"As to the second objection: Is size morally relevant? Is a 21-year-old man three times as precious as a 7-year-old boy? We can barely see an embryo with the naked eye, yet, as Dr. Hurlbut points out, from the vantage point of space, no human is visible on the Earth's surface. He quotes philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal, who noted more than who noted more than 300 years ago that 'human existence is located between infinities -- between the infinitely large and the infinitely small.' Pascal continued, 'By space the universe encompasses and swallows me up like a dot -- by thought I encompass the universe.'"

It Takes One to Know One


Do most liberal theologians still believe in God? Baptist minister Albert Mohler suggests that many don't in an interesting essay on essay on liberal theologians:

"'It takes one to know one,' quipped historian Eugene Genovese, then an atheist and Marxist. He was referring to liberal Protestant theologians, whom he believed to be closet atheists. As Genovese observed, 'When I read much Protestant theology and religious history today, I have the warm feeling that I am in the company of fellow nonbelievers.'

"Genovese's comment rang prophetic when Gerd Ludemann, a prominent German theologian, declared a few years ago, 'I no longer describe myself as a Christian.'..."

Ludemann, however, did not let this minor inconvenience stop him from making his living as a theologian--indeed, he went from strength to strength, producing some riveting rifts on the Christian gospel:

"Ludemann argued that Jesus was conceived as the product of a rape, and stated clearly that he could no longer 'take my stand on the Apostles' Creed' or any other historic confession of faith. He continued, however, to teach as an official member of the theology faculty--a post which requires the certification of the Lutheran church in Germany....

"Gerd Ludemann's theological search-and-destroy mission eventually ran him down a blind alley. As he told the Swiss Protestant news agency Reformierter Pressedienst, he has come to a new realization. 'A Christian is someone who prays to Christ and believes in what is promised by Christian doctrine. So I asked myself: 'Do I pray to Jesus? Do I pray to the God of the Bible?' And I don't do that. Quite the reverse.'

"Having come face to face with his unbelief, Ludemann has now turned his guns on church bureaucrats and liberal theologians. Many church officials, Ludemann claims, no longer believe in the creeds, but simply 'interpret' the words into meaninglessness. Liberal theologians, he asserts, try to reformulate Christian doctrine into something they can believe, and still claim to be Christians. He now describes liberal theology as 'contemptible.'"

LC would love to hear members of the liberal Jesus Seminar, which comes up with interpretations of Christ that seem aimed at the destruction of the gospel, think about Mohler's piece.

The Use of Force


Victor Davis Hanson, LC's favorite vineyard-owning classicist/historian, points out the contrast in hijacker Mohammed Atta's father Mohammed el-Amir's words immediately after Sept. 11--when the father declared his son could never have done something so awful--and today, when Mohammed el-Amir says he'd like to see more Sept. 11-style attacks.

Davis writes:

"The father of Mohammed Atta is emblematic of this crazy war, and we can learn various lessons from his sad saga.

"First, for all their braggadocio, the Islamists are cowardly, fickle, and attuned to the current political pulse.

"When the West is angry and liable to expel Middle Eastern zealots from its shores, strike dictators and terrorists abroad, and seems unfathomable in its intentions, the Islamists retreat. Thus a shaky al-Amir once assured us after 9/11 that his son was not capable of such mass murder.

"But when we seem complacent, they brag of more killing to come. Imagine an American father giving interviews from his apartment in New York, after his son had just blown up a shrine in Mecca, with impunity promising to subsidize further such terrorist attacks. If our government allowed him to rant and rave like that in such advocacy of mass murder, then we would be no better than he."

A Surprising Papacy?


Amy Welborn of Open Book has ferreted out a nice quote about Benedict's first hundred days from the liberal U.K. Tablet: