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Gotta love those hilarious people at Fox News

June 28, 2017

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As a 60-year-old with incurable cancer — forced out of a career, dependent on disability payments and Medicaid — it’s always good to know someone’s got my back. Take commentator Lisa Kennedy Montgomery, for instance, and her ever-so-compassionate Fox News colleagues.

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Patriotism’s Call Under A Rogue Government

June 27, 2017

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Silly me. I dreamed the GOP-sponsored health care travesty passed in the US House would die in the Senate. The Congressional Budget Office just released a report dashing my innocence: 22 million stand to lose their insurance over the next ten years under Mitch McConnell’s cynicism. This comes atop more revelations about Russian election meddling […]

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How is that a thing?

June 25, 2017

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Cindy Brady (see the video below) poses a question for anyone joining a Facebook group called Christians For Trump; “How is that a thing?” She lays down the challenge in unsparing terms. Lest her confrontational words throw us, read the Bible’s portrait of the commendable ruler in Psalm 72. A couple passages from the ESV translation: […]

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I wish politics would stop barging in on my ambitions for this site

June 24, 2017

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I’m forever vowing to veer this blog from the tentative political scene to more weighty — and ultimately relevant — eternal matters, but America’s death spiral always upsets my plans. The US now aims for a new goal: Forget trips to unexplored planets by the decade’s end or feeding the world or ending poverty (anyone […]

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Questions linger as leaders disavow Trump

October 11, 2016

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It’s only Tuesday, yet this week already ranks among the creepiest in US political history. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump did not hide in shame after the revelation of his vulgar comments in an Access Hollywood video. Instead, he stalked his Democratic opponent in a live television debate and threatened to send her to jail […]

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How Democrats Snatch Defeat From The Jaws of Victory

July 14, 2014

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Let’s ask the real election-year question: Why isn’t the Democratic Party poised with forks and knives, ready for November’s sizzling elephant steak? Republican popularity spirals amid denials of verified science, yet there’s genuine fear of a GOP Senate takeover. We should be dreaming of 1964, when Democrats held two-thirds majorities in both houses after routing Goldwater.

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When the past strangles us

February 22, 2013

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Gaze through civil religion’s in-creeping fog: Halos blink on over sweltering men with wigs. They’re now immaculate secular apostles; they kneel on a mountain top beside their polished spittoons while awaiting their Constitution’s arrival. They never haggled, never referred to their honored but maddening mother country, and never debated behind closed doors in a muggy city in defiance of their original commission. So dare not think the heretical thought: “Maybe the Second Amendment has outlived its usefulness.”

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De-mangling political religion, Part One

November 25, 2012

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We’re beyond the mere need for civil discourse. Our minds are askew. We actually believe our own rhetoric as an article of faith. We no longer know how to talk because we no longer know how to think. We’re thrusting religious categories onto politics, and that’s true of both pious and secular fundamentalists. Classical politicians are pragmatists in their heart of hearts. They’ve wended their way through local and state governments, where the grand debates center around zoning regulations, potholes, sewer lines, schools and budgets. Old school city pols made sure Mrs. O’Leary got her groceries and medicine. It was practical vs. impractical and useful vs. unworkable, all under the umbrella of the law and agreed-upon values. We’ll compromise with our opposing “friends” because the people elected them as well. Sure we have ideals, and we’ll salute Old Glory with relish, but that’s because Old Glory symbolizes our practical approach. Political ideals serve people, not vice versa.

No longer. We’ve forgotten something subtle and yet crucial, articulated well by Dutch theologian/statesman Abraham Kuyper: Politics and religion occupy two distinct, although sometimes overlapping, spheres. Our religion can and should inform our political beliefs (remember Gandhi, Aung San Suu Kyi and Martin Luther King: “The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state.”), but the two categories cannot be confused. They’re linked but not enmeshed. Otherwise, we view fundamentally practical questions (should we repair that bridge?) through a spiritual grid. Everything is moral vs. immoral and evil vs. good. We demand Messiahs, not effective representatives and administrators. We insist our presidents become pastors.

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Can the past point us to the future?

October 24, 2012

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Swartz guides us down the baby boomer’s memory lane, evoking images of flames in Watts, Newark, and Detroit – and black arm bands and student marches and tear gas and police riots and F-4’s and B-52’s and U.S. marines dodging Hue’s snipers in the Tet Offensive. Through it all, I couldn’t help but mourn over the what-if’s: What if the Evangelical Left saw nuances and shades? What if some of its youthful, bulldog leaders possessed the politician’s wisdom and forged alliances with enlightened conservatives? What if the American Old Left, grounded in pro-religious New Deal liberalism and often embraced by evangelicals, had survived the assault of the fervently secular New Left, which scared off many Americans and tainted the “liberal” label?

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FDR’s frustration with business associations

October 12, 2012

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Some background: Poor business practices plunged the United States into the Great Depression during the 1930’s – much like poor business practices ignited the recent Great Recession. Then, as now, businesses were rescued by the federal government. Then, as now, many business associations turned on the government.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt penned this letter to Thomas J. Watson of IBM, who regretted the sweeping criticisms of the US Chamber of Commerce (quoted in Arthur M. Schlesinger’s The Politics of Upheaval) …

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