Category Archives: Religion & Politics

Compassion in Houston: Altruism or Selfishness?

On a Fox News group show this morning (Saturday, Sept 2 on “Bulls and Bears”) I heard one person say that businesses in Houston had opened their buildings for individuals and even were giving merchandise away to those in need.  The pundit then added that the owners of these businesses probably acted as they did for self-interested reasons, believing that it would be good for sales in the future.  I’m sure he wasn’t trying to be cynical, but his comment… Continue Reading ››

The Christian and Cultural Engagement

Cultural engagement.  What is it and how should Christians be “doing” it, assuming they should?  And perhaps I shouldn’t even assume that.  At any rate, I would like to explore the Christian in relation to his or her potential or real involvement in the political or cultural realms physically outside the church and apart from what the church “does” as its primary calling by the Word of God. First let’s look at what the “anti-engagement” side says.  Now basically these… Continue Reading ››

Conservatism and Religion: The Inseparable Tie Broken?

I read a very intriguing article yesterday in the National Review Online by Eliott Kaufman, with the title of “Are Conservatives Really Just Liberals?”  By the title you might think the author is about to criticize conservatives in Congress or in the Federal bureaucracy who aren’t acting like conservatives.  However the article actually poses a serious question about definition, and even further, about how conservatives and liberals (of a certain kind) ought to define themselves. But the article also draws… Continue Reading ››

Weeping for Charlottesville

One of the practical applications of the Christian walk is found in Romans 12:15, “Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.”  Today there is a family weeping for the loss of their daughter, a victim of the manifestation of one person’s hatred toward others.  It is, of course, easy to simply condemn the white supremacists who organized the protest, and indeed we should.  Thinking that one race is elevated, or that another is below other races… Continue Reading ››

What Do We Do with “Experts”? Human Nature is the Key to the Answer

I happened to catch a couple of minutes of the Rush Limbaugh program, in which he was playing some snippets from an interview of Kurt Anderson and Charlie Rose on PBS, on the subject of Anderson’s new book, Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire.  The theme of the books seems to center on how conservative talk radio has mislead so many people in the United States, but I want to focus on a sub-theme, mentioned in the interview, in which Anderson… Continue Reading ››

Churches and Zoning: An Interesting Clash

I read an interesting article that brought together my concerns both about zoning and land use and religious freedom issues.  It seems the City of Palo Alto, California, quite a nice place to live it is said, and the home of the elite Stanford University, is “cracking down on churches” that allegedly violate its zoning laws.  In an article from CBSSFBayArea, at http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2017/07/27/palo-alto-neighborhood-churches/, it is reported that city officials in Palo Alto have ordered a the First Baptist Church to… Continue Reading ››

Yes, political economy can even come up in spiritual mentoring discussions!

Dick Armey, the former majority leader of the House of Representatives during the 90s, used to say something to the effect of “Republicans are always afraid you won’t understand the issue; Democrats are always afraid you will”  Democrats seemingly could care less about reams of data, but live and die by the anecdote–they just need one real face with a stirring heart story to put in front of the camera.  While this is not universally true, it is true that… Continue Reading ››

Making Cities “Great” Means Making People “Great”

I just returned from a visit with my mother in my (and her) home city, Huntington, West Virginia.  We drove by way of Portsmouth, Ohio.  Both cities are in “flyover country” and both have suffered from the heavy (and likely irreversible) loss of manufacturing jobs.  To give you an idea of the losses, Huntington has dwindled from about 90,000 residents in 1960 to about 45,000 today.  Even accounting for suburban flight, that is a big loss–and the suburbs haven’t grown… Continue Reading ››

Sharia Law Protests: The Truth About Sharia

It has been reported that today (June 19m 2017) has been set aside for protests around the nation against Sharia law, the legal system used in most Muslim countries to a greater or lesser extent.  The principles for Sharia are derived from both the Quran and Hadith, the alleged sayings of Muhammed and have been more or less systematized into various schools of legal thought (five to be precise), all having significant overlap.  There are a number of groups today… Continue Reading ››

Memorial Day and Patriotism

On Memorial Day we take time to remember the sacrifices made by those who have served and currently served in the United States military, especially those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.  It is right that we should do so.  This commemoration is intended to be neither overly sentimental nor falsely patriotic to the point of ultra-nationalism.  More than that, Christians too can meaningfully participate in these kinds of commemorations, even though we must also recognize that our ultimate citizenship… Continue Reading ››