US troops deploy in Poland & the Baltics

In a show of force to counter Russian expansionism in the Ukraine, American troops are deploying in the NATO-member nations of Eastern Europe.  Six hundred are now in Poland, and more will arrive in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania on Monday.  The units will participate in war games and will be part of a regular rotation. [Read more…]

“Les Misérables” as a good book

I have finally finished Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables.  I saw the movie and had earlier seen the play, but I realized that I had never read the novel, so I took on that project.  I downloaded the free Kindle edition  and started reading.  It took me months and months.  The paperback edition is some 1500 pages long. But it was one of my great reading experiences.  Not only is Les Misérables a good book.  It is a book that is good, and the goodness that it made me imagine was  good for me. [Read more…]

Secession movements

What with the European Union, globalization, the United Nations, and being a “citizen of the world,” the trend was supposed to be for the elimination of narrow nationalisms in favor of cosmopolitanism and ever-larger unions.  But now nationalism is back, and little countries are trying to break away from big countries.  After the jump, links to those efforts, including the upcoming vote in Scotland to secede from Great Britain.  How do you account for this phenomenon? [Read more…]

Battling Christianity’s “excessive” growth in China

Officials in still-Communist China have been  demolishing churches as a way to combat what one has called the “excessive” growth of Christianity.  In one city, thousands of Christians have surrounded their church building, occupying it around the clock to keep away the bulldozers. [Read more…]

“With fear and great joy”

When the Angel of the empty tomb appeared to the Roman guards, those courageous battle-hardened soldiers were so afraid that they passed out.  When the same Angel appeared to the women who came to care for the body of Jesus, they were also afraid, but they left “with fear and great joy.”  What was the difference?  The women had the Word of God proclaimed to them.  So explained our pastor in an illuminating Easter sermon, excerpted and linked after the jump. [Read more…]

Making it harder to get a divorce

A number of states have been or are considering protecting marriage–as well as promoting the social and economic benefits that it brings–by making it more difficult to get a divorce.  Judging from an article on the subject in the Washington Post, the left will be packaging these efforts as part of the “Republican war on women.”  Do you think making divorces harder to get is good policy for social conservatives to pursue?  Would that really address the problems of marriages today?  If not, what would?  [Read more…]