The orthodox argument advanced by the National Rifle Association (NRA) senior leadership for the individual ownership of firearms unconnected with military service is that firearms in the hands of private citizens acts as a deterrent to some future tyranny by the Federal government. One would think, then, that Micah Xavier Johnson would by now have been recruited by the NRA as both poster child and martyr. After all, in the wake of the LA and MN shootings of helpless black men by the police – to say nothing of Ferguson and New York City and Baltimore and … -- Johnson’s actions were pristinely and irreproachably consistent with the NRA’s avowed advocacy of armed resistance to a tyrannical government bent on the subjugation of its citizens. Yet – at least, as far as I have been able to
One of the more enlightened-sounding proposals aimed at resolving the question of marriage equality for sexual-orientation minorities is to allow each State in the Nation to decide the issue, either with a vote of the State legislature via initiative and referendum, where the State constitution permits such, or to allow each individual State’s legislature to decide the issue. This alternative appeals to the “democracy instinct” that is pretty much encoded into the Nation’s political DNA. But this perception is deceptive. We have seen this movie before, and its deeper implications are anything but friendly toward individual rights. The first time we saw the “let-the-States-decide” movie was in 1858 with the Lincoln-Douglas debates. All that is different, 1858 vs. now, is the specific matter
I wanted to keep writing about Christmas and Advent and waiting and faith – and what all these things mean to me, a born-again skeptic. I really did. All those topics are well worth writing about. But I can’t.
For my intentions have been overtaken by events – more specifically, by the events of the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, and the death of Eric Garner, in New York City. As a skeptic, I am more predisposed to concentrate on events and trends in the City of Man, not those of the City of God, though without prejudice to the latter. For recent events do not augur well for life in the former. For all I know, Christians may be right in agreeing with the writer of Philippians 3:20: our real citizenship is in heaven. Yeah. Maybe. But we are stuck here for now, and – for now – it is