Author: jrcowles

The Architecture Of Liberty And The First Amendment

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As strange as it will probably sound coming from me, in the 6 years (as of this month) writing my “Skeptic’s Collection” column for Beguine, I have never published a “Skeptic’s Collection ” column dedicated exclusively and entirely to the First Amendment. I have alluded to it, hyperlinked to it, but never written about the entire First Amendment. That is as strange as a devout Christian never quoting John 3:16 or an observant Jew never mentioning the sh’ma or a devout Muslim never referring to the shahada. So I am going to remedy this egregious omission. I like to use an architectural analogy vis a vis the First Amendment. The First Amendment partakes of the spare elegance of a Doric temple. The First Amendment is founded on the Enlightenment principle, newly rediscovered in t
Hamburger And Handel, Porterhouse And Picasso

Hamburger And Handel, Porterhouse And Picasso

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I want to solicit the help of – as strange as this is going to sound, coming from me – conservative, pro-life / anti-abortion, evangelical Christians in understanding something that has happened to me multiple times in debates about abortion. By “multiple times,” I mean so often that I have come to expect some cognate of this pattern to recur as a matter of course. As you might expect, the whole debate turns on the issue of the “ontological” status of the fetus in the mother’s womb:  is the fetus a human person or not, and if the fetus is human, when in the pregnancy does the fetus attain this status of person-hood? As I have said elsewhere, I have no idea what the answer to the above italicized question is, and my entire stance of being pro-choice is predicated on my ignorance a
Of All The Nerve:   Wheelchairs, Sciatica, And Equality

Of All The Nerve: Wheelchairs, Sciatica, And Equality

"Life" Issues, activism, autonomy, awareness, Challenge, Change, Christianity, Church, citizenship, civics, community, Compassion, culture, disability, empathy, entering into suffering, Equality, Ethics, Freedom, Gratitude, Healing, health insurance, Healthcare, mindfulness, movement, progressive politics, solidarity, Suffering, The long and difficult road
I had never thought much about physical disabilities until the autumn of 2012, when an  airplane flight from Hell from Wichita, KS, to Denver – long horror story ... please don't ask! -- squeezed me into a last-row seat of a tiny Embraer jet aircraft for four hours, resulting in a severely compressed sciatic nerve that basically crippled me for several months. At first, the pain was so intense that I thought I would die, then later on, the pain was so intense I was afraid I would not. (My wife and I slept in our first-floor guest suite for some period of time.) Gradually, thanks mainly to the intervention of an excellent chiropractor, I incrementally, over a period of about four months, recovered to the point that, instead of walking half the length of my driveway, I can now walk perh