About Gene Veith

I am a retired English professor and college administrator. I have written over 20 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

Restoring society by going to Church 

In the course of a review of R. R. Reno’s Resurrecting the Idea of a Christian Society, Texas A&M professor James R. Rogers (an LCMS Lutheran) observes that most people on every side assume that going to church is a private activity.  Christians are urged to go outside the walls of their churches to change society.

But it’s within the walls of churches that God works and society is changed.  Dr. Rogers quotes St. Ignatius of Antioch:

Take heed to meet together frequently for thanksgiving [eucharis] to God and for his glory. For when you meet together frequently, the powers of Satan are cast down, and the destruction at which he aims is prevented by the unity of your faith.

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The “Bill Clinton is worse” fallacy

Donald Trump responds to videos and testimonies about his treatment of women by saying, “But Bill Clinton is worse!”  He brings together some of Bill’s victims for a press conference and invites them to the debates.  But I don’t see how Bill’s sexual transgressions and his being a sexual predator can be used to discredit Hillary Clinton.

Isn’t the wife of an adulterer one of his victims?  Isn’t Hillary the Wronged Woman?

What do we want her to do?  Divorce him?  I thought we didn’t believe in divorce.

But she “enabled” her husband’s bad behavior by denying it and attacking the women who accused him.  But isn’t this kind of denial a defense mechanism, part of the “Stand by Your Man” syndrome? [Read more…]

What Trump gets right

The empty factories have their windows broken and weeds are taking over the parking lots, but they remain as monuments of the prosperity that rust-belt cities used to enjoy.  Small towns in the heartland have downtowns with shop windows boarded up.  Their young people either move away the first chance they get, looking for work, or they stay with many of them getting hooked on crystal meth or heroin.  A large number of the displaced workers in both the cities and the towns have given up on marriage and have stopped going to church, such is their despair.

What has happened to many of our cities and our small town culture–which used to be the Norman Rockwell vision of America–is tragic.  Here we see where economics and culture come together, destroying each other.

Who’s to blame?  Wal-Mart or Amazon for destroying America’s small retailers?  Corporations closing factories here and opening them overseas in lands of cheap labor?  Can or should anything be done about it?  Maybe these are just casualties of the market’s “creative destruction.”  But we are writing off a good part of America.

Donald Trump is pretty much the only one in either party who shows any concern whatsoever about the plight of America’s working class. [Read more…]

The new and improved Iraqi army

The way the Iraqi army used to deal with ISIS, when that movement was taking large swaths of the country, was to throw down their weapons and run away.  But now the Iraqi army is winning battles against ISIS.   This is due to a replacement of corrupt officers, intense training at the hands of U.S. and coalition troops, and the increased confidence that comes from victories.

This week the Iraqis have started an offensive to retake Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, with over a million inhabitants.  This will mean house-to-house fighting against the best ISIS has to offer.   That will be the Iraqi army’s biggest test.

Jim Michaels gives details after the jump. [Read more…]

The Berenstain Bears go Christian

The Berenstain Bears have been children’s favorites since the first title was published in 1962.  The son of the original cartoonist took over the franchise in the 1980s.  Mike Berenstain is a Christian, and he brings out explicit Christian themes in one line of the books published by Zondervan.  Go here for those titles.

A Jewish dad writes about why his four-year-old loves the Bears in the New York Times Magazine.  He was taken aback by the Christian titles, though he doesn’t mind them too much.  Read what he says after the jump.

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“America needs a religious right”

New York Times Ross Douthat offers a defense of the Religious Right.  In fact, he argues that America needs a religious right in order to save conservatism from its own darker impulses.

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