Not-so-parallel paths

One of these days, I’m going to write a more in-depth post on how I regard Brent Rasmussen’s assertion that there is nothing more to atheism than an individual’s non-belief in a deity to be both a) completely correct, and, b) somewhat beside the point.

But not today. Although I have to note that Brent is likely more correct than those who see a fundamental congruence between atheism and science, considering this sort of recent history.

It’s also worth noting that while Catholic Church put the Father of Modern Physics on trial, the atheists of the French Revolution cut off the Father of Modern Chemistry’s head, declaring that they had no need for scientists.

So not only is the link between atheism and science less solid than most might think, it’s demonstrably less complimentary than the one between Christianity and science.

What morality would that be?

It’s interesting how American liberals are always happy to bandy moral imperatives about, so long as they are in direct opposition to traditional Judeo-Christian morality:

The news that Gov. Eliot Spitzer will soon introduce a bill to legalize same-sex marriage — what he calls “a simple moral imperative” — is welcome and could give new national momentum to this important cause….

It should be clear that these religious institutions have the right to refuse to marry anyone within their own religious houses. But they should not be allowed to dictate who can and cannot be married by the state.

What is the basis for this so-called “simple moral imperative” and why, exactly, is it imperative? Why is this morality any more acceptable than the morality which demands honor killings for promiscuous young women? And given that no such institution has ever existed in the history of Mankind, why is it an “important cause”.

In any case, calling the legal union of two men a “marriage” doesn’t make it one no matter how many laws declaring this to be so are passed; Spitzer might as well pass a law declaring that any collection of six fish are henceforth to be known as a “marriage”.

This, conservatives, is the inevitable result of attempting to use state power to define social standards. Live by the state, die by the state. If you don’t bring the state into it in the first place, its power can’t be turned and used against you.

The answer to my first question, of course, can be found in the following sentence. Emphasis added:

The majority leader, Joseph Bruno, has made it clear that he is against same-sex marriage, but he is also a pragmatist whose views on these issues have evolved and become more humane over the years.

I note that once again, we see that pragmatism is merely another word for an absence of principle.

More integrity than courage

It’s not Private Lynch’s fault that those pushing female service in the military used her to concoct a myth of the American Amazon:

Former Pvt. Jessica Lynch leveled similar criticism today at the hearing about the initial accounts given by the Army of her capture in Iraq. Ms. Lynch was rescued from an Iraqi hospital in dramatic fashion by American troops after she suffered serious injuries and was captured in an ambush of her truck convoy in March 2003.

In her testimony this morning, she said she did not understand why the Army put out a story that she went down firing at the enemy.

“I’m confused why they lied,” she said.

Mr. Tillman and Ms. Lynch appeared at a hearing called to examine why “inaccurate accounts of these two incidents” were put out by the administration. Today’s session was part of the Democratically-controlled Congress’s effort to hold the Bush Administration accountable for its conduct of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and other issues.

Ms. Lynch said she could not know why she was depicted as a “Rambo from West Virginia,” when in fact she was riding in a truck, not fighting, when she was injured.

She might be confused. I’m not.