It’s basically to raise taxes: President Obama called for cutting the nation’s combined budget deficit by $4 trillion over the next 12 years on Wednesday, countering Republican budget plans with what he said was a more balanced approach that relies in part on tax increases for the wealthy as well as on spending cuts. Mr. Obama spoke in strikingly partisan tones in parts of the 43-minute speech, offering a blistering critique of the Republican approach to reducing the deficit and… Read more

Embryonic stem cell research, contrary to the rhetoric, will NOT lead to a cure for Alzheimer’s.  And it probably won’t for Parkinson’s disease, either.  According to Joe Carter, stem cell scientists know this, but purposefully lie about it to overcome pro-life opposition to the destruction of embryos: Several years ago I worked for a Christian bioethics think tank when ESCR was being hotly debated in the media. Although the ethics of the issue were contested, there was not much disagreement… Read more

French President Sarkozy is the new George Bush, pushing the military intervention first in Libya and now in the Ivory Coast, where French-led UN forces, battling another murderous dictator, captured President Gbagbo, who was ousted in an election but refused to  leave office.  Now Europe is interventionist, while the United States comes in only reluctantly, if at all.  Like Europe used to do. Barack Obama swept to power in 2008 on a wave of anti-war sentiment, while David Cameron entered… Read more

Before the UN, a proposal that Bolivia has already enacted, a new frontier of rights legislation: Bolivia will this month table a draft United Nations treaty giving “Mother Earth” the same rights as humans — having just passed a domestic law that does the same for bugs, trees and all other natural things in the South American country. The bid aims to have the UN recognize the Earth as a living entity that humans have sought to “dominate and exploit”… Read more

Well, the Voyage of the Dawn Treader movie didn’t do so well, even worse than Prince Caspian.  Still, as we blogged about earlier, Walden Media is forging ahead with The Magician’s Nephew.  In an interview with Christianity Today, the head of that studio explains why: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe opened in December 2005 to a massive audience, earning more than $1 billion in box office ($745 million) and DVD sales ($332 million) combined. Critical reviews were good… Read more

Kathleen Parker gives some good examples of demonizing your opponent: So why do Republicans hate art, the elderly and children? Hint: Same reason parents hate their children when they say, “No.” We could just leave it at that, but this is too much fun. The demonizing of Republicans for trying to seriously address our desperately ailing economy surely begs for a new metaphor. The GOP has become the army of Mordor, fat-gobbed predators who feed on children while destroying all… Read more

The noted Christian historian Mark Noll says that a revolution has taken place in our understanding of the history of American evangelicalism.  Citing the scholarship of British historian W. R. Ward, who died recently, Noll says that the origins of American evangelicalism are now understood to lie not in Puritanism or frontier revivals but in 17th century German Pietism: Never from within the Anglo-American community of historians working on the modern history of Christianity has there been such an encompassing… Read more

Today, April 12, is the 150th anniversary of the fall of Ft. Sumter, which officially began the Civil War in 1861. Civil War Trust: Civil War Sesquicentennial Home. That’s really not long ago, in historical terms.  The lifetime of two old men.  What a tragedy, certainly the lowest point of American history.  With what zeal Americans on both sides slaughtered each other.  Our bloodiest war was with each other.  What a scandal was slavery in this land of the free,… Read more

Charles Krauthhammer defends Paul Ryan’s budget plan, which Democrats are decrying in apocalyptic terms for the way it slashes the budget, even though that will not be enough to balance the budget until 2040!  That’s how bad our deficit is! The conventional line of attack on Ryan’s plan is already taking shape: It cuts poverty programs and “privatizes” Medicare in order to cut taxes for the rich. Major demagoguery on all three counts. (1) The reforms of the poverty programs… Read more

Gerald McDermott at First Things offers a fascinating discussion of a current battle going on in evangelical theology: Evangelical theology has long been divided between those who emphasize human freedom to choose salvation (Arminians) and those who stress God’s sovereignty in the history of salvation (the Reformed). Now this old division has been overshadowed by a larger division between new opposing camps we may call the Meliorists and the Traditionists. The former think we must improve and sometimes change substantially… Read more

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