Harriet Tubman on the $20 and other money changes

The plan was originally to drop Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill and replace him with a woman.  But that was before the hit Broadway musical Hamilton.  So Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew decided to replace Andrew Jackson, the Democrat responsible for the Trail of Tears, instead.  The woman to be featured:  The former slave turned abolitionist activist Harriet Tubman.  (See this on her Christian faith.)

Though Hamilton will stay, the back of the $10 bill will feature a tribute to the women’s suffrage movement and will picture a number of early feminist activists.  Details on these and other planned changes after the jump. [Read more…]

Prince dies

The eccentric, brilliant, musical artist known as Prince has died.  He was 57.  The cause of death has yet to be determined.  Prince Rogers Nelson, who once changed his name to an ideogram, was a life-long Minnesotan.

He was fiercely protective of his music, tightly controlling its availability via streaming or even on YouTube.

For Prince’s Jehovah’s Witness faith, which he somehow combined with a mystical sensuality, see this and this. [Read more…]

“To you, O Lord, I will make music”

More aesthetics in the Bible, from passages that I had never noticed before:  Psalm 101, identified as “a Psalm of David,” reflects specifically on singing and making music.  It begins:

I will sing of steadfast love and justice;
    to you, O Lord, I will make music.

Elsewhere, David also refers to singing and making melody “to the Lord” (Psalm 27:6; see these other places).  So the Lord is the audience of the music.  The artist is addressing not other human beings but God Himself.

[Read more…]

4 year-olds asked to choose their gender

A city in England has sent a letter to parents of children just starting school asking the four-year-olds to “choose” their gender.   Parents were then instructed to “Please support your child to choose the gender they most identify with.” [Read more…]

Hoping for a deadlock in the electoral college?

Many Republicans are hoping for a deadlocked convention in which no candidate gets the majority of votes.  And if that doesn’t work, say some, maybe we could have a deadlocked electoral college.

If Donald Trump has the nomination “stolen” from him, to his mind, he may run as a third party candidate.  Or if he gets the nomination, surely other third part candidates will emerge, whether Republicans (who would have a challenge to get on state ballots) or candidates from parties such as the Libertarians or the Constitution Party that are already on the ballot in many states.

A credible third party candidate could prevent either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump from winning a majority of electoral votes.  Which means that the vote would then go to the House of Representatives. Which is controlled by Republicans, who could choose anyone they wanted.

Would that be a crisis for our democracy?  Or would that simply be our Constitution in action?

[Read more…]

The 100 religious freedom bills in state legislatures

Over 100 religious freedom bills have been introduced in 28 states.  Some, with various liberty issues addressed, have been passed; some have been voted down; others are bottled up; others are pending; others have been retracted due to accusations of discrimination and boycott threats.

A useful state-by-state summary of where things stand after the jump. [Read more…]