Wash and be clean

At church last Sunday we had texts on Naaman the Leper (2 Kings 5:1-14) and the leper who begged Jesus for healing (Mark 1:40-45).  The former, thinking to buy healing, came with $400,000 worth of silver and $4 million worth of gold (I appreciated how Pastor Douthwaite translated the ancient weights into their modern equivalence an worth).  The latter came with nothing but desperation.  God ended up healing them both, though not as Naaman expected.  Pastor Douthwaite’s sermon, all of… Read more

Nostalgia liberals vs. accountability liberals

Fred Hiatt, himself a liberal, notices the rise of two different and contending kinds of liberals:  Nostalgia liberals and accountability liberals. The priorities of nostalgia liberalism are community, social cohesion and preservation of New Deal and Great Society programs. Accountability liberals put more stock in market forces and individual empowerment. Their debate is sure to sharpen over the next four years. . . . Accountability liberals say reform is needed to save Social Security — and that the only way… Read more

Do 98% of Catholic women use contraceptives?

Apologists for the administration’s abortion pill & contraceptive mandate are pointing to statistics that say as many as 98% of Roman Catholic women use contraceptives in defiance of the teaching of their church.  This is then used to encourage Democrats to not back down from the mandate, despite what the bishops say, as if rank and file Catholics will support the Obama administration anyway. It turns out, though, that the 98% numbers are yet another way to lie with statistics,… Read more

A Valentine’s Day meditation on Scripture

In honor of the noble martyr Valentine, whose day we celebrate today, I would like to propose a meditation on Ephesians 5: 22-33.  In this text we learn that a husband plays the role of Christ and the wife plays the role of the Church (or, to put it even more strongly and in vocational language, the husband is a mask of Christ and the wife is a mask of the Church). When this passage is usually contemplated, the discussion… Read more

A man gives birth?

Well, a transgendered man, one who used to be a woman.  And evidently still is: The man, who is believed to be in his 30s, was able to carry a child after taking female hormones to reverse the effects of his female-to-male sex change treatment. The Daily Telegraph understands that the man, whose identity has not been diclosed, is from the West Midlands and is in a long-term relationship. It is not clear whether his partner is male or female…. Read more

Obama, Henry VIII, and tooth-level surveillance

Mark Steyn compares President Obama’s religion policies to those of Henry VIII, whose “Act of Supremacy” gave him sole authority over his subjects’ faith and practice.  You need to read what he says. But I draw your attention to just two parts of that essay.  The first, where he quotes a provision of Obamacare that gives Secretary of Health & Human Services Kathleen Sibelius authority over our teeth: “The Secretary shall develop oral healthcare components that shall include tooth-level surveillance.”… Read more

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

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