Dissident Yu Jie on what is going on in China: Contrary to myths and assumptions, economic liberalization and development will not inevitably lead to corresponding political liberalization and development. Economic power has only reinforced an increasingly absurd state power in China. Rapid growth has transformed China’s party-state into the world’s wealthiest regime, thereby providing endless funds for “maintaining stability,” a pleasant-sounding euphemism for crushing dissent. The official Chinese Academy of Social Sciences reported that government expenses on “stability maintenance” totaled… Read more

We earlier posted about Daniel Siedell’s contention that the late Thomas Kinkade was a “dangerous” artist because his work purposefully evades the Fall.  But in this followup piece, Siedell, drawing on Luther and Lutheran theologian Oswald Beyer, brings Christ and the freedom of the Gospel  into the picture (so to speak): Last week I suggested that Kinkade’s quaint and nostalgic images, as pleasant as they seem to be, are dangerous, offering a comfortable world that silences the two words with… Read more

The Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law defining marriage as being between a man and a woman, was declared unconstitutional by an appeals court in Boston because it discriminates against legally-married gay couples. This will likely  go the Supreme Court. This means that gay marriage will likely no longer be left up to the states.  Rather, it will be resolved on a national basis. Court says marriage law discriminates against gay couples | Reuters. Read more

The bill to ban abortion for the purpose of sex-selection was defeated in the House of Representatives.  Because of a procedural move by Republicans (which tells me they weren’t serious about trying to pass it) the bill had to get 2/3 of the votes. So guess how Democrats are spinning this?  Gender-selection abortions are  common in Asia, especially in China and India, where there is a strong cultural preference for boys over girls.  This is also happening with at least… Read more

So are feminists and pro-choicers so committed to abortion that they oppose restrictions on sex-selective abortions, which nearly always target female babies? Groups opposed to abortion rights are turning charges of a GOP “war on women” against Democrats who are opposed to legislation meant to ban sex-selective abortions. . . . Now opponents of abortion rights are using the phrase ahead of a House vote Thursday imposing fines or imprisonment on doctors who perform abortions they know are motivated in… Read more

E. J. Dionne is a liberal whose beliefs are somewhat chastened by his Catholicism.  He argues in a recent column that conservatives used to be the champions of “community,” but that today’s conservatism has completely thrown off its own traditions in championing unbridled individualism. I have long admired the conservative tradition and for years have written about it with great respect. But the new conservatism, for all its claims of representing the values that inspired our founders, breaks with the… Read more

The great guitarist Doc Watson, who pioneered flat-picking and who was the master of finger-picking, died at age 89. I also love his singing. By the way, he was blind. Read more

Who says Missouri Synod Lutherans can’t agree with anybody?  High level talks between the LCMS and Anglicans who broke away from the Episcopal Church have found some common ground (though, of course, not full doctrinal agreement). ST. LOUIS, May 25, 2012—After four meetings over the past 18 months, the Anglican Church in North America and The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) rejoice in affirming core teachings of the Christian faith they share. The two church bodies, together with the Lutheran Church—Canada,… Read more

Twenty years ago, Vice-presidential candidate Dan Quayle gave a much-ridiculed speech in which he warned about the dangers of single-parenthood, specifically attacking the way it was becoming socially-accepted through the example of TV shows such as Murphy Brown.  Today, writes Isabel Sawhill in the Washington Post (no less), it is evident that Dan Quayle was right. You should read what she has to say.  The evidence abounds that children do much better when their parents are married to each other. … Read more

A vial of Ronald Reagan’s blood was going to be auctioned online.  After a time of outrage, the person who owned the vial–which was taken from the hospital that treated the president after the assassination attempt–had second thoughts and donated it to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. But, as Dana Milbank points out, that means that the blood is in conservative hands.  With the genetic material found in the blood, wouldn’t we be able to clone Ronald Reagan? All Republican… Read more

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