Pollution cures global warming

Climate scientists–the established ones, not the renegades–have found that global surface temperatures did not rise from 1998 to 2008, despite heightened carbon emissions, and they have been trying to figure out why.  Now they are saying the temperature drop is anthropogenic, the result (like they had been saying of global warming) of pollution, just a different kind: Smoke belching from Asia’s rapidly growing economies is largely responsible for a halt in global warming in the decade after 1998 because of… Read more

And now, consensual adultery

Gay marriage is not the only revolution in the works.  The lead article in the last New York Times Magazine makes the case for consensual adultery as a way to keep marriages together: [Rep. Anthony Weiner’s] visage was insisting, night after night, that we think about how hard monogamy is, how hard marriage is and about whether we make unrealistic demands on the institution and on ourselves. That, anyway, is what Dan Savage, America’s leading sex-advice columnist, would say. Although… Read more

Misunderstanding our founding documents?

E. J. Dionne says that, contrary to what tea party conservatives are saying, our founding documents are not anti-government: A reading of the Declaration of Independence makes clear that our forebears were not revolting against taxes as such — and most certainly not against government as such. In the long list of “abuses and usurpations” the Declaration documents, taxes don’t come up until the 17th item, and that item is neither a complaint about tax rates nor an objection to… Read more

The drone wars

The world’s military industrial complex–impressed with the USA’s ability to zap enemies from the air with remote-controlled mini-aircraft– is racing headlong into drone technology.  An article about the drones China is developing goes on to tell about the rest of the world’s drone rush.  It makes one suspect that the wars of the future may be waged with robotic aircraft controlled by video-game veterans posted safely at home. Little is known about the actual abilities of the WJ-600 drone or… Read more

Rendering to Caesar and to God

Happy Independence Day! The birthday of our nation would be a good time to contemplate that great text on church and state, Matthew 22:21, in which our Lord charges us to “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” What “things” are Caesar’s, and how do we render them to him? And what “things” are God’s, and how do we render them to Him? Obviously, all things are God’s, but Jesus must… Read more

The National Debt and the Constitution

As we wrestle with the national debt and as Congress debates over whether to raise the debt limit or risk default, we should consider what the Constitution says about the issue.  First, Congress does have the right to borrow money: ‘The Congress shall have power … To borrow money on the credit of the United States.’  Article I, Section 8 But read on to the 14th Amendment and you find this: ‘The validity of the public debt of the United… Read more

Verdict

In response to all of the discussion about “to ban or not to ban,” I think I will take the suggestion by Webmonk and others to delete certain comments that I find repetitive, tangential, or obnoxious. I will be constrained by time, how busy I am, and when I get around to reading the comments. But I will try to supervise the discussions a little more. Hopefully, I can avoid banning people, though if I find myself always striking their… Read more

Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest. . .

Some time ago on this blog, I sort of took issue with the “Common Table Prayer” commonly used by Lutherans, prayed in unison before a meal.   Remember that I did not grow up in this tradition, and I considered it more of a rhyming sing-song children’s prayer, favoring instead the prayer in the catechism with its use of the Psalm (“The eyes of all look to you, O Lord. . .”) or a spontaneous personal prayer.  How presumptuous I was… Read more

The new rules for evangelism

Last week we blogged about the conclave of world evangelicals, Roman Catholics, and liberal Protestants that put together a document on the Ethics of Evangelism.   Christianity Today has a good analysis, including what the document leaves out and what it says that some might find troubling: “I think the fact that the WEA [World Evangelical Alliance] is engaging with the WCC[World Council of Churches] and the Catholic Church here indicates that they are becoming more willing to embrace interreligious dialogue,” Mannoia… Read more

Reagan veneration in Eastern Europe

In the context of a rather snarky column on congressional junkets, we learn that the ex-Communist countries of eastern Europe are putting on big celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ronald Reagan, something we didn’t really do in the United States: Yes, we’re told that the codel [congressional delegation], led by House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), after a stop to mingle with the troops in Germany, was on hand Monday in Krakow, Poland, to kick off… Read more

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