June 27, 2020

Nobody likes the culture war, not even the culture warriors. Being “against” anything not associated with Hitler sounds preachy and we prefer decadent to preachy. Meanwhile, patriotism, family, and God are topics that lend themselves to affirmation and irony. If Papa shouldn’t preach, he should try for irony if he must opine. Unless John F. Kennedy’s America was theocracy, people could choose to pray in their local schools without destroying religious freedom. The Court stopped this historic custom and if… Read more

June 26, 2020

In one day, I saw a museum of Communism and a museum of Alphonse Mucha. This was intentional since the communists and Mucha were nothing alike. They made mistakes, very different in scale, but one error may have led to the greater one. The communist dream was bound to become a nightmare because it came with so much ugliness. Whatever Soviet Realism, the official art of Communism, was, it was bad art and a movement that elevates ugliness in the name… Read more

June 25, 2020

The most powerful person in a college student’s life is often the resident advisor: ill paid, but ideologically driven.  Classroom time is not the only learning time. When I talk to students and parents, they don’t realize that the campus social climate will have as big (or bigger) impact on their education than professors. I suspect that if the campus looks like a resort (fun!) and has a good academic reputation, then thinking stops. Like choosing the shiny cup in the… Read more

June 24, 2020

Shooting is a hobby, a means of self-defense, and a bastion against tyranny. Guns  also are misused and become part of crimes and horrible accidents. Of course, this misuse is small compared to the misuse of lethal power by the state! The Communist Party of China has a near monopoly on lethal power and the results are not pretty. Liberty to do or own something comes with risk. Christians want peace, but perfect peace is not possible in our present condition… Read more

June 23, 2020

My Mother and I used to laugh at greeting cards that began: what is a x?  No relationship was so sacred that a card couldn’t make it ludicrous. They were either so over the top, “a mother is an angel in suburbia,” or weirdly negative, “we have never talked much about feelings” that we avoided them. With apologies to Mom, however, this week after Father’s Day I feel inspired to list some of what Dad has taught me by word… Read more

June 22, 2020

When I was a boy, a person in my dad’s first church, better off than we were, gave me a Teddy bear that I cleverly named “Teddy.” If you love a bear, he will get a bit worn. This is particularly true, because when I outgrew stuffed animals as toys to hug, I organized them into a little kingdom. When afraid in the dark, I developed a backstory that my “animals” existed on top of the blankets keeping me safe… Read more

June 21, 2020

I am a small government conservative, supportive of the free market. More fundamentally, I am an orthodox Christian in the global church and this too has implications. As a result of being a global Christian, I know a good many Christians that support (for example) more socialist visions of economics and larger government. Some are critical of liberal democratic forms of government and argue for alternatives ranging from far larger Christian input than I support in governance to no involvement…. Read more

June 20, 2020

We have two new olive trees planted. One to remember an excellent person who died full of years worthy of honor and another to recollect a youngling who died a boy. We will meet, but we will miss them in different ways. A person who died full of good works at the end of a natural lifespan leaves us with the great gifts of a well spent life, yet lonely. We know the truth of the severe mercy of death:… Read more

June 19, 2020

Happiest Juneteenth! On this day, one of the last outposts of the Confederacy, Texas, got the news that slavery in the rebellious states had been ended by President Lincoln and his Emancipation Proclamation. The end of slavery in the United States would wait for the ratification of amendment XIII. When I was a boy, Juneteenth (June 19) was more regional, but the celebration has spread. Why not? We cannot celebrate the defeat of the Confederacy or the end of slavery… Read more

June 18, 2020

We must trust the experts, except when we cannot, and there is a particular kind of expert that is too often wrong: the expert who distills consensus opinion and makes it normative for all, smoothing out all the cranky dissent in every discipline. If one goes back one hundred years, this kind of  expert opinion about what is happening, what is moral, or what we should believe is hopelessly wrong.  I have yet to find an era where these homogenizing experts… Read more

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