Santorum’s sermons

People are digging up Rick Santorum’s religious addresses from years back.  And though what he says is pretty conventional to most of us Christians, his sermons are being used to alarm the voting public.  This is about something he said in 2008 at Ave Maria University, a conservative Catholic college: “Satan has his sights on the United States of America!” Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum has declared. “Satan is attacking the great institutions of America, using those great vices of… Read more

Birth control as a winning issue for Democrats?

Religious people are for the most part appalled at the Obamacare mandate that employers must provide health insurance that will provide free abortion pills and contraceptives.  This is seen as a profound assault on religious liberty, forcing people by law to do what their religion forbids. The left, though, is framing the issue as being all about birth control, ignoring the religious liberty angle altogether.  And Democrats are elated, convinced that they have found their winning issue that will make… Read more

Lent begins

To contemplate Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent, those sobering words accompanying the imposition of ashes are a good place to start.  (More personally, “you are dust, and to dust you shall return”!) This is called a memento mori, a reminder that you are going to die.  How can it be helpful to meditate on that unpleasant fact?  How can that change your perspective on things?   What does that have to do with Lent? Read more

Lenten observances

I love the Lenten season and it always does me good.  I try to discipline myself more–which usually in my case means not eating so much and exercising more–and I usually work through some heavy-duty theological text for my edification.  (I have a couple in mind that I’m anxious to take on.  I’ll probably report on them here in the days ahead.)  I sometimes ramp up my Bible reading. President Harrison (below) urges us to join him in praying the… Read more

Rev. Harrison on Lent

I am appreciating more and more the ability of Matt Harrison, president of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, to witness to our faith in the public square.  Here are his Lenten greetings: Read more

Lent for Baptists

As I keep saying, I don’t intend this to be just a Lutheran blog, so please bear with me, those of you who don’t make a big deal about the church year, in today’s Ash Wednesday theme.  I offer you this, though, an article by Jim Denison on why his fellow Baptists could find celebrating Lent helpful and meaningful. Read the whole article, linked below, which includes some interesting historical background: “Lent” is derived from the Anglo-Saxon or Teutonic word… Read more

Opposition research

How political campaigns are waged these days: Rick Santorum’s surprising momentum at a critical stage in the presidential race has forced the Obama campaign to reassess its reelection strategy, which for months has revolved around the likelihood that Mitt Romney would end up as the president’s Republican rival. Obama’s Chicago-based reelection team has begun digging into Santorum’s background, diverting opposition researchers who thus far had been focused on Romney. They also blasted an e-mail to supporters in Pennsylvania, asking them… Read more

Taxmageddon

What awaits us, no matter who wins the elections: On Dec. 31, the George W. Bush-era tax cuts are scheduled to expire, raising rates on investment income, estates and gifts, and earnings at all levels. Overnight, the marriage penalty for joint filers will spring back to life, the value of the child credit will drop from $1,000 to $500, and the rate everyone pays on the first $8,700 of wages will jump from 10 percent to 15 percent. The Social… Read more

Do-it-yourself repair shop

In Vancouver, British Columbia, there is a motorcycle repair shop that lets you use their tools and someone shows you how to fix your bike yourself.  Here is a video about the business, which is called Motomethod: The Motomethod Story from Zenga Bros on Vimeo. The video shows the two owners enthusiastic about their vocation, including their zeal to love and serve their customers. Would you say the do-it-yourself impulse is an example of vocation (cultivating your talents)  or the… Read more

Happy Presidents’ Day

Today is Presidents’ Day, which began as an amalgamation of George Washington’s birthday and Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, but now is nobody’s birthday but just honors our chief executives.  So let’s take a pause from the current presidential campaign to discuss the institution itself. Is it wise to have the same person be head of state and the  head of the executive branch? Most democracies today have a Prime Minister as chief executive, who is the head of the party that… Read more

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