- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 22, 2010

Devilish fine print

“I feel a peculiar and vigorous bond with the 7,500 people who, so mesmerized by the idea of buying a video game, sold their souls to the UK gaming retailer GameStation. You might think I am making this up. … Well, please check your own soul compartment, just in case you might have inadvertently sold its contents while ordering up a new Xbox 360. …

“GameStation decided to slip a clause into the terms and conditions of its purchase contracts that gave the company the rights to your immortal being. The clause makes for stimulating reading: ‘By placing an order via this Web site on the first day of the fourth month of the year 2010 Anno Domini, you agree to grant Us a non-transferable option to claim, for now and for ever more, your immortal soul.’ …

“The retailer reportedly began this clause as an April Fool’s joke, but then developed it in order to prove to itself, the world, and the heated inhabitants of Haedes that no one reads these often draconian draftings. … GameStation has reportedly said it doesn’t intend to enforce its soulless clause.”

- Chris Matyszczyk, writing on “Online game shoppers duped into selling souls,” on April 16 at CNet News

Leaving atheism

“Antony Flew was one of the most famous philosophers of his day - and also once [one of] the most famous atheists. But even in such a role he was no [Richard] Dawkins or [Christopher] Hitchens: he argued on pragmatic grounds for religious instruction in British schools, for example, and admitted that there was considerable evidence pointing to Jesus’ resurrection.

“Still, it came as a surprise to many when, in 2004, he decided God must exist after all. Flew was quick to assert that he was merely a deist and did not believe in a God of revelation. ‘But it seems to me that the case for an Aristotelian God who has the characteristics of power and also intelligence, is now much stronger than it ever was before,’ he said. He couldn’t accept Christianity, he said, ‘due to the problem of evil.’

“Response was overwhelming. A New York Times Magazine profile suggested that Flew was merely going dotty in his old age. Jay Leno joked, ‘Of course he believes in God now. He’s 81 years old.’ ”

- Ted Olsen, writing on “Philosopher Antony Flew Dies at 87,” on April 14 at Christianity Today

Muslim pander

“In an outrageous denial of free speech rights, Miami-Dade Transit last week forced the removal of a ‘Leaving Islam’ ad campaign on Miami buses because the ads might be ‘offensive to Islam.’

“The Freedom Defense Initiative … and the group Stop Islamization of America started the ad campaign as a defense of religious freedom. Our ad asked, ‘Fatwa on your head? Is your family or community threatening you? Leaving Islam? Got questions? Get answers! RefugefromIslam.com.’

“At the behest of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) … Miami-Dade Transit took the ads off the buses in South Florida because they offended Muslims. … CAIR and other Muslim Brotherhood-linked groups ran campaigns on buses across the country last year, including Miami, inviting people to convert to Islam and claiming that Abraham, Moses and Jesus were Muslim prophets.

“So Muslim groups can run bus ads seeking converts to Islam, but we cannot make information available to Muslims who want to leave Islam. Still think this is a free country? Still think we enjoy freedom of speech? Think again.”

- Pamela Geller, writing on “Free Speech Denied in Miami,” on April 20 at Human Events

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