I wish people, especially Bill Maher, with whom I completely agree on virtually all other issues, would stop playing fast and loose with the word “treason” when referring to Donald Trump. (Or course, Trump has been at least equally reckless. But I expect more of Maher.) Now, I have immensely greater respect and regard for the excrement I flush down my toilet every morning than I have for Donald Trump. (At least the former has served a useful and healthy purpose, which is considerably more than I can say of the latter.) So my purpose is not to defend Trump. My concern, rather, is to defend the Constitution, which I esteem as the civil / secular equivalent of Holy Writ. We should be meticulously careful about construing the words of the Constitution for the same reason that the Catholic
I recently told my Beguine editor, Terri Stewart, that, because I regarded the re-election of Trump as quite likely, I considered politics a dead subject for leftists / progressives, at least for the near- and medium-term future, and that I would henceforth write about science, art, philosophy, in other words, anything except politics. I had every intention of abiding by that resolution until I read a column by Hugh Hewitt in the Washington Post of April 27 exulting in his prediction – which, to repeat, is probably accurate – that Trump would not only win the election in 2020, but that the election would not even be “close” (Hewitt’s word, not mine). The reasons Hewitt cites for that prediction, while factually accurate, go straight to the heart of what it means to be a nation – and,
Given my recent preoccupation with "life" issues generally and with the pro-life / pro-choice debate generally, I thought it might be advisable to reprint this column from several years ago for the sake of the statistics it contains about the incidence of spontaneous abortions / miscarriages worldwide, and the theological implications of these numbers. Debates about abortion tend to get lost in the intricacies of theologies and ideologies at the expense of appeal to actual hard data. My intent in reprinting this "Skeptic's Collection" column is not to ridicule pro-life people or their religious convictions. Rather, my intent is simply to make possible an appeal to empirical evidence vis a vis various theological reflections on abortion. Facts matter.
Back in February of 2014, I publishe...