ELSEWHERE: U.S. State Department Shelters in Place

U.S. embassies are closed in 20 some nations this week. Apparently there's some intelligence that's pretty specific except for the location. Some have described the reaction as "cringing," arguing that it's unbecoming for the world's only superpower to hide at the mere threat of violence. Embassies, especially ours, have a precarious dual role: on the one hand, they represent a permanent diplomatic presence, a symbol of global cooperation. On the other hand, they are an island of sovereign … [Read more...]

When It Comes to Mainstream Media, Hate the Sin, Not the Sinner

by Kara Bettis My endearingly small home state of Rhode Island only supports one statewide newspaper. With the digital uprising of blogs and backpack journalism, The Providence Journal is dying a painfully slow death with little redemption in its future. Should the local church notice or care? After all, aside from Fox News’ faithful following in the Bible belt, there is a clear war between the Christian community and the national news media. Although the occasional skewering of evangelicals i … [Read more...]

What Would a Biblical Immigration Policy Be?

The ongoing debate in the U.S. Congress over immigration reform has seen significant activism and commentary from evangelical Christians, indicating that evangelicals, like most Americans, favor broad immigration reform. The U.S. Senate passed an immigration bill at the end of June, and it is currently under consideration by the House of Representatives. The most prominent group of evangelical leaders and organizations to weigh in on immigration policy, the Evangelical Immigration Table, … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Marriage Redefined in the UK

Today, Her Majesty the Queen gave royal assent to legislation redefining marriage as a nongendered institution, allowing same-sex couples to seek recognition of their relationships. The law does not require religious institutions to participate in that recognition. Elizabeth is formally Fidei Defensor - Defender of the Faith - and she is also Supreme Governor of the Church of England. Remarkably, the Church of England is not permitted to consecrate marriage for same-sex couples. Perhaps the UK wi … [Read more...]

Where are all the Protests over Black-on-Black Violence?

The following post was originally published April 6th, 2012, but given the verdict in the Zimmerman trial and the protests in response, it bears republishing. During all the recent public discussions about the Trayvon Martin case, I’ve been hesitant to speak too quickly or confidently; new “witnesses” and “evidence” seems to appear every day, and now that the DOJ has been pressured to immediately and carefully investigate, I’m less interested in speculating on the details of the case, until t … [Read more...]

How the Supreme Court ‘Decided’ the State of Race in America

Is Jim Crow dead? Do we live in a post-racial America? The Supreme Court seems to be saying: "Officially, yes."The Civil War ended with the surrender of the Confederate States of America. The American South went from holding human beings as property to a regime of formal equality with the stroke of a pen—but no one was under the illusion that a culture could change so quickly. The Union Army occupied the South in order to implement some measure of freedom and equality for the newly freed b … [Read more...]

Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman: Neighbors

Besides the death of a 17 year old, perhaps the saddest part of all this is that it shows us how debased our sense of community has become. Even worse, this has deepened the rifts that divide us as a nation.George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin. He was found not guilty on all counts by a jury of his peers. Martin was black. Zimmerman wasn't—he was mixed race but decidedly not black. When police arrived at the scene, Zimmerman's nose was broken, and he was bleeding from the head. He … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Patriotism and Christian Engagement

Maybe this is always the case, but it seems like there are a lot of things happening in the public sphere right now that affect Christians deeply (e.g. the DOMA decision, the Texas abortion bill, the alleged beating of Christian protesters at a gay pride rally, etc.). Thankfully, these events  have also spurred many thoughtful believers to ask how to engage passionately in political discourse without transgressing the bounds of neighborly love. On July 4, the folks at Resurgence published this p … [Read more...]

How to Respond to the Gay Pride Mob Video

A YouTube video [be advised, it contains some violence and profanity] showing some Christian street preachers being assaulted at a LGBT Pride Fest in Seattle has been spreading rapidly on social media in the past day or two. One article from LifeSiteNews.com has been shared and Liked on Twitter and Facebook several thousand times. Many of the comments appear to be from Christians outraged at this "reverse hate crime" and the "intolerance" displayed by the festival-goers antagonizing the pre … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: On the Eve of Our Independence Day, Civil War May Breakout in Egypt

Things are tense in Egypt right now, as the 48 hour timeline set by the military for the Morsi government to meet with protesters has come and gone. Will the military overthrow the government? Will it remove the protesters? Will the government that remains or replaces it be any better for the freedoms of its citizens, including Coptic Christians? The coming hours and days will reveal a lot. Follow the New York Time's Lede for the latest updates on the crisis.Pray for peace and healing and … [Read more...]