CultureWatch

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

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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Owning Up To AIDS

Oct 1, 2006

In the early 80s when a strange new disease appeared in Western cities, it was first called GRID by the medical community: Gay Related Immunodeficiency Disease. This was because the disease was one that predominantly spread in the homosexual community.

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Will Appeasement Save the Church?

Sep 24, 2006

There is a place for religious dialogue. There is a limited place for interfaith discussion. All religionists should be treated with respect, and religious freedom and freedom of conscience must be championed. Having said that, not all religions are equal,

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Islam vs. Christianity

Sep 24, 2006

“All religions are basically the same.” That mantra is often heard from the secular media and our ruling elites. For those who know little about religion, the phrase sounds sensible enough. But for anyone who has actually taken the time

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Why All the Anti-Christian Bigotry?

Sep 21, 2006

It is to be expected that followers of Jesus will encounter persecution, abuse and vilification. Jesus had to endure it, and he told us that we would as well.

But why the animosity to committed followers of Jesus? Well, sometimes

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Why All Human Cloning Should be Banned

Sep 21, 2006

The push for human cloning continues around the world. Sure, most people say they do not want to see humans cloned, but they do want to see cloned embryos for research purposes. Yet as I and others must keep reiterating,

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Why the Pope Was Right

Sep 20, 2006

An editorial in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal (September 19, 2006) nicely makes the case for why the remarks recently uttered by the pope were needed. Entitled, “Benedict the Brave,” it laments what has now become a routine spectacle: “furious demands

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Right and Wrong Interfaith Dialogue

Sep 19, 2006

Most attempts at interfaith dialogue are doomed from the start, as they play down real differences between religions, and appeal to a lowest common denominator. As any serious student of the world’s major religions will attest, there exist very big

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