Congregations dissenting from the ELCA’s embrace of homosexuality now have a bishop and have formed a new Lutheran denomination:  The North American Lutheran Church (NALC).  It has 250 congregations and some 100,000 members.  Check out their website, which details the NALC’s beliefs, government, and mission: North American Lutheran Church (NALC). My impression is that the NALC will still ordain women and be ecumenical in relation to other churches–the website specifically says it will co-operate with the new Anglican church, which… Read more

Ron Paul, the pro-life anti-war libertarian, took second place in the Iowa straw poll.   Michelle Bachmann beat him by only 200 votes, and yet her showing is being hailed as making her a contender.   Paul is attracting much more support than he received the last time he ran for president, which was considerable. So why does the media continue to ignore him?   Why does the punditocracy refuse to treat him as a legitimate contender?   Isn’t that a case of the… Read more

The Wall Street Journal and John McCain started it by calling Tea Partiers “hobbits.”  Timothy Furnish develops the parallels: The first leg on this journey is figuring out what the Ring represents in modern political discourse. Since the Tea Party is trying to cast it into the fire, it must be American government spending and debt (which includes deficits, of course). That would make Congressman Paul Ryan Frodo since he knows more about that burden than anyone; and thus Samwise… Read more

In choosing which presidential candidate a person will support, the most usual preoccupation for people in both parties is “what does he–or she–believe”? That’s certainly important, since a leader’s beliefs will manifest themselves in their policies and decisions.  But there is something else to consider:  How well can this person govern? Having an ideology and having the ability to preside over a government are two different dimensions that are not necessarily related to each other.  To run something–as a manager,… Read more

Mitt Romney said, “Corporations are people.”  Newt Gingrich castigated “right-wing social engineering.”  Michele Bachmann claimed that she shared the same spirit as someone else born in Waterloo, Iowa, John Wayne.  But it wasn’t the movie star with whom she shared a birthplace but serial killer John Wayne Gacy. These politically-damaging statements were heralded as “gaffes.”  But what makes a gaffe, as opposed to a forgivable misstatement or an inconsequential mistake?  Journalist Paul Waldman, a liberal, by the way, explains: What… Read more

One of the major greenhouse global warming gases is methane.  Scientists have discovered that there is not nearly as much methane in the atmosphere as their computer models predicted there should be.  Scientists say that there has been a mysterious decline in the growth of methane in the atmosphere in the last decades of the 20th Century. Researchers writing in the journal Nature have come up with two widely differing theories as to the cause. One suggests the decline was… Read more

Well, we are back from our Alaskan cruise.  What a great vacation.  A cruise ship offers rest and relaxation, the beauties and sublimities of nature, the benefits of civilization, learning interesting things, fine food and drink, entertainment (shows, live music, movies), time to read for sheer pleasure, quality and quantity time with whomever you are traveling with (in my case, my wonderful wife of 40 years).   You can make a vacation of any one of those, but a leisurely cruise… Read more

Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty has dropped out of the presidential race!  That’s too bad, in my opinion.  Though he didn’t come across strongly, he seemed like someone who could credibly serve as president.   Who will benefit from his exit? Pawlenty realizes he wasn’t what GOP voters were looking for – The Washington Post. Read more

The wild fluctuations of the stock market last week seem to be a reaction to the national deficit and the downgrading of American bonds.  But, as financial analyst Liaquat Ahamed, points out, investors were dumping stocks and investing in government bonds, despite the downgrade and despite record low interest rates. So, if financial markets aren’t worried about the full faith and credit of the United States, why is the stock market falling? An alternative view, most prominently expressed by New… Read more

Texas governor Rick Perry has announced that he running for president.  As the longest-serving governor of a big state, Perry comes with lots of executive experience, with a strong  record of economic growth and job creation.  He is an open evangelical Christian, going so far as to lead the prayer and preach from the Bible at a recent religious rally.  The Tea Party likes him, as do business interests and the Republican establishment. Is he someone you could support?  (I’d… Read more

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