The end of Reaganism?

384px-Official_Portrait_of_President_Reagan_1981At the Conservative Political Action Conference, attendees swooned over President Trump.  They applauded him even when he advocated policies that used to be anathema to conservatives:  paid family leave; economic protectionism; a big public works program.

Rich Lowry, marveling, concluded that President Trump, with his brand of nationalistic conservatism, has triumphed over small-government conservatism.  That is to say, the ideology of Ronald Reagan is no longer dominant among conservatives.

If Reaganism is over, Lowry says, the Reaganites themselves are largely to blame.  They repeated the same mantras–lower taxes, supply side economics, cutting government–even as American voters moved on to other concerns, such as wage stagnation and (I would add) immigration.

At CPAC, Trump advisor Steve Bannon said that nationalism is what unites conservatives, with small government conservatives being one strain of the larger movement.

What do you think of Bannon’s analysis?  Rich Lowry’s?  Is Reaganism dead?  Or just beaten down for the time being?

Or has Trump, in fact, rebuilt the Reagan coalition of business interests, Christian conservatives, and disaffected blue-collar Democrats?

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Forcing pro-life centers to advertise abortions

TyrannyHawaii is on the verge of passing a law requiring pro-life pregnancy centers to post signs or distribute flyers referring clients to abortion providers.  California and Illinois already have similar laws on their books.

Most of these pregnancy centers have a Christian mission.  Some even operate out of churches.  These laws force religious people to violate their religious beliefs.

And even apart from the religious liberty issues, it is surely tyranny to coerce pro-lifers to promote abortion.

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Saying Christ is the only way to God is “abusive and criminal”?

coexist-1211709_640Two British street preachers were arrested for publicly reading the Bible, particularly the parts about Jesus being the only way to God.

In their trial, the prosecutor said,“To say to someone that Jesus is the only God is not a matter of truth. To the extent that they are saying that the only way to God is through Jesus, that cannot be a truth.”

The prosecutor apparently thought that those teachings were just quirks of the King James translation of the Bible, rather than basic doctrines of Christianity.  He said, “to use words translated in 1611 in a very different context, in the context of modern British society, must be considered to be abusive and is a criminal matter.”

The court agreed, sentencing the two Christians to a fine of £2,016 each ($2,452.42). [Read more…]

Shutting down the government over the Wall & Planned Parenthood

Chuck_Schumer_January_2016Senate Democrats say they will shut down the government by filibustering any spending bills that include building a wall along the Mexican border or that defund Planned Parenthood.

The government runs out of money on April 28 unless more funding is approved.

President Trump plans to release his proposed budget this week.

If the government gets shut down, the Democrats are convinced that Republicans will get blamed.


Photo of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer by Senate Democrats ( [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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The ACLU “resistance”

American_Civil_Liberties_Union_The American Civil Liberties Union conducted livestreamed training across the country Saturday, teaching people how to stage protests and other acts of “resistance” against the Trump administration.

The ACLU also said that it would be organizing “freedom cities” to defy immigration laws.

The Executive Director of the ACLU promised new lawsuits.  “We’ll do the work in the courts,” he told participants in the workshops. “You do the work in the streets.”

The ACLU’s priorities, he said, would be immigration, free speech, religious freedom, “reproductive rights” (a.k.a., facilitating abortion),  and LGBT issues.

Honest questions:  Does the ACLU defend free speech on college campuses?  Does the ACLU restrict its “freedom of religion” activities to Muslims and other minority religions, or do they also defend Christians who have been restricted or punished for acting on their beliefs?  Is there any “civil liberties” emphasis left in the organization, or has it become just another leftwing political group?

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LCMS judge is censured for following her church

We blogged about (here, here, and here) the case of Judge Ruth Neely, a municipal judge in Pinedale, Wyoming, who mentioned to a reporter that, as a Lutheran Christian, she would not be able to preside at a same-sex wedding.  Uproar ensued.

Never mind that no gay couples have ever asked her to do their wedding, so that she never discriminated against gay couples.  Never mind that Wyoming law does not require judges to do weddings of any sort.  But the enforcers of the new morality complained to the Wyoming Supreme Court, demanding that she be removed from office.

The court has now issued its decision:  Judge Neely will be censured, but she will be allowed to keep her position.

After the jump, an AP story about the decision, as well as the reaction of the president of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, Matthew Harrison.

The title of his message puts the case in vocational terms:  “Living Out Vocation under the Cross.”

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