Equal rights for atheists

We have had movements for equal rights for African-Americans, women, gays.  The next victimized, discriminated against minority who are demanding approval:  Atheists! The Washington Post has published an op-ed piece by Gregory Paul and Phil Zuckerman, raising the issue and asking “Why don’t Americans like atheists?” Long after blacks and Jews have made great strides, and even as homosexuals gain respect, acceptance and new rights, there is still a group that lots of Americans just don’t like much: atheists. Those… Read more

Taxing companies out of the state

Illinois needs more money.  So it has slapped more taxes on its businesses.  Whereupon more businesses are leaving the state.  So Illinois needs more money.  Here is a lesson in unintended consequences, how governments trying to raise revenue by raising taxes can end up killing the golden goose.  George Will tells the tale, focusing first on the effects of an Illinois law requiring that its on-line businesses charge their customers sales-tax, which has resulted in those on-line businesses leaving the… Read more

“Great Divorce”: The Movie

C. S. Lewis’s Great Divorce is getting made into a movie!  That symbolic/visionary/satirical/fantasy of a bus trip from Hell to a too-solid Heaven would seem to be hard to render in a film, but that’s part of what makes the prospect interesting.  The writer tapped to write the screenplay?  N. D. Wilson (the son of Douglas Wilson, whom some of you may know of).  Justin Taylor interviews him about  the project: How do you take a set of episodes and… Read more

U.S. forces kill Osama bin Laden

A major victory in the war against terrorism and in the war of vengeance for the 9/11 attacks: Osama bin Laden, the long-hunted al-Qaeda leader and chief architect of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, was killed by U.S. forces Sunday in what officials described as a surgical raid on his luxury hideout in Pakistan. In a rare Sunday night address from the East Room of the White House, President Obama said a small team of… Read more

“If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven”

The readings in church last Sunday included this passage from John 20: 19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”20When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21Jesus said to them again, “Peace… Read more

The journalism/Hollywood/political complex

The big social event of the year in Washington, D.C., is last weekend’s White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, which is known as the “prom” for the journalism/Hollywood/political complex.  Dana Milbank of the Washington Post feels guilty about what it has become: The fun begins, appropriately enough, at the offices of the American Gas Association, where White House reporters are feted by the lobbyists of the Quinn Gillespie firm. More lobbyist-sponsored entertainment comes from the Motion Picture Association. Along the way,… Read more

C. S. Lewis translates Virgil

Is it a good idea to publish EVERYTHING that a good author wrote?  His notes, scraps, unfinished projects, and what he never intended for publication because it wasn’t good enough?  I have my doubts, but it appears that we are getting virtually everything from C. S. Lewis.  Just out from Yale University Press, no less, is C. S. Lewis’s translation of Vergil’s Aeneid:  C. S. Lewis’s Lost Aeneid: Arms and the Exile. Well, it’s actually only the first book of… Read more

Who do the Republicans have?

When Americans have to pay $60 to fill their cars up with gas, they usually aren’t going to vote for the incumbent president. And yet, who is there to run against him? Mitt Romney? Newt Gingrich? Donald Trump? I can’t see Christian conservatives rallying behind any of those guys. Ron Paul, the libertarian? Mitch Daniels, who is calling for a truce on cultural issues to focus exclusively on the economy? Sarah Palin, who for better or worse has been turned… Read more

Whirlwinds

I grew up in Oklahoma, right in tornado alley.  We didn’t have a basement or a cellar so when the sirens blew we would get in the car and drive through the wind, often us kids still in our pajamas, to the church basement.  When we didn’t have time, we’d hide under our parents’ bed.  I remember vividly looking out their window and seeing a funnel bearing down.   I’ve seen a lot of massive wreckage.  Few things are as scary… Read more

“Cross & the Switchblade” author killed in auto crash

Rev. David Wilkerson, a pioneer in youth and urban ministry who founded Teen Challenge and wrote The Cross & the Switchblade, was killed in a car wreck.   The pastor of Times Square Church in New York City, he was 79. Rev. Wilkerson was successful in reaching the seemingly unreachable. And yet he didn’t seem to pander or water down or conform to those he was trying to reach. At least that is my impression, though some of you may know more… Read more

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