Blogview from a Hot Tin Roof

Sex, Islamophobia, Sports, Iran and Much More

Perspectives Discovered During the Week Ending Dec. 10, 2004

Pearl Harbor and 9-11: In a post that cites the service of his 77-year-old father who survived a kamikaze attack later in the war, Douglas at Belief Seeking Understanding asked on the 63rd anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack what will be remembered of 9-11-01 after the same number of years elapses. Two generations later, his oldest child will be 77 on that day. He writes: “I hope (my children) will have gratitude for the hard-won victory of the free nations.”

John Stott: Since David Brooks wrote his column on Stott last week, there has been a lot of blogging on the Brit Brooks says would be the evangelical pope, if there was one. Daddypundit provides his notes from a lecture by Stott in 1986 on developing a Christian impact on society. I couldn’t find mine from a Stott Green Lake (WI) series in 1972 or from Urbana 73 (man, am I aging myself).

European Islamophobia?: Mark Kilmer suggests at Political Annotation that it is the Europeans who aren’t handling Islam responsibly. He writes: “I’ll argue that the people of Europe do not live in free territory, being slammed together in a morass of social democracy. Their “Islamophobia” thus manifests itself in violence, leaving the European planners confused that the European masses could slip from control in the utopia they’re fashioning. In the United States, any anger at Islam manifests itself as words written on the internet and angry talk. And we deal with it.”

Ideological Diversity on Campus: David Mobley provides a Physicist’s Perspective on the need for different viewpoints in academia, agreeing with a Jeff Jacoby column in the Boston Globe. David writes: “As a scientist, I know that the work we do always benefits from healthy criticism. It makes you do more careful science and make more certain your evidence is bulletproof. If you’re only trying to persuade people who think what you’re trying to prove is correct, it’s easy to get lazy and not do the best job you can. Sure, it’s EASIER. But the quality of the product — the science — isn’t as good.”

Iran Watch: It is increasingly evident that Iran is the next country in the Middle East to keep an eye on, and there are both good and bad signs. It Is What It Is points us to a BBC report: “Iranian students have interrupted a speech by President Mohammad Khatami to mark Student Day at Tehran university. Students chanted “Shame on you” and “Where are your promised freedoms?” to express their frustration with the failure of Iran’s reform movement.”

Thinking About Sex: Joe Carter at the Evangelical Outpost is upset by Henry Waxman’s one-sided report on government-funded sex education and provides a critique and wish-list for sex education that would “incorporate critical moral reasoning.”

Steel Nazi: Derek Gilbert, a Weapon of Mass Distraction, has an interesting news bit called No Steel for You, on the shortage of steel, because of production problems in Japan and the building boom in China. This may impact the price of everything from cars to washing machines in the next few years.

Democracy on the Move: Wes Roth stayed up late and to watch the Karzi inauguration, a great moment in the world movement from thuggery to democracy. He files a report —with pictures.

Trailer Trash: Jan Bear at A World of Speculation says the Clinton library looks like an enormous single-wide mobile home on stilts.. That’s perfect, when you think about it.

Sports, Circuses & Politics: Long Island attorney Tony Iovino at A Red Mind in a Blue State writes a great little column on the state of sport, and how we are as much to blame as the sportmen, even the Islanders. A good read.

The UCC Television Ad: Kent at Trolling in Shallow Water doubts the networks are being straight with their reasons and adds: “Yes, there are aspects of the UCC ad I find objectionable. But they are not necessarily the things that UCC claims the networks find objectionable.” And Eric Ragle feels that churches advertising to draw in homosexuals is dead-on. Eric says: “If there is any place on earth that those who are guilty of an abomination to God should be, it’s church. But if this message cannot be expressed via truthful means, then I reject this ad. Which is why I support those stations not showing this ad, although I agree with the message.”

America’s Worst Threat: Blogger-in-law Doug Payton (he coined the title) answers the Homespun Blogers Symposium question “What, in your mind, represents the single greatest long-term threat to the United States of America, and what should be done about it?” with a compelling argument that it is the collapse of personality morality, because without individual character there is nothing to build a common morality and “our society becomes more and more held together by the wisps of law rather than the steel of ‘common thought.’”

The Most Politically Incorrect Words: Tim at Broken Masterpieces suggests, rightly we think, that the most offensive words come from John 14:6: Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

Interview Horrors: Colin Rowley includes a lot of fun and interesting items at An Idle Brain, including one this week on mistakes made while interviewing. He quotes Katherine Hepburn: “Death will be a great relief. No more interviews.”

Lobster Talk: Read about the similarity of lobsters and those who seek to limit the life and liberty of others, as Aaron Curtis at American Chronicle continues a discussion started at Metamorphosis. Aaron writes: “I found myself wondering: ‘Why would a lobster (human as described above or real) deny another lobster the chance of life, opportunity and freedom?’”

Same-Sex Marriage: At Let’s Try Freedom, Robert Hayes tip-toed into the perilous topic of homosexuality and same-sex marriage with a very good six-part series, drawing on his own understanding of Christianity and Catholic teachings. The last in the series calls for a division of sacramental marriages and other civil unions. Hayes says:

There will also be sacramental marriages, unions formalized by the church and following its teachings and principles. To receive a sacramental marriage, of course you must first have the approval of the church in question. . .

In essence, we will be renaming the institution of secular marriage, as currently practiced, to “civil unions”, and removing the religiously-based restrictions on its composition. We will also be strengthening the notion of religiously-organized marriage as being an entity separate from what happens down at the country courthouse.

Although I may have some quibbles, I think this thought and others presented in the series are worth considering. Take a look.

Saving the “Offensive” Redlands Seal: Ric Ottaiano at Release the Hounds highlights Redlands, California’s battle to save the city seal from the ACLU. He writes: “Although this happened several months ago, I recently came across this story about the ACLU’s thus far successful effort to strong-arm the City of Redlands to redesign its 80+ year old seal and remove the cross from its lower right quadrant. This came on the heels of the also successful effort to coerce the City of Los Angeles to remove a Latin cross from its seal.

–James Jewell


About Jim Jewell

I am a writer and consultant on faith and public life, active for many years in management and communications in the evangelical community. I now work as the director of the nonprofit practice at The Valcort Group ( Everything on this blog, however, is my personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. Opinions, conclusions and other information expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Valcort.
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