Will Obamacare make us lazy?

According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, Obamacare, when fully implemented, will cost the equivalent of 2.3 million jobs.  Not so much from businesses cutting back hiring but because people will not want to work so much.

Older people will no longer feel they need to keep working until they can get on Medicare, so they can retire early.  Middle class people will work less so as to purposefully earn less–that way, they can qualify for a subsidy.  Rich people will also work less to earn less so that, given the increased tax rates to pay for Obamacare, they won’t have to pay so much in taxes.

This is the benefit of making everyone dependent on a government program:  The economic disincentives built into the welfare system will now apply to everybody! [Read more…]

The end of cultural Christianity

There was a time, not long ago, when people were just expected to go to church.  It was a cultural thing–to be respectable, a fine upstanding member of the community, you went to church.  Whether or not you believed it or practiced it or not.  The upshot was churches full of nominal Christians.

Today, though, that is not, in general, the case.  I suspect it may still be in some communities, but more usually there is no stigma against not attending church, and in some cases there is a stigma if you do.

Some are lamenting this development, but I’m thinking this may be a good thing.  Why might that be?  What might be the down side for the culture?  After the jump, a link to a discussion on the subject.  [Read more…]

Bob Dylan, Chrysler salesman

So what did you think of Bob Dylan’s Chrysler commercial?  There he was, clear voiced, no mumbling, unobscure, voicing over some great Americana imagery.  (He doesn’t appear until 47 seconds in.)  I’m assuming that he wrote the script.  Though it lacks Dylan’s trademark surrealistic imagery, the commercial sounds like him with lines like these:

So let Germany brew your beer,
Let Switzerland make your watch,
Let Asia assemble your phone.
We…will build…your car.

Compare this with the lyrics to his protectionist anthem Union Sundown.  The only thing is, Chrysler is now fully owned by Fiat, so it’s an Italian company, not American.  They do make some of their cars here, but not necessarily.  Still, I vote this as best Superbowl commercial.

The transcript after the jump.  (You might get the video at the link above, though Chrysler has taken it off YouTube for copyright violations, though I thought going viral was what you wanted in a commercial.) [Read more…]

“Extreme Religious Liberty Rights”

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act was passed back in 1997.  Liberal Democratic Senator from New York Chuck Schumer introduced it, the House passed it unanimously and the Senate voted for it 97-3, and President Bill Clinton signed it into law.

But now the Freedom from Religion Foundation is asking the Supreme Court to declare it unconstituional. [Read more…]

Are Lutherans boring?

Yet another definitive answer to the question, Why not Lutheranism?, has been written.  This one is by Anthony Sacramone and you simply must read all of it.  It is both humorous and profound.  He says that Lutherans are essentially boring, both in a bad and a good way.  He shows why Lutheranism doesn’t show up in pop culture–so therefore it doesn’t exist for many people, especially Millennials.  He cites other things that come across as boring, including the fact that Lutheran churches can’t seem to get their liturgical act together.

But then he concludes with a rousing case for Lutheranism and how to get people to try it.  I’ll give you a sample of that after the jump, but, please, read the whole thing, not just the happy ending.

[Read more…]

Lutheranism is not boring–vocation is

For me, growing up in perhaps the blandest version of mainline liberal Protestantism, Lutheranism, far from being boring, seemed wonderfully exotic.  All of that medieval-style chanting; people thinking they were eating Jesus’ body and drinking His blood; having beer at church dinners.  On that last point, both the liberal Christianity I grew up with and the conservative Christianity of some of my friends tended to see smokin’ and drinkin’ as the prime example of sins.  But Lutheranism cared little for these little life-style issues (indeed, seeming actually pro-alcohol).  That blew my mind, as we said back then.

But I think I know why people might think Lutheranism is boring.  It’s the Lutheran doctrine of vocation.

[Read more…]