CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Marriage Takes a Beating

Oct 31, 2006

When radical social experiments are undertaken, it takes a while for the dust to settle and for clear assessments to be made as to how beneficial or damaging the changes have been. The current assault on marriage is a good

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Religious Demographics

Oct 30, 2006

While certain religions are growing in some parts of the world, they are in decline in other parts. But the decline of one religion is often met by the rise of another.

Consider the Christian faith. As Philip Jenkins wrote

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I Love My Progenitor A

Oct 27, 2006

Welcome to the future. If you want to know where Australia is heading, just look at countries that are a few steps ahead. Consider Holland for example. Or Canada. These are two nations that have moved so far down the

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Stay on Course in Iraq

Oct 27, 2006

It is hard to know what is really going on in Iraq. Much of the media gives us a fairly slanted view, highlighting the carnage and bloodshed. One hardly ever hears of what good things might be happening there. Thus

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Climate Change Considerations

Oct 25, 2006

The debate about climate change is far from over. The issues are varied and complex, and there is no clear scientific unanimity on the subject. While we all need to be good stewards of planet earth, this must be based

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Abortion Truths

Oct 21, 2006

Without doubt abortion is a hugely divisive issue. But why is that? People disagree about the best flavour of ice cream, but it is not a major battleground. What is the difference? The reason why the abortion debate is so

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Moralising With Numbers

Oct 20, 2006

Much has been made of a recent report in the Lancet which sought to estimate the number of civilian casualties due to the war in Iraq. Of course such a task is not an easy one, and such numbers must

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Free Speech and the Free West

Oct 16, 2006

Freedom of speech has never been absolute. Crying ‘fire’ in a crowded theatre, we are rightly told, is just not on. So there is often a balancing act going on in democracies. But freedom of speech is a hallmark of

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Real Hope for Addicts

Oct 14, 2006

Theodore Dalrymple is an important thinker and writer who has just released an important new book. The book is about the growing problem of drug addiction. Dalrymple is aptly qualified to speak on this problem as he is a retired

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Dealing With a Dictator

Oct 13, 2006

It is always problematic when you have a megalomaniac who is nasty, belligerent, and a bully. It’s even worse if the same person has nuclear weapons at his disposal. The tyrant who rules North Korea has made life a living

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No Cloning

Oct 12, 2006

As the Federal Government still debates the issue of human cloning, the impression remains that on the one side of the debate are scientists, and on the other are religious folk. The media likes to pretend that this is a

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How To Think About Fast Foods

Oct 12, 2006

Australians are talking a lot lately about the problem of obesity. It is of course a genuine concern, given the health problems associated with it. And there are various components to the problem: fast food outlets pushing their wares; parents

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Freedom and Servitude in Islam

Oct 11, 2006

When Muslim leaders speak about freedom, they have a very different concept in mind than does the Western world. Freedom for a Muslim is complete and unquestioning servitude to Allah. It allows no rival and tolerates no lack of conformity

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In Praise of Wealth Creation

Oct 6, 2006

Capitalism is not perfect. But it has produced a wide range of benefits. No other economic system has been able to come up with the goods. Sure, the free market must be kept in check by ethical, social and even

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Religion, Sanity and Secularism

Oct 5, 2006

Religion in the public arena has been getting a lot of attention recently. The Australian Democrats are fearful of Christian influence in politics. (Indeed, I was attacked in the Melbourne Age today by their leader over this very issue.) On

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France, America and the Real World

Oct 4, 2006

Bernard-Henri Lévy is not your average French intellectual, for at least three reasons: what he says usually makes sense; he is more or less conservative; and he does not hate America. That makes him a rather rare chap indeed.

But

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Exporting Democracy and the Case of Iraq

Oct 4, 2006

Detractors of the war in Iraq say we have been bogged down in another Vietnam and we have simply made matters worse. Critics cite the escalating violence and bloodshed, and say things were better under Saddam. They imply that a

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A Secular Defence of Marriage

Oct 3, 2006

Marriage is not regarded very highly nowadays. The institution of marriage has been savaged for some time, and the attacks look set to continue for quite a while. Alternative lifestyles and political correctness have taken their toll on marriage, and

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What Should Be Done About Iran?

Oct 2, 2006

In a world that seems to grow more insecure and precarious by the day, there are always new issues arising to be greatly concerned about. Iran is a case in point. Led by a madman who hates the West, seeks

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