Iowa, Ted Cruz, and the Evangelical Identity Crisis

Ted Cruz delivering his victory speech after the Iowa caucus. (Screenshot from YouTube, ABC News)

Ted Cruz ended last night with a yuuuuge victory over Donald Trump in Iowa. (Sorry, had to do it!) Religion played a big role in Cruz’s victory. The New York Times reports that Cruz’s victory was “powered by a surge of support from evangelical Christians.”For his part, Cruz reaffirmed his connection with his evangelical supporters by invoking divine favor upon his victory. “God bless the great state of Iowa! Let me first say, to God be the glory.”But I can’t help but feel uneasy about the … [Read more...]

Hillary Clinton’s Emails, Donald Trump, and Moving through Scandal

Photo: Flicker, Marc Nozell, Hillary Clinton in Hampton, NH, Creative Commons License, some changes made.

Former House Majority Leader Tom Delay claims that the Justice Department is preparing to file charges against Hillary Clinton for mishandling of classified information in her emails. Delay said in an interview, “I have friends who are in the FBI and they tell me they’re ready to indict.”I don’t know the veracity of Delay’s statement. Nothing would surprise me during this political season. His statement could be a complete fabrication made to cause more drama in a presidential election season … [Read more...]

Bible Matters: Ezekiel’s Political Theology

Copyright: jswinborne / 123RF Stock Photo

The United States is in the midst of a presidential campaign. How should theology inform our politics? The prophet Ezekiel provides important answers that may surprise liberals and conservatives.Ezekiel gave a clear political theology. He spoke during a time of national crisis in Jewish history. The Babylonian Empire conquered Jerusalem, destroyed the Temple, killed many people, and exiled others throughout the empire.Those who survived asked the question of theodicy. If God is good and … [Read more...]

Star Wars and Theology Part 2: Overcoming the Myth of Good and Evil

Images: Luke Skywalker after defeating Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi (Screenshot from YouTube) and Kylo Ren praying to Darth Vader's helmet (Screenshot from YouTube)

One common critique of the Star Wars saga is that it holds a simplistic view of good and evil. For example, Star Wars makes it easy to tell the difference between good and evil. The distinction is as plain black and white. The Jedi are good and the Sith are evil. The Rebellion is good and the Empire is evil. Even the costumes point toward a simplistic understanding of evil – the Stormtroopers are white, while the main villains, Darth Vader and now Kylo Ren, wear black. And, of course, their h … [Read more...]

The State of the Union: Spiritual Wisdom to Heal the Political Divide

Image: President Obama deliver his State of the Union, 2016. Screenshot from YouTube.

There was much to appreciate about President Obama’s speech last night. I also think that Nikki Haley’s Republican response was commendable on many levels. Both put forth a vision and a hope for renewed political cooperation, and they even repented in the ways they and their parties have contributed to the politics that have greatly divided the United States.Governor Haley suggested some good spiritual wisdom about the loud political noise that has spread throughout the US, “Often the best th … [Read more...]

The Top 4 Myths about Syrian Refugees: Mike Huckabee and the Republican Debate

Mike Huckabee at the Republican Presidential Debate, December 16, 2015 (Screen shot from YouTube)

At Tuesday’s Presidential Debate, candidate Mike Huckabee had this to say about the Syrian refugee crisis: If it’s such a doggone good idea to bring people here that we really don’t know who they are, and Obama thinks that we are being unchristian to not do it, I’ve got a suggestion – let’s send the first wave of them to Chappaqua, Martha’s Vineyard, and the upper eastside of Manhattan, and to the south lawn of the White House where we’ll set up a camp. Let’s see how that works out. And if they … [Read more...]

Advent Meditations Part 1 – Hope In the Darkness

Photo: Flickr, First Sunday in Advent, by ILCE3000, Creative Commons License, some changes made

I meant last week to start a series of Advent meditations, but found myself swamped with all kinds of holiday-related commitments. I know, I know… there is a lesson to be found in this… to take the time to slow down and meditate and reflect in the midst of the frenzy of the season. Well, I’m doing it now… catching up first on the Gospel from last week, Luke 21: 25-36. My meditations may take the form of poetry or essays, as the Spirit moves me.  25 “There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and … [Read more...]