How Americans protect themselves from Christianity

Another brilliant analysis of the challenges facing American Christianity by James R. Rogers, Texas A&M Political Science professor and an LCMS layman.  This time he focuses on how and why Americans “armor” themselves from Christianity.  He analyzes how relativism works and quotes Allan Bloom on Americans’ “easy-going nihilism” and “nihilism without the abyss.”  He surveys how churches are already responding to these factors without much success and opens a discussion about what might be more effective. [Read more...]

How would you describe the state of the union?

We’ve heard from the President.  How would YOU describe the state of the union?

How barring all Muslims is like gun control

Donald Trump has called for banning all Muslims from entering the United States, not only as immigrants but as tourists.  He defends this religious discrimination by invoking  Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s internment  of Japanese-Americans!

Francis Schaeffer predicted that there would come a time when Americans would be so fixated on their personal peace and affluence that they would trade away their civil liberties to someone who promised them greater security.  Today one faction of the public is so afraid of terrorism that it wants to eliminate Second Amendment rights.  Another faction is so afraid of terrorism that it wants to suspend religious freedom. *  Aren’t both of these extreme reactions fulfillments of Schaeffer’s prediction? [Read more...]

Should we continue the Syrian immigration program?

The United States has committed to accepting 10,000 immigrants from Syria.  That’s far less than the European nations are faced with, but the attack on Paris has many Americans calling for a halt to that program.  To be sure, most of the immigrants are fleeing ISIS, but ISIS has boasted that it will mingle with the immigrants as a way to invade the west.  Stringent screening is supposedly in place in the U.S., but people are nervous.

House Speaker Paul Ryan has called for a “pause” in the settlement of refugees here.  The GOP presidential candidates are agreeing (except for Jeb Bush).  Twenty-six mostly Republican governors have asked that Syrian refugees not be settled in their states (though they have no authority to stop it).  Republican congressmen are introducing bills to stop the immigration.  One idea being put forward is to settle only Christians, who certainly are fleeing persecution, but the administration is indignant at the prospect of “religious tests.”

What is your opinion?  Are Republicans falling into the Democrats’ stereotype that they are mean and lacking in compassion?  Or are their proposals simple prudence?  What do we Christians do with the teachings in Scripture that we should welcome “the aliens”?  Does that apply here? [Read more...]

Happy Indigenous Peoples Day!

Today is Columbus Day, remembering how Christopher Columbus landed in the “New World” on October 12, 1492.  This has become controversial.  For the people who were already here–the native Americans whom Columbus named “Indians”–the notion that this European “discovered” America is offensive, especially since Columbus’s landing marked the beginning of European colonization and the decimation of the people who were already here.

So, in a great example of co-opting a holiday for another purpose, some cities and the entire state of South Dakota are celebrating October 12 as Indigenous Peoples Day. [Read more...]

The Pope’s sermon to America

Pope Francis addressed a joint session of Congress, taking the opportunity to preach against tenets of both liberalism and conservatism.  Liberals were zinged by his remarks opposing abortion, redefining the family, and infringing upon religious liberty.  Conservatives were zinged by his remarks on the necessity of supporting immigrants, measures to combat climate change, the elimination of the death penalty, tempering the excesses of capitalism, offering help for the poor, and (interestingly) opposing “fundamentalism.”

To his credit, the Pope twice mentioned “vocation” in a more or less Lutheran sense (as opposed to the medieval Catholic application of the term to church professions alone):

A political society endures when it seeks, as a vocation, to satisfy common needs by stimulating the growth of all its members, especially those in situations of greater vulnerability or risk.

“Business is a noble vocation, directed to producing wealth and improving the world. It can be a fruitful source of prosperity for the area in which it operates, especially if it sees the creation of jobs as an essential part of its service to the common good” (Laudato Si’, 129).

Here is an annotated text of the speech (click the yellow highlights for the annotations).  After the jump, a detailed account of what the Pope said and how Congressmen and Senators reacted. [Read more...]


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