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culture war

By boycotting Burger King for this lame promotion, evangelicals are validating it as a legitimate political and social statement instead of a cheap and tactless co-opting of the LGBT movement for profit. Citizenship Confusion: The Fast-Food Culture Wars are BACK!

The free access which many young people have to romances, novels, and plays has poisoned the mind and corrupted the morals of many a promising youth; and prevented others from improving their minds in useful knowledge. Parents take care to feed their children with wholesome diet; and yet how unconcerned about the provision for the mind, whether they are furnished with salutary food, or with trash, chaff, or poison? Reverend Enos Hitchcock

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For Santorum, as for Ratzinger, if your conscience says one thing, and the Pope says another, you obey the Pope, not your conscience. And for the Christianists, if your conscience or intelligence says one thing, and the Bible says another, you obey the Bible, not your conscience, and certainly not your intelligence. Because beneath Christianism is a deep fear of the human mind - as if they actually believe that reason is stronger than religion and therefore must be restrained. As if the human mind can will God out of existence. This is Santorum’s fear-laden vision. Which is why he is not a man of questioning, sincere faith and should not be flattered as such. He is a man of the kind of fear that leads to fundamentalist faith, a faith without doubt and in complete subservience to external authority. There is a reason he doesn’t want many kids to go to college. I mean: when we already know the truth, why bother to keep seeking it? And if we already know the truth, why are we not enforcing it as a matter of law in a country founded on Christian principles? It is not religious oppression if it is “the way things are supposed to be”, by natural law. In fact, a neutral public square, in his mind, is itself religious oppression. Andrew Sullivan

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I reject the absurdity of the birth control debate not just because it is hurtful, but because it misses the point. But at the same time I reject the cultural lie that my individual choices are all that matter. We are all part of a community and therefore our relationships cannot just be about meeting our personal needs, but instead must procreatively support and nurture life in all its forms. If birth control helps some people actually be more supportive of life, then let’s celebrate and fund it. Sadly birth control is often simply viewed as a matter of choice which has allowed us to view children simply as a threat to our (false sense of) independence or as an accessory to our constructed life. But banning or limiting birth control so as to impose a limited idea of procreation onto all people doesn’t solve that problem. To truly support a traditional view of the intent of procreation the place to start is instead to encourage people to think more communally, to see themselves as responsible for caring for the needs of their local, national, and global community (which might include having children), and to work to support and encourage life in whatever ways they can within those relationships. That is what good marriages – good relationships – should do. But somehow I don’t see those publicly speaking out against birth control these days deciding to call people to live communally and to support life (and children) by seeking justice for the poor and the suffering. Julie Clawson

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Candidate Santorum is moving up in the poles. He is saying things people want to hear: we can “have dominion” over the earth without accountability for how well we “till and keep” or “serve and preserve” it. This is a theology—an orthodox theology in the minds of many. But not to all of us. As the title of my book Everything Must Change suggested, many of us think it’s time to retire Santorum’s Industrial Era theology of dominion and exchange it for a more ancient understanding … and one with more foresight for the future as well. He’s right: it is about theology—the question is which theology is phony and foolish and which is authentic and wise. Brian McLaren

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Mr. Santorum is a principled culture warrior who doesn’t believe in evolution, man-made global warming, sex for purposes other than having children, separation of church and state, tax-financed public education (except by Penn Hills of his home-schooled kids), a Constitutional right to privacy, contraception, some forms of prenatal testing, or freedom of conscience if it contradicts his church’s edicts or his party platform. Mr. Santorum would like to see doctors who perform abortions criminally prosecuted. He has said that war with Iran to thwart its nuclear ambitions is in America’s best interests, despite the painful lessons of the past decade and the skepticism of our own generals. Believe It or Not, Santorum’s Surge Is Scary

The bishops’ opposition to contraception is not an argument for a “conscience exemption.” It is a way of imposing Catholic requirements on non-Catholics. This is religious dictatorship, not religious freedom. Garry Wills (via lunaticprophet, nybooks)

(Source: nybooks)

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