Seceding from the state

The Civil War established the principle that states are not allowed to secede from the Union.  But it also established the principle that counties can secede from a state.  West Virginia was formed when certain counties in Virginia refused to go along with the rest of the state in joining the Confederacy.

That has been the only time a state split up, though there have been other attempts to do so, which, if they had succeeded would have given us states named Shasta, Chesapeake, Absaroka, West Florida, Texlahoma, Montezuma, Rough and Ready, and Yazoo.

Today there are secession movements–usually rural conservatives wanting to break away from the dominance of urban liberals–in Maryland, Michigan, Colorado, and California.  (The Maryland breakaway would be called Augusta.  The one in California would be Jefferson.  Does anyone now what the others in California and Michigan would be called?) [Read more…]

You cannot be be my disciple

We had a powerful sermon last Sunday on one of those “difficult” passages of Scripture, one that reminds us that Christianity is not merely about “family values”:

26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. . . .33 So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.  (Luke 14:26-27, 33)

See what Pastor Douthwaite does with this after the jump. [Read more…]

Colorado throws out anti-gun lawmakers

Citizens of Colorado voted for the right to smoke marijuana, but they have also voted or the right to own firearms.  In a recall election, this blue state ousted two state legislators who pushed anti-gun laws.  Might this be another example of a leftwing/rightwing alliance for civil liberties? [Read more…]

Collective bargaining through government power

Labor unions have been having a hard time of it.  So union activists have announced a new strategy:

“We are going to expand the idea of collective bargaining,” said Tim Paulson, executive director of the San Francisco AFL-CIO. “You can have collective bargaining through legislation. You can have collective bargaining through ballot measures.”

Columnist Harold Meyerson thinks this is a swell idea. [Read more…]

The legacy of 9/11?

On this anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we’ve got to ask ourselves:  Did the terrorists win?  Or did America win?  And what did those attacks do to us?  Considerations after the jump. [Read more…]

Good liberal theology vs. bad liberal theology?

British theologian Theo Hobson has a paradigm-scrambling article in the Christian Century, the magazine of record of mainline liberal Protestantism.  He says that liberal theology has suffered a “huge collapse,” particularly in its intellectual credibility in academic theology.   The “bad” liberal theology is faulted for being little more than a vague, rationalistic humanism, cut off from historical Christian doctrines and rituals (meaningful worship, the Sacraments). There is, however, a “good” liberal theology, he says, one that supports the “liberal state.”  By that he means a state characterized by freedom  (religious liberty as opposed to established churches, individual freedom of conscience, civil liberties).

Now, of course,in this country, the cause of political and religious liberty is championed by conservatives.  Theological conservatives would no doubt have a broader conception of liberal theology than Hobson does, finding other “academic theologies”–he mentions that of Barth and the radically orthodox Milibank–equally “liberal” insofar as they take a critical stance on the truth and authority of the Bible.  Still, you’ve got to read this, after the jump.  What do you make of all this? [Read more…]