Question for Colin Kaepernick

My cousin Bob Foote has a question for Colin Kaepernick and other athletes protesting the American flag because of how this country treats black people:

During the Civil War, some 500,000 men gave their lives to end slavery.  They fought and died under what flag?

All Americans are Whigs

Lutheran political scientist James R. Rogers explains things like gay marriage and transgender bathrooms–and the speed with which they became popular in the American mind–by pointing out that all Americans are basically Whigs.  That is, they believe that history is about unfolding progress and the progressive emancipation of human beings.  Both American liberals and conservatives, in different ways, are Whigs.  So are Christians as well as non-Christians.  (So let’s bring back the Whig party!)
[Read more…]

Sexual progress

I blogged about the book by my former student Matthew Rueger, Sexual Morality in a Christless World.  In it, he shows the sexual ethos of the ancient Greeks and Romans, which was dehumanizing, exploitive, and oppressive.  (He writes, for example, about the sexual use of male and female slaves.)  The advent of Christianity brought with it a new sexual ethos based on love, chastity, and fidelity.  Christianity brought progress in the way people treated each other sexually, but today we are reverting back to the bad old days of sexual paganism.

I’m glad to see that this book, published by CPH, is breaking out of just the Lutheran marketplace to get wider attention.  Right now it is Amazon’s #1 bestseller among religious books on gender & sexuality.  And it has attracted the attention of Eric Metaxas on the late Chuck Colson’s radio program Breakpoint.  He gives an excellent review of the book, excerpted after the jump. [Read more…]

Tattooing Christians for 700 years

We have blogged about the way Coptic Christians in Egypt use tattoos as a way to identify themselves as Christians to their Muslim neighbors.  How else can Islamic mobs know whom to attack, since the Copts look the same and speak the same language as any other Egyptians?  The Coptic Christians are in your face about it, tattooing a cross on their wrists or arms for all to see.

It turns out that some Coptic tattoo artists migrated in the Middle Ages to Jerusalem.  It became a custom for medieval pilgrims to the Holy City to get a tattoo as an indelible souvenir.

To this very day, the Razzouk family has a tattoo business in Jerusalem, one that has been handed down generation after generation since the year 1300!  You can go there to get a tattoo of a Jerusalem Cross, or St. George & the Dragon, or other traditional designs that are first stamped on your skin by templates that are centuries old.

Read the report, excerpted after the jump, and go to the link to see the tattoos. [Read more…]

The 9/11 attacks 15 years later

Yesterday was the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.  I remember the shock and the horror of that day, watching it all unfold on television.  I also remember the unity that Americans felt in the aftermath–how we all pulled together, the emotions we all shared, from grief about those 3,000 who died to inspiration from those rescue workers who gave their own lives for others.  There was a palpable sense of patriotism in the days that followed the attacks, uniting conservatives and liberals, Democrats and Republicans, ordinary folks and the cultural elite.

I even thought that postmodernism might be over.  People were talking about good and evil, as if they were moral absolutes.  There wasn’t much moral relativism or cultural relativism when it came to the terrorists and what they did to our country.  And those planes flying into those buildings were not a “construction” of our own minds.  Truth must exist after all.

[Read more…]

Star Trek & the Gene Roddenberry myth

A classic has been defined as a work of art that still holds up after 50 years.  The songs of the Beatles have attained that status.  And last Thursday, on September 8, so has Star Trek.

To mark the occasion, Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman have written The Fifty-Year Mission:  The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Trek.  It exists in two volumes, one about the first 25 years and the other about the next 25 years.

But, according to this book, Gene Roddenberry, who had the idea for the series, was not responsible for its creative success.  In fact, he was always messing it up.   Another Gene, Gene Coon, gave the show many of the qualities that so endears it to fans.  Read the review by Matthew Continetti, excerpted and linked after the jump. [Read more…]