Married to the state

Behind the rhetoric of “the war on women” and the “Julia” website is a strategy of Democrats to turn single women–sorry, unmarried women, I mean, “women on their own”–into the militant voting bloc that evangelicals are for Republicans.  While it is true that single mothers and divorced women are the most consistent  Democratic demographic, a funny thing happens when these very women get married:  They turn into Republicans.  So says Jessica Gavora in the Washington Post: “The Life of Julia,”… Read more

Republicans are divided over gay marriage

Republicans are hesitant to make an issue over President Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage, both because they aren’t sure what position is the winner politically and, more importantly, because the party itself is divided over the issue.  From The Washington Post: Some top Republicans described a growing divide within the GOP, with most of the party’s elected leaders in step with the social conservative base by publicly opposing same-sex marriage but softening their tone to avoid alienating the moderate middle…. Read more

So what happened while this blog was down?

This blog was knocked out of the worldwide web for a whole week due to technical difficulties.  I have learned that some of you have become overly dependent on this site as a source for what is happening in the world.  (I appreciate the sentiment, but you might want to broaden your web-surfing!)  Still, lots of things happened this past week that I wanted to bring to your attention but couldn’t. We had posted about Chinese pro-life activist Chen Guangcheng,… Read more

Things that didn’t happen

But that we thought might happen. . . . . Apparently, Fidel Castro did NOT take up the Christian faith or rejoin the Roman Catholic Church during the Pope’s visit. That Iranian Christian who was facing the death penalty was not executed, “just” sentenced to nine years in prison. Solar flares did not knock out the internet or our GPS devices. What else didn’t happen? Read more

Aristotle and me on “The Avengers”

We saw The Avengers, the movie that’s setting box office records.  We went whole hog, springing for the version in 3-D AND Imax. Like other comic book movies, it was mostly what Aristotle in his Poetics called “spectacle.”   Movies today go all out with high-tech special effects.  They can be fun to watch.  (Though frankly I have not yet seen a new generation 3-D flick that made satisfying use of that technology, including this one.  A trailer for the new… Read more

Was Mitt Romney a high school bully?

The Washington Post has a big story of the sort that opposition researchers love, an event from the past that can discredit a candidate with voters.  Reportedly, when Mitt Romney was in high school, he and some friends jumped a guy with long hair–someone who was also teased as being gay–and cut his hair. Romney does not remember the incident, but has apologized anyway.  Meanwhile, some bloggers are questioning the story, noting at least one big contradiction in the account…. Read more

Religious preference & too many gods

The great sociologist of religion Peter Berger comments on the project of Andrew Bowen, who in 2011 practiced a different religion each month—Hindu in January, Baha’i in February, Zoroastrian in March, etc.  Religion today, he says, is no longer a matter of personal identity, history, or belief.  Rather, it is a voluntary association: In the pluralistic situation every religious institution, which it likes this or not, becomes a voluntary association. Max Weber, one of the fathers of the sociology of… Read more

President announces his support for gay marriage

President Obama’s position on gay marriage has evolved to the point that he’s now all for it.  That’s what he told ABC News. One reason he cited was his Christian faith.  “You know, we [his wife Michele and he] are both practicing Christians and obviously this position may be considered to put us at odds with the views of others but, you know, when we think about our faith, the thing at root that we think about is, not only… Read more

Europe rejects austerity–how about the USA?

The countries of the European Union are voting out the leaders who had been pushing austerity measures to reduce debt, cut back the welfare states, and get their economies on a more solid footing.  French President Sarkozy was ousted in favor of  socialist Francois Hollande.  Greece, the nation in the worst shape of all, has voted out the coalition of center-left and center-right parties that accepted the tough conditions of Germany’s bailout.  In fact, German Prime Minister Angela Merkel is… Read more

A week without this blog

Hello.  Test. Test. Is this thing on?  I think so, now.  After a week! So the hosting company’s server went down, but then they had trouble transferring the files to a new one, and then they gave me an alphabet soup of technical gibberish in an effort to help me understand what was happening.  . . . Let’s see if this time the blog stays up for more than minutes at a time.  Try to get on several times during… Read more

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