The plight of religious traditionalists

Rachel Lu has written an important essay for National Review on the plight of religious traditionalists.  Donald Trump, she observes, has no interest in religious liberty issues or “fake culture war” causes that traditionalists care about.  And Republicans planning a post-Trump party are going the way of “fiscally conservative but socially liberal.”  And progressives, of course, can’t stand conservative religion.  So both political parties want to disassociate themselves from religious traditionalists.

And yet, she says, despite the efforts to marginalize religious conservatives, they have some cards to play. [Read more…]

The rest of the religious liberty story

The Christian Science Monitor is running a seven-part series on religious liberty.  According to Julia Duin, it is remarkably fair and balanced, including fuller accounts of the florists and bakers who are losing everything they own because they will not participate in gay weddings.

For example, we learn that the florist in Washington state had done lots of business with the man who would later file a discrimination claim against her.  She sold him $4,500 worth of floral arrangements over nine years.  She didn’t discriminate against him in her business because he was gay.  She knew that he was and considered him a friend.  But when he asked her to create floral designs for his wedding to another man, as a Southern Baptist, she had to draw the line.  But even then the jilted customer didn’t want to ruin her until he was talked into it by the ACLU, who added onto the discrimination complaint a lawsuit that would also seize all of her personal assets. [Read more…]

The party of the rich

Democrats are now the party of the rich, and Republicans are the party of the blue collar worker.  So concludes Reihan Salam, writing in the liberal Slate, drawing on research by think tanker Lee Drutman, who shows that the wealthiest Americans now tend to vote for Democrats.

Why?  Because the wealthy tend to be “socially liberal”; that is, they support abortion, gay rights, gun control, etc., etc.   Contrary to how they usually describe themselves, they are not necessarily “fiscally conservative.”  They are so affluent they don’t mind paying slightly higher taxes, and they want the government to provide health care and other benefits for the lower class that serves them.  But they are far from Bernie Sanders-style socialists, being supportive of big banks and Wall Street.

Conversely, as we see in the ascension of Donald Trump, lower income workers–concerned about free trade, exporting jobs, and low wages, as well as what they see as America’s cultural decline–are voting Republican.  This is all an exact reversal of just a few years ago. [Read more…]

Russians won’t be completely banned from the Olympics

How bad is Russian use of banned performance-enhancing drugs?  Even the country’s paralympic team–those participating in the feel-good competition for disabled athletes–was caught doping.  Nevertheless, the International Olympics Committee has ruled that the Russian Olympics team will be allowed to compete in Rio next month, though its athletes will face extra scrutiny and some teams (such as track and field) may be banned by the sport’s governing body. [Read more…]

Traditional sexual ethics vs. Christian morality

I happened upon a book by a former student of mine, Matthew Rueger, now a pastor in Iowa with a Ph.D.  The book, just out from CPH, is Sexual Morality in a Christless World.   Matt (if I can still call him that) tells about being put in the position of defending Christian morality in an Iowa State college classroom, whose professor was teaching pretty much the opposite.  He became a regular guest lecturer, up against great opposition, but his input grew to be respected, if not appreciated.  Those experiences became the basis of this book.

The Rev. Dr. Rueger includes a fascinating treatment of sexual morality in the Greco-Roman world.  The wide practice of homosexuality in that classical culture–specifically, pederasty, the sexual use of young boys–is particularly illuminating.  He also treats sexual morality in the ancient Hebrew world, which was not without problems of its own (such as easy divorce).   The Christian perspective on sexual morality, he shows, has always been counter-cultural.  It took its shape from consideration of our identity in Christ.   [Read more…]

What’s been missing at the Democratic convention

What’s been missing at the Democratic National Convention?

(1)  American flags.  The first night, there were Palestinian flags on the convention floor.  Outside, Bernie Sander’s socialist followers flew the red banner with the hammer and sickle of the Soviet flag.  But no Old Glory.  Not until an article in the Daily Caller pointed out the absence of the American flag, in stark contrast with the Republican convention where the stars and stripes were everywhere.  Whereupon the Democrats brought in some.

(2)  References to terrorism.  Fact-checkers confirmed that none of the 61 speakers on the first day of the convention mentioned the words terror, terrorism, terrorist, Islamic, or ISIS.  There was scant mention Tuesday, but Wednesday’s emphasis on foreign policy did include talk about terrorism.

What else has been missing?

[Read more…]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X