The latest cause is banning plastic straws, which are said to pollute the oceans.  So restaurants, coffee houses and fast food joints are getting rid of them, sometimes voluntarily and sometimes because they are being forced to by local laws and regulations. Starbucks is phasing them out.  San Francisco and Seattle have joined the cities that are straw free, and Santa Barbara will put purveyors of straws in jail.  (For background on this issue, read this.) But Matt Walsh says… Read more

G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936) was a truly great Christian author.  He was a Christian apologist who wrote with humor, energy, and an infectious joy, as well as startlingly illuminating insights.  In a style filled with exuberant paradoxes, Chesterton showed that Christianity is no dull, dreary, life-suppressing institution–as it is often portrayed and as it is often presented even by some of its adherents–but that it is the most stimulating of worldviews, inspiring excitement and wonder at all of life. Chesterton was… Read more

Some parents refuse to take their children to church so that they can choose their own religious identity when they get older.  That misguided approach to a child’s spiritual being is now being carried over to a child’s physical being. Such “gender-neutral” parenting means “gender-neutral” babies.  The infant is never called either a “boy” or a “girl.”  Instead of using pronouns such as “he” or “she,” the baby is referred to with gender-neutral pronouns, such as “they,” “them,” “their,” and… Read more

The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod has just issued a major study of the doctrine and practice of confession and absolution.  The report by the Commission on Theology and Church Relations establishes the Biblical and theological basis for confessing your sins to a pastor and receiving forgiveness from his words of absolution. This may sound strange to you Protestants who are not Lutherans.  What do you do with John 20:21-22?  “Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father… Read more

Historian Andrew J. Bacevich warns us against slipping into “the paranoid style in American politics.”  He draws on a book with that title published in 1964.  The author, Richard Hofstadter, alerts readers to the dangers of “heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy” and worrying about falling under the sway of  “a free, active demonic agent” who “deflects the course of history in an evil way.” Prof. Bacevich sees this as a problem today especially among opponents of President Trump who go… Read more

I’ve been posting about the relevance of George Orwell’s novel 1984 to today and how the pro-abortion movement uses the exact kind of language that he warns against in his essay “Politics and the English Language.”  I came across yet another example of an Orwellian exaggeration that has come true. In the novel, the protagonist Winston works in “The Ministry of Truth,” which exists to promote lies.  Here, as we discussed, Winston’s job is to continually rewrite history by identifying records… Read more

  Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California has become a by-word among conservatives for her extreme liberalism.  And yet, she is not extremely liberal enough for the California Democratic party, which is refusing to endorse her for re-election, choosing instead to throw its weight behind the even-more-leftist Kevin de León. De León, among other things, wants to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).  A congressional Democrat filed a bill to that effect, with somewhat comical results. I’ll let The Daily Oklahoman… Read more

Poland may be the world’s most Catholic country.  But at the time of the Reformation, it may have been the most receptive region to Lutheran preaching outside of Germany. Oxford scholar Natalia Nowakowska has written a book on this subject entitled King Sigismund of Poland and Martin Luther: The Reformation before Confessionalization. She summarizes the tale in a post at the Oxford University Press site entitled Martin Luther’s Polish Revolution.  Here is an excerpt: The packed “Luther Year” has now drawn to… Read more

The FBI has arrested a 29-year-old Russian woman named Maria Butina, accusing her of being an unregistered agent of the Russian government who targeted American conservatives, including Christian activists. Butina presented herself as working to establish the right to bear arms in Russia, thus giving her an entrance into the National Rifle Association, where she made numerous public appearances and worked with NRA leadership.  She also insinuated herself into the National Prayer breakfast organization, which gave her access to Christian… Read more

We blogged about Dan Hitchens’ article on politicians who parade their Catholic identity while also repudiating Catholic beliefs.   In that piece, the nephew of the late “new atheist” Christopher Hitchens quotes two figures from the past whose predictions are remarkably prescient. From Dan Hitchens, The Trouble with Catholic Politicians: John Henry Newman believed that “a civilised age” might put a nice, unthreatening religion in place of the Gospel. “Benevolence” would become “the chief virtue; intolerance, bigotry, the first of sins.”… Read more

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