Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

If you want to annoy the left, then raise your children to be like Texas senator Ted Cruz

Texas Republican senator Ted Cruz

Texas Republican senator Ted Cruz

Here’s a profile in National Review of my one of my favorite senators.

Excerpt:

The party’s highest-profile Texans, George W. Bush and Rick Perry, tended to match inarticulateness with cowboy swagger and lend themselves to mockery as intellectual lightweights. Bush went to Yale and Harvard Business School, yet no one naturally thinks of him as an Ivy Leaguer. The two Lone Star State governors played into the Left’s stereotypes so nicely that if they didn’t exist, the New York Times editorial board would have had to invent them.

Cruz is different — a Princeton and Harvard man who not only matriculated at those fine institutions but excelled at them. Champion debater at Princeton. Magna cum laude graduate at Harvard. Supreme Court clerkship, on the way to Texas solicitor general and dozens of cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Cruz is from the intellectual elite, but not of it, a tea-party conservative whose politics are considered gauche at best at the storied universities where he studied. He is, to borrow the words of the 2008 H.W. Brands biography of Franklin D. Roosevelt, a traitor to his class.

Democrats and liberal pundits would surely dislike Cruz no matter where he went to school, but his pedigree adds an element of shocked disbelief to the disdain. “Princeton and Harvard should be disgraced,” former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell exclaimed on MSNBC, as if graduating a constitutionalist conservative who rises to national prominence is a violation of the schools’ mission statements.

[...]In a Washington Post column a year ago, Dana Milbank noted Cruz’s schooling and concluded that his tea-party politics must be a put-on, that he is, underneath it all, an “intellectually curious, liberal-arts conservative.” Note the insulting assumption that an interest in books and ideas immunizes someone from a certain kind of conservative politics.

One of the Left’s deepest prejudices is that its opponents are stupid, and Cruz tramples on it. At hearings, Cruz has the prosecutorial instincts of a . . . Harvard-trained lawyer. Watching Attorney General Eric Holder try to fend off Cruz’s questioning on the administration’s drone policy a few months ago was like seeing a mouse cornered by a very large cat.

Cruz hasn’t played by the Senate rules that freshmen should initially be seen and not heard. In fact, he joined the upper chamber with all the subtlety of a SWAT team knocking down a drug suspect’s front door.

For people who care about such things — almost all of them are senators — this is an unforgivable offense. At another hearing, as Cruz says that the highest commitment of senators should be to the Constitution, another senator can be heard muttering that he doesn’t like being lectured. Chairman Pat Leahy (probably the mutterer) eventually cuts him off and informs him he hasn’t been in the Senate very long.

Cruz lacks all defensiveness about his positions, another source of annoyance to his opponents, who are used to donning the mantle of both intellectual and moral superiority.

And here’s a quick review of where Ted Cruz came from:

Rafael Cruz, the father of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, invigorated the crowd during tonight’s FreedomWorks Free the People event.

Describing his own personal journey escaping Cuba and working hard to build a life for himself in the U.S., the elder Cruz noted comparisons that he believes exist between Fidel Castro’s governance and President Barack Obama’s executive actions.

Upon rising to power, he said that Castro, like Obama, spoke about hope and change. While the message sounded good at the time, it didn’t take long for socialism to take root in his home country. And he paid the price.

For his part in the revolution — one that many originally assumed would yield a more vibrant country — Cruz was punished while in Cuba.

“I was in prison,” he said. “I was tortured, but by the grace of God I was able to leave Cuba on a student VISA and came to the greatest country on the face of the earth.”

Cruz described his efforts working as a dishwasher in America and paying his own way through the University of Texas. From there, he built a life for himself — one that was filled with experiences that caused him to greatly appreciate the country that had given him so much.

His plight in Cuba colored his American experience

“You can’t understand a loss of rights unless you’ve experienced it,” Cruz told TheBlaze following the speech.

His unique perspective leaves Cruz with the ability, he argues, to see the troubling signs surrounding socialism. Young people in America today, he told TheBlaze, take for granted the rights and privileges that the U.S. has afforded them.

Fascinating.

Now people always complain when I say that I am trying to find a wife with the background, education, experience and temperment to raise effective, influential children. I have a whole list of influential people I want to clone, in fact. I want a William Lane Craig, a Wayne Grudem, a Michael Licona, a Guillermo Gonzales, an Ann Gauger, a Jennifer Roback Morse, a Scott Klusendorf, a Mark Regnerus, and… a Ted Cruz. And I’ve saved the money to be able to get at least a few of those, too. The truth is that I had some of the experiences that Cruz’s father had, and if he can make a Ted Cruz, then so should I be able to. They have to come from somewhere!

Now of course it’s hard to guarantee outcomes when it comes to raising children, but there are some things you can prepare for. You can study things you hate that are hard, and save your money for Ph.D tuition. You can go to grad school yourself and publish research. You can look for a wife who shows the ability to nurture people so that they get better and rise higher. And maybe, you might just raise the next Ted Cruz. I think the old adage “if you aim at nothing, then you will surely hit it” is a good saying for marriage. If you are going to put hundreds of thousands of dollars and decades of your life into a marriage, then you should aim at something. You might hit it. You’re not just there to make another person feel good – you’re there to make the marriage serve God. Raising influential, effective children is one way of doing that. But it doesn’t happen by accident. And it isn’t necessarily going to be “fun”.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Supreme Court rules that pro-lifers have free speech right at abortion clinics

From USA Today.

Excerpt:

Abortion remains an issue that divides the Supreme Court, but the justices had less disagreement Thursday in defending the free speech rights of abortion opponents.

The court ruled unanimously that Massachusetts went too far — literally — when it created 35-foot buffer zones around abortion clinics to keep demonstrators away from patients.

The decision united Chief Justice John Roberts and the court’s four liberals, who said the distance improperly removed demonstrators from public sidewalks and spaces. The other conservative justices would have issued a more sweeping verdict, striking down the ban on grounds that it targets abortion opponents’ specific point of view.

“Petitioners wish to converse with their fellow citizens about an important subject on the public streets and sidewalks — sites that have hosted discussions about the issues of the day throughout history,” Roberts wrote. Though the state has an interest in public safety, it “pursued those interests by the extreme step of closing a substantial portion of a traditional public forum to all speakers.”

[...]The court’s other four conservative justices agreed with the verdict in the Massachusetts case but would have gone further by striking down the law as one that illegally targets abortion opponents.

“It is clear on the face of the Massachusetts law that it discriminates based on viewpoint,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote. “Speech in favor of the clinic and its work by employees and agents is permitted; speech criticizing the clinic and its work is a crime. This is blatant viewpoint discrimination.”

The article has a reactions from a Planned Parenthood spokeswoman. She was against the ruling.

Filed under: News, , , , ,

Is it possible to have a civil, productive debate about abortion?

I saw this post on Josh Brahm’s blog and had to blog on it. It shows the kind of relationship that leads to a changed mind.

Excerpt:

I want to bring relational apologetics to the pro-life movement. I’ve written and spoken previously about my dear friend Deanna Young. I’d encourage you to check out one of those two links to get the beginning of the story that I’m going to continue here. I’m so excited to tell you why Deanna now calls herself pro-life.

In case you didn’t click either of those links, Deanna was a pro-choice, atheist lesbian in Canada who befriended me in February 2013, through a YouTube message. Deanna was one of the most intelligent pro-choice bloggers I’d ever read. We exchanged nearly 120 philosophical emails, then started Skyping together.

I’m eager to share with you how my relationship with Deanna has progressed and the ways that her thinking has changed, but there’s a danger in this. It’s possible that some people would read this and interpret it as me telling you about a project of mine. It’s very important to me that you know that Deanna is not an object to me, a mind to be changed so that I can get another notch on my pro-life belt.

I have no shame in telling you that I love Deanna.

[...]When I say that I love Deanna, I mean what Jason Lepojärvi means when he defined love this way:

Love says that it is good that you exist and insofar as I am able I will contribute to your happiness, your existence, your flourishing.

Some of my pro-choice friends have not changed their thinking about abortion very much, but Deanna has. I want to share with you some of the changes in her thinking. Don’t read these as the reasons I’m friends with Deanna. Deanna will always be my friend, regardless of her views on abortion, her religion or her sexuality.

[...]Deanna would tell you that two things were necessary conditions for her conversion: rigorous philosophical arguments and a loving friendship with someone on the other side. The intellectual arguments were very important. I haven’t written very much about our initial email exchanges yet, but we got very philosophical, going back and forth on issues like bodily rights arguments, rape, the concept of intrinsic human value, concepts of harm and taking away the dignity of people in temporary comas, moral objectivism, utilitarianism, stem cell research, the “after-birth abortion” paper, and the use of graphic pictures.

It was through those lengthy emails that Deanna and I first became close. And after Deanna believed that most of her philosophical arguments had been defeated by better arguments, she completed her conversion upon realizing that a pro-life person loved her, even while she was an actively pro-choice blogger. I took my cue from Jesus, who, while I was yet a sinner, loved me anyway, and adopted me. (Romans 5:8.)

In the rest of the article he talks about their conversations about various arguments like the Judith Jarvis Thomson violinist argument.

I don’t think this would work with just any pro-choice person, you would need someone smart to argue her view strongly and have it answered strongly. I think when you get two smart people together for a long period of time, and there is mutual respect being built up, that’s when changing a person’s mind becomes possible.

I believe in one-on-one mentoring of people who are engaged in finding the truth about the issues that divide us. But I don’t know if I would be brave enough to form a loving friendship with someone so far on the other side. I would like to be able to do that, but it’s just really scary unless you are sure the other person can tolerate your honest views. I do believe in his definition of love, but it’s hard to find someone same who is very different from me. I think it’s easier with men than women, for a man.

Filed under: Commentary, , , , ,

Pro-life debater Scott Klusendorf discusses pro-life apologetics

Did you know that the pro-life issue is an area where you can learn arguments and use evidence to be persuasive? Here’s a podcast that shows you how.

Details:

Scott Klusendorf, President of Life Training Institute, is a pro-life rockstar. Listen in as host Brian Fisher attempts to unsuccessfully “stump the apologist” with some of the most difficult pro-abortion questions of our day.

The MP3 file is here. (36 minutes)

Questions:

  • How did Scott get interested in the abortion issue?
  • Do you need a special calling in order to learn how to defend the unborn?
  • What is the history of the pro-life movement, and how have they shifted tactics?
  • What is moral relativism? How is it relevant to the abortion debate?
  • Why is moral relativism so widely accepted?
  • How do you deal with someone who says abortion is wrong, but she has no choice?
  • How do you deal with the rape and incest exceptions argument?
  • What about unborn children who are not “viable”?
  • But isn’t the foetus part of the woman’s body?
  • Abortion is necessary to reduce poverty, crime, overpopulation, etc.

It’s Friday night, and listening to a smart pro-lifer is awesome. His answer to the abortion is necessary to alleviate poverty is just awesome – the man is widely read outside his field.

 

 

Filed under: Podcasts, , ,

Republican National Committee adopts resolution to ban all third-trimester abortions

From Life News.

Excerpt:

The Republican National Committee approved today a resolution supporting all federal, state and local legislation to stop abortion after 20 weeks, more than halfway through pregnancy.

[...]Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the national pro-life group the Susan B. Anthony List praised the RNC saying:

“Americans are united in their support for commonsense legislation to stop abortion more than halfway through pregnancy. We thank the Republican committeemen and women for affirming all efforts to end barbaric late abortions nationwide and urge Democrats to do the same. In state legislatures across the county, Democrats are bucking pressure from their national leaders to support this compassionate legislation that is already popular with their constituents.”

This week Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) circulated a letter signed by more than 30 U.S. Senators including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), urging him to bring the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act for a floor vote.

“A federal law is long overdue,” continued Dannenfelser. “The United States is only one of seven countries to allow abortion on demand at such a late stage of pregnancy. The U.S. Senate should follow the RNC’s lead and go on record on this important issue.”

Author and chief sponsor of the resolution RNC Committeewoman Ellen Barrosse said:

“The Republican Party is proudly pro-life and this resolution shows our support for this straightforward, simple pro-life initiative. Children capable of feeling intense pain, as well as their mothers, should be protected from abortion at such a very late stage of gestation.

Still all political parties are the same? On the pro-life issue, Republicans are united. It’s a good reason for social conservatives to vote for them at election time.

Filed under: News, , , , ,

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