What’s Wrong with the World

The men signed of the cross of Christ go gaily in the dark.

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What’s Wrong with the World is dedicated to the defense of what remains of Christendom, the civilization made by the men of the Cross of Christ. Athwart two hostile Powers we stand: the Jihad and Liberalism...read more

Recent Comments

The zero-sum game extends to "creedal discrimination"

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 2, 16:34:

Dunsany, Here is FIRE on viewpoint discrimination and student fees at state institutions. http://www.thefire.org/pdfs/student-fees-3.pdf FIRE explains in the following link that precedents directly related to viewpoint discrimination often do not _directly_ raise constitutional issues at private colleges: http://www.thefire.org/fire-guides/fires-guide-to-student-fees-funding-and-legal-equality-on-campus/fires-guide-to-student-fees-funding-and-legal-equality-on-campus-full-text/#Contents6 However, FIRE ... [More]

The zero-sum game extends to "creedal discrimination"

Comment posted by Dunsany on Sep 2, 15:58:

If they don't apply to religious colleges that control behavior much more strictly what makes you think they apply here? Which cases are you talking about? As far as I know private universities do not have to remain content neutral. I'm fairly sure that you are just wrong about this, but maybe I'm not familiar with the relevant caselaw. Hillsdale stopped accepting federal aid money because it did not wish to record the race of its students, or so I understand. ... [More]

The zero-sum game extends to "creedal discrimination"

Comment posted by Paul J Cella on Sep 2, 14:29:

Ha! Only thing less likely than the aerial pig display is Vandy winning the SEC in football. ... [More]

The shame of PBS

Comment posted by Tully Borland on Sep 2, 13:23:

"arguing that it's "just" a difference of the amount of time. No, it really isn't. The person who is on the rampage right now is doing something quite different, right before your eyes, from the person who is sitting in his building plotting his crime in twenty-four hours." I agree. The difference in the amount of time makes no moral difference, per se. It is what is going on (or not going on) in the amount of time (the plotting and the like), that makes the difference. "Well, first of all, it makes ... [More]

The shame of PBS

Comment posted by Tully Borland on Sep 2, 13:06:

Tony, Those are some good distinctions to keep in mind. Thanks. Sticking with William Luse's illustration (ignoring Tiller, premeditation and the like), why would it be wrong to kill the abortionist? Answer: Because abortion is a legally protected act and abortionists have a legally protected status conferred on them by a morally legitimate political authority. Unlike school shootings, abortion is a protected action, thus citizens have no moral right in the society to use lethal force if an abortion is ... [More]

The zero-sum game extends to "creedal discrimination"

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 2, 12:33:

Warren says outright that the school can make its rules. She just disagrees with the rules. But let me add that Vanderbilt accepts loads of federal money. Such acceptance has heretofore frequently been interpreted to subject the school in question to various constitutional limitations on the extent to which they can engage in content discrimination. Whether I agree with those precedents or not, the precedents exist and could well apply in this case. Unless Vandy wants to go Hillsdale and give up all federal ... [More]

The shame of PBS

Comment posted by Tully Borland on Sep 2, 12:21:

Bill (if I may), #1 "You don't know what he's going to do in an hour. He might repent and give up the practice altogether. I think Tully, understandably, is tempted to apply the rules of combat engagement to the civil criminal code." I'm not sure whether my knowing or not makes a moral difference. At a school shooting, even if I have good reasons to believe--reasons which fall short of producing knowledge-- that a shooter is going to keep shooting it's permissible to take action. (Imagine a situation wh ... [More]

The zero-sum game extends to "creedal discrimination"

Comment posted by Dunsany on Sep 2, 11:33:

I don't really like this policy, but Vanderbilt is a private university. I don't think that you should be too worried about it deciding how student organizations will be constructed given that many religious colleges couldn't exist in their current form without far more stringent restrictions on student behavior. This girl and her group can meet "unofficially" off campus or on campus and stop worrying about this. They're over 18, they're adults. They don't need a professor to hold their hand during their me ... [More]

The zero-sum game extends to "creedal discrimination"

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 2, 11:30:

Titus, I did hear about it. It just takes me a while to write about things. Sometimes I never get around to writing about things at all. In this case, the Warren article is new and shows an interesting perspective on it--that of a progressive Christian. ... [More]

The zero-sum game extends to "creedal discrimination"

Comment posted by Phil Weingart on Sep 2, 10:42:

Paul Cella wrote: Mr. Weingart, surely you are not alleging that Lydia McGrew has fallen prey to "the same impulses as Ms. Warren," simply because the former has declined to ascribe Vandy's policy to direct demonic influence? Mr. Cella, yes, indirectly. The impulse is the one that says "The object of my analysis is, at his core, human and generally consistent, at least in his own view. Surely he will not resort to X," X being an evil so vile and so inconsistent with the human's stated principles as to r ... [More]

The zero-sum game extends to "creedal discrimination"

Comment posted by Paul J Cella on Sep 2, 09:37:

Mr. Weingart, surely you are not alleging that Lydia McGrew has fallen prey to "the same impulses as Ms. Warren," simply because the former has declined to ascribe Vandy's policy to direct demonic influence? Speaking for myself, I suspect demonic influence has indeed played a role in the rise of the modern Left; certainly anyone familiar with the wickedness at the heart of the pro-abortion faction can have little doubt of that; but it is a bit of a stretch to take this opportunity to admonish Lydia for bei ... [More]

The zero-sum game extends to "creedal discrimination"

Comment posted by Titus on Sep 2, 09:13:

Lydia, did you miss this story when it first broke a couple of years back? Vanderbilt went full-bore Henry VIII, Act of Supremacy and dissolution of the monasteries, on its student groups. The Oath of Nondiscrimination they've taken to making student-group organizers sign is a study in self-parody. And as Mrs. Warren describes in her comments excerpted on Rod Dreher's site, it wasn't just about elections (in large part because of the requirement that everyone sign the pledge, or oath, or what have you). ... [More]

The zero-sum game extends to "creedal discrimination"

Comment posted by Phil Weingart on Sep 2, 09:13:

Lydia wrote: I'm a little surprised myself that Vanderbilt took matters in this totally anti-creedal direction...I would have expected instead that Vanderbilt and other secular colleges would permit a requirement that the leaders of student groups believe in the resurrection or the Trinity but that they would require the groups to state explicitly that they would make no restrictions whatsoever on the sexual behavior of their student group leaders...Beyond that, yeah, you could require that they believe in ... [More]

The zero-sum game extends to "creedal discrimination"

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 2, 08:17:

I don't know why, but I hadn't fully realized that Christian colleges and universities do have 501c3 status. For some reason I thought of that as other organizations or charities. But come to think of it the Bob Jones precedent concerning race makes it pretty clear that that is a weapon on the arsenal. And the homosexual activists do make an equation to race. ... [More]

What is Murder?

Comment posted by Tony on Sep 2, 05:30:

I just realized that some people might imagine I was trying to define the "intrinsically evil" act of murder by getting the "intrinsically" out of it. Not at all: there are plenty of murders that are wrong not by reason of the object of the act (the person really did deserve to be killed), but because of the intention or circumstances. The category "murder" is larger than the acts of killing that are intrinsically evil. We can and should be horrified at ANY murder, even ones that are not those whose evi ... [More]

The zero-sum game extends to "creedal discrimination"

Comment posted by Tony on Sep 1, 22:40:

Now this is all an issue with a Christian group trying to mix it up with a secular institution. Eventually, one has to think that the pink nazis are going to try to extend their reach to the Christian universities and colleges. Easy mark: 501(c)(3) status, going after their contributions as deductible. There are already signs that this is in the works, it's just a matter of time. It will be incredibly hard for most religious colleges to operate without donations, and it will be nearly impossible to ke ... [More]

The shame of PBS

Comment posted by William Luse on Sep 1, 22:23:

Surely the reason for why it's wrong to shoot an abortionist qua abortionist (if there such a reason accessible to us) doesn't depend on whether he's going to do it now or in an hour. I'm afraid it does. You don't know what he's going to do in an hour. He might repent and give up the practice altogether. I think Tully, understandably, is tempted to apply the rules of combat engagement to the civil criminal code. In combat, it doesn't matter what his enemy is going to do in an hour. Eventually he will try ... [More]

The zero-sum game extends to "creedal discrimination"

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 1, 21:44:

Right, nobody should be assuming this is anything other than deliberate. It's entirely deliberate. ... [More]

The shame of PBS

Comment posted by Tully Borland on Sep 1, 19:42:

Tony, I've been out and about. I just now VERY quickly skimmed what you've said. I'll mull this over. Thanks. ... [More]

The shame of PBS

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 1, 18:46:

Oh, one more point: It's also wrong for the *state* to kill someone because of what he is expected to do tomorrow. The justifiable rationale for the death penalty *is* retributivist. We really, really do not want to go there: "Our computer predicts that you will commit a crime tomorrow, Mr. Jones, so we are bumping you off tonight." And no, it wouldn't matter how accurate the computer was. That just goes to show the vast gulf that lies between actually stopping someone in medias res when he is committing a ... [More]

The zero-sum game extends to "creedal discrimination"

Comment posted by Scott W. on Sep 1, 18:00:

Eventually, if you have any principles at all, they will get to something you aren't willing to compromise on, so be ready. To do otherwise is to pretend the Enemy doesn't know precisely where to stick the dagger. ... [More]

The shame of PBS

Comment posted by Tony on Sep 1, 17:24:

I'm sure you'd agree with me that it's permissible to violate an unjust law, even if the law is promulgated from an overall just authority. TB, I don't think you have stated that quite rightly. It is surely true, as you say, that a law that is unjust has problems. But more is needed in order to violate it morally. For one thing, there is a difference between unjust laws (a) that permit you to do something that the law ought not permit, and (b) laws that require you to do something that you ought not b ... [More]

The shame of PBS

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 1, 17:02:

What is it about the immediacy that makes a moral difference? Well, first of all, it makes a difference to whether it's vigilantism or not. To my mind that's obvious from the ordinary use of the word. To try to define it as "not vigilantism" for someone to gun down an abortionist in church, and to base this terminological statement on the claim that his intent was to prevent more abortions, is ludicrous. It's a paradigm case of vigilantism, and that intent is a perfectly plausible intent which doesn't chan ... [More]

The shame of PBS

Comment posted by Tully Borland on Sep 1, 16:49:

Lydia, What is it about the immediacy that makes a moral difference? Someone is in a school and has just stabbed one kid and seems about to stab another. I shoot the stabber. Someone is a KNOWN abortionist and it's KNOWN when the next abortion will be (stick with this hypothetical, I don't want to get distracted with things like "inquiries made"). It's tomorrow. It's the same pattern as it always is and nobody ever does anything about it. He locks himself in his clinic for 24 hrs. before an abort ... [More]

The shame of PBS

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 1, 16:26:

So try to bring this back to what I said earlier, might it be that immediacy is not the issue but intention. The vigilante is intending to punish the abortionist by means of shooting him (and intending to shoot and kill him to boot) whereas the veteran is trying to stop more murders. No, because it would still be wrong if the assassin said, "Let's see. I have made inquiries when acting as a sidewalk counselor, and Jennifer is planning to have an abortion with so-and-so tomorrow at 8 a.m. But Jennifer is fe ... [More]

The shame of PBS

Comment posted by Tully Borland on Sep 1, 15:39:

Lydia "Your school shooting example makes little sense. You wouldn't _go_ onto the school property. How are you even seeing this shooting? It's taking place inside the school! An example of that kind makes sense only when someone _has_ the firearm and is already _in_ the school and thus sees the shooting. In that case, acting in defense of oneself and those around oneself is fine and is not an instance of vigilantism. In fact, it's actually legal." Now, hold on a minute. It's perfectly easy to imagine a s ... [More]

The shame of PBS

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 1, 15:19:

TB, I think you are implying that there is no such thing as the wrongness of vigilantism, or that its wrongness must be subsumed under some other principle. Now, I disagree with that. I think vigilantism is "its own thing," not reducible to some other, broader description. Obviously, as Tony implies, it doesn't apply (or not much) as a category in a situation of true anarchy, where there is no duly constituted authority operating. The point isn't that vigilantism is wrong *simply* because you don't know e ... [More]

The shame of PBS

Comment posted by TB on Sep 1, 15:16:

Tony (again), "If a drug lord is generally running around sending out henchmen to kill enemies (among his other activities), and you happen to see him on the street and happen to have a gun, you can't just take out your gun and plug him. That's definitively vigilantism, and it opposes the principle of the rule of law. It means you can judge the things that are the place of the public authority to judge." I'm not sure how much that example helps. In the case of the abortion clinic one knows from ubiquitou ... [More]

The shame of PBS

Comment posted by TB on Sep 1, 14:55:

(My previous comment was addressed to Lydia) Tony, Yeah, I've been thinking similar thoughts. Perhaps the impermissibility does in some way have to do with whether there is a legitimate (overall, just) authority who has oversight regrading the matter. I'm not sure how to spell that relation out, though, at the moment. Here is an example to illustrate my puzzlement: Let's say I have a concealed firearm. I see a shooting at a school. I know that it's probable that there's a law that no firearms are to ... [More]

The shame of PBS

Comment posted by TB on Sep 1, 14:38:

I don't know. Why should immediacy make a moral difference? One reason might be that if a threat is immediate then, if there's no plausible recourse to alternative non-violent actions, then violent actions are permissible to stop the threat. But then it might be thought that it's not the immediacy, per se, that makes a moral difference, but the plausible availability of alternative courses of action. It's the reasonable inevitability that makes the difference. So if ordinary citizen C has excellent re ... [More]

The shame of PBS

Comment posted by Tony on Sep 1, 14:30:

I suppose immediacy, here, does make a moral difference but I'm not sure how much (though perhaps enough to move an act from impermissible to permissible!) If he got done with church, headed to the office, and was about to shove some scissors into a brain, is it morally permissible to stop him by lethal force? Obviously there are limits based on immediacy. If a drug lord is generally running around sending out henchmen to kill enemies (among his other activities), and you happen to see him on the street an ... [More]

The shame of PBS

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 1, 12:55:

Immediacy makes a difference to whether it's vigilantism or not. And pro-lifers shouldn't be in the position of immediacy anyway. In other words, they shouldn't be taking a job as abortion clinic nurses, etc., who are going to be standing right there when it's happening. ... [More]

The shame of PBS

Comment posted by TB on Sep 1, 11:59:

Lydia, I never thought that sentence was meant to be a treatise. OK, so defense of an innocent from an immediate threat is morally permissible, but shooting a serial killer in between killings is not (I don't know the Tiller case well, I'm guessing he wasn't retired and was still practicing but if that's wrong then make this a hypothetical). I suppose immediacy, here, does make a moral difference but I'm not sure how much (though perhaps enough to move an act from impermissible to permissible!) If h ... [More]

The shame of PBS

Comment posted by Lydia on Sep 1, 11:14:

Obviously, the line about lethal violence wasn't meant to be a treatise. Defense of the innocent from an immediate threat, as in the case of happening to be armed when a school shooter shows up, is a different matter from vigilantism, for the latter can involve hunting someone down when he's just standing around at church and killing him for something he did before. And in fact the law actually recognizes "defense of others" as a category. But that doesn't apply to assassination. ... [More]

The shame of PBS

Comment posted by TB on Sep 1, 11:00:

"Only the duly-constituted public authority may undertake lethal violence to restrain wickedness." I was sort of surprised with this line. I can understand why vengeance or retributive justice should be left in the hands of authorities, but why think that restraining wickedness by lethally violent means should be left in the hands of a public authority--especially if the authorities are, say, Nazi's? Even if we restrict ourselves to legitimate (and not just de facto) authorities, why think that some non ... [More]

On Paul Copan's attempted solution to the Canaanite slaughters

Comment posted by Lydia on Aug 31, 17:12:

Actually, Tony and I get along great and seem to understand each other quite well even when we disagree and even when our arguments do not change each other's minds. As here. But by "leaving personalities out of it" I meant something like "not getting personal" and "ceasing to make negative comments about other persons on the thread" since I do not think this is advancing the understanding of topics. I myself often find Step2 cryptic, though I think I followed him here. Anyway, I'm going to exercise the l ... [More]

On Paul Copan's attempted solution to the Canaanite slaughters

Comment posted by Zippy on Aug 31, 16:32:

It isn't an issue of personality, it is an issue of capacity. Tony lacks the capacity to even have a conversation with someone who doesn't share (or at least grant) his wrongheaded view of things. You can let him beg the question, and project his own views as extrapolations onto things that you've said; you can let him act as the official interpreter of Aquinas, 'solving' underdetermination in favor of Tony's personal views since Aquinas isn't around to tell us what he really thinks. But you can't actual ... [More]

On Paul Copan's attempted solution to the Canaanite slaughters

Comment posted by Lydia on Aug 31, 15:07:

Gents, please. Could we get the personalities _back_ out of it? I mean, I've tried like the dickens (or is it Dickens?) not to be heavy-handed or to stifle debate here, but... ... [More]

On Paul Copan's attempted solution to the Canaanite slaughters

Comment posted by Zippy on Aug 31, 14:40:

Tony: For your information, Zippy, you are making assumptions that are insufficiently supported by the evidence available. Not at all. You and I have years of history. Disagreeing is one thing, and is as common as rainfall. But you tell lies about and mischaracterize other peoples' positions, have done so for many years, and I'm not the only one who has noticed it. It is why I consider this blog hostile territory, even though I was a founding contributor -- that, and Lydia's knife in my back when I called ... [More]

On Paul Copan's attempted solution to the Canaanite slaughters

Comment posted by Zippy on Aug 31, 14:29:

Lydia: Yes, it is fair to say that I see some of your approach to some things as positivistic. I'm pretty sure I read From a Deflationary Point of View at either your or Tim's suggestion, for example. It has been a while, and I don't want to impute anything to anyone inappropriately, including the essayists in the book. But my recollection is that, while I have some sympathy for the 'cut through the postmodern BS' attitude, in the end it rhymes with the whole verificationist/positivist approach of dismissi ... [More]