Southern Religion

Landing in mea culpa

We recommend Mark Silk’s “Mea culpa” takedown of Southern Baptist Convention ethics czar Richard Land’s pseudo-apology.

Tomás de Torquemada indeed!


October 17, 2009 Posted by | anti-Semitism, SBC | Comments Off on Landing in mea culpa

Scared to death of swine flue vaccine? [Update]

Epidemiologist Tara C. Smith gently explains the wisdom of her decision to get swine flue vaccinations for her children. Blogging at Aetiology, she’s clear, accurate, devoid of pompous condescension and rich in links to additional information.

Jon Stewart gets the fundamentals right as well, although we don’t offer him as a substitute for Aetiology’s scientific detail:

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Eleven more children died of H1N1 last week. There is a single bottom line for the community – with appropriate vaccination, fewer will die and more will live to grow up.

There is going to be far more grief because there are vaccine production problems, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Saturday:

Adding to the seriousness of the situation, manufacturing problems have delayed production of the H1N1 vaccine. Instead of reaching a goal of 40 million doses by the end of October, fewer than 30 million doses will be available, Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said during an afternoon press conference

Look here for a vaccination site.

Don’t give up.

October 17, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Comments Off on Scared to death of swine flue vaccine? [Update]

Notre Dame quietly reappoints Fr. Jenkins [Addendum: MSM stories?]

The Notre Dame/Obama uproar helped marginalize the Catholic Right, polling data showed at the time. Yet failure of that broadly unsupported exercise in wedge politics has not chastened the right, which can be expected to greet without applause the Rev. John I. Jenkins reappointment Friday as Notre Dame chancellor.

Commenters like Joseph Lawler at the American Spectator have persistently attempted to recover by arguing that Obama’s appearance and acceptance of an honorary degree at commencement was a “debacle” or “fail” for Notre Dame rather than for the political right.

Undeterred, Fr. Jenkins followed the commencement with launch of several campus pro-life initiatives and attendance of the the March for Life in Washington D.C. He has simultaneously been firm in his resistance to pressure to drop trespass charges associated with the commencement protests.

The broad debate continues, as was evident in the mixed reaction to Senator Edward Kenndy’s passing. Fr. Jenkins’ reappointment suggests that simple shrill persistence on the right is persistently unproductive.

Addendum: Get Religion wants to know

Where is the mainstream press mainstream coverage of this important, symbolic win on the left? Don’t be shy, and tmatt isn’t the only one who wants an answer.

October 17, 2009 Posted by | Catholic, Churches, Education, Obama, Religion | 1 Comment

Global abolition of the death penalty?

Sara Furguson at The Cornell Daily Sun’s A Windown on Justice writes about last week’s European Union call for global abolition of the death penalty:

This year, five men were released from death row after newly considered evidence proved their innocence. For instance, Yancy Douglas and Paris Powell were exonerated after serving more than fourteen years on death row for murder charges. Surprisingly, their convictions were based on testimony from an illegitimate gang member. Not only was he a rival gang member of the two wrongfully convicted men, but he admitted to never witnessing the incident because he was drunk and high that night. Yet, he was promised less prison time for his testimony. These are only two examples of the 130 death row inmates released since 1973 because of wrongful conviction.

And then there’s Cameron Willingham, an innocent man executed on Feb. 17, 2004, by the State of Texas. The Equal Justice Initiative writes:

In 2005, Texas established a government commission to investigate mistakes and misconduct by forensic scientists. In August 2009, noted fire scientist Craig Beyler completed his investigation into the Willingham case. As The New Yorker reports, Beyler concluded that “investigators in the Willingham case had no scientific basis for claiming that the fire was arson, ignored evidence that contradicted their theory, had no comprehension of flashover and fire dynamics, relied on discredited folklore, and failed to eliminate potential accidental or alternative causes of the fire.” Their approach, he said, seemed to deny “rational reasoning” and was more “characteristic of mystics or psychics.”

How many innocent must die?

October 17, 2009 Posted by | Law, Politics | | Comments Off on Global abolition of the death penalty?