Repercussions of the Boston bombings

I suspect that the Boston Marathon bombings may complicate the two big issues facing Congress right now.  On gun control, I daresay that when the citizens of Boston and its environs were told to stay inside and not to open their doors to anyone other than a uniformed police officer because a terrorist is roaming around somewhere, those who owned firearms were glad they did and many of those who did not wished they did.  On immigration, the bombings reminded us that the issue is not just about letting Mexican workers in and letting them stay.  It also needs to be about immigrants such as the bombers and keeping them out.  Do you agree that this may shift public opinion on those two issues?  What other repercussions do you see?

The German state church

Mathew Block, in the course of correcting a media error, explains that the Protestant state church of Germany is NOT Lutheran, but a federation of Protestant churches with a number of different theologies, including particularly the “Prussian Union,” which drove confessional Lutherans to Australia and America:

Two days ago, the Catholic Herald posted a story about Pope Francis meeting with Rev. Dr. Nikolaus Schneider. The article is entitled “Lutheran pastor meets Pope Francis in Rome,” and the text of the article also refers to Dr. Schneider as a Lutheran pastor. There’s just one problem, as the friend who brought this story to my attention noted: Dr. Schneider isn’t Lutheran.

You’d be forgiven for thinking so. He is, after all, President of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany. And surely the Evangelical Church in Germany is Lutheran, right?

It depends. The thing English speakers often miss is that the Evangelical Church in Germany (which formed in 1948) is actually a federation of separate church bodies in Germany rather than a unified denomination itself. [Read more…]

Luther memes

I stumbled upon He Rice Tanned (read it fast), a collection of sometimes humorous Luther memes.  Samples after the jump.  (If you know of others, or other Christian-related, or other good ones of any kind, let us know in the comments.) [Read more…]

The moralistic approach to filmmaking

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Assessment for government programs

In my field of higher education, the big idea is assessment.  Accreditors are requiring that we assess what we do; that is, that we give evidence for the quality and effectiveness of our programs and operations.  Businesses too are measuring product quality and customer satisfaction.  But there is almost no assessment of government programs.  Very little data is gathered to determine whether or not a program works or fulfills its purpose.  As a result, once a program is enacted, it is almost impossible to kill.  But now some economists are proposing ways to bring assessment to the government. [Read more…]

Atheists want to participate in interfaith services

Atheists in Boston are complaining that they haven’t been invited to participate in the interfaith services held in connection to the Boston Marathon bombings.  See No Room for Non-Theists at Boston Interfaith Service | (A)theologies | Religion Dispatches. [Read more…]