Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism, and consults for the Patients Rights Council.

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You Are Not an Ape

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Pedro Pozas, a Spanish animal-rights activist, made international headlines in 2006 when he declared, “I am an ape.” Pozas was speaking as an advocate for the Great Ape Project (GAP), the brainchild of Princeton utilitarian bioethicist Peter Singer and Italian animal-rights philosopher Paola . . . . Continue Reading »

The New York Times's Misanthropy

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The mainstream media are misanthropic. Article after column after editorial published in our most prominent news outlets promote the view that human exceptionalism is hubristic and arrogant. If we would just rank ourselves alongside the other animals in the forest, we are told repeatedly, we would . . . . Continue Reading »

Of Marriage and Orthodox Priests

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If anyone had asked me what I thought about Eastern Orthodoxy before I converted, I would have said it was basically a popeless Catholic Church, except that its priests can marry. My presumption was mostly wrong. While there are certainly important similarities between the theologies of world’s . . . . Continue Reading »

RSVP “No” to Suicide Party

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Back in 1991, I received an invitation to a party. My elderly friend Frances wanted to die. Her plan, she said, was to hold a life celebration with her closest friends: We would hold her hand, kiss her cheek, and tell her how much she meant to us—as she expressed her love for us. Then she would . . . . Continue Reading »

Life is a Cabaret, Old Chum

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Decadence: A process, condition, or period of deterioration or decline, as in morals or art; decay. The movie Cabaret—based on the hit Broadway play—was released in 1972, transforming Liza Minelli from “Judy Garland’s talented daughter” into a major star. In its day, Cabaret was shocking. . . . . Continue Reading »

More than “in God's Image”

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We live in an increasingly secular society. One consequence of this cultural shift is the rejection of the once uncontroversial belief that humans reside uniquely at the pinnacle of moral worth.Activist academics, purveyors of popular culture, and issue ideologues across a wide swath of movements—from bioethics, to animal rights, to environmentalism—seek to knock us off the pedestal. Public intellectuals like Princeton University’s Peter Singer even argue that being human is morally irrelevant; what matters is possessing sufficient cognitive capacities to qualify as a “person.” Continue Reading »

What Clarence Thomas Meant

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In the public square, many misuse the word “dignity” by conflating its subjective and objective meanings. Some see it as descriptive of behavior, an idiosyncratic concept that can vary widely across cultures. Thus, when I am on the dance floor, few would say I exhibit dignity. But my herky-jerky . . . . Continue Reading »