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

Hidden in Plain View: Book update

Comment posted by Lydia on Feb 25, 15:10:

Luke has used Paul's letters to build up a very sophisticated mental model which enables him to casually drop things into the narrative in such a way as to make it look as if he was really there. And I argue that *that* is enormously improbable because of all the ways in which Acts differs from the letters. Sometimes there are alleged "contradictions," which the author of Acts (if he had access to the letters at all) has taken no trouble to smooth over or avoid. Sometimes there are just fairly wide variati ... [More]

Hidden in Plain View: Book update

Comment posted by David Moreland on Feb 25, 14:26:

Right, I think I get it. In the case of Luke and Paul, there are two possibilities: either Luke actually knew Paul, or Luke has used Paul's letters to build up a very sophisticated mental model which enables him to casually drop things into the narrative in such a way as to make it look as if he was really there. I'm no expert on this but I would suggest that the latter hypothesis is horrendously improbable - especially for an ancient writer. Bring on the book! ... [More]

Hidden in Plain View: Book update

Comment posted by Tony on Feb 25, 14:01:

Oh boy oh boy oh boy. I can't wait to get my copy. ... [More]

Two unrelated links

Comment posted by Tony on Feb 25, 13:58:

Wow, GRA, thanks for the details. I have heard of this sort of thing before, but usually in generic terms, so it is nice to be able to paint in the outlines with color. And boy is it intolerant and un-diverse. It's funny how people who insist on tolerance and diversity can't see how they construct their own limits to that, and then they get to attack everyone who doesn't live according to THEIR sense of tolerance or "empathy". One man's empathy is another man's sin, (either that of cooperation with ev ... [More]

Hidden in Plain View: Book update

Comment posted by Lydia on Feb 25, 13:11:

I'm afraid it does get a bit formal. Also, since I'm working on writing this right now for possible professional publication, I want to be careful, because professional publications are supposed to be blind reviewed. So I don't want to be putting a bunch of stuff out there that is searchable. If you shoot me an e-mail to my address under my author page (see the sidebar) I can maybe send you some of the relevant material that way. Also, I would raise a caution about the difficulty of counting undesigned coi ... [More]

Hidden in Plain View: Book update

Comment posted by David Moreland on Feb 25, 10:16:

Thanks. I'm not looking for anything too formal; I just want a clear sense of why undesigned coincidences are less expected on the assumption that the material is fictional. If I can also get some sense that the number of coincidences in the biblical material is particularly unexpected, so much the better. ... [More]

Hidden in Plain View: Book update

Comment posted by Lydia on Feb 25, 08:56:

There is, in fact, a probabilistic analysis, but there is no probability theory in the book. The book is meant for Christian laymen, New Testament scholars, seminarians, etc. By "a way of quantifying," I wouldn't mean that the precise probabilities involved would drop out of the heavens, or out of the calculation, but that the *reason* for the probabilistic difference can be probabilistically analyzed. I published several papers in professional journals last summer that are related to the probabilistic reas ... [More]

Hidden in Plain View: Book update

Comment posted by David Moreland on Feb 25, 08:04:

Sounds interesting. Is there a Bayesian analysis of the coincidences? Presumably, you are more likely to find undesigned coincidences in material that is based on fact than in material that is completely fictional but is there any way of quantifying this? ... [More]

Two unrelated links

Comment posted by GRA on Feb 25, 01:12:

@ DR84 & Tony: I just got done reading the assigned chapter in my clinical interviewing text (for my MSW program). For examples, the author tends to single out social workers who are male and/or Christian, using them to show either incompetence or discriminatory actions. One example showed a male, though filled with good intentions, being culturally incompetent when greeting a young Pakistani woman (handshakes are seen as rude based on religion). In couple of others he used Christians. The first to show ... [More]

Hidden in Plain View: Book update

Comment posted by Lydia on Feb 24, 20:17:

Heh, nope. That jigsaw puzzle exists only in cyberspace, where it was created by a collaboration among a graphic designer, me, and the publishers. ... [More]

Moral absolutes and apostasy

Comment posted by Sean K. on Feb 24, 20:07:

I think that this is one reason vows were public affairs in OT times - a fact that puts Jephaph's daughter's coming out of his house in a new light to most (she wanted the person "sacrificed," not literally of course, to be her). That way people would know, okay, if you don't do this thing which is otherwise fine, you've acted wrongly (or, perhaps if it was already bad, you've actedly worse yet). The only thing I can think about that denial of God thing in my example above is that God has a right to view t ... [More]

Hidden in Plain View: Book update

Comment posted by Sean K. on Feb 24, 19:44:

Cool. Having read some of what you've written on undersigned coincidences on this blog and elsewhere, and admittedly only a little of the older literature on the subject, I'm looking forward to reading that. A question, though, does it also come with the jigsaw puzzle that is pictured on the cover? ... [More]

Throwing Out the Baby to Keep the Bathwater

Comment posted by Lydia on Feb 24, 18:39:

Huh, I never hear of any being converted now. I maybe need to get out more. ... [More]

Throwing Out the Baby to Keep the Bathwater

Comment posted by Tony on Feb 24, 17:59:

• 84 percent of operating charter schools are start-up schools and 16% are conversion schools. • Of the first 100 charter schools (through 1995), 40 were conversion schools. The Ins and Outs of Converting a Public School Into a Charter Public School http://www.mymcharterlaw.com/pdf/The_Ins_and_Outs_of_Converting_a_Public_School_to_a_Charter_(PCM%20and%20LAC).pdf I agree about not starting a school as a charter school. ... [More]

Throwing Out the Baby to Keep the Bathwater

Comment posted by Lydia on Feb 24, 17:07:

I see it as at least plausible that making what was until recently an ordinary public school into a charter school Subject to correction, my strong impression is that charter schools are always started anew, not started by turning a former ordinary public school into a charter school. Sometimes a college will start one up. I believe Hillsdale has a "franchise" group of charter schools in, of all places, Phoenix. Their existence, I agree, is for people who are determined to (or can only afford to) send the ... [More]

Moral absolutes and apostasy

Comment posted by Tony on Feb 24, 13:41:

Sean, There are all sorts of snake-eating-tail difficulties with subjectively ascertained guilt for actions that are partly bad but not all bad, especially from interior conditions rather than exterior ones. It is probably not possible to sort out all of them. However, it is possible to say some generic things. (1) A person's honest (invincible) judgment of conscience that "this act is immoral" - even though it is simply in error - binds him in conscience: if he does it, he is guilty of defying the jud ... [More]

Two unrelated links

Comment posted by Tony on Feb 23, 23:10:

Here's to hoping he gets some success. I tend to doubt it, but stranger things have happened. There's no doubt that the LTXKNVQs are creating hostile work environments - that's their objective. They want everyone scared to death of saying anything that MIGHT be taken as offending them. ... [More]

Two unrelated links

Comment posted by DR84 on Feb 23, 11:38:

Have you heard about Gary Suttles discrimination lawsuit? He is suing for hostile workplace for being required to watch a pro LGBT video. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/02/21/after-refusing-to-watch-lgbt-diversity-video-social-security-judge-sues-to-avoid-being-fired/ ... [More]

Taking Another Bite At The Alt-Right

Comment posted by Nice Marmot on Feb 23, 11:26:

Amen! ... [More]

Throwing Out the Baby to Keep the Bathwater

Comment posted by Tony on Feb 22, 21:57:

There is much to what you say. In the corrosive environment of today, it is very problematic to start down that road. My own experience is somewhat more muted than yours, though. I have kids in 2 different Catholic colleges, Thomas Aquinas College and Christendom College. Now, Catholic colleges and universities have for the most part covered themselves in ignominy in this regard, having long ago bought into the mindless liberal claptrap. However, almost universally, they did it WITHOUT the kind of p ... [More]

Taking Another Bite At The Alt-Right

Comment posted by Tony on Feb 22, 21:35:

I would add that the corrective to a lot of this stuff is within the realm of Christian businessmen themselves. They need to be reassured that "How much is enough?" is a perfectly reasonable question to ask when it comes to income, profits, etc. Yes, I would say the same. And it fits perfectly with my final comment: that not nearly enough is done to promote good behavior instead of demanding it. It would be nice to see government cooperate with leagues of Christian businessmen to foster and encourage su ... [More]

RIP, Lieutenant General Hal Moore

Comment posted by Neil on Feb 22, 16:13:

Nice write up. I was aware of the the background to the movie but I'm going to have a second go round with the flick and read the book down the road. ... [More]

Two unrelated links

Comment posted by DR84 on Feb 21, 23:38:

"This raises the following macabre thought experiment: If prostitution is legalized in a venue that has specially protected status for "sexual orientation," can a prostitute be fined for refusing to have sex with would-be clients of the same sex? Makes your head spin, doesn't it?" In many states it already is the case that a wedding photographer who refused to take photos of two men or two women romantically kissing each other will face fines, and based on the type of cases that have been decided so far pr ... [More]

Moral absolutes and apostasy

Comment posted by Sean K. on Feb 21, 20:55:

Fine, but surely there are all sorts of other ways to change baby Hitler's outcome than just KILLING him. I've always thought that when I hear people talking about the baby-Hitler scenario. One of the reasons I was interested in whether one can make a private denial of God or not concerns the distinction between internal and external denials of God. Presumably Peter didn't deny Jesus internally, though, Judas did, in addition to his external betrayal. Would the man in my example be denying God internal ... [More]

Throwing Out the Baby to Keep the Bathwater

Comment posted by Lydia on Feb 21, 19:14:

But if we can improve things somewhat, I am willing to live with interim measures until we rediscover the beauty of having families and neighborhoods and towns in control of their own schools. I agree with your emphasis upon the direction things are going. Sometimes x is better than where we are. However, in the case of vouchers, I'll be frank: I believe they would be *going* in the wrong direction. Here's why: A voucher would be offered to a Christian school that was not previously accepting any state/fe ... [More]

Throwing Out the Baby to Keep the Bathwater

Comment posted by Tony on Feb 21, 19:03:

I believe that it would not do so, and therefore I am opposed to vouchers for practical reasons--the state control just isn't worth it. Ultimately, I don't want to see state control of education. Period. But if we can improve things somewhat, I am willing to live with interim measures until we rediscover the beauty of having families and neighborhoods and towns in control of their own schools. I admit the problem with vouchers being still subject to state control: in practice (at least at the moment) ... [More]

Two unrelated links

Comment posted by Lydia on Feb 21, 16:11:

But a court would never hypothesize that this might happen and allow him to sue the clinic before it did. That would be purely speculative. Sure, but the clinic's lawyers should (if they're smart) be thinking about all of those types of possible scenarios, since there *are* cases on record of custody disputes over embryos, and that could easily happen and create a lawsuit to a client (the clinic). And therefore saying, "Look, you need to put this in the language that they sign that they understand they wil ... [More]

Two unrelated links

Comment posted by Titus on Feb 21, 14:07:

Actually, I'm pretty certain he does. Cryo-preserving them all this time presumably isn't free, and I would assume it would be his expense or his and his wife's, as they had a choice what to do with them. Unless that was covered by the original IVF fee. I was, to be entirely frank, assuming that they weren't charging him something extra. Sure, if they said "surprise, here are extra embryos, now pay," that would be different. Although since he wasn't legally obligated to pay to have them preserved, it's sti ... [More]

Throwing Out the Baby to Keep the Bathwater

Comment posted by Lydia on Feb 21, 11:26:

There's no question that charter schools will be neutered in precisely the ways that these guys want them to be. *Muslim* charter schools have sometimes tried to fly under the radar but have been caught, not that I really am overly thrilled about Muslim parochial schools teaching Koran and sharia being paid for by my tax dollars. But in general, you can't have a really distinctively Christian charter school. Charter schools are public schools, period. I often remind parents of this. Their main advantages ar ... [More]

Taking Another Bite At The Alt-Right

Comment posted by Nice Marmot on Feb 21, 11:19:

I agree with most if not all of what you say here. I would add that the corrective to a lot of this stuff is within the realm of Christian businessmen themselves. They need to be reassured that "How much is enough?" is a perfectly reasonable question to ask when it comes to income, profits, etc. Likewise, the Christian voices on the right should make it clear that it is no blow against economic liberty to raise such questions, especially when older and wiser voices than our own were quite unanimous in the ... [More]

Two unrelated links

Comment posted by DR84 on Feb 21, 02:23:

It is quite something how one sided the court ruled in the Barronelle case. They threw out the act/orientation distinction by saying "same sex marriage" is fundamental to a homosexual orientation. Yet they had no problems affirming an act/belief distinction. So Barronelle is free to believe but not free to act on what she believes. I get this is not the first time a court has come to these conclusions, but it never gets any less bizarre. Even disregarding the Constitution explicitly mentions religion an ... [More]

Two unrelated links

Comment posted by Tony on Feb 20, 16:51:

I don't mean "forced" in the legal sense, but by pressure from outside: in a PR sense, for example. I don't know if Trump could make a "you should recuse yourself" claim stick, but at least it couldn't be hidden by the media. ... [More]

Two unrelated links

Comment posted by Lydia on Feb 20, 14:20:

Or are forced to recuse themselves on edgy cases? They can't be forced. What's-her-name (was it Sotomayer?) should have recused herself on Obergefell after officiating at a homosexual "wedding," but she didn't. ... [More]

Two unrelated links

Comment posted by Tony on Feb 20, 13:13:

Matthew, that's horrible! Who could have imagined such a thing? The outrage to decency this manifests is shocking: any half-way moral community would rise up en masse against an official trying to pull this. That's the sort of thing that used to lead to tar and feathering. I would think the LGBT activists will be thrilled if the court takes this case. That alone would indicate the court is ready for another landmark "gay rights" case. Making sexual orientation a protected status federally is the next ... [More]

Two unrelated links

Comment posted by Lydia on Feb 20, 13:01:

More to Titus's comment above about the extra embryos: I'm really, really betting that, "We may create up to x extra embryos" was somewhere in the diamond-point print, not that the lab was brazenly just not informing the people in any sense of "inform." Even if one doesn't have a pro-life view of the nature of the embryo, there are about five different things one can do with extra embryos: Destroy them, donate them to science, freeze them indefinitely, keep implanting them oneself, or donate them to someon ... [More]

Two unrelated links

Comment posted by Lydia on Feb 20, 12:57:

Yeah, that was some years ago. It was a real case, though we never heard the end of it. I'm going to guess that the unemployment board backed down rather than actually cutting her benefits. But in Germany, who knows? I grant the similarity with my hypothetical case. If we treat prostitution as like any other job or service, then why wouldn't all the usual laws apply? ... [More]

Taking Another Bite At The Alt-Right

Comment posted by Tony on Feb 20, 11:46:

It seems to me that the pre-modern commentary on usury would be useful here, as the principles therein could perhaps be extrapolated to profit-seeking in general. In a way I agree, and in a way not. That is, I see the sense of this, generically, but I am not confident it actually works well specifically for the usury problem. If you look at all of the ancient texts on usury and interest-taking, some of them seemed to condemn taking interest of ANY amount or kind, but there are lot of them that seem to be ... [More]

Two unrelated links

Comment posted by Matthew on Feb 20, 10:59:

On your point about prostitution: I recently saw an article online (sorry I could not find the link)about an unemployed woman in Germany. Since prostitution is legal and she was being offered a job at a brothel she face the choice of either becoming a prostitute or having her unemployment benefits cut because she refused a legitimate job that she could do. Just WOW! ... [More]

Taking Another Bite At The Alt-Right

Comment posted by Nice Marmot on Feb 20, 08:23:

"it did not take 17th and 18th century thinkers to come up with such a pursuit, men of avarice have done so since men were subject to original sin. You may be right that it had not been successfully disguised under a bland name to avoid censure until the 18th century." Yes, that, and along with the lack of disguise the general societal consensus that sheer wealth-seeking was a "low" pursuit if not downright immoral. I largely agree with what you say about the semantics of the issue. It's important in thes ... [More]

Taking Another Bite At The Alt-Right

Comment posted by Tony on Feb 19, 23:09:

Adjustments were made in the late middle ages, which accompanied the rise of commerce, but these still assumed that avarice was a vice and that wealth-getting qua wealth-getting was inherently morally problematic. If you mean "wealth-getting as an end in itself", then yes, I agree that it was inherently morally prblematic. Of course it did not take 17th and 18th century thinkers to come up with such a pursuit, men of avarice have done so since men were subject to original sin. You may be right that it h ... [More]