Live-blogging the Inauguration

Trump_Inaugural_Logo.svgBeing unable to resist significant moments in history, I’ll be watching the Inauguration ceremonies today and making comments here.

Things get started at 9:30 a.m. ET, with the actual inauguration ceremony starting at about 11:30 a.m. ET.  The swearing in will be at noon, whereupon Donald Trump will give his inaugural address.  I’ll be devoting most of my live-blogging to the speech.  Please join me with comments of your own.

On Saturday from 10:00-11:00 a.m. will be the Interfaith Prayer Service at the National Pantheon, I mean, the National Cathedral.  I can’t bear to watch that, but if you do, feel free to report on it by making a comment to this post.

After the jump, a schedule of the day’s activities.

UPDATE:  Here is a transcript of the speech.

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Top 10 Cranach posts of 2016

Cranach's sealI know you are sick of holidays and want to get back to normality, but I can’t resist New Years retrospectives.  Other blogs are looking back at their top posts of last year, based on the number of page views, so I did too.

The most popular posts are from years ago, but somehow they got into Google’s algorithm.  Now, if anybody in the whole world wonders, “Why do some people say ‘Merry Christmas’ and others say ‘Happy Christmas’?” Google takes them to Cranach.  The same with St. Patrick’s prayer.  And I think my post on Hector & Achilles must be linked on a study guide somewhere.

Otherwise, the election, particularly the Republican primaries, dominated our readers’ interests.  I’m glad my review of the memoir by Tom Oden, who died later in the year, got quite a bit of attention.

Pageviews on a particular post go up because they are linked to on other web sites and because they are widely shared on social media.  So I’m glad our discussions here can have a reach beyond our blog.

See the top 10 posts after the jump. [Read more…]

Happy New Year!

Thank you to all of my readers for being part of this blog last year.  Many blessings for 2017!

Here is what you can do:  Use the comments for this post to give your New Year’s resolutions.  Then you can come back next year and check them to see how you did.  Well, I can see that you might not want to do that.  Happy New Year anyway!




Image from Pixabay, Creative Commons, Public Domain


Make your predictions for 2017

3706551411_cd226727fe_zNow it is time to look forward, to speculate about what this new year will bring.

Lots of question marks hover over 2017.  Will Donald Trump make America great again, or will his presidency prove to be a major fiasco?  Will the economy boom or will it collapse?  Will Christianity thrive or be declared a hate crime?  Will the pendulum start swinging back, or will the sexual revolution keep going further?

But these are big issues.  When we check the predictions at the end of 2017 in our annual contest, the winning guesses tend to be highly specific and seemingly unlikely at the time.   You can make all the predictions you want and your mistakes won’t be held against you, so feel free to take risks and make outside-the-box projections.  (This is speculation, not prophecy, so the Deuteronomy 18 rule will not be in effect.)

Yesterday we reviewed the predictions for 2016, so that will give you an idea about how our little contest works.

Let us begin:  What do you think will happen in 2017?


Image by Duncan Hall, “Envision Your Future,” Creative Commons License

Checking our predictions for 2016


It’s time to check the predictions we made around this time last year, something you don’t see the tabloids or most highly-paid consultants doing. Your predictions for 2016, as usual, were thoughtful, interesting, mostly-wrong, but with some remarkable accuracies.

Go here to read them all and come to your own conclusions.  We were still under the World Table comment system back then, so go to that link.  If you do a search for the post, it will come up as there being no comments, but click the full post and you will find them.  (Tom Hering predicted that I would leave Patheos over the issue, which had a trace of truth about it, though in a scrambled way.  I got us out of World Table and Patheos itself got taken over by BeliefNet.  The $5 monthly contribution that he predicted all of you readers would send to me has not been forthcoming.)

First of all, despite lots of political projections, no one picked Donald Trump to win the presidency.  Nor did anyone pick the Cubs to win the World Series.  (DonS predicted that the Yankees would miss the playoffs, which they did; Kirk thought the Nationals would win the series, which they did not.  Nor did Kurt Cockrain’s Rockies.)  Pete made several Bob Dylan predictions, but said nothing about his Nobel Prize.

There were some close ones.  Nils predicted that Ben Carson would become Secretary of Health and Human Services.  He has been nominated Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Stefanstackhouse came really close.  After a fine and accurate analysis, he predicted that Trump would get the Republican nomination.  He also predicted that Hillary Clinton would be derailed by an unexpected scandal.  But that, he said, would prevent her from getting the Democratic nomination.  Instead, Elizabeth Warren would get the nomination, whereupon she would beat Trump and become the first woman president.  So the prediction started well but then kind of came apart.  Stefan also had a pretty good prediction about evangelical colleges facing major threats in 2016.  That called to mind the proposal from the California legislature to force Christian schools to accept gay sex or lose state funding, a measure that was, however, not enacted.

There were also predictions that did come true.  As Sam P and Nils foresaw, Leonardo DiCaprio did get his Oscar (best actor for Revenant).  SKJAM! predicted that a Supreme Court justice would die and that the Republican-dominated Congress would refuse to consider the president’s nominee, wanting to wait until after the election.  One-and-a-half months after SKJAM! said this, Antonin Scalia died and Congress did as he said they would.  SAL made another striking prediction, that the candidate with the most votes will not win the election.

Those last two could easily have won our contest, were it not for one of the most impressive performances in the history of this blog.   The clear and indisputable winner is. . . [Read more…]

Blog news

Podpis_had_cranach_starsiMerry Christmas, everybody!  I thought I’d pass on some news about the Cranach blog and tell you about what’s coming up next week.

  • Patheos has been bought by the even bigger religious site BeliefNet.  Patheos will have its own identity, the editors will be the same, and it will, as they say, remain its own brand.  But BeliefNet has resources that will make possible some technical improvements, new features, and, eventually, a new look.  I’m not sure what they have in mind, but be on the lookout for changes in the year ahead.
  • You may have noticed that I have started putting pictures with my posts.  I was asked to do that–if not as an early phase of BeliefNet upgrades, because pictures make posts more sharable on social media–and I have enjoyed this new tasks of illustrating what I have to say.  The challenge is to not violate copyright laws!  I have found an easy way to find images that are in the public domain or are usable through Creative Commons, a process by which photographers and other artists make their work freely available, as long as credit is given.  (Go to Google Images, then hit “tools,” then hit “usage rights,” then hit “licensed for reuse.”)  Images with no attribution are from a horde that Patheos/BeliefNet owns or from my own collection.

[Read more…]