Struggle With the Death Penalty

When my high school government class held a series of debates against another class, I charged in at full steam.  The teachers had agreed not to interfere, but they let me know in private that if I wanted to offer some “assistance” to other debate teams from my class, I could.  I did just that, helping each team research concepts for their issue (social security reform, abortion, education spending, etc), showing them how to lay out key points in an argument, and sharing ideas for the short video … [Read more...]

Citizenship Confusion: The New York Times' Religious Quiz for Presidential Candidates

Every Monday in Citizenship Confusion, Alan Noble discusses how we confuse our heavenly citizenship with citizenship to the state, culture, and the world.One of the reoccurring themes of my column has been the fact that Christians must always place the authority and honor of God above the State.  But what is a devoted Christian presidential candidate to say when asked, "If you encounter a conflict between your faith and the Constitution and laws of the United States, how would you resolve it? H … [Read more...]

Racists Pig Racing?: Why Christians are Obligated to be Discerning on the Internet

A month or so ago, someone sent me the following video in an e-mail, which I posted in my column this Monday with the question, "As Christians, what are we to do with this?" YouTube - pig race mosque pt 2.Several parts of this news report are peculiar, as various commenters pointed out to me in response to my column. There is the strange laughter on the Fox set which can be heard at the beginning of the video, the … [Read more...]

Does Capitalism: A Love Story = Christianity: An Economic Revolution?

My first Michael Moore movie was fraught with highs and lows: he does impressive documentary work (when he stops talking), but that covers maybe a third of the movie.  He also highlights good examples of unconventional business practices, but they do not really prove his larger points.One of the especially useless parts was his apparent effort to convince Christians that capitalism is morally evil.  He does this with the following (paraphrased) argument:  Two priests I know (from Flint!) and th … [Read more...]

10 Ideas Changing the World Right Now

Time Magazine recently put out an interesting article:  10 ideas Changing the World Right Now.  It's quite thoughtful... and, I hope you'll notice, has a lot of connections to our Looking Forward articles (1,2,3,4,5) and podcasts (1,2,3). … [Read more...]

Looking Forward: Politics in 2009

Many Christians remain on the defensive in response to the culture around them, pointing out dangers and condemning anything that makes us uncomfortable. We find warning and condemnation to be a valid position, but not a valid default position. In order to demonstrate an alternative, we thought we’d demonstrate what it’s like to give popular culture the benefit of the doubt.All this week, the writers at Christ and Pop Culture will be playing the role of evangelist for some of the things we’re mos … [Read more...]

Politics, Ethics, and Compromise.

I'll start by saying... I really enjoy politics.  I've been studying it for 11 years; the philosophical underpinnings, the history, the institutions, the policies, and the backroom dealings.  I've worked for two election campaigns, two lobbyist organizations, a state senator, and a U.S. Congressman.  I follow political news closely.  For whatever reason, I just think it's extremely fun.However, the first thing you lose when you study a subject is any pristine sense of idealism about what it can … [Read more...]

Bare-Knuckled Pro-life Bishops

Ok, so we all know I'm viewed as the Great Ninny by Christians for voting Obama, because it was felt I simply ignored the abortion issue.  However, I heartily applaud America's Catholic Bishops threatening to close their hospitals if the Freedom of Choice Act is signed.  This is one of the most hard-core, grand-scale, bare-knuckle political moves I've seen in a long time and I can't help but love it. … [Read more...]

Pro-Life Strategy

One of my key arguments, as a Christian who voted for Obama, is that the pro-life crowd needs to focus on things other than winning elections... things like support for pregnant teen mothers, free ultrasounds in abortion clinics, etc. Well, it looks like those ideas may be coming to pass! I'm definitely curious about what Christians who think you "cannot vote for a pro-choice candidate" think of this development. … [Read more...]

Grapes of Wrath? The Economy of Relative Feeling

I recently joined a book club, and our next book is, "The Grapes of Wrath," by John Steinbeck. Most interesting was the reason for choosing this particular book; the choosers felt, "it would be especially relevant to our time and situation." In other words, they felt the many parallels between our time and the events depicted in the book warranted close consideration.Of course, the title for the book comes from the Christian hymn "Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory," which uses martial terms to … [Read more...]