Artists’ Free Speech Rights at Stake in Washington Florist Case
An African-American marketer should not be forced to create an advertising campaign for a white supremacist group. Nor should a Muslim graphic designer be required to develop a webpage promoting Jewish teachings, or a Democrat freelance writer be ordered to draft political speeches for Republicans.
Most agree with this, but Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson apparently does not.
Through his advocacy, he is trying to construct a real-life dystopia in which these and similar professionals will be forced to create expressive materials—like advertising campaigns and webpages—to promote, and even celebrate, ideas that violate their convictions.
The most recent evidence of this came when the Washington Supreme Court heard arguments in Ferguson’s case against Barronelle Stutzman.
Bioethicists Want To Purge Christian Doctors
Two academic bioethicists want to bar Christians and those who hold other traditional religious beliefs from practicing medicine, and even from attending medical school. The pair fear, as the National Post summarizes, doctors might “impose their values on patients.”
Of course, it is impossible — not unlikely: impossible — for doctors not to impose their values on patients. Even using a tongue depressor on a patient presupposes certain moral values. (Presumably the doctor is doing this to aid in his goal of healing the patient, a moral value.) Since morality infuses all actions, the only real question is this: what moral values should doctors hold?...
Double Standards on Abortion and Animal Rights
... In order to reach the desired conclusion that abortion is morally permissible while animal use is not, the authors argue that membership in the human species is not the necessary condition for moral rights. Instead, they contend, sentience—the ability to feel pleasure and pain—should be the moral and legal basis for entitlements.
Although they are law professors, the authors seem to forget that the recognition of humanity alone as a basis for human rights entitlement has long been expressly recognized in international human rights instruments to which the United States is a party, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Their reliance on sentience as the only moral criterion seems to be particularly inspired by utilitarianism, notably the writings of Peter Singer. They do not provide any legal justification for sentience as a legal standard, however, and reject fetal pain laws and partial-birth abortion bans, even though they could actually provide support for their own case in favor of sentience.
The rights of sentient animals, the authors argue, should only be limited by considerations of “necessity,” which they present as virtually nonexistent. They reject the idea that eating animal products is necessary for human health; they believe all dietary consumption of animal products is, instead, harmful. Animal medical experimentation, according to the authors, is also unnecessary. Even where an experiment on an animal might produce a breakthrough in the treatment of an otherwise untreatable human disease, it is, in their opinion, morally unacceptable in almost every instance because it uses the lives of other sentient beings “as instruments.”...
Netherlands offers euthanasia for alcoholics
It's certainly less bother than a 12-step program in Alcoholics Anonymous
The Advent season and the Exodus
...For the Psalmist that meant remembering the story of the exodus. He alludes to the plagues on Egypt and he describes the parting of the Red Sea. The exodus story kicks off when God meets Moses at the burning bush. “I have come down,” God tells Moses, “to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians” (Exodus 3 v 8). God came down to reveal himself, to liberate Israel from slavery and to form them as his own people. This was the great defining moment for Israel. And it’s recalling this moment that so radically changes the Psalmist’s perspective on life...
Clinton Foundation received money from the German government prior to the presidential election
..."Yes, and we don’t know what the quantity of these so-called donations were – the payoffs, the bribes. Of course it was an attempt not only to influence the future Hillary administration, they must have assumed it would help her in the campaign too, because of shared staffer and that sort of thing - but maybe much more than that, we don’t know. All we know for sure is that it is crooked; it is a criminal act against the German people, against the American people too for that matter – payoffs from one politician to another using other people’s money. Let’s bring it all out, expose it, let’s do what we can to try to stop it in the future. And I would hope that Trump never sets up a ‘Trump Foundation’ of such a crooked nature."...
Hackers take over Israeli television
...During the disruption, which lasted about half a minute, images of Muslim holy sites were shown with Muslim prayers playing in the background.
Images from the recent fires in Israel were also shown, along with the words "Allah is great" written in Hebrew...