About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

Spiritual crisis in the white working class

Heroin used to be a problem mainly for the big cities.  Today it is also ravaging rural communities in the American heartland, a cheap alternative to pain pills and crystal meth.  In the white working class, divorce is soaring, marriage rates have been plummeting, and single parents have become the norm.  And this demographic, which used to be the heart and soul of evangelical Christianity, has the lowest rates of church attendance.  From boarded up small towns to rustbelt cities where the factory has closed down, the white working class is in a state of economic, moral, cultural, and spiritual crisis.

This is chronicled in the bestselling Hillbilly Elegy:  A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance, who grew up in a family plagued by all of these dysfunctions, but whose church-going grandparents pulled him out of the mire.

While churches build mega-congregations in the suburbs and concentrate on trying to reach affluent millennials, the truly unchurched who are arguably in most need of evangelism and spiritual care are often ignored, déclassé as they are.

Terry Mattingly interviews Vance on the religious dimensions of the crisis he documents. [Read more…]

Bush proven right on stem cell research

Fifteen years ago, President George W. Bush banned the use of federal money for extracting stem cells from human embryos.  At the same time, he doubled funding for finding alternative sources.  Today, virtually all stem cells used for medical treatments and research come from adult sources and do not involve the destruction of human life.

President Bush’s controversial decision has been vindicated, and it exemplifies the application of moral principles to scientific research.  So says Christopher White in Crux. [Read more…]

Loving your neighbors in the Louisiana flood

That flooding in Louisiana that killed 13 and damaged 40,000 homes brought out some inspiring examples of neighbors helping each other, churches serving those in need, and out-of-state strangers showing up to help.

As the disaster moves into the clean-up phase, bureaucracy and politics threatens to get in the way.

But we can still help.  One way is to give to LCMS Disaster Response. [Read more…]

The six signs of demonic possession?

Beliefnet has an interview with Father Gary Thomas, a Vatican-certified exorcist that is very interesting, though I’m not sure what I think of it.  After the jump, I give his “six classic signs of demonic possessions,” as well as what he says about how to protect yourself from demons.

Two of the signs are “aversion to the sacred” and “the rolling of the eyes.”  I knew it!  Teenagers who don’t want to go to church and give you that eye-rolling look are possessed by the devil!

But, really, being in thrall to Satan is surely less dramatic than what is described here, a matter of being in bondage to sin and unbelief.  Just as protecting yourself from Satan is also undramatic–go to church, pray, have faith in Christ, etc.–which Father Thomas says, though in terms of Roman Catholic theology.

And yet, I’m not denying that these extreme cases exist.  What do you think?  What is the distinctly Roman Catholic theology in what Father Thomas says? [Read more…]

“Our spirituality and abortion are one”

The goal of the “pro-choice” movement used to be to make abortions “legal, safe, and rare.”  But why “rare”?  That implies that there is something wrong with abortion.  Pro-choicers today are now proudly “pro-abortion.”

The strategy now is for women to openly talk about their abortions as a good thing.  Just as sentiment about homosexuality changed when gays “came out” and Americans discovered that they their number included many people whom they knew and cared about, openness about abortion, it is thought, will help get rid of the stigma against it.

A number of new initiatives are coming out from the pro-death folks, including “abortion concerts” in 30 cities on September 10.  Then there is the “We Testify” program, which uses religious language in having women “testify” to the “spirituality” of their abortions. [Read more…]

More on the Constitution Party

We’ve blogged about the Constitution Party as an option for conservatives who cannot abide either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.  It has been around since 1992. The party’s presidential nominee is Vietnam Veteran and attorney Darrell Castle and his running-mate is businessman and academic Scott Bradley.  They are on the ballot in only 12 states.

Consider the party’s Platform and Seven Principles, given after the jump. How are these folks like Trump and how are they different?  Would you be for them if they had any chance of winning?

HT:  John Frahm

[Read more…]


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