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Posted 5/17/13 at 2:17 PM | Evan Lenow
CNN reported on a tragic story about a woman whose boyfriend tricked her into taking an abortion-inducing drug after she told him she was pregnant. The boyfriend, John Andrew Welden, is now facing first-degree murder charges for killing the unborn child. Welden told his girlfriend that his father, a doctor, had prescribed her an antibiotic for an infection. In reality, Welden gave her an abortion-inducing drug, and the pregnancy was terminated.
This story is undoubtedly tragic, and Welden deserves to face punishment for first-degree murder. However, the undercurrent of this story is working against the tide of abortion-rights advocates. Note with me the inconsistency of the logic of our laws and of abortion advocates.
The pregnancy of Remee Lee was terminated by her boyfriend, the supposed father of the child. Since it was against the will of the mother, Welden is being charged with first-degree murder. However, if Lee had terminated the pregnancy herself, it would have been perfectly legal and perhaps even applauded by abortion advocates. Even if the abortion had been against the will of the father, the mother would have been within her legal rights to have an abortion. FULL POST
Posted 4/30/13 at 4:00 PM | Evan Lenow |
The biggest news in professional basketball this week has nothing to do with the NBA playoffs. Instead, the basketball world is talking about Jason Collins’ first-person essay for Sports Illustrated in which announces he is gay. Within a sports-saturated culture, this is big news. Collins opens his article with the following declaration:
I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay.
I didn’t set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I’m happy to start the conversation.
Collins has played in the NBA for six different teams over twelve seasons. He is certainly not well-known like LeBron James, Shaquille O’Neal, or Michael Jordan. However, to last for twelve years in professional basketball is still an accomplishment. FULL POST
Posted 4/18/13 at 10:57 AM | Evan Lenow |
While the battle over same-sex marriage still rages, it is hard to imagine what the next battle might be. However, astute observers of the marriage debate have already seen the newest challenge to the definition of marriage—polygamy. In an article this week on Slate, Jillian Keenan proposes that the legalization of polygamous marriage is a desired result of the current marriage debate. She argues:
While the Supreme Court and the rest of us are all focused on the human right of marriage equality, let’s not forget that the fight doesn’t end with same-sex marriage. We need to legalize polygamy, too. Legalized polygamy in the United States is the constitutional, feminist, and sex-positive choice. More importantly, it would actually help protect, empower, and strengthen women, children, and families.
Keenan is not playing the “same-sex marriage is a slippery slope” card to argue against same-sex marriage. In fact, she ridicules that argument as a “tired refrain.” Instead, she brands herself as a feminist who believes polygamy is in the best interest of women and society and perfectly in keeping with the arguments for same-sex marriage. FULL POST
Posted 4/9/13 at 5:16 PM | Evan Lenow |
A recent editorial in The New York Times made the case that interfaith marriages are a mixed blessing. On one hand, such marriages often lead to less satisfaction in marriage, higher divorce rates, and diminished commitment to faith traditions. On the other hand, the author claims that these marriages promote religious tolerance.
Before addressing the biblical evidence regarding interfaith marriage, let’s look at some of the facts. According to a 2010 survey, interfaith marriages have increased from 20% of married couples prior to 1960 to 45% of married couples in 2010. These marriages include what many historically consider interfaith (Jew and Gentile, Christian and Non-Christian, Muslim and Non-Muslim, etc.) and more contemporary versions of interfaith partnerships, including Catholic and Protestant, Mainline Protestant and Evangelical, and religious and non-religious. FULL POST
Posted 4/8/13 at 1:41 PM | Evan Lenow
It has been said that all of philosophy is a series of footnotes to Plato. Could we say the same about the homosexuality and same-sex marriage debate? You may ask, “What in the world does Plato have to do with homosexuality?” The answer may surprise you.
In his work Symposium, Plato explores an alternative explanation for the origin of mankind and gender. Rather than the normal assessment that mankind was created with two genders—male and female—Plato suggests a three-gender origin (male-male, female-female, and male-female) that explains both heterosexual and homosexual orientations. He writes:
In the first place, let me treat of the nature of man and what has happened to it; for the original human nature was not like the present, but different. The sexes were not two as they are now, but originally three in number; there was man, woman, and the union of the two, having a name corresponding to this double nature, which had once a real existence, but is now lost, and the word “Androgynous” is only preserved as a term of reproach. FULL POST
Posted 4/5/13 at 12:25 PM | Evan Lenow
U.S. District Judge Edward Korman (Eastern District of New York) has ruled that the FDA must make the multiple versions of the morning-after pill available over-the-counter without a prescription and without age restrictions within one month. The FDA had previously decided to make the morning-after pill available to girls younger that 17, but Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebellius overruled the FDA in 2011, setting the age restriction of 17 or older.
The court decision comes as a result of a lawsuit filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights. According to CNN, Nancy Northrup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, responded to the decision by saying, “Today science has finally prevailed over politics. This landmark court decision has struck a huge blow to the deep-seated discrimination that has for too long denied women access to a full range of safe and effective birth control methods.” FULL POST
Posted 3/27/13 at 4:05 PM | Evan Lenow |
For the last two days I have been telling my classes that we are living history in this moment. Most of us take little notice of the oral arguments being made before the Supreme Court of the United States. We recognize few of the names of cases, and even fewer names of those who have served as justices. However, Hollingsworth v. Perry and United States v. Windsor may become as familiar as Roe v. Wade or Lawrence v. Texas. In fact, the names Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, Ginsburg, Breyer, Roberts, Alito, Sotomayor, and Kagan may become quite familiar through the years. Much of the historical significance of these cases and justices hinges not on what happened during the oral arguments on March 26–27, 2013, but on the written opinions that will likely be released in June.
The two cases, Hollingsworth v. Perry and United States v. Windsor, address one of the most controversial cultural issues of our day—same-sex marriage. Hollingsworth takes up the question of California’s Proposition 8 and whether the voter referendum approved in 2008 which outlawed same-sex marriage in the state can stand. The Windsor case is the challenge against the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) passed by Congress in 1996 and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. DOMA restricts federal marriage benefits to heterosexual marriages and only requires states to recognize heterosexual marriages. FULL POST
Posted 2/25/13 at 4:23 PM | Evan Lenow |
AP Style tip: New AP Stylebook entry on husband, wife: apne.ws/YJct7u
— AP Stylebook (@APStylebook) February 21, 2013
Last week the Associated Press (AP) notified its constituents of a new entry in the AP Stylebook. This new entry addresses the appropriate use of the terms husband and wife. The text of the entry is:
husband, wife Regardless of sexual orientation, husband or wife is acceptable in all references to individuals in any legally recognized marriage. Spouse or partner may be used if requested.
This entry has been officially added to the online version of the AP Stylebook and will appear in the print edition later this spring.
The Associated Press is perhaps the most influential news organization in the world. Their stories and photos have run in news outlets since 1846. The AP Stylebook (first published in 1953 and updated annually) serves as the standard style guide for journalists. As a result, the choices the Stylebook makes in the use of language impact how readers and listeners of news media will view issues. FULL POST
Posted 2/19/13 at 5:57 PM | Evan Lenow |
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report last week that flew under the radar of most news organizations. They conducted a five-year study (2006–2010) on the use of the “morning-after pill” (labeled “emergency contraception” in the study—more on that later) and found that 11% of “sexually experienced women aged 15–44 . . . had used emergency contraception, up from 4.2% in 2002.” Thus, in less than ten years, use of this form of birth control has almost tripled. FULL POST
Posted 2/4/13 at 4:49 PM | Evan Lenow |
The Boy Scouts of America are scheduled to make a decision this week on their membership policy. This could prove to be a significant shift in policy that has the potential to impact the future of scouting.
Last week, Deron Smith, director of public relations for Boy Scouts of America, announced that “the BSA is discussing potentially removing the national membership restriction regarding sexual orientation.” Prior to this announcement the Boy Scouts have maintained a policy that prohibits membership for homosexual scouts and troop leaders. As recently as July 2012, the Boy Scouts had affirmed their membership policy as “absolutely the best policy for the Boy Scouts.” FULL POST