The first New Class president

Sociologist Peter Berger discusses the Houston mayor subpoening sermons (which have been cancelled, by the way), the progression of punishment for those who do not agree with gay sex, and President Obama as the first president from the “new class”  (the elite social class that trades in information rather than tangible goods). [Read more...]

Election results

I now know a Senator–Ben Sasse won in Nebraska!  The biggest surprise so far is in my home state of Virginia, where Republican Ed Gillespie–who no one thought had a chance–is leading incumbent Democrat Mark Warner, though the election is too close to call as of this moment.  Right now, 10:00 p.m., the Republicans are up 5 (beating Democratic incumbents in West Virginia, Arkansas, Montana, South Dakota, and Colorado), needing 6 to win the Senate majority, though that net gain could go down if they lose any incumbent seats.  The Republicans have retained the House of Representatives, picking up 10 seats.

My custom has been to stay up to watch election returns, but it’s an hour later than the clock says, due to the recent daylight savings time shift that I haven’t adjusted to yet, and I’m  getting sleepy.  It’s 10:39.  I’m going to bed.

But you can learn the results of all the races, which should be announced by daylight,  here:  Politics, Political News – POLITICO.com.

So what do these results mean?

Election Day

Today we Americans are privileged to participate in what has been called the “civic sacrament” of voting.

Elections for public office are not new, of course.  They were staples of the Greek democracy and the Roman republic.  The papacy has always been an elected position.  In medieval Europe, the Emperor was elected, the main difference from our elections being that only seven people got to vote (including the Duke of Saxony, which is why one holder of that office, Frederick the Wise, had the clout to prevent Martin Luther from being burned at the stake).

Pundits expect a big day for Republicans, who may well gain a majority on the Senate.   Any predictions? [Read more...]

Pastors defying the IRS by politicking from the pulpit

More and more pastors are endorsing particular candidates from the pulpit, purposefully defying the IRS law for non-profit tax-exempt organizations.  So far the IRS is ignoring the violations, but the pastors are goading the agency by sending it tapes of their sermons.

Is this a violation of Romans 13?  Also, under Romans 13, shouldn’t churches just pay taxes, thus preserving their ability to preach whatever they want?  Or can you make a case for this kind of civil disobedience?  There is also, of course, the theological issue of what is supposed to be preached from the pulpit–namely, Christ and Him crucified for sinners, as opposed to worldly powers and principalities.  Or can you give a theological reason for preaching about political candidates? [Read more...]

Non-citizens who vote illegally

Those who worry about illegal voting are often dismissed with the claim that this hardly ever happens.  A non-partisan academic study, though, finds that it does.  Specifically, it found that 14% of non-citizens are registered to vote.  In the 2008 presidential election, 6.4% of the non-citizens here illegally voted.  In the 2010 midterm election, the number was 2.2%.

Furthermore, the study found that 80% of these illegal voters cast their ballots for Democrats, which made the difference in several close elections, including the one that gave the Democrats their 60th vote in the Senate, thwarting the possibility of a filibuster on Obamacare.  But voter ID laws don’t make much difference.  Most of these illegal voters have government-issued IDs. [Read more...]

Fixing the Senate

In a column on Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell, who–IF he gets re-elected to the Senate and IF Republicans win a majority on that body–could be the next Senate Majority Leader, George Will offers an explanation of why the Senate is paralyzed and how a Republican victory could fix things. [Read more...]


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