January 28, 2019

That evangelicals and other conservative Christians tend to be such big supporters of the non-evangelical, non-conservative- Christian Donald Trump has occasioned much criticism and soul-searching.  But new research adds an intriguing (though still debatable) twist:  Trump’s biggest supporters in the Republican primary were indeed evangelicals whose religion is very important to them but who don’t go to church. From Timothy P. Carney, Why ex-churchgoers flocked to Trump, Philanthropy Daily: The best way to describe Trump’s support in the Republican primaries—when… Read more

January 25, 2019

Politics reflects the culture, we are told, and this is certainly true.  But, more profoundly, both politics and culture reflect the soul.  Plato made this point, and so, more recently, does Damon Linker, who writes about the “tyrannical souls” that stir up the outrage mobs on Twitter.   First, I want to quote Linker.  And then I want to bring up Plato. From Damon Linker, How Twitter could be the death of liberal democracy, in The Week: As Andrew Sullivan noted nearly… Read more

January 24, 2019

It looks like marijuana will soon be legalized everywhere.  There is no organized opposition–not even among conservative Christians–so I see nothing that will stop it.  When that happens, it is likely to pass into general use.  Eventually, it may become a normal accompaniment of everyday life.  If that happens, how do you think widespread marijuana use will change the culture? The apologists for the drug think it will be a medical panacea and that it will usher in an era… Read more

January 23, 2019

In the 19th century, we had opium dens and the patent medicine laudanum, a solution of opium and alcohol, to which prominent figures like Mary Todd Lincoln and Samuel Coleridge became addicted.  In the 20th century, the opiate heroin ravaged the big cities.  Later in that century, painkiller opiates, like Oxycontin and Vicodin became available as prescription drugs, killing thousands.  In the 21st century, opioids–both painkillers and heroin–moved from black neighborhoods in the big cities to the small rural towns… Read more

January 22, 2019

The Fifth Circuit of Court of Appeals has vindicated the undercover videos that exposed the illegal practices of Planned Parenthood and has cleared the way for states to defund the abortion provider. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission stripped Planned Parenthood of its status as an approved Medicaid provider after watching the sting videos by activist David Daleiden and his Center for Medical Progress.  Those tapes showed Planned Parenthood employees talking about selling the organs of their abortion victims,… Read more

January 21, 2019

On this Martin Luther King Day, it’s worth reflecting on why his father changed his and his son’s name to honor Martin Luther.  The Washington Post tells the tale.  And it includes a detail I didn’t realize:  That Martin Luther King, Jr., referred to Luther in his very last sermon before his death. From DeNeen L. Brown, The story of how Michael King Jr. became Martin Luther King Jr.: The story of how Michael became Martin began in 1934 when King’s… Read more

January 21, 2019

It looked like the smoking gun that Trump critics had yearned for, specific evidence of a serious crime that could lead to the president’s impeachment, conviction, and imprisonment. BuzzFeed News reported that President Trump instructed his fixer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress, telling him to testify that his Trump Tower project had been cancelled long before it actually was.  Suborning perjury is a felony.  In this case, it would also constitute obstruction of justice.  It would also raise questions… Read more

January 18, 2019

Complaints about “toxic masculinity” often come across as complaints about “masculinity.”  The Gillette ad on the subject shows leering men committing sexual harassment, bullies tormenting those smaller than themselves, and otherwise being obnoxious.  But such behavior was always scorned by men of honor.  The Gillette ad does show men in their traditional masculine role as protectors, role models, and fathers.  Though it comes across as feminist and condescending.  (I’ve embedded it below, so you can judge for yourself.) But there… Read more

January 17, 2019

Enes Kanter was the backup center for the Oklahoma City Thunder.  The resident of Turkey was always so cheerful, positive, and supportive of his teammates and the city that everyone here was sorry to see him go, being traded to the New York Knicks, where he is starting and becoming a really good player.  Too bad his life is in danger. Kanter openly criticizes the dictatorial president of Turkey, Recep Erdogan.  Kanter is a supporter of  Fethullah Gülen, the Turkish theologian… Read more

January 16, 2019

America seems to be in a state of malaise on all sides–thanks to Trump hatred, government shutdown, political paralysis, cultural dysfunctions, etc., etc.–and there is a pervasive sense that the nation is undergoing a decline.  But an outside perspective from another country is arguing that America is, in fact, in a state of “resurgence” that is “reshaping the world.” The controversial Canadian businessman Conrad Black in that country’s National Post marvels at the strength of the American economy–stressing details I had not thought… Read more

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