Religious liberty vs. LGBT Discrimination

Gordon College, a respected Christian institution, is under fire for asking for a religious exemption from the president’s executive order that no one doing business with the government may discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.  The Hobby Lobby decision allowing a religious exemption for Obamacare contraception coverage explicitly said that the ruling did not apply in cases of discrimination.  David Skeel, in a discussion quoted after the jump, says that the Gordon College controversy would be the next major religious liberty issue.

The administration has made it clear that the president’s executive order  does NOT exempt religious groups.  A previous policy allowing an exemption for grants still stands.  World Vision and various other ministries receive grants, rather than contracts, so they would not be affected.  The president’s order did, however, leave intact a provision allowing religious groups to have a preference for hiring those who share their religious beliefs.  Perhaps that could include  religious beliefs about homosexuality.  [Read more...]

What a child with a classical education can do

Last summer I blogged about what I consider to be possibly the best book on classical education, Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child (Memoria Press).  It’s by Cheryl Swope, my fellow board member on the Consortium for Classical & Lutheran Education (whose conference is next week in St. Louis–join us!).  Cheryl tells about how she applied classical education in homeschooling her daughter Michelle, a special needs child who is afflicted with autism and a number of other heart-breaking mental problems.  Whereas progressive education, with its reductionistic view of human beings, would have just tried to program her with some basic survival skills and stop there, the humane, personal, inspiring approach of classical Christian education caused Michelle to blossom.  To bloom.   Not only was she achieving academic levels that her doctors thought were impossible for her, she was awakening to the realm of the true, the good, and the beautiful.  You have got to read Cheryl’s account of her daughter, who emerges, despite her continuing difficulties, as a complex, accomplished, and compelling young woman.

Anyway, Michelle–now 19–has now published a book of her poetry.  It will blow you away.  By any standards, the poems are extraordinarily meaningful and touching, filled with vivid imagery and lovely language.   To know Michelle’s background, though, is to appreciate her all the more and also to appreciate the potential of classical learning for shaping a young mind and a young heart.  But that’s not all.  Her poetry is profoundly Christian.  She writes about the Law & the Gospel, about experiencing the Sacraments and what they mean, about the Cross, about Jesus and what He did for her.  She shows just how deep catechesis in God’s Word can go, even in someone whom we might not expect.  After the jump, I will give you two of her poems, quoted with permission, along with a link so that you can buy the whole collection. [Read more...]

The other professor in the race for Cantor’s seat

The defeat of the House Majority Leader Eric Cantor–reportedly the first time someone holding that office has been ousted in a party primary–has Washington, D.C., in a state of shock.  (Cantor, who had been projected as a future successor to House Speaker John Boehner, has announced that he is resigning his post.)  His unheralded opponent, David Brat, was thought to have no chance, but he was supported by grass roots conservatives identified with the Tea Party movement, and he won the election by a wide margin.

Some Democrats are gleeful that, by electing an inexperienced Tea Party candidate, that a once safe seat for the Republicans in the Virginia district is now in play for them.  The problem is, the Democrats were expecting an impossible race against Cantor, so their candidate is equally unheralded and inexperienced.  Jack Trammell was the only one who filed for the election and all of his paperwork isn’t even in. [Read more...]

Vocation Bible School

Paul McCain tells me that the 2015 Vacation Bible School curriculum from Concordia Publishing House for 2015 will be about Vocation! [Read more...]

How Bill Gates gave us the Common Core

The left usually complains about the influence of big corporations in government and public policy, but the most dramatic example of that is out in the open and garnering little but praise.  That would be Microsoft tycoon Bill Gates, who is directly responsible for the implementation nation-wide of the controversial school reform program called the Common Core.

The Washington Post has a story about this, and the headline and deck says it all:  How Bill Gates pulled off the Common Core revolution:  After he bought into the plan, his money won over states, with few asking questions.  Excerpts after the jump. [Read more...]

School lunch wars

The children’s crusade against big government that we’ve blogged about earlier is intensifying, as kids are rebelling against the healthier lunch room fare–ignoring fruits & vegetables, protesting whole wheat facsimiles of culturally significant foods like biscuits and tortillas, and filling the garbage bins with other nutritious food that they just don’t like–required by federal guidelines against childhood obesity.

School officials, deploring the waste, are asking for more flexibility in what they can offer in their lunchrooms, and Republicans are pushing for some changes.  Democrats, as is their wont, are blaming corporations, rather than the consumers, for trying to change the guidelines, with one target being that great patron of Lutheran causes Schwan Foods, which supplies 75% of the nation’s lunchrooms with the pizza school children crave. [Read more...]


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