So You Want Christian Law but Not Shari’a?

Don’t forge that Christians can be as threatening to non-Christians as Muslims to Christians (and we’re barely talking about Old Testament law):

So with all other great movements in malignant morals. For example, that of the Lord’s Day Alliance. There are plenty of members of the alliance, I venture to opine, who devote at least a part of Sunday to recreation–perhaps automobiling, or piano-playing, or gastronomy, or novel-reading, or the beating of children. But that doesn’t take anything from their noble passion to destroy and prohibit the recreations of the common people. That doesn’t detract from their gallant effort to make the average man’s Sunday a day of tedium and horror, of sullenness and gloom. That doesn’t make the less laudable their vicious and violent attack upon the poor fellows who go to Back River on their one day of rest to sit under the trees and drink a few bottles of beer and hear a happy song or two and get a breath of fresh air.

The Anti-Cigarette League follows the examples of these elder lodges of chemical purity. It does not ask its members to stop smoking themselves; it merely asks them to advocate laws putting heavy penalties upon smoking by others. Its funds will be divided fairly into two parts. One part I shall keep myself, as a modest recompense for my laborious shaking down of the pious. The other part will be devoted to the propaganda. Rabble-rousers will be supplied to Sunday-schools and Chautauquas. Horrible examples will be exhibited to trembling children. Eminent cigarette manufacturers will be denounced by name. Candidates for public office will be browbeaten into line. Literature will be distributed showing that the cigarette is the mother and father of crime, that every cigarette smoker is a potential pirate and murderer, that all the sorrows of the world are caused by the abhorrent coffin-nail.

8 thoughts on “So You Want Christian Law but Not Shari’a?

  1. The other part will be devoted to the propaganda.

    What is a safe level of secondhand smoke?

    There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Even low levels of secondhand smoke can be harmful. The only way to fully protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke is to completely eliminate smoking in indoor spaces. Separating smokers from nonsmokers, cleaning the air, and ventilating buildings cannot completely eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke (4).

    What is being done to reduce nonsmokers’ exposure to secondhand smoke?

    On the national level, several laws restricting smoking in public places have been passed. Federal law bans smoking on domestic airline flights, nearly all flights between the United States and foreign destinations, interstate buses, and most trains. Smoking is also banned in most federally owned buildings. The Pro-Children Act of 1994 prohibits smoking in facilities that routinely provide federally funded services to children.

    Many state and local governments have passed laws prohibiting smoking in public facilities, such as schools, hospitals, airports, bus terminals, parks, and beaches, as well as private workplaces, including restaurants and bars. Some states have passed laws regulating smoking in multiunit housing and cars. More than half of the states have enacted statewide bans on workplace smoking.

    To highlight the health risks from secondhand smoke, the National Cancer Institute, a component of the National Institutes of Health, holds meetings and conferences in states, counties, cities, or towns that are smoke free, unless specific circumstances justify an exception to this policy.

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Healthy People 2020, a comprehensive, nationwide health promotion and disease prevention agenda, includes the goal of reducing illness, disability, and death related to tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure. Currently, most Americans are exposed to secondhand smoke, and children are at greatest risk. For 2020, the goal is to reduce the proportion of people exposed to secondhand smoke by 10 percent. To assist with achieving this goal, Healthy People 2020 includes ideas for community interventions, such as encouraging the introduction of smoke-free policies in workplaces and other public areas.


  2. But, Ali, as a non-smoker there’s just something about using the force of law to embody my own habits that’s as off putting as the smoking friend who just assumes I don’t mind him blowing smoke in my face over lunch. Whatever happened to treating human like beings?


  3. @Ali
    Could it be that government agencies have embraced junk science to further political goals? There is emerging evidence that in the case of the campaign against second hand smoke they have done just that.


  4. How bout this too sdb: DeflateGate: NFL Hired Same Research Firm That Denied Secondhand Smoke Causes Cancer CBS Boston May 6, 2015

    BOSTON (CBS) – On Wednesday, attorney Ted Wells finally released the findings of his investigation into under-inflated footballs used by the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game back in January.

    The 138-page report concludes that some Patriots employees likely deflated footballs and quarterback Tom Brady may have known about it. His conclusion and investigation are backed up by testimony and scientific study, but the latter part of that sentence is starting to draw serious attention.

    In an effort for transparency, one of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s favorite words, it’s more likely than not a prudent exercise to raise questions about the way in which the DeflateGate investigation was handled.
    Questions are being raised about Exponent, the California-based engineering firm employed by the NFL and Wells in the scientific part of their investigation.

    A February 2010 article in the Los Angeles Times, which was brought to my attention on Twitter by Rich Hill of Pats Pulpit, alleges that Exponent is a “hired gun” called upon by major corporations to “weather messy disputes.”
    The article also states that Exponent’s scientific standards are right to be criticized.

    “But Exponent’s research has come under fire from critics, including engineers, attorneys and academics who say the company tends to deliver to clients the reports they need to mount a public defense.”

    Exponent has represented many major high-profile companies, including Toyota, Ford, Suzuki, Exxon and others. Often times, according to the article, Exponent reaches questionable conclusions based on their allegiances.
    “[In May 2009], the Amazon Defense Coalition alleged that an Exponent study finding that dumping oil waste in the Ecuadorean rain forest did not increase cancer rates was tainted because the firm’s largest shareholder was a member of the board of Chevron Corp., which commissioned the study.”

    But that’s not all, either.

    In fact, Exponent once argued for Big Tobacco that secondhand smoke does not lead to cancer, which we now know is false.
    “Stanton Glantz, [is] a cardiologist at UC San Francisco who runs a database on the tobacco industry that contains thousands of pages of Exponent research arguing, among other things, that secondhand smoke does not cause cancer.”


  5. @Ali – The sideline bit about Exponent is not relevant. None of their studies were linked in the article I provided to you. The organization that showed that the small trials linking second-hand smoke to heart problems were not valid was RAND – certainly not an industry shill. The paper showing over an order of magnitude increase in lung cancer risk for smokers and finding no link between moderate exposure to secondhand smoke was from a paper published in 2013 by Journal of the National Cancer Institute. As they point out in the paper, they don’t prove that there is no link. Rather they show that the effect was too small to detect in a study of 76,000 women.

    The article is interesting throughout – it explains the shortcomings of the experimental design of previous studies and highlights what we do and don’t know about various risk factors associate with smoking (living with a heavy smoker is a risk factor, working in a smoky bar is not much of one, sniffing smoke while walking in a park is not at all). As they note in the article, the campaign against public smoking is not driven by health concerns over second hand smoke (there aren’t any), rather “The strongest reason to avoid passive cigarette smoke is to change societal behavior: to not live in a society where smoking is a norm.”

    This is an unfortunate. Government agencies embrace junk science to scare people into desired behavior and then wonder why authorities are distrusted.


  6. sdb says The article is interesting throughout…the campaign against public smoking is not driven by health concerns over second hand smoke (there aren’t any)..This is an unfortunate. Government agencies embrace junk science to scare people into desired behavior and then wonder why authorities are distrusted.

    oh sdb. your linked study is also interesting in that it also says:

    “Passive smoking has many downstream health effects—asthma, upper respiratory infections, other pulmonary diseases, cardiovascular disease—but only borderline increased risk of lung cancer,” said Patel. “The strongest reason to avoid passive cigarette smoke is to change societal behavior: to not live in a society where smoking is a norm.
    “It’s very reassuring that passive smoke in the childhood home doesn’t increase the risk of lung cancer [in this study],” said Patel. “But it doesn’t decrease the need for us to have strong antismoking measures. There are very few never-smokers in smoking families.”

    A large body of research has linked passive smoking to lung cancer, as well as to coronary heart disease, asthma, emphysema, respiratory infections, sudden infant death syndrome, low birth weight, and childhood ear infections. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, secondhand smoke is responsible for 46,000 heart disease deaths and 3,400 lung cancer deaths among US nonsmoking adults each year. But many studies that showed the strongest links between secondhand smoke and lung cancer were case–control studies, which can suffer from recall bias: People who develop a disease that might be related to passive smoking are more likely to recall being exposed to passive smoking.

    So does secondhand smoke cause lung cancer or not? “We can’t say it’s not a risk factor,” said Wang.“We don’t want people to conclude that passive smoking has no effect on lung cancer,” she said.

    Meanwhile, said Winn, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (as well as NCI) has said unequivocally that passive smoking is a cause of lung cancer. “You shouldn’t conclude from this study that it isn’t,” she said.
    More women will die of lung cancer this year than of all other female cancers—breast, ovarian, cervix, and uterine—combined,” he said. “A lot of women have missed that message.

    Asked whether a waitress who spent 15 years working in a smoky bar should feel reassured, Wakelee said, “Certainly, if you look just at this study and ignore other data. But you can’t really ignore all the other data or ignore all the health risks linked to that exposure.”


  7. Dr. Hart, and distinguished Contributors,
    Speaking of Christian Law, and the need for Law Enforcement (in the Church?) – has anyone seen the latest news today where the Alabama Senate passed a bill approving Briarwood Presbyterian Church’s initiative to form a ‘Police Department’? Unprecedented, and demented. Definitely not 2-K theology, and an opening of Pandora’s Box for sure! And no objections to be found today on the Aquila Report? A Church Police Department that reports to the Church Session….unbelievable!

    By the way, missed being with you for a good while…… to all.


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