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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Have Mercy on Clarence Aaron

From Web Exclusives

Our leaders don’t use their power to show mercy much anymore. There isn’t a measurable political upside in releasing prisoners from lawful punishments. If the released do nothing wrong thereafter, the releaser receives no career benefit. But if a commuted criminal reoffends, woe betide the governor running for office who released him. For the ambitious politician, it is a pointless risk to take. The time has come to change direction. Toward that end, I write in support of a decade-long campaign that seeks mercy for federally convicted drug felon Clarence Aaron. . . . Continue Reading »

Let JFK RIP? It’s Complicated

From Web Exclusives

The day remains vivid; a sunny and mild Friday, typical Los Angeles November weather. I was a high school freshman. Eleven a.m. gym class over, I was showered and hungry for lunch. As a group of us boys jostled and kidded waiting for the bell that would spark our daily dash to the food line, a kid came running up and said breathlessly, “Kennedy’s been shot!” . . . Continue Reading »

Forced Exit

From the November 2013 Print Edition

Assisted Suicide: The Liberal, Humanist Case Against Legalization? by kevin yuill ?palgrave macmillan, 208 pages, $85 I have always believed that liberals should be the euthanasia movement’s natural enemies. The liberalism to which I committed myself in my youth was concerned with expanding . . . . Continue Reading »

The V-Word Is as Bad as the N-Word

From Web Exclusives

The Washington Redskins football team is under great pressure to change its name to stop offending Native Americans. The ongoing coverage of that imbroglio got me to think about another commonly used epithet that demeans the most powerless among us, and yet remains in widespread use without attracting significant criticism… . Continue Reading »

The Grim Good of Animal Research

From Web Exclusives

Last week, scientists in the U.K. announced a “dramatic” step forward into understanding and treating Alzheimer’s. Researchers infected mice with prion disease and then experimented with methods to ameliorate the effects. They discovered a drug compound that stopped “the disease in its tracks,” restoring normal behaviors and preventing memory loss. If the knowledge gained by using mice can be applied to humans, one scientist believes, it will “be judged in history as a turning point” in the fight against Alzheimer’s… . Continue Reading »

The Biological Colonialism of the Rich

From Web Exclusives

Whenever I criticize the Wild West ethics of the in vitro fertilization industry, I hear from heartbroken people who tell me they would do “anything” to have a baby. I sympathize with the heartache of childlessness. But the willingness of many to do”and of the IVF industrial complex to sell”anything leads to a “me first” sense of reproductive entitlement… . Continue Reading »

The Case That Destroyed Marriage

From Web Exclusives

How did marriage lose most of its meaning? How has it gone from being regarded as an institution that formed the conjugal bond, established nuclear families, knit vital social ties across extended familial units, and forged the necessary social cohesion for the sheltering and rearing children to a more-or-less optional affirmation of love? … Continue Reading »

A Contemporary Review of the Trial of Jesus

From Web Exclusives

A few weeks ago, Matthew Schmitz posted a story on First Thoughts about a Kenyan lawyer bringing a case in the Hague against Israel and Italy. His legal claim? Jesus of Nazareth was unjustly executed and the modern states of Italy and Israel”the supposed successors in interest of the Roman Empire and Ancient Israel”should be accountable to “uphold the dignity of Jesus.”… The case is frivolous, of course. But the story got me thinking as a contemporary lawyer about the facts of the matter and the differing legal standards that apply now… . Continue Reading »

The Anti-Science Canard

From Web Exclusives

I was involved in one of those heated internet dustups last week. It started when Hank Campbell, creator of the Science 2.0, accused me of being “anti-science” and “hating biology,” which he claimed I see as a “tool of Lucifer.” … Continue Reading »