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Seen in Passing

Items of interest from various sources of religious news and opinion, in print and on the web.

Jim Harbaugh’s Courage and Compassion on Abortion. In the midst of a contentious public debate on abortion in the wake of the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade , University of Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh has taken a stand of conscience, and of compassion. In a July interview with ESPN , Harbaugh said that he has told players and family members that he would help with an unwanted pregnancy. “I’ve told (them) the same thing I tell my kids, boys, the girls, same thing I tell our players, our staff members. I encourage them if they have a pregnancy that wasn’t planned, to go through with it, go through with it. . . . And if at that time, you don’t feel like you can care for it, you don’t have the means or the wherewithal, then Sarah and I will take that baby.” As might be expected, criticism from the media and abortion advocates was immediate. But Harbaugh, far from backpedaling, doubled down on his view at a media day a week later: “In my opinion, it needs communication,” he said. “We need to talk about it. It’s too big an issue to not give real, serious consideration. What kind of person would you be if you didn’t stand up for what you believe in? And didn’t fight tooth and nail for it? I believe in letting the unborn be born.” Garcia, Tony. “Jim Harbaugh’s abortion stance.” Wolverines. (Detroit Free Press), 26 Jul. 2022. Web. 27 Jul. 2022.

“Police Radar Fallacy” in Aging the Universe. In early July, astronomers published the first breathtaking photographs taken by the new James Webb Space Telescope. According to NASA administrator Bill Nelson, the new telescope will allow scientists to look back into the past to when the lights were first turned on in the universe. “We will look back to 13.5 billion years ago, only a few hundred million years after the beginning.” But in an article for the Christian Post, retired professor F. LaGard Smith points out that when it comes to calculating distance and time, get the starting point wrong and wrong conclusions will follow. “Suppose a traffic cop radars a car going 90 miles per hour. One quite logically might conclude that an hour earlier the car was 90 miles away, but it’s far more likely that the driver pulled onto the highway a few miles down the road and kicked it up to 90. In such a case, extrapolating from the 90 mph observed by radar to the conclusion that the car was 90 miles away an hour previously is logical enough, but wrong. So, when did the expansion of the universe begin, and when did light first start hurtling away at the speed of light? Was it billions of years ago at some ‘Big Bang’ moment when an unguided, unpurposed process of cosmic evolution first began? Or was there suddenly and instantaneously an up-and-running universe all at once—expanding from the word ‘go,’ complete with light in motion from one end of the universe to the other? As in, ‘Let there be light!’” Smith, F. LaGard. “Has the Webb Telescope found God?” Voices . 20 Jul. 2022. Web. 27 Jul. 2022.

Lutheran Spokesman