- The Washington Times - Monday, April 23, 2007

Under attack

“Ayaan Hirsi Ali has attracted many notable enemies in her life: not only the Muslim terrorists and wannabe-terrorists who threaten to kill her and who did kill her collaborator on the film ‘Submission,’ Theo van Gogh, but also a strange band of pundits and politicians whom she has provoked and irritated out of their ideological comfort-zones. Struggling to come to terms with the current world situation, such people opt to attack the person who has identified the problem rather than deal with the problem itself. …

“Hirsi Ali has a passion for, and I suspect a significant role in, the future. It is only through her, and the few people like her, that the future, and the freedoms so many of us cherish, will be defended, nurtured, and allowed to flourish.”

— Douglas Murray, writing on “A passion for the future,” in the April issue of the New Criterion

School symptoms

“A single disease can cause many symptoms.

“Brain cancer may cause debilitating headaches, but the cancer is the cause and the headache is a symptom of that disease. Some treatments of breast cancer might cause heart failure, but the cancer is still the root problem. If there’s no cancer, none of these problems exist.

“The major educational problems in this country — poor student achievement, the achievement gap, low efficiency, high and climbing costs, social conflict, even discipline and safety — are not independent of each other. These problems are symptoms caused by the same disease: a government controlled and operated educational system. …

“Educational freedom is a mechanism that allows specific educational problems to be solved. This is the core difference between market and command and control systems. …

“Government monopolies are very poor providers of all services, but they are especially poor providers of something as nuanced, personal, and value-laden as education.”

— Adam Schaeffer, writing on “Government Monopoly Is Our Educational Disease,” Wednesday in Cato-at-Liberty

Sense and sin

“The secular world tries to make sense of the senseless, to understand the bloody massacre at Virginia Tech.

“Some point to guns. Others finger society. Still others attempt to transform the murderer into some kind of victim. Anything to understand, to convince themselves that this … could have been prevented and that, therefore, the problem can be fixed.

“Yes, something went wrong with the 23-year-old English major for him to slaughter 32 people. But the problem goes deeper than the purely secular mind can admit.

“The heart, mind and soul of man — while capable of good and beauty and truth — are vile, disgusting, and deeply flawed, for ‘the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth’ (Gen. 8:21). This innate propensity to sin and sin again, this deep-down darkness, must be pruned, must be rooted out, or else it will grow like noxious weeds until the garden that is a human being will be overrun and fit for nothing more than to be burnt for all eternity.

“Believers tempted to think people are naturally good, should remember that people who are good would have no need for a savior. They could save themselves. They would have no need for God himself to die upon a cross to free them from the grip of sin, death and hell.”

— R. Andrew Newman, writing on “Failure of the Secular Mind,” Thursday in the American Spectator Online at www.spectator.org

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