Signs and Wonders
Joe Biden (center) and Paul Ryan debate as moderator Martha Raddatz looks on.
Associated Press/Photo by Mark Humphrey
Joe Biden (center) and Paul Ryan debate as moderator Martha Raddatz looks on.

Signs and Wonders 10.12


Abortion veepstakes. It’s hard to imagine a stronger defense of life than the one Paul Ryan gave during the vice presidential debate Thursday night. It’s also hard to imagine a weaker rebuttal than the one Joe Biden gave. First Ryan: “I don’t see how a person can separate their public life from their private life or from their faith. Our faith informs us in everything we do.” As to why he’s pro-life: “It’s not simply because of my Catholic faith. That’s a factor, of course. But it’s also because of reason and science. I think about 10 1/2 years ago, [when] my wife, Janna, and I went to Mercy Hospital in Janesville for our seven-week ultrasound for our firstborn child, and we saw that heartbeat. A little baby was in the shape of a bean. And to this day, we have nicknamed our firstborn child Liza, ‘Bean.’ Now I believe that life begins at conception.” Amazingly, Biden agreed with Ryan—up to a point. “Life begins at conception in the church’s judgment. I accept it in my personal life,” Biden said. But here’s where he diverged from both church doctrine and—I would say—logic. “I just refuse to impose that on others.” I wonder if he feels the same way about murder, or theft, or fraud, or a whole host of other laws based on a religious—and specifically a Judeo-Christian—worldview?

Voter ID law OK, just not now. A federal appeals court panel said Wednesday a South Carolina law requiring people to produce a government-issued photo ID before casting a vote is valid, but its implementation must be delayed.The three-judge panel agreed unanimously that given the short amount of time before Election Day, the voter ID law may have “discriminatory effects” if implemented this year. The law will take effect in 2013. The decision in the South Carolina case comes just a week after a Pennsylvania state judge halted that state’s voter ID law, though legal experts say the two laws were somewhat different in wording and impact. Alabama, Kansas, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin all passed new voter ID laws in their 2011 or 2012 legislative sessions, according to the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University’s School of Law.

No tolerance. Washington, D.C.’s Gallaudet University placed what it calls its chief diversity officer on administrative leave after university President Alan Hurwitz discovered she signed a petition supporting traditional marriage. Dr. Angela McCaskill, a 23-year veteran who earned the school’s first Ph.D. as a deaf African-American woman, signed a petition supporting Maryland’s Question 6, the state referendum on same-sex “marriage.” In Maryland, the names and addresses of supporters of such petition signers are a matter of public record. Conservatives claim making the information public leads to intimidation and, indeed, administrators apparently learned of McCaskill’s involvement when a faculty member was combing the list of petition signers and recognized her name. Even supporters of same-sex “marriage” are supporting McCaskill. Marylanders for Marriage Equality agreed that she “should be reinstated immediately. Everyone is entitled to free speech and to their own opinion about Question 6.”

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Sgt. Maj. Plumley. If you saw the movie We Were Soldiers, you likely remember the character played by Sam Elliott: Basil L. Plumley, a legendary career soldier whose service spanned three wars. He died Wednesday at age 92 in Columbus, Ga. Plumley fought in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War and was awarded a medal for making five parachute jumps into combat. Plumley didn’t need a Hollywood portrayal to be revered among soldiers, said Greg Camp, a retired Army colonel and former chief of staff at neighboring Fort Benning who befriended Plumley in his later years. “He’s iconic in military circles,” Camp said. “Among people who have been in the military, he’s beyond what a movie star would be. … His legend permeates three generations of soldiers.” Despite his gruff exterior, he was a warm-hearted family man to his friends. He and his wife, Deurice, had been married 63 years when she died this year on Memorial Day. His daughter Debbie said, “He was [just] dad to me when I was growing, [but] he was an inspiration to so many. He was a great person, and will always be remembered.”

Warren Cole Smith
Warren Cole Smith

Warren is vice president of mission advancement for The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview and the host of WORLD Radio’s Listening In. Follow Warren on Twitter @WarrenColeSmith.


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