Watching Politics From the Pew: Gingrich, Romney, and Personal History

As the Republican nomination devolves into the mud-slinging match we always knew it would become, it is instructive to observe the differing opinions about personal history and what personal history means for the future. In the course of this primary, we have had the following suggested to us by various characters in the drama:-If you made a lot of money and obeyed government tax law, that reflects negatively on your candidacy.-If a gigantic company paid you money to give them advice about … [Read more...]

Watching Politics from the Pew: The Presidential Obstacle Course

In late October of this year, I will be taking part in an event called the Tough Mudder. It is a race through hills, water, and mud that goes on for 10–12 miles. As if that wasn’t enough, it is filled with 25–30 crazy obstacles, things like diving into a dumpster full of ice water, or climbing over hay bales and up half-pipes, or crossing streams on greased monkey bars, or running through a forest of wires, some of which have 10,000 volts coursing through them.Preparing for and running in an ev … [Read more...]

Watching Politics from the Pew: The Death of a Dictator

Kim Jong Il is dead. Of course I could pay lip service to high-minded Christian ideals; how we wish for redemption in all circumstances, how you never know what a person said on his deathbed, how only God can judge his last few moments. But I don’t really feel that way.After all, this was a man responsible for more death, destruction, starvation, and wasted lives than perhaps any other on earth. His maniacal cult of personality was crazy enough to amuse us, but we too often forget that it put a … [Read more...]

Watching Politics From the Pew: The Cost of Healthcare and Wisdom

Each week in Watching Politics From the Pew, Benjamin Bartlett offers a thoughtful Christian perspective on the latest political happenings in the news.What should we do about the rising cost of healthcare?If you focus your attention on the political rhetoric surrounding this topic, you will usually hear what a candidate is against: public exchanges, insurance companies, mandated coverage, Obamacare, etc. If someone is for something, it is often for the purpose of blame, such as being for … [Read more...]

Watching Politics From the Pew: The Failed Supercommittee and the Possibility of Peace

I’m a little tired of writing about my disappointment with Congress. I’m actually one not to mind a do-nothing legislature, but this is something else.  America has a very real inability to compromise on needed budget measures, and it is undercutting faith in our financial health.  This plays havoc with the markets at a time when we are desperately struggling to recover our former every-man-a-king economic utopia.The failure of the so-called supercommittee is especially discouraging in light of … [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: The World Demands Answers

Each week in Watching Politics From the Pew, Benjamin Bartlett offers a thoughtful Christian perspective on the latest political happenings in the news.One inevitable feature of inside-the-Beltway gossip is White House office politics. We like to know all the details of how the executive branch is carrying out its role of enforcing the law and leading the country. We look for insight everywhere, hoping that anecdotes about one official’s skill at speech writing or a bureaucrat’s tendency to fos … [Read more...]

Watching Politics From the Pew: Herman Cain and "Christian" Political Hypocrisy

Each week in Watching Politics From the Pew, Benjamin Bartlett offers a thoughtful Christian perspective on the latest political happenings in the news.It is pretty awkward watching Herman Cain right now. The man has interesting credentials, is an excellent speaker, and appeals strongly to those who prefer anti-establishment candidates. He has also been married to the same woman for his entire adult life, which is increasingly rare in politics.But then this happened. I won’t speak to its val … [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...]


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