Sunday, April 2, 2006

America the Beautiful

Peggy Noonan has an absolutely lovely column in Opinion Journal that should be read by every American. America, she insists, has no shortage of heroes, and it's the greatest country in the history of the planet, yet we're placing it all at risk because we have come to doubt the inherent goodness of our principles and of our people. We no longer teach love of country, and we've allowed ourselves to lose our sense of being a mutually interdependent community. We are, she says, like a big box store. Everyone wants to go there, but there's no spirit, no real loyalty to the place, no sense of belonging to something bigger than ourselves.

She crafts a wonderful piece of writing which you can read here.

Up From Atheism

How's this for irony? One of the most influential atheists of the last half of the twentieth century is being presented an award by a conservative Christian university named in honor of one of the seminal figures in the Intelligent Design movement:

La Mirada, Calif. - British philosopher Antony Flew, once considered the most prominent defender of atheism in the English-speaking world, will accept the Phillip E. Johnson Award for Liberty and Truth on May 11 from Biola University, a Christian university in Southern California. Flew, 83, argued in books such as God and Philosophy (1966) and The Presumption of Atheism (1984) that one should presuppose atheism until evidence for God proves otherwise. Then, in 2004, the Oxford-educated philosopher stunned the intellectual world by relinquishing his long-held atheism, claiming that the natural sciences supplied evidence for the existence of a designing intelligence. Flew said that he simply "had to go where the evidence leads."

The Phillip E. Johnson Award for Liberty and Truth was given to Flew for his lifelong commitment to free and open inquiry and to standing fast against intolerant assaults on freedom of thought and expression. Flew drew scorn from skeptics following his shift in views. When informed that he was this year's award winner, he remarked, "In light of my work and publications in this area and the criticism I've received for changing my position, I appreciate receiving this award."

There's more on both Flew and the award at the link.