Christian and secular news and commentary that this Christian found interesting this morning:
1. POTUS ELMO. I usually lead off with faith-related news, but when Elmo appears at the White House, that’s gotta be the top news item. My daughter would be thrilled. Here’s hoping for an Elmo / Telly ticket in 2012.
2. HOW BIG THE TENT? John Piper and Rick Warren stand for very different versions of Christianity, and very different senses of what it means to be a faithful Christian in today’s world. Thus the kerfuffle about John Piper inviting Warren to a Desiring God conference. Below, Piper, with lots of hand gesticulations, explains his decision:
3. A DAY LATE, A DOLLAR SHORT. A lovely piece at Christianity Today on what Easter means.
4. VICTIMS ALL AROUND. Last week I noted Peggy Noonan’s piece on the abuse controversy surrounding Pope Benedict and the Catholic Church. Noonan is a Catholic herself, and I wanted to quote her final paragraph:
“There are three great groups of victims in this story. The first and most obvious, the children who were abused, who trusted, were preyed upon and bear the burden through life. The second group is the good priests and good nuns, the great leaders of the church in the day to day, who save the poor, teach the immigrant, and, literally, save lives. They have been stigmatized when they deserve to be lionized. And the third group is the Catholics in the pews—the heroic Catholics of America and now Europe, the hardy souls who in spite of what has been done to their church are still there, still making parish life possible, who hold high the flag, their faith unshaken. No one thanks those Catholics, sees their heroism, respects their patience and fidelity. The world thinks they’re stupid. They are not stupid, and with their prayers they keep the world going, and the old church too.”
“Tea Party supporters skew right politically; but demographically, they are generally representative of the public at large. That’s the finding of a USA Today/Gallup poll conducted March 26-28, in which 28% of U.S. adults call themselves supporters of the Tea Party movement.
Tea Party supporters are decidedly Republican and conservative in their leanings. Also, compared with average Americans, supporters are slightly more likely to be male and less likely to be lower-income.
In several other respects, however — their age, educational background, employment status, and race — Tea Partiers are quite representative of the public at large.”
6. MONKEY BUSINESS. Reports say that another “missing link” between apes and man is found.
7. ROBOTS IN SPACE. Boeing’s Phantom Works has produced a new robotic spacecraft for the Air Force.
8. TIGER IN THE BRUSH. On the media circus surrounding Tiger Woods as he prepares for his first tournament since his affairs were exposed to the world–the Masters, in Augusta, Georgia.
9. COMMENTARY FROM COMMENTARYI wrote in this blog long ago that one of the purposes of the health care legislation is wealth redistribution. Whether that is a good thing or a bad thing depends on your own political philosophy. One of my favorite sources for commentary on the right is the blog Contentions, from Commentary magazine. John Steele Gordon explains in one entry at Contentions why he is not concerned about the widening gap between the ultra-rich and the rest of us (and he quotes Democrat Max Baucus to the effect that the health care legislation is intended as “an income shift.”
Again, perhaps we need forced redistribution through something like this health care bill. I am not taking a stand on that question. Just noting an interesting argument.
10. DODD ON ARRIVAL. Also at Contentions is a summa of financial regulation reform led by Chris Dodd. I have to agree that this does, at first blush, sound like a bad idea.
11. THE DEMOCRATS OF THE FUTURE. One of my favorite sources of commentary on the Left is Swampland. Adam Sorenson has a helpful “Morning Must Reads” feature. Jay Newton Small gives 5 reasons why 2010 will not, for the Democrats, be a repeat of 1994. OkTrends (a Democratic site), however, tells a different story, of how the big tent of the Democrats is sometimes too big for its own good. Very interesting infographics on the political evolution of the Democratic party.
12. STEELE MELTING DOWN. Marc Ambinder explains how Michael Steele is damaging to the Republican party. The news of a $2K trip to a bondage-themed night club is absurd, and Republicans should be furious at how their funds are being used.
13. COURTING THE FUTURE. The Obama administration is preparing for another Supreme Court vacancy. Among the leading contenders, Elena Kagan, formerly the Dean of Harvard Law School and now the solicitor general, seems a particularly good choice. Moreover, if Obama is looking to shape the court long-term, he can expect Kagan, only 49, to sit on the court a good long time. Kagan is indisputably qualified, an intellectual heavyweight (at least, I would assume so from the many exalted positions she has held), and reasonably acceptable on the Right side of the aisle.
13. TODAY’S TWO-SIDES. For TT-S this morning, dueling editorials. The Wall Street Journal on why the Obama Iran policy of sanctions is not, and the Boston Globe on why it is, a serious and potentially effective response to Iranian nuclear ambitions.