Tag: Politics (home)

Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.

permalink source: Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
tags: Politics

In our civilization, and under our republican form of government, intelligence is so highly honored that it is rewarded by exemption from the cares of office.

permalink source: Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
tags: Politics

Peace, n.: In international affairs, a period of cheating between two periods of fighting.

permalink source: Ambrose Bierce, "The Devil's Dictionary"
tags: Peace, Politics

And when we Americans speak seriously about politics, we mean that our principles of freedom and equality and the rights based on them are rational and everywhere applicable. World War II was really an educational project undertaken to force those who did not accept these principles to do so.

permalink source: Allan Bloom, Closing of the American Mind 153
tags: Politics

MacDonald has the gift of compressing the largest amount of words into the smallest amount of thoughts.

permalink source: Winston Churchill
tags: Clarity, Insults, Politics

I gather, young man, that you wish to be a Member of Parliament. The first lesson that you must learn is, when I call for statistics about the rate of infant mortality, what I want is proof that fewer babies died when I was Prime Minister than when anyone else was Prime Minister. That is a political statistic.

permalink source: Winston Churchill
tags: Politics, Statistics

The difference between a misfortune and a calamity? If Gladstone fell into the Thames, it would be a misfortune. But if someone dragged him out again, it would be a calamity.

permalink source: Benjamin Disraeli
tags: Disaster, Insults, Politics

The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.

permalink source: Albert Einstein
tags: Genius, Politics

Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone

permalink source: Keynes
tags: Depravity, Philosophy, Politics, Capitalism

Many Christians are reluctant to become involved in public affairs be cause politics is a "dirty business", but the same people are generally quite happy to go into business life, which is in its way just as "dirty". If the dubious practices and moral compromises of every walk of life were dissected and made known with the glare of publicity which shines on the activities of politicians, then those who like to think that they can keep their hands clean would have very few professions to choose from.

permalink source: John Lawrence, Hard Facts
tags: Politics

Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives.

permalink source: John Stuart Mill
tags: Politics

Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote.

permalink source: G J Nathan
tags: Politics

I view Louisiana as a misplaced Caribbean state. A bannana republic, really. Politics is entertainment.

permalink source: Frank Perez
tags: Humor, Politics

A conservative is one who admires radicals centuries after they're dead.

permalink source: Leo C. Rosten
tags: Humor, Politics

Democracy is a form of government that substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.

permalink source: G.B. Shaw
tags: Politics

Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it.

permalink source: George Bernard Shaw
tags: Folly, Politics

In America, any boy may become president and I suppose that's just one of the risks he takes.

permalink source: Adlai Stevenson
tags: Humor, Politics

People who love sausage and respect the law should never watch either of them being made.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Humor, Politics

The amount of time required to complete a government project is precisely equal to the length of time already spent on it.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Efficiency, Humor, Politics

Whether we like it or not, or system is not so much one of checks and balances as it is one of checks, and checks, and sometimes cash.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Humor, Politics, Greed

What is the difference between Capitalism and Communism? With Capitalism, man exploits man. With Communism, it's the other way around. Under Communism speech is strictly regulated, so opinion goes unheard. Under Capitalism speech is totally free, so opinion goes unheard.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Humor, Politics

We found the following in this month's (sometime in 99--Glen) Atlantic Monthly Word Watch column in "a selection of terms that have newly been coined, that have recently acquired new currency, or that have taken on new meanings, compiled by the executive editor of the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language": "Zarf, meaning unknown: "Effective immediately the term Zarf will be treated as UNCLASSIFIED when standing alone or in conjunction with a classification marking. This action applied ONLY to the term Zarf. Information protected by the Zarf codeword will continue to require protection (National Security Agency email reprinted in the Washington Post Magazine)" According to the Atlantic Monthly this is not the first time the government has declassified a term without divulging its meaning. The memo declassifying Zarf was obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. The National Security Agency has declined to comment. The Atlantic Monthly writes: "Zarf is an anomaly in this space, which generally discusses new words whose definitions are in some way revealing about societal or other trends: Zarf is a new word whose LACK of a definition is revealing." The word lacks an unclassified definition in English. We are curious what the word means in other languages. In Persian, for example, the word means "dish". In Turkish the word means a protective cover or an envelope. Did some National Security Analyst/Linguist snarf this Turkish word and extend its meaning? We would appreciate hearing what the word means in other languages. Karine Megerdoomian Ron Zacharski New Mexico State University Las Cruces, New Mexico

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Communication, Humor, Politics

In a lecture, Werner von Braun once said "Ve haf alvays been aiming for zer stars" and a little voice at the back replied "But ve keep hittink London."

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Humor, Politics, History

(This comes from Australia...) I am in almost terminal shock at the revelation by the Republican Party that a politician lied to the public. And it was such an important lie. So much more important than Jack Kennedy's firm statement that the U.S.A. was not involved in the Bay of Pigs invasion. So much more important than Dwight Eisenhower's denial that U-2 spy planes were passing over Russia. So much more important than Lyndon Johnson's statement that a U.S. ship had been attacked by a North Vietnamese torpedo boat. So much more important than Richard Nixon's denial of any involvement with the Watergate burglary, and more important than Ronald Reagan's lies about almost everything. All of that is trivia. The Republicans have nailed Clinton on something that really matters: a sex act! An act that threatens the national security of the United States of America. I always thought a gentleman was supposed to lie about such things. Surely you wonder what impression all this is creating in other countries. The whole thing has been summed up by a letter-to-the-editor in Australia. In a letter to the Sidney Morning Herald, a writer nailed it in one line: "Thank God we got the convicts and they got the Puritans."

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Politics, Sex, Lying

"Nobody knows the age of the human race, but everybody agrees that it is old enough to know better."

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Depravity, Humor, Politics, Wisdom

The Christian should participate in social and political efforts in order to have an influence in the work, not with the hope of making a paradise (of the earth), but simply to make it more tolerable -- not to diminish the opposition between this world and the Kingdom of God, but simply to modify the opposition between the disorder of this world and the order of preservation that God wants it to have -- not to bring in the Kingdom of God, but so that the Gospel might be proclaimed in order that all men might truly hear the good news.

permalink source: Jacques Ellul
tags: Politics

"The more you observe politics, the more you've got to admit that each party is worse than the other."

permalink source: Will Rogers
tags: Politics

Palm Beach County gets to pick the next president. Or maybe it's a handful of sailors who have been at sea since the campaign began. We treasure the idea that any one individual's ballot could decide an election. But watching the interviews with some of the men and women on the street in Florida, you can't help thinking, 'Oh Lord, not that one.'

permalink source: Gail Collins, The New York Times
tags: Humor, Politics, Democracy

A bus of politicians is driving by a farm where a man lives alone. The bus driver, caught up in the beautiful scenery, loses control and crashes into the ditch. The man comes out and finding the politicians, buries them. The next day, the police are at the farm questioning the man. "So you buried all the politicians?" asked the police officer. "Were they all dead?" The man answered, "Some said they weren't, but you know how politicians lie."

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Politics, Honesty

OIL SHORTAGE There are a lot of folks who can't understand how we came to have an oil shortage here in the USA. Well, there's a very simple answer. Nobody bothered to check the oil. We just didn't know we were getting low. The reason for that is purely geographical. All the oil is in Texas, Oklahoma, Alaska, etc. All the dipsticks are in Washington D.C.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Money, Politics

The present tax code is about 10 times longer than the Bible, a lot more complicated, and, unlike the Bible, contains no good news.

permalink source: U.S. Senator Don Nickles, quoted in World, Nov 29, 1997, page 10.
tags: Politics, Bible

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves -- who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

permalink source: Nelson Mandela (from his inaugural presidential speech)
tags: Politics, Humans

If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn't it follow that. . . electricians could be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed, and dry cleaners depressed? Wouldn't you expect laundry workers to decrease, eventually becoming depressed and depleted? Likewise, bedmakers might be debunked, baseball players debased, bulldozer operators degraded, organ donors delivered, software engineers detested, and underwear manufacturers debriefed. And won't all composers one day decompose? On a more positive note, perhaps we can hope politicians will someday be devoted.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Politics

There are 1011 stars in the galaxy. That used to be a huge number. But it's only a hundred billion. It's less than the national deficit! We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call them economical numbers.

permalink source: Richard Feynmann
tags: Money, Politics

When I face an issue of great import that cleaves both constituents and colleagues, I always take the same approach. I engage in deep deliberation and quiet contemplation. I wait to the last available minute and then I always vote with the losers. Because, my friend, the winners never remember and the losers never forget.

permalink source: Senator Everett Dirkson
tags: Politics, Wisdom, Gratitude

Pick the best answer among the following options 1. My last meal: a) had at least one type of food that had parents, or b) was comprised solely of vegetables. 2. The most evil leader of the 20th century was: a) Joseph Stalin or, b) Ronald Reagan. 3. If a burglar broke into my house this evening I would rather: a) shoot him, or b) find out why he hated me. 4. It is morally reprehensible to: a) abort an eight-month-old human fetus, or b) slaughter a chicken for human consumption. 5. I am firmly convinced of the existence of: a) moral absolutes, or b) global warming. 6. I am more likely to watch: a) Fox News, or b) Al Jazeera. 7. If I were sitting on a runway for several hours inside an American Airlines jet that was experiencing “temporary technical problems,” I would want a copy of: a) Treason, by Ann Coulter, or b) Living History, by Hillary Clinton. 8. The best way to invest for retirement is with: a) an IRA, or b) social security. 9. The Constitution guarantees each adult the right to: a) bear arms, or b) engage in homosexual sodomy. 10. Kindergartners should never hear this word in the classroom: a) vagina, or b) God.

permalink source: August 25, 2003 column by Mike S. Adams: "My new affirmative action hiring proposal"
tags: Politics

You shouldn't speak until you know what you're talking about. That's why I get uncomfortable with interviews. Reporters ask me what I feel China should do about Tibet. Who cares what I think China should do? I'm a damm actor! They hand me a script. I act. I'm here for entertainment, basically, when you whittle everything away. I'm a grown man who puts on makeup. Right around the time that Fight Club came out, Pitt was interviewed about one of the themes in the movie—the idea that the American dream is somehow unfulfulling. Here’s what he said: Pitt: Man, I know all these things are supposed to seem important to us—the car, the condo, our version of success—but if that's the case, why is the general feeling out there reflecting more impotence and isolation and desperation and loneliness? If you ask me, I say toss all this—we gotta find something else. Because all I know is that at this point in time, we are heading for a dead end, a numbing of the soul, a complete atrophy of the spiritual being. And I don't want that. Rolling Stone: So if we're heading toward this kind of existential dead end in society, what do you think should happen? Pitt: Hey, man, I don't have those answers yet. The emphasis now is on success and personal gain. [smiles] I'm sitting in it, and I'm telling you, that's not it. I'm the guy who's got everything. I know. But I'm telling you, once you've got everything, then you're just left with yourself. I've said it before and I'll say it again: it doesn't help you sleep any better, and you don't wake up any better because of it. Citation: Rolling Stone (10-28-99) It's only when we later drift into an unlikely debate about one of the New Testament parables that I realize just how different a kind of God Pitt grew up with. To him, the parable of the prodigal son is an authoritarian tale told to keep people in line. "This," he explains, "is a story which says, if you go out and try to find what works for you, then you are going to be destroyed and you will be humbled and you will not be alive again until you come home to the father's ways." It is not hard to see how he relates this to his own departure westward. When I ask whether he thought he would come back, he says, "I never thought past the leaving." (same interview) “I remember one of the most pivotal moments I’ve had,” says Pitt, “was when I finally couldn’t buy the religion I grew up with. That was a big deal. It was a relief in a way that I didn’t have to believe that anymore, but then I felt alone. It was this thing I dependent on.” (another Pitt quote, Rolling Stone Dec 1, 1994)

permalink source: Brad Pitt on religion and other stuff
tags: Church, Politics, Faith, Religion

In the middle of the eighteenth century, Christians became increasingly concerned about the slave trade. They amassed information on the inhumane treatment of the slaves and believed that eventually they could generate sufficient public support to overcome the slave trade interests in Parliament. But they needed political leadership. William Wilberforce was elected to Parliament in 1780. He was converted in 1785, in part as a result of the ministry of John Newton, once a slave trader and then a clergyman in the Church of England. Newton and others urged Wilberforce to investigate the slave trade and to consider whether he could fight for its abolition in Parliament. Wilberforce concluded, "So enormous, so dreadful, so irremediable did its wickedness appear that my own mind was completely made up for the abolition. A trade founded in iniquity and carried on as this was must be abolished." His effort took 20 years. He was vigorously opposed by the slave traders, who had powerful allies in Parliament. There was also resistance because this was a moral battle: "Things have come to a pretty pass when religion is allowed to invade public life," complained Lord Melbourne. But with the help of Christians throughout England, Wilberforce eventually succeeded, and in 1807 Parliament voted to abolish the slave trade. We need more Wilberforces—Christians willing to engage in effective, sustained activity to challenge government to perform its responsibilities.

permalink source: Citation: Daniel W. Van Ness, "Saving a Sinking Society," Discipleship Journal (Mar/Apr 1988)
tags: Courage, Persistence, Politics, Slavery

Winston Churchill: "We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle."

permalink source: Winston Churchill
tags: Politics

"You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you will have war."

permalink source: Churchill's remark after Chamberlain returned from signing the Munich pact with Hitler:
tags: Courage, Politics, War

No man can tame a tiger into a kitten by stroking it. There can be no appeasement with ruthlessness. There can be no reasoning with an incendiary bomb.

permalink source: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Fireside Chat, December 29, 1940
tags: Politics, Wisdom, Sin, Spiritual Formation

A coziness between church and state is good for the state and bad for the church.

permalink source: G.K. Chesterton
tags: Politics

Conservative: A liberal who got mugged the night before.

permalink source: Frank Rizzo
tags: Politics

Madness is rare in individuals--but in groups, parties, nations, and ages it is the rule.

permalink source: Nietzsche
tags: Politics, Community

The wages of sin are death, but by the time taxes are taken out, it’s just sort of a tired feeling.

permalink source: Paula Poundstone
tags: Politics, Sin, Taxes

Where there are two PhDs in a developing country, one is head of state and the other is in exile.

permalink source: Lord Samuel
tags: Education, Politics

It’s tough being a politician. Half your reputation is ruined by lies. The other half if ruined by the truth. -- Joe Hickman

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Character, Politics, Gossip

Regarding a recently deceased politician: "I did not attend his funeral, but I wrote a letter saying approved of it." -- Mark Twain

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Politics

The church… is not the master or servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Church, Politics

When I was a kid I was told that anybody could become President. I’m beginning to believe it! -- Unknown

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Politics, Ambition, Potential

You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot build character by taking away man’s initiative. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

permalink source: Abraham Lincoln
tags: Politics, Responsibility

The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revolution.

permalink source: Hannah Arendt, Sept.12, 1970
tags: Politics, Change

1. Wealth without work 2. Pleasure without conscience 3. Knowledge without character 4. Commerce without morality 5. Science without humanity 6. Worship without sacrifice 7. Politics without principle

permalink source: Mahatma Gandhi, "Seven Blunders of the World," http://oll.temple.edu/ih/IH52/Liberation/Gandhi;
tags: Money, Politics, Science, Knowledge, Worship, Pleasure

In religion and politics, we seem to have less love for those who believe half our creed than for those who deny the whole of it. By: Charles Colson Source: As quoted in Mentoring: The Strategy of the Master, Ron Lee Davis, 1991, pg. 157

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Politics, Theology

A society practicing neither modesty nor restraint has no claim on a right to privacy. By: John Leax Source: Cryptic sayings from John Leax, associate dean at Houghton college from an article in the Houghton Milieu, August, 1993, pages 7-10

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Politics, Modesty

Government at all levels can be competent, economical and efficient. Yet I would hasten to point out that nowhere in the Constitution of the United States, or the Declaration of Independence, or the Bill of Rights, or the Emancipation Proclamation, or in the Old Testament or the New Testament do you find the words `economy’ or `efficient’. Not that these two words are unimportant. But you discover words like honesty, integrity, fairness, liberty, justice, courage, patriotism, compassion and love - and many others which describe what a human being ought to be. These are also the same words which describe what a government of human beings ought to be. By: Jimmy Carter Source: Why Not The Best?, 1975 page 116

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Politics

A pastor was surprised that I would consider going into politics, and strongly advised me that I not become involved such a discredited profession. We had a heated argument, and he finally asked, `If you want to be of service to other people, why don’t you go into the ministry or into some honorable social service work?’ On the spur of the moment I retorted, `How would you like to be a pastor of a church with 80,000 members?’ He finally admitted it was possible to stay honest and at the same time minister to the needs of the 80,000 citizens of the l4th senate district (of Georgia). By: Jimmy Carter Source: Why Not The Best?, 1975, page 79

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Politics, Work

This happens in the midst of affluent societies and in the midst of welfare states! For too long we have been dreaming a dream from which we are now waking up; the dream that if we just improve the socioeconomic situation of people, everything will be okay, people will become happy. The truth is that as the struggle for survival has subsided, the question has emerged: Survival for what? Ever more people today have the means to live, but no meaning to live for. --

permalink source: Viktor Frankl
tags: Politics, Purpose

As I said on the phone, I don't have as much problem calling myself a philosophical conservative as I do a political conservative. Part of the reason has to do with specific issues, like gay marriage, that we discussed. But part of it is also that I see many parts of contemporary political conservatism as being in conflict with my philosophical conservatism. Two examples: first, as I think I mentioned, I'm pursuing an academic career. I find the disdain that many conservatives have for the academy ("liberal academia," etc.) to be distasteful, unconservative, and counterproductive. I think it's distasteful and unconservative because philosophical conservatism, as I understand it, reveres learning; it holds that we can only understand our situation in the present through the study of the past; and it maintains that it is impermissibly hubristic for us to dismiss the wisdom embodied in tradition without a very compelling reason. But all of these things require learning, and the academy is the seat of learning. I find many conservatives' dismissal of the academy to be counterproductive because, if you keep talking about how academia is hopeless and a waste of time, then of course young conservatives will shy away from it! Intelligent and respectful criticism of specific thinkers, not dismissal of the entire academic enterprise, is the proper attitude of a philosophical conservative towards the academy. And the refusal of many political conservatives to take this philosophically conservative attitude greatly bothers me. The idea that scholarship is inherently political also bothers me. At Yale, I double-majored in philosophy and a program called ethics, politics, and economics. At Oxford, I'm finishing up my doctorate in politics with a topic that straddles the line between law and politics. In my seven years at these two universities, I've never had a professor whose political views affected his/her fairness. Frequently, even in classes on politics or law or history, I've had no idea what the professors' political views were. In my experience, most academics are scholars first and foremost -- that's certainly the kind of academic I aspire to be -- and they deserve respect for that. Second, I find the shrillness of many contemporary political conservatives to be deeply disturbing. One of the reasons the left -- especially in Europe, but also in America -- has always been so fractured is that it tends to value ideological purity over incremental change. The conservative attitude was, for a long time, one of "muddling through" -- slow compromise to produce incremental benefits. But many on the political right (Coulter, Hannity, etc.) now see themselves as guardians of some sort of conservative purity. The result is a "radical right," which is every bit as distasteful to a philosophical conservative such as myself as the radical left. It also feeds into the polarization that David Brooks has been very intelligently criticizing (from a philosophically conservative position, I might add) for several weeks now.

permalink source: Josh Chavez on Oxblog, July 17, 2004
tags: Politics

When I am right, I get angry. Churchill gets angry when he is wrong. So we were often angry at each other.

permalink source: Charles de Gaulle
tags: Politics, Anger

No matter what side of the argument you are on, you always find people that you wish were on the other side.

permalink source: Jascha Heifitz, violinist
tags: Politics, Enemies

As Californian Collis Huntington reportedly wrote in 1877, explaining why he was in Washington D.C. pouring bribe money out like water: <blockquote>If you have to pay money [to a politician] to have the right thing done, is is only just and fair to do it.... If a [politician] has the power to do great evil and won't do right unless he is bribed to do it, I think... it is a man's duty to go up and bribe (see Josephson, 1934) ...</blockquote> http://econ161.berkeley.edu/Econ_Articles/carnegie/DeLong_Moscow_paper2.html

permalink source: J. Bradford Delong, "Robber Barons"
tags: Money, Politics

There is a certain safeguard that the natural character of intelligent men possesses within itself. It provides benefit and safety to all, especially to democracies against tyrants. And what is it? Mistrust. Guard that, and don't let it go. You can come to no harm if you preserve it.

permalink source: Demosthenes, Second Philippic (6) 24
tags: Depravity, Politics, Power

When a triumphant Octavian returned to Rome after finally defeating Mark Antony, among the well-wishers was a man holding a raven, which he had trained to say: "Hail, Caesar, victorious leader." Octavian was amazed at this courteous bird, and bought him at a handsome price. Yet the trainer's partner, who had received nothing from that generous payment, revealed to Octavian that the trainer had also a second raven, and requested that he be forced to produce it. Once it was fetched, the raven spoke the words it had learned: "Hail, Antony, victorious leader." Octavian was not at all irritated; he simply thought it enough to make the trainer split the money with his associate.

permalink source: Macrobius, Saturnalia 2.4.29
tags: Politics, Decisions

First, self-praise if blameless if you do it in defending yourself against slander or accusation.... For at such a time, one not only escapes pretension and emptiness, and ostentatiousness in saying something solemn about oneself, but one also shows strength of will and greatness of character.

permalink source: Plutarch, Moralia, On Inoffensive Self-Praise 540C
tags: Politics, Humility

Nonviolent Resistance Only Works With Moral Opponents

The simple fact is that non-violent means do not work against Evil. Gandhi's non-violent resistance against the British occupiers had some effect because Britain was wrong, but not Evil. The same is true of the success of non-violent civil rights resistance against de jure racism. Most people, including those in power, knew that what was being done was wrong. But Evil is an entirely different beast. Gandhi would have gone to the ovens had he attempted non-violent resistance against the Nazis. When one encounters Evil, the only solution is violence, actual or threatened. That's all Evil understands.

permalink source: Robert Bruce Thompson
tags: Politics, War

The More Things Change...

I often have to arrange talks years in advance. If I am asked for a title, I suggest "The Current Crisis in the Middle East." It has yet to fail.

permalink source: Noam Chomsky
tags: Islam, Politics, Israel

Separating Church and State Does Not Entail Separating Religion and Politics

The dubious reasoning of this “secularist syllogism” rests on a fallacy of equivocation, in which “religion and politics” is wrongly made identical with “church and state.” Church and state are authoritative institutions, while religion and politics are activities pursued by individuals, groups, and organic communities. To disestablish a politically authoritative church is to strike a blow for the freedom of all religious believers to act on their beliefs, politically as well as privately. But insisting on the separation of religious discourse from political discourse, isolating the former from the latter by “privatizing” it, moves in exactly the opposite direction, and creates the contradiction found at the center of many modern tyrannies: affirming a mythical freedom by denying the real thing.

permalink source: Matthew Franck, "Religion, Reason, and Same-Sex Marriage" http://www.firstthings.com/article/2011/05/religion-reason-and-same-sex-marriage
tags: Politics, Freedom

Gaining and Losing

In the case of abortion and divorce, liberals expected their revolution to, if anything, stabilize the family — by reducing unwanted births and dissolving only marriages that had failed in all but name. But these expectations were naïve. As Janet Yellen and George Akerlof pointed out in a 1996 paper on the social impact of abortion and contraception, the power Roe v. Wade gave women over reproduction sometimes came at the expense of power in relationships. “By making the birth of the child the physical choice of the mother,” they noted, the sexual revolution “made marriage and child support a social choice of the father.” Recent Comments Grambs 16 days ago It is remarkable that yet again abortion, a medical procedure that can only happen to women, is portrayed as a contributor to the ruination... Brian 16 days ago And what exactly are the chances of conservatives embracing this hypothetical? Let's not try to pretend that liberals are the one's that... karenv 16 days ago A major change in family life, and marriage, occurred when it became financially necessary for both partners to work outside the home. That... See All Comments In this new landscape, “women who wanted children, who did not want an abortion for moral or religious reasons, or who were unreliable in their use of contraception” saw their partners’ incentives altered for the worse. The result was a world with plenty of unplanned pregnancies but fewer ensuing marriages, fewer involved fathers, more unstable homes. Meanwhile, no-fault divorce probably contributed to the unexpected “social contagion” effect of the divorce revolution, in which the example of a marital split undermines marriages across a social network.

permalink source: Ross Douthat,"More Imperfect Unions",January 26, 2014, on page SR13 of the New York edition http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/26/opinion/sunday/douthat-more-imperfect-unions.html?ref=rossdouthat
tags: Politics