Theology and the new Secretary of Defense

I was listening a bit to the Gates confirmation hearings on NPR today and was really struck by the questioning coming from SC Senator Lindsey Graham.  He began a whole litany of questions, “Do you believe…”  I.e., “believe the Iranians are trying to acquire lethal weapons capability?” Do you believe in the Powell doctrine?” etc…  It was really odd.  It reminded me of the renewal of baptismal vows that takes place during Catholic Mass any time a baby is baptized and every Easter.  It seemed that just like the Catholic Church wants its members to publicly confirm their beliefs, Lindsey Graham was looking for Robert Gates to confirm his beliefs about Iraq, Iran, and terrorism. 

I thought I recognized Graham's voice as I listened, but I hoped it was not him, as I had been reasonably impressed when he spoke at NCSU a couple months ago, but many of his responses seemed particularly inane and dogmatic today:

GRAHAM: Is it the terrorists' worst nightmare for a democratic
state to be formed in Iraq where a woman can have her say about her
children and people of religious differences can live together under
the rule of law?

GATES: I certainly hope it's one of their worst nightmares.

GRAHAM: Well, according to them, it is….

GRAHAM: Can you assure the Israelis that they [Iran] will not attack Israel with a nuclear weapon if they acquire one?

GATES: No, sir, I don't think that anybody can provide that assurance.

From what I heard, I was pretty impressed with Gates' responses.  More importantly to me, so was Slate's Fred Kaplan.  I trust his views on this stuff more than my own.  I am optimistic about Gates, but then again, my dog could a better job as Secretary of Defense than Rumsfeld. 

Maladaptive? Part Deux

Well, I wanted to be provocative in my post in which I suggested that those persons who choose not to have children are biologically maladaptive— I succeeded. Made me wish I still had comments.  My wife referred to me as juvenile and simplistic and a friend referred to me as “overly simplistic” and guilty of accusations.  After too many emails back and forth, she realized I'm not as crazy as she originally thought.  I also heard from a reader that said she was not going to have children with the wrong man just to fit society's expectations.  So, just to make myself clear for the record.  I do not think women should have children just because society wants them to.  I think women should have all the options in society that men do.  I think that changes in culture allow women more control of their reproduction and this is a good thing.  I do, however, still believe, that a lack of a desire to reproduce is biologically maladaptive.  Enough said on the subject.  I hope.  

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