Compromise on insurance birth control mandate?

President Obama has announced a compromise he is willing to enact on his mandatory abortion pill and contraceptive mandate.  Employees of religious institutions that don’t believe in that sort of thing will have to ask the organization’s insurance company for the coverage, whereupon the insurance company will have to provide it free of charge without raising the institution’s rates.  Thus the insurance company, not the faith-based employer, will be paying for the morning after pills and contraceptives.  And the faith-based… Read more

Officially re-defining religion

The Constitution carves out space for religion so that it does not fall under government jurisdiction.  So, as Charles Krauthammer points out, the  government, which currently demands jurisdiction over everything, is re-defining religion: And thus, the word came forth from [Health & Human Services director Katherine] Sebelius decreeing the exact criteria required (a) to meet her definition of “religious” and thus (b) to qualify for a modicum of independence from newly enacted state control of American health care, under which… Read more

Santorum surges in the polls

Rick Santorum has become a contender: Riding a wave of momentum from his trio of victories on Tuesday Rick Santorum has opened up a wide lead in PPP’s newest national poll. He’s at 38% to 23% for Mitt Romney, 17% for Newt Gingrich, and 13% for Ron Paul. Part of the reason for Santorum’s surge is his own high level of popularity. 64% of voters see him favorably to only 22% with a negative one. But the other, and maybe… Read more

Politics & Vocation

It’s interesting to see Roman Catholics appropriating Luther’s doctrine of vocation.  Traditionally, Catholics have used the term to refer only to the calling to be a priest, a monk, or a nun.  Matthew Cantirino here discusses a prominent Catholic thinker who says that we have a “baptismal vocation” to participate in the political process. It’s not quite as clear as Luther’s point that we have a vocation as citizens.  Still, at a time when many Christians are giving up on… Read more

Is the U.S. Constitution obsolete?

[An earlier version of this post went up with just the raw quotation and with my introduction, edits, and commentary  not showing up, for some reason.  Sorry for the confusion.] Conservatives worry that the U. S. Constitution is being ignored.  The next step is for the Constitution to be spoken against and then repudiated.  That seems to be happening, even by a Supreme Court Justice!  In the meantime, the rest of the world has stopped imitating America’s constitutional system, which,… Read more

The Church of Planned Parenthood

Mollie Hemingway on the uproar over the Susan G. Komen foundation (which is devoted to fighting breast cancer) and its short-lived decision to stop giving money to Planned Parenthood. If you thought that the media were irreligious, you were proved wrong. They couldn’t be more religious. It’s just that their church is Planned Parenthood. Their sacrament is abortion. Any attack against their church, such as Susan G. Komen’s decision to stop funding Planned Parenthood, has been met with the most… Read more

Lars Walker’s new novel

Lars Walker is someone who hangs out at this blog fairly often.  He is also an accomplished novelist.   He has a new novel out entitled  Troll Valley. Lars specializes in tales about Norway, especially the ancient Vikings in their transition from paganism to Christianity.  (See West Oversea.)  But this one is about Norwegians in Minnesota, settlers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries on the farms and in the small towns that would give us the Lake Woebegone… Read more

Your religion mustn’t affect your life!

Vanderbilt is doubling down on its insistence that Christian groups on campus must admit non-Christians.  What’s interesting is hearing the university try to justify that.  Robert Shibley of the civil liberty group FIRE quotes Vanderbilt’s provost explaining the policy to a gathering of students, answering a question from someone in the Christian Legal Society: VANDERBILT LAW STUDENT AND CLS MEMBER PALMER WILLIAMS: I am a little confused by the fact that under your policy, I can gather with a group… Read more

Californians not allowed to vote against gay marriage

The state of California, at one time, decided to permit gay marriage, but voters rallied and overturned that law.  Now a federal appeals court has overturned that vote on constitutional grounds.  See Court Rejects State Ban on Gay Marriage – WSJ.com. We have been told both by conservatives and liberals that the question of gay marriage should just be left up to the states.  That way, different values across this great country can find expression.  But here the people of… Read more

LCMS President’s statement on HHS mandate

Matthew Harrison, president of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, has issued a statement on the federal government’s mandate that religious organizations must provide free abortion pills and contraceptives to their employees in their insurance plans.  He clarifies what this will mean for Lutheran organizations and expresses his strong opposition: A Statement on Recent HHS Decision and Religious Freedom We are deeply distressed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) recent decision to require nearly all private health… Read more

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