- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Evolving debate

“[T]he debate over creation, evolution and religion is rapidly going global. Until recently, all the hottest public arguments had taken place in the United States, where school boards in many districts and states tried to restrict the teaching of Darwin’s idea. …

“Darwin-bashers in America suffered a body-blow in December 2005, when a judge — striking down the policies of a district school board in Pennsylvania — delivered a 139-page verdict that … tore apart the case made by the ‘intelligent design’ camp: the idea that some features of the natural world can be explained only by the direct intervention of a ingenious creator. …

“America’s arguments over evolution are also being followed closely in Brazil, where — as the pope will find when he visits the country next month — various forms of evangelicalism and Pentecostalism are advancing rapidly at the expense of the majority Catholic faith. Samuel Rodovalho, an activist in Brazil’s Pentecostal church, puts it simply: ‘We are convinced that the story of Genesis is right, and we take heart from the fact that in North America the teaching of evolution in schools has been challenged.’ …

“Whatever they think about science, there is one crucial problem that all Christian thinkers about creation must wrestle with: the status of the human being in relation to other creatures, and the whole universe. There is no reading of Christianity which does not assert the belief that mankind, while part of the animal kingdom, has a unique vocation and potential.”

— from “In the beginning,” in the April 21 issue of the Economist

Silly or sad

“Almost 50 years ago, a young presidential candidate named John F. Kennedy declared, ‘I do not speak for my church on public matters, and the church does not speak for me.’ Americans put aside worries about his Catholic faith and elected him to our nation’s highest office.

“But for many liberals today, what’s good enough for a Kennedy in the White House isn’t good enough for a Kennedy on the Supreme Court. … Justice Anthony Kennedy authored the 5-4 majority opinion in Gonzales v. Carhart upholding the 2003 Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act. …

“Liberal critics just can’t believe that a majority of Americans find this procedure immoral. …

“Instead, pro-choice liberals resort to the claim that the decision in Carhart must come not from reason, but from the justices’ personal religious beliefs.

“The five justices in the Carhart majority — Kennedy, Chief Justice John Roberts, and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito — are Catholic. But as a critique of the Supreme Court’s work, the claim is plain silly, if not sad.”

— John Yoo, writing on “Partial Birth Bigotry,” in the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal

‘Enough is enough’

“I have become afraid of Churchill biographies. In these uncertain days, well-to-do academics, elderly statesman, and fresh-faced journalists write big books on Churchill. We read again and again how Churchill was an anti-fascist Victorian who loved grand pomp, hard work and french fries.

“How he was a happy man, though occasionally tormented by depression. We read how he served in India, fought the Mahdi Army in the Sudan, and saved Britain from the Nazis.

“However, Amazon.com now counts over 27,666 books to do with Winston Churchill. My friends, Churchill was great but enough is enough.”

— Thomas Cheplick, writing on “Churchillitis,” Monday in the American Spectator Online at www.spectator.org

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