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

Forcing a company to give away a product for free

Charles Krauthammer points out yet another problem with President Obama’s contraceptive mandate compromise: The president of the United States has just ordered private companies to give away for free a service that his own health and human services secretary has repeatedly called a major financial burden. On what authority? Where does it say that the president can unilaterally order a private company to provide an allegedly free-standing service at no cost to certain select beneficiaries? . . . . To… Read more

Packing heat in the pulpit

Another unusual law from my home sweet Oklahoma: The state house is considering a bill to allow pastors in their churches to protect themselves like citizens do in their homes, vehicles and businesses. A state house committee approved the legislation Tuesday that would make it legal to use deadly defensive force if there’s a fear of imminent death or bodily harm. The representative who wrote the bill sited several cases of violence inside Oklahoma Churches in the last decade. The… Read more

“Please get the federal government out of our consciences”

Mr. Chairman, it’s a pleasure to be here. The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod is a body of some 6,200 congregations and 2.3 million members across the U.S. We don’t distribute voters’ lists. We don’t have a Washington office. We are studiously non-partisan, so much so that we’re often criticized for being quietistic. “I’d rather not be here, frankly. Our task is to proclaim, in the words of the blessed apostle St. John, the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanses us… Read more

Iatrogenic government.

I quote this column on rent control because in it George Will teaches us a new word, one that names a reality we might not have recognized before so as to help us think more clearly: James and Jeanne Harmon reside in and supposedly own a five-story brownstone on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, a building that has been in their family since 1949. But they have, so to speak, houseguests who have overstayed their welcome by, in cumulative years, more… Read more

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