Democracy and virtue go hand in hand. Freedom cannot exist without a corresponding level of responsibility. Democacy, likewise, needs a virtuous electorate to work smoothly. I am not advocating a utopian society based on an unattainable level of perfection, but one based on individuals who try to make the best of the gifts God has given them. I believe that socialism (and other enlightenment utopian “isms” that rely on collective human means for some end of “salvation”) stands in contradiction to this. In essence, while masquerading as the ultimate form of charity, socialism presents a twofold danger.
Our favorite time of year: the smell of fresh pencil shavings and shiny new plastic binders brings to mind the commencement of a new academic year. Usually religion is not included in the new and chaotic excitement that accompanies orientation week. However, while the classes and activities provide a hefty load for a student, religion can be an outlet for stress and anxiety. For a student who is already involved in a campus group or church program, it is easy to pick up and continue their religious tradition. For all of the new freshman and newcomers to Christ, however, it can prove a challenge.
On September 17, 1787, thirty-nine of the delegates at the Constitutional Convention, having met for four long, hot, and humid summer months in Philadelphia, had finally completed their task. On that day, they lined up and signed their names to the completed document. The debates had often been heated and the disagreements significant, concerning the powers of the national government, the representation of the states, and, of course, slavery. Yet in the end, the final version was a Constitution that has endured for over 221 years. It is the longest surviving, working constitution in the world today.
Sympathy and warmth toward US Muslims is up in the past two years, while concern for Islam’s tendency to violence is down, according to a Pew survey reported in USA Today on this, the eighth anniversary of 9/11. Bush’s “religion of peace” mantra, combined with his refusal to speak bluntly about jihad or radical Islam, set the stage for Obama’s truly Orwellian purge of America’s vocabulary for thinking about those sworn to destroy us. And voila, today’s poll findings are the result. Here is part of the USA Today story:
Editor: Kevin Miller’s forum on “Liberty & Christianity: Allies or Adversaries?”, held at CCU on 8/28, continues to stir discussion. After Greg Schaller weighed in on 8/30, Bill Watson countered on 9/8. Schaller now offers his rebuttal to that Watson posting, keyed to the following italicized quotations: BW writes: If Christians in the West were even able to impose their morality, the result would be a rejection of Christianity similar to what is happening now in Iran.
Editor: Bill Watson, a theocrat? Not hardly. But he recalls being charged as such, in the context of reflections upon how Christian citizens in America should balance their aspirations to liberty and virtue, a topic explored by Kevin Miller at CCU on 8/28 (marginally favoring liberty) and by Greg Schaller on this blog 8/30 (marginally favoring virtue). Here’s the Watson piece: To what degree can we force virtue on those who care not for God’s virtue?
Our ongoing debate about government’s role in health care is proving worthwhile because it forces people to focus on the real tradeoffs in a system mandated—if not directly operated—by government, rather than one selected by individuals or their employers. Today, our system is a dysfunctional hybrid. To the extent that we cannot choose the health care coverage we want today, those restrictions are almost always the result of previous government interventions—tax incentives that make it easier for employers to buy insurance than for employees to purchase their own or laws requiring us to purchase coverage we may not need or cannot afford.
Besides nannying, mowing the occasional lawn and the seemingly full-time job that basketball and soccer demand, neither of us had really<!–more–> had a “real” job until this summer when we worked for a prominent Denver businessman and private investor. While the majority of college students were basking in the freedom that comes with summer vacations, we were inside an office doing research on the Denver Public School system. Although at first, the topic seemed dull and as arid as the Colorado weather, after digging in, we both started to become emotionally enticed by the subject. Did you know that almost half of DPS students do NOT graduate?
Like most news junkies who had followed the war in Iraq on a daily basis for six years I thought I was pretty well informed. However when I read Bing West’s The Strongest Tribe I was stunned at how much I had missed- not just unreported or misreported events but also how to think about those events in balanced perspective. Soon after the lightning overthrow of Saddam the mainstream media began to turn against a war they had never much liked in the first place. As the war ground on their reporting disproportionately revolved around suicide bombers in Iraq and grieving families in America. Most books that promised “deeper analysis”- even well written ones like Bob Woodward ‘s trilogy- revealed a clear liberal bias and left us yearning for some Paul Harvey to tell us “the rest of the story”.
Editor: You thought blogging was inherently overheated? This coolly reasoned piece asks for our best as deliberative citizens sifting for truth in the health care melee. Scott Starin is Boulder County Republican chairman, a former candidate for Congress, and an aerospace engineer. The Art of Persuasion