Great Debate

July 27, 2005 • by Jordan J. Ballor

Great Debate

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Animal Cruelty?

I’m not quite sure what to make of this local story: “Four people are charged for their alleged involvement in killing two bald eagles.” The details of the alleged crimes are as follows: “Prosecutors say two teenagers shot the eagles in the Muskegon State Game Area with a .22 caliber rifle in April 2004 and then chopped them up with a hatchet.” Since the bald eagle, one of the nation’s revered symbols, is an endangered animal, it is protected by both state and federal laws. Continue Reading...

The Hermeneutical Spiral

Mr. Phelps takes issue with my characterization of Stanley Fish’s position as amounting “to a philosophical denial of realism.” Let me first digress a bit and place this comment within the larger context of my post. Continue Reading...

The School of Fish

The recent blogpost by my colleague Jordan Ballor discusses an op-ed written by law professor Stanley Fish. I am more familiar with Stanley Fish from his days as a literary theorist, and perhaps a quick review of a younger Fish will contribute to the conversation. Continue Reading...

Textual Interpretation

A week ago Stanley Fish, a law professor at Florida International University, wrote an op-ed in The New York Times about the principles of constitutional interpretation, especially as represented by Justice Antonin Scalia. Continue Reading...

We Must Kill Religion to Save It

There are so many things wrong with this news item from Canada, I hardly know where to begin. But I’ll make perhaps the most obvious point of contradiction. This guy is “worried that the separation between church and state is under threat,” so he wants to initiate state control over religion, especially “given the inertia of the Catholic Church.” I’m not at all familiar with Canadian law. Continue Reading...

Labor (Dis)Union

The New York Times reports this morning that “leaders of four of the country’s largest labor unions announced on Sunday that they would boycott this week’s A.F.L.-C.I.O. convention, and officials from two of those unions, the service employees and the Teamsters, said the action was a prelude to their full withdrawal from the federation on Monday.” The withdrawal is the culmination of a period of dissatisfaction with the direction of big labor in the US. Continue Reading...

CAFTA vs. ‘Distributive Justice’

The Interfaith Working Group on Trade and Investment, a Washington-based amalgam of left-liberal religious activists, has asked the U.S. Congress to reject ratification of the Central American Free Trade Agreement. Here’s a representative statement: “Religious leaders boldly stood with impoverished people and called today for sustainable development in Central America and respect for the integrity of Creation.” Some of our best friends are impoverished? Continue Reading...

Roadmap out of Poverty

The last of many gems here: “Here’s Williams’ roadmap out of poverty: Complete high school; get a job, any kind of a job; get married before having children; and be a law-abiding citizen. Continue Reading...

Mendel’s Seeds

Gregor Mendel, a monk and Abbot of Brünn, was born on this date in 1822. Mendel’s work opened up the promising and troubling field of genetics. He is often called “the father of genetics” for his study of the inheritance of traits in pea plants. Continue Reading...