Hobby Lobby hysteria

Critics of the Supreme Court’s ruling that the Obamacare contraceptive mandate must include exemptions for business owners whose religion does not permit them to purchase birth control pills and possible abortifacients are howling with indignation.  Women are going to be prevented from having access to birth control!  The ruling will result in more unwanted pregnancies and thus more abortions!

But the ruling itself simply makes the remedy already given to churches and religious organizations available to religious individuals who own businesses.  Those who claim the religious exemption will not have to pay for contraceptive coverage in the insurance plans they make available to their employees.  But the insurance companies will have to provide a separate policy that does so at no extra charge to the employees.  Thus, as the court said, all women will still get free birth control.  Even the employees of Hobby Lobby. [Read more...]

Our Orwellian government

Victor Davis Hanson writes about the “Orwellian” language and attempts to rewrite the past that characterize the current administration. [Read more...]

Conservatives “have no place” in New York

Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York often mentioned as an alternative to Hillary Clinton as a Democratic presidential candidate, doesn’t want pro-lifers, Second Amendment advocates, or believers in traditional sexual morality in his state.  Here is what he said on the radio:

“Are they these extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault weapon, anti-gay? Is that who they are? Because if that’s who they are, and if they are the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are.” Only “moderate Republicans have a place in this state.”

Michael Gerson points out that this illustrates a familiar tactic the left has been using:  Don’t argue about the issues with people you disagree with.  Present them as unworthy of being members of “our” society.  [Read more...]

Income equality?

The Democrats’ big new issue is “income inequality.”  What they are referring to is that wealthier people are benefiting more from the current economic growth than those with lower incomes and that there is a growing economic gap between the two.  The Democrats want to address this with such policies as raising the minimum wage.  But surely adopting those policies, which might be worth doing, would do little to make incomes “equal,” would it?

If the problem is “income inequality,” asks Kathleen Parker, is the solution “income equality”?  Is the idea really to work towards everyone having the same income?  If that were to happen, would that be a good thing? [Read more...]

Dog whistles vs. smiley faces

In the context of a discussion about  “income inequality” (we’ll discuss that later), Kathleen Parker talks about political rhetoric and the different styles of each party.  Republicans, she says, use “dog whistles,” using loaded terms (big government!  tax-and-spend!  anti-family!) to summon the true believers.  Democrats use “smiley faces” to cover up unpleasant truths with positive emotions (“reproductive freedom” for late-term abortions).

Those are my examples.  What are some others on both sides? [Read more...]

Move the nation’s capital to Nebraska

We talk about politics here at the Cranach blog, being careful to keep the two kingdoms distinguished, but we don’t do politicking, in the sense of agitating for one candidate or another.   But I wanted to show you this campaign video as a virtuoso example of the genre.

Ben Sasse is running for the senate in Nebraska.  I have known him personally for a long time in different capacities, and he’s a good guy.  He’s a Lutheran, and I’ve worshiped with him at  Immanuel in Alexandria, where he attended when he lived in the D.C. area.

I know at least one of you will cringe at the exaltation of rural midwestern values, and I admit that some of the conventions of the genre–brilliantly realized in this video–can get kind of cheesy (the waving flags, the obligatory interview with the wife and kids, etc.).  But Ben presents himself ridiculously well.   As for his signature issue here, I am pretty sure he is (mostly) being ironic and metaphorical, but he’s got himself a clever slogan, one that voters will remember and that sets him apart from the pack in the Republican primary.

We are certainly not endorsing him, knowing nothing of his competition or of the issues in the state of Nebraska.  But you’ve got to see this video, after the jump. [Read more...]


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