Have you ever wondered why Heaven is helpful now?Â Eternity ChangesÂ Everything shows us how heavenly ideas can come down right into the nooks and crannies of everyday life–parenting, suffering, work, and more. Stephen makes you lean forward to heaven in holy restlessness and enduring patience. Every truth he explains makes a stop in reality, moving the reader from “Aha” to “Mmm.” Here is a writer who pastors, and a pastor who thinks. This is theology that breathes and sings. I can’t wait for more Stephen Witmer!
Who’s to determine what is obscene these days, especially on the web? Do we need a morality handbook for website filtering or should we just rely on our collective conscience? Or perhaps Google can make the call? In a court case in Florida, where operator of a pornographic web site is being tried, the defense lawyer has summoned Google data to show that the Pensacoloan community prefers sexual content in their web searches, that they are “more likely to use Google to search for terms like “orgy” than for “apple pie” or “watermelon.”
The argument that follows is if most of the community wants it, why should anyone stop it? It appears that, in Pensacoloa, the greater good is less virtue, not more. This, of course, relativizes morality based on community, a real postmodern turn. But this communitarian ethic is moving from cultural postmodern mores to actual legal practice. I wonder how Pensacoloans really feel about this, about their burgeoning sex-charged reputation? This might not attract the kind of tourism the city wants!
Trial date is July 1. NY Times reports that: “In the last eight years, the Justice Department has brought roughly 15 obscenity cases that have not involved child pornography, compared with 75 during the Reagan and first Bush administrations…” Supreme court decisions explicitly rely on “contemporary community standards,” along with two other key factors, which seems to beg the case for a greater standard of morality. After all, if the contemporary community standards move from celebrating pornography to endorsing adultery, how are 50% of the spouses going to feel about that? And what if murder gets popular? The slippery slope of communitarian ethics seems to point beyond the community to a need of a greater judge, a greater, divine community who can offer impartial judgments; however, the identity of such a being or god rarely reaches a community-wide consensus.