This morning, I paid a visit to the Evangelical Outpost blog.
You may find it entertaining -- and perhaps even enlightening, but then in the end quite saddening, too; to see:
1] How the rise of a new, evidently breakthrough, ethical source of stem cells [Amniotic Fluid] is responded to with subject-shifting and getting back to the usual secularist rhetoric, here.
2] How evolutionary materialism self-destructs as soon as it seeks to account for either ultimate origins or the credible mind. (My remarks on Information, Design, Science and inference to intelligent agency here, are helpful.)
3] Debates on the US Founding Father's faiths, here. Cf my remarks on the roots of modern liberty here.
Over at Powerline blog, a sobering issue has been raised.
For in Iran, under Islamic Law, a 17 Y.O. girl who defended herself and a friend from an attack by multiple would-be rapists, stabbing one of them fatally, has been condemned to hang as a murderer. (If she had passively submitted, it seems she would have then been equally guilty of a capital offense . . .)
This excerpt is sobering:
According to her account, Nazanin was with her sixteen-year-old niece and their two boyfriends when they were approached by three men who tried to rape them. The boyfriends fled, and Nazanin defended herself with a knife she carried in her purse. She stabbed one of the men, who later died. So far, at least, I [John Hinderaker of PL] haven't seen any version of the facts that differs materially from Nazanin's account . . . .
Nazanin was prosecuted for murder and sentenced to hang. The verdict was apparently set aside by an ayatollah, and she is due to be retried tomorrow, January 10.
Wikipedia has the story here. A Canadian singer (and former Miss World runner-up) named Nazanin Afshin-Jam has taken up Nazanin Fatehi's case and has set up a web site called Help Nazanin. So far, over 250,000 signatures have been collected on an internet petition.
Petitions are sometimes helpful, but more tellingly, PL calls on the recently elected Muslim representative to the US Congress, Mr Ellison, to come to her defense and so practically demonstrate that his insistence on swearing his oath of loyalty on a Quran translation once owned by Thomas Jefferson [NB: in Islamic thinking, thus, not properly a Quran! Only the Arabic original counts . . .] is compatible with commitment to the principles of liberty enshrined in the US Constitution he swore to defend:
It is worth noting further on Mr Ellison's use of Jefferson's translation in taking his oath of office, from an article by Ted Sampley, here:
Democrat Keith Ellison is now officially the first Muslim United States congressman. True to his pledge, he placed his hand on the Quran, the Muslim book of jihad and pledged his allegiance to the United States during his ceremonial swearing-in . . . . The Quran Ellison used was no ordinary book. It once belonged to Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States and one of America's founding fathers . . . .
Ellison . . . said he chose to use Jefferson's Quran because it showed that "a visionary like Jefferson" believed that wisdom could be gleaned from many sources.
There is no doubt Ellison was right about Jefferson believing wisdom could be "gleaned" from the Muslim Quran. At the time Jefferson owned the book, he needed to know everything possible about Muslims because he was about to advocate war against the Islamic "Barbary" states of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Tripoli . . . .
When American colonists rebelled against British rule in 1776, American merchant ships lost Royal Navy protection. With no American Navy for protection, American ships were attacked and their Christian crews enslaved by Muslim pirates operating under the control of the "Dey of Algiers"--an Islamist warlord ruling Algeria . . . . Lacking the ability to protect its merchant ships in the Mediterranean, the new America government tried to appease the Muslim slavers by agreeing to pay tribute and ransoms in order to retrieve seized American ships and buy the freedom of enslaved sailors . . . .
In 1786, Jefferson, then the American ambassador to France, and Adams, then the American ambassador to Britain, met in London with Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja, the "Dey of Algiers" ambassador to Britain . . . . During the meeting Jefferson and Adams asked the Dey's ambassador why Muslims held so much hostility towards America, a nation with which they had no previous contacts.
In a later meeting with the American Congress, the two future presidents reported that Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja had answered that Islam "was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Quran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman (Muslim) who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise."
For the following 15 years, the American government paid the Muslims millions of dollars for the safe passage of American ships or the return of American hostages. The payments in ransom and tribute amounted to 20 percent of United States government annual revenues in 1800.
Not long after Jefferson's inauguration as president in 1801, he dispatched a group of frigates to defend American interests in the Mediterranean, and informed Congress.
Declaring that America was going to spend "millions for defense but not one cent for tribute," Jefferson pressed the issue by deploying American Marines and many of America's best warships to the Muslim Barbary Coast.
The USS Constitution, USS Constellation, USS Philadelphia, USS Chesapeake, USS Argus, USS Syren and USS Intrepid all saw action.
In 1805, American Marines marched across the dessert from Egypt into Tripolitania, forcing the surrender of Tripoli and the freeing of all American slaves.
During the Jefferson administration, the Muslim Barbary States, crumbling as a result of intense American naval bombardment and on shore raids by Marines, finally officially agreed to abandon slavery and piracy . . . . Jefferson had been right. The "medium of war" was the only way to put and end to the Muslim problem. Mr. Ellison was right about Jefferson. He was a "visionary" wise enough to read and learn about the enemy from their own Muslim book of jihad.
So, perhaps, Mr Ellison was right, but not as he plainly intended.
Food for thought and action. END