The ex-Lutheran Republican primary

Newt Gingrich grew up Lutheran!  So did Ron Paul.  So did Michele Bachmann.  And Jon Huntsman, though a Mormon, went to a Lutheran school in Los Angeles. That Paul and Bachmann used to be Lutherans is common knowledge, but I did not know about Gingrich.  (The article, below, says that he grew up in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania, which has three ELCA congregations, not that that body existed back then.  Paul also was raised in a non-LCMS congregation, as I recall, but… Read more

Tattoo regrets

Despite the current economic doldrums, a new business is booming:   the tattoo removal industry.  Emily Wax reports: She arrives quietly, coming in from the rain after work. She lies down on her stomach atop a sleek, white reclining chair. She lifts her shirt and tugs down her jeans slightly. It’s enough to unveil a large pink flower tattoo with fat, webby green leaves, which she’s here to have lasered off her lower back. She wants to become a mother… Read more

Whose job is it to keep Christ in Christmas–and in sermons?

Issues, Etc. host Todd Wilkens has posted a provocative point on his Facebook page on the perennial “keep Christ in Christmas” controversies.  Since I’m one of the ten or eleven Americans not on Facebook, I’m indebted to my friend Michael O’Connor for showing it to me and for asking Todd for permission to post it here: I don’t expect the culture to keep Christ in Christmas; that’s the church’s responsibility. Besides, the “Christ” of culture bears no resemblance to the Christ… Read more

TIME’s Person of the Year: The Protester

Time Magazine’s Person of the Year for 2011 is, once again, not a person but the personification of a category:  The Protester.   By which is meant the protesters in Egypt, the Middle East, Europe, Russia, and America.  That is to say, Occupy Wall Street.  Strangely, the Tea Party protesters do not count. See TIME’s Person of the Year 2011 – TIME. A fitting choice, or not? Who would YOU nominate for person of the year? Read more

The end of the malls?

Yes, the shopping malls are packed this time of year.  But hardly any are being built any more.  And many of the existing malls are being demolished.  The concept of the vast enclosed shopping space surrounded by a vast parking lot seems to be fading.  In its place is the “town center,” the shopping area that is pedestrian friendly, open to the sky, and that combines shops, restaurants, movie theaters, and places to live.  Architect Roger K. Lewis gives a… Read more

Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose

I stumbled upon this post by Westminster professor Carl Trueman from way back in 2007: Listening to Janis Joplin the other day, I was struck by two things. First, my eleven year old son (who had never, to my knowledge, heard Joplin) commented as he heard the first bars of `Me and Bobby McGee’ that he didn’t know I had a Joplin album. To recognise the voice like that at 11 must make him a blues-rock prodigy. Second, I suddenly realised why… Read more

Land rush for domain names

A host of new domain names are going up on the internet, with unintended consequences: There’s been a scramble to snap up domain names for the Internet’s newest designation — .xxx — but not necessarily from those you’d expect. Adult sites have reserved their spot in the newly labeled section of the Web, but so have companies, charities, celebrities and politicians. Try “barackobama.xxx,” “angelinajolie.xxx” or “redcross.xxx” and you’ll find yourself faced with a black screen with gray type stating: “This… Read more

Supremes to consider Arizona’s immigration law

The Supreme Court will rule on whether or not the federal government can overrule Arizona’s strict immigration laws.  This is only one of some big cases the Supremes have taken on: The Supreme Court on Monday intervened in another high-profile case testing the authority of the federal government, saying it will review Arizona’s crackdown on illegal immigrants, which inspired similar state efforts across the country. Next month, the court will hear an emergency appeal from Texas that questions the role… Read more

How about Ron Paul, after all?

With one after another Republican presidential candidates rising to the top, then flaming out, it is time to seriously consider Ron Paul. He’s libertarian, but he’s also pro-life, a devout Christian by all accounts (raised Lutheran, no less,  in the ELCA, but now Baptist–from an LCMS point of view, is it better to be a liberal Lutheran or a conservative Baptist?).  Anyway, he is anti-war (conservatives now taking the lead in that department).  No one doubts his commitment to small… Read more

Can Science explain everything?

From David Wheeler at the Chronicle of Higher Education blog: There’s a new bully on the intellectual block, shoving scholars around. Lots of them are caving into the threats. The bully’s name is “scientism,” the belief that science has a monopoly on all real knowledge. All other knowledge, scientism asserts, is simply opinion, irrationality, or utter nonsense. That was the perspective Ian Hutchinson, professor of nuclear science and engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, offered at an event titled… Read more

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