Virginia’s Gerrymandering Violates the Golden Rule in Politics

One of the chief benefits of a written Constitution meant to last for centuries is that it forces drafters to think beyond their own narrow self-interest. It is analogous to agreeing on the rules to a game before you start; only, when you die, your children have to play by the same rules, and their children after them. While you may know something about your own skills and resources, you cannot know for sure whether your grandchildren will have the same characteristics. Most decent people will … [Read more...]

How do you Choose Public Policy? Sandy Hook, Gun Control, and Pragmatism

What drives your convictions on public policy? Is it your commitment to certain ideologies? Or to certain goals?Last month, our nation reminded us how incredibly divided we are, and that division continues to manifest in the fiscal cliff debates and now, after the Sandy Hook tragedy, with regards to gun control. Disagreement and dialogue is healthy for our country, but it's not healthy if no one ever changes their position. If all our debates do is fire up supporters, then we've exchanged … [Read more...]

China’s 18th National Congress & The Future of Chinese Christianity

While discerning China's political landscape is about as simple as reading a map of Middle-earth in Elvish to predict the lunar cycles of Gondor in the Third Age, what is clear is that China's 18th National Congress will hold major global economic ramifications. Essentially every decade, the Chinese hold a series of meetings to decide the future leadership and distribution of power. (It's a lot more complicated than that, but that's the gist.) The Politburo Standing Committee, which is t … [Read more...]

Paul Ryan: The Man With A Plan

Washington DC has a lot of silly “debate” lines that it uses to provide sound bites that don’t really say much of anything. For example:“I’m sorry if I offended anybody.” (Used to apologize for incredibly bad behavior) “My personal life is my business”  (Used to deflect significant propriety questions) “We have more questions that need to be answered.” (Used to keep a minor issue alive to encourage the public perception that the other side is hiding something) “They are playing party politi … [Read more...]

God and Country Music: The Politics of The Dixie Chicks & American Christianity

Each week in God and Country Music, Nick Rynerson gives country music a chance and examines the world of Americana, folk, alt-country, and popular country music.!B--py)gCGk~$(KGrHqJ,!k8Ey+jCw3Q6BM-RiFUhF!~~0_3.JPPersonally, I try to stay out of politics. I’m not registered to vote, I do not watch the news during election years and when people start talking politics with me, my favorite thing is to throw them a red herring … [Read more...]

The Separation of Church and Patriotism

There are several songs in the back of our Baptist Hymnal that are listed under the heading of "Patriotic", including "The Star-Spangled Banner", "America the Beautiful", "My Country, 'Tis of Thee", and my personal favorite, "O Canada". Why is that one my favorite? Because I think it proves the point of why we shouldn't sing any of these songs during a worship service. If it is inappropriate to sing "O Canada" in Alabama while worshipping the Lord of All the Nations, then why is it okay to sing … [Read more...]

How Should Christians Think About Gay Marriage?

Most days, I’m glad you can’t see the discussions that go on between Christ and Pop Culture's writers. They tend to consist of teasing, arguing, teasing, complaining about life and culture in general, teasing, countless inside jokes, and the occasional substantial conversation. It can be a little overwhelming. When I come home from work (where the ongoing conversation is unavailable to me), I often have to set aside over half an hour just to catch up on the flow of conversation from the day… and  … [Read more...]

Watching Politics From the Pew: Valuable Debates?

Each week in Watching Politics From the Pew, Benjamin Bartlett offers a thoughtful Christian perspective on the latest political happenings in the news.Let’s talk about the reasons we should not have political debates.  A candidate for political office does not need to do much debating. A candidate has advisors who focus on details, so knowing details in a debate is not relevant.   The debate format tends to promote grandstanding and cheap one-liners over substance. The format also encourages p … [Read more...]

Watching Politics From the Pew: Two-Year Marriage Licenses

Each week in Watching Politics From the Pew, Benjamin Bartlett offers a thoughtful Christian perspective on the latest political happenings in the news.Mexico City is considering issuing two-year marriage licenses.  That’s right; you would just be married for two years and then your marriage would end, unless you went back to renew.There are some really interesting arguments to be made for this issue. Couples have a chance to see what marriage is like.  People in bad situations can choose not … [Read more...]

Watching Politics From the Pew: Who Cares if He Is Mormon?

Each week in Watching Politics From the Pew, Benjamin Bartlett offers a thoughtful Christian perspective on the latest political happenings in the news.At this point, I really don’t understand how anyone can still manage to convince themselves that the United States of America is a Christian nation.Sure there are some old traditions and phrases and songs that stretch back to our Christian heritage.  And yes, most (but certainly not all) of the great men and women who shaped our country his … [Read more...]