Yesterday was Ascension Day, marking the resurrected Christ’s return to His Father.  Pastor Reeder quotes the classic Bible scholar Paul E. Kretzmann on what the Ascension means: “By His exaltation and ascension the Son of Man, also according to His human body, has entered into the full and unlimited use of His divine omnipresence. His gracious presence is therefore assured to His congregation on earth. He is now nearer to His believers than He was to His disciples in the… Read more

So says the Obama administration.  Rod Dreher  comments: Remember how no clergy member will be forced to perform same-sex marriages against their will. If the Obama administration has its way, all US military chaplains will have to do so. Excerpt: “The Obama administration “strongly objects” to provisions in a House defense authorization bill that would prohibit the use of military property for same-sex “marriage or marriage-like” ceremonies, and protect military chaplains from negative repercussions for refusing to perform ceremonies that… Read more

Say you get a good job in the environs of our nation’s capital. (The region has some of the country’s lowest unemployment rates, with jobs in government, high-tech, and the military-industrial complex.)  Your choices of where to live are the District of Columbia, Maryland, or Virginia. Maryland has just chosen to raise its income tax rates to match those of D.C., so they will be tied for fourth highest in the nation.  Virginia’s taxes, on the other hand, are not… Read more

A judge in a Virginia lawsuit over posting the Ten Commandments in a public school has proposed cutting out the first few that are about God and allowing the rest of them to be displayed.  (The so-called “First Table” is about love of God; the “Second Table” is about love of neighbor.) Could the Ten Commandments be reduced to six, a federal judge asked Monday. Would that neutralize the religious overtones of a commandments display that has the Giles County… Read more

A lot of people don’t like either the Republican or the Democratic candidate.  Many people believe politics has gotten too extreme and want to vote for a centrist.  Quite a few people are sick of so much partisanship, believing that our hard times call for a national unity slate.  Lots of people believe our political system, with its caucuses and in-person rubber-stamping conventions, is antiquated and that the internet holds promise for greater participation in our democracy. So Americans Elect… Read more

This is Natalie, whose parents took a picture of her every day of her life, then animated the photos so as to show her reaching 10 years old in 1 minute 25 seconds. Read more

President Clinton was hailed by the liberal media as “the first black president”–on the basis of his soulfulness, sexual appetites, and other racist stereotypes–even though there would be an actual black president a few years later.  Now Newsweek is hailing President Obama as “the first gay president” with a cover story by Andrew Sullivan about alleged affinities between being biracial and being gay.  (Never mind that gays had been disillusioned with the president for not doing anything for them until… Read more

You know how when you are in a group of people and somebody yawns, and then other people start yawning, and then you too feel the irresistible impulse to do likewise?  Well, if there are dogs in the room, they too very likely will start yawning. Scientists have studied the phenomenon of dogs yawning when people do.  Furthermore, dogs don’t have to see someone yawn; they apparently hear humans yawning, which makes them want to yawn too.  Researchers speculate whether… Read more

David Sedaris is a humor writer who has a standing gig at National Public Radio news shows.  His schtick is based on his array of personal experiences, such as the time he once worked in a department store as Santa’s elf.  But NPR got burned when it turned out that Mike Daisey’s expose of conditions at an Apple Computer factory in China was largely made up.  And now it has come out that some of Sedaris’s anecdotes–including his  time as… Read more

Pastor Douthwaite, preaching from John 15:9-17 and 1 John 5:1-8: And speaking of Adam, he’s another one God gave but a single command to, remember? Just: don’t eat from this one tree. Just this one! You can eat from all the others: apples, oranges, pears, pomagranites, figs, cherries, you name it – they’re all yours to eat and enjoy. Just not this one, please. Reserve this one for me. Now, the scriptures don’t say what kind of fruit was on… Read more

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