Tag Archives: society

Michael Medved: Black Panther’s Misleading Utopia

Opioid

“Black Panther” has made movie history as the first smash hit about a black superhero. But even as international audiences savor this splashy entertainment, it’s worth noting some necessary reservations.

 

The dialogue is full of clunky clichés, the plot is convoluted, the lavish sets and costumes look tacky and sometimes tawdry, and the special effects often fail to convince. Despite strong performances from a distinguished cast, the movie creates a totally fictitious African utopia that ignores fundamental truths about civilizations. The story centers on the fantasy kingdom of “Wakanda,” which, in carefully guarded isolation, has developed technological advances that lead the world.

 

In fact, isolation invariably produces stagnation, not progress. Moreover, Wakanda in the movie is a medieval, tribal society, choosing all-powerful rulers through trial by combat and magical incantations. In the real world, advancement and wellbeing grow reliably from democratic, free market institutions, not from authoritarian societies based on brutality and sorcery echoing Game of Thrones.

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Albert Mohler: A Dark Milestone In the Moral Context of Our Culture

Headlines

On the issue of pornography, the New York Times has just given us an example of what moral surrender looks like.

 

The cover story of the magazine is titled, “What Teenagers Are Learning From Online Porn.”

 

The main argument is that pornography has become the main vehicle for sex education amongst American teenagers. Access appears to be such a given in terms of the adolescent experience in our nation today that the New York Times Magazine article is mostly important because of its central message: This is simply a reality you’re going to have to find a way to deal with it.

 

In one amazing paragraph, the author—Maggie Jones—actually suggests that the moral issue is not whether or not teenagers are looking at pornography, but what kind of pornography they are viewing and whether or not it brings out a certain form of sexism in them.

 

It’s as if—as a society—we’re really past the ability to render moral judgment.

 

It’s another dark milestone in the moral context of our culture.

 

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David Davenport: Free Speech Under Threat

Compromise

This summer, Commentary magazine published a forum on the question: Is free speech under threat in the United States?

Ironically, in a country where the Constitution and the courts carefully protect free speech, many people do not feel free to speak freely. Why? Because of a smothering blanket of political correctness that starts in our colleges and permeates our society.

Speakers with points of view that differ from the liberal orthodoxy are not welcome on many campuses, and in some cases have been subject to threats and violence. Students are supposed to be protected from so-called trigger words and microaggressions in the classroom. So much for free speech and the open debate of competing ideas.

The problem is that the First Amendment protects free speech from limitations by government, but the big challenges to free speech come from our culture and our campuses. It will take a strong fight to protect free speech, which is clearly under threat.

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Michael Medved: Defying the “Success Sequence”

Opioid

The New York Times recently acknowledged that some of the recent changes in marriage and childbearing have damaged our country. Noting that a big majority—55 percent—of first children born to millennial couples are now born outside of marriage, columnist David Leonhardt explained that this “new normal” violates the “success sequence” established long-ago by the Brookings Institution.

That research proved that young people, whatever their background, could minimize any chance of long-term poverty by taking thee simple steps: graduating from high school, getting a job—any job—right after graduation from high school or college, and bearing children only after marriage, not before.

The success sequence shows that good choices can help all people avoid bad outcomes, even if they’re disadvantaged, while bad choices are likely to produce bad outcomes, even for the more privileged. Welcoming children in their traditional context of marital commitment will benefit those children, their parents and society at large.

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