Anderson, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s longtime pastor, also said this week he does not plan to take a public side on the amendment, which would change the state Constitution to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

Religious observers say the lack of formal backing from the two influential figures could signal that evangelical leaders in Minnesota are taking a less active role in supporting the amendment — a marked departure from evangelicals in dozens of other states where similar amendments have passed.

“Don’t press the organization of the church or her pastors into political activism,” Piper said during his sermon, posted on Bethlehem Baptist Church’s website.

[…]Piper had been under pressure from conservative groups to weigh in on the amendment, according to his spokesman David Mathis, adding that Piper did not hold back over concerns the church could lose its tax-exempt status.

“Basically our position is, we’re not taking one as a church,” Mathis said.

John Piper has no opinion about whether the state of Minnesota legalizes gay marriage or not – he doesn’t want to get involved in politics. He is famous for pushing “Christian Hedonism” in his books, and also believes in predestination.

My advice for pastors who are pro-marriage

I think that it is important for pastors who want to take conservative positions and really have an effect on the real world to base their positions on logical arguments and evidence. Many pastors seem to just read what the Bible says to people in their churches, but they don’t really think about how the Bible applies to public policy. They don’t really think that the Bible has any bearing outside of the church – this is called subjectivism, and in Christian circles, it is closely tied to fideism.

Pastors who pass on studying apologetics often find themselves having to back away from what the Bible says in public, because they are afraid of being labeled bigots. If your views on moral questions are just held on faith, then it’s hard to tell people that public policy should be based on private faith. It’s like condemning people to Hell because they don’t like the same flavor of ice cream as you. It is much easier to tell someone that smoking is bad for their health though. Why? Because if you put the work in, you can use arguments and evidence, and it’s easy to be bold when you have arguments and evidence. But it takes work to build your case.

Neil and other people are telling me that Piper has stated his view against gay marriage in a sermon, and he cites Bible verses. My problem with this is that Piper’s sermon only applies to people who are inerrantists – who think that the Bible is authoritative. If Piper really opposed gay marriage, then he would support the marriage amendment, and he would persuade people in his state – not just his choir and congregation – using arguments and evidence that people in his state find convincing.

Here’s my argument:

1) If Piper sincerely opposes gay marriage, then he doesn’t want gay marriage to be legalized
2) To stop gay marriage from being legalized, the marriage amendment must pass
3) To pass the marriage amendment, the majority of Minnesotans must vote for it
4) The majority of Minnesotans are not Biblical inerrantists who are persuaded by Piper’s sermon and his citing of Bible verses
5) Piper’s flock cannot persuade the majority of Minnesotans with Piper’s sermon and his citing of  Bible verses
6) Therefore, Piper will have to have some way to persuade these non-inerrantist Minnesotans, if he sincerely opposes gay marriage

If your friend is on fire, you do not preach a sermon and quote the Bible to him. You throw a bucket of water on him – that’s what works. If you really want something to happen, you do what works. Preaching sermons with Bible verses to your flock and then declining to support the marriage amendment in public with evidence and arguments that appeal to the majority of Minnesota voters is not going to stop gay marriage. There are other pastors, like Wayne Grudem and Mark Driscoll who do study the research that bears on these sorts of issues and they do use evidence to persuade others – even non-Christians. They have arguments and evidence – they are bold and they do not care about sounding nice. Grudem even writes about politics and urges Christians to be involved in specific policies and legislation.

The secular left is very happy with pastors who don’t make any arguments or cite any evidence in public. They are easily marginalized and then non-Christians have NO REASON AT ALL to vote with us on social issues. It even has an effect on Jews and other religions, because they are told by the media “the only reason to oppose gay marriage is religious bigotry”. It’s similar to how Darwinists can marginalize opposition to evolution by pointing to fideistic pastors and then claiming that the only opposition to evolution is religious, not scientific. The pastors who refuse to study and make public arguments and cite research papers play right into this. They make it easy for non-Christians to vote against us because this is just “our view”. It’s not true of the real world. It’s just Bible verses. It’s not Bible verses supported by evidence.

Many pastors also kept silent during the time of slavery and Nazism, and said that they didn’t want to get involved in politics or approve specific legislation. Presumably, they expressed their personal opinions to their church choirs behind closed church doors, citing Bible verses which slave-owners and Nazis would not find convincing. But they thought that this was the best they could do since “you can’t argue anyone into the Kingdom of God” and “Jesus isn’t a Republican or a Democrat”. Not every pastor is going to be bold like a William Wilberforce or a Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and make their case in public.

The continuous refusal to engage in the public square with reasons and evidence is not good for Christianity. In fact, we may even lose our religious liberty when we only speak about Bible verses to the church choir behind closed church doors.

Look at what happened in Canada where gay marriage is legal:

In what they are touting as a “world first,” a Quebec homosexual activist group has launched a “registry of homophobic acts” with support and funding from the Quebec Government’s Justice Department.  Standing alongside Montreal Police Chief Johanne Paquin and Commander Alain Gagnon, the leadership of the group Gai Ecoute launched the anonymous tipster registry at a press conference today.

Included in the definition of actions classified as “homophobic” and deemed worthy of reporting to the registry are: “any negative word or act toward a homosexual or homosexuality in general: physical abuse, verbal abuse, intimidation, harassment, offensive graffiti, abuse, injurious mockery, inappropriate media coverage and discrimination.”

A press release from the group says that anyone who has experienced or witnessed an act of homophobia “must” report it to the registry of homophobic acts.

And here’s what happened in Denmark where gay marriage is legal:

Homosexual couples in Denmark have won the right to get married in any church they choose, even though nearly one third of the country’s priests have said they will refuse to carry out the ceremonies.

The country’s parliament voted through the new law on same-sex marriage by a large majority, making it mandatory for all churches to conduct gay marriages.

Giving sermons in church is safe. But speaking out against gay marriage in public on public policy is not completely safe. If pastors pass on making arguments and producing objective evidence and pointing to current events now – when it is still relatively safe to do so – then we mustn’t shed a tear when the next piece of legislation forces pastors to have to perform gay wedding ceremonies in their churches.  Knowledge and practical wisdom are needed to be a good faithful pastor, I think. By being unable to speak out persuasively on moral issues, we leave ourselves open to the things that happen in Canada and Denmark… and around the world. We shouldn’t wait too long before we make our stand – voting “present” is not a good idea.

UPDATE: People are asking me what arguments Piper should be using instead of the sermons and Bible verses, which have limited appeal to the majority of Minnesota voters.

In order to influence the culture as a whole, Piper would have to use arguments like these:

Philosophical:
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1722155

Evidential:
http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2012/06/5640

Human rights:
http://www.law.harvard.edu/students/orgs/jlpp/Vol30_No3_Severinoonline.pdf

If Piper’s goal is to DO GOOD at a practical level, then he has to use public square arguments that are convincing to people who do not accept a very very conservative view of the Bible (which I accept). He has to decide whether Christianity is something subjective and private (about him and his life, and maybe the people who hear his sermons in his church) or public and practical (about society and law). Right now, he is enjoying the liberties that exist because the foundation of the United States is Judeo-Christian, but he has to do his part in public using secular arguments and evidence to protect those foundations, or they could be taken away.

If Piper wants children to *actually* have a mother and a father, and wants Christians to *actually* retain their religious liberty and freedom of conscience, then he will have to GO PUBLIC and use PUBLIC means of persuasion. If every single person in his church agreed with him, and every fundamentalist Christian in Minnesota agreed with him, that would still not be enough to defend marriage.

Related posts

Should Christians be prudent and responsible when planning their lives?

Here’s a great article from Relevant Magazine that talks about the realities of the Christian life.

Excerpt:

“What are you doing this summer after classes?” a college student asks his friend late in the spring semester.

“Well, I’m working with an electrician.”

“Oh, OK.”

“What about you?  What are your summer plans?”

“I’m actually gonna be living in an orphanage in Africa, loving on those kids and doing some community development stuff.”

“Oh …”

In conversations like this, it is likely that the 20-year-old working with the electrician will feel spiritually inferior to the 20-year-old who has plane tickets in hand for Kenya. There is also the tendency for the guy with the ticket to feel as though he is a bit more sincere in his devotion to Jesus.

Believe me, I do not wish to discourage young people from boarding flights to Africa. But I also do not wish to disparage electrical work as spiritually insignificant.

Scripture calls us into radical service—but that does not allow others to eviscerate tedious, less “spiritually” glamorous tasks of their meaning in God’s Kingdom. Scripture also calls us to embrace the mundane and ordinary as holy and beautiful: “… aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands” (1 Thessalonians 4:11).

Many of us want to do something awesome, something epic. We tend to think that the more normal, the less “spiritual.” So it is quite possible that our aspirations to be radical stem from dangerous ambitions to perform biography-worthy feats of global glory.  

But radical discipleship is not adventure tourism.  

Following Jesus is not to be romanticized through impressive Facebook status updates or photos of exotic places on our blog. Discipleship is often ugly, messy and painful. Faithful service will regularly lead us into dull labors and bewildering struggles that would make unexciting press. To romanticize social justice or cross-cultural evangelism is to promote an idealism that will be inevitably vaporized on the field, inadvertently leading to burnout and cynicism.

This reminds me of a must-read post I wrote about former fundamentalist Christian Dan Barker. He also acted imprudently with financial issues, compromised all of his beliefs in order to appeal to a wider base of donors, and ended by rejecting Christianity completely because being nice paid more than being faithful to the exclusive truth claims and moral rules of orthodox Christianity. You can actually destroy your own faith by being a lousy steward of your finances. Uninformed, lazy Christians with emotion-fueled expectations of bliss don’t stay Christians for very long. The less you know about apologetics, the more you start to care about pleasing people and making them feel good, so that they like you. It’s a short jump from fideism to apostasy.

You may also be interested in this post that I wrote about the futility and narcissism of certain wasteful short-term mission trips that are undertaken in order to have emotional experiences and cheap peer approval. There are plenty of people in your workplace or neighborhood who need love and evangelism and apologetics just as much as people in warm, sunny vacation spots. (Note: some short-term mission trips are worthwhile, for Christians who are qualified and who make longer-term commitments to form relationships). It’s much better to toil anonymously and in secret, and to have God see what you are doing in secret. It’s better to help others without anyone knowing that you are the one helping.