Ideological sorting

In the course of a column on a recent Medicare bill, Michael Gerson observes that in the not-too-distant-past there were liberal Republicans (in the northeast) and conservative Democrats (in the past).  Back then, lawmakers could form coalitions with kindred spirits across the aisle to pass legislation.  But now both parties have undergone “ideological sorting,” so that Democrats are virtually all liberal and Republicans are virtually all conservative.  Thus, votes are along party lines, and the only hope of advancing an agenda is to win a big enough majority to steamroll the other party.  This is why, he says, our politics is so polarizing and it is so difficult to get legislation passed.

Read what Mr. Gerson says after the jump and consider the questions I raise. [Read more...]

Half of atheists’ children fall away into belief

Christians often worry about their children falling away from the church.  Atheists have the same problem.  According to the Pew research, half of the children raised by atheists end up as believers.

A column on this phenomenon, excerpted and linked after the jump, includes another interesting observation:  “It’s mostly interpersonal relationships that sway beliefs.” [Read more...]

Rand Paul’s filibuster

Senator and presidential candidate Rand Paul has been staging an old-fashioned filibuster, staging a marathon speech and holding the Senate floor in opposition to the renewal of the Patriot Act, which authorizes certain government surveillance of citizens.

The Senate has pretty much replaced the old “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” actual  filibuster with the mere threat of a filibuster, so that bills typically require a 60 vote super-majority that would be enough to shut off debate should a filibuster actually occur.  Sen. Paul, though, has too few allies on this subject, so he is going the “Mr. Smith” route.  He has only a few allies helping him hold the floor, and there is enough support for the Patriot Act to shut off debate, which will probably happen at 1:00 p.m. today.

So do you “stand with Rand”? [Read more...]

Liturgy as a key to church growth?

More on young adults rejecting the church growth approach to worship and craving liturgy.   I don’t mean to harp on this topic, so tomorrow I’ll post something that questions this new traditionalism in worship, which is not always accompanied by traditionalism in theology. [Read more...]

“God is in every syllable”

Popular author James Reston, Jr., has written a book entitled Luther’s Fortress: Martin Luther and His Reformation Under Siege, about Luther’s time in Wartburg Castle, when he was in hiding from the Emperor’s death sentence.  Here he began his translation of the Bible.  It took him a mere 10 weeks to translate the New Testament.

After the jump, a link and an excerpt to Reston’s revealing discussion about Luther’s translation, his method and his approach, including a comparison with the King James translation, which took 48 translators 10 years. [Read more...]

Why the biker gangs fought each other

A meeting called to discuss motorcycle safety, held in a shopping mall restaurant in Waco, Texas, degenerated into an armed battle between biker gangs, leaving 9 dead and 170 (!) arrested.   Why?

Apparently it was precipitated by an argument over a parking space, but the feud goes back two years ago when the Cossacks added the word “Texas” at the bottom of its “colors,” that is, the logo that constitutes the patch on their leather jackets.  The Bandidos took offense, interpreting the new name of the “Texas Cossacks” to mean that the rival gang was claiming that all of Texas was now its territory.  So violence has broken out between the two gangs ever since, culminating in the carnage at Waco.  Nine people dead over a word on a piece of cloth. [Read more...]


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