Who says conservative Lutherans don’t like contemporary Christian music in church?  We do.  It’s just that we want the contemporary Christian music to be, you know, hymns, as opposed to pop ditties.  And we do need new hymns.  Towards addressing that need, I am happy to announce that some twenty-somethings in our congregation, St. Athanasius Lutheran Church in Vienna, Virginia, have organized a major hymn-writing competition.  They have raised a $1,000 prize and have arranged for publication.  For details and… Read more

Christians have been emphasizing abstinence, says University of Texas sociologist Mark Regnerus, whereas they should be emphasizing marriage.  Instead, Christians are buying into the same confused ideas about marriage that the world has been assuming. Among both Christians and non-Christians, the marriage age has been rising, from an average in 1970 of 21 for women and 23 for men to today’s 26 for women and 28 for men.  “That’s five additional, long years of peak sexual interest and fertility,” he… Read more

About one of my students: Evan Johnson boarded the Washington, D.C. metro train at 5:15 a.m., surrounded by sleepy, somber commuters. One girl on his left read The Hunger Games on her Kindle, while the girl in front of him read the same novel in paperback. Ear buds in, rocking with the speeding metro, they were oblivious to the fact that “they were both entering the same fantasy world, while only a few feet apart,” Johnson said. “I often wondered… Read more

The economy is in the toilet, unemployment is over 8%, our foreign policy is a mess, and President Obama’s approval ratings are dismal.  And yet, polls show him still running neck-and-neck with Mitt Romney, if not a little bit ahead.  How can that be? You might recall my theory–articulated, for example,  here, in which I predict an Obama victory– that in our postmodern times the majority of the American people vote for a candidate not primarily because of ideology, policy… Read more

Liberals use the tax code as a social-engineering device to shape people’s behavior in order to manipulate society as they see best.  Bruce Walker asks, tongue mostly in cheek, why don’t conservatives do that? If conservatives simply threatened to tax politically unpopular leftist behavior, that might well be enough to get the left to accept the premise that federal tax law should not be used to punish behavior. The Supreme Court has determined that abortion is a right, but so… Read more

Are you following the exploits of the archer in the Olympics who is legally blind? South Korean archer Im Dong-hyun sees only blurred colors and lines when he peers toward the target about 76 yards away, arrow at the ready. It doesn’t stop the legally blind Olympian from hitting the grapefruit-sized yellow center – again and again and again. Im set the first world record of the London Olympics on Friday, breaking his own mark in the 72-arrow event and… Read more

Are you psyched up about the Olympics, which starts this weekend, with the opening ceremonies getting underway tonight?  They sort of snuck up on me.  I get more and more interested as the games go on.  This year the television and online coverage will be unprecedented.  In fact, it will be total. Oklahoma sports columnist Mel Bracht reports that NBC and its affiliates will broadcast 5,535 hours of coverage.  Compare that to 161 hours in the 1992 Barcelona games.  The… Read more

Discussion about the Obamacare contraception/abortifacient insurance mandate has centered on the religious liberty of church-related institutions.  But what about the religious liberty of pro-life individuals who own businesses?  That, in fact, is the case before the courts that might have a ruling today.  (I’m on the road so I might have trouble monitoring it.  If anyone hears about a ruling, mention it in a comment.)  Here are details about that case, with a rather chilling statement about how the Obama… Read more

Michael Barone summarizes a number of pundits criticizing the mayors of Boston and now Chicago for seeking to deny business licenses to Chick-fil-A because its owners don’t believe in gay marriage. Their point is simple, and based on Supreme Court rulings: it’s wrong and unconstitutional under the First Amendment for government to deny business licenses because of an applicant’s speech and beliefs. As the Globe rightly notes, “If the mayor of a conservative town tried to keep out gay-friendly Starbucks… Read more

I salute Steven L. Jones, a student at Houston Baptist University, for recalling another of those useful Latin phrases.  This one has application from George Orwell’s “memory hole” in 1984 to the NCAA sanctions against Penn State: Question: What do Joe Paterno and the Roman Emperor Nero have in common? Answer: damnatio memoriae Damnatio Memoriae (Latin for “the condemnation of memory”) is the act of trying to erase a person from history. In the Roman world, this meant erasing the… Read more

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